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Help us celebrate Alan Rickman’s birthday with his best Severus Snape moments

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During his role as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter film franchise, Alan Rickman has made us laugh, cringe, and even cry. His rise from living on a council estate in Acton, West London to Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Emmy award-winner has made him a fan-favourite and national treasure.

Since today, 21st February 2018, would have been his 72nd birthday, we believe it is only right to celebrate him by remembering his best moments as Severus Snape, one of his most beloved characters.

1. Harry's First Potions Class

The first time we are introduced to Snape is in Harry Potter’s first potions class in his first year at Hogwarts. There’s nothing quite as memorable as Snape’s haunting smirk when he questions Harry as to where he should look to find a beazor. It’s impossible not to feel sorry for poor Harry trapped under Snape’s steely stare, when he’s barely even come to terms with the existence of the Wizarding World. Hats off to Alan Rickman for making us all wither in our seats.

2. The Infamous Book-Smack

It’s not just Snape’s glare that hurts. It turns out he can deliver a hearty smack with a book, too. Who knew we should be afraid of books until this moment? Snape’s book-smacking sensation has made his rounds on the internet since Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was released in 2005. The fandom has even gone so far as to release parodies with Justin Bieber’s ‘Smack That’, featuring some of the greatest comedy compilations to have graced YouTube. We just feel sorry for the headache Ron’s going to have the next morning.

3. Neville's Boggart

Who can forget the transformation of Neville’s boggart into Severus Snape in their third-year Defence Against the Dark Arts class in preparation for possible Dementor encouters? Forget David Thewlis’ brilliant portrayal of Professor Lupin. Alan Rickman takes Snape to the next level, all while dressed in Neville’s Grandmother’s ridiculous vulture-topped hat, faux-fur scarf, and long green dress.

4. The Werewolf Scene

There is nothing quite as horrifying as the scene in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban where Professor Lupin morphs into a fully-fledged werewolf. However, this scene also provides us with one of the first glimpses of Snape’s 'light' side in which he throws himself over Harry and his friends, acting as a living shield. After this unsuspected moment of selflessness, it becomes a little easier to forgive his previous book-smacking charades.

5. The Slug Club Incident

When Hermione’s date for the Slug Club Christmas party, and Ron’s nemesis, Cormac McLaggen, throws up the questionable party food onto Snape’s feet, there’s little anyone can do to stop themselves simultaneously laughing and gasping. Along with Snape’s whispered private conversations with the villainous Draco Malfoy, Alan Rickman’s convincing performance dominates the otherwise light-hearted party scene.

6. "Always"

Snape’s most devastating moment appears in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 where Harry views Snape’s memories. In this gut-wrenching scene, we watch Snape’s love for Harry’s mother, Lily, come to life, culminating only as he rocks her dead body in his arms and vows to love her and look after her son, “always”.

Happy birthday, Alan Rickman, and thank you for making our childhoods that little bit more magical. 

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