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What If Lily Had Chosen Snape Over James?

Illustration for article titled What If Lily Had Chosen Snape Over James?

It’s a sunny summer’s day as Lily Evans and Severus Snape are happy in the country side, Snape being able to resist calling her a mudblood years earlier. In a moment of spontaneity, Snape proposes to Lily which though shocked, she agrees to.


Welcome again to Observation Deck’s What If, where we change one thing to a famous story and discuss the consequences. After a dead child and corporate espionage, this week we’ll be going to the magical world of Harry Potter. Specifically, what would have happened if Lily had chosen Snape over James?


Like always, feel free to use both the books, the films and any other media you want for evidence and remember, no idea is too absurd here.


For myself, here are a few pointers:

  • With Snape and Lily being married, it is very unlikely to be a Harry Potter around by the time of the books. Instead, if they ever had a child, he/she would have likely have gone into Slytherin and become friends with Draco Malfoy.
  • With no Harry around, Voldemort would have gone after Neville because he also fits the child described in the prophecy. If Neville’s family was anything like Harry’s, Voldemort would have likely have met the same fate.
  • This leads to three possible situations. The first is that Neville lives with his grandmother and becomes very egotistical and full of himself because of all the fame of being the boy who lived. The second is that he lives with his Grandmother, but is never told about what happened until he becomes of age. Thirdly, for his protection he is taken away to somewhere in non-magical society until he becomes of age.
  • Neville may have still been friends with Ron and Hermione, but not as strong of a friendship Harry had. I think Neville could have survived the Philosopher’s Stone while the events of the Chamber of Secrets and the Prisoner of Azkaban would likely have never happened.
  • But finally and I think what takes importance here, the Goblet of Fire might actually make sense this time round and not a story that only works because of contrivances and idiocy.

Special thanks to my mother Carolyn for giving me the idea for this week’s What if.

P.S. It is the Philosopher’s Stone not the Sorcerer’s Stone. It’s based on the mythological material of the same name that in legend, can turn lead into gold and gives people unnatural long life. I really wish US publishers would just give it correct title at this point, like Square Enix did with the Final Fantasy games and Dragon Quest.

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