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Thread: Lily (Evans) Potter - Part II

  1. #11
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    A question regarding Lily (I've been asking rather a lot of character related questions recently haven't I? Blame the new bunny). Do people think she knew what she was doing when she offered her life to protect Harry? It's implied that she was good at Charms because of what Ollivander said about her wand, but was she that good? I think Dumbledore says that it was very old and obscure magic, so would she have conciously decided that that was how she was going to save her son when Voldemort came to the house? Or was it a very lucky coincidence, or down to the prophecy that she did?

    If this has been asked before, forgive me. I can't be bothered to search two threads for it. If you saw the state my screen is in you'd understand...

    Sarah x


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  2. #12
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    I keep catching your questions and finding them very intriguing...


    In my opinion, there really is only one answer to that question.
    First off, I really don't think that it was down to the prophecy. I'm not sure the prophecy said something about one's mother dying for the cause... but even if it did imply anything like that (or Lily needed to die to make sure that the rest of the prophecy was fulfilled) I think we hear often enough of the unreliability of prophecies and how they are often never fulfilled, or only fulfilled because someone believes they have to be.

    I think Lily acted out of her instinct as a mother. She knew Voldemort was targeting Harry, and that he had just killed her husband (ie he was very capable of murder at that moment and it really was Voldemort, and Harry really was in the greatest, very greatest danger at that moment). It was her natural instinct but also the unimaginable amount of love she as a person and especially as mother of that child had for Harry that made her sacrifice herself.

    If she had made that decision consciously, I don't think that ancient magic would have worked. She died trying to protect him; if she had been so sure that it would make a difference, would it still have been that great love, or wouldn't it have been too rational a decision? I think emotions play a great role in that moment. Of course, dying for someone else is always a gigantic sacrifice, but I think there's a difference in dying and in calculating the future and then dying.

    I'm not saying she couldn't have known of that ancient magic, but I find it... rather unlikely. I think Dumbledore himself wasn't even sure for a long time - perhaps until Quirell couldn't touch Harry? I'm not sure right now. Anyway, I'm not sure if there was any way Lily could have known. She certainly was clever and an extremely talented witch, but I think too much speaks against it.

    Then there's also the fact that Voldemort was giving her a chance - could she have known beforehand that he would? That he wouldn't just slaughter her like he did James? I'm not sure if at that point she had enough faith in Snape (and think Voldemort was human enough) to even think of the possibility that she might be spared for him. And then when he suddenly tells her to stand aside - I think she's in far too much panic to realise that she has a choice.

    The way I see it is that this protection worked because she did have a choice, she could have stepped aside, but didn't, because she loved her son too much to give him up, even if it meant her own death. (this is also why it probably wouldn't have worked with Neville's parents)

    So, in a way - I guess it was just coincidence. I think even if she had had the knowledge and time to make the conscious decision, the charm wouldn't have been as strong.
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  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kara
    First off, I really don't think that it was down to the prophecy. I'm not sure the prophecy said something about one's mother dying for the cause...
    The Prophecy said 'he'd have a power the Drak Lord knows not' - there wasn't anything about his mum dying for the cause - although it did say his parents had 'thrice defied'.

    I don't think Lily knew anything about the old magic and I really don't think it was a conscious act when she stodd in front of him. Like Kara, I think if she'd chosen that path knowing what would happen then it wouldn't have worked. When Harry 'dies' he saves everyone - Voldemort's power is weakened, but Dumbledore explains that he had to think he was going to his death to save others. I think it's the same with Lily.

    Basically the magic only worked because Voldemort gave her the option of living because he'd promised Snape he'd let her live. If he'd decided Neville was the Chosen One, then Neville would have died. I have no doubt that Alice would have fought equally as bravely as Lily and would have stood in front of her son, when Voldemort was threatening him, but Snape hadn't asked for her life, so Voldemort would not have given her the option.

    I think Dumbledore did know why Voldemort's spell hadn't worked, however, because Snape had told him he'd asked Voldy to save Lily.

    Carole (who seems to be following Kara around the board)
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  4. #14
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    It seems perfectly reasonable to me to assume that Lily did not have much contact with Petunia later in life, particularly after she married Vernon. I think that would have saddened Lily a bit, since we know her parents were gone by the time she and James were killed.
    Would it seem out of character for Lily to go to Petunia personally and ask her to come to her wedding? Would it seem out of character for her to be disappointed that Petunia would not come? We know Petunia did not approve of James, after all. Would it seem out of character if Petunia changed her mind and did attend?
    Thanks!
    ~Gina

  5. #15
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    Would it seem out of character for Lily to go to Petunia personally and ask her to come to her wedding?
    I don't think it's out of character at all. They could've not spoken for over a year and still I think Lily wouldn't be able to bare the thought of getting married and not inviting her sister, and her best shot at getting her sister to talk to her/comply would be by inviting her personally. Petunia is a proud woman who stands by her beliefs [however wrong they may be] and I think she wouldn't let herself read the letter, much else go to the wedding.

    Would it seem out of character for her to be disappointed that Petunia would not come?
    Absolutely not. Lily loved her sister. A wedding day is too great of an important day and if Petunia doesn't go her absence would be a constant reminder that her family is broken.

    We know Petunia did not approve of James, after all. Would it seem out of character if Petunia changed her mind and did attend?
    This one I do think would be out of character. Like I said before, Petunia is far to proud. I could believe she did want to make peace with her sister or feel a longing to be a part of her sister's wedding, but I don't think she could bring herself to attend/approve Lily's marriage to James. The way I see it, Lily marrying James is what solidified the end of Petunia's relationship with Lily.

    /two cents.

    ~ Samarie

  6. #16
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    I agree with Hopeful_song in that it wouldn't be OOC for Lily to go and ask Petunia personally, but that it would be OOC for Petunia to change her mind and attend. Something I'd like to add is that the Potter's wedding was a very secret and hushed up affair, so would Petunia have known about it or been invited? I'm leaning towards the idea that she would have known as she and Vernon are Muggles and not connected in any way to the wizarding world so are unlikely to be a threat to their security, but it does depend on how you want to play it and what is happening in your story. If Lily and James are in serious danger from the Death Eaters or Voldemort, would they be allowed to have anyone other than members of the Order at their wedding, people who can be trusted to keep the secret?

    Just something I thought I'd throw in. I'm very intrigued by your questions, Gina, as you seem to be preparing to write about the same time period as I am!

    Sarah x


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    Hmm, I agree with everything that Sarah and Samarie said but ....

    Quote Originally Posted by Samarie
    The way I see it, Lily marrying James is what solidified the end of Petunia's relationship with Lily.
    They did still keep in touch, as Lily mentions to Sirius that Harry broke a horrible vase that Petunia had sent her for Christmas. I always assumed that Petunia sent this the previous Christmas (no idea why), and Petunia and Vernon certainly knew that Lily and James had a baby, so they weren't completely out of touch.

    I do think it's unlikely that Petunia would go to the wedding (or at least plan to go to the wedding) but perhaps she decides at the last minute to attend. Perhaps there's still a part of her (at this time) that is still attracted to the Magical world - the part that led her to write to Dumbledore. She wouldn't tell Vernon, but maybe ...

    OOOH, darn plot bunny hopping all over the place ... but it has the name Gina on it *sighs and shoos away bunny*

    ~Carole~
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  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphire at Dawn
    I agree with Hopeful_song in that it wouldn't be OOC for Lily to go and ask Petunia personally, but that it would be OOC for Petunia to change her mind and attend. Something I'd like to add is that the Potter's wedding was a very secret and hushed up affair, so would Petunia have known about it or been invited? I'm leaning towards the idea that she would have known as she and Vernon are Muggles and not connected in any way to the wizarding world so are unlikely to be a threat to their security, but it does depend on how you want to play it and what is happening in your story. If Lily and James are in serious danger from the Death Eaters or Voldemort, would they be allowed to have anyone other than members of the Order at their wedding, people who can be trusted to keep the secret?
    Okay, I missed the bit about the Potter's wedding being a secret and hushed up affair - where is that? I will try to do some more research later tonight, but I don't remember ever reading that, so a point in the right direction would be great! Especially since I'll have to make some major tweaks to my story. (Why does this keep happening, lol?!)

    Even if it was secret, I absolutely think Lily would be allowed to have her sister attend if she wanted Petunia there. In my story, J/L have been attacked once and understand they could be attacked again; I was planning on a small affair with high security, but nothing secret. I just can't decide whether Petunia will change her mind and come for Lily's sake; I'm sorting of doubting it at this point.

    Thanks again!
    ~Gina

  9. #19
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    Oh my days, I just wrote a really long post and then my internet gave up on me. GRR!

    I don't think the part about the hushed up wedding is in the books, I think it's something that JKR has said in an interview. It's on the Lexicon that it was secret, but I'm not sure where they got it from as they don't cite an interview, and I can't find it on Accio Quote. The Lexicon also says that Petunia and Lily didn't see each other after Lily left Hogwarts, but again, I don't know where they've got that from. It does say in PS that Petunia hadn't seen her sister for several years, but the passage doesn't specify an exact time. I always think that 'several' means more than two, so it depends on when you have your wedding as to whether this statement can apply.

    I think that it would be OOC for Petunia to stay for the entire ceremony, I think she'd feel very uncomfortable and I don't think she'd be able to bring herself to do it, even if she wanted to. She can't say what she wants to to Harry in DH even though she clearly wants to. I think I can see her perhaps arriving after the ceremony is over for a short while, if it took place close enough to where she was living, but if it was too far away, she wouldn't go. They do still exchange Christmas presents, which suggests a slight formality about their relationship, and she might want to go just to offer her congratulations, as a formality with only a touch of affection.

    Sarah x


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  10. #20
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    I don't think the wedding is hushed up. Harry has pictures of the wedding and has to scan them to find Sirius in them. If it were a quiet affair then he'd see Sirius straight away. EDIT: Sorry I lied about that bit, he's never noticed Sirius before - just checked POA)

    I'm not altogether that trusting as far as the Lexicon goes ...

    The Christening was a quiet affair. JK said in an interview that the reason Harry only has one godparent was because he was christened in a hurry and secretly. Sirius was unmarried and didn't have a girlfriend so there's no godmother.

    Carole
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