Reviews For The Aurora Box
Reviewer: Nagini Riddle
Date: 07/16/12 0:52
Chapter: The Aurora Box

Awww! He is so sweet! Why did they have to fall apart! Wonderful story! Enjoyed every word!

Reviewer: mzap
Date: 05/31/09 9:01
Chapter: The Aurora Box

This is a fantastic piece you have here and I thoroughly enjoyed reading every single part of it. It gave an intriguing view of Lily and Severus’ relationship, before the first train ride to Hogwarts, which could arguably be one of the most crucial times of their time together because of the lack of James in the picture. There was a steady building throughout the fic of the growing tension between Petunia and Lily that I thought was very well executed. It was also well incorporated with how Severus was there for Lily to comfort her, or at least attempt to make her feel better.

I believe that you portrayed all the characters very well, not only in their personalities but also making it age relevant with their attitudes and speech. Severus was especially well written, incorporating all of his traits: his love for Lily, the awkwardness with her, his fascination with magic and potions, and his belief that magic is the solution to all and that witches/wizards are better than Muggles. I really liked the contrast with Lily and how she still wants to be with her sister and how she likes magic, but can still respect those who are not magical. With Eileen Snape, you did a wonderful job bringing her into the story and provoking a feeling of sympathy for her with her abusive husband. The fact that she is close to her son and will speak to him about most things was very powerful and made the reader feel even more sympathetic towards her.

The tiniest smile pulled at the corners of his mouth and excitement gleamed in his eyes.
There’s something about this line that I really liked. I loved the way it shows a bit of mischief that could be characterized for a ten year old and it reveals that sort of excitement of anything magical, as is frequently themed throughout the story.

“You’d be able to pay off that man who keeps coming round about the money we owe.”
There needs to be an apostrophe at the beginning of “round”.

Severus replied as though the idea disgusted him.
I really liked the characterization here, again showing how he thinks that magic is superior to all else.

For a moment, he thought of going downstairs and trying to help her.
In contrast to the cold Severus we usually see in his adulthood, I think this very well showed his soft side and sense of wanting to protect his mother. It also shows that Lily is not the only person that he truly cares about and that he can be there for the people he loves.

“I’m not so sure I want to do magic if it means my sister hates me.”
I absolutely love this part. I think Lily was very well written here and I love the fact that she is not sure about magic, where Severus is dying to have Lily go to Hogwarts, excited at the fact that she is a witch. You also presented the Petunia-Lily relationship well, with Petunia wanting nothing to do with her sister and Lily trying to mend a broken relationship. Parts with Severus trying to make Lily feel better, but somewhat failing was also very in-character.

He had wished in the past, on more than one occasion, he could read her mind.
Nice reference to “reading people’s minds” in contrast to what Severus tells Harry while in Hogwarts, during OotP.

“Is he alright?”
“Alright” needs to be changed to “all right”. The first one is more of an agreement while the latter is checking if everything is okay.

“…I’ll bet you could punch me right now, as hard as you could, and I wouldn’t feel a thing.”

“Why would I want to punch you?”

Again, nicely put where you put in the differences in personality between Lily and Severus. I think this also goes into the same idea where boys at a young age are more willing to reference violence, where girls are more uncomfortable at the idea.

He lifted the green cloth covering it on his desk…
Another aspect of this story I really liked was the constant references to the color green, as well as slithering and snake-like qualities. This is symbolic of Severus going into Slytherin, but the nice thing about the timing of the color green was it was always in coherence to anything magical.

Other than the small bits mentioned above, I found almost no mistakes. This was beautifully written with superb language and description. Characters were true to themselves and were completely accurate. The symbols and constant themes that kept cropping up in subtle ways added another depth to an already brilliant story. Overall, this was a fantastic story to read and I enjoyed it all the way.

- Mercy

Reviewer: Hermionelookalike101
Date: 03/01/08 1:47
Chapter: The Aurora Box

Wow. this is so beautifully written! it really gives readers a taste of a more vulnerable side to snape that JK Rowling didn't get a chance of showing too much of in detail. Great job! I loved it!


Sequel???

Reviewer: Insecurity
Date: 11/21/07 17:12
Chapter: The Aurora Box

I’m checking out the competition for the one-shot challenge, hehe! No really, the description you gave me earlier for the banner made me tempted to read your story… and it is a very lovely story!

First of all, I love the mother-child relationship between Eileen and Severus. It was very tender and unexpected. I’ve always assumed that his mother was quite distant and begrudging of Severus (that is how she appears in my fic anyway) so it was a very interesting difference. I loved how she shows him things she thinks may interest him. There is this lovely line where she expresses how thrilled she is to see her intelligent boy impressed by something. It made me smile because it’s natural for a mother to wish to impress her son.

Furthermore, I loved Lily’s description of Eileen as the ‘stereotypical witch’. I’ve never thought of her as that before: but it is so true! We see her from only Harry’s perspective in the books and of course he’s going to think she’s just this old hag. I love how you show this outward impression, after showing just how wonderful and human she really is. It makes me wonder whether I have been looking at the character all wrong …

My only little bit of critique regarding this is how Severus calls his mum ‘mother’ – it seems a tad too formal for a ten-year-old. It would be more understandable if he feared her, like he does his father, but because they’re very close he would have called her mum.

I loved your idea of the lightning wasps. It was very unique and added a dash of humour to the story. We’re so used to Severus being the one who never makes mistakes when handling ingredients, that to see him at ten-year-olds with boils all over his face is quite funny. His interactions with Lily in this scene was delightful. Well done!

However, I was a little puzzled about the ‘lights in the sky’ moment. I understand that it keys in with the colour of her eyes and is necessary for the rest of the story, but there isn’t an explanation for their appearance. We can’t see the Northern Lights in England (at least, I don’t think we can) and they didn’t really set off fireworks every single night between September and Janurary in the seventies like they do now either. So, you just needed to think of an explanation for them being there – a magical explanation perhaps?

Over all, I really liked this story, but especially your characterisation of Eileen. Good luck with the challenge!

Laura!

Author's Response: Wow, Laura! You’re quickly becoming one of my most favourite people around MNFF! I mean, first you made me a wonderful banner for this story and then you dropped by and left the first review on it (and a great one to boot). Thank you at by itself doesn’t seem like enough … so I’ll say it a bunch of times. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I want to react/respond to a few things in your review, so let me get to that. First, in regards to Eileen Snape, I’m so happy you liked the way I portrayed her. I had a feeling I was going out on a limb there. However, it just feels to me like Severus had to have at least a decent relationship, overall, with his mother. I mean, it couldn’t have been ALL bad, could it? He did, after all, name himself after her (The Half Blood Prince). I just didn’t think he would take that name if he absolutely hated her. Even if he didn’t like her that much, overall, I still thought a more tender moment, like the one in the story, was certainly plausible. I have to come clean about something though … the ‘mum’ thing. BOTH of my betas suggested I change that just as you have. Blast! I didn’t listen to them on that part. Honestly, I was trying to go for a cold/formal feel to Severus, even at that early age. But, actually, it only made sense in the last scene. In that first scene, it does seem to make more sense to change it to “Yes, mum”. I meant him to be cold and formal because he was a bit bothered by his mum’s suggestive tone when Lily arrives in the last scene. I’m glad you liked the lightning wasps. I was going for an experience there that sort of showed one of the reasons Severus may have learned to be so disciplined in his work by the time he was older. That is, he found out early on that handling certain things with magical properties can be dangerous and require caution and precision. Lastly, in regards to the Northern Lights, I actually did some minor research to make sure you could see the Aurora Borealis in the UK. I found a couple of web references that say you can. This is actually a direct quote for one website I saw, “When geomagnetic conditions are very active aurora could be seen anywhere within the UK.” Now, obviously, I don’t know what credibility they have, but they seem to imply that while a rare occurrence, it does happen. I did want to be at least somewhat sure on that point because it was of central importance to the story. I’ll have to do a little more digging to re-verify now, though. As you live in the UK, I’m actually more apt to take your word for it than some random website saying you can see them. Whew! Thanks so much for the wonderful review to go along with the shiny banner! Combined, both things really made my day!

Author's Response:

Wow, Laura! You’re quickly becoming one of my most favourite people around MNFF! I mean, first you made me a wonderful banner for this story and then you dropped by and left the first review on it (and a great one to boot). Thank you at by itself doesn’t seem like enough … so I’ll say it a bunch of times. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I want to react/respond to a few things in your review, so let me get to that. First, in regards to Eileen Snape, I’m so happy you liked the way I portrayed her. I had a feeling I was going out on a limb there. However, it just feels to me like Severus had to have at least a decent relationship, overall, with his mother. I mean, it couldn’t have been ALL bad, could it? He did, after all, name himself after her (The Half Blood Prince). I just didn’t think he would take that name if he absolutely hated her. Even if he didn’t like her that much, overall, I still thought a more tender moment, like the one in the story, was certainly plausible.

I have to come clean about something though … the ‘mum’ thing. BOTH of my betas suggested I change that just as you have. Blast! I didn’t listen to them on that part. Honestly, I was trying to go for a cold/formal feel to Severus, even at that early age. But, actually, it only made sense in the last scene. In that first scene, it does seem to make more sense to change it to “Yes, mum”. I meant him to be cold and formal because he was a bit bothered by his mum’s suggestive tone when Lily arrives in the last scene.

I’m glad you liked the lightning wasps. I was going for an experience there that sort of showed one of the reasons Severus may have learned to be so disciplined in his work by the time he was older. That is, he found out early on that handling certain things with magical properties can be dangerous and require caution and precision.

Lastly, in regards to the Northern Lights, I actually did some minor research to make sure you could see the Aurora Borealis in the UK. I found a couple of web references that say you can. This is actually a direct quote for one website I saw, “When geomagnetic conditions are very active aurora could be seen anywhere within the UK.” Now, obviously, I don’t know what credibility they have, but they seem to imply that while a rare occurrence, it does happen. I did want to be at least somewhat sure on that point because it was of central importance to the story. I’ll have to do a little more digging to re-verify now, though. As you live in the UK, I’m actually more apt to take your word for it than some random website saying you can see them.

Whew! Thanks so much for the wonderful review to go along with the shiny banner! Combined, both things really made my day!

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