"I see no difference."
-- Snape looking at Hermione's giant teeth after being hit by Densaugeo (GF18)
Densaugeo is the incantation of a spell which causes the victim’s teeth to enlarge grotesquely.
References from the canon
- Hermione was hit by this spell from the wand of Draco Malfoy. Draco and Harry had begun fighting in the corridor, but the curses missed and hit Hermione and Goyle (GF18).
- Madam Pomfrey was able to not only fix Hermione's teeth, but to make them smaller, saving Hermione's from wearing Muggle braces (GF23).
- The adult Draco Malfoy uses this incantation during his duel with Harry Potter (CC2.13).
"dens" L. tooth + "augeo" L. grow
Fan Theories: What did Snape mean by "I see no difference"?
The Densaugeo episode is famous in fandom for causing a huge debate about Snape's harsh reaction to Hermione's teeth. Or at least that what it seems to be about -- let's look deeper. When the Potions Master came on the scene, he saw that mortal enemies Harry and Draco had cast spells at each other that ricocheted and hit other people. Draco accidentally hit Hermione with the tooth-growing jinx, while Harry accidentally hit Goyle with "Funnunculus!" causing the boy's nose to break out in fungi-like boils. Snape saw Goyle first and calmly sent him to the Hospital Wing. Then Ron protested by showing him Hermione's now-beaver-sized teeth, and Snape said "I see no difference."
Whoa, that's cold, right? Hermione had always been described (by Harry) as being rather buck-toothed, but did Snape really have to say that? Indeed, Hermione ran away as if he hurt her feelings, and Harry and Ron started shouting angrily, after which Snape took 50 points from Gryffindor.
Many fans assumed that Snape was just being a mean-old-evil-Death Eater to Hermione, just as when he called her an "insufferable know-it-all" the year before. And on top of that, he punished Harry and Ron for defending her honor. But other fans believed there were different ways to interpret Snape's remark and Hermione suddenly running away -- in fact, three ways.
First, perhaps he simply meant that Hermione's injuries were no worse than what Harry inflicted on Goyle. They were both hit in the face, and both had to go to the Hospital Wing - therefore the jinxes were equally bad, and while Hermione's injury meant more to Ron because she was his special friend, it was no more serious than Goyle's injury, and no more defacing. I mean, the kid had pustules on his face!
A second scenario (maybe less likely to some fans) is that Snape might have been trying to spare Hermione's feelings, since Ron was shouting about how horrible she looked, which wasn't too sensitive of him at the moment ("emotional range of a teaspoon," Hermione might say). Snape's remark might have meant to be reassuring: "It's just not that bad - she'll get over it."
Thirdly, some believe that Snape had wounded Hermione's feelings, causing her to flee the room. But what if Hermione was really reacting to Pansy Parkinson and her gang of mean girls? We are told: "Pansy Parkinson and the other Slytherin girls were doubled up with silent giggles, pointing at Hermione from behind Snape's back." The scene is described from Harry's point of view, as if Snape was somehow responsible for Pansy being a brat to Hermione, or that the Potions Master was being harsh with Hermione to entertain his own Slytherin students. But in this case, he had just arrived to a chaotic scene he was trying to sort out, and the girl gang was standing behind him. He couldn't have heard "silent giggles" (an oxymoron), or seen the smiles of girls standing behind him. Surely he knew that Pansy was a brat anyway, just as he understood Draco.
Snape also knew that Madam Pomfrey could fix Hermione's teeth in a jiffy, which is exactly what happened. A few chapters later just before the Yule Ball the unobservant Ron suddenly noticed that Hermione's teeth were smaller.
"Of course they are - did you expect me to keep those fangs Malfoy gave me? . . . when I went up to Madam Pomfrey to get them shrunk, she held up a mirror and told me to stop her when they were back to how they normally were,"she said. "And I just. . . let her carry on a bit." She smiled even more widely. "Mum and Dad won't be too pleased. I've been trying to persuade them to let me shrink them for ages, but they wanted me to carry on with my braces" (GF23).
Nowhere in the canon did Hermione ever blame Snape for any hurt feelings, or say one regretful thing about the episode. It all ended happily for her, and Viktor Krum, her date for the Yule Ball, didn't seem to mind either her old teeth or her new teeth. Of course, he once transfigured himself into a shark, so perhaps they were well-matched where teeth were concerned. ~ SIP