This was literally flawless. Such flowing, perfect writing. Thumbs up!
I confess, I came here just to see what Harry Potter fan-fiction is like, and how it stands up to My Little Pony fan-fiction. I didn't understand the appeal of writing about characters whose lives have already been cast in canon from start to finish. Well, you win this round, Potterites. Well-done.
It is annoying when a review says nothing negative... all I can think of is that, as long as we're basking in Severus' pain, it would be nice to twist the knife a little more on the subject of Lily. Reflections, perhaps, on how she would be hating him now if she were still alive, on how he wishes he could be free of her - perhaps on what a relief it would be, if not for his confounded inability to regard her with one-tenth the contempt in which she regarded him, to give himself to Voldemort and become a true Death-Eater, and delight in the pain it would cause Dumbledore.
Oh, dear. I've only been away from my ponies a few short minutes, and already you're corrupting me. This is why I must think only of ponies and unicorns. Happy thoughts, Shagbark, happy thoughts...
This is well-done, but since the site has no mechanism to rate stories, I don't see what there is to do once I've finished reading the recommended stories. I'm not going to wade through the slush pile like they expect you to on fanfiction.net. Hop to it, Potterians! You can't beat My Little Pony fan-fiction on quality if no one can find the quality fiction.
Bravo! For Snape fans, this is both very well written and it tugs on the heartstrings because you can feel Severus' pain all too well. Dumbledore never gives him a break!
Very powerful. I like how you portray Snape's pain. Very in character too, both your Snape and Dumbledore.
Ah, Snape. Ah . . . You do such a good job with him, too. This story is definitely my kind of story. The only thing I regret is that it's not longer. Of course, it has a great ending, and probably can't be any longer, considering we already know what happens next, but I could have tarried in your story much longer.
There's so much to love about this story. Naturally, I love the Snape-Dumbledore dynamic. They are both very much in character. I love how Snape needles Dumbledore about his manipulative nature. The line, "'Stains on your conscience, Albus?' asked Severus with a darkly ironic laugh" is such a purely Snape line. Excellent characterisation! I thought his thoughts about his colleagues fit nicely, too. I can definitely see/hear him thinking exactly what you have written. And the lovely green for the password is such a perfect symbol of his double role. Another touch I liked was his reaction to "Please . . . Severus . . ." That line just gets me every time.
The setting is good too: I like how you set up the place and show how Snape is seeing it now that he's Headmaster. I was able to anchor the story in a real place without feeling overwhelmed by description. Your balance is great. As for conflict and plot, I thought there was a nice dose of both internal and external conflict. Snape is struggling with his role, but he's also angry at Dumbledore -- rightly so. Everything, everyone is so true to canon, I could really feel like I was there. And it was Snape! With Dumbledore!
The only thing that kind of bothered me at times was your sentence structure. There were times when your sentences seemed too long, like they got out of control. A good example is the full sentence from which I excerpted earlier: "'Stains on your conscience, Albus?' asked Severus with a darkly ironic laugh, a harsh sound a long way from true joy, but then it had been so long since he had genuinely laughed that Severus was not even sure he would know how." There just seems to be too much in this sentence. I don't know where to focus my attention. I think it would be better to stop after "laugh" and then make a second sentence with the next part. Then I get the wonderful sound of Snape's voice and how he is laughing without it being diluted by his reflection about how he hasn't laughed for real . . . AND I get to linger on his realization without being distracted by the actual noise.
But I must admit that I probably wouldn't have noticed that if I hadn't gone into the story preparing to review it. There were a couple of hiccups like that, but overall, the story flowed nicely. I'm very glad I got to read it tonight!
I've had this one on my list for a while, and may I just say...WOW.
I mean...~insert stupid, meaningless gibberish here~. I so very much adore this story. The voice of both Severus and Albus were so great. They were the right balance of what they were in the memories that Harry had seen and who they were throughout the rest of canon. Now, to me, this is it. I'll never read another Snape/Dumbledore-first-encounter-after the murder fic; I don't have to. This story is it to me. It could not have been any other way.
I also happen to think this is one of your best pieces. I've read...a lot (and I'm not bored enough to count) of your stories, but this one is just pure awesome incarnate.
I also like how Snape does seem to care about Harry....juuuuuuuust a little bit, and not in the way that his hard work was going to waste. I like to think he had that in him.
Pure love, my dear. Heart.
Author's Response: This was pretty much my first response to DH - I wrote it within a day or two of reading it. Having seen the interaction between them in the Prince's Tale, I just had to find out how this scene played out. I'm so glad you liked it so much. :) I suppose probably the main reason it's not one of my favourite fics I've written is because it's probably the closest to canon. I like to think it's a fairly plausible missing moment (and in fact having written it so soon after DH, it's caused me problems in the past because I get blurred sometimes between what's canon and what's just in here O.o). The thing is though, to me, that makes it feel a little less original than some off my other stuff where I'm playing at the grey edges of canon, and this is I think more of a truly canon Severus than it is my Severus. That's not to say that I think I normally write OOC Severus (because I sincerely hope I don't!), but that there are, as you've picked up on my other stories, bits of my own personal canon that I've built up for Severus like Mary and his lapsed Catholic background and stuff, that aren't present here, so even though this Severus works for anyone else, he feels incomplete to me, if that makes any sense at all? I'm so glad you liked Dumbledore too though because, like I said, writing him drove me to distraction - and in fact the fact that he was portrait!Dumbledore somehow made it even harder. Thank you, dear, as ever.
i really love your stories. you are a really gifted writer... are you sure you're not J.K rowling?
Author's Response: Thanks, I'm so glad you enjoyed, and yep, last time I checked - definitely not JKR.
A great idea for a story, and you expressed Snape's bitterness and, though he didn't want to admit it, loneliness really nicely. I had never thought of how difficult it would be for Severus to face Dumbledore's portrait.
The last little bit was great, showing a sense of self-acceptance from Snape finished off this fic really nicely.
Severus whirled angrily back to face the portrait as the image faded. “How many more?” he demanded, disgusted at the harsh note of desperation he could not suppress. “How many more voices must I hear echo those same words?”' - This part showed so much of Snape's character in a nice little bit, it was a great way of connecting everything back to Snape killing Dumbledore as well.
I liked that Snape refers to Harry as "Potter" when he's stating facts, and "Lily's son" when he's talking about why he does what he does, but that he never uses his first name. It showed nicely that Snape is still doing it all for Lily, not for Harry.
Just one small thing.
'“As if I ever would! That has been my goal for sixteen years. Why should I waver now? Or do you feel you are losing your grip on our lives, being dead?” Severus poured all the bitterness he felt into those cruel words.' - I don't think you needed to add "Severus poured all...", it was self-explanatory from what he said and had a little feeling of over-writing.
But other than that, great story, I really liked it!
Author's Response: Thanks for another such lovely review. I originally wrote this just a few days after DH first came out - it was just a missing moment I really wanted to see. His bitterness and loneliness, given he'd had to kill the only person who knew his motivations, were really what I wanted to draw out. I'll definitely have another look at that section you mentioned as over-written.
Very interesting, I often wondered what went on at Hogwarts whilst Harry was away looking for Horcruxes
Author's Response: Thanks, I'm glad you found it interesting. I've read a fair few stories about the DA at Hogwarts during DH, but very little about the teachers so this was fun to explore.
Enjoyable one shot! :-) Great job.
Author's Response: Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it.
I thought it meant green! I have a paint bottle that says 'viridium'...
Author's Response: I'm glad you picked up the reference.