Harry Potter readers have long wanted to know: Why did the boy wizard choose to honor Severus Snape — a teacher who had been so mean to him?

Author J.K. Rowling took to Twitter to answer the enduring question on Friday in an exchange with a fan who asked why one of Harry’s children received the middle name of Severus.

The acclaimed author explained that Harry paid tribute to Snape because of “forgiveness and gratitude.” Though Snape bullied Harry, he also saved him.

“Harry hoped in his heart that he too would be forgiven. The deaths at the Battle of Hogwarts would haunt Harry forever.” Rowling said that Harry’s decision to give his son Snape’s name goes to the “heart of who Harry was, postwar.”

“Snape is all gray. You can’t make him a saint: he was vindictive & bullying. You can’t make him a devil: he died to save the wizarding world,” Rowling tweeted.

The question of Snape has dogged readers because he returned to side of the villain, Lord Voldemort, and killed Harry’s hero, headmaster Albus Dumbledore.

In the final book, “The Deathly Hallows,” Rowling revealed that Snape was acting on Dumbledore’s orders and had protected Harry at school out of love for Harry’s mother, Lily. “Snape died for Harry out of love for Lily,” Rowling said.

– if you’re super rich

Chinese billionaire Liu Yiqian, who doesn’t exactly struggle to afford a plane ticket, can now likely fly free, in first class, with his whole family, anywhere in the world, for the rest of his life. All because he bought a painting. Liu was the winning bidder for Amedeo Modigliani’s “Reclining Nude” at a Christie’s auction this month — offering $170.4 million — and when the sale closes, he’ll be putting it on his American Express card. Liu has an American Express Centurion Card, an invitation-only card that has no official credit limit — and it earns points.


barred: Canada’s outspoken Miss World contestant said she was barred from entering China to take part in this year’s pageant. Chinese-born Anastasia Lin said she was unable to board her connecting flight from Hong Kong to Hainan Province after being told she would not be granted a visa on arrival. Lin is an outspoken critic of Chinese religious policy and a follower of the Falun Gong meditation practice, which was outlawed by China in 1999.


Grand opening: Rocker Jack White opened a Third Man Records store in Detroit, his hometown. The Grammy-nominated White — the singer, guitarist, drummer and producer who rose to acclaim in the duo the White Stripes — was on hand Friday for the satellite location’s grand opening. Hundreds flocked to the store, which next year plans to launch a vinyl record pressing plant. The shop opened with vinyl reissues, including releases by Marvin Gaye, the Supremes and the Miracles. White founded Third Man in 2001. It’s now based in Nashville.

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