Professor Snape's "Always" Quote and its real world implications
In the Harry Potter universe the Patronus Charm is a difficult spell that a wizard can cast to protect themselves from the Dementors of Azkaban. The Dementors feed on the happiness and life force of their victims and usually end every encounter with something called the "Dementor's Kiss"- which essentially just means they eat your soul. The Patronus Charm defends against the Dementors, usually taking the form of some brightly shining animal, by drawing strength from your happiest memory. The memory you focus on when casting your Patronus Charm usually influences the shape your Patronus takes- even if it's a totally subconscious thing.
All that being said, this post is meant to focus on Hogwarts Professor Severus Snape and his secret role as Harry Potter's protector throughout the series. If you didn't know that Snape was supposed to be a good guy in the original seven books, J.K. Rowling sort of beat us over the head with the "Snape was a hero!" thing in Harry Potter & The Cursed Child.
I can stomach the idea that Snape has really been a good-guy-sleeper-agent through the whole series but this scene really bugs me:
I have spied for you, and lied for you, put myself in mortal danger for you. Everything was supposed to be to keep Lily Potter’s son safe. Now you tell me you have been raising him like a pig for slaughter—’
‘But this is touching, Severus,’ said Dumbledore seriously. ‘Have you grown to care for the boy, after all?’
‘For him?’ shouted Snape. ‘Expecto patronum!’
From the tip of his wand burst the silver doe: she landed on the office floor, bounded once across the office and soared out of the window. Dumbledore watched her fly away, and as her silvery glow faded he turned back to Snape, and his eyes were full of tears.
‘After all this time?’
‘Always,’ said Snape
Always? Really? At this point in the story it has been at least 15 years since Lily Potter's death and we are expected to believe that Snape is still pining for her? And what's worse is that we are supposed to be support him! What about Harry's father? What about Harry's family? Snape confesses that he could never get his life together enough to move on from some unreciprocated childhood crush and we, as the audience, are meant to believe that it makes him a hero.
Really, Snape just needed to get on with his own life and keep his nose out of the Potter's business. I don't think there is any family alive, muggle or wizard, that wants their significant other to be the subject of such obsession. I mean, the emotional impact it would have taken to transform Snape's patronus into the same as Lily's... it's mind boggling that we are supposed to reward that level of creepiness.
Were it platonic, totally friendly, love and regret that motivated Snape it would be different. But this was romantic love and that's not really something that I can get on board with. Snape, brother, if she wanted you she wouldn't have chosen James and she definitely wouldn't have married him. Pull yourself together man.
I think its time that we, as a fandom, start respecting Lily Potter's right to choose who she wants to be with. It is not her fault that Snape couldn't move on. We should spend our time setting Snape up on blind dates (you know, in the alternate timelines of Cursed Child where he isn't dead...) instead of giving him brownie points for his awkward obsession.