Okay. years ago, when I first ran into Harry Potter (book 2 as a matter of fact - I have a weird knack of running into a series out of sequence), he was not the sensation he is today. I started the book and thought that the descriptions were rather lacking but decided to give it a go. About page 40 though I was pretty well hooked. By page 100 she couldn't skip descriptions fast enough for me! Been a fan ever since.
Though not voraciously tearing through the book as many have done -- I took a week instead of the weekend (you wouldn't believe how many of my friends tore through it in a day or 2) -- I did read it rather agressively. While the first few chapters had a surprise or two and Snape getting to be Defense teacher caught me off guard as much as Harry, the true shock came at pages 499 and 500. While many people I know came to the same epiphany as myself, many have not. And I must admit I've had a blast of a time letting these individuals in on the little secret -- Harry is a horcrux!
Each time I've done it there have been cries of denial. Yet as I explain why I see this, they get a far away look in their eyes which soons turns into stunned shock as they too see the posibilities. Bwahahaha. Harry's mother did one over on Voldemort and I love it! Also ties to Dumbledore's theory that if Voldemort had ignored the prophecy, it would have never been set into motion. While I believe Dumbledore suspects Harry is a horcrox (and mentions V's snake so he can start getting used to the idea of a living horcrux), I believe Voldemort until recently, has not suspected this fact. Yet it explains all. A piece of Voldemort's soul would protrect Harry from the curse, it would also give him parsel tongue and Voldemort's greater ability for magic, plus the fact the wands are exactly the same. All the pieces are there if you look for them. Bwaahaha
As to Snape -- I think he is good! He made the vow because he was in love with Malfoy's Mom. Also, Dumbledore begging is not like him, and they made sure to mention it wasn't like him. I believe he did it to get Snape to be the one to kill him and therefore save Malfoy (I am sure Snape has killed before). Snape also reacted as he did with Harry during the escape because Harry has inadvertetnly found Snape's sore point -- being called a coward. Snape could see nothing past his hatred of being thought of that way. Book 7, in my opinion, will be about Snape and in the end, Harry is going to have to face his hatred of Snape and see past it to the truth.
I hope the next book comes out soon!!!