So, I've been meaning to read more of your writing (and actually have adequate time to leave a review) for ages and ages. So, when I logged onto HPFF this morning and saw this in the new story thread, I decided to pop over to read it (and to leave this review). I am so, so glad that I did.
I adore Heart of Darkness and I'm not sure if I would have made the connection without your quote at the beginning, but after reading it (really a perfect choice to begin this one shot) I jumped easily to the Kurtz comparison. I don't read much Snape/Lily, so I don't really know how the ship is typically portrayed in fic, but this was gorgeous. I love them in a dysfunctional-never-to-be sort of way. Snape's characterization in canon is so well written and sad -- living his entire life for the charicature of her in his memory, it's really a beautiful pallatte to work with.
I'm gtoing to try and stop rambling now and actually comment on your story. :P I think this small moment in time worked extremely well without dialogue. The thought process buzzing in Lily's head did a wonderful job at carrying this. Your use of description... I'm so jealous at the way your words really meld with your setting, they are dank and musty and sort of dark and creeping. I could not only see the dungeon corridors, I could feel them as well. I'm not sure if this was intentional or not, but a lot of your paragraphs ended with very succint, simple statements. This sentance structure lends itself to situation at hand. Snape and Lily have sort of reached a end. It is what it is. I don't know if I'm making any sense at all, but the short sentances sort of tied into their relationship as portrayed in this fic.
The last thing I wanted to comment on was this sentence: "Anger was anger; it could not also be love." It speaks to the power of a word. Back when I was in Highschool, my english teacher always recited this mantra "table... chair" slapping his hand agains the table and the chair. It was sort of a way for him to tell us to use our words. A table is a table and not a chair. But your line on Anger not being love sort of took me back to that classroom. It made me think of how truly dysfunctional relationships can be that anger can be confused as love. distrust as love... habbit as love. gah. See, you made me think and now I've been rambling on for far, far too long.
I apologize for the lenght of this review and how mostly pointless it is, I'm am a champion of stream of concious-review writing much to my dismay. :P
This was fabulous, and I hope to read more of your work (and maybe even leave a more coherent review) in the near future.
Author's Response: Thank you very much for popping in to read this story! It's wonderful that you want to read more of my work, but it's even better that you enjoyed what you found. ^_^
I wondered whether people would make the connection, even with the quote, so I put off my explanation for the end, but for some reason, keeping that novella in mind while writing helped guide me through the dungeons alongside of Lily. It was very strange writing this, knowing only where I wanted to end, but nothing of what should happen before that. Sometimes I thought I might be forcing the story to follow the novella too closely, but you're right - it's not that clear after all. *phew*
This ship sails on a sea of pain. :P But that's the appeal. You've said it far better than I could - to live for years on those memories and what ifs... it's terrible to admit, but it does provide extraordinary inspiration for a story.
It was intentional! It's fantastic that you picked up on that about the word choice and sentence structure. I kept placing myself in that dungeon and describing it as it should feel with the sharpness of the stone and the cold air. Usually I fall into the trap of writing endless sentences, but I'm trying to go back to a shorter, tenser style, and it's great to hear that it worked for this story. :D
Oh dear, that way of teaching leaves no room for metaphor! O_O But it captures the same straight-forward logical mind that I've given Snape here. He can't see that one object can be two things at once, at least from Lily's point of view. Lily's got a more fluid understanding of the world around her and can see it changing, transmuting, all beyond her power. When she lashes out at him after the "Worst Memory" incident, it's because she loves him - if she did not care, she would have no reason to be so angry. But because of Snape's experiences with his father, he sees anger only in its negative sense, and it controls how he reacts to Lily's anger.
Please don't apologize for the length of your review! It has been a pleasure to read and respond to. ^_^