It's a sad day for Slytherins, and really, all of the wizarding world: Alan Rickman has passed away at 69 after a battle with cancer. Harry Potter fans have been through a whirlwind with Rickman via his character, Professor Severus Snape. When fans first met him, it seemed certain that he was a villain. Staring Harry down from the head table in the great hall his first night at Hogwarts, Snape appeared to embody evil itself. It still remains one of Alan Rickman's best scenes as Snape. But as Harry's journey progressed, it became clear that Snape was no one-dimensional bad guy; as it turned out, he actually cared very deeply for Harry.
Throughout the series, Rickman played Snape honorably as a complicated, flawed man who suffered from internal struggles. In real time, fans chalked those struggles up to a simple good vs. evil conflict, but the truth was surprisingly more human than that: Harry was the son of Lily Potter, who Snape loved more than anyone or anything, and James Potter, who had tormented Snape during his childhood. Every time Snape looked at Harry, he had to make a choice: love Harry, because he loved his mother, or hate him, because he was more like James than Snape could stand. And it showed. Whether he was being kind or cruel, Snape's moments with Harry were among Rickman's best scenes in the Harry Potter series:
When He First Saw Harry
How hard must it have been for him to play it cool?
The First Potions Class
From the moment Snape first walked into his dungeon classroom in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, he commanded the room. Scolding his students before he even looked at them, Snape warned the kids that he meant business... and then immediately started in on Harry, quizzing the boy on wizarding ingredients the boy couldn't have possibly known about, after being raised as a Muggle. There's even a fan theory that there's a hidden meaning behind Snape's first words to Harry — he could be paying tribute to Lily.
The First Time He Saved Harry's Butt
At the time, fans assumed (along with Hermione) that Snape was actually jinxing Harry's broom during a quidditch match, but it was revealed at the end of the movie that Professor Quirrell was really the one causing trouble, and Snape was protecting Harry, as he always had, and always would.
When He Humiliated Gilderoy Lockhart
There's one thing that Harry and Snape always agreed on: Gilderoy Lockhart was an obnoxious, pompous fraud. Snape putting him in his place was just too perfect, and probably the first time that fans wanted to give him a high five.
When He Said Goodbye to Lily
There's the duality of Snape, summed up very nicely in gif form: crying and holding the dead body of his unrequited love, while ignoring a screaming infant who's just been seriously wounded. He does eventually put down the corpse and spend the rest of his life protecting the kid, though.
When He Was Neville's Boggart
OK, technically, this wasn't Rickman playing Snape; this was Rickman playing a boggart that looked like Snape. But he did it so well! When he first comes out of the wardrobe, he's so terribly sinister, and once Neville uses the riddikulus charm to dress the boggart in his grandmother's clothes, the way he plays it is so far removed from Snape, you forget it's the same actor!
When He Made The Unbreakable Vow
You know that thing, where you're a double agent, and you're with the guys whose side you aren't actually on, and they kind of railroad you into promising to kill the main good guy? Awkward.
When He Showed Dumbledore His Patronus
Just as Harry's Patronus is a stag, representing James, Snape reveals that his is a doe, which represents Lily. Because of his love for her, he'd always cared about Harry... Even though he kind of hated the James half of him.
When He Killed Dumbledore
This was the moment every fan was finally positive that Snape was a Death Eater. He did it! Everyone saw him kill Dumbledore! But of course, it was later revealed that he had actually done so at Dumbledore's request; that "Severus, please" wasn't Dumbledore begging for his life, he was begging for Snape to end it. Looking at the scene again, you can see the hesitation on Rickman's face. He knew exactly what he was doing.
When He Used His Dying Breath to Set Things Straight
When Voldemort finally killed Snape, he implored Harry to collect his tears and put them in Dumbledore's pensieve so he could finally learn the truth: that Snape had always been there for him.
Images: Warner Brothers Pictures; Giphy (10)