Ah, yes, the dreaded sex scene. To be honest, I tend to skim through them. (Although I was rather offended by a reviewer who seemed to suggest that because you're a mom, you had no business writing explicit scenes -- Baloney!) My main critique was that the scene after Bella left was not so suggestive of the two characters as it was a pretty darn realistic portrayal of a scene that plays itself out between men and women caught in that situation. It was well done. But the characters kind of got lost in the situation, if that makes sense.
On the other hand, I was glad to see Narcissa being so persistant. (On the third other hand, as you know, these things rarely turn out well. Especially when your teenaged son, whom you know will sell the information to the highest parental bidder, knows.)
This was a really good, quite believable story. Obviously, you tweaked the dates a bit (Snape would have been a contemporary of Lily and James, contrary to what the infalible Lexicon says, and Narcissa would be closer to Lucius, who was a prefect and presumably at least 5th year.)
I read reviews before I read the story and they made much of the timing, so my two cents worth.
What I thought was effective was how you got to the curious attractiveness of the Snapish character -- the dark brooding (clinically depressed) male who, if you scratch the surface, presents a sensitive, strong, quite sexy personality that is excellent mate material.
Only choice I wondered about was your decision to leave Lily, the great lost love, out of the picture. (Not that it wasn't a good or right decision -- just crossed my mind to wonder why you chose to do it that way.) Good job.
Author's Response: Thanks for your thoughts! RE the decision to leave out Lily: I wrote the story before DH, so that wasn't canon yet. (Nor for that matter was Narcissa's age until the Black family tree came out just around the time I posted the story.)
Very nice. I loved the language you used, it was very mannered which is exactly how I would have pictured it.
Aw, this was such a cute chapter. I'm not going to go any farther because of the warnings, but I could really understand how this could be a stand alone. I admire your take on this couple; they seem like just the pairing that would have to sneak around around someone else because they have another lover that they don't feel the same way about. I like how you've incorporated this, and it just makes the story that much more thrilling.
Unfortunately he had no family worth mentioning and certainly none with whom my own family could associate. Looking back it shames me to admit that, at eleven, I considered myself quite above him.
This is exactly how I would imagine Narcissa feeling. Brilliant. I think that just about anyone would feel themselves about Snape, because he is always portrayed as a greasy-haired, arrogant boy, sometimes in fan fictions even with abuse parents. I like this sentence, a lot, though, because Narcissa is described as a woman that 'appeared to have something smelly under nose' and that makes me happy that you've incorporated that she stuck up.
By the time we entered our sixth year at school, my future was all mapped out. Lucius had expressed interest in me to my father, and both our families were delighted by the prospect of such an alliance.
While I can see this happening, I find it very clichéd. Nearly all of the Lucius/Narcissa pairings I read have the prospect that either Narcissa was bid on by Lucius and had or their families had arranged it. While you've worded it nicely in your story, I think that you could have at least added a bit of romance to it and they actually feeling something toward each other. While I know Lucius may be excited because of a small crush on a girl he's admired, she is five years younger, and he could have easily have had another.
Why should I have thought any differently when even Lucius Malfoy, a fifth year and one of the most popular boys in school, treated me like a little princess?
However, I checked the Lexicon and Lucius and her are the same age, give or take a few months. You may have missed that tiny detail, but I just thought you should know. Lucius was born in 1954 and Narcissa in 1955. So, that could even have placed them in the same year.
Also, Severus was born in 1958 or 1959, as stated on the Lexicon as well. So, he wouldn't even have been at Hogwarts the same time they were, almost. Well, they would have been in their fifth years or so, but Narcissa and he would not have shared this relationship, though, because of their age, I think. Other than their ages and the mishaps on the dates, the story is rather nice.
The return of the other students made it more difficult to pursue our new friendship, but it didn’t end it.
I can definitely see this happening; Snape isn't the most popular boy at Hogwarts--- there are probably first years more popular than he is, and Narcissa (if she were going to be married to Lucius) would not be seen publicly hanging out with someone like that. It's kind of sad, though, that their friendship had to stop because of the other students. It goes to show that everyone is self-conscious of themselves in some way.
Thus, as winter blossomed into spring, I found myself spending every spare moment with Severus.
While I really do like how their relationship is blossoming, I really can't help but feel that, with all of Lucius' might connections at the Ministry, that someone (either a fellow student that's still a school or a professor) would tell him, Lucius, of his future wife's and friend's relationship. I'd be a bit weary if my boyfriend were associating with my friend like that so much.
“Don’t speak of him”
I think that you may have forgotten a comma here.
“I will always love you.”
Aw, this was very sweet! I really like this---- even though Severus has denied her, it's good to know that they actually did, at this time, love each other, and Severus loves her enough to abandon her for her to have a better life. Nice input in that.
While I thought this could have had more description, I really liked this story. I wish I could go on and see what happens in the next years, but the warnings kind of makes me cringe at the aspect, so my reading will only branch to this chapter. Good story, though, even though if you had done a bit of research you would have found that you will need an AU warning on their ages. I really liked their romance, and I hope to see more from you. Nice work.
Author's Response: Thanks for all the wonderful comments and suggestions! This first chapter is definitely one of my least favorite pieces, so it's good to hear what could be improved. Oh, fyi: Good story, though, even though if you had done a bit of research you would have found that you will need an AU warning on their ages. Story written pre-Black family tree.
I just rad your bio, and decided, it is ok if you come on here and write stories, but it is really, really bad if you write something like THAT. Being a mother of, how many was it, 3? 4? You should know better. Since you haveobviously, you know, done it w/ someone to have kids, then you must be working from experience for a lot of romance, right? Pease, refrain from writing anything more like that. It really disgusts me that a grown woman with children would come on here and write such a graphic story that younger people may end up readng. I'm sorry, but I will not read any more of your stories.
Author's Response: Graphic? That's an odd way to describe it. But, in any case, the story isn't rated for children anyway, so it shouldn't be a problem.
Damn it! There should have been another sex scene! I looooovvvveeeee iiiiittttt!!!!!!!!!! Darn, write some more!!!!! Yay!!!!
Author's Response: Well, I certainly appreciate the kind words of your first two reviews, but I'm certainly confused by the third. You do realize that the story is rated for adults only, right? I wonder why you would say you like the story and then Flame it....
Aw, that's so beautiful!!!!! I feel bad for Snape. He only had one love, and she was stolen away. So sad. So what was the sexual warnung for??? Wait, there's another chapter! It could be in there! AAAHHH!!! 10/10
Author's Response: Hopefully in a good way?
make another and quick
Author's Response: I'm trying, but it won't be quick.... I'm such a slow writer, and I have too many different ideas going at once! Thanks for reading, though!
Very cool. I read the first chapter of this around Christmas time, before I had an account here, and I really enjoyed it. I was totally psyched when I saw this in the recently updated section.
Your second chapter was great too. I love stories that make Snape and the Blacks look more human. I refuse to believe that they are all evil, horrible people.
Anyway, good job! Keep it up!
Author's Response: Thank you for the kind words! I also like stories that try to look beyond the Slytherin/Gryfindor stereotypes, so I'm glad you think I succeeded with this one!
all this about snape and his encounter with narcissa is more like an outlet for your opinions on his position. you do your research on him, dont you. i liked it, but how is draco supposed to react? i mean, i know how he does react during school, but do you think he actually understood? hmm...well keep writing you obviously have a gift for it!
Author's Response: LOL! Yes, fanfiction is definitely a nice outlet for all our HP theories! I don't know if this really happened (probably not since we get very little insight into the adults of HP and I doubt we'll learn much more about any possible romantic relationships between Narcissa and Snape in bk 7), but I think it's a fun way to explain Draco's reaction to Snape in book 6. Thanks for reviewing!
Wow. I dunno what I was expecting, but wow. I never suspected Narcissa and Snape having any kind of relationship other than purely formal until Spinners End, and I think it sparked a whole new list of possibilites in fanfiction, and it seems to me you took advantage of it. I read a story similar to this one that was Lily/Snape. Narcissa isn't the tainted character she is when she grows up in this one, but seeing Narcissa that way is refreshing. And Snape will always be Snape.
Author's Response: Thanks for this review, too! Sorry it took so long to answer, especially because I really do appreciate hearing your thoughts. No, I don't think Narcissa always was such a tainted character; Spinner's End helped me to see that there is so much to these other characters that we can't see through Harry's eyes. I'm so curious to see how things turn out in the real story!
-pokes the letters to heaven review- Hehe. I'm still lazy! Bloody brilliant, keep writin'!
Author's Response: Reviews like yours definitely keep me writing! Thank you again, Lilac!
I loved it! It is such a powerful story!
Only a couple of days ago I was rereading HBP, and when I was reading the second chapter I actually found myself starting to believe in the Narcissa/Snape ship. Only two days later I found your fiction and it just fit perfectly with almost everything that we know so far.
The comparison with shattered glass is amazing and I found myself fighting to hold back tears as I kept reading this story. Severus' decision at the very end, was so like him, and I could just picture this whole thing happening. Needless to say, the young Severus reminded me of the young Draco. Just the way they keep their feelings bottled up and cause themselves heartache.
Overall, a very well-written fic that has a very good chance of winning! Rating-10.
Author's Response: Thank you for reviewing again. I'm very touched by your response! Although I'm also drawn to the Lily/Snape ship (or at least a crush on his part), Spinner's End really made us all stop and think, didn't it!? P.S. I didn't win, but I still picked up some house points by submitting (and yay to xadie who did win--she's Ravenclaw too!).
So painful and sad. Interesting how gradually they came to know one another. That fits them, somehow, in my mind. Your tone when writing Narcissa seemed eerily accurate, especially as it was first person, and coming from one who can write other, very diverse characters, so very well. You have a bit of the chameleon in you, I think.
Author's Response: I was a bit worried about using the first person, but I think I learned to identify a bit with Narcissa when I saw her as the worried mother in book 6. It somehow humanized her for me. I'm so glad you feel I've succeeded in my characterization of her!
I like this look on romance. Not all romance works out and you managed to portray a doomed romance beautifully, while still allowing the reader to hope that perhaps this time things will change and they will live 'happily ever after'. You captured young Narcissa's attitude wonderfully. Her want of adoration and unable to see the wrong in her relationship with Lucius until it was to late. The most telling comment was when she mentions that she realizes her friends really weren't much friends, they all spent so much time schemeing for themselves that they did not have time for each other. Besides that I was grateful for the fact that this romance wasn't one of roses and kisses. That the two of them gradually grew close by walking, and just communing with one another. There weren't hidden escapades of snogging or a gushing of emotions. Rather you created a realistic romance for the two of them. It is truely a great job and explains more as to the history behind Spinners End. In fact you echo Spinners End when Narcissa asked Snape not to tell anyone she didn't want to marry Lucius and she knew she could trust him. Congratulations on such a lovely fanfic.
Author's Response: Thanks for the thoughtful review, Ksenia! Maybe sometime I will try my hand at snogging scenes, but I tend to think that romance is more about...well, I guess communion is a good word for it! I'm glad I was able to portray Narcissa in a believable way; oddly enough, I actually tend to feel sorry for her because I imagine she's a bit trapped by her inherited sense of superiority, so I wanted to show that--given time--she could be capable of honest and relatively self-less affection. I appreciate your comments!
I love the way you depicted Narcissa; the prim, proper and aloof high society lady so well.
This story does explain as to why Snape agreed to help Narcissa when she pleaded for him to watch over Draco.
Such a sad and doomed romance. Poignant how both of them are willing to sacrifice / let go of it for their ambitions.
Author's Response: Thanks, Nutty! You understand exactly what I was trying to convey: the motivations that gave us "Spinner's End." Sad and doomed express it so well...but not in the way of Romeo and Juliet. (I always think of Shakespeare now when I think of the nutty imp :)!) As your comment suggests, their sacrifice is quite the opposite of that famous pair! Or maybe not.... Maybe each of them thinks he or she is sacrificing his or her own happiness for the ambitions of the other. The lack of communication prevents them from ever knowing what the other really feels or wants. Anyway, thanks for reading and reviewing!
Positively lovely my dear. Narcissa walked off the page with her self centered posh princess attitude and escorted me into her world.
Unexpected love that actually would explain some of the choices Snape made in HBP. This is a polished bit of fiction.
I want to read an AU where Serverus gets the girl now! I guess I'll plot about that on the commute home tonight.
Author's Response: He does deserve to get the girl sometime, doesn't he? When you give her to him, I hope you let him hold on a good long time! And it doesn't have to be AU until after JK produces book 7; until then, there's still plenty of room for redemption! But seriously now: thank you for the applause! *bows* I'm suddenly feeling very cheery! :)
Excellent job! This is a very creative and clever idea for a story. I was most impressed by the fact that your story could fit perfectly inside JK's world. Your fresh take and sensitivity in your words were touching but not overdone. I also liked how Snape was seen in a more compassionate light but still did not lack his trademark bitterness. Great job and good luck!
Author's Response: I'm so glad you liked my story! I was hoping I would succeed at making it fit into the Potterverse--though I have to thank Magical Mauve for much of Snape's characterization (but only the good parts!).
Wow! I think you probably know how much I love dear Severus, so I was holding back a tear whilst reading this fan fiction.
The way you portrayed him, as such a reserved and uncomfortable buy (not a man like Lucius) was exactly as I see him. I can just imagine him on Christmas morning, sat reading one of his many books and pretending it was a normal day. His locked heart throughout the fan fiction, I beleive is true to the books. However, i would have liked him to open up something at the end, before everything was shattered. I would just liked to have peeped into his soul for a second. I also wouldn't have minded a bit extra at the end, showing how as he grew into adulthood he never trusted love again. However, his lack of faith in love is present throughout your fan fiction, the way he can't tell her and how he beleives he doesn't have a match. It made me pity him a little, but also reminded me of how I feel at the moment.
Narcissa was interesting! At the moment I'm working on a romance between Snape and Lily so I was a little reluctant to accepting a woman, who I beleive is so cold, having affections for Snape. I do love how you portrayed her aloofness and how that hinders her with the relationship. I especially liked her grudge on Sirius at the end, showing she does share the elitist attitude of her family. She appears to be someone very swept up by other people, someone who will never be allowed to make her own decisions. This is reinforced in Spinner's End, I can see how you used that chapter as your starting block for her personality and relationship with Snape. You've changed my mind about Narcissa, I'm beginning to pity the way Lucius treats her and her fate, being a Death Eaters wife. I also loved the way you voiced her, the sarcasm and Slytherin-esque comments. She is certainly plausible. I would have liked her to put up more of a fight at the end, clinging to him and not breaking the relationship due to one small hindrence. It makes me beleive she was just infatuated by him.
I would also like to comment on your imagery of shattered glass. You kept it minimilistic, which I liked. Repeating the same "wonderland" image which I think fits well with their walks around the lake and Christmas get together. I am someone who tends to go overboard when it comes to imagery. You managed to successfully convey a strong image whilst keeping to the plot.
I believe this story has potential to go further, should a plot bunny jump out at you! Good luck with the competition, I think it's given us Ravenclaws a good chance of winning!
Author's Response: Wow! Thanks for the thoughtful review! You've given me lots to think about. Concerning Severus: I don't think this experience would have made him afraid of love because he already didn't trust love to begin with on account of his wretched family and his awful treatment at school. Also, take it from me, we homely people learn early not to hope--it just gets us hurt. He felt lucky for any time he had and his gratitude lasted into adulthood--hence Narcissa's ability to ask for his help. And, of course, my real focus was Narcissa. So sorry I didn't convey the loss she was feeling because I meant to show that she in fact really DID love Severus and wasn't simply infatuated. However, her own background, I feel, would instill a certain pride that would prevent her begging. Anyway, thanks for reviewing! I really appreciate the ideas for improvement you've given me!