Respected Snape at Hogwarts

Do the books ever show that Severus Snape is positive about Albus Dumbledore?

I think Severus Snape saw Dumbledore pretty much as Harry saw Dumbledore. The picture is of the wise old man with the kind attitude who knows what is right and what is wrong. In addition, the very talented wizard who failed neither because of his magical abilities nor because of his social or personal treatment of people and the strategist to defeat Voldemort. This is a very positive picture in itself. If the picture of Dumbledore is a reality and survives, Book 7 is a different subject.

Severus sought (besides the aim of protecting Harry) the appreciation and advice from Dumbledore for his skills, actions, loyalty to Dumbledore in fulfilling Dumbledore's requests and even more encouragement that he is on the right track, that To do right, at least to save Harry. If Severus had had encouragement, advice and appreciation is another topic, but he would have accepted advice and teachings from Dumbledore and still does so in Book 7 to defeat Voldemort.

The difference between Harry and Severus, in my opinion, is that Harry received the appreciation, respect and encouragement from Dumbledore, but Severus did not (at least not with that frequency, emotional depth or advice to correct wrong behavior without the cover of risking a spy). Even so, Severus was very positive about Dumbledore (much like Harry) and probably realized very late (end of book 6) what Dumbledore was playing. He didn't see himself as a chess pawn or as Harry or anyone else because he thought that he (and all the others) to Dumbledore - as a person too - were important, at least to save Harry.

Further evidence:

  • He sheds his own bad impression of Harry on Dumbledore (after meeting Harry for the first time in Book 1 but revealed in Book 7). Severus disagrees with his opinion, but that was his opinion at the moment. Would you do it if you didn't have a positive feeling for someone and trust that they will at least a little bit disbelieve you? I would not. So Severus is positive towards Dumbledore when he tells him about a very emotional situation, the first meeting of the boy who is to be protected, but also the child of his love and his enemy.

  • Harry hears from Dumbledore in Book 1 that Severus just saved Harry because James saved Severus too. In book 3, Harry tells Severus and Severus is disappointed because he would have assumed that Dumbledore was a little closer to the truth in Severus' eyes. Severus had expected that he was important to Dumbledore and knows his thoughts and hurt feelings towards the marauders, even when it comes to his school days, because Dumbledore is important to him and he has never revealed Lupin's secret in the past!

  • In Book 2, the petrified cat is found, and Dumbledore and Severus both know that Harry isn't telling the teachers everything he knows. Severus is upset because he thinks his opinion is important to Dumbledore, but Dumbledore lets Harry escape without question. So at least Severus feels betrayed in his abilities and actions to find the truth, because Dumbledore's opinion is important to Severus.

  • In book 3, Severus is completely beside himself, certainly a difficult situation for Dumbledore too, even under the pressure of action and fudge in the room. But what hurts Severus the most is when Dumbledore replies that his sanity is still as good as ever when asked if Sirius was capable of murder at sixteen. Severus finally asks Dumbledore to acknowledge or understand the day's actions, but gets a kick in the face (verbal). So Dumbledore is important to Severus.

  • In Book 4, Severus is even more cruel towards the students, in an even worse mood than usual. The relationship between Dumbledore and Severus (due to Severus' emotional outburst in Book 3) is broken and only restored at the end of Book 4 when Severus returns to the Death Eaters as a spy. Severus defends Dumbledore for not making a mistake with the witches around the Goblet of Fire, he accuses Harry but he defends Dumbledore against the accusations of Karkaroff etc. He even seems shocked when Moody searches his office and mentions that Dumbledore is there used to trust him. He's right next to Dumbledore after Cedric was killed. He tells Dumbledore that the dark mark is getting stronger. It means that Dumbledore and Dumbledre's good books are important to Severus as a person.

  • In Book 5, Severus accepts the challenge of teaching Harry Occlumency. Not only is it an emotional journey to Harry, but also to Severus. He sees through the memories of Harry's lightning bolts from Lily (and James by her side), he finds out that Harry was once in a tree too - trapped by a dog (similar to the way he is hanging upside down from James), he's not amused too see a Death Eater who was tortured by Voldemort. In general, I think he teaches Harry well, but their relationship has since been so damaged that he has little chance of being successful. But he's doing it for Dumbledore and he really seems to cover Harry's training, including the ending of it. So Dumbledore is important to Severus ...

  • In book 6 he tells Bellatrix. In Book 6, he's more defiant and more urgent to learn what Harry knows. He knows Dumbledore is going to die, it is his last chance to ask him but he gets no answer, just another difficult task of bringing the bad news to the boy. Dumbledore is important to him, he would have liked to save his life or "buy more time" (see Book 7), he would even have liked to have taken on more and different tasks, but not the one who kills Dumbledore, not the one who does it last message ... because Dumbledore is important to Severus ... and more than just the strategic thinker who defeats Voldemort, in my opinion.

Severus was of course never friendly and often in a bad mood and could only show resentment, anger, hatred, ridicule, but nevertheless Severus would have liked a father figure and a trustworthy advisor in Dumbledore. But without the feelings of father / son / grandfather / grandson / mentor or tutor it was ultimately just a strategic alliance between two lonely men, no matter how positively Severus viewed Dumbledore as a person.

So Snape is not positively referring to anyone about Dumbledore (other than Bellatrix and Harry in Occlumency class); or to show a positive feeling for him about Pensieve, but the approach he was very positive and trusted Dumbledore I would say until the end, but at least until almost the end of book 6.