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Still in Snape's memory:

Lily stands over James in zir chair, and James looks up at Lily.

LILY: How would you feel if you were in his place? If you were poor? If people hated you? He feels that way every day, Potter! And if you were on the ground and he was in that chair, how would you like it if I stood here and said, "Go on, Serverus, keep hexing Potter – it's hilarious –"

We see an image illustrating the hypothetical situation Lily describes. The young Snape is sitting on the chair, pointing zir wand down at James, who is lying on the ground. Some other people stand around. Lily stands by the chair and smiles at Snape.

Back in Snape's memory, the younger Snape has gotten up. Ze lunges at James, casting a curse which causes some cuts to appear on James's face.


James looks back towards Snape angrily.

JAMES: Levicorpus! { The incantation of a spell that lifts a person into the air, usually for the purpose of bullying. }

Snape is levitated, upside down.

LILY { right behind James }: You're not listening to me! Let him go!

JAMES: Fine. Liberacorpus. { The counter-jinx to Levicorpus. }

JAMES: You're lucky Evans was here, Snivellus.

SNAPE { walking away }: Bah. Thanks, Evans.

The narrative frame of Snapes's memory closes. Back in Snape's office, Snape is breaking the Legilimency link with a hand.

SNAPE: That will do. Now...

(hide transcript)
First · Archive · ⚠ depicts cartoon blood (disable content warnings) ⚠ disabled (enable content warnings) · encourage me

James is from a rich pure-blood family, and ze's very popular, so ze's basically at the top of wizarding society. Lily is not only a muggle-born, but also makes no attempt to hide it or conform to wizarding social norms. At any moment, people could start making fun of James for zir obvious interest in Lily.

So, to avoid that, James constantly asserts zir dominant position by attacking Snape, who's unpopular and, not coincidentally, has a muggle parent.

Lily and James actually like each other, but their relationship is slightly cramped by James's refusal to acknowledge zir pure-blood privilege.

It would be nice to have more scenes showing what Lily and James's relationship is like when they're not arguing with each other, but, well, the original books didn't include much of that either.

Approximate readability: 11.89 (635 characters, 136 words, 6 sentences, 4.67 characters per word, 22.67 words per sentence)