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In Chapter Twenty-Five of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry says,

And isn’t Voldemort convinced that Snape’s on his side, even now?

How does he know that?

  • 8
    ...because Snape isn't dead. – DavidS Jul 27 '15 at 16:29
  • @DavidS "Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer" ?? – Dave Johnson Jul 27 '15 at 17:20
  • and if the snapes death is harry's evidence it could be that he is simply under dumbledore's protection that he is not dead ! – kiyarash Jul 27 '15 at 17:54
  • From book 5 onward Snape spends a significant amount of time in the company of Voldemort and Death Eaters. How on earth could Dumbledore protect him? – DavidS Jul 28 '15 at 8:04
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“But he’s a very good Occlumens, isn’t he, sir?” said Harry, whose voice was shaking with the effort of keeping it steady. “And isn’t Voldemort convinced that Snape’s on his side, even now? Professor... how can you be sure Snape’s on our side?”

If Lord Voldemort doubted Severus Snape, Snape would have been dead. The entire concept of Double agent is very complicated, it is hard to put trust in anybody.

Secondly the topic being discussed previous was very sensitive to Harry, since it pertained to death of his parents.

“Professor Snape made a terrible —”

“Don’t tell me it was a mistake, sir, he was listening at the door!”

“Please let me finish.” Dumbledore waited until Harry had nodded curtly, then went on. “Professor Snape made a terrible mistake. He was still in Lord Voldemort’s employ on the night he heard the first half of Professor Trelawney’s prophecy. Naturally, he hastened to tell his master what he had heard, for it concerned his master most deeply. But he did not know — he had no possible way of knowing — which boy Voldemort would hunt from then onwards, or that the parents he would destroy in his murderous quest were people that Professor Snape knew, that they were your mother and father —”

It was natural for Harry to distrust Snape, after he realized that Snape was in part responsible for his parents death.

Updating the answer based on clarifications received:

Harry could see him sweating in the torchlight, his white skin contrasting strongly with the black of his hair and beard.

“Snape!” he shouted. “Severus Snape!”

“Snape has been cleared by this council,” said Crouch disdainfully. “He has been vouched for by Albus Dumbledore.”

“No!” shouted Karkaroff, straining at the chains that bound him to the chair. “I assure you! Severus Snape is a Death Eater!”

Dumbledore had gotten to his feet.

“I have given evidence already on this matter,” he said calmly. “Severus Snape was indeed a Death Eater. However, he rejoined our side before Lord Voldemort’s downfall and turned spy for us, at great personal risk. He is now no more a Death Eater than I am.”

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 30, The Pensieve

This is how Harry knew that Snape was a double agent spying on Voldemort.

“Severus,” said Dumbledore, turning to Snape, “you know what I must ask you to do. If you are ready... if you are prepared...”

“I am,” said Snape.

He looked slightly paler than usual, and his cold, black eyes glittered strangely.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 36, The Parting of the Ways

So Harry knew, Dumbledore asked Snape to do some tasks for him at the end of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

There are many other direct hints which implies Snape was in touch with Voldemort. For example

“Oh yeah,” said Sirius sarcastically. “Listening to Snape’s reports, having to take all his snide hints that he’s out there risking his life while I’m sat on my backside here having a nice comfortable time... asking me how the cleanings going -”

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 5, The Order of the Phoenix

Snape informs Harry about Voldemort knowing about the connection between Harry and Voldemort.

“It is enough that we know,” said Snape repressively. “The important point is that the Dark Lord is now aware that you are gaining access to his thoughts and feelings. He has also deduced that the process is likely to work in reverse; that is to say, he has realized that he might be able to access your thoughts and feelings in return -”

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 24, Occlumency

If Harry puts all these things together, it is obvious that Snape is in contact with Voldemort and also that he is able to access information regarding Voldemort. Which would imply that Voldemort trusts Snape. And also the fact that, Voldemort hasn't killed Snape.

  • my question is how harry knew snape was working as a double agent . i cannot remember anyone telling him unless the scene draco and snape were discussing which i don't remember any of them talking about snape serving voldemort ? – kiyarash Jul 27 '15 at 17:50
  • and if the snapes death is harry's evidence it could be that he is simply under dumbledore's protection that he is not dead ! – kiyarash Jul 27 '15 at 17:53
  • Harry knew Snape was working as a double agent since book 5 – user13267 Jul 27 '15 at 23:43

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