|Review:||Violet Gryfindor says:|
Here for the review tag! I like nabbing these chances to read more of your work, and seeing a Snape story was impossible to resist. I'm only sorry that the banner doesn't suit the story quite as well as it should (if you want me to redo, just say).
You write an excellent Snape! He's a challenging character to grasp because he's multifaceted, but it's also easy to oversimplify his character. Your portrayal of his childhood and youth is nothing short of amazing, and I enjoyed the exploration of his relationship with his mother. I've never seen it done in this way before, and it struck me as a very realistic snapshot of a woman caught up in an abusive relationship. She tries to console her son and show him love, but just like Snape himself noted, she never tries to save herself - she just apologizes over and over. It's painful because there probably is no way for her to escape - either she can't see a life outside her own, or something else keeps her chained to Tobias. What stood out most to me was the kind of role you gave Snape as a protector rather than the boy in Snape's memories who cowers in the corner. He becomes a very strong character because of the circumstances of his home life, but it also makes him feel more hate than any child should feel. You provide the roots of the character that we see in the series, revealing how he became so conflicted, a true "grey" character navigating that troubled balance between love and hate.
I couldn't even tell that it was outside of your comfort zone until you mentioned it at the end - only then did I go back and see how the second part lacked confidence. It's very good, but as one of your previous reviewers said, it does feel a little rushed - or perhaps not as in-depth is the more accurate way of putting it. I was very much drawn in by the depth and style of the first part, so the second part, while sweet and pretty on its own, doesn't feel like enough to balance the heaviness of the first section. But perhaps that was what you'd intended, setting off the darkness of the Snape's home life with Lily's light innocence. I like how absolutely confused Snape is when confronted with Lily - she's so trusting and kind, and it's painful to see how alien those things are to Snape. You allow him to become more than the creepy boy who watches Lily from afar - he's swept up in her kindness and it's easy to see how he became enchanted with her because, for the first time, someone is treating him like a human being.
What I would like to see is more umph in the ending. That's not a particularly technical term, but what I mean is that it needs more of an emotional punch. For Snape to start trusting someone is hugely important, and even if you don't want to allude to the breaking of that trust later in their lives, there still should be at least one more sentence that emphasizes the significance of that moment.
Wow, this review has become longer than I intended. Needless to say, I'm very glad that I was able to read this story. You did a wonderful job with the characters! ^_^
Author's Response: Hi!! Thank you again so much for picking up both review tags ♥
And! I LOVE my banner! It's not going anywhere and is exactly what I had in mind when requesting.
Snape was easily the scariest person I've had to write so far. Or chose to, I suppose, since I don't have to write anyone :P.
I really wanted to carry this story through four stages of apology. But when I got into the section with him and Lily then tried to continue onto Hogwarts days, I just couldn't keep my own opinions of Severus out of it. The most important thing for me was to portray him in a way that I thought would do the Severus that Amanda loves justice. And I'm just not good enough yet to separate my own biases from a character... he ended up getting that bitter taste no matter what I tried. Hopefully when I improve on showing a charter in their own light and leaving out my biases, I can come back to this and finish it the way I wanted it to play out. I'm not happy with the ending feeling rushed either... especially when I know what the full story could have read like, but I'll get back to it someday soon hopefully!
Hahah I think umph is the perfect technical term for what the ending could use! I do hope I'll be able to give his a proper one soon...
I'm so happy that his childhood home life felt realistic to you. The only way I can see a man craving the kind of power, being able to shut off his own emotions when needed so accurately, was if he was taught to do that very, very young. And, as sad as it is, needing to have the power to control his own emotions, the strength to shut off what he was feeling and care for his mom, felt like something that could only be built on a very abusive upbringing.
Showing what brought him into that grey area, how he can truly love lily but treat her son with such cruelty, was very important to me. Because we know he wasn't always the nicest man. He made young children scared to make a mistake, but if he was taught to be terrified to make a mistake, then it wouldn't seem so wrong to pass that on, would it? I get, for the first time, just why people do love writing him so much. There's so many faces to him, and even if I can't do him justice in his later years, at least now I am interested in reading stories that can :P.
Phew! Now this response has gone on much longer than I meant it to! haha! thank you so much for this amazing review, and hopefully I'll eventually give it a proper ending. You know how much I love your writing, so you enjoying something of mine is such an incredible compliment ♥