(there is a...'situational' error in that one actually - James Potter (no idea what his middle name is) must be at least 8 years of age at the time of the fic, since Teddy is 15)
It seems somewhat strange that I really enjoy reading fics from someone who really detested how Snape turned out to be. I don't want to write an extended essay about Snape, but whilst he really was detestable in many ways (e.g. how he looked at Lily; wishing for her alone to be saved. He was just 21, but any normal individual who truly loves someone would wish for their happiness...), he had the strength to stand against Voldermort for 17 years, effectively alone except for one person who came to trust him as much as that person ever trusted anyone. And although his death may indeed be Rowling's way of avoiding any uncomfortable new-era interactions - between Snape and Harry in particular - I don't think Snape would have chosen to remain alive even if he could have avoided the wrath of both sides (particularly if the plan had gone the way Dumbledore originally planned).
About Snape loving Lily - JK uses 'greed' a lot to describe Snape's way of looking at Lily, which I assume caused even more people to be disgusted by him. But it seems that people tend to forget that love comes in many different forms, probably largely dependent upon the experiences one has had. Why do a large number of those who have had abusive childhoods grow up to be abusive/accept abuse themselves? Snape's love for Lily, although corrupted, determined all the decisions he made from the time he informed Voldermort of the prophecy. Whether we like or respect the way his love was expressed is irrelevant - the important thing is that he was able to love, a love that caused him to give up everything he had, that gave him the courage to face a lonely existence for the sake of a boy he despised. That kind of love is what Voldermort was never able to understand.
Those 17 years didn't change Snape much in terms of essentials, except for one minor thing I don't expect many people to point out: DH p.553 'Do not use that word!' That is the clincher for me.
Was there any love on Lily's part? I think we can all accept that Lily only ever saw 'Sev' as a friend, her first friend in the magical world. Although we can never know for certain what she thought of him, I believe that the way he acted towards Petunia and other Muggles and Muggleborns, evident right from the earliest days of their friendship, created a barrier that could not have been broken.
p.s. Oh, and something that didn't sink in the first time I read it... - 'that awful boy' was not James Potter...
Now that that's out of the way...
Many fans were probably looking forward to 'getting all the answers', but really, could we really have expected her to answer all those questions in 600 pages, especially with the trio confirmed to be out-of-contact with the majority of the wizarding world for the better part of a year? Here are a few (more) of my gripes...
- The death of Snape - whilst expected, the way it happened was just...no. Didn't like it. At all.
- What did James and Lily's occupations have to do with anything?
- Did Snape ever use his Patronus for communicating with the order? Surely Sirius and Remus knew what Lily's Patronus was!!
- Yes, Mundungus sold the mirror to Aberforth. But how in the world did he get hold of it?
- How far is Hogsmeade from Hogwarts? How long did Harry's journey through Snape's memories take? Was it really possible that the one hour time limit set by Voldermort was enough for both?
- Oh yah...someone reminded me - who was the character who was supposed to show magical ability late in life?