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Review:Violet Gryfindor says:
Wow! I was not expecting to cry. This is incredible, but the best part about this story is that it creeps up on you, lulling readers into a false sense of security with the careful description of Snape's routine and his outward absence of emotion. He seems so logical and ordered, but the very precision of his actions as he unwraps the gifts reveals a frightening intensity of feeling that he's repressed for so long. That's an aspect of his character that many seem to forget, or at least neglect - he's caught between this overwhelming emotion and a brain that tries to resist the chaos of feeling. He even locks away the thing that represents his "heart" because it's a weakness, or so he regards it. But it isn't, not really. His love for Lily is his strength, and by repressing it, he's showing that he still hasn't forgiven himself.

The letter itself was the breaking point for my tears. Reading Lily's candid voice and her hopes for the future was painful because, and I'm sure you expected this, my mind would flash to the things that happened instead - how Harry and Snape did meet, how Snape was Harry's teacher, and what came of everything in Snape's life thereafter. It's amazing how you portray Lily because, just from her letter, I got a very vivid impression of her personality, from her optimism to her practical streak and her affectionate nature. You give her a strong voice, and it's easy to see why Snape feels so deeply for her. She would understand and appreciate both sides of him.

This one-shot is perfectly canon in its style and its way of including those little references to magical things that signal a quality Potterverse story. You capture not only the characters spot-on, but you also capture the world around him, and that's always a treat to find. I'm just thinking now that this is the first time I've read something of yours, and I'm wondering why I haven't before because you're a fantastic writer! Just in this thousand-or-so words, you do so much, and I admire that a lot. Amazing work!

Author's Response: Wow, how did I not notice this review? Sorry about that! I'm usually really quick about replying, especially when someone awesomely nice like you takes the time to write a long one.

I'm really just so honored that you stopped by my page, Susan. I'm a HUGE fan of your graphics and your writing (even if I'm not able to review it as often as I'd like due to darn real-life time constraints). Thank you so much for your compliments. Reviews are always nice, but when they're as unexpected and thoughtful as this, it really means a lot to me.

It's funny to me how I probably would have never written a truly canon Snape if I hadn't been asked to do this Christmas drabble for a friend. The thought of canon Snape at Christmas is really heartbreaking because we can basically assume from his "home" at Spinner's End that he's totally alone without even any family anymore. Because it was for someone else, it was important to me to have Lily be a part of it since she is his entire life, even after she's gone. Even though it's "only" childrens/young adult fiction, I think Snape is one of the most tragic men in literature, rivaling even someone more classic like Heathcliff. I barely ever wrote fan fiction before Harry Potter, and when I did in the past it was nowhere near the amount of time and care I've put into my Snape stuff. So, sorry this reply is getting long. Hahaha. I can kind of talk about him forever.

I never expected to make someone cry with this, so that's such an amazing compliment. Thank you :) I wrote this before I had any children of my own, so looking back on it, it's even sadder to me. I took note last year of the day when my son turned the same age as Harry the night Lily died, 15 months exactly, and I can't even fathom having to leave him at such a young age where he wouldn't remember anything about me. Now that I have a child I still wouldn't change anything about her letter, which makes me a little proud of myself a few years ago when I wrote this.

Anyway, thanks again and sorry for the delay in replying! This was such a nice surprise to stumble upon when on my way to answer a different review. I love love LOVED that doing some judging for the TGS awards last year gave me an excuse to put off chores to read "Out of Time" because it's a phenomenal story. I'm just tickled pink you liked something of mine as well :)
~Renny


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