There is a line…
**** If you’ve not read Deathly Hallows read no further! ****
I guess I should add a dork alert here as well. Oh well, if you’ve read any previous postings of mine there is no need to be alerted as to my dork status is there… So… anyway….
On page 365 of the American edition of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, while Harry is on watch-duty it states: “He remembered the sound of a cloak slithering over dead leaves many years ago, and at once thought he heard it again before mentally shaking himself.” Does this reference to the sound of the “cloak slithering over dead leaves many years ago” point to a specific passage in a previous book? Since we all know (I warned you … go away if you haven’t read Deathly Hallows)…. that the one in the forest about to cast the silver doe patronus is Snape, does this passage then imply that poor Snape had on more than one occasion been out there dogging Harry to make sure he didn’t get into any more trouble than he could handle? Or is the “cloak silthering” a reference to Voldemort?
I’d like to think it is a reference to the head of the Slytherin house (note the word play if it is) for it gives us another facet of Snape’s devotion. How many other times was he out there in the dark following Lily’s boy and making sure he was relatively safe? Re-reading that whole section (pages 365 through 373), with the knowledge that its Snape who has orchestrated the whole scene for Ron and Harry, gives the passage a new feeling. You can almost see the image of Snape lurking in the trees, casting the patronus while Harry, not blinded by the physical image of Snape (which would elicit anger and hatred from Harry) senses only trust and kindness from the silver doe patronus which in effect is Snape. Now I can hear the argument that the doe patronus is not truly Snape but a projection of Snape’s love for Harry’s mother, or even just an imitation of Harry’s mother’s patronus, but that really is still Snape, isn’t it? The passage to me is one which helps define the complexity of Snape’s character and the profoundness of his emotions. The character of Snape was one of loyalty, trustworthiness, certainly tenaciousness and of one not swayed by others opinion of him. He did the right thing because it was the right thing to as much as it caused him pain and cost him his life. Oh and I do know all the vileness the Snape character was capable of but that adds to the complexities of his character. Complexity is what makes things and people interesting – I’d much rather spend time staring at the scintillations of a faceted ruby as opposed to a cabachon.
By the way, if you know that there is a passage in the books where a “noise like a cloak rustling on leaves” is heard by Harry, please just drop me a comment and tell me where it is. Obrigado (sorry but the need for a Portuguese thank you seemed indicated there – I told you I was a dork)