Quoting from the HP Wiki article on Tobias Snape:

Tobias had a very poor relationship with both his wife and his son; when Severus was younger, Tobias frequently shouted at and hit Eileen whilst Severus crouched in a corner, crying. The memory of watching his parents fighting would haunt Severus even into adulthood, as witnessed during an Occlumency lesson given by him to Harry Potter.

It is likely that Tobias was equally abusive or at the very least neglectful of Severus, given how much Severus despised all Muggles. Even at a very young age, Severus noticed with pain how his parents fought; it caused him a great deal of distress, and he was quite happy to be able to leave the house to visit his friend Lily Evans.

The fact that Tobias lived near a textile mill may have given some indication of his occupation or socioeconomic status. Tobias's eventual fate is unknown, although it is likely that he had died by 1996. Tobias may have been an alcoholic or drug addict, or might have been unemployed, given how he frequently abused his wife and son, lived in a slum neighbourhood and his son wore ill-fitting, dirty clothes.

That all being the case, what prevented Severus Snape from becoming an Obscurus?

  • 2
    You sure it's from Pottermore? A quick (very quick) Google search yields Quota results
    – Jenayah
    Dec 11 '18 at 10:59
  • @Jenayah - It appears to be a word-for-word copy of the HP wiki article on Tobias Snape
    – Valorum
    Dec 11 '18 at 19:22

Because he didn't try to suppress his power.

An Obscurus forms in a very specific circumstance - when the young witch or wizard actively tries to suppress their magical capabilities. Not for just general abuse - while that will definitely have negative affects on the child and they're probably grow up emotionally (and possibly physically) scarred, if they're not trying to suppress their magic, then the Obscurus won't form.

JACOB: Can someone please tell me what this Obscurial - Obscurus - thing is? Please?

TINA: There hasn't been one in centuries.

NEWT: I met one in Sudan three months ago. There used to be more of them, but they still exist. Before wizards went underground, when we were still being hunted by Muggles, young wizards and witches sometimes tried to suppress their magic to avoid persecution. Instead of learning to harness or to control their powers, they developed what was called an Obscurus. It's an unstable, uncontrollable Dark force that bursts out an attacks... and then vanishes.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) (source)

While Snape certainly received abuse...

When Lily asked Young Snape if his dad, the Muggle Tobias, liked magic, Snape's answer was short but said a whole lot: 'He doesn't like anything much.'

...there's no evidence that he tried to suppress his magic because of this abuse.

  • 4
    Case in point: Harry Potter didn't form an Obscurus either. His abuse even was obviously fueled by hatred against magic. What counts is that he did not develop negative feelings towards his powers.
    – Annatar
    Dec 11 '18 at 13:03
  • And Harry didn't actively suppress his magic--he went up on the roof, made his hair grow, made the glass at the zoo disappear, etc.
    – Treborcram
    Dec 11 '18 at 19:41

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