|Review:||800 words of heaven says:|
Heya! Here with your incredibly late (as always) review request!
Ooh! We get to see things from Snape's perspective. Exciting stuff! And what's this? Sirius Black of all people is sitting in the restricted section? Studying potions? No wonder he goes to hide in the restricted section and study. He can protect his devil-may-care reputation that way.
I really enjoyed the way you wrote the interaction between Sirius and Snape. Sirius can be quite conniving and cruel when he feels up to it, and the situation that is going to happen as a result of this is going to be doubly painful and cringe-worthy because Snape actually feels some empathy for Remus, and that's just plain heartbreaking. Sure, everything that Snape ever really does is for Lily, but he's willing to offer Remus his help because he feels for him, and understands the importance of some relationships. I love reading Sirius this way. I'm doubly guilty of this, but often this side of him is either ignored, or is turned into something involving girls and relationships instead. Sirius is just a supporting character in this story, but it's so fantastic the way you've shown him as a well-rounded character despite this, especially because you've done it all through the perspective of other characters.
Another thing I really love about this story is that whilst it's never explicitly said, the bond between the four Marauders is shown to be quite strong. I envy your excellent "show not tell" skills!
You asked whether Lily felt as if she were in character. I thought her introduction into the chapter, when it was just her, sounded like her, but the entire scene with Snape read as if she was really detached from everything. Perhaps she was in shock? It just felt as if she wasn't quite there. The scene between her and James was sufficiently awkward, though! That always present undercurrent always makes me giggle.
In terms of action, the only thing that didn't quite sit right was the timing. I am by no means an expert (having written about one and a half action scenes ever, and not very good ones at that) but I think because you skipped from James realising what was going on, to Lily's reaction to Snape's second-worst memory, the effect was a little lost in the middle because I didn't get to experience what Snape was going through in that moment. It's his actions that would have been most interesting in that case, at least for me, and because he just burst on the scene it felt a little flat. Also, even though you've written Snape so incredibly well, because this is the first chapter that we see things from his point of view (I think), I didn't feel any sort of emotional attachment to him to really feel for him when he finds out that Remus is a werewolf. The scene that follows though is very telling of who he is as a person though, and that makes up for that lack of connection. I definitely could relate to his feelings in the scene in the hospital wing!
Reading over this review, I sound really critical, but I really did enjoy it. You're such a good writer, that I have to try extra-hard to find things to comment on other than, "OMG YOU'RE SO AMAZING PLEASE TEACH ME YOUR WONDERFUL WAYS".
Author's Response: Hey, thanks for stopping by again!
Hah, we wouldn't want Sirius's supposed legion of female followers to know that he actually plans to pass his exams, right? Just kidding.
The Snape/Sirius interaction was really interesting to write; they clearly aren't at the point where they just spit fire back and forth with every conversation, but there's already clear animosity and distrust present in the air between them. It's kind of sad, because we already know James doesn't approve of Sirius using Remus to put Snape's life in danger, and yet Severus can't find it in his heart to give James another chance to show how much he's matured. I think it would be hard for anyone not to like James in this moment.
Yay, "show not tell!" I'm glad it works well here, because I'm always encouraging people to "show not tell" and I would hope I could provide examples of that in my own work :)
I think I would attribute some of Lily's detachment to shock. She's been trying to keep her budding relationship with James and her attempted reconciliation with Severus separate, and now they're both here in front of her fighting for her attention. It probably brings back some unpleasant memories. But I see what you're saying; perhaps I could find a way to make it more evident that this is shock she's feeling and not some other emotion.
Yeah, action is definitely one of my Achilles' heels (Can I have two? Because I'm not awesome at laugh-out-loud humor, either.). I think part of why I chose to focus on Lily with that interaction is because we kind of get Snape's perspective in canon; he clearly reflects on the whole thing with a lot of bitterness and resentment. I do think you make a good point about getting emotionally attached to Snape and wanting to know more about what it felt like to be betrayed by Sirius here. Perhaps there needed to be more than just the aftermath, which is what is seen in the hospital wing with the curse development. To be honest, I could probably write this scene from every character's perspective and it would be interesting; it's such a complicated and really tragic moment.
You didn't sound critical at all, and I really appreciate you paying attention to my areas of concern and providing good constructive feedback about how to improve. Even though this story is done, I may go back and edit it in the future, and I can always use your comments in future work. And of course I appreciate your kind words!!
Thanks so much once again :)