Hey! So I added this to my faves a really long time ago and when I was looking back at my list of fantastic stories, I realized that I hadn't reviewed this! Being a fellow SAYSer that just doesn't seem right. :P Upon re-reading this oneshot, words have failed me yet again, but I shall try my best.
The beginning is what really sets the mood. You have such a powerful use of vocabulary mixed with delicate phrasing, completely conveying an eerie atmosphere of warfare. I CANNOT get over it, you've earned yourself a new fangirl from the very first paragraph. I would point out the best sentences, but there are far too many.
It's amazing what a rabid plot bunny can do, isn't it? I haven't read that many fics exploring this pairing, but I simply love it. I don't even know what else to say on the matter. I've been known to get a bit irritated with certain characterizations of Hermione, but I think this one is great. She has the faintest trace of her old self, and then a completely new, broken and barely living self... It really adds to the tragedy of the war which is only too real. I actually believe that all of that stuff is happening and it isn't at all cliche like so many stories I've read.
And then there's Severus Snape. You've taken my favorite character and done wonders. He's the same old self - he's still got his personality - but he too has been affected by warfare. I really, truly believe everything he says and does, and it's just so perfect that I really can't think of a high enough compliment for the way you chose to write him. Every sentence of dialogue on his and Hermione's part is simply dripping with tragedy and absolutely flawless. It's quiet and heart-breaking and SQUEE all at the same time.
Going back to the beginning for a moment, I must add that however horrible it is, I loved the description of carnage. The looks in the eyes of the dead... how darkly poetic. And not in a cheesy way. It's so real and terrifying. Your description and feelings and dialogue and every bit of emotion that is clearly visible in this piece is so poignant and PERFECT that this could very well be my favorite story on the archive.
So if my babbling praise lacked sense, then what I'm trying to say is, you got mad skillz, yo. You got a keyboard and you know how to use it.
Author's Response: So even years later it still sounds good? :D That's a wonderful thing in itself to hear because sometimes, older stories get "old" quickly and aren't as worth reading. I'm really glad that this story isn't one of them (it holds a special place for being so different from what I usually wrote at the time - especially the beginning, which is my favourite part of this).
Oooh yay! Both the characters are believable and in character, which doesn't happen enough in Snarmione, but I'm really glad that it worked out here. :D Hermione was the most interesting to write for this story because she was so broken. The war made her into a different person, and while traces of her remain, she's unrecognizable. Even Ron doesn't want to know her anymore.
Snape was probably the harder of the two. He needs to be written in a very particular way - sarcastic and dark, but with that something else that, in canon, became his everlasting love for Lily. I loved writing him more for the second Snarmione story I did ("Afterglow", which is from his perspective), but I'm so glad that, in this story, he turned out well. More than well, from the sound of that squee. :P
Thank you very much for this, Chelsea! It was a fantastic surprise to see this review and I really appreciate that you re-read the story and reviewed it. *wields keyboard* This guy and me aren't going anywhere just yet. But really, I need to write more Snape. ^_^
EDIT: whoa. I just read that this might be your favourite story, and I'm blown away by that. Wow! Thank you very much, it's a huge compliment and just WOW! *glomps*