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*points to icon*

We all know their truth, Sesame Street, but nice try.

In fandom, everyone has a sexual orientation.

In other news, I had an interesting conversation about Lily and Severus with my niece this morning that concerned the following passage from Book Seven (which I pulled from my American edition):

Lily and Snape were walking across the castle courtyard, evidently arguing. Harry hurried to catch up with them, to listen in. As he reached them, he realized how much taller they both were. A few years seemed to have passed since their Sorting.

". . . thought we were supposed to be friends?" Snape was saying, "Best friends?"

"We are, Sev, but I don't like some of the people you're hanging round with! I'm sorry, but I detest Avery and Mulciber! Mulciber! What do you see in him, Sev, he's creepy! D'you know what he tried to do to Mary MacDonald the other day?"

Lily had reached a pillar and leaned against it, looking up into the thin, sallow face.

"That was nothing," said Snape. "It was a laugh, that's all—"

"It was Dark Magic, and if you think that's funny—"

My niece told me that one of her friends thinks that Lily stopped being Sev's friend because he called her Mudblood, but she disagrees because, as she told me, "If he knew his friend was doing Dark magic and let him, that makes him bad. And Lily said he'd made a choice to be friends with bad people—to be a Death Eater—so she couldn't be his friend anymore. The bad name wasn't why."

Other than thinking that the Mudblood scene is a last-straw moment for Lily, I completely agree with Niece on this point; we don't see the half of it where Lily and Severus are concerned, in much the same way that we don't see a lot of "missing" scenes involving several characters by virtue of the books largely being told from Harry's PoV. Yet, while a lot of fen are content to imagine extra-canonical scenes by way of explaining the conduct of myriad characters, it's rare to see anyone give Lily the same benefit of the doubt in that way.

Of course there was more to the end of Lily and Severus' friendship than one name-calling incident, but imagine if you realized that, even though you'd been trying to ignore it, your best friend was a racist, and you were a part of the group that he despised. How would you react to being called a racial epithet by the friend you loved and trusted? In a climate in which people just like you were in actual danger of their lives, in a time when war over that fact was coming and your "friend" had picked the evil side—the side that wanted to kill people like you—could you ignore your friend's behavior? ignore his use of that epithet and what it implied? Only if your sense of self-preservation wasn't particularly high, I'm thinking, and canonically, Lily Evans is a v. smart girl.

The upshot? I'm proud of my niece for her critical thinking (what eight-year-old uses textual evidence to support her views to her friends? *dances*). Regardless of the fact that Severus is my favorite HP character, I know he's a canonical shit, and I'm glad that my niece can see past her interest in Severus to the extent that she can give Lily some credit for cutting him off when doing so, in my niece and my opinion, is the only option open to her. The argument Harry saw couldn't possibly have been the only one that Lily had with Severus about his choice of friends, but ultimately, it must have seemed to Lily that there was no saving Sev from himself.

P.S. from Shog: Religious People Are Nerds and Game of Thrones RPG Deleted Scenes.


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 12th, 2011 12:57 pm (UTC)
i think a lot of our blanket hatred of lily, especially in the ss/hg end of the wading pool, comes from this idea that lily must be a selfish/bitchy/horrible/_______ friend if she lets namecalling end a friendship. and on some level, many of us are willing to just jump on that bandwagon b/c it makes it easier for us to write her off as a love interest in snape's life (and insert hermione). your awesome niece has given me plenty of food for thought...
Aug. 12th, 2011 02:21 pm (UTC)
You bring up a good point about the blanket hatred. I think another reason people hate Lily so much is that in "The Prince's Tale," the time lapse between one memory to the next doesn't feel long enough to imply the development of their issues over time, but I'm glad that my niece inspired you to think about things. And I can't half believe she's thinking about all of this so critically!
Aug. 12th, 2011 02:22 pm (UTC)
yeah, well, i started disliking lily in OOtP, so by the prince's tale, i was done. but now i'm revisiting that :-P

Edited at 2011-08-12 02:23 pm (UTC)
Aug. 12th, 2011 02:29 pm (UTC)
Aug. 12th, 2011 01:31 pm (UTC)
I do actually completely agree that the Mudblood incident was just the last straw in their deteriorating relationship. I guess I take exception to the fact that she's still saying they are best friends though. I'm not ever going to say he was right but what he hears is that she's still friends with him in spite of telling him his other friends suck.

I'm also not to keen on her choice of husband. Perhaps it's true that James stopped being the biggest asshole in the world but he doesn't impress me and that colors my opinion of her. *shrugs*

But, yes, good on your niece for seeing more of the picture than is apparent. That's always going to be a good thing.
Aug. 12th, 2011 02:27 pm (UTC)
I guess I take exception to the fact that she's still saying they are best friends though.

I think they were best friends at that point, but the way the memories comes to us makes it seem as though no time at all passes before the Mudblood scene and subsequent one in front of the door when they "break up." I can understand why you'd be upset with Lily because of that. If only we saw more of how the deterioration of their friendship developed in full scenes, it would be easier to understand Lily's decision.

James gets no play, really, and that's why my head!canon's always been that he used a love potion on Lily. Taking a page from Niece's book, however, I think that, although we don't see it in canon, James sobered up and matured somewhat in the face of Sirius' prank on Severus and the growing tensions between the Light and the Dark. Watching James do this as she'd made her decision to firmly turn her back on the Dark, Lily must have finally come to respect James, and that obviously led to something more. James had to have been popular for a reason, and once he set aside cruel and childish behavior, Lily would have been able to appreciate his good qualities.

I'm so proud of my niece!
Aug. 12th, 2011 01:54 pm (UTC)
Yay for your niece! *g* It's interesting; JKR practically canonizes Lily, but fen mostly don't seem to like her much - perhaps because the little we see of her, she does seem to be awfully Mary-Sue-ish. I think your niece is correct that it was probably Severus's choice of friends with a strong anti-Muggle-born attitude, even if he personally made an exception for Lily, that was the motivating factor for her ending their friendship, not the single name-calling incident.

And Bert and Ernie are TOTALLY gay. *nods firmly*
Aug. 12th, 2011 02:31 pm (UTC)
I don't know; why does it have to be Mary-Sue-ish to be pretty, kind, and popular? The Mary-Sue treatment comes from the way she's remembered by the characters who knew her, I think, which makes sense when one considers that many people don't like to speak ill of the dead, and certainly not to the dead's child.

They so totally are!

*loves her niece*
Aug. 12th, 2011 02:18 pm (UTC)
I honestly don't know. If my friend had been moving to join a real life bigoted hate group and then I got called a name like that in real life?

I'd drop my friend like a hot potato. When you're in a situation like that you have to worry about being bullied, about losing everything, and about dying.

I think the name was the last straw, yes, but I hate how people trivialize it. It sucks and is so scary to be in that situation in real life, especially with a person who you thought was your best friend.
Aug. 12th, 2011 02:34 pm (UTC)
I imagine it would be quite difficult, and I'm glad that Rowling doesn't shy away from that fact—I just wish we could have seen more of their relationship. And yeah, I'd have to drop anyone who consistently aligned himself to a hateful philosophy or cause, and I think that's what Lily does.
Aug. 12th, 2011 02:44 pm (UTC)
I do wish we'd have seen a little more somehow because it almost feels like we didn't get enough information to be sympathetic to anyone from that time period. I realize that everything is Harry's POV, but a diary or letter or something please.
Aug. 12th, 2011 04:18 pm (UTC)
Aug. 12th, 2011 06:01 pm (UTC)
Bert and Ernie are so doing it. *nods*
Aug. 12th, 2011 09:26 pm (UTC)
Aug. 14th, 2011 08:36 pm (UTC)
Plaudits at your niece!

Well, I am one of those who grew to despise, or at least to look at suspiciously, Lily Evans. Not so much, probably, because she stopped being friends with him (they were 16, after all! 16! Voldemort and Death Eaters notwithstanding, people break friendships for whatever reason when they are sixteen! And people make any kind of mistakes when they are so young), but because she never seemed, to me at least, a sincere friend to Severus earlier than that.

Sure, she defended him on that first ride on the Hogwarts Express, but after it? We have no evidence. And earlier than that? Snape was the only magical person Lily had known. I doubt she would be friends with him had he not introduced her to magic. Of course, this is just my (probably biased) impression.
Sep. 9th, 2011 11:47 am (UTC)
I think the most significant point of Severus and Lily's story is that we really don't get it, and I would have loved to have seen it!
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )