I can't keep my love of Rowling's writing hidden anymore~! Snape has always been my favourite character, though I'd only seen the movies. I've now read only the last two books (ok, technically Jim Dale read them to me) and my favourite plot line in the series is Severus' story arc.
I found the story of this character in the HP series really heart breaking, much more than any other. From Harry's point of view, Severus is a untrustworthy, evil man out to get him. This couldn't be further from the truth. Snape is one of the characters who sacrifices the most to protect Harry.
Snape was the one who told Voldemort of the prophecy, which lead to the murder of the Potters, including the one person Snape ever loved, Lily Potter. It's Lily's death that causes him to defect from the Death Eaters, and from this point forward everything he does is to ensure the safety of the only thing she left behind, her son. It is this dedication, this constant focus on this one duty, which is so heartbreaking...while always carrying this pain of loving someone forever lost.
One of my favourite scenes is from The Half-Blood Prince, when Harry is chasing down Snape after seeing him kill Dumbledore. In anger, Harry attempts to call him a coward, but Snape interupts and yells with fury "Don't call me coward". It's not until you've finished the series that you realise why Snape takes such offense. Dumbledore was the one person who always had faith in Snape and trusted him, and he was forced to kill him, the only real friend he ever really had. He is also forced to pretend that he is still loyal to Voldemort, the one who killed Lily, and act as his right hand man. On top of all this, everytime Snape looks at Harry, he is reminded of James Potter, the man he hates and married Lily, because of the father/son resemblance. But then, (and this makes for the saddest death scene!) Severus can't help but be reminded of Lily, since the boy has his mother's eyes.
So ANYWAY~ this picture is of my favourite scene, where Severus reveals his patronus charm, and shows that, yes, after all these years, he still loves Lily: "Always."
I think I have my huge nerdy Snape rant out of me now, lol.