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Old March 18th, 2010, 6:50 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4

Why do you think did this encounter go 'wrong'?
IMO, it was because of his appearance and lack of social skills. He looked silly in the overly large coat, and, by admitting that he'd been watching them other times made them feel uncomfortable. It was not a very good first impression.

How do you interpret Lily's behaviour here?
Since she seemed the more adventuresome of the two, she stood her ground. She didn't seem to grasp the reference to her being a witch and was insulted, so, she went on the defensive. Also, she seemed to become more wary when she learned Severus had been watching her before.

Why does Lily glare at Snape?
Again, his manner was offputting and he'd insulted her sister.

Has this scene changed your opinion of Lily and Snape's friendship?
No. I think their friendship developed because Lily saw in him someone who knew about the WW, and, also, she may have felt sorry for him and (since we're told she kind of took care of strays, as per Lupin's remarks), she may have just wanted to reach out to him.




Study questions:

1. Why do you think Snape was so reluctant to approach Lily? Would he have been interested in her if she had not been magical?

IMO, he was reluctant because of his appearance and lack of social skills. I think he felt he could approach her because they had magic in common, but, he was still concerned about being rejected. I don't think he would have approached her if she had not been magical -- he told Petunia pretty much that he would not waste his time spying on a Muggle.

2. Why did Lily accept Snape's friendship? Would she have been as friendly to him if he had not told her about the magical world?

No. I think it was only because of that common bond of magic that they became "friends." I think she would have avoided him otherwise.

3. What role did each of them play in the friendship? Do you think it was a friendship of equals?

No, I don't. Liliy was attractive, loved and well cared for, her family was at least middle-class, she seemed well rounded socially. Snape was almost the exact opposite. But, he brought the knowledge of magic to the friendship, which, IMO, Lily was as anxious for as he was for affection. But, I don't think Lily ever felt Snape was her equal socially, only that he had the advantage of knowing about magic.

I've often wondered if Lily's extreme talent in Potions might have come from some help from the Half-blood Prince. Snape was very talented in Potions, as we know from his notes. But, we didn't hear much from Slughorn about Snape's abilities, just Lily's. I've often wondered why.


4. How did Hogwarts effect the friendship? We see that up until fifth year they consider themselves to be "best friends", despite the house system. Do you think they both worked to maintain the friendship?

Once Sev and Lily were sorted into separate Houses, I think the "friendship" was condemned from there. Even though they spent time together at school,
I've never been sure about the "best friend" thing. That insinuates "equals," and, as I said before, I don't think Lily thought of Snape as an equal. I think he was just someone she needed at the time to help her understand her magical abilities and to help her keep from feeling like the "freak" that Petunia kept calling her.

We don't see enough about what went on day-to-day as far as them visiting each other's homes, having anything in common besides magic. Nothing about celebrating events together, etc. Just magic.

The Fifth Year at Hogwarts seems to be a turning point for most of the students. They've become teenagers and their "interests" are changing, as we see with Harry and Cho startng with Year Four and then becoming more involved in Year Five. They've learned a good bit of magic; they've become closer to their own House mates and learned prejudices about other Houses. Also, they may taking many separate classes and not see each other much. They eat and spend all but a little spare time with their own House members. They would have had to both have worked very hard to maintain their friendship, and, I'm not sure how much time and/or effort either of them were able to put into "maintenance."

5. How did Gryffindor change Lily? How did Slytherin change Snape? Would each have changed in the same way if they had been sorted into another house? Would the friendship have changed as drastically if they were in the same house?

I think they would have remained friends, but, there would have come a time when it would have ended because, unlike Harry and Hermoine's friendship for example, Snape was in love with Lily, and, I don't think she was in love with him. Eventually, it would have blown up, one way or the other. The difference in the Houses was just the catalist that helped to bring about the end.

Of course, we know that Snape became involved with the DE's in Slytherin and Lily became more set against them and Snape as well because of things said about them in Gryffindor.

6. What was the death knoll for the friendship? Was it Snape's budding interest in the Dark Arts, the mudblood insult or something else?

Both of the above. I also think that Snape realized that James Potter was interested in Lily and was used to getting what he wanted. Snape never seemed to completely understand Lily (another thing that doesn't support the "best friends" thing). I think he was getting frustrated and saw that the end of the friendship was coming and didn't know what to do about it. Since he was so good at potions, I've always wondered why he didn't slip Lily a mild love potion. Guess that shows he did have honor.


7. Was there a different choice Snape could have made to save the friendship? Was there a different choice Lily could have made?

Snape apologized, but, it was too little too late. I think Lily was losing interest in him by then, and moving away from him. I think the "Mudblood" incident gave her the reason she was looking for to end the friendship, such as it was at that time. I think Snape was totall dependant on her for real affection, and, I think that affection, for whatever reasons, was waning. I don't think Lily was mean, she was just a young woman who was at a stage in her life where she was looking at her future and, Snape didn't fit into it.

8. How would their lives have been different if they had managed to save their friendship? Do you think they might have had a romantic future? A lifelong friendship?

I think they would have eventually gone their separate ways. Like I said, I think Snape was in love with Lily, but, she wasn't in love with him. I don't think they would have ever become romantically involved nor do I think their friendship would have gone on once Lily married and had her own family, even if there had not been a war or a Voldemort.


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I held you in my arms, although I knew that death
Had already taken you. I held you close, hoping for a faint heartbeat or breath
To prove me wrong.
But, you were still, and could not hear or see
My grief, my tears, my heartbreak knowing that the rest of my life would be
Spent without you.
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