Snape’s best decisions in the chamber of secrets

Snape is without a doubt the most controversial character in Harry Potter and his decision to be cruel to Harry, despite claiming to ‘love’ Harry’s mother, is central to that controversy. Throughout the series, Snape makes choices that make him the villain, and never explains himself or behaves in a particularly redeeming way … until the very end, of course, when it is shown that he works for Dumbledore, and that in many points, he actually protected Harry (while still seeming to hate him).

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IN Chamber of Secrets, Snape has a relatively small part in the plot (at least compared to most other installments in the franchise), but his part involves some good decisions. Some of these helped Harry the same year, others helped him in the long run, some helped everyone in school, and one was simply satisfying.

5 Not to punish Harry for stealing

Harry and Ron are scolded by Snape in the Chamber of Secrets

Harry and Ron’s decision to steal a car and drive into the school almost got them expelled – and Dumbledore made it clear that any other major offense would do so. It’s probably because of this that Snape decided not to punish Harry and his friends for stealing from his store cabinets to make Polyjuice Potion – Snape knew that if Harry was expelled, he would no longer be able to protect the boy .

However, there is no doubt that he knew it. Harry suggests that he ‘read his mind’ and suggests the possibility that Snape literally did this, and it is very clear in this and other books that Snape knew who stole. However, he chose to remain silent to protect Harry. This, of course, let Hermione brew their drink one that would help them in the short term but also become crucial later in their hunt for horcruxes. And of course, if Harry had been expelled, everything would have been different.

4 Blasting of Lockhart in duel club

Snape and Lockhart duel

The duel club may have been short-lived (it did not reappear after Harry’s one scene with a snake), but it was incredibly useful – and Snape’s decision to attend was interesting. At the time, it seemed strange, but it may well have been a conscious choice to try to help Harry learn to defend himself. He made a few good choices here, including the decision to get rid of Draco’s snake before it hurt anyone, but the most satisfying had to be the choice not to hold back – and to blow Lockhart.

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At this point in his second year, Lockhart is easily the most hated Hogwarts professor – even over Snape – and it was a phenomenal scene to see him completely knocked down in the duel club. However, it also showed that Lockhart was not quite the man he pretended to be.


3 Teaches Harry his first defensive spell

The other incredible choice Snape made in the Dueling Club was to teach Harry (and the rest of the students) the defensive spell Expelliarmus, a spell he would continue to use all his life – including against Voldemort himself. In fact, it is this spell that saved Harry’s life when he and Voldemort fought in the cemetery (as well as, of course, the connection between their wands), and kept him alive long enough to form the DA and begin studying other defensive spells.

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Had Snape not made the decision to join the club or teach this magic, it could very well have cost Harry his life – something that would have changed everything for the series and the Wizarding World. Not for the first time, Snape was able to protect Harry – even while Harry assumed he was a villain.

2 Refuses to brew love drinks

Riddle Love Potion

It did not quite get into the movie, but in Chamber of Secrets book, Lockhart makes a lot of trouble around Valentine’s Day – including joking that Snape would ‘whip’ a love potion for students. However, Snape makes it extremely clear that he wants nothing to do with Love Potions.

This is a particularly interesting choice, as love potions are clearly legal and widely available in Wizarding World (something that fans have called out as a particularly problematic form of magic), yet Snape will not learn them or make them. This could be seen as simple bitterness as the woman he loved did not love him in return, but it also makes a central point about who he is. To all his (many) mistakes, Snape never used a love potion – not even on Lily, whom he loved all his life. As a master potion maker, he could clearly have done so, and in a way that would have been undetectable, and presumably legal (although the legality of these potions is never made completely clear) – yet he makes it clear that even he will not bow to this level – clearly a positive decision on his part (if one as only the worst villains would not take).

1 Brewing The Restorative Draft

While Professor Sprout is the one who raised mandrakes for Restorative Draft, it was Snape and his potion abilities that actually brewed it – and of course, this is the Draft that returned all the Petrified students (and ghosts and cats) to their living state . Of course, this may seem like it’s hardly a decision, as Snape should have been a true villain for refusing to brew this, but at the time, fans thought he was! And of course, he could have ‘accidentally’ done something to ruin it … even for Snape, but that’s out of the question. Throughout the series, he brews elixirs to help others and backs up his claims as a misunderstood good guy.

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