Unlikely Parallel Between Harry Potter and Severus Snape Only Makes Things More Painful

Unlikely Parallel Between Harry Potter and Severus Snape Only Makes Things More Painful
Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

As different as they were, Harry Potter and Severus Snape both loved the Hogwarts Headmaster in their own way — and for that, he tormented them in a similar way.


  • Dumbledore made Harry force him to drink the Emerald Potion, and the boy hated himself for inflicting such agony upon the Headmaster.
  • The Hogwarts Headmaster also demanded that Snape killed him to save Draco, and the Potion’s Master hated himself for doing that.
  • Both Harry and Snape received the same treatment from Dumbledore who made them hurt him, the person they trusted and respected.

For readers and characters alike, Albus Dumbledore has always been the wise mentor figure in Harry Potter, unless you are one of the Evil!Dumbledore fans. The Boy Who Lived looked up to the Hogwarts Headmaster, and the same could largely be said for his most hated professor, Severus Snape, who respected his new “lord.”

That allowed Dumbledore to torture both Harry and Snape in the exact same way before dying, making an unexpected parallel between Lily Potter’s son and stalker.

Harry Hated Himself for Making Dumbledore Drink the Emerald Potion

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The Boy Who Lived knew the importance of destroying Voldemort’s Horcruxes and, having spent his entire sixth year learning about them under Dumbledore’s guidance, wanted to accompany his old mentor in his journey for the Slytherin’s Locket. The Headmaster agreed to take Harry with him, but only if the boy accepted his conditions.

Dumbledore’s main ultimatum was that no matter the circumstances, Harry would always follow his every command, including those that could hurt the Headmaster.

Unwilling to stay in Hogwarts’s walls while his mentor was out there risking his neck, The Boy Who Lived reluctantly agreed to trust Dumbledore entirely and obey him.

Fast-forward to the scene where the Headmaster told Harry to force him to drink the Emerald Potion. The wicked liquid messed with Dumbledore’s mind severely, putting him through immense agony. As the old wizard kept pleading Harry to stop this torture, the boy kept following the initial order — and it was, in turn, his own torment.

“Hating himself, repulsed by what he was doing,” J.K. Rowling described Harry’s struggle.

Snape Hated Himself for Killing Dumbledore at the Astronomy Tower

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Severus Snape, too, knew that Albus Dumbledore embarked on a hard and treacherous journey to end the Dark Lord’s reign and save the Magical Britain. Deeply grateful to the Headmaster for everything he’d done for him, Snape was Dumbledore’s loyal agent and comrade willing to sacrifice everything for the cause.

Unfortunately for Snape, his loyalty came out wrong when the Headmaster made him promise to save Draco Malfoy’s soul.

Dumbledore demanded that the Potions Master kill him when the moment was right, and Snape couldn’t believe the audacity of the old man — but in the end, he could never reject his savior’s wish.

Fast-forward to the scene atop the Astronomy Tower: the Death Eaters surround Dumbledore, and Bellatrix is telling Draco to kill the Headmaster. Severus Snape steps forward and hears his savior plead to him, making him remember his demand. Saying the incantation pains the Potions Master deeply, but he follows the order, too.

“There was revulsion and hatred etched in the harsh lines of his face,” Rowling wrote.

Both Harry and Snape were put under the exact same circumstances: the person they trusted the most made them promise to inflict pain or death upon him on demand, and when the time came, that promise became their own personal hell. It just so happened that, for both of them, that person was Albus Dumbledore.