Hello! As promised, I've popped by to read this story for you. This actually first caught my eye in Recently Added, but I was saving my 600th review for a certain story, and made a mental note to check it out later. When Jami messaged me telling me I should read it, it made me laugh! She knows how much I love Snape, and I really do; I'm always up for a Snape story. And I was thrilled to bits to see you've cast Conor Oberst as his image, because that's who Snape is on my trilogy banners, too!
I think the very first thing that struck me about this one-shot was how extremely well you're able to use language. :) I have a very large appreciation for people who know how to use imagery, without coating their story in it so much as to lose the message. It's not something that can be learned, in my opinion, and you seem to have a very natural grasp of it. There were a couple of lines especially that stuck out to me:
The word ‘potions’ is a mere accident away from becoming ‘poisons’.
My heart beats in her chest.
These two lines are gorgeous! Really, really well done, Athene, and I'm honestly not just saying that. You write beautifully!
I'll admit that I didn't look at the warnings for this story before clicking on it, and as such initially was a bit wary of some of the things you were having Snape think and do -- sitting outside the Potters' house, for one. It's not how I see his character at all, because he was incredibly smart, and wouldn't have taken those risks, you know? And then by the end of this story I realized that it was a bit AU, and I became much more satisfied with how you wrote him. :D (I often feel I have to defend Snape -- I think I started building my walls before I knew what I was up against!)
And to that end, one of the things I really liked was that, as I was reading, I was making small mental notes of questions to ask you in this review. By the end, you'd answered them all! And I really admire that -- in novels, you have chapters and chapters to tie up loose ends. With one-shots, you only get... well, one shot. And it was great that you seemed to anticipate, and then answer, potential questions in yours.
I would definitely say your first foray into dark writing was a success! Dark stories are always my favorites, and I think this is something you should try again. I really enjoyed this. :)
Author's Response: Sorry it's taken me so long to respond to this brilliant review! I really appreciate the thought you put into it, particularly considering the fact that you could have allowed yourself to be biased because, let's face it, I'm completely beastly to old Sev.
Yeah, I really liked Conor Oberst's look for a young Snape, and I think Milady did a wonderful job with the banner (if I say so myself!). I'd definitely cast him again.
I have a huge appreciation of readers who enjoy imagery, properly deployed! Haha. And I'm very glad you picked that out, as creating an image in my reader's mind is really important to me, whilst trying to avoid purple prose.
*blush* thank you for the lovely things you said.
Yes, when I was first planning this story, it was AU because of the twist - but as I started writing, it became clear that this unhinged Snape was very much not the controlled, analytical man we know from the books. what I did was take a complex character with a known history and gave him major psychological issues!
Thank you so much again for this lovely review, and for the encouragement to write in the dark genre again. I really enjoyed it and hope to do so again once I get a good idea!