Alert: This article contains spoilers, both for the Harry Potter movies and books. Don't say I didn't warn you.
I remember waiting in a ridiculously long line at 11:30 p.m. on the night of July 21, 2007, as I anxiously anticipated the release of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." I was excited to find out what happened at the end of the series, but I was also heartbroken - it would be my last midnight release for a Harry Potter book. I jabbered to the fans around me, exchanging theories about characters and events. My father, who was waiting in line with me, told me he was convinced Hagrid would die.
"Why do you think that?" I asked him.
"Because Rowling has been killing the people we like, duh."
I acknowledged his prediction with a shrug. Maybe Hagrid would sacrifice himself to save Harry, but my mind was not on the deaths of characters at all. I was worried about Severus Snape, who had killed Professor Dumbledore in the previous book. Up until that point, I had been rather fond of Snape, even though he was not kind to Harry and his friends. I figured he had some ulterior motive. Killing Dumbledore shattered that image for me, and I was angry. I hoped that Severus Snape would get what was coming to him. I thirsted for revenge.
Two days later, when I finished "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," I gasped. Snape had been a good guy all along. At last, everything made sense to me. I felt tricked by Rowling, but I also felt relieved that my hunch about Snape had been incorrect after all.
The following list contains my personal favorite Severus Snape moments in the series. I will be using images from the movies to honor the late Alan Rickman, who passed away last week.
1. When Snape duels against Professor McGonagall in "Deathly Hallows"
What is so sad about this particular moment is Snape's hesitation in raising his wand against her.
2. When Snape shields the trio from Lupin's werewolf form in "Prisoner of Azkaban"
I feel silly for not paying attention to this more in the past. Why would Snape protect them if he was the bad guy?
3. When Harry tells his son where his name came from in "Deathly Hallows"
His son was named Albus Severus, named after both Dumbledore and Snape! What a beautiful tribute.
4. When Snape whacked the trio across the head, in practically every movie
This is one of the most iconic Snape moments in the series.
5. When Snape reveals that his Patronus is a doe in "Deathly Hallows"
Why is his doe the same as Lily Potter's?
6. When Snape is dying and sees Lily in Harry in "Deathly Hallows"
The realization at the end that Snape loved Harry's mother explains why he secretly protected Harry and why his Patronus was a doe and why he did everything he ever did in the series.
7. "Lily... after all this time?"