Over the course of the death-fest that is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, one character's demise stands out in my memory as the most gut-wrenching: that of Severus Snape. But what if Snape didn't die in the Shrieking Shack, but instead lived to flounce another day? A new Harry Potter fan theory has emerged on Reddit, purporting that Snape "is out traveling the world and living his own adventures" after the last Potter novel closes.
Based on two facts — that Snape does not appear with the rest of Harry's loved ones when he uses the Resurrection Stone, and that J.K. Rowling has never said what happened to Snape's corpse — the new fan theory claims that there was no spirit or corpse at all, because Snape did not die. The Redditor explains these glaring omissions with his claim that Hogwarts' resident potions master was only incapacitated by Nagini's venom, and later cured himself and fled the site of the battle.
Although I adore Severus Snape — in spite of his myriad faults — and would have loved to be sorted into Slytherin under his leadership, I have more than a few problems with this fan theory.
First, the claim that "Snape was far more important to [Harry] than Lupin," who does appear when the Resurrection Stone is used, is utter bullshit. Snape was a small, bitter man who abused Harry and his friends, simply because Harry was living evidence, not only that Lily Evans chose to be with James Potter instead of him, but also that she died so that their son could live. Harry later refers to Snape as "probably the bravest man I ever knew," because of his actions as double agent for Voldemort and Dumbledore, but he does not show any real affection for the Head of Slytherin House.
It's also important to remember that Snape was a gifted Occlumens who privately tutored Harry in both Occlumency and Legilimency so that he could resist Voldemort's intrusions into his mind. Before each lesson, Snape locked his memories to prevent Harry from discovering them. He cancels the lessons after he discovers Harry at the Pensieve, watching an episode of James bullying young "Snivellus."
Just so we're clear: Severus Snape unceremoniously canceled Harry's life-saving lessons because he was embarrassed for the teenager to have learned that his father once bullied his teacher. This is not the guy who lets his most vulnerable moment out into the aether before he goes bounding off on a bunch of post-war adventures. Snape had to have known that he would never again face Harry, because his pride would have prevented him from sharing the memory otherwise.
I love Severus Snape. I cried when Scorpius Malfoy found him in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and I sobbed when I watched him die a second time. As much as I love the idea of Snape wearing his black robes on a beach vacation while sipping from some fruity, umbrella-shaded drink, I think we should put this new Harry Potter fan theory to rest, simply because it requires both Harry and Snape to act against all evidence of their personalities.