Dear Leah Lovegood –
That was a lovely portrayal of Snape-at-the-wedding. I’m afraid that I’m using the hyphens because there are so many authors who write stories centered on that moment. And why not? It’s such an interesting situation. And the really interesting part is that there are so many different ways to write it and so many different things to emphasize in order to make each story about this situation feel unique and quite fresh.
On that note, I really liked the fact that in your story Snape went to the wedding under a Disillusionment Charm. I think that using that was an excellent way to circumvent the problem of having a known and hated Death Eater show up at the wedding. I mean, could you imagine the riots if Sirius had seen Snape in the audience from the altar? Besides, we know that Snape is absolutely capable of a powerful spell like that. It’s very much in character for him to attend the wedding and be invisible just so that he could see Lily.
While I’m on the subject of Snape’s characterization, I thought that you did a marvelous job throughout the story of incorporating his rather more sentimental feelings for Lily into his rather more callous, Death Eater side. I find that some authors tend to have a real problem having both sides of Snape expressed in a story. It’s so easy to overdo one side and leave out the other or to have one and throw in the other in a very poor way because it needs to be there. You had a great balance, though, of the two sides of Snape.
I think the moment where I really realized that you’d nailed his characterization is when he was discussing Lily’s happiness as she walked down the aisle and how he didn’t want to ruin how happy she felt by responding to the ceremony and not holding his peace. It really demonstrated that Snape was more than just infatuated with Lily (something that a lot of authors tend to write). He really loved her enough to let her go. You really wrote that emotion well, so kudos to you for being able to write Snape so well. Not many people can pull that off.
Your characterization of Rodolphus was also quite good. He doesn’t get a lot of time in your story, but his dialogue, I thought, gave us a real insight to his character. Arranging a little torture session as a birthday gift to Bellatrix? That sounds about right. I would have questioned his character if he’d arranged to give her jewelry (although, in keeping with the fact that she is a Black, I’m sure that having both the torture session and the jewelry would have been an acceptable gift as well).
I also really liked Lily in your story. She wasn’t quite fully mature, but she came off as young with a little bit of wisdom for her age. One thing that rather bothered me with her, though, was how quickly and suddenly she dropped the bomb that she was dating James Potter. It was just fairly startling to the reader to have that pop right out of the blue. What I think might ease that information into the story a bit more would be some sort of warning that it was coming. Perhaps Snape asking if they could still be friends or having Snape see Lily wave good-bye to James before they talked or even having Lily seem hesitant (or more angry, depending on if she was telling Snape that in order to hurt him) before she tells him about James.
Overall, this was a lovely story that gave, I thought, a very realistic interpretation of how the wedding could have happened. Your characters were essentially spot on (especially Snape) and the ending was incredibly touching. Wonderful job on it.
Author's Response: Wow! Thanks for your review. As much as I love getting any reviews, this one makes me very bubbly inside! It means a lot that you took the time to write such an in depth response. I'm glad that you liked the characters. One thing that's so hard about fanfiction is getting the personalities right for characters you didn't create and sometimes (as much as we'd all love it) don't know completely. It's nice to know I got it right, at least to you. I really appreciate your critique about the Potter-bomb-dropping. It's the way I would have done it had I personally been in that situation, but I tend to be rash both in actions and thought process. I suppose in my drive to really shock Snape, I shocked the reader, too. This is probably the result of running off the story ASAP. I have this fear that if I let it sit, as I have let so many other stories sit, I'll never finish it. I'll try to think more about that next time. One thing I did hope it would emphasize is that Snape's last transgression sort of pushed both of them into their fates. He gave up on trying to be good to win her, and she went out with the boy he hated to spite him. It was, on her part, a little rash, but you're right that I might have foreshadowed it better. Thanks again for the uber-review! Leah