Feb. 23rd, 2006 06:02 pm
[personal profile] tavariel
I'm almost done with my exhaustive re-reading of Harry Potter. I got distracted by an idea and started opening up the other books to cross-reference stuff, and I was astonished with what I found. I have lots of other major things still to work out about Snape, but this is one theory I am absolutely convinced of. Because I believe this is canon, I would advise you not to read this if you want to be completely surprised by Book 7.

What Happened Between Severus Snape and Lily Potter

JK Rowling has specifically stated that Snape was "loved by someone."
I believe there is sure evidence in the text to support the idea that there was at some point a romantic relationship between Lily Potter and Severus Snape.

Who else could it be? I came to consider Lily first by process of elimination. The Death Eaters do not understand love, so I do not believe it could be one of them. Bellatrix? Narcissa? I just can't see that making sense in my head. Lily is really the only female who ever shows anything other than disgust for Severus - and I don't think Rowling did this on accident.

Why does Snape hate James so much? And vice versa?
"[Lily] started going out with [James] in seventh year," said Lupin.
"Once James had deflated his head a bit," said Sirius.
"And even stopped hexing people just for the fun of it," said Lupin.
"Even Snape?" said Harry.
"Well," said Lupin slowly, "Snape was a special case. I mean, he never lost an opportunity to curse James, so you couldn't really expect James to take that lying down, could you?"
"And my mum was okay with that?"
"She didn't know too much about it, to tell you the truth," said Sirius.

James and his Mauraders kept the abuse of Severus a secret once James and Lily started going out. Why? Perhaps because Lily had a soft spot for Severus, and they knew it. Again, this reinfoces the idea that there is no real reason for Severus and James to hate each other so much - other than Lily.

Lily stands up for Severus when James and Sirius are tormenting him.
It is very surprising that a Gryffindor would stand up to other Gryffindors who are harrassing a Slytherin. From what we've seen as far as Harry and Malfoy go, Ron and Hermione are in total agreement that mistreatment of Malfoy is justified. Yet, Lily goes out of her way to stand up for Severus. This is the only time anyone besides Dumbledore goes out of their way to be kind to Snape for unselfish reasons.

As Lupin is describing Lily to Harry, one of the things he says is, "She had a way of seing the beauty in others, even and most especially, when that person could not see it in themselves."
Could be talking about Lupin as a werewolf, but also could be talking about Snape. Perhaps both. This however, would have to mean that Lupin knew about Severus and Lily, which doesn't make sense. He would have told Harry or figured things out for himself, if this was true. My belief is that Lupin IS talking about himself, but Rowling included this line to show the readers that Lily would have been capable of harboring strong feelings for Snape.

Slughorn often mentions that Lily Potter excelled at Potions.
This is one of the most convincing proofs, in my opinion. If Lily had a relationship with the Half-Blood Prince, it's fair to assume that she would have done surpisingly well in Potions. This could even be where Snape and Lily met - Slytherin and Gryffindor have Potions together, after all. Snape obviously had a gift for Potions, and he might have been helping Lily out. In the next generation, when Harry uses some trick in the Half-Blood Prince's potion book, and Slughorn praises him, he says it's "something Lily would have done." Essentially, Lily and Harry are behaving the same way in Potions, because they are both privy to Severus' private knowledge.

What is the significance of having the old Potions book and the Half-Blood Prince storyline, otherwise?
What does it really matter if Harry uses Snape's old Potions book? I was kind of confused and let down in the end of HBP when we found out Snape was the Half-Blood Prince. So what? The only thing I could think of is that it showed that Snape was villainous (Sectumsemptra, etc), but we already knew that he was a Death Eater, so this doesn't come as much of a suprise. But if the Potions book storyline serves to connect Snape and Lily, it becomes an important clue. Rowling doesn't do things on accident, and I don't think she would have an entire book titled and hinged on this idea of the Potions book unless it had real significance.

WHY does Voldemort tell Lily to "stand aside"?
Snape could have asked Voldemort not to kill Lily, and this could explain Voldemort's behavior. Voldemort has no qualms about killing people, so it makes no sense that he would ask a Muggle-born, who he would probably love to kill, to stand aside. Why does Voldemort want to spare her life? Perhaps because one of his best Death Eaters asked him to.

JK Rowling has specifically stated that there was someone else present at Godric's Hollow the night Harry got his scar.
This could have been Snape. If he loved Lily, seeing Voldemort kill her, perhaps when Voldemort knew that Snape loved her, would have been enough to leave the Death Eaters. He did relay Trelawney's prophecy to Voldemort, but he would have had no idea that Voldemort would interpret the boy to be Lily's son. He could have followed Voldemort to the Potter's and been this mysterious "someone else" that Rowling has confirmed was on the site.

Dumbledore tells Harry in HPB that Snape came clean to him directly after the Potters' death.
There is a missing Link in Snape's confession that we do not know yet. Dumbledore trusts Snape "completely", but cannot reveal the reasons why to anyone else. If Lily and Severus did have a relationship in the past, and Snape told Dumbledore about it, this would be enough for Dumbledore to understand and accept that Severus is coming clean for good. Snape is a proud man, and wouldn't want his love coming out into the open, and perhaps might have made Dumbledore promise not to tell others. Also, Dumbledore seems insistent that "the Dark Lord will be defeated by love." If Severus is capable of such feelings, this could be what makes Dumbledore trust him.

WHY does Snape hate Harry so much?
A relationship between Lily and Severus would completely answer this. If they were together and Lily left him for James, Harry would be a living, breathing symbol of Lily and James' love. How painful this would be for poor Severus =/ He would see cheeky upstart James staring back at him every day in Potions class, reminding him that Lily left him. I feel a more convincing reason has been needed for why Snape is so cruel to Harry - This could be it.

JK Rowling has specifically stated that a significant secret about Lily Potter is revealed in book 7.
This is just another nail in the coffin. We know that Snape's loyalties will be revealed in book 7, we know that Snape was loved by someone, and we know that a big secret about Lily will be revealed. I do not think it is illogical to begin linking these things together. There really are no other big secrets that I can think of, or storylines that need resolving, that would have anything to do with Lily. Her biggest role in the books is saving Harry's life, and secondly her place in the middle of Snape and James' feuding throughout their years at Hogwarts. JK Rowling wouldn't have written in such detail about Snape's past, and Lily's involvement in it, if it weren't going to have some significance in the later books.

So, my basic timeline of the situation would be -

Lily treats Severus with kindness, perhaps during a Potions class with Slughorn. Gryffindors and Slytherins do have Potions together, after all. Severus begins to have feelings for Lily, simply because she is kind to him, instead of dismissing him as a greasy, nerdy, Slytherin, as you can bet most students did. Perhaps a relationship develops. James, a Gryffindor, probably has lots of classes with Lily, and is also attracted to her. He is able to recognize Lily's soft spot for Severus, and he clearly is not capable of understanding it. He immediately begins to hate Severus, part jealousy, part House rivalry, part personality differences. Severus of course, is all to happy to hate him back.

The Pensieve memory takes place during this time. James and the Maruaders mercilessly abuse Severus, and Lily steps in to defend him. Shamed in front of the whole school, probably including some of his Slytherins, he calls Lily a "Mudblood" to save face, but it destroys the relationship between Lily and Severus. This could be when Lily turns to James, partly wanting to hurt Snape, and partly because she was actually becoming attracted to James. Severus is of course deeply pained by this, and it could be partly what pushes him over the edge in his decision to become a Death Eater.

Snape is a Death Eater for several years, Harry is born, and Voldemort hears about the prophecy and decides he needs to destroy the Potters. Snape pleads for Lily's life, and Voldemort agrees. After all, you can bet our Occlumency and Potions expert is a valuable addition to his cause. And it's not really necessary to the plans to kill Lily, anyway. Just young Harry Potter. Voldemort goes to Godric's Hollow to do the deed. Snape follows him, and witnesses Voldemort's murder of the entire Potter family. Heartbroken, deeply pained, and disillusioned, Snape realizes the "error of his ways" and goes to Dumbledore, repenting of all his misdeeds. Being the prideful man that he is, he asks Dumbledore not to reveal his feelings for Lily Potter. Perhaps even an Unbreakable Oath is involved.

Snape starts teaching Potions, Harry shows up at school, and Snape is unreasonably cruel to Potter. The reason of course, is because of his symbolic representation of Snape's unrequited love. There is the result of Lily and James' love, a living, breathing, talented upstart of a Gryffindor. Snape torments Harry because he reminds him of James, but also saves his life on multiple occassions because he reminds him of Lily.

How will this all be resolved and revealed? I don't know that. But I do know that Lily + Snape would answer a lot of very confusing questions that have been posed throughout the books. There is an awful lot of evidence to dismiss all of this as coincidence.

One last note:

I am convinced that Snape loved, as much as he is capable, Lily Potter. But I cannot say that there is enough evidence to support the idea that Lily loves Snape. However, the whole thing that got me started on all of this was JKR's statement, "Snape is loved by someone." I think Lily has compassion, friendship, and maybe even affection for our greasy Slytherin. But love? I can't give 100% sure evidence for that. I do hope that's the way it will be, though.

But if it isn't Lily who loves Snape...then who is it...?

Edit: So I started looking around on the Internet, and it turns out a lot of people already figured this out and support this. I started looking around a little more, and there are exhaustive concordances of everything Harry Potter related already. Worst of all, it seems like everyone and their mother adores Snape. I thought my love for the Potions Master was unusual, and that maybe nobody had taken the time to try to figure him out. I hate liking the characters that everyone else likes. I hate thinking that I'm just another Snape fangirl. I suppose that's the truth, though. Oh well though...he's still special to me, and I can pretend it's in a different way. T.T


Date: 2006-02-23 06:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
hmm.. very interesting.

you do bring up some very good theories.

*prods you to get on AIM*

Date: 2006-02-23 06:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
But I have to stop reading Harry Potter if I get on AIM. ^_~

Date: 2006-02-23 07:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Really good theory!!! It makes a lot of sense! You really read well into that. The only thing that didn't make sense to me is that part of Voldemorts character is that he is a notorious loner. Dumbledore said that Voldemort has no love for friendship or honor. He's a wizard who has literally split his soul into several different pieces. So it wouldn't make sense that he would honor a wish of Snape's no matter how good a death eater he was or how much he contributed to Voldemorts cause.

But other than that, it seems it would make perfect sense. We can only wait and see. After all J.K. Rowling has a tendency to suprise everyone.

Date: 2006-02-23 11:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Voldemort does specifically say to Lily "Stand aside". I can't really imagine him doing that, but it's in the books. I thought this was a reasonable explanation as to why. But yeah, I agree, it does seem a little out of character for our "100% Evil To The Core Villain" to say "Aw, okay Snapey-poo, I won't hurt your girlfriend." ^^;

Date: 2006-02-23 08:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That's the same thing that we talked about at the last Harry Potter Meetup that I attended. Snape probably does have feelings for Lily.

Date: 2006-02-23 11:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Aw poo, I thought I was really clever for figuring it out, lol. Well, I am excited that other people think so, too ^^

The only thing that bothers me is that Rowling says Snape is "loved by someone." This all started because I was trying to figure out who it was that could love Snape. I can see Snape "loving", at least in his perception, Lily, but I can't see Lily loving Snape. That just doesn't make sense. Unless Rowling has a really loose definition of love...Hmm. I don't know.

Date: 2006-02-23 09:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think Snape probably had feelings for Lily that she never returned. It seems more like the popular girl (who's dating the football captain) feeling sorry for the nerd her boyfriend always picks on. I don't see a romance there; but your analysis seems pretty good from Snape's side (asking Voldemort to spare her, etc.). And I totally agree with that last part: why Snape keeps going out of his way to save Harry; he's all that's left of Lily.

Date: 2006-02-23 11:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I agree...I am 100% convinced that Snape has feelings for Lily, but I'm not sure there is enough evidence to say that Lily is "in love with" Snape. But the whole thing that got me started on this is that Rowling has said Snape was "loved by someone". I can't see it being anyone other than Lily, but...I can't really see Lily loving Snape, either. Sympathy, friendship, even affection...but not love.

Date: 2006-02-24 07:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Let us also not forget how deviously crafty JKR is with her words and her secrets.

"loved by someone" could mean practically anything (I was just pondering this).

The someone could even be his MOM of all people (there has to be a reason she was introduced in Book 6). No character is unimportant if Hermione takes the time to research them.

One of the established rules of the Potter-Verse is that Hermione is usually right (unless she's emotional).

So perhaps we should be looking at Snape's Mom for the secret of the Love.

Date: 2006-02-24 03:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, I considered Snape's mother. I need to re-read the book, I can't remember anything about her. I'm just not getting to COS in my re-reading though, so it's awhile off ^^;

Date: 2006-02-24 05:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*now*** getting to COS

Date: 2006-02-24 01:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I could totally see Lily crushing massive on snape. I mean the loved by someone is mass proff, but if you analys it farther you can see it. I don't think it was just a soft spot. I think she liked the nerdy little boy alot, but his pride kept him from showing any intrest and eventualy her eyes turned to someone who was more intrested in her.

It could be that years later after she dead, Snape relizes that she loved him in spite of it all and he rally loved her too but was too foolish to see it,

or somthing.

Date: 2006-02-24 01:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*sobs* That is so beautiful. I hope it's true. After all, if young Snape is anything like Old Alan Rickman, I'm sure Lily wouldn't have been able to resist ^_~

Date: 2006-02-24 07:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think that in the pensieve scene they should shoot Alan Rickman as young Snape. Except with forced perspective like they did in LotR to make him look small. That would be freakin hilarious!

Date: 2006-02-24 09:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
interesting theory... I guess we will see how it unfolds.

Hey, maybe Andromeda had a secret affair with Snape and he is really Tonks' dad, and Lily knew about it and she was blackmailing them, so Snape had her killed by Voldemort.

j/k- how's that for conspiracy theory!!

Date: 2006-02-24 04:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Lol XD I know I'm being ridiculous over analyzing all of this...but I can't stop thinking about Snape and this is what happened >.>

Date: 2006-02-24 05:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*huggles* you're too cute! :)
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