Thanks for writing this! I've always wondered about Snape's back story; the memories revealed in the The Prince's Tale hint at it but leave a lot to the imagination. It has always been hard for me to imagine why a woman with magical powers would let her husband abuse her and her son, and you do a great job of getting into Eileen's head and showing how it could happen.
Everything so far seems plausible, like this is how it could actually have happened. I find it fascinating that, while Tobias is the primary abuser in the relationship, Eileen is guilty of abuse as well: she physically and emotionally neglects her son, bullies him for making mistakes and does nothing to protect him from the dark arts contained in her father's old books. Report Review
Hi there! I'm finally here with your requested review after months of waiting (sorry about that, life just exploded and then I was really behind and trying to catch up with EVERYTHING).
I liked essentially everything about this. I actually really like the title too, I know you said that it was because it started as a short introduction but I actually just really like it for some reason. It sort of sticks with you.
When I started reading you didn't suck me in straight away, then I got to about the second paragraph and I was just completely enchanted. This was so woefully perfectly, fallen out of the books Severus Snape. I was utterly and completely amazed how you managed to get him so perfectly. Honestly, I was so surprised (no refection on you, of course, just because Snape is such a complicated character). And I loved it.
You have a certain wit about your writing too, which really is a pleasure to read. Your flow is just... well, I want to say unusual, but in a way where it feels completely natural. Like the words just fell straight out of Snape's head and landed here, where I'm reading it. I dont know anyone who could have done a better job on this: it was all so smooth and beautiful. Honestly, I'm in love.
Give me a minute.
Infact the only thing I didn't like in the whole thing was the bits where it had the quotes from the song. Song-fic elements, you say? Well, I just wanted them to go away so I could continue reading your wonderful prose in peace. Oh, and one grammar thing... half way through the paragraph there's a random return... "except that Potter had
always been too full of himself to notice anybody outside of himself and his own precious clique." In the middle of that sentence up there an extra return has crept in ^
Other than that, I loved everything about it. I beg of you to re-request for I must continue to read. ASAP. It hurts me that I can't just read it all NOW. Ahhha, I'm too fan-girly. Oh, well.
-ACAuthor's Response: Thank you so much.
I actually wrote this particular chapter quite a while ago. I had been away from this story for a while, came back to it, and was hoping for feedback on the latter chapters. Unfortuntely, there was no way to approach this request but by starting at the beginning.
I was and am an Ozzy/Black Sabbath fan, and I got the idea of using their music as an inspiration. However, I've gotten away from that, and am now trying just to tell the story. Unfortunately, if you will be kind enough to review subsequent chapters, you may have to put up with some more of the songfic aspicts, because I do stay with the lyrics for several more chapters.
I will take a look at the "precious clique" section you mention. It seems that I am always having trouble with formatting (and always manage to miss things in the proof-reading.)
Once again, I thank you so very much for your kind and helpful statements. Report Review
Anxiously awaiting the next chapter, here or there! Well done, especially in flying when we find out it happens to 'someone' every year. Such great characterization!Author's Response: Thank you, and bless you, for giving me my first review for this chapter. (It was posted while Gluttony was down, so I was not able to post it there when I put it up at HPFF.)
I actually wrote this months ago and, because so much time went by that I actually lost track, I thought I had posted it and was writing the chapter that followed it. Then I suddenly realized where I was in the story.
One day, I'll win the lottery, or retire, and I won't have to do anything but keep up with my fanfictions. Hah!
Again: thank you so much for your encouragement. It means a great deal. Report Review
Hi there! I'm here with your review as requested. First, I just want to apologize for the extremely long wait. I'm so sorry about that. I've been pretty busy with school work and such, and my queue has just been huge these days. So it gook me longer than I would have hoped, but I finally made time for this. Thank you for being so patient! And I'm glad you requested!
Wow, it had been awhile since I've read this story! I remembered the first chapter vaguely, so I had to skim over it to make sure I remembered everything and all that!
But a great second chapter. You made wonderful progress, and the length of it was great. I always love the longer chapters. So well done. ;)
Absolutely great job. You have a great story here, and I have never seen anything like it.
I love your portrayal of Tobias. He is such an original character and you only make him stand out further. Really great job with him!
Your descriptions were marvelous. I felt like they were a little heavy for this chapter. They took up the majority of the first half of the chapter, but they were really brilliant. They were vivid and you really brought the story to life with them. I could see everything perfectly in my mind and understand them wonderfully. Also, just how detailed and in-depth you go is wonderful. It really shows your talent as an author in showing how deep you think into it, and with Toby as your character, it only shows more perfectly how original you have made him.
Excellent job! Plot wise, there wasn't much progress here in this chapter, but you made HUGE progress with the development of characters and setting up their personalities and giving us their background information. Really. Absolute wonderful job in that area. You did so well with it, that it really doesn't matter that descriptions took up the chapter. They were beautiful, and definitely your forte!
Great job! I can't wait to read more to this story. I hope this review was somewhat helpful to you! Unfortunately, I have about 20 stories in my queue, so I can only hit the first chapter for now, but I will be back as soon as I can. However, feel free to request the next chapter whenever you'd like.
Great job! And thanks for bringing me back for this story! :)Author's Response: Thank you very much for your very comprehensive review. I can't tell you how much I appreciate a fresh eye on this chapter. I was especially grateful for your comment that the story was heavy, and likely overly so, on description (if I read you correctly). I'm sure you are on the money there -- since I wrote that, I've tried to be more conscious of pacing and balance. I found your comments extremely valuable.
Again, I thank you very much for your intelligent and thoughtful review. Report Review
Ohhh, I am just *loving* this story! I just read all of what you have posted so far in one sitting and I have to say that you have an extremely interesting take on the Prince and Snape family pasts. It provides very realistic situations that can be related to and, as far as I'm concerned, I could believe this to be canon!
Along with that, your writing style is just so immersing and shows the emotions of the characters wonderfully. I mean I felt bad for Snape before, but reading about the horribly wretched home life just brings about a whole new wave of pity.
The OCs are also interesting and nicely developed so far--particularly Lucy. I adore the way you write her accent!
Well, I'll be keeping my eye on this for future updates, definitely.Author's Response: I am sorry to have taken so long to reply, but I was really hoping to have a new chapter up by the time I did. (I'm working on it, truly.)
I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your kind and encouraging words. I am glad you enjoy my stories and I will try to keep updating. If only life didn't get in the way. . .
Thank you again. Report Review
Your story is wonderful. I have never read anything with so much real emotion coming from Severus's perspective. It really draws me in. Fantastic.
Just one little thing I noticed: Bronwen's book has two different titles. That was really the only thing that pulled me out of the story. Other than that, I was totally immersed in Severus's world.
wbmAuthor's Response: Thank you very much for your kind and gracious words. I really appreciate them.
Unfortunately, because of work, it has been hard for me to keep up with updating as often as I'd like. I am doing it -- I'm just very slow. I appreciate your note about the error. I will fix it (although this reminded me that I really need to go over the whole thing . . .)
Also, I am sorry to have taken so long to respond. Thank you again.
Bella Report Review
I really like your writing style. I really don't mind the speed at all.
I'm really glad you've actually updated it after all this time, too...
I might also add that you've developed the "less-known-of" characters well, much better than most people are able to do. It keeps the story interesting. Severus is somehow reminiscent of Harry.
/End/Author's Response: It's fun to fill in the blanks, so to speak, for some of the minor characters. The Death Eaters of Harry's day were children once, and would have been among Severus' classmates; so I am trying to imagine what they might have been like. Bellatrix being what she is, it's a bit hard to imagine a strong-willed man enduring a marriage with her. So I'm experimenting with making Rodolphus something of a victim, a child who was never allowed to see himself as competent or as having any control over his world.
Thank you so much for your comments. I appreciate the kind words enormously. Report Review
Still with you!
Thought I'd leave you a review here, too.
Just love this story!Author's Response: I have tried about 9 times to respond. I have a different computer, now. Once again. . .
I really appreciate your kind words and your encouragement. Thank you so much, and I am sorry for the delay in making this response.
B. Report Review
this review is for the whole story so far: it is an incredibly detailed and accurate portrayal of how Snape's life must have been. Great job and please update soon!Author's Response: Thank you very, very much for checking out (and staying with) the story. Although I have good intentions, my work schedule is so intense that I have had difficulty finding the time to update, but I am doing my best.
Again, I really appreciate your words (as well as your screen name). Report Review
I liked this chapter a lot. I hope you keep writing more of it, it's really good.Author's Response: Thank you very much. As I said in the response to your previous review, I am short of time these days but doing my best to keep up with the updating. Report Review
I liked the chapter, but I think it was a little over done, if you don't mind me saying so.
Let me explain. The other chapters, although fitting with the ideas of the Black Sabbath songs, didn't literally fit it. I liked them better. This one was just a little too over the edge, with Sev thinking of becoming iron several times. It just seemed a little forced. But maybe that's the nature of the song, as it's quite hard to write to im my opinion. Sorry to be a downer.
I am enjoying the story fully though, please keep it up.Author's Response: It has been a while since I have reread this particular chapter. My recollection is that I didn, indeed, tweak it a bit to make the narrative match the song lyrics. I appreciate your criticism on that point; in retrospect, I am inclined to agree.
I am so busy that finding time to update is difficult, but I'm doing my best.
Thank you so much for reviewing. Report Review
I was really intreguied with your notion that Slytherins have individual rooms. That was an idea I'd never thought of, and certainly have never come across in any other story. It makes sense, when you think about Slytherin and all the secretative things they seem to get up to.
I liked the way you dealt with Severus's greasy hair issue. Not enough money for shampoo, not sure whether wizards use a spell to keep his hair clean. What's a half-blood to do? I just wonder how long he'll be able to go without showering before he starts to stink, and the teachers complain!
So, I guess you've got me wondering what happens to Lucy as a half-blood in Slytherin. Does she fit in, or does she disappear? And why was the hat so insistant she belongs in Slytherin? She seems outgoing, and ... er ... nice.
Great chapter!Author's Response: I apologize for taking so long to respond. It's been an very busy week.
I had been playing with the idea of the Slytherin walls moulding into individual chambers for each student. I grew up with my own room, and when I went to college and had to share a dorm room, the lack of privacy was really hard to adjust to. (This was about 100 years ago, but still.) So I imagined these traditionally elitist and wealthy Slytherins needed sleeping arrangements that reflected their specialness. It would also make life a little easier for kids like Severus and Lucy, who didn't really fit in.
I think Severus' hygiene issues have to be dealt with somehow. He obviously wasn't raised to treat personal cleanliness as a priority. There was no money for extras such as soap, and no hot water. Severus will learn to do better for himself (maybe Slughorn will have a word with him; maybe Lily's father will send her some samples). However, he is also prone to be depressed; and he tends not to take care of himself.
As to Lucy: I needed to fill out the Slytherin roster somehow, and to give Severus someone to talk to at meals. My theory is that heredity counts for a lot, and the Bulstrodes go back a very long way. In any case, Lucy will be an credit to Slytherin (if I ever get those planned chapters written). And, there are nice Slytherins. Slughorn, for all his social climbing, is pretty nice. And there's Andromeda Black, who, as far as I can see, was in Slytherin with the rest of her family, minus Sirius.
Thanks so much. Report Review
PLEASE FIND TIME TO UPDATE SOON! I'M BEGGING!Author's Response: This review absolutely made my day.
Samantha, I will absolutely do my best.
Bella Report Review
Oh, I loved this chapter! It flowed along nicely, and had plenty of angst, but without being overly dramatic. I just love little sev stories! It had a few spelling mistakes, but other than that, great!Author's Response: Thank you so much! (I need to go back and do another proof-reading.) I really appreciate your comments. I hope to gather the Hogwarts plotting up soon and be able to update again before long. Meanwhile, I really appreciate the encouragement. Report Review
Feels so good (sorry for the pun) to be back and immediately be treated to yet another exquisite chapter of one of my mostest favouritest stories of all times. No worries about the length of the chapter, even 20k words would be more than welcome :D
I could write lengthy paragraphs with my opinion, but I guess I could just wrap it up in a few simple sentences. If I'd had the powers, I would've scrapped all relevant parts from the original books and replaced them with your work instead. Those two children are so genuinely innocent and their feelings, wishes, worries are so true. The long days of waiting, the joy upon receiving the letter, then the frenzy and haze of the preparation, finally the first steps into a new world: the train ride.
Here I have a small question. When Eileen flags the bus, she states "Hogwarts" as their destination. Still it's clear they were going to King's Cross.
Once at the station, even those who'd secretly hoped for the best got the final answer. Eileen doesn't love her son. "Then I'll just go." I wish no other child would have to go through hearing this sentence.
The most elaborately written part of the whole story so far is here: the Sorting, which finalizes the fates of our two 11-year old heroes. We are being introduced to several of the key Slytherin figures as well, answering all age-related questions I've had and setting things into motion, which would later define the fate of the Whole Wizarding World for centuries ahead.
I'm just getting sad at your fourth A/N. I don't want this story to end. Sorry, I'm greedy and egoistic. And a true admirer of your perfect writing skills. Fantastic piece!!!Author's Response: I don't quite know what to say, except to thank you for this review.
I will answer your one question. I figured that whenever a student, or a family with kids in tow, got on the Knight Bus on September 1 and gave their destination as "Hogwarts," the conductor would understand them to mean they needed to get to Kings Cross Station to catch the train to Hogwarts. In retrospect, however, I suppose it could have been more clear.("Hogwarts? You mean, Kings Cross?")
The Sorting was the idea of Pookha, who thought (as I did) that Snape should have been placed in Ravenclaw. It was at his suggestion that I expanded that scene as much as I did.
This review totally made my day. Once again, thank you so very much. Report Review
I've just started reading your story and it's absolutely wonderful! I can't wait to read more...you're doing such an amazing job of giving Snape a backstory, he's one of my favourite characters. Keep up the amazing work, this is one of the best HPfanfics I've ever read.Author's Response: Wow. I am enormously flattered by your wonderful review. I will do my best to live up to it. Snape is one of my favorites, as if you couldn't guess. JKR left plenty of intriging hints and room to imagine.
Thank you so much for writing. Report Review
Sorry, I'm not really sure exactly what I'm *supposed* to write in a review. I'd just like to say that you (meaning Bella Portia) are doing a really great job. Snape's one of my favourite characters, and I was a little sad that Rowling didn't have more stuff about Snape in the books :*C. And thank you so much for having good grammer/spelling. It makes a story so much better. You're keeping the story very accurate as well... So basically excellent work.Author's Response: Thank you very much for taking the time to leave a review. Reading words like yours truly make my day.
Snape is (obviously) one of my favorite characters. It is a challenge to attempt to fill in between the lines, so to speak.
so idk if my other review posted, cause on my page it says it didnt, so here we go again!!
my computer died (the battery went) half way through, and plus i carnt remember if i was logged in!
anyways enough of my rambly rubbish!
Long chapters are v v v v good!
i like how the story moved forward without being rushed,
are we going to move through the year's now ??
will be see lily/james' relationship from Severus pov?
will we see how his past, reflects what we know will happen in his future??
im going to shut up now, cause my amount of questions must sound like a questionnaire! ( i use too many !)
anywho, great chapter, good portray of sev's feelings, and nice work letting us know about the back story too! (the library thing!)
Mj ;)Author's Response: So sorry about the computer. That is truly annoying!
I am glad you are enjoying the story.
The original idea was for a later story involving Snape as an adult, along with some other characters. I found I had to create backstory (hence the "prologue" in the title) -- and then the backstory kind of took over. It was to have been a few chapters, then something novella length. But, at the rate I'm going, I may have a novel on my hands.
I think I answered the question about Lily/James' relationship from Sev's POV when I replied to your last review but -- yes, definitely I plan to write about that.
"will we see how his past, reflects what we know will happen in his future??" -- Most definitely, although it may play out in the sequel.
I would be thrilled if you visited my Author Page, if you have any questions at all you'd like answered.
I can't tell you how much I appreciate your kind words and your wonderful reviews. Report Review
Dont say sorry for long chapters!
long chapters are good!!!
I like the way the meeting of Andromeda and Narcissa was portryed, and how awed Severus was by them!
will we see any of lilly's relationship with James, from Severus' point of veiw ??
Another fab chapter that really ties everything together!
Mj ;)Author's Response: I am glad you did not find the length excessive.
Narcissa is a favorite character of mine, and it was interesting to think about what she woudl have been like as a teenager. I imagined Andromeda being a strong young woman to break with her family as she did.
You will see more of Lily's relationship with James form Severus' point of view. Needless to say, it will not be pretty.
Thank you so much for reading and reviewing. Report Review
You needn't apologize for a long chapter; it holds together very well from beginning to end and it composes one particular part of Sev's life. I would say that it was as long as it needed to be.
For any help that I give you, you are welcome and it's an honour to read your work. Your help with my writing has been invaluable, as well.
I did notice a few typos in this chapter. I know that now you're a TA, you're like me and enjoy fixing them right away. 'stook' instead of stool when Sev's being sorted (unless you meant he was sitting on a hayfield; joke!).
This sentence makes it look like Sev's the one speaking when I think it must be Eileen?
Quote: Severus started to pull it out. ďNo! I donít want to look at it. Iíll look at it when Iím dead!Ē
I truly enjoyed reading the parts with Lily and Sev as friends as youngsters. I think you captured a type of innocence with Lily that will soon be shattered as she sees what the world's about to come to. I can totally picture the conversation with the young Snape telling Lily about the Dementors and other wizarding things.
I truly like the way that Eileen was embarrassed about having to ask for charity from the school. I think that Minerva would be very sympathetic to Eileen's situation and would help her if Eileen could only bend her proud neck to ask for help. But, it also rings true for the abusive situation that Eileen's in.
Sev's sorting was great. I've always thought that the Hat had to consider Ravenclaw for him. Had his situation been different, I think he would have been one of the greatest wizarding scholars ever, right up there with DD or Newt Scamander (or Voldemort, even). Definitely would have given Hermione a run for her money in the brains department.
The end part with Bronwen tied up her part in the story nicely (unless you have plans for her later) and it also made her more sympathetic to the reader.
The wand that Snape picked up I think colours his thinking. I think that wands have some influence over their owners as well as the owner having influence over the wand. If I ever get my sequel to 'Graverobbers' up, then you'll see my take on that. I think that Sev's wand will have 'reflections' or 'sympathies' toward the Dark Arts that will help guide Sev's fascination with them. Truly a symbiotic match between wand and user.
Great job, especially on the characterizations of Lily and Sev. I can picture them as children and nothing rings false about them.Author's Response: Sev and Lily were the first children like themselves that either of them had ever met, so they could really be themselves with one another. Those scenes were fun to write. I hope the scenes about the Grammar School exam worked. That seemed like an important rite of passage for some British youngsters, but it is alien to me (being American); so I'm not sure I got it right.
I remember those big cumbersome round merry-go-rounds at the playgrounds, which were just metal discs with a few handles to grip onto. They were completely child-propelled, got very hot in the summer, and were really fun. They probably don't exist anymore; too dangerous. (Kids might have too much fun on them and fall off).
I really appreciate your pointing out the errors. As I pointed out in my PM, I went to fix them and found still more.
I didn't think Severus would have had any spare money for school things, and he would have needed to rely on charity. I've always thought of Hogwarts as a very liberal school in terms of ability so pay, wanting above all to make sure that all eligible children are able to attend, whether they have the means or not. I could imagine Eileen, at the end of her rope, writing to Minerva and saying, we're doing our best but there are a few things we need.
I'm glad the scene with Sev's sorting went well. I took to heart your suggestion from some time ago that I emphasize his sorting, that the Hat would be likely to consider another house than Slytherin. I, too, always thought he belonged in Ravenclaw. (JKR evidently thought Gryffindor should have been second choice. Go figure.)
The end part with Bronwen and Terry is another bit that I had been contemplating for a long time. I wanted to reintroduce Terry. He will have a part to play in future chapters.
I didn't necessarily want the wand to be presented as sinister, although Eileen, who has suffered at her father's hands, sees it that way. I saw it as more of a legacy. I also liked the idea of Snape (whose wand is never described in canon) having an ebony wand.
Thank you so much for your review. I appreciate it very much. Report Review
You definitely have the alienation, anger, and depression that goes along with a situation like young Sev's. I like the way that he tried to defend his mother, even though he doesn't particularly admire her. His hatred of his father is deep and true and you can feel it resonate from the page.
I also enjoyed the canon, but different pov meeting between Sev and Lily. It really helps to develop Sev by having him in more situations than just his bleak home life.
Beautifully written as always and particularly good characterization.Author's Response: I was planning this chapter in my mind for many months. I imagined that Severus' meeting at the playground would be part of a very, very bad day. The disaster with Lily would put him in a ghastly, dangerous frame of mind (given that he was a little kid); and he would come home to something that would make him explode.
The embargo on JKR quotations makes it a real challenge to write about familiar scenes. You have to tweak the POV as a matter of necessity, so you can make up dialogue without violating canon too blatantly.
One element I had long intended to include was to have Severus use an Unforgivable curse on dear old dad. He had been fantasizing about the Cruciatus curse for years, but that did not really fit his personality.
I needed to have him and Lily get together, hence the final scene.
Thank you for you wonderful review. Report Review
Thanks for such a long chapter!
I actually think that Severus would have preferred to be in Gryffindor with Lily if he had a chance. It was before he had met Gryffindors and found out how nasty they can be. However, you have made Severus very determined to be in the noble house and it's ok with me. Even though his life would have turned out better if he wasn't in Slytherin I believe that it was his place in that age.Author's Response: You are certainly welcome. I am glad you liked the long chapter -- I was afraid it might be too long.
Severus commented on the train that Gryffindor was for people who preferred brawn to brains, so he was kind of prejudiced against Gryffindor. He should, by all logic, have been happy to be sorted into Ravenclaw, the brainy house. But he was so obsessed with being sorted into Slytherin that nothing else was going to satisfy him.
Thank you so much for you review. Report Review
This story, I have to say, is absolutely fabulous. I really hope that you update it soon!Author's Response: Thank you for this wonderful review.
I have sent the next chapter to friends for comment, and I hope to have it posted within a week. Report Review
Hahahaha, oh god. Tobias' reaction to Severus' name was gold. I noticed your style is quite like Rowling's in manner of description, such as the movement of the baby from the bassinet and the descriptions of the tones used. If this is intentional- congratulations and if it isn't- it really makes an easy transition from the books, as if it's an extension.Author's Response: I had imagined the decision to name little Severus was probably unilateral -- and not by his father. I figure if I'd awakened from an anaesthetized childbirth to learn that my husband had named the baby something like, well, Severus, while I was out of the picture -- I expect I'd react about the same way.
I don't know how much I was consciously trying to be consisent with JKR's tone, but I was certainly trying to keep this story in the same "world," and avoid jarring differences as much as I could -- if that makes any sense.
Thank you very much for your review. I appreciate it greatly. Report Review
Iíve read this fanfiction and been literally amazed. This is the first review Iíve ever written about a piece of writing apart from Shakespeare essays :P
You have found an excellent ratio between prose and action as well making the characters seem so realistic. I always pictured Snape to have a childhood similar to the one youíve described, this fanfiction feels practically canon. This is probably one of the best and most moving pieces Iíve ever read on this website. But I guess Iím biased... having had a similar childhood to Snape.
I really hope you keep writing. Iím already addicted!Author's Response:
I was so blown away by your review that it took me a few days to respond.
In this story, at least, I try to imagine what might have happened between the canon lines, so to speak. If you think I came close, at least on occasion, I appreciate that greatly.
I am very sorry that your childhood was similar to Snape's. I come into contact with a lot of people affected by family violence, which is probably why I emphasized this element to the extent that I did.
As to how Snape acted at particular junctures of his life, I have been feeling my way. Except for the glimpses inside the pensieve, and a couple of chapters written in third person, we see him only through Harry's eyes. So Snape's inner life has to be inferred.
I will keep writing, although I am, unfortunately, a slow updater.
Thank you so much for your lovely review. It made my day for the last few days.
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