Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

by J. K. Rowling

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Chapter 33 Summary

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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 532

The Prince’s Tale

Right after Severus Snape dies, Voldemort’s voice insists that Harry come to him. If Harry does not come or if the others at Hogwarts continue to resist him, everyone will die.

As Harry, Ron, and Hermione reenter the castle, they come upon the Great Hall, which is serving as a sort of hospital. The Weasley family are gathered around Fred’s body. Tonks and Lupin have fallen as well. “Harry reeled backward from the doorway. He could not draw breath. He could not bear to look at any of the other bodies, to see who else had died for him.”

In shock and disbelief, Harry runs to Dumbledore’s old office and pours Snape’s last memory into the Pensieve, which reveals Snape’s story:

A young Snape watches young Lily (Harry’s mom) and young Petunia (her sister) play. As Snape and Lily realize they are a wizard and a witch, they become friends. Snape, however, is falling in love with Lily. Petunia, of course, begins to hate Lily for her magical qualities.

Some time later, James Potter and Sirius Black make fun of Snape for wanting to be in Slytherin. When the students are sorted into their houses, Lily is sorted into Gryffindor and Snape is sorted into Slytherin. Later again, Snape and Lily (still best friends) argue about Snape’s other friends. Snape responds with his knowledge that Lupin is a werewolf and that James Potter likes Lily. Snape and Lily stop fighting as soon as Lily admits that she doesn’t like Potter.

Later at Hogwarts, James and Sirius continue to torment Snape. Even though Lily stands up for Snape, he calls her a Mudblood, thus ending their friendship. When Snape finally grows up, he tells Voldemort about Trelawney’s prophesy and tells Dumbledore that “that is why—it is the reason—he thinks it means Lily Evans . . . he thinks it means her son!”

Snape still loves Lily and wants to protect her. Even though Harry is also James’ son, Snape vows to protect Harry as well, but he doesn’t want anyone to know. In fact, Snape makes Dumbledore swear and give his word not to tell.

When Harry arrives at Hogwarts, Snape constantly feels irritated by Harry. Still, when the Death Eaters begin to gather, Snape informs Dumbledore, who is impressed with Snape because of his bravery. After the Horcrux ring permanently damages Dumbledore’s hand (which Snape tries to mend), Dumbledore asks Snape to kill him rather than being killed by Voldemort’s choice of Draco Malfoy.

To save Harry, Snape agrees to the plan. Dumbledore tells Snape to watch for the moment when Nagini is close to Voldemort. Only then can Snape tell Harry the truth: that Harry is the last Horcrux because a part of Voldemort’s soul transferred to Harry on the night of his parents’ deaths. Therefore, Harry must die so that he can kill Voldemort.

To prove his love for Lily, Snape shows Dumbledore his doe Patronus. Snape continues to get instructions from Dumbledore’s headmaster portrait after Dumbledore’s death. It is Dumbledore who tells Snape to lead Harry to the Sword of Gryffindor.

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