Hello! I was excited to read this because I don't often read about Snape. (I don't really like him, but he is SUCH an interesting character, if you know what I mean haha.)
Your depiction of Severus as a child, watching Lily from afar, is really great. It starts out so innocent, but then it's evident by the end of that section that he's already idealising her, and sees only the good in her. He's blind to any other aspects of her personality - any flaws, anything he doesn't like, anything that makes her Lily. I think for his whole life he loved a girl who didn't really exist, Lily as he first met her when he was 10 - and he never saw that she had changed and that she wasn't like that anymore. And this is really evident in the way you wrote Severus conveniently forgetting the bad memories.
I really liked this particular line in the second section: Why couldn't she see how stupid, how blind she was being to the war going on right under her nose? To the way that the odds were leaning, way back when?
I think that's so insightful. It's not that he finds a fault in Lily, but he wants her to be on his side, and that he thought he was doing the right thing. I'm glad you mentioned this aspect of their relationship because I'd always wondered how Snape felt when he realised that he and his childhood friend were on opposite sides of the war - and you did it in a very realistic way. He's not regretful of joining the DE's (yet), but he doesn't hate the other side. I'm rambling but I think you struck a really nice balance there!
The line about him being jealous of a corpse was also really powerful. And that ending was so sad! I felt really badly for him in that last section (so, consider that an accomplishment!), how his hope was what ultimately destroyed him, even after all the "real" sins.
I really liked the way you organised this by separating the sins into groups, and headed each with a quote - it flowed really well that way. Altogether this was a great one-shot, I'm glad I discovered it! Thanks for swapping with me! ♥
Author's Response: Oh, trust me, I very much know what you mean. ;) If you just take a look at my author's page you'll see how often Snape crops up! I'm pleased you gave him a chance here, even not having read a lot of him before. He really is one of my favorite characters!
I'm a Snape fun who's able to see both sides of him, good and bad, which is important -- and his relationship with Lily definitely did hinge on obsession and idolatry, even if I at least partway sympathize with it. He put Lily up to expectations she couldn't ever achieve, and he was rarely loved in turn to know what true love it. (Ergo I gave him that love in an entire trilogy of novels!)
Without a doubt, Snape was stubborn and one-sided. It was his way or no way at all, and I think it would have frustrated him to no end that Lily wasn't on what he saw to be the "right" side. The irony, of course, is that something really might have happened between them if only he'd given up the Dark Arts, but he never understood that he couldn't have it both ways. I don't think he ever regretted joining the Death Eaters; I think he just regretted the consequences.
I'm so sorry you got me going on this subject! I absolutely adore a good debate about anything Potter, and Snape in particular, and I really will go at it for hours if allowed. :D It's a good thing these boxes have word count limits, really.
Thank you for swapping with me! I'm so happy you liked this story! ♥