Reviews For The Dark Arches
Reviewer: Raffles
Date: 06/08/08 6:01
Chapter: One Shot

Hi there,
i think that this story is amazing!
I really love your style of writing! It makes me want to read on! I think that this story has an amazing story line. I think it's great how you gave snape that accent!
'“Yuh dun’t like it,” he commented blandly'
That was my favorite line of his. It was so cute how he said it!
Great Job on this story!

Reviewer: Skipper424
Date: 11/29/07 7:18
Chapter: One Shot

At first, I was not sure if I liked your dialogue here, and how much attention you had paid to the actual dialect. That didn’t mean I thought less of it, however. It only meant it deviated from the way I thought of the characters previously. As I really got into your story, however, I came to appreciate how much more likely it was for Lily and Severus to speak that way as a product of the environment in which they both lived. It the end, I thought it was just a fascinating aspect of your characterisation. I found myself feeling somewhat jealous of your ability to capture that so well. Being from the US, no matter how hard I try to sever any blatant ‘Americanisms’ from my dialogue, I find that it always manages to sneak in somehow (if not by word choice, by speech pattern). To me, your dialogue in this story was just on a higher level that I could probably never touch. I loved it and admired it very much!

I also enjoyed how you portrayed Severus, and how he has the natural ‘lean’ towards darker magic. Snape has shown this tendency, I think, throughout the HP series. Despite his infatuation with the so called ‘Dark Arts’, he always ends up doing the right thing, the ‘good’ thing eventually. You can see the beginnings of this trait well represented in this story.

The spell you had Severus use on Skinner and his crony. The way you described it was well done. I felt like I could see exactly how that particular spell work. It had a wonderful, creepy, and darker feel to it that kind of goes along with what you said in your notes at the end – how you wanted to show Snape’s knowledge of dark spells. Severus opened up a tiny window in his mind, where he locked up all his anger and bad thoughts for the world he lived in. Then he opened them again, and let all the contempt gush out through his black stare.

In turn, it led to the potion Severus made for Lily that cured her headache. He felt badly about being the one responsible, so made something for her to set her right. Again, I felt like this again shows the way Snape ends up doing the right thing in the end. Again, I liked the way you described the magical affects of the potion. It was almost as if I could feel what would happen had I drank it myself.

I have no idea about the outcome of this month’s challenge. I have read almost all of the entries and can think of three of four stories that one could make a good argument for selection as the winner. This story is definitely one of them. The attention to detail here and particularly the job you did characterising young Severus just made this a fascinating read. Me, going back to what I said initially, would name it no less than a finalist based on the wonderful job you did with the dialogue alone.

Great work and good luck!

Author's Response: Arwwww. Thank you! You know, reading this during a break from a HUGE bout of homework really cheered me up. My aim for this one-shot was to write something 'very Northern' because I've always entertained the idea of Severus coming from the north of England. I was sort of praying when I submitted it that the Americans would understand! I'm glad you enjoyed it. And yes, I felt the need to explore Snape's 'darker' nature -- even unintentional things he does that show his leniancy towards the Dark Arts, such as killing the beetle. There's a reason this 'owtsider' was Sorted into Slytherin, after all. As for the competition, it's going to be an interesting one! I wish you the best of luck as well! Best Wishes, Laur xx

Reviewer: mock_turtle
Date: 11/28/07 19:28
Chapter: One Shot

I really really like this. aside from the character-building (that doesn't go against canon, which I always love), I like finding out more about britain through fiction, crazy american that I am. this has so much detail, stuff that feels like local detail. lily and severus feel like real kids, which I don't think happens as often as it should in these fics.

basically, great stuff! I love it!

Author's Response: Thank you! I am glad you liked it. I know you've read and reviewed some of my other stories, so when I saw you'd left a review I was an ickle worried you wouldn't like the change in Snape's character. But I'm so glad you thought it was good! Thanks for another lovely review! Laur

Reviewer: Crows
Date: 11/28/07 17:11
Chapter: One Shot

Very cool, very cool.

Author's Response: Thanks!

Reviewer: Snapes_secret
Date: 11/28/07 11:35
Chapter: One Shot

You know I can't resist a tale with Severus Snape in it. I have to admit that at first I was a bit thrown by Severus' speech pattern. I had a hard time reconciling the voice I heard in my head with the character I tend to be obsessed with. The bit about knowing how to talk properly, though, was perfect and cinched it for me. It seems very much in his character to adapt to his current circumstances. When taken in that context, it's much easier to accept his odd "voice".

Additionally, I found Severus’ persistence with meeting Lily to be a dead-on representation of his later traits. His defense of her both times only showcases the brave streak that lies beneath his exterior. Gryffindors do not own the market on courage. The second time especially foreshadows the darkness in Severus.

At the same time, you do a wonderful job in presenting a youthful Severus. He is not always sure of himself, can be surprised or do things without foresight. You've struck a nice balance.

One of the more intriguing aspects of the story itself was the Dark Arches and how you took the memory of a place and used it for the setting. It shows not only a creative flair, but the attention to detail and willingness to do a little research that serious writers display. Just because the trappings of the story are fantasy-based, populated with witches and wizards, it does not mean one can be sloppy. The setting, local customs and dialect are important details that can either draw the reader more deeply into the story or jerk them out unceremoniously. You’ve handled it deftly here.

Overall, you did a wonderful job presenting a glimpse of Severus and Lily’s relationship prior to Hogwarts.



Author's Response: *giggles* Did I successfully de-romantacise Snape for you, Sandy? I'm relieved you found the dialect change convincing. I was torn: JKR doesn't have him speak in dialect, but if I'm going to set this story in a rough area of North Yorkshire he's going to have acquired the accent at least to some extent. I'm glad you liked the Dark Arches, too, which I need to visit again to see if they're really what I think they are! Cheers! Laur x

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