This story shows us what I think is an accurate reflection of Snape's deepest longings. Of course the Lily in the mirror looks the way he dreamed she would, and says the things he dreamed she would say. I wasn't sure why she asks him "Don't you love me?" the second time, as if she expected him to do something, like step into the mirror with her. He could have easily wasted away gazing at Lily, but in the end he was very harshly realistic about the truth of her feelings. That's what kept him from going mad, but it also shows why he is still so bitter. Well done.
Hi, Bethany. This is Vicki of Slytherin House. I really enjoyed your story because it is refreshingly different. When we encounter the Mirror of Erised in the first book, I think we regard it as a source of fascinating entertainment for children, but you thought of its being used by a teacher also, and not just any teacher, but Professor Snape.
You have portrayed Snape as an interesting combination of sentimentality and logic. Logically, he knows that Lily is dead and that the image in the mirror stems from his own imagination. He knows that her image says and does only the things he wants her to say and do; it talks only because he wants it to talk. This knowledge breaks through in the conversation when his mind causes the image to say, “I’m as real as you want me to be.” But sentimentally Severus cannot stay away from the Mirror; hopeless love temporary overrules his logic. I liked your statement that, although Dumbledore did not approved of Severus’ use of the mirror, “Dumbledore couldn’t understand…no matter what he said.” When in the clutches of strong emotion, we all believe that no one else could understand our feelings. And in the final paragraphs of your story, you show him wavering between wanting to believe that if he had “played his cards right,” he and Lily could have been a family, and knowing the bare truth that that would never have happened under any circumstances.
You make several interesting points in your story. For one thing, Snape is usually depicted as blaming himself for telling Voldemort the prophecy, as if that were the only thing that led to Lily’s death. But in your story Snape also thinks that calling Lily “mudblood” drove her into James Potter’s arms and to her death; other writers don’t mention this.
Another point not usually mentioned is the idea that Snape never imagined that Lily would be willing to die for her child; he “could not understand that, not completely.” This makes perfect sense. It is a reflection of his own childhood, when he believed, with good reason, that his parents, or at least his father, did not love him and would not have died for him. That kind of parental love is completely outside his realm of experience.
The only part of your story that I hesitated over was the final line, “Part of her had always belonged to James Potter.” I don’t think that this can be interpreted as meaning that she always loved Potter, deep down, because she didn’t. It ties in with your line early in the story “…he could see why she would end up with a guy like Potter. A girl like her, she would always be too good for a man like himself.” The key words are “…a guy like Potter.” Not necessarily Potter himself, but someone in his social class.
The flow of your writing is good, and you have packed a lot into this fairly short story. A couple of things that seemed a little repetitious: stating in five places, fairly close together, that Lily was smiling, and stating seven times, fairly close together, that one of them loved the other. But this is not serious.
This story is just a tiny glimpse, one little moment, and it could fit into the canon at any point over a wide range of time. But it gives us one more unexpected peek at Snape’s character and is certainly believable. Snape was a complex character, perhaps the most complex of all of them, and much can be speculated about him. Thank you for writing.