For a very shy kid of twelve, who found her bearing (literally) in the magical world of Harry Potter, Severus Snape was her first frenemy. As much as she loathed the character, it was he who kept Philosopher’s Stone gripping till the end. The book was a page turner and as its climax neared, she remembered telling her cousin excitedly how she couldn’t wait for the face-off between Harry, her beloved hero and Snivelly Snape, the vindictive Potions Master. But JK Rowling would not have been JK Rowling if twelve year olds could predict her plot twists. Snape refused to fit into her black and white boxes, instead evolving into the complex antihero who could put Heathcliff to shame. He was broken in love but never let himself be reduced to a pitiable figure. There lay his courage. You laughed with Messrs Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs when they presented their compliments to the Professor. You hated him when he barged into the Shrieking Shack. You felt terrible when he was bullied as a school kid and you knew what Dumbledore was asking him for when he said Please. Severus Snape could take care of himself, thank you very much. And thus, despite his flaws, you couldn’t help but grudgingly admire him.
When the movies came out, you saw Alan Rickman become him, donning the role to a T. Now Snape had one more dimension to his personality. Swagger. And he could elicit one more reaction. Awe. As you slowly fell in love with his rich baritone and Brit accent, you wondered how he had ever managed to annoy you. Maybe it was a different time zone.
An era had already ended but today, when I heard about the very sad demise of the veteran actor, it felt like even the friendly ghosts of half a decade past were deserting. Much before Snape found his redemption in love in the books, he had found it in Alan Rickman in the movies. RIP Sir!