I toyed w/the idea that if Lily could love Snape-albeit in a solely friendly way-then so could someone else in a romantic way. I tried to work out what sort of personality could deal with Snape, and what sort of woman he'd be attracted to. This isn't a sappy love story. There is a progression from tolerance, to understanding, to love, with emphasis on Snape's redemptive cycle. *The OC is not a Lily clone or a Mary Sue. Give her time to develop.