Why I Respect James and Lily's Relationship (10 Years Later)

Severus Snape...so much I can say about this man. Like Harry said, he is the bravest man we ever knew. Other than that, he is my all time favorite fictional character. Snape embodies bravery, strength and courage. He embodies true sacrifice.

But James Potter? Every time a new Harry Potter book or film was released, I began to hate James more. He was a weak jerk. I didn't appreciate the way he would treat Snape or Lily while they were growing up. I thought he was conceited and just plain rude. Many people agreed with my statements. Yet did we truly get to know James? We saw flashes of old memories of him as a child. We heard about what Sirius and the rest of the order had to say about him. But we never got to see James live.

A few days ago, I realized that for over a decade of my Harry Potter obsession...I kept thinking about James and Snape, but not LILY. Lily, one of the smartest and sweetest witches of her time. Why wasn't I thinking about how she felt? Why was I judging her relationship with James based on how much Snape loved her? I've always loved Lily and it was wrong of me to disregard her feelings and her independence so quickly. 

Now don't you think for a minute that I think Snape is obsessive or in the wrong here. Without him, Harry would be dead by Sorcerers Stone. Snape didn't have much to live for in his life. His parents didn't care for him, he didn't have any friends, and he was bullied throughout his childhood and adulthood. Lily was all the hope and love in his life and he latched onto that. Is this wrong? No, I do not believe it was wrong. He sacrificed everything in his life for the son of a woman he loved. 

Snape lived in the past. He wasn't possessive over Lily. He wasn't disrespectful. He made mistakes here and there but I don't think it was Snape who did anything wrong. Some people are just not meant to be. That doesn't mean you don't love somebody, it just means you're not meant to be in their life forever.

I really do believe Lily loved Snape. Whether that be platonic or romantic, I know she loved him. However, some loves aren't meant to last forever. Some loves aren't meant to equal marriage. Lily knew that, and while she cherished Snape, he wasn't right for her.

Rowling only showed us certain moments of the life of Snape, Lily and James. They each could have an entire series dedicated to them because they're all full of so much depth. As much as we'd like to form a solid opinion about them, it's not that easy. 

However, I began to respect Lily and James' relationship because I trust Lily. I trust her decision-making. Remember, Lily's love saved Harry. Lily loved James and James loved Lily. I can't argue love. I can't say someone else's relationship wasn't real. I can't do that. We can't do that. 

When I put myself into Lily's shoes, I realize I would hate it if everyone was telling me I should've chose Snape because he loved me. I would be like, "I mean, I do too, but I'm a married woman in love with a beautiful gifted son named Harry." I've always hated it when people judge my relationship because they aren't in it. I'm an independent woman, I know who I love and I know what I want. I know what's good for me and no one else does.

Lily is smart enough to make her own decisions.
James isn't defined by a few moments of him joking around in his childhood.
Snape isn't an obsessive, evil freak.

I respect Lily and James. I respect Snape. It's not a contest. It's not a competition. We needed all three of them for Harry to exist, so let's just thank them all for that.