Oh, what a wonderful comment. It makes me bounce for joy! Because yes, the construction of Lily's character became a major fascination for me in this fic - all the unanswered questions about why she chose James over Severus, why she was even friends with Severus in the first place and vice versa, her odd position as the one woman in the band of Marauders, her weird, smiling silence when Harry summons them with the Resurrection stone - it all started sprouting as her voice took shape. Then the whole question of her extremely mixed feelings about Harry and Snape - and the fact that she doesn't really know Harry at all, and that Snape was so obviously hers, and what it meant to let them both go and not insist on debts of penance or family name or maternal sacrifice.
Also, although I still feel that I gave Ginny short shrift, I'm glad that you picked up on my attitude toward her. I hate it when writers turn her into a shrew. I don't particularly like the way the character ended up, but that's JKR's fault. It just feels as though everyone got forced into a mold at the series' conclusion, when in fact there's very little evidence in the books to persuade me that Harry and Ginny are "meant" to be together. Just authorial fiat. So I wanted to suggest that the marriage isn't horrible, but neither is it great; it's a mistake, and Harry's stuck in it forever, because I don't see him ever being unfaithful. (At least in this fic.)
Whereas Harry and Severus has so much that's wrong, but even more that's right, making it an overload in comparison.
I love this, because it sums up pretty much how I feel about Snarry in general. The trick is to convince readers that the good outweighs the bad.
It's one of the great pleasures of fanfic that it can acquire complexity through intimate foreknowledge, because we all realize when something's being bounced off canon or when it's referencing the original outcome. . . It's a borrowed sense of depth, because we all share these comparative layers.
Also, I agree that Lily won't mind not having the telly to tune into anymore. It's why she's pretty sure she'll never summon the house again. She doesn't need the past, and it would be unhealthy - it would be perpetuating a triangle - to live vicariously beyond this point through Severus and Harry.
Thank you so much for taking the time to review. It's always interesting to know what touched individual readers the most and to see what worked and what didn't.