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

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