It’s important to understand that the term “always” in regards to the main series in the Harry Potter series has more significance than one might realize at first.
While this is just a simple word by itself, it can have an incredible meaning in the right context.
What Does ‘Always’ Mean In Harry Potter? Always in Harry Potter has an overall meaning relating to loyalty and certitude in a casual manner that’s almost expected. Without getting into anything too specific, it involves a conversation with Headmaster Dumbledore and Professor Snape.
Before you can realize the significance, you have to know a bit about Severus Snape and his backstory.
Keep in mind that there are some major spoilers in this article in case you haven’t gotten to the end.
Background of Severus Snape
There’s no question that this dark and foreboding wizard seems to hold Harry Potter to a different standard compared to the other students in this school.
While most readers and viewers don’t like Professor Snape that much, part of the reason why he is the way he is can be understood through his childhood experiences.
This particularly relates to him and Harry Potter’s parents during their time at Hogwarts.
During his school years, Severus was placed in the House of Slytherin.
Even though not everyone in this house turns malignant and evil like Tom Riddle, it obviously has a dark past related to its founder.
On the other hand, the glorious background of the House of Gryffindor somewhat places the two houses at odds with each other.
That’s the house that James Potter and Lily Evans were placed in.
In turn, James was always picking on Severus through various pranks.
It turns out that Severus actually had feelings for Lily, making the pranks and torment that much worse.
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This explains the complex feelings that this shadowy character has around the main character.
While at first, they seem at odds with each other, it turns out that he actually cares about the young apprentice.
This is all explained in the end when he dies and gives a piece of himself to be revealed in the Pensieve.
Much like Mr. Darcy in Pride & Prejudice, he’s not all that he seems to most people.
There’s still quite a bit of mystery when it comes to Severus during his childhood and adult years.
While he seems to have a grudge against Harry Potter, he goes out of his way to save him.
Even though he became a death eater and joined Voldemort trying to take over the world, he grieved when Lily ended up dying.
He also remained in service to Dumbledore as he pretended to be really in service to Voldemort during the second wizarding war.
Harry Potter and the Word Always
As mentioned earlier, this term was used in a conversation between Severus Snape and Albus Dumbledore in a very significant way.
It’s not always clear where Snape’s loyalties lie since he plays on both the good and evil sides.
Outwardly, he seems to follow Voldemort. Inwardly, he actually follows and helps Dumbledore and those close to him.
This ambiguity isn’t left for most of the story and is actually cleared up in short order.
It turns out that this character is deeply motivated by love, something that Voldemort doesn’t know anything about.
This betrayal towards Voldemort occurred not so long before Lily’s death.
Since the evil wizard threatened the very person that Snape loved so dearly, it probably made him rethink what he was getting himself into.
It turns out, he became a double agent during this time for Dumbledore, even before Harry Potter started his first year at Hogwarts.
He came to the scene of the crime in Godric’s Hollow, where Voldemort murdered both of Harry’s parents.
At this point, he was tasked with returning the boy safely.
Even after this point, the man was still fairly conflicted as to where his loyalties lie.
In a conversation between him and Dumbledore before the main series even started, it became much more clear to him.
The headmaster pleaded with the man to think about his love for Lily and base his decisive loyalty on that.
From then on, he swore to protect Harry Potter, which he even did during the first book and movie.
He made Dumbledore swear that no one else would know about his feelings for Lily.
In another private conversation between the two near the end of the series, more was revealed.
Since the return of Tom Riddle and Voldemort to the wizarding world and the start of the second wizarding war, the shadowy professor’s intentions were ever so unclear.
It seems that he was on the side of evil, joining the death eaters once again.
It was revealed that he was the mysterious self-proclaimed half-blooded prince while making it apparently clear that he once again bore the death eater mark.
However, that’s not what it all seems to be.
This conversation between them both occurred during the second wizarding war when Snape was posting as a death eater yet again.
It turns out that he actually grew to care for the young wizard. When asked about it, he simply showed his true feelings through a fairly familiar Patronus.
It was a silver doe, the same one as Lily’s. After the spell faded away, Dumbledore asked whether Snape cared for her all this time.
The answer, of course, was “always.”
From reading this article you can see that the word “always” has a very significant meaning in the Harry Potter universe.
Some people even get a tattoo representing the word.
Its meaning was told to the actor who played Severus Snape in the movies, Alan Rickman, so he could really develop the character into something more dynamic than what’s first portrayed in the series. It gives a sense of what could have happened had things turned out differently.
Also, it’s very convenient that the word “always” starts with the letter “A.”
This is because it looks very similar to the Sign of the Deathly Hallows, allowing fans to use both the word and the sign in the same picture, particularly when it’s a tattoo.
This simplicity and convenience only further its significance to the fans.