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Halrloprillalar

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Snape and Draco
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(I realise my icon has nothing to do with this post, but it's new and I want to show it off.)

Quick question: In canon -- book canon -- does Snape actually favour Draco? I know he favours the Slytherins generally, but is there some actual connection between Snape and Draco? I can't for the life of me manage to filter that out from all the fanon in my brain.

If he *does* favour him, why? Does he like Draco? If so, why? Draco's sycophantic ways?

Hmm. Draco's not the most likeable kid, really.

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As far as I remember... no. Snape doesn't particularly favor Draco. He favors the Slytherins, yes, and he picks on the Gryffindors, especially The Three, but he doesn't generally seem to favor anyone.

I would think that the only reason he might favor Draco would be to annoy Harry. Or impress on Harry that Harry is a mere mote in the universe's eye.

I would think that the only reason he might favor Draco would be to annoy Harry.

Draco as unwitting pawn! Poor boy, and he thinks he's so important. *g*

</i>If he *does* favour him, why? </i>

I can't remember if he actually does or not, but as for the why... Lucius Malfoy is a powerful, rich member of the school Board of Governors. I think that's reason enough for someone like Snape, who desperately wants recognition, and quite possibly the DADA job (if he still wants it and it isn't just habit to apply anymore), and having a good friend on the Board can't hurt.

If you want a 'more noble' reason, well, he has to keep his cover as DE sympathizer and so he curries favor with the Malfoys.

I think that's reason enough for someone like Snape, who desperately wants recognition, and quite possibly the DADA job (if he still wants it and it isn't just habit to apply anymore), and having a good friend on the Board can't hurt.

Poor Snape -- he'll never know how to play the game, will he? He seems to have a hard time accepting that things don't go by merit at all.

(Deleted comment)
I'm not sure Snape favors Draco; it's more like Draco's just always involved with things Snape favors, like Gryffindor-bothering. Also, there's a bit of Harry-centrism at play: we may not be seeing Snape favoring other Slytherins simply because Harry doesn't pay half as much attention to other Slytherins.

I buy this 100%; particularly the blindered vision we have of that world because pretty much everything is filtered through Harry's perceptions.

I'm glad we have no idea about Snape's motivations quite yet. That makes for fertile fanfic fields and leaves JKR plenty of room to fill things in with fascinating backstory.

In PoA, he seems to favor Draco at least over Harry and Ron, because when Draco is still in his sling, Snape makes Harry and Ron do his ingredients-prep; in PS/SS he praises Draco's evenly prepped roots in front of the whole class.

Also, in OotP, Draco clearly has some degree of permission to come into Snape's classroom after hours, which is how he intrudes on that Occlumency lesson. But whether that's technically favoritism or something else is in the eye of the beholder - it seems more than the Teacher + Annoying Student thing to me, though.

Draco's permission to come into Snape's office unannounced might be a result of Draco's Prefecture. He *is* set over the other Slytherins, and so would need to get his Head of House if anything beyond his ability to manage happened.

Of course, Draco is very familiar to Snape (and vice versa) in that scene. He's probably going outside the bounds of a normal Prefect to Housemaster relationship; that could just be Draco taking it as his due in his arrogance, though.

I think he does. He uses Draco's potion as an example to the class of how to do it right, and he does so in a fairly friendly/complimentary manner. I don't have the books to check it, but I'm also almost positive that Harry thinks something about Snape appearing to like Draco. (I think all that *may* be in the first Potions lesson in PS/SS, but I'm not sure.)

Other interactions are a whole lot more ambiguous, but I think that, taken together, they could indicate Snape's favor -- Draco was picked for Slytherin prefect (surely a decision heavily influenced by the preference of the head of house), his response when Draco says he's the best teacher at the school and should be Headmaster, the way he whispers spell advice in Draco's ear during the CoS duel, when Draco's arm is 'injured' he essentially assigns Harry (Draco's worst enemy) to be Draco's servant in Potions class.

I think Draco's behavior is actually a stronger argument than Snape's -- I can't see Draco acting as enthusiastic and positive toward Snape if he felt that Snape didn't properly appreciate him. The thing is, where Snape is concerned I'm not sure Draco's just being a sycophant. Draco is extremely emotionally honest, and I'm not sure he could maintain the act, without Harry ever noticing a slip, for five years. I think Draco is actually sincere in his admiration and respect for Snape, and I think on some level Snape recognizes and responds to that, regardless of whatever political motives Snape may have where the Malfoys are concerned. (Of course, Book 6 or 7 could blow that theory right out of the water, but as of now I'm convinced.)

As for Draco being likable, I think he's considered charming and funny by the Slytherins, given the way he 'holds court' and is constantly making everyone laugh (there's even mention of a group of fifth year Slytherins laughing when he teases Ron in CoS). And whatever his political leanings, Snape *is* a Slytherin.

This is an excellent argument. I've always wondered what Snape's relationship with his house was like, particularly in light of how McGonagall handles her duties for Gryffindor.

I haven't been reading HP fic for long, but I'm already tired of all the "my little snakelets" nonsense, and crave some good Snape As True Head Of House fic. Any recommendations?

I always got the feeling that Snape was walking a fineline with Draco. I don't think Snape lieks him. I don't think Snape likes anyone. He repsects Dumbledore. I don't see that he likes him.

Snape will defer to Draco or help Draco to one up Harry or any Gryffindor. But not for Draco. Partly because I think he likes to see Slytherin do well. And partly because I think it is a subversive way to encourage laziness in the Death Eaters and vigor in the Trio.

It is my pet theory that Snape knows Harry will have to fight Voldie - and he is trying to toughen him up - whiel making the future Death Eater's soft. This plan is particularly Slytherin as it allows Snape to maintain his DE front in the eyes of the DE's and their children. And it also allows him to be nasty to Harry. But I think Snape really thinks it is good for Harry too - in the sense that he is not being pampered or coddled and that will help him face Voldemort. Because I don't think Snape really wants Voldie to win. Though of course I might be very very wrong.

It is my pet theory that Snape knows Harry will have to fight Voldie - and he is trying to toughen him up - whiel making the future Death Eater's soft.

That's an interesting thought! Wheels within wheels.

Yeah, but D is good at Potions. They have the exact same relationship that I had with my Snapish teacher.

Yeah, I can see that. I wonder what makes Draco good at potions. Natural ability? Tutoring at home?

From PoA:

"How is it, Draco?" simpered Pansy Parkinson. "Does it hurt much?"

"Yeah," said Malfoy, putting on a brave sort of grimace. But Harry saw
him wink at Crabbe and Goyle when Pansy had looked away.

"Settle down, settle down," said Professor Snape idly.

Harry and Ron scowled at each other; Snape wouldn't have said "settle
down" if they'd walked in late, he'd have given them detention. But
Malfoy had always been able to get away with anything in Snape's
classes; Snape was head of Slytherin House, and generality favored his
own students above all others.

They were making a new potion today, a Shrinking Solution. Malfoy set up
his cauldron right next to Harry and Ron, so that they were preparing
their ingredients on the same table.

"Sir," Malfoy called, "sir, I'll need help cutting up these daisy roots,
because of my arm --"

"Weasley, cut up Malfoy's roots for him," said Snape without looking up.

And, whee! A chance to use my lego!Draco icon!

Aiieee! I should never try to post about points of canon when I don't have the books at hand! I was thinking Snape made Harry chop for Draco. (Whether Harry or Ron though, Snape managed to both get them and give Draco a treat.)

Fanon has beat it into my brain that Snape favors Draco, or at least, tolerates him and is nicer to him than he is to Harry or the other Gryffindors. As to why, well, Draco is (from all we've seen) THE Most Important Slytherin, and Snape's head of Slytherin House. It would be vital to Snape's job to at least appear to favor such a person.

But, like I said, fanon has likely led to that conclusion. Is it even possible anymore to discuss Slytherin politics without fanon leaking in? Hmmm.

Is it even possible anymore to discuss Slytherin politics without fanon leaking in?

That was pretty much my problem. People have cited the books in this thread, though, and I think we can say that Snape does canonically favour Draco.

But the fanon will always be with us, colouring our thoughts. I don't think you can entirely keep it from influencing you.

I think that Snape doesn't really LIKE anybody, but he knows better than to NOT favour Draco, because that would undoubtedly get back to his father and could provide some serious repercussions for him. Besides, if he were to attack Draco in public in any way, the Gryffindors would totally latch onto that and Draco would never hear the end of it. His entire position with them relies on the fact that he is black and white - always cruel to Gryffindors, always favouring Slytherins.

I think there's also another aspect to it though, which is that he doesn't want to see Draco turn out like he did. While Draco's a bully, it's because he's weak. He'd be easily shot down by Harry or Ron or Hermione, who are stronger characters, and it reminds him of himself when he was a child, dealing with the Marauders. The last thing Draco needs is to be chastized by his own head of house as well. Unfortunately, Snape is obviously not meant to be a father, because, by letting Draco get away with all that shit, he's giving him positive reinforcement for negative traits. I would imagine he doesn't want Draco to turn out like his father, but he has no idea how to make sure it doesn't happen.

(I have plenty more to say on this subject, but I am braindead.)

I think there's also another aspect to it though, which is that he doesn't want to see Draco turn out like he did. While Draco's a bully, it's because he's weak. He'd be easily shot down by Harry or Ron or Hermione, who are stronger characters, and it reminds him of himself when he was a child, dealing with the Marauders.

Oooh, good thought. The sins of the father. It's really consumed Snape, hasn't it? So much that he conflates Harry and James and keeps the flame of hatred alive. *sigh* It's very sad.

I haven't a clue about your Draco question. But any time I see a SnowCrash reference, I've gotta squee! I totally love your icon. It's so perfect!

Thank you! I'm just re-reading it now and I decided I had to have a Poor Impulse Control icon. Angel seemed a natural choice. *g*

I don't know why Snape wouldn't like Draco - Snape's not the most likeable of people, himself.
Some empathy there?
Draco's also a Slytherin who is constantly beaten by Gryffindors.

Well, it doesn't stand to reason that two unlikeable people would like each other -- quite the opposite. But I think that we've established from book refs that whether or not Snape actually *likes* Draco, he does seem to favour him.

Yes, Snape does favour Draco. The first time we see Draco and Severus together it's particularly obvious (Severus compliments Draco, but snips at the Gryffindors *and* other Slytherins.)

The thing though? He doesn't favour the Slytherins besides Draco. The only other 'favouring' action we see from him is the Slytherin Quidditch team in CoS -- in which case that's probably just because they have to practice with their new Seeker: Draco.

So, I think it's fanon that Snape favours the SLYTHERINS in general, but canon that he favours DRACO in particular.

- Andrea.

So, I think it's fanon that Snape favours the SLYTHERINS in general, but canon that he favours DRACO in particular.

It's also what the kids think. In PS, the rumour is that Snape favours his own house. It's true that he seems to criticize pretty much everyone but Draco initially, but I think there are hints elsewhere in the books that he does favour his own house, at least to an extent. I think the problem is that the notable encounters to Harry are always with Draco, so we don't have a good sampling.

I think we need to be very careful about trying to really say what Snape's relationship to Draco is because it's probably very carefully hidden and hinted at by JKR. I mean, the theories that Snape is trying to make the DE kids weak through coddling works (though it's a pretty rotten plan--how about teaching them to be good people who can stand up to their parents and might help Snape's own side rather than just weakening the other side's canon fodder?), as does Snape sucking up for his spying but what we *know* is just what we've seen through Harry.

The scenes that I remember are that
-Snape "seems to like" Malfoy (or some words to that affect) in the very first class.
-He helps him during the duel in CoS.
-He makes Ron and Harry work for him in PoA when his arm is hurt.
-Harry dreams of Draco turning into Snape (add that some other parallels drawn between James/Snape and Harry/Draco, for what they're worth).
-Draco tells Snape he's the best teacher in the school and should be headmaster in CoS and Snape can't suppress a smile.
-Draco laughs at Snape's jokes in class.
-Snape calls Draco by his first name outside of class, unlike any other teacher we've seen besides Hagrid, iirc.
-Draco seems to have a familiar relationship with Snape outside of class where he treats him with respect and is not yelled at for barging into his office unannounced (and if Draco were overstepping by doing this, knowing Snape, it seems he would have told him so).
-Snape interrupts Harry's cursing of Draco at the end of OotP.
-Snape believes Harry threw mud at Draco in PoA.
-According to Sirius, Snape was Lucius Malfoy's "lapdog."
-Snape possibly reacts strongly to hearing Lucius was in the graveyard in GoF.

I don't think we have any real way of interpreting these events, but that most of them offer something. Harry's pov is biased and while he presumably naturally sees Snape and Draco as being two of a kind he's got no reason to ignore any signs that Draco annoys Snape or that Draco is faking his own respect. Harry has no trouble recognizing that Draco's respect of Umbridge is fake.

So I'd say the basic facts we've got to work with are that Draco seems to be consistently confident in Potions. He's progressed (iirc) from silently appreciating Snape to laughing out loud in support of his jokes. He's progressed to being called Malfoy in 2nd year (that we hear) to Draco in fifth. So if it's revealed Snape really doesn't like him (which is certainly possible) it will be an intentional contradiction to what we've seen, imo.

-Snape calls Draco by his first name outside of class, unlike any other teacher we've seen besides Hagrid, iirc.
-Draco seems to have a familiar relationship with Snape outside of class where he treats him with respect and is not yelled at for barging into his office unannounced (and if Draco were overstepping by doing this, knowing Snape, it seems he would have told him so).


Good points. Maybe I should be asking why Draco seems like to like Snape instead of the other way around. And possibly this is related to...

-According to Sirius, Snape was Lucius Malfoy's "lapdog."
-Snape possibly reacts strongly to hearing Lucius was in the graveyard in GoF.


It seems like there's a larger Snape-Lucius connection that maybe informs the Snape-Draco connection. I wonder if Draco knew Snape prior to Hogwarts.

Snape and Draco

(Anonymous)
Hi. Rebecca Webb here, author of the "Smallest Slytherin" series, and thanks to Kat_Denton for mentioning my fics. I wanted to suggest that the reason fanon colors discussions of Snape and his Slytherins is because this is the weak part of Rowling's story. It makes no sense that Snape is portrayed again and again as a person of great integrity and idealism (qualities that have nothing to do with pleasantness), yet he has no impact (for good) on his house. Instead, the Slytherins slip farther and farther into villainy. In the future, I suspect we will see lots of theses and dissertations on this topic. RW (webbrl@mrs.umn.edu).

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