Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was published eight years ago, James Sirius Potter is off to Hogwarts, and we still aren’t over Harry’s awful, awful, awful decision to name his second son Albus Severus.
Really Harry, we know you’re the Chosen One, but that doesn’t excuse every ridiculous decision you make from now on.
“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
Yes, that was the line that made it into the book, but we have a totally serious idea* of how that scene should have played out**:
“Albus Severus, you’re named for two headmasters of Hogwarts. I mean, one only became headmaster because he killed the other one and was then installed by Voldemort. But that totally counts, right? And these guys are such great namesakes, just you wait.
Take Albus Dumbledore, who was the most manipulative person I ever met. But who cares, because he was so funny and weird, and wow, what an impressive beard! And he had a real sweet tooth and his bird would spontaneously ignite, and trust me, that’s pretty impressive to a 12-year-old. He also left me in an abusive home for 11 years, when almost literally anyone else in the Wizarding World would have been happy to take me in.
Even after I went to Hogwarts, he made me go home and live with relatives who actually locked me in my room, put prison bars over my windows, and refused to properly feed me. Did I mention they made me sleep in a cupboard until I went off to Hogwarts? I bet you’re feeling jealous now. And then he groomed me from a young age to be the kind of person who would willingly sacrifice himself without asking any questions. Neat, huh? I’m not saying it didn’t all work out in the end or that he didn’t have good intentions, but isn’t it cool how people doing good things doesn’t necessarily make them good or admirable people? Anyway, I think “Albus” sounds hilarious as a name for anyone under the age of 100. You’re welcome.
And Severus Snape, well you’re really going to love this one. I’m sure you appreciate being named after the guy who got your grandparents murdered. He was pretty sad about that, because he was super into grandma. He was pretty obsessed with her actually, which is awesome. Who doesn’t want to be coveted like a prize to be won or an object to be possessed?
He didn’t care that your grandpa died though, because grandpa was kind of a jerk to him during school. That totally makes up for the fact that Snape took his frustrations out on an 11-year-old who represented the woman who dumped him because he called her a bad word. Because you know son, if you love someone then it’s totally their responsibility to love you back, no questions asked.
Oh yeah, plus he mercilessly bullied and harassed all of my friends. Like your Uncle Neville, who had had a pretty tragic childhood, what with his parents being tortured into insanity and all. But Snape was so great, he actually made Neville forget all about that, and bullied him so much that the thing Neville was most afraid of in the world wasn’t the Death Eaters who destroyed his family, but his Potions professor. Way to take one for the team, Snape. And when your Aunt Hermione didn’t have enough anxieties, he really helped her out by playing into her insecurities by telling her how huge her teeth were, or how obnoxious she was acting.
And you know how Uncle George only has one ear? Snape again! Now George is much more aerodynamic for Quidditch. And did I mention that he tried to get Sirius, you know, who I named your brother after, arrested and have his soul sucked out by Dementors, even though Snape knew he was innocent. And he got grandpa’s friend Remus fired from his job when he knew it would be impossible for him to get employed again and that Hogwarts was one of the only placed he had ever felt at home. Nifty.
I probably should have filed a restraining order against him even after he died, because coming back as a ghost to follow me around, stare into my eyes, and continue to emotionally abuse anyone with the surname “Potter” is totally the sort of thing he’d do! But instead I thought I’d name you after him. 10 points to me.
Albus Severus, your name is a great lesson in the fact that bad people can do brave and good things. Dumbledore and Snape both totally helped me stop Voldemort, which was great. So let’s just forget about the hundreds of less-than-awesome things they did, because as Snape proved, one big act of bravery completely redeems someone from a lifetime of cruelty. What an amazing life lesson. You’ll literally never be able to forget it, because you’ll be stuck with these names forever!
Anyway, remember Albus Severus, if anyone gives you any trouble for having the absolute worst name ever to exist, just remind them that your dad is the Chosen One and that the entire world totally owes me. Harry Potter, out!”
Albus Severus Potter: The Boy Who Survived (Having A Really Unfortunate Name, Thanks Dad)
As you can probably tell, we aren’t that keen on Albus Severus as a name. And it seems that we’re not alone. Here are a few other options that we think would have been better. If you have a different suggestion, share it in the comments (as you can see from these, not all suggestions need to be totally
We can be certain that the disastrous choice of “Albus Severus” was Harry’s alone, most likely made while Ginny was knocked out on painkillers, or asleep after the whole giving birth ordeal. After all, a badass like Ginny Weasley would never be okay with naming her child after either of these guys.
*Not actually serious. Or Sirius.
**Of course, we aren’t saying that Snape and Dumbledore aren’t fantastic characters. They are incredibly layered, complex and interesting, but that doesn’t make them fantastic people. We’re just saying Harry, you can think someone is brave without inflicting their name on your son for the rest of his life.