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Review:CambAngst says:
Tagging you from the Review Tag 2.0 thread.

Wow. I was blown away by the amazing descriptiveness and dark beauty of this. The imagery you used to describe Eileen and her terrible fall from grace was incredibly powerful and moving. All throughout the story, I couldn't help but think of Merope Gaunt. The way you captured her life and the events that led to Severus Snape's miserable childhood drew out incredible parallels. My mind was blown.

From the outset, the way you characterized Eileen reminded me so much of Severus. The gifted child with a dark streak. The single-minded focus. The desire to be in control of her own fate and have what she wanted on her own terms was very reminiscent of Severus's obsession with Lily. The fact that she comes from affluence rather than poverty was almost secondary for me.

Sadly for her, the world seems to see her for what she is. Too narrow. Too tainted. Unable to function well outside of her narrow domain.

The way she captures Tobias Snape's affections was what really made me see a parallel between Snape's life and Tom Riddle's. Yet Snape was able to feel love, albeit a very possessive version of it. The difference is curious and I wonder whether you thought about it at all as you wrote this? The ending was also horribly similar to the story of Tom Riddle, Sr. and Merope Gaunt, except that poor Tobias lacks the means that Riddle had to reject his deceiver and return to his former life. Thus, he destroys her magical things and continues to live in bitterness and regret. It's heart-breaking.

One line that was so amazing I have to repeat it: What would his love potion smell like? Spirits, poverty, disappointment. I'm just at a loss for words...

I really, really loved this. It was a clinic on rich, poetic writing and amazing use of imagery. Just brilliant!

Author's Response: Hi again, Dan! Thank you for coming to visit!

I did keep Merope in mind quite a bit as I read this. I wanted to come at the idea of a love potion from a different angle, in terms of characterization, but I did like the canon motif. It's great that it made sense to you, and that you liked the dark beauty here.

You know, she is. My head canon says that Severus and his mother were incredibly close. She's part of the good parts of him, like Lily--and yet this diverts from that quite a bit. Here, I view her and Tobias as equally responsible for his plentiful flaws. I think in that sense, he fits well into this tragedy.

I didn't think much about Snape's ability to feel love, but that's interesting to ponder. Perhaps it's captured in Eileen's youthful optimism--I think Severus would have felt a similar sense of triumph as he used magic to charm Lily into being his childhood friend. Merope was used to tragedy; Eileen isn't here. I think it's a little poetic to imagine Severus unconsciously clinging to that shred of hope, given that tragedy also dominated his life.

I love that line, and I'm glad you did, too! That, and the one about her hating Tobias for destroying her potions. Poor both of them.

Thank you so much for this lovely review!

Amanda


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