The Significance of Always

September 12, 2018

It should come as no surprise to you that I am not the biggest fan of Severus Snape.
It is therefore excruciating to me to see so many Harry Potter tattoos with the word "Always" emblazoned. It's in so many pieces of fan art. It's referenced by the fandom constantly, and I have a bone to pick. Why are we glorifying a toxic boyhood obsession?
As we learn in Deathly Hallows, Snape has known Lily since childhood. When they came to Hogwarts, he took up with a bad crowd and got into the Dark Arts. He uncerimoniously called Lily Evans a "Mudblood." His heart was filled with hatred, selfishness, and darkness.
Yet, we see that he has stayed by Voldemort's side, while his loyalty was really with Dumbledore. His patronus is still a doe - a reference to his boyhood love for young Lily. We are expected to believe that he has always loved her, and has only been protecting Harry, despite his hate for Harry's father. Severus Snape is partially - if not fully - to blame for the death of Lily's husband, and eventually, her. That doesn't sound like love to me.
The only "always" in the series that matters to me is when Harry is going to his death and sees his mother, father, Sirius, and Remus by using the resurrection stone. Full disclosure, in the book, Lily doesn't actually say anything here, but this is one of those magic movie moments.
Lily (then) Potter died for Harry. She was just 21 years old, but her love protected him through those 17 years. She provided the means for Voldemort to be defeated. She was selfless, kind, caring, and sacrificed herself for her child. She was young, but her actions were clear. Unlike Snape, she showed true, pure, unchanging love. Always.
Yours truly,

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