Gah, I'm so sorry this is late! I was about to pm you to apologise, but then I had a bit of free time and nabbed the chance to actually get the review in. Life has been hectic recently, with deadlines and tests and more reading to do than I have hours for, but it's an explanation not an excuse and I'm sorry!
Anyway, I loved this! I'm not a huge fan of Snily myself (I'm a big canon lover), I have to admit - it's not something I look out for at all - but this was just beautiful. You took everything about the ship - the way Severus' feelings are ever-so more towards obsession than anything else, the way he's jealous of James, the possessive nature he has... and you put it all into this while somehow managing not to degrade the fact that he loved her. Because he did, but he was all those other things as well, and you just balanced the two so well. I don't feel sorry for Severus, but I suppose I pity him in a way, because yes, he loved her, but they would never have worked, you know? It was kinda doomed to be forever one-sided, in a way, and the way you described them as so different, with paths simply happening to run alongside each other for a while conveyed that so well.
Your writing is brilliant as well. Even with the quotes and the references to classic literature and things, it was so easy to read - almost effortless. I think I noticed one point where you changed tense - you said 'chooses' and I'm not sure if you meant 'chose' instead? - but that doesn't really matter. It didn't detract from the story at all for me. You might want to check it over, though, simply because it's the only mistake and having a flawless one-shot would be pretty amazing :P
Also, I thought the way you grouped the sins was interesting. They fit very well together in those groups for the one-shot, but I wouldn't ever really have thought about grouping them together like that myself. I'd probably have done it differently... The mention of hope being the cruellest sin of all was fascinating as well - I've honestly never thought about it like that before, but for him, it is and you really made me understand that.
I've actually sat here for a couple of minutes now, trying to find something constructive to say, some way you could improve after all the advice you gave me (which, I have to say, was brilliant), but I just can't find anything O.o
I really loved this!
Author's Response: No worries at all! I completely understand how real life can get in the way of our fan fiction pursuits, and I really am pleased you dropped by at all. Don't give it another thought!
I'm a pretty big canon lover, myself, and this is really the only way I love Snily (though I adore it in this sense) -- unrequited love, where Snape forever pines for her, and Lily never returns his sentiments. There's something bittersweet and romantically tragic about the fact that every major choice Snape made in his life, and for most of the second half of that life, was done for Lily, the woman he never, ever stopped loving. I don't think it was an entirely healthy obsession by any means, and I write Snape a lot, so something I'm always trying to get across is this sort of complex duality about him. There are positive and negative attributes to his personality, and I feel that, a lot of the time, people write him in one extreme or the other. He is a huge mix of traits and I can't even list them all (I've just tried to provide examples!); I love him for his complexity.
I'm so, so pleased that you find my writing easy to read, too! ♥ That really means a lot to me. The quotes and allusions aren't designed to make me seem... intelligent, or whatever; they're there to supplement the story, and if I can't get that story across to the reader, then the supplementary materials aren't any good. You know? I get frustrated with people who write in such an abstract style that people confuse their lush imagery and scores of words for substance and depth. Just tell me what you mean! (Thank you for catching that slip, too -- I changed tenses halfway through this, and editing was a real pain!)
I played around with different groupings of the seven sins, and I'm happy to hear that the groups I ended up using worked for you. :) And I'm beyond flattered that you've claimed to not be able to find critique!
This review truly is lovely, Aph -- I'm still a bit speechless, reading it back over. I'm so glad we got paired up for this month's exchange! ♥ Thank you so, so much for taking the time to leave such in-depth comments!