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What happened to Snape's body after he died?

After the war, did somebody find Snape's body and bring him to Hogwarts, or was he buried somewhere else?

  • 1
    Didn't hungry Nagini eat Snape's body? – Captain Cold Nov 23 '15 at 10:04
  • 1
    @SS-3.1415926535897932384626433: No, that was Charity Burbage half a year before. “Dinner, Nagini!” – chirlu Nov 23 '15 at 12:22
  • 4
    He disappeared, getting turned into a Force Ghost. – Paul Jul 1 '17 at 6:30
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Certainly they would have found Snape’s body: Voldemort didn’t move him from the boathouse after killing him (since Harry is able to retrieve his memories), and so Harry knows where he is. I assume they would have cleared the corpses from the school site before re-opening the next year. So he’s certainly not been left to rot.

In an interview at Carnegie Hall in 2007, JK Rowling had this to say on the subject of Snape’s portrait:

I know, because I thought this one through, because it was very important to me, I know Harry would have insisted that Snape's portrait was on that wall, right beside Dumbledore's.

Along the same lines, I feel like Harry would have ensured that Snape was given a proper burial and funeral, and made sure his image was cleared.

I don’t think canon addresses where he was buried, but I’m fairly sure it wasn’t Hogwarts. We get this conversation in Half-Blood Prince, shortly after Dumbledore’s death:

“Well…” said Professor McGonagall, losing a little of her briskness as her voice shook. “I – I know that it was Dumbledore’s wish to be laid to rest here, at Hogwarts—”

“Then that’s what’ll happen, isn’t it?” said Harry fiercely.

“If the Ministry thinks it appropriate,” said Professor McGonagall. “No other headmaster or headmistress has ever been—”

“No other headmaster or headmistress ever gave more to this school,” growled Hagrid.

In Dumbledore’s case, this unusual move is approved unanimously.

For Snape, I think there would be too much lingering animosity towards him. He wouldn’t be buried on the Hogwarts grounds, but I don’t have a stronger guess than that.

  • 4
    I've got visions of the boat club finding him on the first day of term. – Valorum Jun 9 '14 at 7:58
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    Doesn't Snape die in the Shrieking Shack? – Anthony Grist Jun 10 '14 at 14:25
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    @ Anthony Grist; Nope, Snape is killed by Nagini in the boathouse. Some one should come up with a Harry Potter version of 'Clue' crossed with 'Trivial Pursuit"! – Ihor Sypko Jun 10 '14 at 15:19
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    Snape is killed in the boat house in the movies, in the books it happens in the Shrieking Shack. There is infact no bathouse at Hogwarts but an underground cave acessible from the lake with stair carved in the rock leading up to the oak front gates of the castle. – user24308 Jun 12 '14 at 17:21
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    Boathouse? What? – ibid Nov 8 '16 at 16:35
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Given that Harry knew exactly where his body was and respected him enough to name one of his own children Severus I think we can safety assume that he would have retrieved his body and given him a proper burial. Indeed given that, in life, Snape's actions were never recognised it is not a big stretch to imagine that HP would have used his (presumably not inconsiderable as savior of the world) influence to ensue that he got the best send-off possible.

We know that Snape has no surviving family and few friends. From the events when Narcissia and Beltrix go to his house to make the unbreakable vow it is clear that his house outside of Hogwarts term time is just a space for him to live in. So it seems that he had few personal connections outside of Hogwarts.

Harry would have understood this as he was in en excellent position to empathise with Snape once he knew the full truth, coming from a similar background indeed he might have thought about what he would have done if Ginny had died.

So knowing what we know about Harry it seems a reasonable conclusion that he insisted that Snape was buried in the grounds of Hogwarts.

If I were forced to bet on it I would guess that Harry buried him himself quietly near the lake at a spot where he knew he had spent time with Lily.

Actually burying him next to Lily seems a step too far and a bit weird and you can't really imagine that he would have wanted to be buried next to James Potter.

Evidence

  • We know that HP takes burial seriously given the way he buries Dobby.
  • He respected Snape enough to name one of his children after him, this goes beyond grudging respect for an enemy.
  • Hogwarts is the only place that we know Snape had any attachment to.
  • Dumbledore's tomb sets the precedent for Hogwarts burial and it would have made just as much sense to bury him in Godric's hollow near the Potters.
  • The personalities of both Harry and Snape suggest preferring a funeral with little fuss but some symbolic meaning.
1

I think Severus has been buried near/beside Lily. Since Harry knew that Severus liked his mum, he may have written on his will (if he has one) that he wanted to be buried next to Lily. I don't know if my theory's true.

  • So far, no other answer given, but any reference to validate this one would be great. – TimSparrow Jul 1 '17 at 6:49
0

He was almost certainly buried properly, but the rest isn’t known.

It seems likely that everyone who fought (against the Dark Lord, at least) would have been given proper burials. Even during the battle, they’d been gathering up the bodies that they could. Soon after the battle was over, they’d already gathered up many of the bodies of people who’d died in it.

“They moved Voldemort’s body and laid it in a chamber off the Hall, away from the bodies of Fred, Tonks, Lupin, Colin Creevey and fifty others who had died fighting him.”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 36 (The Flaw in the Plan)

After having seen Snape’s memories, Harry would have made sure that Snape’s true allegiance was known and that he was buried properly like all the other people fighting against the Dark Lord. Harry started telling part of Snape’s true allegiance right after the battle was over - he told Ron and Hermione despite just wanting to sleep.

“Most of all he felt the most stupendous relief, and a longing to sleep. But first he owed an explanation to Ron and Hermione, who had stuck with him for so long, and who deserved the truth. Painstakingly, he recounted what he had seen in the Pensieve and what had happened in the Forest, and they had not even begun to express all their shock and amazement when at last they arrived at the place to which they had been walking, though none of them had mentioned their destination.”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 36 (The Flaw in the Plan)

Although Snape died in the Shrieking Shack, not Hogwarts, so might be harder to find, Harry knew where he was so would be able to find him. He respected Snape then, so he probably would think it important to ensure he’d be buried properly - he later named a child for him.

“Albus Severus,’ Harry said quietly, so that nobody but Ginny could hear, and she was tactful enough to pretend to be waving to Rose, who was now on the train, ‘you were named for two headmasters of Hogwarts. One of them was a Slytherin and he was probably the bravest man I ever knew.”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Epilogue (Nineteen Years Later)

The details of where he (or any of the others who died during the final battle at Hogwarts) was buried aren’t mentioned, however. It seems more likely that they were buried, not cremated, since all the wizards we know if who died were buried.

protected by Community Apr 4 '18 at 12:00

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