Years ago, when I first started reading the "Harry Potter" series, Severus Snape was probably the last person I ever expected to learn so much about life from.
Throughout seven novels and eight movies, his sinister ways and callus attitude repeatedly begged us to question if he really was good or evil, until the very end.
Today, we've come to know that the potions professor is arguably the most relatable of all the characters in the "Harry Potter" series.
He's excruciatingly complex, harbors secrets and understands the compulsions of the human heart.
Here are seven things Severus Snape taught me:
First impressions are deceiving.
When we’re first introduced to old Snivelly, he seemed destined for darkness.
Maybe it’s the way he looks, with his black hair and emotionless expressions.
Or maybe it’s the way he treated Harry, since the day he called him out in his first potions class in front of his new classmates.
Perhaps it’s his presumed allegiance to the Dark Lord, a fellow Slytherin.
Or maybe it's because of his dream of becoming Hogwarts’ Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, a position notoriously hard to keep, after Tom Riddle jinxed it when he couldn’t get the job.
Regardless of whatever preconceived ideas we had about him, Snape turned out to be exactly the opposite of what we had thought.
Love never dies, even if people do.
Growing up together in Spinner’s End, Snape and Lily Evans (later Potter) became fast friends, bonding over their magical abilities, familial differences and acceptance into Hogwarts.
Soon, Snape grew to love Lily deeply, even though she fell in love and married James Potter.
Upon Dumbledore's death, it was revealed that his deep, strong love for his friend caused him to try to redeem himself.
He joined Dumbledore's cause for her (and later her son’s) protection from Lord Voldemort.
We all just want to belong.
From the baggy clothes, stringy hair and giant nose, the reasons to make fun of Snape were endless.
This was why, as a teen, he was ruthlessly bullied by James and his bestie, Sirius Black.
Feeling dejected and alone, he sought out the Death Eaters.
Sure, he may have chosen the worst group to be a part of, but he wanted to be accepted and told that he mattered.
In reality, don’t we all?
Life isn’t fair.
He may of said this statement over and over again to his students, but this was only because Snape really understood that sometimes life really blows.
Not only was he bullied ruthlessly as a kid by some of the wizarding elite, but he lost his true love, had an overly large nose and just couldn’t seem to get that Defense Against the Dark Arts position.
Good and evil isn’t black or white.
Snape is arguably the biggest hero in the entire "Harry Potter" series, yet in many ways, he’s also one of the most evil.
Despite his true intentions and non-stop sacrifice, he spent the last years of his life being as cruel as he could be to the Gryffindor squad.
Personal branding is everything.
From the hair, to the cutting comments, to the all black everything, Snape is the perfect person to hate because of how he is perceived.
Nobody is perfect.
That is, except maybe Gilderoy Lockhart.