I adore how you've written seemingly insignificant details of JKR's work into your fanfic! While recently rereading OotP, I happened upon 'Lily's' jar of cockroaches. I was, therefore, tickled to see the same jar that crashed above Harry's head, find a similar fate here. I have also been waiting, for some time actually, for you to justify Severus' hatred of Harry to me. I am beginning to understand now. I sincerely hope that in HP7, we learn for certain that Snape is not the monster Harry believed him to be.
Author's Response: The insignificant jar of cockroaches was actually one of the prompts for this story altogether. Everything else in his collection is pickled in some way and floating in some fluid or other, so the dried things stand out. Everything else is on a shelf; the cockroaches are on the desk. Who else would have a jar of roaches with sentimental value -- which is certainly what it is starting to look like? And if they are, in fact, sentimental roaches, why would he throw those in particular at Harry? And here came several more chapters... They're never in order, you know, when they come to me.
Great chapter. I had initially thought you would end the story at this point, but now I can see you writing to the HBP and beyond - and I would read it. I always thought it odd for someone as prickly and independent as Canon!Snape to bow and scrape to The Dark Git. Your Severus is the same way. From now on he will be gritting his teeth through life.
Author's Response: "The Dark Git" -- okay, that one's going in the vocabulary too. Severus will probably still be my muse/collaborator/subject for some time yet, but I'm not sure how that'll cash out. Thanks for reviewing!
The elegant flow of the prose continues to amaze me.Wonderful job! I think your story is one of the most heartfelt ones I have read! I really enjoy seeing the trials and tribulations that Snape has to go through, it really makes one wonder if this is the true Snape, not the pejudiced view that we see through the eyes of Harry Potter.
Author's Response: It's been interesting, trying to de-Harry him and see what's left, and then make guesses from there. You see how many chapters of guesses it came to! Thank you for the lovely review!
I see Harry isn't the only one who's anger demolishes Dumbledore's office. Nice parallel. It never occured to me his arrest could have taken place during school hours, at Hogwarts; a good thing the students were all in class, indeed. And an albatross. You very nearly had me in tears. That is one of the most moving, heartbreaking things that could have happened... after he tried to hard to forget... I thought it was interesting, how you had him meet with Sirius like that; "I didn't do it..." Was he talking to himself or to Severus? I suppose it doesn't really matter, either way it did no good. The way you write Severus, you make his thought processes so believable; never more so than now, when his grief is eating away at him. No wonder he clings so hard to his pride. The one thing they can never take away... 11/10. I like this story more with every chapter, however said it may be.
Author's Response: Thank you, thank you. I'm glad you find Severus believable and sympathetic. Sirius was probably saying it to himself, as he was glad to see Severus in Azkaban as well and the Dementors latched onto that immediately -- but you're right, it really doesn't matter.
Hi. I just finished reading your entire story up to this point, and let me say, Amazing! It all flows so well and seems very probable for what could have happened. You really feel like you know Snape through your story and his actions begin to make sense. You have me convinced that this is exactly what Jo has in her head about Snape's past. Thanks for writing such a brilliant story! And I will say that you had me near tears with Voldemort's attack on the Potter's. I mean, we knew that's what happened, but reading it from this point of view really hits you hard. Great job.
Author's Response: Wow. Thanks. I hope it's what Jo has in mind; it'll make a real difference in book 7, won't it?
I gues that chapter was more for sticking to Harry Potter material than anything...are you going to continue writing this story until we find out what happens to Snape in book 7? I'd like to note something about the pattern in your chapters. They grow steadily more gruesome. From his mother being a flimsy person to his father beating him, Malfoy bullying him, father dying, Lily leaving him (although she returns but then gets married)And the Narcissa aspect...need i say more about her. Kidnapped and recruited by Lord Voldemort. Snape's way of growing up or luck changing?
I gues that chapter was more for sticking to Harry Potter material than anything...are you going to continue writing this story until we find out what happens to Snape in book 7? I'd like to note something about the pattern in your chapters. They grow steadily more gruesome. From his mother being a flimsy person to his father beating him, Malfoy bullying him, father dying, Lily leaving him (although she returns but then gets married)And the Narcissa aspect...need i say more about her. Snape's way of growing up or luck changing?
Author's Response: Steadily more gruesome indeed -- he's older and can handle a little more, but more is also what will get handed to him. The less said about Narcissa the better, I'd say. This chapter contains seeds of many things, but also was in there because we had what Dumbledore and Trelawney had to say about the incident, and what Harry made of it, but the Severus perspective was, to my mind anyway, sadly neglected. I try to be fair to him.
Author's Response: Ack! I have to think so to answer your reviews that I keep forgetting to add: Thanks for leaving them!!!
I am not only deeply impressed, but profoundly sad. You added an extra curve of confusion there with Severus--Black suspects Peter and Lupin, and Severus, who suspects Peter, Black and Lupin, who suspects Black, who's suspected soon by Dumbledore and half the wizarding world. Wow. I've never really seen how Severus could have been at the Potter's house that night, but you offered a very viable solution. But about the Unbreakable Vow--didn't he survive because he promised to try to do everything in his power to protect them, and he did try, even though he failed? Or perahps it's because Lily sacrificed herself willingly? Will he ever make the connection between that day they spent with the old Latin texts and the ancient-feeling force he felt there at the end? I also love the way you had him fighting the magic, describing it's force. Depressing subject matter, hence the reason I'm sad now, lol, but wonderfully well written. I hope you have a few more chapters hidden up your sleeves, though... or a sequel... because this makes for a terribly depressing ending. :(
Author's Response: You've figured out the Unbreakable Vow; he hasn't yet. He didn't phrase it quite the way he meant to. This would indeed be an awful ending, and a complete one all the same. But I just posted another, and there are a few more behind it before hitting a 'the end.' After that, heaven knows. Bunnies galore. Thanks for reviewing!
You know, I can't help but say that Severus had it coming. He was becoming too friendly before his trip to the manor, and killing his own child...wretched, but appropriate. As for the "nonconsentual sex" I still can't sympathize, but sometimes it seems he underestimates people because he doesn't want to continue getting things right...or not.
Author's Response: "had it coming"? Remind me not to get on your bad side! Lots of people do overcome awful childhoods, so I tried to put him on that path briefly before sticking him with an equally awful adulthood. But there are some methods of dealing with people, and some things he really ought to know, that simply were never put into the toolbox. And some never are, I think.
Oh, and one more question to add to that ridiculously long review I left you (sorry!)... Will we perhaps be meeting young Weasleys in the near future? Or am I just really confused on my timeline? I hate that blasted thing... just wondering! Keep up the good work!
Author's Response: Alas, the timeline claimed Bill came in the next year after Severus started teaching. Originally he was the Cockroach-Cluster prankster, but then I went and checked my dates... And decided Kingsley was a perfectly wonderful candidate for pranks as well. It was the Stubby Boardman story, I think.
Something tells me that Severus might quietly appreciate Arthur and Molly just for never being his teachers, his classmates, or his students, since so much of his life is defined by Hogwarts. So far, though, that bunny hasn't hopped.
Great update! Loved the visit from Lily, but it made me sad - if "Lily Junior," as Snape hilariously dubbed Harry, is a year old, and school is starting, this means that Halloween is fast approaching. The interaction between McG and Snape was fantastic, and I liked the sly relation of teaching to chess - knowing the pieces, then learning the positions and the moves, and then eventually, winning. Her advice on detentions versus taking house points brilliantly explains Snape's later affinity for docking the trio for every.single.little.thing. Very much enjoyed the Gwenog Jones and Kingsley Shacklebolt part, although a part of me thought perhaps Shacklebolt was in school with the Marauders, Lily and Snape. But you're doing a FANTASTIC job keeping everything believable and, even if we can't prove it, I'm taking this as a strict version of canon. Keep up the good work, and I'm looking forward to seeing how Severus (there, I called him Severus!) deals with his beloved Saint's death. What will his role be? Will he feel guilt? Is this what sends him over the edge to the good side, but makes him the formidable teacher that we know in Rowling's work? In the end of the chapter you say "something's gotta give," and the time is coming for his Death Eater duties to be over with. This is at once exciting and frightening. The price he pays for more hours in the day is overwhelmingly going to be the cause of his lack of sleep at night. Poor Severus - this story is definitely living up to its name: before, I couldn't imagine feeling sympathy for Mr. Snape, but now, I can't help but think of the series in a whole new light. Brava, and ten out of ten, even though I wish I could give you 100 out of ten! :)
Author's Response: You did call him Severus! Yay! I'm tickled pink. The next chapters are coming as soon as Slian and I work out where her beta-reading comments are going in the passage from Mac to PC. It's all very mysterious. Thanks for reviewing!
I really love the way Snape is growing up and also his new approaches to cheating. I like the idea that he was really more protecting himself with his nastiness than anything else. And I lovee how Minerva and Severus talked about the difference in the houses and the way Severus understands his Slytherins soo well. It was truly well done and I loved the visit from Lily. Little Shacklebolt was a nice touch too! Great work! I just noticed a slight misspelling when Severus put something near the "enrolment" papers. That was it though, the update was perfect!
Author's Response: "Enrolment" blew my mind too, but the UK setting on my spell-check insists it is proper -- strange, no? Thanks for the review! And all the lovins!
I very much enjoyed this chapter! You are maturing Snape so convincingly, that I sometimes forget this story isn't canon! Loved meeting Kingsley and Gwenog in their younger years, too.
Author's Response: Thanks! Especially for the canon remark. I think one of the bunny-ancestors for this story was checking the timeline and realizing that the seventh-year students would not only remember him, but also know the answer to "Boxers or briefs?" That could only be awkward. I started wondering how much of his approach to teaching came from exactly that.
Heh. I particularly enjoyed this chapter because of all the jobs I've had, the one I have now - teaching middle school - kicks my ass the most. The trick is to take charge hard at the beginning of the year, but not lose one's temper.
Author's Response: Hurrah! A review from an actual honest-to-goodness middle school teacher! I was extrapolating from a life around universities, as sometimes the real difference seems to be only whether or not there are ashtrays by the entrances. "...but not lose one's temper" is making me chuckle. Thanks for reviewing!
This is a great story, I'm really enjoying finding out more about Snape. I'd go through your manuscript for this chapter, I think you forgot the ending italics tag after the howler. I have a feeling you didn't intend to make everything else on the page in italics. Great job!
Author's Response: I missed a / apparently, and it is now fixed. You were quite right. So thank you for both the nice review and the alert! I do indeed prefer to have these things tidied up.
Do I spy a bit of foreshadowing? "It may cost lives..." Emmeline Vance? If that's anything like the way it really happened, then I shall rejoice in the knowledge that in cannon as here Snape is not a cold blooded killer. ;) I loved the swtiching aisles remark--humerous, sarcastic, and oh so very Severus. Great job as always!
Author's Response: "Killing Emmeline" is yet another unwritten but present plotbunny/title. Someday, maybe, it will also make it into the hutch. The switching-aisles remark -- sarcastic, dry, but just that teensy bit more considerate than Harry or the Marauders would ever credit... *wicked chuckle* It just had to go in.
Ah, thank you for clarifying the birthday bit. I was so confused trying to figure out why Severus was having such good weather on his birthdays. I think it's funny that Rowlings made him a Capricorn after all - with Richard Nixon's birthday, to boot. I think I see where your story is going to end now. Sigh. Great job as always.
Author's Response: Richard Nixon was born on St. Severinus' day? Now that's funny.
Thanks for reviewing; I always do appreciate these.
A Big Event indeed! I love the image of Snape pacing after Harry's death, like so many fathers do before the birth of a child. And the image of "Uncle Severus" gave me a good laugh - as did his retort that he would "wait until apparating age." Sooooo Snape. You've yet to disappoint me, you've tied everything together well; my only hope is that the updates keep occurring at lightening speed. And my I commend you on the subtle twist on Snape's reaction to the prophecy you added: "Consider: if you were to hear 'The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches,' as you are in fact approaching, would you not listen?... I felt it healthiest to report the incident to the best of my abilities. Especially as an approaching late-July Leo myself." I never thought of Snape overhearing the prophecy in that way. As he is indeed very literal, I can imagine his shock at walking down a hallway and hearing "The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches." I commend you on your ability to take each and every bit that Jo gives us and turn it into something that makes sense! Keep up the outstanding work.
Author's Response: Thank you! I wanted to make everyone who had talked about the prophecy in canon tell the truth, and this way at least added up reasonably. Of course, I wrote his birthday in without being able to find a lick of canon on it last fall, and now know Jo put it elsewhere, but... AU, anyone? Your review is, as always, a real day-improver.
Did "Charlus" come from The Black Family Tree? Still enjoying the story, always a pleasure to find a new chapter!
Author's Response: He did indeed. Thanks for reviewing!
Aha! An unbreakable vow! I knew it!! I also love the reasoning behind Severus looking for hope, and how naturally his double agent role came about. My favorite line was about the two kinds of Death Eaters. Brilliant. Anything to save the Prince. ;)
Author's Response: Finding out that Severus had been a Death Eater in GoF puzzled me mightily -- he just never struck me as, well, obedient enough. It seemed rather a liability. The rest followed... Thanks for reviewing!