Mirror of Erised

All posts tagged Mirror of Erised

Love Lives On: More about Lily and Snape

Published January 23, 2014 by A. Featherquill

As promised, this month will be devoted on Lily and Snape’s relationship – how Snape created love out of the pain of Lily’s death, how the two friends became united in spirit in their protection of Harry, how Lily lives on through Snape’s patronus.

This being the 3rd week of the month, I will feature the stuff I have found on the internet that echo the message of my 1st week post. Here are the things I found:

1. Snape and Lily, Mirror of Erised

snape lily mirror

I got this image from falaciaintencional.tumblr.com. This fan art displays my idea that, had Snape looked at the Mirror of Erised, he must have seen Lily.

2. The Silver Doe and the Eye of Snape

This one is an article I found in mugglenet. It was an original editorial by Daniela Teo. It explains the role of Snape’s Silver Doe in establishing understanding between Harry and Snape, how it brings Lily and James together, and how this event exposes subtly the soul of the Half-Blood Prince/Potions Master. Also, it tries to view events in the series through the eyes of Severus.
Here’s my favorite quote from the essay:
On the other hand, by sending the silver doe to the producer of the stag Patronus, the boy who looks just like his father, Snape also sent Lily back to James, and the doe to its true half. It must have been the last thing Snape wanted to do, to show his image of Lily to the image of James, and old possessive memories must have risen up in him as well. But to temper that idea, there was also the reality of a meeting soul-to-soul between Harry and Snape. This meeting had started much earlier, during Occlumency lessons, when student and teacher had glimpses of each other’s most private and painful memories. In the forest, upon sending the silver doe Patronus, Snape realized he was baring his heart to Harry, even though he stayed well hidden.
I got this from the tumblr site entitled Whispers in the Static. I think the user is named Nathaniel Emmett. This fan art depicts Snape in the middle of a dark forest with only the Silver Doe for company. It demonstrates the loneliness and pain that Severus must have experienced in his life and how Lily serves as the symbol of hope that pushes Snape to go on, to be brave, and to stay true to his new commitment to serve the good.
snape and his patronus

4. Aspenlinmer’s blog

I already cited Aspen’s blog in my earlier post. But his entire site is a goldmine of information about Severus Snape that I still decided to feature it here. His essays really reach the depths of and dissect the complexity of Snape’s character.
penance paid

I found this artwork by Lazeros on deviantart. For me, this piece captures the ending of my 1st week post: “Finally, the two friends who have drifted apart once more become together in spirit.”

The artist expressed the desire to make the artwork better. Whether or not the revised artwork happens (or has happened), this one is already meaningful. Kudos to the artist!

Stay Magical,
A. Featherquill

Creating Love Out of Pain

Published January 9, 2014 by A. Featherquill

This month, we will celebrate the birthdays of two important characters in Harry Potter – Severus Snape’s on January 9 and Lily Evans-Potter’s on January 30. In honor of these two friends, this month’s theme will focus on them.

This article was inspired by one of the many interesting conversations I had with my blogger friend Aspenlinmer – in particular, our exchange of replies about his post “Loving Those Who Cannot Love You Back”.

Aspenlinmer opened his final paragraph with the following lines:

Therefore, in a seemingly impossible situation, I see hope for Severus. Although his hope cannot rest in reciprocation of his love for Lily, his love for Lily provides hope for circumstances to be transformed. He has hope that his love will cause some good while he is still here on earth, and hope that conceivably things may be different when he leaves the world.

My first reply was to clarify whether this love gives hope in that it makes the impossible possible. Aspen affirmed my idea. Then, it was his turn to ask me a question: Where do I see hope for Severus?

My response went as follows:

For Severus, since he’s already dead, I can see the hope for him in the new world that he has helped create for future generations. While it’s sad that the love cannot be reciprocated, the good part is that the love extends to other people, it not just goes back and forth.

It’s quite similar for others who are not loved back by their beloved. They can sublimate or redirect the love into other avenues. Do something creative or socially relevant thing. Or even simple things that can guide or help other people. Or even give time to oneself so that one can discover new things about one’s character. I view these things as similar to a patronus. From a very threatening situation you conjure something that can be a source of protection and salvation. And if one can manage to use it to communicate with others or make it extend to others, the better. Who knows…they may find a sweet surprise as they do this 😉

Creating love out of pain, emptiness, and desperation is extremely difficult. I suggested possibilities of doing it in my quoted response above, but those suggestions are surely not easy. Even when people do succeed in creating love out of pain, the hurt may remain. Thus, the Patronus Charm is understandably one of the most difficult spells to execute. It is useful in terrible situations, but, in order to cast it, one needs to project positive feelings despite the situation being very hopeless.

One painful, terrible situation is the life of Severus Snape. His beloved died possibly due to the details of Sybill Trelawney’s prophecy that he passed on to Voldemort. He lived the rest of his life without belonging to a community that fully trusted and accepted him. He was not anymore a Death Eater by heart while his relationship with the members of the Order of the Phoenix was not amicable. Finally, he knew that much of the pain he carries were caused by his own terrible mistakes – mistakes which he couldn’t anymore erase.

Probably, he had moments when he would say to himself “I wish I did this, I wish I did that, I wish I could still.” While reflecting on these things, an idea popped in my head. What would Snape see if he looked in the Mirror of Erised?

My guess is that he will see Lily Evans alive and well beside him.

While the Mirror of Erised typically shows a lack that we know is often difficult for us to fill, sometimes the image that it shows can still come true, although not always in the way we expect it to be.

In a way, Snape is one of those who have successfully translated their desire into reality. The means that he has used for Lily to return and remain beside him is his patronus.

As most Potter fans may know, Lily’s and Severus’ patronus take on the same form: a doe. While it is highly possible that Snape’s patronus has been a doe even when Lily was still living, that the revelation has been made in the scene wherein Snape delivers his famous line “Always” hints at the extension of Lily’s life through Severus.

If you can recall, one of the most difficult decisions that Snape has made was to agree to kill Dumbledore. In doing so, he has made himself the bait who will later on be killed by Voldemort. It is in the effects of his courageous death that Snape mimics Lily’s sacrifice. Like her, his death has become Harry’s protection as Snape’s sacrifice is the critical detail that will later on fool Voldemort into thinking that he could use the Elder Wand against Harry.

In a very dangerous moment, Snape figuratively acts as the invisible shield that protects Harry. While Lily’s protection may have faded by the time we reach the 7th installment of the series, Snape takes on the role of Lily’s love which, for a long time, has acted as a shield that safeguards Harry. He also takes on the role of a patronus since the meaning of this charm is to invoke a protector.

Snape’s role as protector has been foreshadowed by the chapter about the silver doe. In a very hopeless moment, Snape’s silver doe arrives to guide Harry so that the latter can find Godric Gryffindor’s sword.

I have to say that JK Rowling is brilliant for not revealing at once the identity of the wizard who has conjured the silver doe. Besides providing suspense and wonder, the uncertainty of ownership can also mean that the silver doe may figuratively have two owners. The living Snape is protecting Harry as much as the dead Lily does.

Then, it will not be far-fetched to say that, in Snape and in his patronus, Lily lives again. Finally, the two friends who have drifted apart once more become together in spirit.

Stay Magical,
A. Featherquill

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