Yes, yes, I finally have a chance to read this! Yay!
Ugh, I love your characterization. You get at the heart of Severus's obsession without demonizing him. It seems so innocent, the way he just collected her over time, not even realizing how much he had taken until he was head over heels. I love that he used his memories of Lily to block out the bad memories he made at home. It's just--I can see how he became so practiced, so careful, because in his youth he was so foolish. You've taken a grand theme in his life and brought it down to this teeny, tiny, seemingly innocent level.
And then in the second section, you bring it full circle. There is his greatest flaw for all to see--he gave up everything for her, except for himself. That explains his desperate desire to take it all back and re-make himself even after her death. His biggest regret, his biggest mistake. I knew it, of course, but I had never really boiled it down quite like this. This is why Severus is so tragic--wow. It almost makes me dislike her for a minute, except for that lingering perfection he sees in her!
Oh, Rachel, way to twist the knife! It's so interesting to follow the braided, twisted cords of Snape's mind here. It's almost like he justifies his obsession by believing that James doesn't deserve Lily because he's dead, because Severus is alive and could have still been with her, perhaps even protected her from Voldemort, had a family with her. He tries to hate her and can't, so he turns it full force on James and everything about James. I wish I could make everyone read this so they could get Severus. He is JKR's Severus.
And that ending! It's so true--why do all this if there wasn't some fleeting shred of belief that Lily would turn to him one day and be grateful? That she might take it all back and take him instead? It's neat to see that he still blames it all on himself, his vulnerability--never on Lily and her choice.
This review is officially incoherent, but I loved this, just as I knew that I would. Lovely work! ♥
Author's Response: I'm so glad to see you here! I've missed your reviews -- they're always so lovely -- and, of course, I'm always anxious to hear your opinion on Snape/Lily, you being quite the expert in it.
So hearing that you are so complimentary of Severus here is just... I cannot tell you what that means to me. ♥ I have a very firm picture of him, in my head, and it's quite a complex one. The man's got a lot of conflicting, carefully balanced personality traits that are all working to make him the man that we read in the canon series. I can understand people not liking Snape, but how anyone couldn't be fascinated by him is beyond me. He's genius!
His love for Lily starts out to be almost idyllic, but you're very right in saying that he's found a way to justify his obsession. And think how he would have felt, knowing Lily chose James over him, in the end -- crushing doesn't even begin to describe it.
Your review isn't incoherent at all! If anything, this response completely and absolutely does not do it justice. :) Seriously, Amanda -- thank you so, so much for this. I'm so happy you enjoyed the story!