Wow. We all over-thought it completely. RACHEL!
I cannot believe I missed "worthless witch."
You may be expecting me to dash off and stick my fingers in my ears and guard my little shipper heart, but you know what? I liked your ending. I actually had a slightly different interpretation of Snape's actions, which is that he ripped her out of his life so that she wouldn't be there to torture him anymore. I think it would have bothered him forever even if she didn't end up with James or with anyone and had just gone on to live her life. It was just a methodical, effective way of removing an obstacle in his path to attaining his own success. I think he certainly would see this as a way of killing two birds with one stone because it would also get Voldemort's attention. I also think that it's perfectly in character for Snape to taunt Lupin and company by dropping hints like that. Now, I won't deny that this course of action makes me sad, but you probably intended that in some capacity :) I do have to wonder if Lily figured out who her killer would be before she died. That's probably the saddest thought of all for me.
But yeah, this was a great ending. I liked your portrayal of James in the beginning; he seemed truly broken up about Lily and that touched my heart. (Wow, this story has stretched my boundaries! Hey, it's a healthy thing to do from time to time.) And I feel bad for Remus and the others, having to clean up the mess that is James and try to help him push on past this awful tragedy. I really wanted him to be wrong about Severus, but like you said, the general sentiment about Snape being a bad person isn't totally false.
I noticed one little typo -- "taught" as used in the context you chose should actually be spelled "taut."
Fantastic work, Rachel! I couldn't wait to finish this story and I'm happy for you to have completed it :)
P.S. Please tell me that "Lily's Theme" also makes you cry every time you hear it. EVERY TIME FOR ME.
Author's Response: Everyone was overthinking it, yes! :D That "worthless witch" comment was something I thought would be painfully obvious, and so it was kind of neat that I got to keep everyone guessing right up until the end.
I love Snape, and I don't think canonically he was capable of murder like this; he was too rational and logical and detached. But twisting him slightly AU was a great exercise, especially after finishing the Sneth books, because it's just more of my perpetual research into his incredibly complex and fascinating character. Written this way, he couldn't have resisted, because it WAS like killing two birds with one stone like you said.
In my personal headcanon, I think Lily would have trusted Snape right up until her death -- she had a good heart, and would never have suspected he had the motivation to murder her. That's so sad, but in this story, it's true. :(
JAMES. I felt so bad for him in this story... he really became my favorite Marauder after Sneth, and I'm glad I could push you onto his side too, however briefly! Thanks for catching that typo, too; I do know the difference between "taught" and "taut," but I wrote chapters 4 and 5 in one sitting, and I'm sure my brain was just oatmeal by that point. ♥
Thank you for reading this story, Amanda! It's been so lovely seeing you on my author's page again. :) I'm so grateful for it, honestly!