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Snape & DADA

Yes, more Snape. Throughout the books, the students talk about how Snape wants the DADA job but is always denied it. I always figured that was just a rumour, spread because they don't like Snape. But is there anything that indicates it's actually true? I'm unsure now.

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I don't recall anything, but I can't see how he'd be any good at it.

He has the perfect temperament for a Potions Master: exacting, precise, demanding, and utterly perfectionist.

I think this is why his occlumency lessons with Harry were such a dismal failure. Occlumency and DADA both require you to trust your instructor, because the things that happen to you personally can be so traumatic. Snape's lack of sympathy would be counterproductive. I think it's also why Lupin and the fake Moody also turned out to be great teachers (as well as Harry in DA), because they were sensitive to their students' needs and weren't impatient with failure the way Snape can be.

Sorry, tangent there.

Was it Percy who said it first? I can't recall - did Percy have a grudge against Snape? Because he seemed to be the most fair-minded of the students back in the day.

He has the perfect temperament for a Potions Master: exacting, precise, demanding, and utterly perfectionist.

Exactly. I hope he enjoys it.

Umbridge says it in OotP - that he first applied for the DADA position and was given the Potions position instead.

Right! and the discussion between the two of them goes even further than that; she presses him about the issue, and (unless I'm misremembering), she indicates that he has repeatedly applied for it and been turned down. And he gets rather annoyed. Heh.

Yes, it must sting to see fools, wastrels, werewolves and death eaters get the position he covets.

I used to think it was just rumor as well - Snape obviously loves (consider his opening speech) and is skilled at (he brews the complicated Wolfsbane) potions - but then came OotP:

'You applied first for the Defence Against the Dark Arts post, I believe?' Professor Umbridge asked Snape.
'Yes,' said Snape quietly.
'But you were unsuccessful?'
Snape's lip curled.
Professor Umbridge scribbled on her clipboard.
'And you have applied regularly for the Defence Against the Dark Arts post since you first joined the school, I believe?'
'Yes,' said Snape quietly, barely moving his lips. He looked very angry.

This makes me feel very sad. :( The poor man. But thanks for the quote, even if it is a melancholy one.

There's the Umbridge discussion that everyone has mentioned -- and while Snape can dice the truth fine as frog's hair, he's never actually lied by comission as far I can tell. He's actually disturbingly truthful, if highly biased.

So he has applied for the the DADA position repeatedly, and been denied. I do believe that JKR said that Dumbledore denied Snape the position with the idea of 'let's see how you do in Potions', too, which might have given Snape the idea that he could eventually get the job... which he'd be a diaster at frankly, because his students would be hiding behind their desks, even though he probably does know as much DADA as Lupin.

Frankly, I wonder why Snape is at Hogwarts at all. He seems to loathe children. Well, people in general. Dumbledore, I suppose. And I wonder why he wants this particular position so much to keep applying. My god, to see Lockhart doing that job instead of him! At least Snape knows the material, even if he's not the best teacher.

and while Snape can dice the truth fine as frog's hair

I love this phrase. :)

Ooh! I know this one! Nowhere, canonically, does Snape confirm that he truly wants the job, but JKR did so in interviews. She said, "Snape asked for the position when he came to work for Dumbledore, but Dumbledore was concerned about him working with Dark Magic, and so said, 'Let's see how you do with Potions for now.'" (paraphrased) I actually watched this interview; it was the one with Stephen Fry in front of that huge audience right after OotP was released.

*sees neotoma's reponse above* Oops, that'll teach me to reload the page to see comments that might have been added before I hit "New Comment."

Let's all take a moment to think about Stephen Fry.


OK, so then the question becomes: Why does Snape keep applying for it when it's obvious DDore is never going to give it to him?

My theory is that he either applies or says he applies to keep the rumors going for Slytherin House's benefit. "Hey, evil Death Eater
daddy, our poor Head of House, Snape. He keeps applying for the DADA position and that mean, old Headmaster won't let him have it! He hates Slytherins! Bet we'd learn some REAL Dark Arts with Professor Snape teaching us!"

Then the DEs think "Yes, which is why the old coot keeps him from teaching it. At least Snape is still trying."

This theory can be combined with a theory of Snape working at Hogwarts while Voldemort was still alive, and maybe he kept applying for the position to appease Voldemort.

It can also be combined with the theory that DDore/Snape/McG have been expecting V back for years, and Snape has been keeping up a lot of pretenses in the intervening years, just in case.

My final theory is a simple one: Snape wants a shot at DADA so he can prove to DDore he can resist those forces again. And DDore still doubts him. So, IF Snape is ever given the position, it would be a sign of confidence in him from DDore and a chance to to prove himself TO DDore. Hum. Their love is very t00by in this theory. ;) ;) ;)

love, lore

I like your final theory! {Imagine thousands of deleted exclamation points inserted here.}

That sounds very Snape-like to me. He doesn't like to fail at anything. He failed at recognizing voldemort's errors; he fell (I'm sorry, but I have to say it) to the dark side.

Until he can prove that he can work with those forces and not fall and not be defeated, he has this niggling sense of imperfection, like having sand in his shorts (or his shoes). He has to prove himself, not to Dumbledore or to anyone outside, but to himself.

I like all your theories. (Though I am squicked by the t00by love. (And what does "t00by" mean anyway?))

The idea of a Dumbledore-McGonagall-Snape conspiracy (for lack of a better word) is most appealing!

(Though I am squicked by the t00by love. (And what does "t00by" mean anyway?))

A. t00by means - um. Silly, mainly. "You wore your underwear on the outside today? You T00b!" Um...but silly with affection. I would never call someone I didn't like a t00b.

T00by love in this case is just that...maybe fatherly-sorta mentory-whoknows love/friendship/employment that Sev and Albus share. I really don't think they're knocking boots in canon. Sorry I squicked you unintentionally. I know Snape/DDore is becoming a hot fan fic item right now, but that's not a ship I sail. :D

love, lore

As was already mentioned, it's confirmed in OotP with the conversation between Umbridge and Snape, which I was just listening to on audio yesterday. While Snape may want the DaDA job, I rather think the constant denial of the job is a big smokescreen to make it look like Snape is less trusted by Dumbledore than he actually is.

It also had me thinking about Trelawny, who is an awful teacher, but we learn that Dumbledore keeps her at Hogwarts because she issued the prophecy about Voldemort and Harry. She doesn't even know it, but she's there so Dumbledore can protect her and the prophecy. Snape, I assume, teaches at Hogwarts for a similar reason, regardless of the position he teaches. Makes me wonder who else is deliberately there for protection, etc.

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