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Review:Violet Gryfindor says:
This is another fantastic chapter. Somehow you keep making them better and I don't know whether it's doing my self-esteem any good to read your work. ;) The quality of writing here is top-notch and I very much admire your characterizations and interpretation of the Marauder Era.

Oh, you did it! You've written one of the best scenes between Snape and Lily that I've ever read, taking into account many of the issues that too easily get brushed aside in other stories. I loved how assertive Lily was, speaking her mind, yet doing so in a way that was still supportive and positive - you captured the perfect balance between her famous strength and kindness. Your portrayal of Lily is fantastic throughout the novel, but this last scene goes above and beyond anything I expected anyone to write about Lily. You made her very real - one can see where the legend comes from, but you make her human and down-to-earth, like in the way that she hesitates before approaching Snape, having to remind herself of the promise to Regulus. Although she treats Snape with kindness and is even friendly toward him, she's still uncertain of him and his motives - this is why she has to assert herself and tell him that they've become very different people. Her line about trying to figure out where they can fit into each other's lives was perfect - it's the one thing that Snape has trouble doing, though, because he seems to want it all. (I do wonder whether he doesn't want to give up his friends because he fears what they do could to him if he's not their friend, or is it that he genuinely doesn't want to give them up, and thus change himself? It's an interesting question.) You demonstrate the problem with Snape's ideas because he unrealistically wants Lily and wants to be with his Death Eater friends, ignoring the fact that it's never going to work - he wants that childhood with just himself and Lily, but he doesn't take Lily into account at all. It's sad because I don't even know how much he listens to her in this scene.

But thank you for writing it. Someone needed to do it, and you did it beautifully, without bias.

There were other scenes in this chapter, weren't there? :P What struck me most was that, although Regulus did the right thing and made that overture to Sirius, it went unnoticed. How could Sirius not even think that maybe his brother would have done this for him? It's like he doesn't even think of Regulus at all, just lumps him in with their parents. It explains why he continued to harbour his negative feelings toward Regulus in canon, claiming that Regulus would just do whatever their parents wanted. The world doesn't seem to recognize that Regulus might have a mind of his own, and it's strange because other young people - even younger than Regulus - are constantly rebelling in the series, yet no one gives a thought that Regulus too might be capable of it. Is it that he's too reserved and quiet? Or that he's too good at playing the role of loyal Black son and Slytherin? He may be an enigmatic character, but the way that other people in the Potterverse see him is even more perplexing. You write him excellently, and like with Lily, you give him a lot of depth, emotion, and complexity.

It's what makes your story a joy to read - even after months away from it, I can step back into this world you've formed without feeling out of place. It's a wonderful experience, and something that's hard enough to get with published fiction. Brilliant work!

Author's Response: Oh, puh-lease, you're too kind :D I will say that it's been awesome hearing back from you as I attempt to grow in my writing, and your feedback has been really crucial to my growth over the past 2 years.

Oh, oh, I'm so happy you like my Lily! I keep getting feedback that she's too nice and clean, and I really tried to bring out her flaws and insecurities as the story wore on to show that the difficulty of trying to keep to the deal was starting to wear on her quite a bit. I'm sure it must have been extremely challenging to face Snape after what occurred between them, especially with at least a lot of suspicion about the magic he's learned to wield, and I wanted to showcase Lily trying to stick to her guns and yet feeling that hint of doubt throughout the exchange.

I viewed Snape throughout the story and especially in this scene as being sort of greedy at his heart--not necessarily because he's a "bad" character and it's just part of what you get, but because he's trying so hard to avoid living in deprivation like he was forced to do as a child. He's willing to do what it takes to keep Lily and his new friends, and he doesn't understand the idea of having to give one up.

Regulus, on the other hand, I see as still being quite young and earnest at his heart. He wants to prove himself, and yet he's not ready to give up all his freedom quite yet despite being fascinated by what the Dark Lord has to offer. I think you're right that Sirius casually lumps him in with Orion and Walburga, and that it's really quite unfair to do that when you consider his complexity. I became really attached to Regulus over the course of the story, and I think he and Lily both grew a lot.

Your reviews are always so wonderful, and I love how much they make me think. Thank you, Susan!

-Amanda


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