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Lily/Snape, also known as Snily, Always and Clichéd, is a canon heterosexual ship from the Marauder Era involving Lily Evans and Severus Snape.
Lily and Snape; fanart by Rohanelf.

They were close friends at school, until Lily told Severus that she could not stick by him because of his support of a Death Eater ideology, most marked by the moment in Snape's Worst Memory where he calls her a Mudblood. Even after their paths separated, he still harboured a deep love for her, leading him to beg Lord Voldemort to spare her (OP28, DH33).

Snape's romantic love for Lily was always one-sided. However, J. K. Rowling has confirmed that Lily did love Snape as a friend and that she might have grown to love him romantically if he had not become involved in Dark Magic and been friends with future Death Eaters at school. Snape's hunger for power blinded him to the fact that Lily detested this side of him; he believed that becoming a real Death Eater would impress her (BLC).

Book Interaction

Severus and Lily grew up near each other (Snape in Spinner's End, Lily in a neighboring area), which is where Severus first developed a crush on Lily. He spied on her as a child, seeing that she possessed magical abilities. When he finally worked up the courage to talk to Lily, Snape ended up offending Petunia. Nevertheless, he and Lily became friends and Severus told her about the wizarding world.

At Hogwarts, Severus soon fell in with a crowd of Slytherins, most of whom would later become Death Eaters. Horrified by the atrocities his friends committed, Lily attempted to get him to stay away from them, but he refused (DH33). Although Lily tried to help Snape when he was bullied by James Potter (for whom they both harboured a strong dislike) after their Defence Against the Dark Arts OWL, he refused her aid, calling her a "Mudblood," to which she replied with "Snivellus", a cruel name commonly used by the Marauders (OP28). This incident finally led to their estrangement.

Severus, however, never stopped loving Lily. Everything he did as a double agent for Dumbledore was done to avenge Lily's death (DH33). In his dying moment, Severus even asked Lily's son Harry to look at him so he could gaze into Lily's eyes one last time (DH32).

History in Fandom

Snily has been one of the most popular ships ever since the fifth book came out, and one of the ships best supported by canon even before it was confirmed by the events in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Fans not only interpreted Snape's actions in Snape's Worst Memory correctly, they also pointed out the fact that while Snape was always making cruel comments about James to Harry, he never once said a thing against Lily. Additionally, it would further explain why he loathed Harry so much—Harry was the result of Lily's love for Snape's arch rival. Many fans also correctly guessed that "that awful boy" Petunia refers to in the chapter A Peck of Owls (OP) isn't James, as Harry surmises and would seem obvious, but actually Snape.

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