I’m doing a HP reread, and I’m currently on book three. This will be my third full reread of the series since it was completed. The first time I read it was just rapture. I was enamored by the story and the characters and got sucked in. The second time, I read with foresight. I knew what was coming, so I looked for clues and hints that I didn’t pick up on the first read. This time, I feel like it’s my first time really reading it as an adult person with perspective and life experience.
Can I just say, Snape is an actual crazy person.
It’s third year potions class. These are 13 year old CHILDREN. Neville is so terrified of Snape that he is shaking and messes up his potion.
Instead of showing him the correct way to do it or even letting Hermione help him, Snape reacts like a freaking maniac. He calls Neville out in FRONT OF THE ENTIRE CLASS and tells him that his punishment is that he will have to give his potion to his toad at the end of class.
Which, naturally, makes Neville (a CHILD) panic even more.
This toad is not only his pet, but was a gift from his uncle to congratulate him for getting into Hogwarts.
Hermione surreptitiously tells Neville how to fix his potion and thank God she does. We know that Hermione is not comfortable with breaking rules, but she does not hesitate. It's never really explained what her thought process was. Personally, I think that she saw a teacher failing a student and decided to step in.
So at the end of class, Snape makes a big show in front of everyone and brings the potion and the toad up. He literally says that if Neville messed the potion up (which he believed he had) it would actually KILL Trevor!
Like, actual death. Of a child’s pet. Because he was having a tough time in class. Because the teacher is so mercilessly intimidating.
When the potion is given and Hermione’s remedy has worked, sparing the toad, Snape is furious. He takes 5 points from Gryffindor because he told Hermione not to help Neville.
This is a child and a living, breathing animal. Snape is a monster. Yes, I understand the whole "tragic backstory" argument. People live through tough things every day, but they cope and manage and don't try to kill children's pets. I seriously think he chose the wrong career path. If you're not able to get past your personal issues, you should not be teaching children.
And where is Dumbledore in all of this? Are teachers observed and reviewed at Hogwarts?