Reviewer: rambkowalczyk
Date: 08/28/08 21:14
Chapter: Chapter 5- A Fairly Useless Lesson

I got a little confused with the cloud of fleas. I thought they were around Severus (attracted to oil or something) but eventually figured out it was the curse Sev did to James. I like how you used Occlumency to fight the Crutiatius Curse and the practicing it against the tickling curse. Well thought out.

Muggle without a cause--nice phrase.

Author's Response: Hmmm... maybe I need to re-read that and make sure it isn't too confusingly written for anyone but the writer--an easy trap to fall into. Thanks for the insight. I liked "Muggle Without a Cause," myself-- kind of a last-minute addition, but it seems like exactly the kind of thing that a sarcastic Half-Blood would think about the teenage Sirius Black. :) And thank you for all the reviews! I really appreciate them. It's great to know what people think about this story.

Reviewer: rambkowalczyk
Date: 08/28/08 20:50
Chapter: Chapter 4- Satisfaction

Another enjoyable chapter.

Author's Response: Thank you-- this one felt more like the standard, canon Harry Potter with classes and rivalries and pranks. Couldn't go without some of that. :)

Reviewer: rambkowalczyk
Date: 08/28/08 20:37
Chapter: Chapter 3- Lone Wolf

Professorship at Hogwarts had always seemed to come with a vow of celibacy written into the contract.--that line cracked me up. Good portrayal of his first days back. I like your internal dialogue that he has with himself.

Author's Response: Thanks very much-- he's a great character for internal dialogue, especially in a fic like this in which (so far) he doesn't have any friends with whom to have an interesting external dialogue.

Reviewer: rambkowalczyk
Date: 08/28/08 20:17
Chapter: Chapter 2- Predestination

This was one sad chapter with just the tiniest bit of light at the end of the tunnel.

Author's Response: OK, so now you've probably figured out where it turns AU-- the canon Severus Snape keeps hanging around with all the proto-Death Eaters and never realizes that it's really them or Lily, not both. I thought this was how summer at home, with his unhappy parents, minus Lily, would probably have thrown him into clinical depression or something close, hence this chapter. So this fic gets off to a slow, character-study kind of start. :) I started writing it after reading a JKR quote from an interview saying that Lily could have come to love him romantically if he hadn't been drawn to "such loathsome things and people"-- which got me thinking about what it might have been like if he had tried not to be drawn to such things at an age earlier than 21, before she was Mrs. James Potter. Of course, whether he would succeed in steering clear of the Dark Arts and/or the Death Eaters (not necessarily the same thing) is another question.

Reviewer: rambkowalczyk
Date: 08/28/08 19:54
Chapter: Chapter 1- The End of the World

This chapter doesn't seem at all alternate universe. I suppose that will come later. Good detail on his reaction the following day. I noticed how Snape at this point still hasn't understood Lily at all which makes his actions so poignant.

Author's Response: You're absolutely right-- this would probably fit into the canon HP world just fine. I just thought it was a good place to start. When I was reading "The Prince's Tale" in DH, I couldn't help but think how he probably felt awful and totally stranded the next day, which somehow led to this horrible day without her and a dawning realization that this was how the rest of his life was going to go.

Reviewer: NoxSomnium
Date: 08/19/08 23:16
Chapter: Chapter 4- Satisfaction

Good for Mary. I just started to read this chapter after noticing and update and being excited, then I realized I read it yesterday. I swear, my brain is at least going, possibly already gone. Anyway, update happiness!

Author's Response: Glad you liked it-- I figured she has to be a Gryffindor for something, and even if she doesn't particularly like him, conspicuously not joining in the mob activity is pretty brave. Braver because she doesn't like him, I suppose. I'll have another chapter up soon if it gets approved, because this was just the first half of a chapter that was split in two. And then something from Lily's POV, finally. :) Thanks again-- Anya

Reviewer: Veneficus Verus
Date: 08/15/08 2:29
Chapter: Chapter 1- The End of the World

Very believable--Snape's internal dialog is wonderful, and I think true to character as well as true to being a teenager. I was angry with Lily as well when I first read that she wouldn't forgive him, but as you did I made the connection that she felt he'd been indoctrinated and ingrained with Pureblood sentimentalities, but your spin that it actually sunk into Snape's mind is interesting, seeing as how we know how it plays out. :D Keep it up.

Author's Response: I think I got the idea that he really had taken the anti-Muggleborn sentiments to heart from "The Prince's Tale"-- the fact that he hesitated before telling Lily that it wasn't a problem that she was a Muggleborn. He wasn't even at Hogwarts yet, and his mother had possibly been his only influence on the subject (I don't get the impression that they had a wide and warm social circle in the Wizarding world-- he comes off as a lonely child), but already that was an issue. Obviously in the canon he thought Lily was the special exception to the "Muggleborns are inferior" rule when he was younger, but had very different view in his later years (I don't have DH with me, but telling Phineas Nigellus "Don't use that word!" or something akin to that regarding Hermione Granger makes it fairly clear that his tolerance/acceptance no longer began and ended with Lily.) Anyway, thank you for the helpful review! I'm really glad he's believably A) Severus Snape, and B) a teenager. I've been lucky enough to have great betas and reviewers, so I'm guessing someone will tell me if I slip up on either of those. Now if I could just come up with a better title. :) Thanks again.

Reviewer: Sariana
Date: 07/18/08 1:17
Chapter: Chapter 1- The End of the World

Oh, wow, you have taken my favorite character and written a fabulous character study of him. I REALLY did not need to get interested in yet another story (my real life needs more attention right now), but I had to add this one to my favorites.

I am impressed by your previous review in which you draw the analogy to Nazi Germany. I know Rowling intended the parallels, but you have shown it at a personal level, not just as a theoretical philosophy.

Too many fanfication writers try to make Severus into a good guy--it was all just and act; he had to act that way to protect Harry; he's a gentleman when he is away from Hogwarts. No. Severus Snape is who he is because of both things he cannot control and his own choices. You have captured that perfectly here.

Author's Response: Thanks so much for the review-- I really appreciate everyone's feedback, which has been such a help as I've been writing this. Obviously he's my favorite character also, and I'm afraid that, because of that, I'm kind of stuck in the character study part and rather low on action. I have a couple of upcoming chapters in the works where more happens, but obviously I prefer meandering around his inner life-- I think chapter two is my personal favorite so far, for that reason. I completely agree with you about how he is who he is because of both things he cannot control and his own choices-- I'm trying to imagine what it would have been like if he had realized that the only way he could win Lily back would be on her own terms, and had chosen to at least try to do that, at 16. Keeping him "himself" when he has taken a very different path at this fork in the road is tricky, so I'm really grateful for the review-- it's good to know that he's still in character even with this deviation from the canon. I'm glad you liked the Nazi Germany analogy-- once I thought of the analogy on that personal a level, I felt like I understood Lily a lot better-- although after reading "Snape's Worst Memory," I don't think I will ever understand the appeal of James Potter. ; )

Reviewer: Charles Sinclair
Date: 07/02/08 5:03
Chapter: Chapter 1- The End of the World

This is an amazing story. I came on for ‘just a quick look’ at an internet café, and wound up spending an hour and half just reading, then compulsively rereading.

You have a very gentle touch with words. I particularly enjoyed…
“The warm early-summer daylight filtered in through the window, with dust motes floating gently around in and out of a sunbeam as Severus stuffed his things into his trunk, disturbing the quiet air and sending the dust briefly into swirling eddies. Empty, abandoned rooms like this always made him feel elegiac and mournful, but this year was worse than ever. Everything made him feel mournful lately.”
Its beautiful, and your characterizations are so immeniently plausible; the ‘inner life’ so believable.

I frequently get the feeling that in constructing Severus people have a tendancy to be overly generous, to give him too lose a reign. It’s a sort of kindness with which they erase him. It just seems as if the desire to become a death eater would not have been there if he had been like that. As it is, your narrative is perfect.

Author's Response: Thank you so much-- there are stories on this database that I can't stop reading, and I'm truly honored that someone else likes this one that much. I agree with you about, as you put it so perfectly, "erasing him" with too much generosity. Obviously there are characters who fit unambiguously on one side or another -- on the Death Eater side, Fenrir Greyback or Bellatrix or the Carrows spring to mind. I think it's the ambiguity of a character like Severus Snape or the Malfoys or (although we're not told much about him) Regulus Black that make them so interesting. I don't believe he can be turned into a basically nice but sharp-tongued guy who is misunderstood and picks the wrong friends, and still be himself; the anger, pettiness, hatred and (at 16, anyway) bigotry need to be there also along with the bravery, brilliance and devotion. Obviously I'm trying to write how I think he would be if he tried to change sooner rather than later for Lily-- we all know that he did at 21 in the canon-- and it's a very fine line, especially since the 16-year-old Severus has neither the experience/ maturity nor the loss of the 21-year-old one to make his decisions easier and his way more clear. Anyway, thank you again for such a kind review-- I really appreciate it.

Reviewer: NoxSomnium
Date: 06/28/08 14:26
Chapter: Chapter 3- Lone Wolf

Hmm, if this new professor doesn't turn out to be evil he could be an excellent support for Severus. I've always wondered how Severus would have turned out if someone had helped keep Severus interest in the Dark Arts from being used, so that he studied them out of academic curiosity, thirst for knowledge, and to better understand how to defeat them. Help him avoid using such things etc... Besides, Severus would get along with adults much better than his peers, maturity aids kindness and understanding so much.

Author's Response: Thanks, as before, for the thought-provoking review. :) You're right-- if he's not evil, then he's an example of an academic with an intellectual interest in the Dark Arts. (If he's evil, then he's an example for Severus of how the Dark Arts sucks everyone in and can't just be studied. Although personally, I think the canon Severus Snape disproves that-- when he's finally teaching Defence, he speaks almost longingly of the Dark Arts, but we find out later that, at that point, he'd been fighting it for 15 years.) Either way, since I'm trying to write a story in which the only change is in Severus (and then whatever other changes are wrought by the different things he does-- the ripple in a pond effect), I tried to write a professor who, if he had actually taught at Hogwarts in the canon Severus's sixth year, would not have had much of an effect on his path, because I think Severus wouldn't have let himself vary from the opinion of his friends. Having actually decided to be independent of that crowd, he's open to letting himself learn from this sort of professor, whatever that might bring. I also completely agree with you that he would get along better with adults-- given his respectfulness in the canon toward the other professors, there's every reason to believe he would have respected them as a student, and with rare and nasty exceptions, teachers don't care if a kid is a geek or an outcast if he or she is bright and interested. Thank you again!

Reviewer: NoxSomnium
Date: 06/05/08 14:30
Chapter: Chapter 2- Predestination

So, the warnings say AU, and in this chapter it's sort of implied that Severus might choose Lily over the Dark Arts. You probably won't tell me any details (authors, like magicians, never give up their secrets) but is that where you're going? Basically, how and in what way is this fic AU? I don't really understand why she's so angry with him, it must be a cumulative last straw sort of thing, but she really ought to tell him that. I know I know, they're only fifteen. I really don't see how, if that's the direction you choose to go, Severus will be able to stand up to his house with no support from anything except an entirely unsubstantiated hope that Lily will forgive him if he does.

Do feel free to show me :)

Author's Response: Hmmm... how to answer... :) OK, either from the books or (I think more likely) a JKR interview, we know that he kind of tried to impress Lily and win her back by going with the Death Eaters: allying himself with something impressive that seemed like the winning side, maybe, in hopes that she would find him powerful and successful because of his allegiances, or perhaps because of the possibility of being in a position to save her and thus win her back? I'm not sure which. So, this story is AU more because he realizes it's either/or, and he's at least going to give it a try. Whether he'll succeed or not... obviously it would be a tremendous challenge given, as you said, the need to stand up to his House, the really unsubstantiated nature of what he's hoping for, and the fact that he, by nature or nurture or both, is a rather dark person and is drawn to the Dark Arts. As for why she's so angry at him-- I think you're right about the cumulative last straw, and I think peer pressure had a lot to do with it (re-read their conversation at the Gryffindor portrait hole in "The Prince's Tale" and you'll see what I mean)-- but at the point when I had finished DH and was annoyed with Lily, I tried to put it into historical context. For Wizarding Britain in 1976, this is what it must have been like, I think, in Germany in the 1930's. That analogy is fairly obvious in the books, but applying it to the Severus/Lily break-up: they're friends, but he's getting into the whole Hitler Youth thing-- and she's Jewish, and now he's trying to apologize for calling her some sort of horrible slur. Put into that context, it's really much bigger and deeper than just a fight between two people-- he's allying himself with something truly evil and threatening to her, her family, and other people she loves. That's how I think of it, anyway, for what it's worth. Thank you so much for the thoughtful review. :)

Reviewer: eternalangel
Date: 05/14/08 23:29
Chapter: Chapter 1- The End of the World

This was a really good chapter. I always liked Severus Snape as a character because, out of all the characters, he was probably the most complex. I liked how you portrayed his agony so well and added another layer to the character. Good job!

Author's Response: Thanks so much for the review! I know that these first two chapters aren't exactly the best way to start a fic because he's just so miserable, but it does pick up in the next chapter, I promise. :)

Reviewer: moonstargazer
Date: 05/11/08 23:23
Chapter: Chapter 2- Predestination

I really like this story! It is a dang shame that Secerus is treated like crap by both of hius parents. Really sad.
And naturally, he does'nt have Lily to talk to anymore.
I feel for the kid, in that he has such a rotten homelife, and that he can't confide in his best friend any more.

Author's Response: Thanks so much for the review! This is my first fanfic, so it's good to hear what people think. After reading OOP and DH, I imagined that his dad was probably abusive and his mom unhappy and bitter and, even if not abusive herself, not particularly protective of her son and perhaps even eager to have her husband turn on the kid rather than her for a change. I was trying to think of what his summer at home without Lily would be like (answer: miserable), but there's a fork in the road that he takes in a different direction from the canon, realizing that it's a choice between Lily or the Death Eaters and that aligning himself with them isn't going to win her over. By the way, this chapter was so depressing (appropriately so, but still) that I wrote an extremely fluffy one-shot about these two a few years in the future as Mr. & Mrs., minus the angst, and it's in the queue. :)

Reviewer: moonstargazer
Date: 04/04/08 23:01
Chapter: Chapter 1- The End of the World

Very nice story, very sad too as Severus feels at fault for what happened. He's on a really bad guilt trip and as of now, there is nothing he can do to make things better...The way Lily is towards him now, it is the end of the world, according to Severus.

Author's Response: Thanks so much for the kind review-- given what we know about how much she still meant to him twenty years later, I tried to pick up at their big fight and go from there, imagining what it must have been like at the time. I would guess he'd see this as the worst thing that ever happened to him.

Reviewer: lostinside1
Date: 04/04/08 13:25
Chapter: Chapter 1- The End of the World

ooo I'm hoping that I've guessed rightly that Sevvy and Lily make up agan. :)
I can't understand why no-one has reviewed this story yet. ITs amazingand you deserve a cookie!

*gives the fantastic author a cookie*

Author's Response: Thanks so much! :) (Cookie much appreciated.) Chapter 2 is in the works-- home for the summer, minus Lily. Basically, I have probably thought way too much about what it would take to get these two together, which is a very interesting puzzle and fun to write about. It keeps me thinking. :)

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