Hello! I've been wanted to read and review more of your writing, so I thought I would give this a try. It's really lovely. The imagery you summon to describe the world that Severus wakes up to after his death is striking and beautiful. The emotions are so intense and touching. Snape/Lily is not anywhere on my list of favorite pairings, but I liked this anyway.
The first section painted such a rich, detailed picture in my mind. It took me instantly back to the pensieve scene in Deathly Hallows and the young friends talking and holding hands underneath the tree. Severus's fears of rejection are so deep-seated, his despair at having lost her friendship still so raw... I loved the way you wrote him.
The scene where he shares his dying moment with Harry in the Shrieking Shack (the boathouse, if you're taking the movie version of events) was also very poignant. Her eyes get him in the end. Even though part of him still wants to see Harry as the personification of his father, he can't escape her eyes. I was pleased that you made his final thought one of Harry's safety.
And then there's her revelation at the end. Honestly, I'm not 100% sure how I feel about it. As I said, I'm not a fan of shipping Snape and Lily. That said, I don't think there's any other explanation for her presence in Severus's afterlife that would have been remotely fulfilling. At least not to him. Her love and forgiveness obviously meant more to him than life itself. It was something he could never have in life because she was gone. Now, in death, it's his ultimate reward for all of his bravery in the face of eventual certain death. So I guess what I'm saying in a roundabout way is that I'm OK with it. ;)
This was very well written. I didn't see any spelling or grammatical errors or typos. You had a great mix of narrative and dialog and your word choice was terrific. Nothing sounded flat or sing-songy. The only thing in the entire piece that I wasn't so wild about was the puzzle pieces metaphor. It just sounded a little corny, surrounded by so many other lovely descriptive passages. It's not a huge thing, just something that stuck out in my mind.
So overall, I think I'd say that you took this militantly anti-Snily reader and won me over for at least a few minutes. That's a sure sign that you did a bang-up job!
Author's Response: I was so very surprised to see a new review and from you, no less! It was quite lovely. Snape/Lily is definitely not on my list of favorite pairings either but I wrote it for academica and it fit into an AU that I had written so this worked out well for me.
I think I've been really trying to work on my imagery and descriptions in my writing since my hiatus and it's such a huge ego boost when people comment about how successful it was. It's definitely something I'm working on and trying to improve on, but positive comments are a huge help. The pensieve scene definitely inspired this fic, the whole childhood tree part especially.
It was hard for me to really wrap my head around Snape's love for Lily, but I wanted to show how much their friendship and then their subsequent parting had affected him.
I really loved writing that death scene. It was a little bit of dying madness, seeing Harry there and how much he looked like his father, but having Lily's eyes anchoring him there. He supposedly spent years trying to protect Harry and I didn't want him to forget that, even in his dying moments.
I'm telling you, this story was so hard for me to write, you have no idea. But my idea of the afterlife in other fics I've written...it's important for those who have recently departed to get a sense of closure, to receive forgiveness so they're not burdened by this unbearable weight for eternity. Lily could offer that redemption for Snape. Hah, I'm glad you're okay with it in a roundabout way.
TenthWeasley is a fabulous beta. I will be sure to pass your compliments on to her. Heh, yeah, that puzzle piece bit is rather corny (and kind of cliche). I'll look at it again and see if I can rewrite it to better fit the rest of the fic.
I was really surprised you chose this fic to review, but I'm glad you enjoyed it despite the pairing. I don't think I'll write them again, but it was a fun little exercise to get my creative juices flowing. Thank you so much for the surprise review. I will be sure to get to CoB soon! I keep getting caught up in the A Song of Ice and Fire series and letting fanfic slide to the wayside.