Apparently, J. K. Rowling has an annual tradition in which she takes to Twitter and apologizes for killing a character in the #Harry Potter books, particularly in that bloodbath Battle of Hogwarts. In 2015 she mourned Fred Weasley, and in 2016 the character was Remus Lupin. Fans responded in respectful sadness for each of the two. But then Ms. #rowling chose to apologize for another dead character, and it had the effect of a stink bomb going off on social media.

“OK, here it is. Please don't start flame wars over it, but this year I'd like to apologise for killing (whispers)... Snape. *runs for cover*”

It turns out that running was a good idea.

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The reaction of many of the fans was not pretty. After all, Snape was beastly to Harry and his friends. And he was nothing more than a creepy stalker of Lily. His hanging with the Deatheaters, even as Dumbledore’s secret agent, did not sit well either.

Snape is a far more nuanced character than all that, by the way. We first meet him as the teacher from hell, all sarcasm, and demeaning comments. As for “stalking” Harry’s mom, people really need to get a grip. He was a socially awkward teenager who fell head over heels with the prom queen, only to see her run off with the school jock. He was devastated by her murder by Voldemort and dedicated the rest of his life to avenging his one true love, which he succeeded at though at the cost of his life. Even Harry, the boy he abused for so long, understood he died a hero and named one of his children after him.

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Yes, Snape was a living torment to Harry Potter, but the boy who lived was the living embodiment and reminder of everything tragic in his life.

So, it was sad that Snape didn’t get the girl. It was sad that he had to associate with the worst of the worst of the wizarding world. It was sad that he died, not knowing even the least bit of happiness in this vale of tears, So, yeah, fictional character though he is, #Severus Snape deserves a little bit of sympathy/

For the fanboys and fangirls behaving like middle schoolers, may they wish to have some measure of empathy to anyone to whom life has handed a crap sandwich. Or maybe they just need the back of someone’s hand. Perhaps Snape is so hated by so many Potter fans because he reminds them too much of themselves, though it be creepiness without the underlining nobility. The harsh reaction toward Rowlings' invitation to shed a little tear for Snape can have no other explanation.