When we speak of Lily’s Love that protected Harry, we tend to overlook that it was not only that person’s love at work. What Lily did for Harry was what any mother would do, cast herself in front of a danger that would take her life instead of her child’s.
The love that I am speaking of, started much before Harry came into existence. It started when a socially awkward Severus Snape fell in love with a young Lily. The night Lily died saving Harry’s life, we can say one form of her perished, but another very significant part lived on.
If Snape’s unrequited love died with Lily that night, Harry’s story would have turned out very differently. It was Snape who actually showed what love is all about, even if the other person didn’t know it existed. He saw Lily in Harry’s eyes, and though was not fond of him as he was much like his father James, Snape played his part extremely well, till the end.
The protection therefore was provided by everyone else, the unwilling Dursleys, the caring Weasleys, Harry’s many friends at Hogwarts, Minerva McGonagall, Dobby and others who fought with the Order and of course Albus Dumbledore. He was instrumental in seeking out Tom Riddle, a most unfortunate credit to his name, amongst his many merits.
But the one person who had lost everything dear to him and protected in the name of a memory was Severus. It is said eyes are the window to the soul, and part of his died seeing Lily’s lifeless gaze the night Voldemort cast the killing curse.
Much is spoken of the love that binds two people, the love between parents and children, siblings, friends, but what of the unrequited kind? That is the clear hero of this tale.