"I told Alan what lies behind the word 'Always'." J K Rowling was alluding to a scene in Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows where Professor Dumbledore asks Snape if he has "grown to care for the boy (Harry Potter), after all" and Snape then shows him his Patronus, which is a doe, a reflection of Lily Evans Potter
Professor Snape may have scared the bejesus out of most of his Hogwarts pupils but between takes, he couldn't have been kinder. As fans raised their wands to honour Alan Rickman, his colleagues from the franchise paid tribute to their late co-star. Here are tributes from those who took Potions lessons from the Half-Blood Prince
In contrast to Alan Rickman's often sneering and supercilious screen persona, fellow actors lamented the death of a warm, witty and generous friend. Actor Ian McKellan said Mr Rickman and Rima Horton were always top of his "dream-list dinner guests". "Alan would by turns be hilarious and indignant and gossipy and generous"
Mr Rickman leaves behind him a legendary body of work spanning screen, TV and stage. His earliest successes came with theatre roles in productions of The Seagull and Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Hollywood stardom followed soon after, with breakthrough roles as terrorist Hans Gruber in 1988 hit Die Hard