Let's put it this way -- Harry was at least going to to get some bare boobage. Voldemort doesn't just disarm Snape because the thought of doing something so limited would never occur to him. For him, defeat means kill. Plain and simple. The extent to which he fails to realize this becomes obvious once you realize that Draco was the master of the wand, not Snape. The thought never occurred to him. Remember, he is fascinated/mortified by death. As for Snape the hero -- the redeemed hero. He never truly loved Lily until he lost her to death. As for Ron and the Parseltoungue, IIRC, the command is only one word: open. I could teach you to say that word in German or French (Ã–ffnen/Ouvrir) and you could say each perfectly. Granted, Ron speaking the paseltoungue command is a bit more of a stretch, since he had to remember something Harry said 5 years ago. As for evaluating/ranking the book, I think people are giving their first impressions. I considered changing my Amph favorite books list to include it, but decided against because I think I need more time to fully digest the book.