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Review:academica says:
I'm finally here to review this wonderful story you wrote for me! ♥ I'm sorry that work and illness kept me from it, and I just want to say again how sweet it is that you thought of me over the holidays :)

Okay, first off, I love the idea of pseudo-happy Severus and Eileen. I know I didn't exactly write them that way in The Fairest, but they're really my head canon. I want to believe that Eileen was somehow part of Severus's little happiness in life, in that she loved him because his father wouldn't, especially once she found out he could do magic. I love the imagery in that first section, especially how you described her as "spilling promises" over him. It speaks of a careless desperation that seems to characterize and sum up that whole section in such beautiful, simple speech.

The complexity you've woven into this short piece is astounding! I love the parallels between Eileen's "pretend" sort of magic, with giving Severus his own room, and the knowledge that one day he'll acquire true, rather fearsome magical abilities. I love how I instantly thought of him trying to face the Marauders and joining Voldemort in his attempt to gather more power in that section with his father. I really liked the obvious parallels between Eileen and Lily, too--him wanting to protect her, him wanting them to be together despite the odds. Do I sense a hint of anger there for Lily's unwillingness to be with him as they grew older?

reeked of the stale poison he consumed by the gallons -- ugh, gorgeous. it's perfect.

I love the moment you described between Severus and Lily, because it's innocent and friendly and doesn't need to be anything more. For me, that simplicity is part of the beauty of the ship. I love how he's drawn to her despite his better judgment--I can already see a fledgling scientist in this piece, deducing from evidence and making notes! I also love the irony of his father not liking "mess," since that seems to be all that he creates.

This was lovely, Jami. Honestly, I couldn't come up with a single critique! I just want to offer my congratulations to you on taking this challenge and really giving it your best shot. It can be so hard to step outside your familiar box, and having done it before, I can look back and say that it marked the beginning of a progression in my own work. I hope you enjoyed it (at least a little!) and that you see similar results and benefits as you continue writing.

What a wonderful gift! Thank you again, lovely!

♥ Amanda

Author's Response: I'm so happy you liked this ♥

I enjoyed writing it so . I think the fact that it was super terrifying to start on this character I have such a hard time figuring out made for half the enjoyment. And despite how complety Jily us James Lily shippers are... that doesn't take away the fact that Severus and Lily absolutely without a doubt did have a very special friendship at one point. It may not have been entirely healthy between both of them wanting something the other couldn't give.. but it was still a rare kind of bond.

Taking pre-Hogwarts Lily.. when she wasn't a talented, popular witch, before she met James and the other Marauders, and putting her next to pre-death eater Severus was so much more fun than I thought it would be because it did make sense! Lily was just a sweet, innocent girl who wanted to do he best to make people happy. Severus was a little boy who'd been through too much, who'd seen more than he ever should have to, who needed more than anything to find something to believe in. When I took away all my James biases and thought about them just like that, it really made me understand why you Snily people love them so much. Not that I'm jumping ship or anything.. :P but at least I get it now, haha.

I'm so happy you liked this and I hope it does at least a little bit to show you how grateful I am that you've not only helped me improve in writing, but helped me get this certain confidence in my writing I've never had before.

So, not only did i get to thank an awesome friend for being so great, but I got to step further outside my box! This is looking like it was pretty much a win win for me ;)

Feel better soon, Amanda!

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