Every May 2, for the past three years, "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling has apologized for killing off a character. She started in 2015 with Fred Weasley. In 2016, it was Lupin. In 2017, she -- rather reluctantly, 'cause she knew it would re-start fandom riots -- picked Severus Snape.

Rowling probably wasn't trying to troll, but she knows Snape is the third rail of the Potter fandom. She's been through this debate before.

Many fans love Severus Snape (played on film by the late great Alan Rickman) but others still see him as a cruel bully for how he treated Harry Potter, Neville, and pretty much all non-Slytherins at Hogwarts. So that debate got rehashed in Rowling's replies. Other fans jumped in just to wish she had picked Dobby, or Lily Evans Potter, or even Hedwig, as this year's Death Day apology. And one fan started a Justice for Hufflepuffs movement, which got some support on Twitter as well.

Here's a taste of the reaction:

There's a lot more of that in her replies. Rowling knew it was coming, and cheers to her for being brave enough to go there anyway. Because, as we all know, "It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends."

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