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Et Tu Brutus?

A brief synopsis, although I'm sure everyone knows it all too well: In a confrontation with Death Eaters, Harry is immobilized, Dumbledore is wand-less, Draco intends to kill Dumbledore. Snape arrives on the scene…and Dumbledore meets his death through him. Harry chases the Death Eaters, but they, including Snape, escape. Consequently, everyone hates Snape. As we also know, Snape was acting as a double agent. He was passing information to the Death Eaters about the Order and vice versa. Not many people excepting Dumbledore trusted him. Then there were those who probably didn't trust Snape one bit but trusted Dumbledore's judgment. Now the common consensus is that for the first time, Dumbledore made a mistake which led to his death.

However, I don't think Snape is as evil as we make him out to be. (Ahem, while I do realize in the previous article, I sort of spat on him…erm, now I am thinking extremely rationally.) Here are the hypotheses that I've made and I shall seek to explain each one of them:

Snape made the Unbreakable Vow - two times
Snape and Narcissa were bound by the Unbreakable Vow wherein Snape vowed to protect Draco and do what Draco might not be able to do. As we found out later, you can break the Unbreakable Vow, but that leads to death. Anyhow, so far Snape seems to be keeping his vow to Narcissa as he's very much alive. So where does the second one come from?

"Well - I jus' heard Snape sayin' Dumbledore took too much fer granted an' maybe he - Snape - didn' wan' ter do it any more -" … "-anyway, Dumbledore told him flat out he'd agreed ter do it an' that was all there was to it."

While this is a very slim piece of proof that Snape ever made another Vow, it does tie in with the theory I have and will be expanded a little further in the article. But let's assume that he indeed made such a Vow with Dumbledore, this excerpt does show that Snape didn't want to adhere to it anymore, that it was too much to expect from him. The Vow was perhaps deemed by Dumbledore as necessary since he expected Snape to revolt against the idea.

Something's rotten in this scene…the wand!
What wand? Whose wand? Maybe this'll jog your memory:

"…he saw Dumbledore's wand flying in an arc over the edge of the ramparts and understood … Dumbledore had wordlessly immobilized Harry, and the second he had taken to perform the spell had cost him the chance of defending himself."

Okay, so he got disarmed. And he immobilized Harry. SO WHAT? Anybody seeing what I'm getting at??? Wizards, especially powerful ones, DON'T need their wand at all times. We've already seen Harry and even Dumbledore himself performing magic without their wands. Since Dumbledore has already mastered the art of wordless spells, he could have summoned back his wand. Since he's a powerful wizard, he could've used other types of magic. Why didn't he?

Dumbledore was a dignified, proud wizard
What's this supposed to mean, you ask? Okay, first read this:

But someone else had spoken Snape's name, quite softly. "Severus…" The sound frightened Harry beyond anything he had experienced all evening. For the first time, Dumbledore was pleading.

Okay, let's get this straight: Dumbledore DOES not plead. He does not beg. He, who was one of the most powerful wizards in the world, does NOT need to beg mercy for his life. If Dumbledore HAD to die, then he'd go down fighting; that's the sort of person he was. What then, was the pleading about? In my opinion, he was telling Snape to do something for him. He wasn't asking Snape to spare his life; Dumbledore could beat Snape in a duel in a minute. He wanted him to do what he probably had vowed to in an Unbreakable Vow.

Snape didn't want to kill Dumbledore
Well, he ended up doing so. But I don't think he truly wanted to:

Snape gazed for a moment at Dumbledore, and there was revulsion and hatred etched in the harsh lines of his face. "Severus … please …" Snape raised his wand and pointed it directly at Dumbledore. "Avada Kedavra!"

There was revulsion and hatred on Snape's face for whom? Certainly not for Dumbledore. I think he was repulsed by what he had to do, and hated himself for it, not Dumbledore. He didn't want to go ahead, but Dumbledore asked him to… and Snape listened. Right now…Snape must be HATING himself for what he's done.

Saving Harry Potter
"Have you forgotten our orders? Potter belongs to the Dark Lord - we are to leave him! Go! Go!"

Snape hates Harry. But does this hate extend far enough to kill him? While it may hold satisfactory that Snape is leaving Harry for Voldemort to take care of himself, there were opportunities in HBP at any rate to carry Harry off to Voldemort. But he did not. He left him. He could've taken him with him. But if Voldemort ordered them to leave him, that makes less sense, unless we take into account Voldemort always wishing to work alone (ironically he likes to work alone, but has minions…odd) and has a big fat ego.

Brave Snape?
"Kill me like you killed him, you coward -" "DON'T" screamed Snape, and his face was suddenly demented, inhuman, as though he was in much pain as the yelping, howling dog stuck in the burning house behind them, "- CALL ME COWARD!"

Snape clearly didn't like the idea of being called a coward. Rather than having to do something with his ego or self-esteem, perhaps it's because he wasn't a coward at all; he was an exceedingly brave man. I was extremely struck by the line where he is compared with the 'yelping, howling dog' which was in "much pain". Clearly, being called a coward struck a sensitive chord with him. He seems to have taken insults very well … (as well as can be expected anyways) but here he positively seems to go mad. He's almost hurt, and in pain, for being thought of as a cowardly murderer, when in fact he was only doing what he was told to do, risking his life and his beliefs in the process.

Probably no one can regret the death of Dumbledore more than Snape, for he alone knows the torture he went through to kill him; the man who had given him so many chances and made him what he was today. If (and I truly believe that I am right) Dumbledore did make Snape carry out this act, then he must have had an excellent reason, and hoped that this might help Harry to fulfill vanquishing Voldemort. As always, we can only trust Dumbledore's judgment; and as for Snape, I can only hope that the truth about his act comes out as soon as possible … before he dies … because Harry is not in a forgiving mood … At the end of this, I cannot believe in my heart of hearts that Snape is evil. There's just no way.

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