(Still yay excuse to review Violet!)
I'm actually usually not a big fan of Snape - he's one of my least favorite characters in the books, and I dislike Lily/Snape with a passion - so I almost skipped over this. But, it's reasonable short, and you wrote it, and it's a pretty banner, so I took a chance.
And I'm glad I did, because to my surprise, I really liked it.
I think what I loved was that you didn't make excuses for Snape, but you didn't vilify him, either. I felt like you portrayed him as just a person - one who had made mistakes and was paying for them and had his fair share of regrets. It felt very real and raw to me, which is what I think appealed to me so much about it.
I also really liked the memories you chose to show - in particular, I like Snape telling Lily about the curse on Voldemort's name. I like it because it implies that he'd done it before DH, which would help explain why no one wanted to say his name after he disappeared, and I like it because it shows that even after the incident by the lake they didn't just part ways and never ever even speak again.
This was lovely. Again, apologies about the poor review.
Author's Response: It's strange because I love Snape as a character because he's so messed up... it's actually a bit of a problem of mine. There was a time when I did romanticize him, and I supported him even after HBP, but the way that JKR developed his character in DH left me ambivalent. I like his backstory at the same time that I'm wary of how much it tries to show that he did everything out of love for Lily. That's not enough for me - if it was instead because, like Regulus, he saw the wrong in Voldemort's doings, then I would have been more satisfied.
However, the scenes in DH did inspire me to write about them and try to better understand what JKR was doing with Snape's characterization. The memories Snape gives Harry are so limited in perspective - we never actually see inside of Snape's head to gauge whether, with age and experience, he had come to regret his actions and come to grips with the kind of love he felt for Lily - a worshipping sort, tainted by selfishness and his desperation for someone to love him (not necessarily for him to return that affection).
I'm really glad that you liked that first flashback when Snape tells Lily about Voldemort's name. What's so important about it, at least to me, is that Snape approaches Lily as a concerned friend. He wants to protect her, but his information also protects the whole Order - it ends up mirroring Snape's actions later on, when he protects Harry, not for his own sake, but because of Lily. But all the same, it shows that Snape can't perform a truly good deed because it will always be framed by his desire to keep Lily alive. It's such a weird relationship, and I think that's why I like writing about it (why write about happy romance when you could have fun with really messed up ones?). *hides*
Thank you very much for reading and reviewing this story! It means a lot that you liked it because it's neither your character nor your ship, but you still found something appealing in it. That alone is a brilliant compliment! ^_^