Was Severus Snape a Potions student of Slughorn's?

By the timeline, it sounds plausible (Tom Riddle was, and he wasn't that much older than Snape).

  • 4
    It depends how you define "not a lot older than," but Tom Riddle (12.31.26) was 33 years older than Snape (01.09.60). I just think there's greater longevity in general in the Wizarding world, which allowed Slughorn to teach both TR and SS within the span of his career. Just an offhanded aside, really. My source is the Lexicon if you need it. Jun 14, 2012 at 15:20
  • Actually, Tom Riddle was almost 40 years older than Snape if I remember correctly (correct me if I'm wrong). I don't remember the actual math, but Voldemort was in his early to mid 70s at the time of the book and Snape was only in his mid- to late- thirties. Mar 15, 2017 at 15:52

4 Answers 4


Yes, Snape was a student of Professor Slughorn's. As b_jonas states, Slughorn says so in Half-Blood Prince. Specifically, Slughorn says it here:

‘Snape!’ ejaculated Slughorn, who looked the most shaken, pale and sweating. ‘Snape! I taught him! I thought I knew him!’

Half-Blood Prince -- page 585 -- Bloomsbury -- chapter 29, The Phoenix Lament

One could also presume that Snape was Slughorn's student because Slughorn raves about Lily Evans's talent in potions and we all know Snape is Lily's classmate. There is no indication in canon that there were two Potions Masters teaching simultaneously at any given time in Hogwarts's history. That there is one teacher per subject at Hogwarts seems to be a theme (Defence Against the Dark Arts is the strongest indicator of that; one might argue that this is because the DADA position was cursed by Voldemort)

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    Divination was shared between two teachers (Firenze and Professor Trelawney) in Harry's sixth year, but every other subject seemed to have only one teacher at any given time. Jun 14, 2012 at 15:24
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    True. It seemed as though Trelawney and Firenze were both halftime, although I may be wrong. What do you think? It didn't seem that Divination was an overly popular class. But thank you for pointing that out. Jun 14, 2012 at 16:21
  • I think it's likely that neither of them were teaching full-time, unless each student was taking Divination lessons more than once per week. I don't really recall much about the school timetables from the books, I'm wondering if a question about the generalities of the timetable (how many lessons per day, how many lessons per subject per week, etc) would be worth asking. Jun 14, 2012 at 16:58
  • I would find it interesting myself. I like all that minutiae in Potterverse. I think it would be a worthy question, how the students' day is structured. I would just say it might be a good idea to check and make sure a similar question hasn't already been asked. I know that PoA and OotP both delve a bit into the subject of timetables. :) Jun 14, 2012 at 17:15
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    If a person cannot find a quote even with the amount of information I provide in my citations, no matter which version of the books they happen to have, then I'm not particularly sympathetic. Jun 14, 2012 at 21:57

To add to this, Slughorn mentions he didnt think Snape could have brewed the Draught of Living Death better then Harry did, while Snape was a student.

“Stop skulking and come and join us, Severus!” hiccuped Slughorn happily. “I was just talking about Harry’s exceptional po- tion-making! Some credit must go to you, of course, you taught him for five years!” Trapped, with Slughorn’s arm around his shoulders, Snape looked down his hooked nose at Harry, his black eyes narrowed. “Funny, I never had the impression that I managed to teach Potter anything at all.” “Well, then, it’s natural ability!” shouted Slughorn. “You should have seen what he gave me, first lesson, Draught of Living Death — never had a student produce finer on a first attempt, I don’t think even you, Severus —”

This just adds to the fact that Slughorn taught Snape, and intimately knew his potions abilities in Snapes youth, a few chapters earlier.


Yes. Professor Slughorn explicitly claims so in HBP chapter 29.

  • 5
    Could you add a quote, for the sake of Awesome Answers?
    – AncientSwordRage
    Jun 14, 2012 at 16:13
  • I'm too late for that, Slytherincess has added the quote.
    – b_jonas
    Jun 14, 2012 at 21:30
  • @b_jonas you could still add it... why not.
    – n611x007
    Jun 20, 2012 at 10:46

Yes, we know that Lily was Slughorn's student since she was in his club, and she was Snape's age so yes, Snape was Slughorn's student.

  • 1
    Hi there! :) this doesn't add much info to the previous accepted answer, but still a good reasoning anyway.
    – Jenayah
    Jul 24, 2018 at 12:59

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