The January Challenge: Lily revisited

The World of Severus Snape

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The January Challenge: Lily revisited

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The Challenge for January 2011:

Lily revisited

Years ago (we've been around for a while, oh yes!)we had 'Severus and Lily' as a monthly challenge.

[info]alicekinsno1 suggested to take a closer look at Lily's character:

Maybe something that discusses the character of Lily more deeply? I'd love to see what some of your ideas are for just how Lily went from treating Snape so harshly and talking back to James, to being the stereotypical "saintly mother" at the end of her life. There's something about her personality that doesn't add up.

That is to say, how her apparently selfless decision to die for her baby makes sense in light of the way she treated Severus or even James. With possibly a side comment about how despite being so powerful and gifted she didn't really show any of that by dying pleading for her baby's life without even trying to take on Voldemort.

Please post your entries here or in a separate post. I'm looking forward to your entries.
If you have ideas for new challenges, please post them here. (This is a new list, your earlier suggestions are still in the old post).
  • mother-love

    I don't see a dichotomy. In JK-world every mother is self-sacrificing, and even in the real world, many people treat their children differently than their friends/boyfriends/husbands.

    That said, I must admit that I don't see Lily's death as an "apparently selfless decision to die for her baby". To me the scene reads as if she was just too panicked and/or hysterical to move.

    • Re: mother-love

      I must admit that I don't see Lily's death as an "apparently selfless decision to die for her baby". To me the scene reads as if she was just too panicked and/or hysterical to move.

      Right, Duj. I think, to some of us, the dichotomy in Lily's character that's most jarring is how she went from an outspoken, fiery young girl to a passive, terrified young woman. Or so it could seem. Terri had some interesting ideas about this.

      But Lily is never, at any point, a saint. Rowling clearly modelled her on Catherine Earnshaw, just as she modelled Severus on Heathcliff. And Catherine Earnshaw is a spoiled, rather narcissistic young woman who treats both Heathcliff (whom she really loves) and her husband (whom she doesn't really love - and who's a fairly decent young man who deserves better than to be married to a woman who doesn't love him) quite badly.

      I'm not saying that Lily = Catherine Earnshaw, any more than Severus = Heathcliff. But, having chosen to rewrite a part of Wuthering Heights in her opus, Rowling does have Lily replicate some of Catherine's unpleasant behavior. To then hold her up as the paragon of mother love is downright odd, IMHO.

      • The Catherine/Heathcliff parallel

        "But Lily is never, at any point, a saint. Rowling clearly modelled her on Catherine Earnshaw, just as she modelled Severus on Heathcliff."

        Why do you say 'clearly'? Has Rowling actually said this? (I wouldn't know -- I don't read her website or follow many of her interviews.) I mean, it's not MY personal interpretation but you're welcome to think it. And it's not a perfect literary parallel, as you yourself acknowledge.

        "I'm not saying that Lily = Catherine Earnshaw, any more than Severus = Heathcliff. But, having chosen to rewrite a part of Wuthering Heights in her opus, Rowling does have Lily replicate some of Catherine's unpleasant behavior."

        Yeah, but if that were the case, then Rowling has Severus replicate some of Heathcliff's abusive behaviour to Catherine's daughter (and his own son), doesn't she?

        For the record, I regard Snape as a FAR better man than Heathcliff (whom I loathe, actually. He and Cathy richly deserve each other!) Despite his bitterness and his emotional issues, Severus managed to turn his life around. He is more human than Heathcliff, braver than Heathcliff, and his behaviour to Harry is never as bad as Heathcliff's to Cathy Junior, IMO.

        "To then hold her up as the paragon of mother love is downright odd, IMHO."

        If you see a strong parallel between Lily and Cathy, then I guess that would strike you as odd.

        I don't see the parallel, myself.

        -- Pearlette
  • I think JKR meant to show Lily as an ordinary human being whose moment of self-sacrificing love made a difference. Whether she succeeded, I allow, will always be a point of controversy.
  • (Anonymous)
    I think there are several reasons (in canon) for the way Lily acts when she and Voldy are face-to-face.

    First (and foremost) - we have Hagrid telling Harry, way back in book 1, that one thing that was odd about that night was that Voldy even attempted to kill Harry. It may sound weird, but apparently Voldy would usually leave the children alone after killing their parents.

    Perhaps he liked the idea of adding more orphans to the world?

    So, it would seem, that as long as Lily believed Voldy was after her and James (as in Albus didn't tell them the prophecy), then begging Voldy to take her instead is not quite as insipid as it might seem. Without this, then it makes no sense that Lily would believe Voldy wouldn't just kill Harry once she was gone.

    Next, we really don't have any evidence regarding the Potters' 3 defiances. Not even whether it was 3 each or 3 combined between them. It doesn't even appear that it must mean 3 instances of fighting DEs, let alone ever having met Voldy face-to-face before.

    For all we know, it could be as simple as they both joined the Order (2) and then James married a muggleborn (+1). So, if Lily had really not seen a lot of 'combat' she may not think she has a 'snowball's chance in ...' And as long as she couldn't just apparate out of there, she may have thought it better to ensure Harry lived than to anger Voldy enough to kill Harry after her own death.

    This does assume that she couldn't even apparate within her own home (as opposed to just a barrier against apparating 'out'). Otherwise, her best bet was to apparate downstairs with Harry and get outside. As possible 'proof' of this barrier against apparation within the house, neither Lily nor Voldy apparate upstairs. Even Voldy walks up when he can presumably easily see the top of the stairs.

    However, Lily also wouldn't be the first witch we have seen who having lost her husband, then died, once she believed her child would live (Merope). Many people can't see what she saw in James, but she may not have felt living without him to be worthwhile - as long as she believed Harry would be safe.

    And there is that 3xs of being asked to step aside - not sure, but perhaps that is some kind of magical guarantee?

    Lastly, did Lily even have her wand on her? I don't recall anything about her picking it up. IF she didn't, then she has as little chance as James did in getting out alive - better to attempt to get a promise from Voldy that he wouldn't kill her baby.

    I have more problems with the idea that no preset escape plans were set up. But then we don't have any indications that Lily was ever a very careful or logical person.

    Yes, logic suggests they certainly OUGHT to have had an escape plan (preferably with a premade portkey included if one is going to put up barriers against apparation), But as Hermione told us - wizards and witches are rarely logical. And even tho' Lily came from a muggle background, not even all muggles are logical either.

    I think the main problem was that Lily was VERY sure of her own beliefs. Once she's decided, then few can change her mind. We see this in her conversations with Sev and even when we see her in the playground with Tuney.

    Just as sure (in her own way) as James was of his own cleverness. And her beliefs led her to join in on James' belief that he could outsmart anyone. The real trouble was that both Lily and James felt the fidelius secret keeper switch was perfect and therefore saw no need for back up escape plans. -- Hwyla
    • (Anonymous)
      I think it also important to note that Lily's 'sacrifice' is NOT what actually saved Harry, Whatever her efforts or reasons, asking Voldy to kill her instead of Harry wouldn't have made any difference if Voldy was going to AK him. The difference came from Voldy - in the genuine offer to allow her to live - which we all know comes from Sev asking Voldy to spare her.

      And Lily might truthfully feel that she doesn't WANT to live on if both her husband and child are dead. So, it really isn't so much a 'mother's sacrifice' as a mother trying her best to influence Voldy into leaving her baby alive (as he had apparently done for other children).

      All in all, 'Saint Lily' never exists except in the statue in Godric's Hollow. So, Lily herself never actually changed into this 'being'. It is an ideal suggested by the ministry, something they felt the wizarding public would like to believe in.

      And when have we ever seen a wizarding statue to 'ideals' that was truthful. Perhaps individual statues of individual people - but certainly not in statues built by the Ministry in honor of some ideal they hold - or rather that they prefer the wizarding public to believe. This goes hand-in-hand with Fudge (and even Scrimgoer) wishing to pacify the public by promoting ideas without basis in fact. -- Hwyla
      • And when have we ever seen a wizarding statue to 'ideals' that was truthful.

        I dunno, that sinister "Magic is Might" business seemed pretty sincere... ^_-
    • First (and foremost) - we have Hagrid telling Harry, way back in book 1, that one thing that was odd about that night was that Voldy even attempted to kill Harry. It may sound weird, but apparently Voldy would usually leave the children alone after killing their parents.

      This reading of Hagrid's words assumes Hagrid speaks with the accuracy of a lawyer. We know he doesn't. The odd thing is Harry's survival, not that he was attacked in the first place. Order members Marlene McKinnon and Edgar Bones were killed with their entire families. (Though we don't know if that means small children, grown children, parents who were living with them or what, but it does mean more than the person and hir spouse.) Hagrid's phrasing is because he is all emotional and misty-eyed, so he hesitates and goes back and forth.

      This does assume that she couldn't even apparate within her own home (as opposed to just a barrier against apparating 'out').

      That's pretty simple: She didn't have a wand on her. After much deliberation I think canon implies (though indeed doesn't state) Apparition requires a wand. When Harry tells the wandless Muggleborns at the Ministry to join someone with a wand to Apparate them away he himself isn't sure it would be possible. When Ron attempts to Apparate out of the Malfoy dungeon the text says he was trying to Apparate without a wand - as if normally he did use his wand for Apparition.

      As for barriers against Apparition - at 12GP it was only possibly to Apparate in/out to/from the stairs outside the front door (as implied from the kids' behavior in DH) but it was still possible to Apparate within the house (as the twins did all the time).
    • More evidence possibly supporting that Voldemort actually did kill children in the first war comes from the presence of children among the inferi in the cave. I think the inferi were all made of bodies of people killed by Tom himself or else whyever didn't he make one out of Albus' body? He had time during the weeks between HBP and DH. I think the point of making inferi is that they obey the one who killed them.
  • Another thought about Lily - this one is completely random. Lily, like Hermione, is a bright and talented Muggleborn, and a lot of people have attacked us here because they identify with her and consider Severus a lifelong racist.

    Of course, he's not. It's canon that he changes. But-

    I am starting to wonder why bright young women of color would identify with Lily. After all, her situation is not at all like theirs. They may well suffer low-level prejudice everywhere they go. Anyone can tell, by looking at another person, whether they are primarily of European, Asian, or African descent. And far too many people make judgements about others based on their ancestry. I can completely understand why these fans get outraged by young Sev's yelling "Mudblood" if they equate it with the "n" word.

    But - it's really not equivalent. And Lily's situation is not in the least like theirs. She suffers no prejudice in the WW at large - yes, there is a fair-sized group whose leader wants to oppress Muggleborns, but, for most of her life, that group is not in power. No one can tell, by looking at her, whether she is Muggleborn or not. She is pretty, popular, talented, and apparently near the top of her class, at least in Potions. She would seem, as a girl, to have several friends, and not one, but at least two, bright and talented boys are after her. Her Potions professor loves her, and, since she becomes a prefect and is Head Girl, her other professors must think well of her. In short, she does not suffer from constant, low-level prejudice wherever she goes. On the contrary, she seems quite privileged, happy, and sure of her place in the Wizarding World. She's a queen bee.

    So I really, really, don't see why those young women identify with her so strongly, while failing to identify with Sev or any other character with Muggle (not Muggleborn) descent.

    That's my random thought. I realize it doesn't have much to do with the original question, but I'd be curious to know what others think of this dichotomy. Lily seems to be a very contradictory character, no matter how you look at her.
    • (Anonymous)
      I think that an important part of it is that JKR's writing is poor, so there are a lot of blanks left for the reader to fill, and a lot of us here refuse to fill in blanks for her. The overall tone of the books makes it fairly clear how JKR would have us fill in those blanks, even if some of us aren't impressed with writing that has so many blanks.

      Still, plenty of readers are happy to fill them in for her. Even without thinking about it; they settle into the books' mindset, and naturally fill things in. In which case they see Lily as someone who *does* face prejudice regularly. Probably the same with Hermione. Hermione's a better example because we see so much of her life at Hogwarts, and we never do see her face much there other than one kid who hates her and her friends anyway, and a genocidal lunatic (Diary!Riddle). I suspect, though, that people fill in blanks anyway, and assume that she faces prejudice from other people on a regular basis.

      Which is possible. It isn't denied by the text. It's just that there isn't very much actually stated by the text, and we tend to make that distinction often.

      (For instance, I know that some people say Severus hates Hermione because she's muggleborn. I don't think that he *likes* her, but I'm not aware of any evidence that her ancestry is the reason for his dislike. But Severus is a Slytherin, and Slytherins are anti- muggleborn, so that must be his reason, even if there's no evidence of it.)

      Anyway, that's what I think it is. If it isn't that, though... it might be a kind of wish fulfillment thing. Lily (and Hermione) do face prejudice, as demonstrated by their facing racist terrorists, but they don't have to deal with it in their daily lives (on screen) in any realistic way. Draco is a jerk, but he isn't very good at it, and Hermione is confident enough to brush off his insults. Lily's best friend calls her an epithet, but she has plenty of other friends who would never do that, including the really cool boy who wants to go out with her. It's all for the best that she drop her now-former best friend, anyway, and all of her other friends will support her -- they even encourage her to drop him and to never speak to him again, to never have to deal with his prejudice again.

      So, on the level that readers can relate to, Lily and Hermione have things pretty good, albeit not *perfect*. If anything worse happens to these characters at that level, the readers don't have to deal with it because it isn't on the page. The serious problems come in at a level that the readers don't deal with in their daily lives, so it doesn't interfere with the wish fulfillment. Just as Harry's story works as wish fulfillment even though we readers wouldn't want to have a Dark Lord out to kill us, or to have our childhoods revolve around a murderous lunatic.

    • (Anonymous)
      Obviously it makes a difference, otherwise Slughorn wouldn't bemoan the fact that Lily was Muggleborn. And since the wozard are a fairly close knit society, everyone would suspect that she isn't a pureblood just by hearing her name. Again, there is this scene between Hermione and Slughorn, in which he wants to know if there is some sort of family connection.

      And, btw., you neither can tell a Jew apart just from looking at him, and they had to suffer greatly nevertheless.
  • An addition and plea for moderation

    ravenstar84 posted this to my troll thread. I closed that one for comments since it's the wrong place.

    Please reconsider what you're saying and how, everyone. Try not to be patronizing and not to flame. And a word to Americans: it's not only people of colour who can be subjects to racism. Maybe keep that in mind, too, before you accuse 'white people' of ignorance or guess at the feelings of 'coloured people'. They may be just that, but maybe they know what they are talking about. I won't interfere more than that.

    Here's her post.

    Then allow me to try.

    Wikipedia Emmett Till. I'm sure Wikipedia's article is only the condensed version of it, but it should explain why totalreadr's comment was just sick. Add to the fact that there was a period of time in the U.S. where white men would use the "defending a white woman's honor" excuse whenever they brutally murdered a black man.

    Mary_J_59 is a white American woman. She is never going to experience what it's like to be a woman of color. Her explanation of racism and the experience of women of color is completely off and just proves she really doesn't know what she's talking about. Not to mention that her comment was really condescending, considering at least two women of color (including myself) have tried to explain why Lily's situation reflects ours. But she refused to listen. Which is the typical behavior of a lot of white Americans (or anyone who isn't an ethnic minority in their country) who don't have their privilege checked.
  • If Severus is nuanced, so is Lily

    Quoted in the OP:

    "I'd love to see what some of your ideas are for just how Lily went from treating Snape so harshly and talking back to James, to being the stereotypical "saintly mother" at the end of her life. There's something about her personality that doesn't add up."

    But most people are a mixture of saint and sinner. All of us are capable of being selfless, even possibly self-sacrificial ... what parent WOULDN'T be prepared to lay down their life for their own child? Even occasionally selfish people are capable of that, and who isn't moderately or occasionally selfish during their lifetimes?

    You might as well say that Snape's personality 'doesn't add up', since he is committed to protecting the life of the son of the woman he loved and the man he hated. But of course, as Snape fans, we think he is the most complex and interesting character in the series ... and he is. :) To quote Frank Cottrell Boyce in The Guardian, 31 October 2010: "In these touchy feely days, it says a great deal for Rowling's skill and courage that she ever gave a central role to such a chilly and morally complex character as Snape." (YAY.)

    Again, from the OP:

    "That is to say, how her apparently selfless decision to die for her baby makes sense in light of the way she treated Severus or even James. With possibly a side comment about how despite being so powerful and gifted she didn't really show any of that by dying pleading for her baby's life without even trying to take on Voldemort."

    Hardly anyone could 'take on' Voldemort -- even our Severus, brilliant as he is, lost at that. (GRUMBLE.) And Severus was a highly skilled and experienced wizard in his late 30s when he was murdered. Lily was only 21.

    James and Lily have a sort of mythology built up around them about being a brave young couple who defied Voldemort ... but what struck me during their death scene in DH was how painfully young and vulnerable they both seemed. :(

    As for the way Lily treated Severus and James, what are her crimes, exactly? She ended her friendship with Severus for hurling a racial insult at her and she called James an 'arrogant toe rag'. I fail to see how these supposed failings cancel out her courage in taking the hit for her own child. As I said: we're all a mixture of saint and sinner. Human beings are complex and nuanced. So these supposed contradictions in one of Rowling's backstory characters are hardly a big deal, IMO.

    -- Pearlette
  • Re: Lily, Sev, Mary, dark magic

    There were no after-effects of magic on Mary, since Mulciber wasn't successful at what he did. Obviously Mary would have been upset, but that doesn't prove it was dark magic specifically. Nor does it mean that Lily's interpretation of what happened that she herself did not see - which would have been as you say colored by Mary's distress - was any more correct in the facts than Severus' was.

    And no, the text does not clearly state what Dark magic is. Where are the quotes as to what makes something dark or not, please? What differentiates dark magic from other magic beyond an individual character saying they think a certain spell was dark? (Never with any explanation as to why.) We only know what individual characters and some institutions consider to be dark, and not all of those opinions are congruent. Dark magic isn't just hurtful magic - or scourgify would qualify because it can be used to waterboard someone. Sectumsempra could be used to cut up plants, OTOH - does that mean it isn't dark or is that irrelevant according to the theory of dark magic? Are the twins' Ton-Tongue Toffees dark magic? Nothing to say either way according to any theory of magic.

    The Unforgivables are dark everyone agrees, but we are never told by what formal definition of dark magic they qualify as such - whether it is the harm they do to the victim, to the caster, what is required of the caster to cast them, nothing specific is pointed out as a reason they are dark magic specifically. And their being dark doesn't give a definition of the dark arts as a whole. Grapes are fruits but they don't define the category 'fruit' by themselves. Your *interpretation* of dark magic works for a certain reading of the text, but it is an *interpretation.* The text itself never gives a clear, coherent definition of what makes one spell dark and another not-dark. It only gives some characters' occasionally contradictory opinions on the subject.
    • Re: Lily, Sev, Mary, dark magic

      Also, note that businesses engaging in trade involving dark arts (Borgin and Burkes for example) operate quite openly without apparent fear of legal reprisal. If all dark magic was uniformly understood to be evil magic that is not to be tolerated, this would hardly be the case. People also speak openly of dark magic and the idea of using it. The ministry does not ban all dark magic, it bans the use of certain spells, some of which are also recognized as dark. It also strictly regulates other forms of magic that are never called dark by anyone, but that have the potential for harm. It doesn't state that it bans them for being *dark* specifically, it bans them because their only use is to harm people. Just as some countries ban assault rifles. Whether their harming people is what makes them dark or not is never stated clearly by the text OR by any character, so that would be speculation by the reader. We even see a student from Durmstrang, which teaches the Dark Arts directly, being quite willing to be publicly seen courting a Muggleborn and behaving (when not imperiused of course) as something of a gentleman, possessing normal moral sense. Viktor has learned dark arts, but is never pointed out as being either evil or 'too noble' to use the dark arts, so the two don't necessarily go together. Also, Durmstrang is not reviled by the international magical community for teaching dark arts, but seems fairly respected as an academic institution by a sizeable portion of the international magical community, though not by all. That would hardly be the case if the dark arts were understood to be necessarily evil and harmful within any sort of coherent magical theory. It rather suggests that understanding of what the dark arts are is not in fact uniformly agreed upon at all, which fits with what we see of characters' opinions in the books.

      All we know is that a very few spells are uniformly considered dark, but not why; that some spells are considered dark by some characters, but not why; and that some characters, but not all, equate dark magic with evil magic. There is nothing factual about the WW in the text that proves any of these characters right or wrong according to any theory of magic put forth (no coherent theory IS put forth directly), and no explanation of why something is dark magic or not. So no, the text does not state directly what dark magic actually is as a type of magic. That is up to the reader to decide for themselves, to interpret. (The author might *intend* something to be read a certain way, but that does not mean it is actually present in the text in that way. Not all authors meet their every intention perfectly; it's probably impossible.)
    • Re: Lily, Sev, Mary, dark magic

      The one common aspect of Dark Magic would seem to be that it has no other purpose in existing except to cause harm/death to the person that it is used on.
      Imperio - removes the free will of the victim.
      Cruciatus - tortures the victim with unbearable pain
      Avada Kedavra - kills the victim
      Sectumsempra - Causes a cut that will not heal without the correct counter spell or copious amounts of dittany.
      It would seem that that Dark Magic is Magic that injures/kills the person it is used on.
  • I'm not sure that I see her character as 'not adding up.' Rather, as I mentioned RE James in my other comments here, people can show different facets of their personalities/behave differently with different people and in different situations. Severus and Harry stand in totally different relationships to her, so I don't expect that she is necessarily going to behave in precisely the same ways with each. Also, unfortunately, people don't love other people all to the same degree, for various reasons. I can totally buy that she is more deeply attached to and caring of her own child than she is of the kid she was (from her POV as I read her) sort-of-friends with during the summers her first few years at school and who insulted her.

    The "saintly mother" image IMO is just that: an image, manufactured after her death and by the author (although Harry IMHO never seems to fully grasp that it is an image, nothing more, but then his only real experience of her that he remembers is in images of her, actual and narrated. People don't like to speak ill of the dead, especially not the heroic dead, and to their children). It's not that we see many scenes of Lily being the perfect mother: we have one brief letter of hers from the time and one scene of her in a highly unusual circumstance, trying to save her own baby, which I think any mother with a modicum of caring would do. It's one thing to die for one's own child; dying for (for example) a stranger's child, or a child you despise (no you oughtn't to despise them), etc. is another kind of challenge. Both are brave and admirable, but one requires a greater extension of unconditional love than the other, and is correspondingly more difficult. The one marks her as a genuinely loving mother who is brave; the other would mark her more as a saint. IMHO. In her letter, she comes off to me as a sincerely loving and good mother but also a young and slightly irresponsible parent who is just starting to get the hang of the parenting thing (unsurprising, since she is just out of her teenage years).

    He relationship to James also actually doesn't come across as so OOC to me. Lily seems to me to be the sort of person who, while meaning well, likes to get on a moral high horse and be the voice of morality instructing all around her in her wisdom, regardless of how much wisdom is really there. (Certainly she genuinely believes she knows best.) In this James is just one more 'student,' like Severus, except he's one (she thinks) she's actually gotten through to! Clearly there's something to the fellow, she thinks. Also, while she likes the image of moral saintliness and thinks well of herself in that regard, she comes across to me as slightly more shallow than she cares to admit (hardly a surprise in a teenager, and a common temptation for everybody, I suspect). She does care about her social image, and though calling her a golddigger IMO goes too far, I could find the prospect of wealth as one among several threads of her *initial* attraction to James believable, given how much her sister cares about such things (meaning is strikes me as something stemming from their childhood together). Later something genuine could have sprung up between them, I can buy that. She and James are not that far apart in basic personality, although she doesn't possess the same streak of sadism as he does - but he hides that from her. She also is fiery and rather Gryffindorish, so she and James are rather well-matched there in personality; she can be somewhat cold, though not necessarily deliberately; empathy is not beyond her but also comes to her naturally only to a limited degree, and Gryffindor isn't a house that really teaches one to value or expand it in practice. (The rhetoric is another matter.)

    • I'm at a loss when it comes to judging how magically powerful Lily herself really was. All we have is a lot of hearsay and one accidental act of magic that does not seem to necessarily be dependent upon the subject's own magical strength to function - it's a piece of ritual magic, if anything (the three times denied request, followed by voluntary death); it's the arrangement of the parts that matters. She might have been a truly powerful witch, or merely a slightly-above average one who was charming and bright. Her not trying to take on Voldemort…well, the not having her wand on her was sheer stupidity, but I can believe that a young woman like her facing a supposed dreaded serial murderer froze in the moment. Logically her attempt to save Harry wouldn't work, but I can just about - just about - buy that she was beyond logic at that point. Although I'm not sure what that says of her vaunted Gryffindor (charge-into-battle type) bravery then. Maybe here her characterization does break down a bit. It's certainly not what we were led to expect her sacrifice to have been like, anyway.

      I'm also not clear why on earth it *worked* (beyond authorial fiat). Magic in the Potterverse supposedly is all about will, but she didn't know of any such protection beforehand so she can't have been willing it to happen (and Voldie certainly wasn't). I can't buy that this was the first time in the history of magic that a mother ever begged thrice to be the one killed, not their child, or that Lily's mother love was *that* extraordinary here compared to what mothers in history have done. I don't know why Voldie bothered with the asking and then killing, when he could have stunned her at any point (and if he's a Dark Arts expert of such caliber, did the possibility of ancient magic coming into play NEVER occur to him? wtf)
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