I know this fic is old and later books in the series contradicted certain events you portrayed here, but because I feel this was so masterfully written I really didn't mind any of that so I won't bother nitpicking. Instead I'll just give my thoughts overall.
I have to say, I steered as *clear as possible* of Snape/OC fics before I had a go at reading this, since Snape/Lily is an OTP of mine and I feel the majority writers who pair an OC with Snape just tarnish his character and pure love completely (you did neither of those). But I told myself to give this story a chance since the first chapter so politely requested doubtful readers to give it a try. And the result of that is that now I really, really just adore your deep writing style and how your characters and their interactions are so well developed that they just come to life from the text--ugh! I never get this attached to original characters, but I teared up when Grimm died--and that turned my initial skepticism into great fondness. I read this story *twice* in the span of one week and I still loved it as much the second time.
I also love how you didn't force a relationship between Snape and Emma and that they didn't get a happy, cliched fairytale ending. The bittersweet ending was a much better fit in my honest opinion, since they are both rather tragic characters. And on that note, I'm glad you finished this story and saw it through to the end because if it had been left unfinished I'm not sure I would have been able to adore it as much since it's easier for me to feel attached to completed stories than abandoned or unfinished works since I usually tend to wander away from and lose interest in those types.
I'm sure if I don't stop somewhere I'll end up ranting like a loon about what else I liked, so I guess that's the end of this review. I'll definitely be checking out your other works!
Author's Response: To put it simply from my end, the last two books threw very large wrenches into my plots and characterizations and made finishing this story very, very difficult (because I'm a stickler for canon unless one is writing explicitly AU material). I should have finished writing before HBP came out, but instead I slow down and get further put off by DH's revelations. *sigh*
As soon as I read DH, I leapt onto the good ship Snilly once and for all, so I can understand your trepidation regarding Snape/OC. I miss the innocent days of Snape/OC stories, but I can't read them anymore, unless one came out that cleverly and plausibly fit into canon.
Anyway, I'm stunned by this review. To be honest, until I received this review, I despised this story with every ounce of my creative being - so many things went wrong with it and it's far from the ideal I kept dreaming it would be. But after I read your thoughts, I went back and read through the ending chapters (and my favourite earlier chapters with Grimm and Minerva - that part of the story, at least, was a success), and I can see what you mean. There is depth and character sympathy and the writing's better than I thought it was (can I say that?) - those chapters with Snape and Emma may be ridiculously plotted, but the feeling there is strong, and that's what counts. Thank you for shoving me back into this story - it's always good to go back to one's roots and to see that they're not as rotten as one imagines them to be. I hated this story for so long, but looking back, I don't quite know why.
Thank you for reading and reviewing this story. It means a lot to hear these things from someone, especially one who enjoyed the story, and took the time to read it multiple times - that's got to mean something, and I appreciate it. There's no better compliment you could have paid. ^_^