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In this question one answer includes a quotation from one of the books (and I'm sorry, but as I've said before, mine are on loan and haven't come back, so I'm blind on this!):

Harry Potter: "You mean if he knows about it, then he'll be able to read my mind?"
Severus Snape: "Read it, control it, unhinge it. In the past it was often the Dark Lord's pleasure to invade the minds of his victims, creating visions designed to torture them into madness."

This sounds almost as if Snape knew about this from experience. Did Voldemort torture Snape in this method? Is it possible that some of Snape's emotional issues are a result of this kind of mental manipulation? Is it even possible that part of Snape's unhealthy fixation on Lily is a result of Voldemort experimenting on him?

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Did Voldemort torture Snape in this method?

I couldn't find any evidence of it happening in canon. Most unlikely - since Snape was a good enough Occlumens to manage not to get caught as a spy by Voldemort, he would not have been succeptible to such torture. But he assuredly witnessed it.

Is it possible that some of Snape's emotional issues are a result of this kind of mental manipulation?

No evidence, and Occam's razor says no. His issues are a result of broken family, growing up brilliant but poor and unpopular, and being rejected by Lily and knowing intellectually it was at least partially his own fault - in favor of James Potter. And then forced to watch over and deal with and help James' son.

Is it even possible that part of Snape's unhealthy fixation on Lily is a result of Voldemort experimenting on him?

It's called childhood crush. It happens. Even to muggles. Occam's razor again.

9

I'm pretty certain it was (at most) from watching Voldemort torture other people this way.

Recall that Snape loved Lily, was "fixated" on her since childhood, long before he joined Voldemort (recall his memories of interacting with her while they were both children). His emotional issues are, in my opinion, quite thoroughly explained by his relationship with James and Lily - his archnemesis stole the girl he longed for all his life.

Perhaps most importantly, Snape was a better occlumens than Voldemort was a legillimens (possibly the best ever), otherwise he could not have hidden his true allegiance from Voldemort. His mastery of occlumency would prevent Voldemort from torturing him in that way.

  • Adding to Snape's occlumency skill was the fact that he genuinely detested Harry, and with effort could make it appear to any legilimens that he hated him. Even if Voldemort succeeded in peeking into Snape's mind, he would see the hatred for Harry near the surface of Snape's thoughts and conclude that Snape was not a threat to him. – EvilSnack Nov 4 '16 at 5:55

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