Tagging you from the Review Tag 2.0 thread!
I thought this was a great exploration of Severus's guilt and anguish in the wake of Lily's death. There were a lot of interesting ideas and realizations that you hit on, some of which aren't completely conventional. That's always nice, when you can come of with a few things that haven't been beaten utterly to death.
The idea of him fleeing the Hog's Head with his eavesdropped secrets, vying to earn the favor of his master, was a very plausible way that the events might have transpired. His eagerness to please Voldemort would certainly make him feel all the more stupid and guilty later in life. He simply didn't think things through. Or perhaps he had no idea that Lily was expecting a child, having been estranged from her since their school days. Regardless, I imagine that he didn't realize he was sealing her fate until after Voldemort revealed to him that it was Lily's son that he believed to be the subject of the prophecy.
Backing up a bit, time-wise, I thought you did a great job of capturing the conflict that Severus felt as he watched James and Lily fall in love. Part of him wants to be happy for her. He can't stand to see her unhappy, and he knows that James makes her happy. Part of him even seems to appreciate James for that fact, even though he's never able to let go of the hate he feels for the boy who used to tease and torment him. It was interesting that he could understand what Lily saw in James as he matured, and Severus even seemed to appreciate some of that, himself. Overall, you gave the character a lot of balance here.
Moving on to a much later time, the immense conflict he feels about Harry was beautifully captured in all of the physical details you used about James's appearance and Lily's eyes. The way that these two contrasting images move his emotions was a testament to just how deep his feelings run. He wants to hate the boy that looks like James, but as soon as Harry fixes him with those eyes full of anger and hatred, his determination melts away. Well done.
Your writing was lovely in this. I didn't see any typos or grammatical errors and everything flowed really well. It was a pleasant, fast read. Bravo!
Author's Response: Sigh... I have to respond to this... I like it sitting here in my 'Unanswered Reviews', it's such a lovely review!
Anyway, I'll actually start the response now! :p
I've read about a million and one stories on how Snape is a bitter old bat and we all know he's very complex, so I thought I'd try and write him in a new light! :)
No, he wouldn't have known he was doing that to Lily and if he had known, he would never have done it. I was trying to get the 'What if?' thing for Snape. Because if he hadn't jumped down those stairs, maybe Lily would be alive and there would be no series! (I don't know whether I'm happy or sad about that!)
I've never been in love but I've read countless books, watched countless movies to understand that REAL love was letting the other person be happy, so that's what I was trying to get across. Snape was human, not some evil overlord that wants to take over the universe, so he did have emotions! :p I'm glad to hear that I gave Snape a good balance! :)
Oh thank you so much! You're far too lovely! I'm so happy that you liked the descriptions of James, Lily and Harry! :D
Ahhh thank you so much! This is why I didn't want to answer this review, it's just so kind and thoughtful! :D I'm glad you liked it and thank you so much for leaving me this AMAZING review! :D