Did Snape Care About Lily?

(Part of a many part series of posts called "Whose Side Is Snape On?")

I've been trying to resist this one for awhile now. It seems, almost a little over the top to me. But I re-read OP the other day and couldn't ignore the clues.  (Ok, I had some help from Sweet Husband.)

First, the one clue that doesn't fit--or does it? When Harry looked into the Pensieve and saw "Snape's Worst Memory" (towards the end of OOP) Snape called Lily a "mudblood". To some, this means shows that he couldn't have cared for her. Personally, I think this might mean the opposite for two reasons....

  1. Why is this "Snape's Worst Memory"? Surely it isn't the fact that he was picked on by James. From the sound of it, James picked on him all the time--why was this time the "worst"? Perhaps because Lily was there...maybe because she witnessed his humiliation...maybe because he, in his anger at James, called her a mudblood and ended their friendship....
  2. In the memory in the Pensieve, Lily doesn't like James--she kind of tells him off in fact. But they still end up together. Maybe a clue that, although this scene shows Snape and Lily at odds, the Pensieve isn't showing the whole story....

Second, never, never, never, in all of the (many, many, many) times that someone says, "Snape hated James" does anyone say, "Snape hated Lily" or even "Snape hated James and Lily". It's just never mentioned.

Third, Lily was given the chance to live. Although the Dark Lord doesn't seem the type to grant reprieves on request, Snape had just brought him an important bit of information. What's more Snape is nothing if not clever--if he wanted to save Lily I think he could find a way. And otherwise why on earth would Voldey give Lily a chance like that?