Whee! Another chapter, and what a plot-thickening chapter it is. I love the subtle way you have Lily and Severus drifting apart - not because of actual estrangement but because of time and diverging interests. Severus is down to porridge and tea while Lily has a full life with a house and a job. Lily is fighting the good fight with a passion, Severus is the eternal observer. What will finally cause him to join the Death Eaters, I wonder? The promise of research funding maybe? I can't see Severus (your's or Rowling') joining the Death Eaters with eyes open, but could he be tricked? I can't wait to find out.
Author's Response: Thank you for reviewing! We're getting into the bit where I can't reply much without spoiling something, but I appreciate the comment on the drift apart due to life in general.
I love the whole story so far! I can't wait to see what happens in the end. It was very clever how you tied in all the bits we already know from Snapes past like from HBP etc. I also can't wait to see how Snape ends up becoming a spy for LV and how he gains his trust etc!! Keep it coming!
Author's Response: Thank you for reviewing! I'm finishing up the polishing on the DE bits; there's more, I promise! *reminds self to take own advice, stay off forums, and WRITE*
Adorable, I really liked Severus's ideas of what a host family does, and your ideas about Americans focusing on muggle studies but being lax about defense. Very well done as always, it was a really new form but I liked it. I really enjoyed the changes in what he called Lily and also the little references to things she said in reply letters. Well done indeed! The bribe to Slughorn was a good touch as well!
Author's Response: Thanks! I suspect the bribe to Slughorn was the always-appreciated candied pineapple -- nice and light for those international mailings -- and that Severus would find no need to say so. I keep trying to decide if there's a story brewing on the Wizarding world of Chicago, and if so, what it is. So far they're just on the perimeter here. Thanks for reviewing!
i had to read it....nothing can stop me;-D. I thought it was certainly different than the other chapters. Snape is getting too nice to people. I should have seen it coming. And Lily is finally married, pretty quickly too. Why was Snape researching bug repellant perfume anyways?
Author's Response: Good to have you back! You know you had to read it... and thanks for stopping to say so as well. Bug-repellant perfume? Because of the unfortunate fact of the working world -- you do what the boss wants you to do. Call it doubly challenging for our Severus, perhaps. *evil grin* And one more reason for England to look better than it might otherwise.
I really liked this chapter; it was clever the way you let us know the content of Lily's letters a bit through Severus's responses. And researching make up?? That was a good touch. I'm looking forward to reading the next chapter, but I'm wondering--to you intend to write out his entire story? Up to and including HBP?
Author's Response: I don't plan on making this fic his entire story -- but the spinoffs are in grave danger of getting that way sometimes. I seem to just keep writing him...
I love it! Will we get to see the other side of this correspondence?
Author's Response: "the other side..." Not anytime soon, I'm afraid -- those letters just never came up. You probably could guess some of the high points, though. Thanks for the (amazingly quick) review!
i Do you see no character flaws or weaknesses that might be used to break this essentially decent (but generally misperceived) boy? Break him? Oh, dear, that doesn't sound good at all. Of course, Severus as you write him is deeply flawed. He doesn't believe in himself, he dying to be loved whether he admits it to himself and he a metric buttload of repressed anger. What's worse, he's afraid of his own capacity for anger and won't learn to deal with it. For now, though, he seems so clear-eyed and, well, sensible. Don't get me wrong, I've read all your stories and am sure you'll make a great transition. I just want to see how you pull it off. Oh, look at that, another 10 rating.
Author's Response: Whew! I was afraid I'd done another impossible thing and Gary-Sued poor Snape. Thanks for the review, reply, and ten! (And also for that new unit of measurement -- I'm going to be chuckling over "metric buttload" all day.)
I really like these characterizations of Snape and Lily but I just don't see this particular boy joining the Death Eaters. He's just too selfless and essentially decent to become the Snape Rowling has unveiled so far. Of course, there are those who think Snape has been with The Order longer than we think. I can't see your Severus becoming a Death Eater in earnest for anything, but he'd be up for putting his own life on hold for a year or two (or so he thinks) to infiltrate the Death Eaters. For some reason the following line from Severus is stuck in my head. Severus is being recruited as a spy, and doesn't really see why: "Sir... the traits you mentioned are not talents. They're characters flaws."
Author's Response: "...but I just don't see this particular boy joining the Death Eaters." One of the things I'm exploring with this fic is what it takes to make someone do something that is fundamentally against their nature. Do you see no character flaws or weaknesses that might be used to break this essentially decent (but generally misperceived) boy? If you do not, I've screwed up and need to know about it! I happen to think that Severus as he stands right now is susceptible to the right sort of force from just the right manipulative character -- and there's plenty of those about.
New chapters soon, I promise!
I beg of you, PLEASE DO NOT SEND SNAPE TO THE U.S.!!!!!!!! I'm sorry, I dislike the idea. He should be swept up by the death eaters pretty soon without Dumbledore's knowledge, or Lily's either. Lily and Snape aren't going to see eachother anymore, are they? Especially with James marrying her. So, does teh story end with Hogwarts, or are you going to keep writing till after the Lily-James-Harry-Voldemort party. Hmm....please continue the story anyways!
Author's Response: Too late. The whole monster's all written and sitting on the portable drive. He's only gone for one very indirect chapter -- I promise. It serves a few devious literary purposes, gets him a few things in jars, and gives him some badly-needed work experience. But if you truly hate the idea, just skip ahead to 33.
...... is it me, or did you repeat the whole chapter in itself, somehow....? Weird!
Author's Response: Attention, everyone: this is a very helpful review. Problem fixed after a mere 180 reads! Quite right -- it was doubled, and I probably hit the "copy" twice without realizing it. Thanks!!!
Wow. So Snape is going to America, and Lily is apparently going to get married to James soon. I was excited to finally see the appearance of that Black-Browed Albatross! I also love how you manage to sneak in the oh-so-subtle doubts as to Sirius' *ahem* orientation :)
Might I beg a question answered?? About how much more do you have in store for us before the story's end?? :looks up with sad puppy-dog eyes: Just a hint, maybe?? (I'd be most pleased if you said you were writing up to the summer before canon started!) :grin:
Author's Response: Up to early Nov. of the significant year, then a sort of afterward when Harry starts Hogwarts. After that... other stuff up my sleeve, maybe. For some reason the AU bunnies keep dropping in for carrots. I always am a sucker for puppy-dog eyes.
Aww its very sad that its over, but I'm glad that Lily and Severus both seem to be going where they wish. I wonder how Severus will react to hearing about the marriage and Harry's birth. Will he maybe pay a quick visit to the small child and new mother? Great update as always! I'm incredibly depressed now that I realize we're far more than half way through!
Author's Response: Thanks, and WOW that was fast. This chapter had been up a whole five minutes, I think. We'll be leaving Hogwarts for a few chapters, but back again eventually as you know.
Aww I truly loved seeing how caring Snape could be and how well he can take care of someone in need when he has to. I also really liked how much Madame Pomfrey trusts him. A great chapter to show the way Severus has changed over the years!
Author's Response: Thanks for reviewing! As for the trust Madam Pomfrey is showing, well, every ward needs someone to -- erm, empty the contents of the bedpans, as it were? This was a wonderful chance for Severus to show that many of the character features we tend to think of as his flaws can also be his strengths -- it just depends on the use he's making of them. Annoying, confrontational, cunning, devious... but in this case, at least, in a reasonably moral way.
So whos this new kid Applegarth...will Severus befriend him, will his reputation tear apart because this leaks out, and don't you think having Wilkes out of school is a much more dangerous proposition than having him in school? Who will become the new Wilkes? Wow, Carter actually looks like a "good" guy (relatively speaking) from coming from Slytherin. Amazing how most slytherins end up as death-eaters, after Voldemort left. So, I think Applegarth, being the victim that he is, might either follow the Malfoy path or the Neville path. Ooo I like how Snape has changed so much from having literally no friends to having just Lily to being "friendly" with a whole bunch of people, including Madame Pomfrey.
Author's Response: OH-oh, I sense another OC bunny coming on. Mark Applegarth may just have to express some thoughts on getting his prefect badge in a few years and discovering his new Head of House. Wilkes out of school is probably more dangerous for the world at large, but a considerable improvement for Slytherin House for the moment. Severus is perfectly capable of letting vengeance stay on the back burner until it is called for.
The Howler burst into flames, and Severus looked down at his plate. A pale hand appeared at the edge of his vision for an instant, placing his ring on the table, and Narcissa fled crying.
Awww! Poor Severus! And poor Narcissa! (It's uncanny how we seem to think along this line--Regulus in the reason Snape and Cissa aren't together in my own fic as well! /blatantselfpromotion) :) I reckon we'll see Regulus get his comeuppance for that later on, eh? :evilgrin:
I love how clear you make it that Severus cares about Lily without being explicit about it. They have fun together....he's relaxed and even *euphoric* without swallowing the potion yet. I think by now it's clear to your readers that Severus loves Lily, even though he himself doesn't realize it yet!
And all this is coming from someone who does NOT like the Snape/Lily ship at all--so in other words, you're *really* doing a great job here! :)
Author's Response: I am a welfare mooch in the MNFF review economy -- one of these days I will drop some lines at your fic, I promise.
I'm glad this complicated and contrary SS/LE ship (maybe catamaran) is working for you. I posted a while ago on the beta boards that my favourite reviews are the "I don't usually like ___ but..." ones, and suddenly seem to have a new flock of them. They're still my favourites!
Aha! I had my suspicions about that Hawk bloke...I'm guessing he goes to Azkaban but somehow informs the Dark Lord that there's this great Legilimens he should go recruit named Severus Snape...? :( Love watching all this come together! This bit really shows a different side to Sev than we see with adult/canon!Snape and his house favoritism:
Three people who hated him were ready to hex a professor on principle, on his account. Every now and then he appreciated Gryffindors.
You know what I always give to this fic...10/10 :)
Author's Response: Thanks! Good to know Hawk made you suspicious. The House favouritism will have several facets in future, so I'm delighted with the comment.
Just dropping in to say, this bit is particularly brilliant:
Good." Severus hesitated. "Do you recall Lucius Malfoy?"
"Yes." Carter's tone was quite flat.
"If I wanted to pick a fight with Malfoy, what would you do?"
"Sell tickets and hide his wand, of course. Wilkes is the new Malfoy?"
Love it! The spirit of revenge is perhaps stronger in Sev than in the average person, but it suits Severus as we know him in canon. Chomping at the bit--more more more!!
Author's Response: I enjoyed writing that. Carter likes getting the occasional good line. Nice people do not make the best avenging angels, wouldn't you say?
I am so glad you added more chapters. I'm enjoying this story so much, not only as backstory to the Rowlings canon, but as a work in itself.
Author's Response: Thanks for reviewing! I'm glad to hear it.
I've never liked Snape. Never. But in this story, I find myself rooting for him more often than not. I realized this especially during the Quidditch against James, when in my mind I'm shouting "Go Snape!" but then I realize, "I'm not supposed to like him, I'm supposed to like Harry's dad!" Ah well. You do a great job including the little bits of information we have about Snape, Lily and the Marauders in a truly canon-like and very, very realisitic way. You're a fantastic writier and your new characters fit in well with the rest of the group. They don't seem out of place at all. Your Hogwarts is perfection -- fabulous job, I love the story, and can't wait to read more. Definitely 10/10
Author's Response: *blush*
Whenever someone claims to dislike Severus, says I've been very canonical, and then tells me that they're rooting for my character anyway, I have to love it. Thank you, thank you!
YEEAAHH!! I finally found the time to read more of this (you do know that you update like greased lightning?), and what do I find? Cissy in Snape's lap!! You're too good to us :D
This is exactly how I picture it--Cissa coming onto him, them wanting to be together, but her family (or one member in particular, perhaps?) ruining the whole thing. And Sev's the kind of guy who would never admit to suffering a broken heart.
Hmmm....but this Hogwarts relationship does give Sevvy a one-up on ol' Lucius to use later, knowing his wife used to love another.... I can't wait to read more! 10/10 as always
Author's Response: Hello! Good to see you back! I'm glad you enjoyed spotting Narcissa creating an awkward situation.
As for Lucius, well, 'hmmm' indeed!