Tagging you from Review Tag! And how fortunate I feel to be able to catch you here. :)
This chapter was very different from the three that came before it. In the previous chapters, you showed the characters exploring and confronting, in some way, their fears. Perhaps even coming to terms with them in some cases. Here, we see Snape living out his worst nightmare. It was powerful and tense and instantly brought to mind the scene in the pensieve in Deathly Hallows. Ergo, it filled me with a horrible feeling of grief and sadness.
I thought you did a terrific job of capturing Snape's motivations and nuances. He might be Dumbledore's man, but he's far from sympathetic toward his fellow Order members. You set such a great tone early on:
“Only that the werewolf Lupin has been cast out by his friends,” Snape said relishing the truth behind his words. “He may be a good candidate to recruit as a spy.” The last part was far from the truth but the lie tasted sweet in his mouth. -- Yep, that's Severus Snape. He's practical enough to know which side he needs to be on, but he still relishes any opportunity to take pleasure in the unhappiness of his adversaries-turned-allies.
I liked that he blames Sirius for everything. One of the saddest aspects of the very sad story of the Marauders is that the ruse that James, Lily, Sirius and Peter devised together ended up being more effective than any of them probably ever dreamed that it could. It destroyed the lives of nearly everyone it touched. Snape simply draws the logical conclusion, as he was meant to.
Reliance on Dumbledore made Severus weak. But it had been a moment of the utmost weakness that caused him to turn to his former headmaster for help. -- This was a brilliant way to encapsulate Snape's betrayal of the Dark Lord from his point of view. I've never thought of him as being especially heroic. He had an insurmountable obsession with Lily, one that wasn't really healthy. It drove many of the most important decisions in his life. As you go on to show in such a gripping and thoughtful way, his greatest fear was a world without her. As long as she lived, he could continue to believe that she'd someday be his.
Then we come to the last scene. I was right there with Severus. I felt very apprehensive moving from paragraph to paragraph, knowing what was coming. I could practically hear the strains of the violin from the movie.
The sight that met Snape in the child’s room caused a piece of his life to end. She was dead, no more. -- It feels wrong to suggest that anything good came from Lily's death, but I can think of at least two. First, Harry lived on, protected from the Dark Lord. Second, Snape was finally forced to come to terms with reality. Lily was gone. There was no longer even a remote possibility that she might be his. It forced him to deal with reality as it truly was and decide once and for all where he stood, free of ulterior motives. The decision he made, in the end, made all the difference.
Beautiful chapter! I really enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to finishing!
Author's Response: I love getting your reviews - they're always thoughtful and full of delight! And, um, I'm quite beside myself that you've been looking to catch me on the Review Tag. Talk about ego-pumping.
Snape's fear was more immediate and in-the-moment than the other three. Not to mention his was the one which had the most at stake (in terms of Lily's death). Snape seemed like the best person to write in the midst of a tradity.
Snape was a struggle to get into so I'm extremely thrilled to hear that he felt right. :D We did see in the books that, while Snape was on Dumbledore's side, he never liked Dumbledore's people. His social enemies remained the same throughout his life.
The 'clever' move to have Peter as the secrect keeper and not tell people has made me irate on so many occassions (especially while writing this). It bothers me so much that no one questioned whether Sirius was the secret keeper but they weren't meant to. ugh.
I do see Snape as having more selfish motivations throughout the two wars. At least they start off that way. It kind of made me sick, the way he made her into this possession or goal to obtain. If she and James had lived, I think Snape would have tried his hand at splitting their marriage when they hit rocky times.
I'm so glad the story had you sucked into the end scene. It was the most powerful part of this chapter. Lily's death could have/should have been the end of his obsession but he never moved on. Even on his deathbead (floor really), Snape's one desire was to remember her and experience the hope that they could be together.
Thank you so much for a wonderful review!! I can't tell you how happy it makes me that you've enjoyed this short story series!!