Summary: The summer after fifth year, Severus Snape realises that he has to decide between Lily and his Dark companions and pursuits. Now all he has to do is get used to life at Hogwarts with no friends, get over his fascination with the Dark Arts, survive the Marauders, and convince Lily to acknowledge that he's alive.
Easier said than done.
For the most part, it was a good update, although I do think you could have transitioned a little better from the last chapter. I like how you included an encounter between the polyjuiced Lily, and the two sadists (they're too old to be considered bullies). I'm really looking forward to seeing where you take this now that some of Severus' extracurricular activities are out in the open.
Author's Response: I know what you mean about the transition from the last chapter-- that's the problem with writing it from both of their points of view. It does switch a bit dramatically every now and again. And of course, I'm kind of covering a lot of ground, because even if they do manage to wind up together, I don't think that can happen overnight. I think Severus's problem with these guys is that he honestly used to be on their side, except for Lily. I'm sure there were people in Slytherin who weren't planning on joining the Death Eaters but who just stayed below the radar, but that's not an option for him. Plus, he's stuck living with them. Thanks for continuing to read and review it, by the way-- much appreciated.
Good chapter. Thanks for finally explaining Llewellyn's secret. The flirting thing between Snape and Lily is interesting.
PS. Forget the Cupicabre. If you don't update more frequently I'll send the dogs. And not just any dogs. The dogs with bees in their mouths so that when they bark they spit bees at you.
Great update. I'm glad to see you finally have them talking again, although they probably have a long way to go. Excellent explanation about the whole thing with the spilled butter beer. I didn't suspect that. One slight quibble regarding using the locks of hair to make the polyjuice. I would have guessed that using a hair from an 11 year old girl, would turn you into an 11 year old girl no matter how many years have past. Then again, there's nothing in the books that says that, and this is after all a fictional magical universe. Keep up the good work, but please update more often. I don't want to have to send my army of cupicabre after you.
Author's Response: No-- not the cupicabre! :) Good point about the 11-year-old girl thing-- the books aren't clear on that at all, so I thought there was some license there. And I'm glad you liked the plot twist with the Butterbeer-- obviously that was a bit confusing if you didn't know why he was acting like that. And finally, sorry for taking so long to update-- busier than I would like to be, and having a bit of writer's block in moving on to the next section, to be completely honest. Thanks for sticking with it.
I think you misinterpreted my previous review. When I was referring to the two sadists, I was talking about Potter and Black. I don't think people like that can ever "mature," and although they may learn enough self control to function in polite society, deep down, they will always be as depraved as they were in their youth.
Author's Response: You're right, I did-- thanks for the clarification. Who knows about James Potter, but there doesn't seem to be any indication that Sirius ever outgrew his adolescent tendencies. Obviously Black and Snape hate each other as adults, but there's a big difference between hating someone who used to bully you, and hating someone you used to bully as part of a tag-team. You probably have a point about people not outgrowing that kind of thing-- I can think of only two guys from my high school who were really obvious bullies, and these days, they're both in jail (surprise). I have always found the "James Potter was a bully who grew up in an astonishingly short period of time into a wonderful person" thing to be a really weak link in the canon.
Regarding Potter's maturation in canon, the cynical explanation is that Rowling didn't decide to make him a degenerate until later in the series, and had to reconcile the earlier depictions of him. If one wants to not be cynical and look for an explanation within canon, I do have some possible explanations.
1. Outside of Snape, and that one memory that Voldemort had of him proving that he possessed the level of stupidity that only a horribly inbred pureblooded wizard could have, most of the information we get about James Potter comes from sources that are biased in his favor. Namely, Lupin, Black, Dumbledore (extreme pro-Gryffindor/anti-Slytherin bias, although for some reason he decided to endanger all of the students he was supposed to protect in an effort redeem Malfoy, the most vile and worthless of all of the Slytherins in the books.), and Hagrid (anti-Slytherin).
2. Potter was one of the last people killed by Voldemort during the first war, and he was tied into the whole boy who lived legend, so he became something of a Martyr that most people didn't want to say anything bad about.
3. To a certain extent, the books are all spun towards Harry's point of view. Harry, wanted to believe that his parents were good people.
Author's Response: Sorry for the delay in replying! Any of those would be good reasons, from the cynical to the "she planned it this way for point-of-view verisimilitude" explanation. To Harry's credit, even he sees (in "Snape's Worst Memory") what a jerk his father was. Maybe in his own way, James is kind of a character foil to Harry-- what Harry could have become if he had a happy, privileged childhood in addition to his good looks and athletic skill and respectable amount of intelligence. Maybe Harry might have turned out that way if he had grown up as "the Boy who Lived" in the Wizarding world instead of as a neglected/ abused child among Muggles.
Interesting update. Llewllyn sort of reminds me of Lupin in book 3. I also like how you portray the distrust between Snape and Dumbles. Considering that the guy gave Black a slap on the wrist for almost feeding him to a werewolf, its very believable, and in a timeline where he never becomes a death eater, I don't see him joining the order. BTW, the Dear Leader commands you to update more frequently.
Author's Response: Llewellyn is kind of like Lupin-- and kind of not. :) But he's definitely a mentor figure, and there's more to him than meets the eye, obviously. I can't imagine Severus trusting Dumbledore after what nearly happened to him with Lupin and how lightly Dumbledore obviously took it-- I also see Dumbledore as having some serious favoritism going on (both in the past and in Harry's time-- I mean, how did James manage to become Head Boy without having even been chosen as a prefect?) Even the way Dumbledore treats him as a 38-year-old or a 21-year-old in the canon-- I remember teachers who liked the attractive, self-confident, popular types more than the others, and unfortunately, Dumbledore seems to be that sort of professor to some degree. And sorry it has taken me so long to update! Chapters 14 and 15 are almost done and will shortly be sent off to my lovely betas. :) Thanks so much for the review.
I recently discovered this story, and if your updates are as intermittent as you claim, I will have to track you down, chain you to a desk, and force you to type until you finish, its that good. My own personal opinion about the SSLE pairing isn't so much that I like it, but in light of the DH canon, I absolutely despise JPLE. Basically, Rowling created a storyline where Potter tortured the guy for years, and Lily let him take a victory ride when it was all over. I find that absolutely repugnant. I also don't buy the argument that he "matured." I consider anyone who would take such joy in the torment of others to be irredeemably morally depraved, and the difference between Potter, and someone like Bellatrix Lestrange is only a matter of degrees. I do like your version of Mary MacDonald a lot, and also like your depiction of Lily as being anything but innocent in regards to the falling out. I do tend to feel she is more to blame, because she didn't give him any type of warning that she would sever ties with him if he didn't change his ways. I also feel that she was somewhat naive in understanding his situation in Slytherin. Ie. he has to stay on good terms with those people, because they can do nasty things to him when he sleeps.
Author's Response: Hello-- I am so glad you like it, because technically this is my first fic, although after this many chapters, it's starting to feel like I know what I'm doing. :) I completely agree with you about JP/LE-- I just don't get the appeal there. Obviously everyone grows up to some degree, but James dies about three years out of Hogwarts, and it's hard to believe that he turned from a swaggering bully to a reformed character in such a short amount of time, never mind in the one year between 6th form and 7th. This might be a surprise, but I also agree with you about SS/LE-- when I started this story, the hardest part was to figure out what it would take for me to like the two of them together, how they would have to change for me to buy them as a couple. I mean, JKR said that they could have wound up together if SS hadn't been so into the Dark Arts-- but when you look at how they behave, with each other and with other people, it's not the making of a happy relationship. And I mean both of them-- not just him. I'm glad you like the character of Mary-- I really enjoy writing her, and Davis Llewellyn, and their growing relationships with Severus. It's interesting to think of what a friendship would look like for him, since all we see in the canon is the hatred between himself and the Marauders, several decades of obsessive, guilt-ridden, unrequited love, and a pretty twisted mentorship by Dumbledore.
Yay update!! Release the Mongoose!!!.
Please kill the marauders
Great update, I found the love potion theory very amusing. I can't wait to see where you take this. I also like how you are emphasizing how taking a stand has forced Snape to be much more wary of his roommates.
Author's Response: Obviously you've caught on to the fact that Lily's POV is incomplete. :) And I thought that, realistically, he had to have a hard time with his roommates any time he sided with Lily. I can't imagine that every year in Slytherin was like this-- presumably some of them were ambitious in other ways, trying to prove themselves or succeed in some field or make money or rise in society or whatever-- but we know he had such friends from the canon, so I figured that those would be his roommates. By the way, I just submitted Ch. 14, finally-- sorry about the delay!