Wow, FINALLY I'm at the end! I'm sorry it took me so long to get through this wonderful story, but you know all the ridiculous things that happen in my life. Petunia cleaning as a sort of therapy is very fitting. I always thought she was just uptight, but now I'm wondering if she might even be a bit OCD, focusing on cleanliness to bring some order to things she can't control or be a part of, i.e. the wizarding world.
"Harry took a moment to consider, and then smacked Dudley hard on the shoulder." --Bwa ha ha! That's m'boy! I mean, Dudley started it!
This was really such a nice chapter to end with. You can't go wrong ending a story with a reunion. Hoping maybe Lily will convince Petunia to at least lengthen the apron ties a bit with regards to Diddy-dumkins. The idea of Harry and Dudley growing up as friends is such a nice thought.
Well, sorry this review is kind of short! I really enjoyed this story so much. I can tell you put your heart into it. Yeah, it might be "just" fan fiction, but you still finished a BOOK. That's such a huge accomplishment. Not to mention it's AU, so really almost all the work was really your own. I can't wait to start the sequel! Ooh, it's tempting to do it tonight, but I have a challenge I'm supposed to be working on. ;) I think it's very cool that we're both doing our sequels at the same time. Hopefully we can encourage each other to keep the "progress" in our WIP. Really, Siri, this was just such a joy to read. WELL DONE!Author's Response: Awww :) You are just the nicest reviewer ever, combining CC with encouragement and you love Severus as much as I do (I will share! ;) ) I'm really glad I'm all caught up on your story too (though I need to post those reviews :) ) so we can encourage each other through this crazy sequel business! Thanks again!! Report Review
Yes yes yes, I should be currently doing review-exchange reading or working on my challenge fic... but Severus was calling out to me! What's a girl to do?
"Sirius' Animagus self came out at the oddest times." --I'm glad you added this line after the previous sentence because I was like, "Um, what guy wants to smell another guy? Especially his PANTS?" Then remembering the whole dog thing, it made sense. Even more sense when you think about where a dog usually likes to sniff you (Eew.I am SUCH a cat person). [AND there's a giant whole in the crotch? James saved those? Guys are so weird sometimes. "No, really, Lily... I can still totally wear these. They're fine!" or "I swear I'll get around to charming the rip closed someday..."]
"but frankly, Melora scared him." --Hmm...why is this, I wonder? Maybe some aftereffect of all the crazy junk that happened to her? Severus should be a bit scared of her cause I could definitely see her sneaking into his room and stealing a pair of his ripped trousers (cause I certainly can't see Severus owning a pair of jeans). I think totally crazy, insane Melora would be an interesting side plot. I'll have to see if that's where you're going or if I'm reading way too much into one sentence.
"Oh my God, Sirius!" --Thank you for actually using "God" in a HP fan fic, and not "Merlin." Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! It's become one of my biggest pet peeves lately ever since I noticed that it was a "thing" in fan fics. (and for the record, I think five little big-nosed kids would be adorable.)
"Professor Dumbledore picked gaily through a box of chocolates." --I'm sorry, that just made me totally crack up. I don't know if you meant it as a pun or not, but... yeah. Severus doesn't like chocolate?! Ok, that's his one fault. No, I take that back. He's just saving it for me. He's so considerate. ;)
I always like reading conversations between Severus and Dumbledore (I like writing them as well, for some reason). I'm glad to see Severus is finally sticking up for himself a bit and telling the old puppet-master where he can shove his strings. I didn't notice this before one way or the other, but it's interesting how you have Severus call Voldemort by his name. In the books, he always referred to him as the Dark Lord. I definitely like to this that Severus is confident enough like Dumbledore to not fear a name.
Flitwick's fairies say, "Hey, we already feng shui'd this tree perfectly well, thank you very much!"
The very last bit was absolutely great. I definitely think the students would pee their pants if they saw Severus smiling at them. Either that, or think someone had Confunded them and they were hallucinating or something. Very cute ending to the chapter! Loved it! Oh, and the chapter title was great as well, very fitting! ~RennyAuthor's Response: Finally have a few minutes at my own keyboard again :) Sorry this took so long!
Everyone always talks about how "ratlike" Peter is; I'm figuring this applies to the other Animagi as well. Animal traits sneaking out into their personalities. ;)
Yeah, I don't like to use Merlin unless it's in reference to undershorts as Ron does. Moody is pretty fond of that turn of phrase in this story! I prefer to use "Oh my God" especially for Muggle-born and half-blood characters. My full blood / more wizardy wizards use "Gods" a lot. Magical theology is so interesting.
Ha ha, I won't elaborate on your suspicions about Melora just now! /evil cackle
I have always loved Christmas at Hogwarts and wondered how Severus would cope with it, coming from such a damaged family. I wish i had enchanted fairies in my tree, even if they are highly opinionated; they keep cropping up in all my stories ;)
We'll be getting more into Severus's family issues in Rowan and Phoenix. Sometimes I feel bad for tormenting my poor characters so much, but JKR was far worse to these two than I am! ;)
Heh! the Dumbledore pun was unintentional! Pretty funny one though, I must admit!
Thanks so much Renny! Just the epilogue to go! :) Report Review
The alternate reality nightmare was a nice touch. I think about stuff like that sometimes, like, would I be dead right now if I had made a different decision at some point during my life? There have also definitely been moments where I really felt like the entire world jumped over onto a new track like "Sliders" or something. I think it's very believable that changing such a historic event like Voldemort's first downfall would create some kind of cosmic fallout for the members involved, especially the mother of the most pivotal piece of the puzzle.
"I confess I hoped to see you join our number here at Hogwarts." --Um, thanks, Nick? I guess that's better than Myrtle offering to share her toilet with you.
Oh RIGHT! I had totally forgotten that school is still in session right now at Hogwarts! Now I remember that you said Dumbledore was covering Severus's classes himself. It was just a while since I started the story, and I forgot that it was the middle of the fall. For some reason I had drifted into the impression it was summertime.
"...fully dressed in a black frock coat." Yes!! My Severus owns one of these as well! They're an item no mysterious Potions master should be without in his wardrobe.
"His lowered voice had always made Lily shiver..." --That whole paragraph was just *sigh*
I know Lily is still grieving over James, blah blah blah, but hoping in the sequel you jump ahead few months to where she's had time to properly get over it, and we can start reading THE GOOD STUFF. You know what I mean. A wink's as good as a nod to a blind bat!
I always appreciate Severus making snarky comments about the atrocities he endures marking the word of first years. No Severus-based fic would be complete without them.
"'infusion of asphodel...' She dreamed no more." --Fellow Mommy-to-Toddler Avrille reached through the multiple dimensions to put a stop to those pesky prophetic dreams. Don't worry, she's an expert! :)Author's Response: Aww, thanks Avrille :) Lily would appreciate that... she has had it up to here with mystical prophetic hooey by this point in the story. (she's the Han Solo of this story)
Ha! Yes, I think there are parts of the sequel you are really, really going to enjoy, though the course of true love is not guaranteed to run smoothly. ;) Report Review
"Lord Voldemort coalesced out of the column of poisonous black smoke like the effluent from a nightmarish factory." WHERE do you come up with this stuff?! It's amazing! Also a nice tie-in with the Victorian comment above.
"You haven't changed much, Tom. Pity about the nose, though. I'd have thought you'd have done something about that by now. You always were such a vain little boy."--HAHAHA! Ok, Dorcas just gained about one hundred cool points in my book. Not that I didn't like her before...I guess I was just confused by her, um, attraction to Hagrid. The simple mechanics of that relationship made me question her sanity for a bit.
Oh wow, plot twist!! Dorcas, the unknowing traitor! I guess it's too late to suggest some Occlumency lessons, huh?
"Darkness and light live only within the human mind" --Hmm, that's very Star Wars-esque. And Myra using the Force with her bare hands, without a wand. Quite an unusual, powerful witch, she is.
"Professor McGonagall and Hagrid popped into existence near the rowan hedge."--Just a question, would Hagrid be able to Apparate, not having a wand and I'm sure not having taken the test for the license since he wasn't a qualified wizard? Maybe you meant that they appeared together, McGonagall doing side-along-Apparation with him.
I'm glad you had Dorcas arrested. Yes, she's a hero and all, but you really can't take the law into your own hands, even if it's to serve a greater good. Unless you want to work for Grindelwald or something.
Myra's sacrifice was very well written. I feel like that scene should be made into an anime (I guess it recalled images from "Akira" to my mind.) Of course we're not positive that she's dead (though I'm pretty sure she would have to be, her paying the ultimate price to guarantee everyone else's safety). And you've made it pretty clear that Voldemort isn't, so you've already set the stage for a sequel very nicely. (and the scar on Melora's forehead is very reminiscent of Harry's resulting from his own mother's sacrifice in canon, which I'm positive was intentional on your part).
I'm glad the chapter ended with Severus laughing. That's a really nice image. I don't think he would have ever laughed much in his life. And at least Sirius seems to have decided to man up a bit and GROW THE HECK UP. Hoping Severus won't catch too much flack with the AK thing... but maybe it's ok to use an Unforgivable Curse in self-defense? Maybe? Grasping at straws??Author's Response: Yep, probably unconsciously influenced by Star Wars due to having been raised on it from toddler-hood. Blame my parents :)
You are so right about Hagrid & McGonagall's Apparition, I had intended that McGonagall use Side-Along Apparition since Hagrid is not technically a qualified wizard (though apparently he knows a lot more than he's supposed to... heh)
Yes, there are consequences for everyone's actions; Dorcas consciously chose to break the law while you're probably right about the self-defense thing for Severus. It seems like no one ever gets prosecuted for going after a Death Eater in canon, but it would make so much more sense if people were. In canon, Severus had to clear his reputation with a trial... I reserve the right to appropriate this plot point in the future. ;)
I'm so glad you liked Severus laughing at the end. Maybe he can finally let out his extremely dark sense of humor since he's a hundred percent scarier when he's smiling. :D And Sirius is going to have to shape up if he wants to spend much time with Harry, I expect.
Enjoy the rest of the story! Thank you! Report Review
Let me say you must have the most amazing husband for beta reading this for you. Though my husband respected my writing immensely (and really likes the non-HP stuff I've written) there is no way he would touch my Severus-obsessed-story with a ten foot pole.
"...twirling into a stretched spiral like caramel taffy spun from the end of a child's finger" --Wow! What a delicious way to describe something that is probably nearly unbearably uncomfortable! But it still paints a great image.
Ugh urgh ughr...Why do I just have this reoccurring thought going into this chapter that this can't end well? Maybe the whole Dorcas going rogue thing is a scary enough thought in itself. It must have been terrifying for Sirius to realize no help was coming (for some reason it made me think of Prissy in "Gone with the Wind" when Scarlet tells her no doctor is coming to help Melanie with her baby. Just a total, "Oh crap. I am SO not ready to do this by myself..." moment.)
"To his frustration, it bounced off a glowing hemisphere already in place and ricocheted upward"--Um, DUH, Sirius. Because obviously Severus has already put a shield up on them about 1,000 times more powerful than anything YOU could do! (*mutter*you hungover mutt *mutter*)
Just reading about Harry's hysteria is so incredibly hard. My son completely freaks out when the cats fight (and went to pieces this evening when I ripped off a piece of packing tape) so I can only imagine how scared poor Harry would be :( POOR BABY!!! (Wow, I never thought I would type that in relation to Harry...I, er, kind of hate him in the books 90% of the time)
Oh, oops. It was Lily's shield charm. That makes sense. I forgot that Severus was still recovering (which makes him only 990 times better than Sirius...). Lily would be able to throw up a rockin' awesome shield if her baby was in danger, I'm sure! And it was also a nice touch how you had Lily able to shift her body even as she was falling from the curse to protect Harry. I find that incredibly believable and realistic.
Oh this was a very nasty cliff-hanger you wrote. Now I just have to keep reading! Hopefully I'll stay alert enough to write another semi-coherent review.Author's Response: Haha, whoops, sorry about the cliffhanger XD
So glad you liked the imagery! My husband was a huge help in straightening out the action scene, the previous version was a little too "in-universe" to make sense and took some magical principles for granted.
I always have to laugh at the things you have to say about AU Sirius. He is a twerp, I'll give you that. Being a nearly-equal fan of both Sirius and Severus makes me a weird person, I know, most people are one or the other (or neither). I especially wanted to wring his neck when he talked about Obliviating Dudley in a previous chapter!
Thanks so much Renny! Report Review
So I totally dreamt about this story last night. Probably because I read part of this chapter yesterday then didn't finish it, so I had it sort of in my mind. Sorry I can't remember exactly what it was about...but it was definitely your characters :)
The last section was great, from Severus's noticing the basket weight to Bellatrix's surprise revelation as being an animagi (maybe that's why her laugh is so darn annoying...) Great cliffhanger, but I'll have to come back later :)
"a sudden recasting of her life with new actors." --That's an interesting way of putting it. Kind of like, oh, when a certain actor playing a certain headmaster passes away and we get a new one and have to pretend everything is still la-de-dah.
Ugh, Gryffindors indeed. I'm considering nicknaming them the "Kamikaze House" in my new story (since the "Death Wish House" wouldn't work, given my re-appropriation of that term in the previous installment.)
So now Severus is wanting Lily and Harry to go to the Puppet-Master? I guess he's probably finally coming to grips with the fact that he's a bit out of his depth with regards to keeping them safe. But only because he's still recovering his strength. Otherwise he'd obviously be a far better protector :)
Oh yuck. Severus and Becky? But unfortunately, it seems very fitting with the story. As much as I'd like to think of Severus being all honorable and chaste since he can't have Lily...um yeah. Not very realistic. But still.ugh.
The last section was very well done. From Severus's keen eye noticing the weight of the basket to Bellatrix's surprising revelation as an animagi (perhaps that's why her laugh is so annoying...) Great cliffhanger, but unfortunately I'll have to keep reading at a later time. Nice work, as always!Author's Response: Yes, Severus and Becky -sigh- ... There is more about Becky in forthcoming chapters. I thought it more realistic to add that element to the Death Eaters' revels, as much as I'd prefer it if that didn't happen. Plus it creates more drama down the road as you'll see! I can't get over tormenting these characters.
Hmmm, I think I should clear up the ending section up a bit, thanks so much! My intent was that Bellatrix turned herself into a feather, not an entire bird, similar to how Slughorn turned himself into an overstuffed chair in book 6. But the idea of Bellatrix being an Animagus is so fascinating. Hm. Plot bunnies are hopping!
Thanks so much Renny! Report Review
WHAT AN AWESOME FIRST CHAPTER!!! THIS is how to get someone's attention, grab them by their neck and shake them and make them read this awesomeness!!
It's full of action from the beginning but not only do you have that but you have characters who are burning with life, who each of them is so individual and canon but not all at once. From Lily to Moody to Sirius, it was so perfect.
You also didn't let up on the descriptions! I love how you started out with the mundane Halloween and then how that broke into something else entirely.
I enjoyed Voldemort's temper tantrum. It made me laugh though I don't think that was the point :P
Wonderful. I'm so glad you finished this because then I can just keep reading :PAuthor's Response: Yay, I hope you continue to enjoy the rest of the story :) So glad you had fun with it, Char. Report Review
Hi Siri! Well, your opening paragraph might have been intended to show what an unfriendly environment it is, but it just makes me want to move there. Storms and beech trees, I'm in!
"A visceral thrill ran through Lucius's body at the sound of his gentle wife performing an Unforgivable Curse. Merlin, he was just as sick as Bellatrix." --Yeah, that's pretty messed up, Lucius. But still understandable since you're trying to be so hardcore yourself.
I really like how you have Sarah Price fight the Imperius Curse off continuously. You better believe I would as well if I saw my husband murdered in front of me.
I like the word "oblong" in relation Myra. It's not a word you'd usually use to describe a person, but it fits very well.
"Narcissa entered the apartment and grimaced as Sarah Price's wrinkles pulled taut on her delicate cheekbones." --This line took me a second to understand. I was thinking you were referring to the real Sarah Price, but that's mostly because of my horrible short term memory, not any fault of your writing ;) Once I figured out that it was in reference to Narcissa turning back into herself from the potion, I really liked the image you made.
The only question I have about this scene is wouldn't the Muggles be suspicious when the supposed Mr. and Mrs. Price don't speak Welsh? But maybe that's why Narcissa is having to Confund them left and right.
Oh dear, I have a bad feeling about this for poor little Melora. Guessing she won't be able to start a Severus fan club with Lily any time soon...Author's Response: Oh, I really should go and fix that up regarding Narcissa posing as Sarah Price. Thanks for your help on that one!
Yes, I was thinking the Confundus charm kept the Muggles from thinking that it's not too odd that the Prices aren't speaking Welsh. I just loved the idea of Bellatrix - as - Llew cursing at them in French.
This chapter was extremely hard to write (horror is not my comfort zone) and I'm glad you enjoyed it! Report Review
Since I seem completely unable to work on my own writing, I thought I would get back to work on reading yours. I'm considering doing that beta-exchange at TGS, so I want to have this story done so I can read your new prologue without worrying about spoilers.
Aaaaw! Hagrid made her a peg! That's so cute! I guess he forgives her (and you...mwa ha ha) for forgetting about him. (Don't feel bad about that. I totally forgot that Avrille's cat existed until about a week ago. Oops.) And good for Prof. Sprout giving James detentions. What a whipper-snapper.
"It says here that you were cited by Professor Dumbledore on the twelfth of April, 1975, for threatening to feed Potter, Black, and Pettigrew to a Brobdingnagian Pitcher Plant..." --*seriously,* Dorcas?! She's grasping at straws a bit, isn't she? Poor Prof. Sprout. Don't worry, WE understand!
I like how you thought up Myra as another teacher for Severus since he obviously did need a bit more experience before seriously requesting a job. Interesting how you're having him go straight for the Potions job instead of being sort of shuffled sideways into it when he was denied the DADA position (at least, that's how I think it happened in canon). But it makes sense to cut out extraneous details like that. Having Severus be totally focused on Potions sits better with me. I always felt bad for him having to teach a subject that he was obviously brilliant at but wasn't his true passion. But still, even with Myra's tutelage, you have to admit the guy was a total genius to be allowed to teach at Hogwarts so young ;)
The last exchange between Dorcas and Hagrid was well done. I can definitely tell what sort of person Dorcas is. She's like a cop who wants to do what is RIGHT, even if it isn't necessarily always legal. The shades of grey that you bring out in your characters are very fitting with the canon Harry Potter world. It's an incredibly fine line between slipping someone Veritaserum and modifying their memory without their consent and doing something more sinister like Voldemort's Legilimency abuse.
Interesting chapter, but now I'm totally tired and need to go to bed. Hope there aren't too many typos in this review. I'm too sleepy to go back and proof-read it :)Author's Response: I just wanted to feed somebody to a Brobdingnagian pitcher plant once I thought it up... ;) I couldn't help myself! I do wonder what James, Peter, and Sirius were up to in class that got them that kind of threat from mild mannered Pomona?
I hadn't really thought about how AU Severus is more interested in Potions than DADA. You're always coming up with these insights that I missed when I wrote it :) Yes, you'd have to be a genius to be allowed to teach at age 20 or so! Plus Dumbledore was extremely motivated to keep Severus under his close supervision...
I love Dorcas's character; she's a little less Hufflepuff than she thinks she is -- she doesn't care about by the book when a child's life is in the balance, and she's willing to take the consequences. Losing Hagrid's close regard when she is just beginning to realize she cares for him -- and he may return her feelings -- is a complication but not enough to stop her from doing what she feels needs to be done.
Thanks for your helpful review as always! Glad you're enjoying it. I'm going to dive in to your story very soon :) Report Review
I'm glad Myra is keeping Lily busy with chores. Though she obviously needs time to grieve, she really can't be allowed to slip into a total depression because Harry needs her. It's kind of one of those things about motherhood. Forget having your own feelings, wants, desires, ability to take care of yourself... all that goes out the window with a baby (with adorable hot little hands and puffing breath! Aw!)
I don't know why, but I'm guessing that Melora has a pretty raging crush on Severus. We'll see if I'm right. Not that I could blame her.
"I don't know how I'm going to do it by myself!" Lily's voice spiraled upward in despair." --I KNOW! I KNOW! I totally get it, Lily...though not the dead husband part. It's a very scary feeling even when you know you'll still have help from others and you aren't even worried about Death Eaters getting you. It's terrifying to think about taking care of a toddler without Daddy there to help and give you a break.
Do you have a specific song in mind that Lily's singing? I always get curious when I read about a song in a book that could be based on a real one. I definitely have songs in mind if heaven's a real place and I get to make movie versions of my own stories there ;)
The paragraph about Severus's Dark Mark was great. You think up such interesting new dimensions to canon details. "It's Potter she wants, he justified." --Um...I wouldn't be too sure about that, Severus. Maybe she's crying because she actually wants someone else, hmm?
This was a great chapter. Definitely well-worth the second read since the first one was, um, interrupted. :D And I just wanted to thank you for being a GOOD writer and really taking it incredibly slowly with Lily and Severus. I could see someone else having them already making out or something, and that just isn't realistic. I'm a sucker for drawn-out sexual tension, but in this case, it truly in necessary. Just wanted to let you know you're doing a great job in that respect. ~RennyAuthor's Response: Thanks so much :) As a fellow mom I am really glad you agreed with the part about raising a child alone. I'm married but I was raised by a strong single mom and often wonder how she made it!
You are right about Melora... puppy love, we'll see what becomes of this. Poor thing has been raised in a little cabin with her mom (her loving, but overprotective mom) and knows a lot about magic but not much about life. She always hoped Severus would come back but certainly not towing Lily.
I am so glad you appreciated the slow build-up of the romance as well. I just couldn't see either of them overcoming their conscience at this stage. Lily is just looking for something to make her feel alive even if she is absolutely crushed by James's death. Severus is selfish and ready to take the opportunity, but he is not at all impulsive. (except on those occasions when Lily is in danger like at the Death Eaters' dinner party, or when Harry is in danger in the books, and he flips out, like he did about Lupin in PoA... heh heh, I love writing those flip-outs!) He also can't handle strong outbursts of emotion very well, thanks to his stunted upbringing.
Lily's song that I've imagined her singing is "I Will" by the Beatles, from the White Album. I might add that in, I think I can mention the song by title in the author's note :) I wanted a Muggle song that Petunia and Lily would have played a lot when Severus was around as a kid. I can see Lily and Petunia being into the Beatles as Muggle girls.
Your review really made a bad day better for me! Sorry there's no Severus for a few more chapters! (I'm fixing that in the sequel.) Report Review
Dorcas's anger being directed at Sirius at first instead of where it should have been rightly placed with Dumbledore seems pretty fitting. Dumbledore always seems to sort of wriggle his way out of really taking the blame for his decisions (I honestly think he would have been better placed in Slytherin than Gryffindor in school, but whatever...)
"Fawkes pecked curiously at Sirius's bitter words. Tangled accusations lay unwritten on the floor." --I thought those were two superbly written sentences, and not just because of the subtle reference to the story's title. The idea of Sirius conjuring physical words when he was silenced (because, after all, who could really ever silence Sirius?) and having them be all golden and Gryffindor-like was great.
Aw, and they forgot about poor Hagrid! Granted it was a very busy evening, but I felt so bad for him. It must be so hard for him to be a member of the Order yet still not able to really do much since he isn't a qualified wizard. I still think that he should be allowed to do some sort of wizarding continuing education option since he obviously was expelled wrongly.
"I'm sure all the students have heard the ditty by now. Quite catchy." --It sure was, but still not *quite* as good as "Oh Potter, you rotter." I love that song ;)
"Lucius Malfoy worked hard to keep his expression neutral." --Cause you know he's really thinking, "Eeew, why is my sister-in-law such a FREAK." But the walking stick present was a good idea. They're all the rage in evil society at the moment. Best to keep the Dark Lord at the forefront of Dark fashion accessories. I mean, would *you* follow a man who still thought piano-key neckties were rad? I think not.
Hmmm...only four horcruxes in this story? I thought he had five or six at this point (I'm not sure exactly when he made Nagini into one.) But obviously it's AU so you can do whatever you want ;)
"Voldemort crushed the head of the walking stick in his palm." Holey moley. Remind me to never enter into a thumb war with him. Ok ok ok, piano-key neckties are totally cool, Voldy. Geez.
I don't usually write in annoying net-speak, but allow me to indulge for a moment: "ZOMG YAYS it's a Severus chapter again next!! Hooray!!"Author's Response: heh! I know, when they forgot about Hagrid that was me forgetting about Hagrid -- yikes! It lent believability to Sirius and Dorcas freaking out. (I agree about Hagrid being allowed to become fully qualified via wizard GED! That's a super idea)
I'm so glad you liked the golden ribbon spell; proof that Sirius Black will not and cannot shut up unless in a full Body-Bind. And even then, he could probably pull a nonverbal stunt of some kind to get the absolute last word. I had a bit of trouble deciding how to let Sirius continue talking even when Dorcas had silenced him by magic -- I loved the idea of Fawkes picking at the ribbons on the floor.
Heh, yes, I think you will enjoy the next chapter. :) Thanks again Renny!! Report Review
I forgot Mrs. Figg was there! Thank goodness. I'll try to not worry too much then. Not a huge fan of Petunia, though I understand her reasoning, but I definitely wouldn't want anything bad to happen to her.
"No, it's too dangerous, Hagrid! You're not qualified, and even if you were, you don't fit under James' cloak! Go to Dumbledore, and tell him to send everybody he's got!" --I just didn't know who said this line, though I assume it's Dorcas from the bossiness of it and the dialogue a few lines later. ;) You might want to add a dialogue tag there (is that what they're called? You know, like "so and so said.")
""My baby! That dog is taking my baby!" --Um, at least it's not a dingo? Sorry, sorry, bad taste.
Go Petunia! I love mama bear moments in stories. And that's what you get, Nott, for standing too close to the microwave in the 80's.
"The dog whined and thumped his tail as the baby squeezed his ears even harder." --Ha ha ha ha ha! You squish him, Dudders! Squish that nasty, black doggy! And this!: "If my sister is alive and bloody shagging him, I will kill her myself!" Totally hilarious! And then Sirius licking her in approval (um, ok, that *is* a bit weird, but he is a dog and all...)
Aw, poor Diddy-dum-kins. :( I'm kind of sad he lost his doggy... Probably because I vastly prefer Sirius when he's a dog (which is saying something, since I'm definitely NOT a dog person.) Very nice! Hopefully I'll be able to read on tomorrow night!Author's Response: "And that's what you get, Nott, for standing too close to the microwave in the 80's."
Hehehe! Yes, I had some family microwave disasters in mind writing that one. Sometimes I feel like this chapter takes a turn toward the macabre with the mixture of humor and horror / action but it seems to work...
Sirius and Petunia have way more in common than they think, if they're both alive in the sequel (no spoilers here...) I would greatly look forward to writing their next meeting.
Thanks for the suggestion about the dialogue tag, I will definitely look at that! Report Review
I'm back! Tuckered out a bit from wonderfully fun HPFF April Fools revelries, but ready to read and review :D
"All that family of elves are sub-standard, Mother always said so." --Made me think of a family of dogs or horses with badly breeded traits (i.e. emotionless property), which I'm sure is what you were going for. Makes me cringe and think of how people in the South must have talked about slave families. I'm with you on the idea of very rich Death Eater households having both human servants and house-elves. As much as I'm sure they enjoyed treating the house-elves like dirt, I think they would also want to oppress humans they considered beneath them, as well.
Oh, of course...Petunia is completely vulnerable since it was only Harry's presence in her home that kept it safe. It's amazing all the things you had to consider writing an AU piece. It's really interesting!
Holy moley...2 stone? That is one BIG toddler! Um, quite healthy indeed... Dudley's descriptors were great. Ick... Sticky, tantrum babies have got to be the worst thing ever.
"Petunia's eyes widened briefly at the sensation of sitting in a drift of pulverized butter biscuit, but she made no move to clean it up" --Wow. She must be REALLY upset if a) she's half-ignoring Diddy-kins and b) she's ignoring a mess.
Petunia's recollections of her childhood were really well done. There isn't much more infuriating as a child than believing you're "the good one" and getting punished anyway. I thought you did very well with Dumbledore's letter, as well. It sounded like something he'd write.
"Petunia uncurled her body from its tight, nautilus-shell contortion" -Very nice image.
Eek, you have me all worried now. The Dursleys aren't the most sympathetic characters, but I always hate reading or seeing anything where a child is in danger. Great chapter! Looking forward to the next one! ~Renny :)Author's Response: I think that two stone is about 28 lb which is large indeed for a fifteen-month-old. (my kids were each around 20 pounds then and they weren't tiny!)
This is one chapter where I found myself getting really emotional while writing -- I identified so much with Petunia being estranged from her family and feeling like she hadn't done anything wrong, but they were still angry with her. The jealousy of Lily's abilities plus lack of control over what used to be her doll baby = a serious rift. Thanks so much, glad you enjoyed this chapter. Report Review
Mary! Nice choice for the duel.
And so sweet with the AN. :) I remember that conversation and I must say you (and Bellatrix) pulled it off well.
~TyAuthor's Response: Thanks, Ty! Yes, your suggestion was extremely helpful in winding it up with a horrible cliffhanger! :D I really appreciate it. Report Review
Mwa ha ha! I love any reference to Aberforth and his messed-up goat obsession, so Hagrid's line cracked me up.
Ooh, "invective." I learned a new word today :) Haven't heard that before.
"Sirius wondered whether the mangy creature could smell Padfoot on his clothes." --I wonder, too! That's a really interesting thought! Filch wanting to keep Sirius out of the castle, by brandishing a mop at him, was so spot-on. I always felt so bad for him, having to clean up after all those horrible little children with no magic. I kind of think Dumbledore must have auto-cleaning spells set up and just lets Filch walk around with a broom thinking he's being useful.
The whole part with Peeves was great. I loved the little song you made up. I thought you wrote him very well and convincingly. Dorcas's trick with the portraits was also very neat! I've often though myself that you would need to be very careful about what you said and where you said it at Hogwarts.
I thought your description of Severus's quarters was very good. I also appreciated the details about his students performing better than Slughorns', and also how he now had to actually pay attention to Quidditch. (I love writing about his and McGonagall's Quidditch rivalries in my own stories :D) Sirius's disparaging remarks about Severus continue to annoy me, but that is also just another compliment to your writing. But really...ugh! Sirius is just jealous cause Severus is secretly hotter than he'll ever be. We just need to get Posey to give Severus a make-over as well. ;)
Oh, Hagrid's pun was pretty bad, but he seems like the type of man who would be a master at bad puns. I still thought it was very cute. Kind of bummed reading the next few chapter descriptions that it looks like I have to wait a while for another Severus fix...but I'll survive. You definitely have me hooked with that last little bit about there potentially being another spy in the Order. I can't remember if you had Dumbledore actually say that in the last chapter, or if Sirius is recollecting it for the reader. Sorry! Sometimes my sleep-deprived brain doesn't catch things the first time. Lovely work, as always!Author's Response: Thanks so much for another great review! I have a soft spot for Filch, always cleaning up after messy children and being in love with his cat. (I think I'm going to have to write a Filch / Madam Pince someday!)
Yes, I've always suspected that Slughorn was a bit dissipated by the time he retired -- a little burned out maybe. (the stress of having helped Voldemort, even inadvertently, had to be a huge burden of guilt) I think I may have to write McGonagall giving Severus Quidditch lessons, they'd have to do this somewhere far, far away from campus or the students would laugh about it forever. Severus has extreme Slytherin pride which is probably the only thing that keeps him afloat.
Hehe, I'm glad Sirius & Severus's nasty comments about one another are annoying -- they're supposed to be ;) I love both of these characters.
I'll go and check where I had the first mention of a possible second spy, I may have left it out of the previous chapter --- you are so good at picking out these plot holes! Thanks so much! Report Review
I love this story! It is written so wonderfully! Snape is my favorite character and I love to read stories that stay true to his character. The emotions and thoughts he has seem so real. I've been reading this story feverishly and now find that I am late for work. So, I will save it to my favorites and come back for more later. Wonderful. Your story is plausible, engaging, and just really, really impressive.Author's Response: You're so very kind. Thanks so much. This story is finished and there's a sequel underway so whenever you feel like it, there's plenty to read :) I'm so happy to hear that you think my Snape is in character and believable -- AUs can be tricky in that way. I really appreciate it. Report Review
Here's Miriel from the forums with you review!
Usually I'm not a big fan of the Marauder's era or Snape/Lily, but I decided to make an exception here and it was a pleasant surprise!
Although you story is technically spoken an AU, Lily is very canon here, fiercy protective of Harry and just like I imagined her to be.
Snape on the other hand is torn between his love for her, his hatred of James and his unwillingness to take Harry with him. You pictured his conflict very well.
I also liked how you wrote the scenes in which the Aurors investigate and try to find out what happened. The description was very realistic and convincing.
All in all, I enjoyed reading this first chapter greatly and I think I'll continue as soon as I have the time!
MirielAuthor's Response: Thank you so much! I'm really glad you enjoyed it. I know it's hard to jump into an AU with a non-canon pairing sometimes when you don't normally go for them. :)
This story was my baby for years, and I'm still a bit floored that I finished it. (I've started the sequel as well) Thanks for the review swap, I really appreciate it! Report Review
Myra's cottage sounds wonderful and exactly the type of place of I hope to live in someday. She also has just the right type of personality that I think Severus needed in a teacher, especially a female one.
"I almost thought he wanted to die. He seemed very intent on it at the time." --YES! Why are toddlers so suicidal?? Mine thinks it's hilarious when I get down in his face to tell him to stop running towards the road. Ugh.
Just a little confused about Myra's description. You have her as being, "streamlined," "sleek-bodied" and "birdlike." That makes me think of a petite, skinny woman. But then a few paragraphs down, you describe her "plump body." I can definitely see how a plump woman could still be birdlike (like one of those fat, puffy little things) but I just wanted to draw your attention to that since it threw me off a tiny bit.
"As the shock wore off, Lily spilled over into tears more frequently." --I'm just not quite sure what this sentence means. Do you mean that now she knows she's safe and out of Castle Lestrange, she's constantly breaking into tears?
"Amazing, how mothers develop the ability to catalog the location of every bit and bob in the house." --VERY true! I'm sure most mothers would know exactly where any single toy is currently. But ask her to find her car keys or her cell phone... :)
"It's likely he has an excessively clever plan in mind." He will! He will! He's so wonderful! *gush gush gush*
I LOVED Myra's philosophy about magic and totally agree with it. After all, if a witch or wizard uses magic for every single little thing, it becomes very hard for them to remember that they're human. I don't think it's a big leap to go from constantly using magic to fetch your slippers to not minding if an enslaved house-elf does it for you instead, if that makes sense.
Oh my gosh, you're making me want a bath so much right now, especially since the weather's turned cool again. There isn't a tub where I'm staying, though :( We have an awesome claw-foot one at home, but I won't be back until June and unlikely to want a bath then. *sigh*
The whole exchange between Severus and Lily was just... wow. I loved it. I bet you also loved writing it. *Very* few fan fic authors are able to create a Severus that makes me swoon as much as my own (not trying to sound conceited, just saying that we tend to write a character we love in a way that attracts us the most personally). Consider the fact that my heart is hammering reading that conversation and imagining him all feverish and tortured the highest compliment I can give you ;)
I love your chapter titles. I'm usually wondering when I start the chapter what the heck the word in question could do with the story and very much enjoy it when I get to the end of the chapter and figure it out. It's a very clever addition to the story overall. I'm giving this chapter a 10/10!Author's Response: The chapter titles were fun until I got to 13-14 and then they got to be extremely difficult. (I'm never doing spell names as chapter titles again ;) )
Ooh, I'm glad Severus provoked a swoon, even though the poor guy is still bashing his head against the proverbial wall where Lily is concerned.
Thanks as well for your helpful comments regarding Myra's description. I was picturing her in the plump birdlike manner -- I'll have to go back and fix that. So glad you're having fun with the story! Report Review
I wish there was a "reply to reply" option for reviews :) Just wanted to say that I was totally thinking of Hammond Castle as well! I went there years back for a Ren Faire (wasn't impressed with the faire, but the castle was very cool). And thank THE LORD you didn't mean *that* about Becky and Voldemort. Sorry...I guess I watch too much Law and Order: SVU since I'm always reading into things too much (and in a horrible way). I would suggest that maybe you do change that one line so other people don't think the same thing as me (and have horrible mental pictures ensue). Maybe just something like, "He's had me by the throat since I was 17." I figured you knew what you were doing with Becky being killed but, like I said, I was a bit confused by the pacing in that one part. But let's get to this chapter!
"James was always threatening to write up their discovery under an assumed name and send it in to Transfiguration Today, but Remus would never let him do it." --Love that! I could also see him wanting to somehow publish how they became animagi as well. And this!: "At the wrong time of the month, Moony was more likely to eat the owl than reply to a message." Those were both fabulous little lines you thought up.
"The Dark Mark was a fresh branding, still scabbed over in places. In death, the wound would never heal." --I really like your idea of the Dark Mark being like an actual brand that wounds the receiver instead of just a tattoo (though I'm sure those hurt like the devil as well. Never gotten one myself). It adds such a sinister edge to an already evil act.
"It was just like the old man to turn into a walking textbook when Sirius only wanted a straight answer." --Hmm...maybe Hermione is Dumbledore's long-lost granddaughter or something after all ;) But that whole explanation of Dumbledore's was very cool and in character with him. Yay for Severus! He's powerful and hardcore!
Aw, I'm so glad you had Petunia at least attempt to go to the funeral. It's so horrible that her relationship with Lily fell to pieces, especially since they both had baby boys around the same time and should have had a wonderful bonding experience being pregnant together. This chapter was great (um, aren't they all?) and it's very cool that Sirius is now on a rescue mission to find Harry and Lily instead of setting off to murder Severus. I'll try to read another one later tonight!Author's Response: I always felt the Dark Mark was more of a brand, even though in canon it's a tattoo I believe -- one more reason why I love writing AUs!
I laughed at Hermione / Dumbledore --- she is at least his spiritual granddaughter, isn't she ;) I've tried to show a complex picture of Dumbledore in this story, mine is a bit darker than the canon Dumbledore and gets to see the consequences of his mistakes sooner, but who knows whether that will make him do anything differently? Stubborn guy. Aberforth would agree with me eh?
Thanks so much for the suggestions on the previous chapter, I am presently revising the whole story so it's likely I will put them to use! :)
Lily and Petunia's relationship is a big part of the story; I could never imagine Petunia cutting Lily out of her heart with as much finality as JKR seems to imply she did. (though in the books we get flashes and hints throughout that she never stopped loving her sister) Hopefully you'll enjoy further chapters about the Evans sisters :)
"Severus' neck turned a dull red." --Oh man. Poor Severus. Cause you know he has got to be a TOTAL virgin. And I do think that whole round of taunting would probably be the only sort of thing thing that would ever make Severus totally lose it, like he did here. I still wanted to smack him though and yell, "CHILL OUT!"
Ok, I did have a bit of a problem with how Lily chased down Becky (and a little confused by the chasing down itself. It read to me like one minute Becky and Lily are seated at the table, then Lily is yelling "Get back here" [where did Becky go?] and Becky is suddenly by an alcove. I just feel like there was a few sentences there that are missing...like if Becky had jumped up and ran away a bit to get out of the way of Severus's curses or something.) I guess I just don't find it believable that Lily would let something like righteousness overcome her own feelings of self-preservation, *especially* knowing she was the only parent Harry had left. And then she *murders* Becky?! Wow, Lily is more hardcore than I thought. I guess at this point, Lily would do whatever it takes to protect herself after having an AK thrown at her, but wouldn't it be more in her character to wipe Becky's mind maybe so she can't remember that Lily wasn't truly imperiused? Meh...sorry. That one part is just not sitting well with me for some reason when everything else in this story so far makes so much sense. I did think Lily's indignation that PREFECT Becky would be evil was pretty funny. It reminded me of in CoS how Percy is so stunned that Slytherin's monster would *dare* attack a prefect, like they're some higher order of beings or something.
And when Becky said Voldemort "had" her...do you mean like...HAD had? Cause that's sooo gross. I don't care if I sound like a 13 year old. Just EEEW. I guess in my mind, I always thought Voldemort would be sort of above needing anything physical like that or food or drink. That's even grosser than the Uncle Voldy hug for Draco at the end of the DH2 movie.
"And why did she have to stuff the Portkey down her dress?" --Um, has Severus *seen* how tight her dress is? And however noble is love of her is, I simply can't believe he failed to notice ;)
"Severus had never said a word about his injury, never stopped fighting for an instant." --*sobbing* HE'S SO WONDERFUL AND AWESOME AND BRAVE!!! *sob sob* I have no idea how he's going to fix this one, though, having totally ditched Voldemort at his super swank party.
But next chapter we probably get to find out about Myra! I'm looking forward to that, but will save it for tomorrow night. I guess I should make a vague attempt at working on my own writing now until bedtime. Oh yeah, I also studied Latin pretty extensively in school, so if you ever need any help with it and Bella isn't available, let me know ;)Author's Response: Thanks! I especially appreciate your CC on this chapter, I agree that there are parts that are rushed and confused where my editing might have been too chop-and-change. I'll go back through my old drafts and see if I accidentally deleted anything important, I really appreciate the heads up. :)
You'll see some back story later on where Becky Whitetree (the prefect who went bad...) will come back into play -- Lily's impulsive means of getting rid of her attacker will likely have some serious consequences down the road. (nobody gets away with anything in this story! ...I'm really mean to JKR's poor characters, sometimes meaner than she was in canon! ;) )
I was not intending to imply that Voldemort had any kind of relationship with Becky beyond blackmail. I can totally see where that could be read between the lines however, now that you point it out. I didn't envision Becky as Bellatrix Jr. if that's what you mean.
Thanks again and hope you continue to enjoy as the chapters go on! :) Report Review
I really had to force myself not to tear up when Lily handed Harry to Severus. That was a such a nice touch, and written very well. There's no way I could personally hand my son over to strangers while believing I was probably off to my death, either. The "glad exclamations" from the two women made me smile. At least someone is happy to see Severus :(
"She stared back at the hidden glints of light in his black eyes, at strands of his hair lifting in the slight breeze." --ho HO! Those herbs must be working, since she's starting to recognize his hotness ;) James? Who's that? I also really liked: "Lily felt a faint shiver of pride, but let it pass by. All her impressions, all her emotions, were running away from her, slipping downhill. She let them go."
"At the table, Narcissa Malfoy pressed the back of her hand to her mouth. Her husband tapped at her elbow, forcing her hand down." --I really appreciate that. For some reason, maybe because in DH she cared more about her son's safety than whatever Voldemort had planned for Harry, I really like Narcissa. I also like to think that deep down, she's a decent person who got sucked into a bad crowd through her husband and sister.
The description of Lily being cleaned up and dressed was great. And poor Posey :( I always get so depressed reading about house-elves. I definitely winced about the part where the dress laced too-tightly across her bust (at least she's not still nursing...can you say OUCH?!) As usual, this was a really great chapter. I really enjoyed reading it. All of your details are what make such a huge difference: the Lestranges' yuppie fake castle, the comparison of Voldemort to a praying mantis unfolding, the idea that the pain caused by the Cruciatus Curse lingers long after the spell is lifted (I did something similar in a way, so it was cool reading that)...all these things really separate great fan fiction from good fan fiction. It's early in the evening, I'm feeling great, so let's do one more! ~RennyAuthor's Response: Thanks! I particularly wanted to get across that Narcissa's motivations are really the same as Lily's. (though she's dragged through all kinds of craziness by her family associations) Lucius isn't a bad person either in this AU -- his actions may be evil, but they are motivated by love and loyalty toward Narcissa and Draco more than anything else.
I based the castle on a real place I once visited on a day trip -- Hammond Castle in Gloucester, Mass. It's really a charming place, and makes a perfect setting for a fake Death Eater castle if you squint a little ;)
Lily is by no means immune to Severus's hotness, she's repressing quite a lot ;) Report Review
So I read this chapter a couple weeks ago when I was being so great about fitting this fic into my insane, toddler-wrangling schedule, but I guess I remembered correctly in that I never actually reviewed it. It's probably good thing, because it was nice to have the refresher before continuing on to the next chapter with new material for me. I just wanted to touch quickly on a couple things you said in your response to my last review. I can absolutely see how Severus would be very nervous and perhaps not trusting his own Occlumency skills against Voldemort at this point. My problem is that I'm so used to Hogwart's era Severus, where he's had over a decade to really mature and hone his skills. I think older Severus would be confident that he could lie to Voldemort, though maybe still be killed for faithlessness. But, of course, your Severus is pretty much right out of school and hasn't had the time to become comfortable in his own skin, let alone try to match the mental prowess of the Dark Lord without any qualms at all. I've never had a problem with canon Dumbledore, on the assumption that he was confident Harry would in fact survive. But now, having watched the last movie a few times recently, I'm struck over and over by how many times his plan could have gone wrong, yet he went ahead with it anyway. Your comment about "The Greater Good" is spot-on.
But now to this chapter before I have to get to bed!
"...the premature lines around his eyes and mouth disappearing in his sudden mirth." --the thought of 21 or 22 year old Severus having wrinkles already is so sad, but very believable. I can't imagine the amount of stress he had to have been under the months leading up to Peter's betrayal. Augh, it just makes me love him more! He's so dedicated and fabulous (even if he does have a bit of a fat head...)
This was a great chapter over-all. I can tell you put a ton of thought into it. I'm sure your own first reaction would be, like Lily, to run and hide in the middle of nowhere. So I can see your thought process in how you went through all the reasons that wouldn't work. Again, I have to remind myself over and over that this is AU and Voldemort is still alive, and likely to win, like Severus said. That's really such a scary thought. I've never read an AU where Voldemort wins (or really read much AU at all), but I think it would be even worse than what happened in Deathly Hallows with all the terrifying, psuedo-Nazi stuff.
I'm glad Severus has another mentor besides Dumbledore in this story. All your comments in my last review about canon Dumbledore treating Severus like his indentured servant through his guilt-trips is so true. I also couldn't see Slughorn taking Severus under his wing since he's brilliant, but certainly doesn't have star-quality. So I think an OC will work well here. Looking forward to reading more about her. I think I said this before, but the thought of Sirius raising Harry himself totally scares me.
"All the possibilities of harm were laid out before her in an instant, all the ways she could lose him." --I really hate this part of being a mother. It's like the second you find out you're pregnant, you never stop for a single instant worrying about something happening to your baby. But I guess that's why the human race is still around, because babies and toddlers aren't really great about self-preservation.
There! I did it! I think I'll stop for now since I want to be able to review the next chapter right after reading it this time, and I don't really have time to do that before I need to get to bed. But hoping the baby dinosaur's bedtimes continue to improve, I should be able to pop by here tomorrow night. Wonderful chapter, as always. Your writing is a pleasure to read :)Author's Response: Hi! Thanks so much, and please don't worry about when you get to read / review, I'm just tickled you're into the story :)
I always saw Severus's relationship with Slughorn as complex -- Lily was his pet in canon and outwardly his star student, but Severus was *really* the prodigy in his class and in his House besides, but he lacked that star quality you mentioned. I hope to get into Severus & Slughorn's professional relationship more in the future.
I had trouble getting through the narrative / informational portion of this chapter while keeping it dramatic and interesting and I'm glad I did okay :)
Sometimes I want to smack my own Dumbledore. This version is darker than canon Dumbledore and a bit more cavalier about others' safety, as you'll see. Glad you're continuing to enjoy! Report Review
This looks like a very intriguing AU story so far. Since so much of the events of the books stemmed from the circumstanes of Lily's death, its very interesting to see how everything we're familiar with would have turned out differently.
I like how even though it was AU, the characters still seemed familar, paritucalrly Lily and her strong maternal instincts. I also liked how you portrayed Snape and his possesive love for Lily and disdain for James and willingness to sacrifice Harry.
The part with the Aurors investigating the crime scene was very well done and imaginative. Looks like this story has a lot of potential!Author's Response: Thank you, I'm glad to hear that the characters are on target. It's challenging to keep the characters acting like themselves when the circumstances have changed in such wild ways. :)
I sometimes feel like the first chapter moved too quickly, but I could never figure out where to expand it.
This story is done and the sequel is underway so there's lots more, should you choose to continue! Thanks so much for the review tag. Report Review
Severus Snape: Potions master, double agent, Death Eater... Baby-sitter.
So I just had a great thought here, that I'm pretty glad I was wrong about. I was thinking how funny would it be if when Severus did Legilimency on Harry, Harry was actually wanting to nurse. But then I realized it's good that wasn't the case, because Severus's head probably would have exploded seeing Lily's boobs. A bottle was a much better idea :D
Severus was so sweet, ending up acting instinctually protective of Harry even though he's trying his best to convince himself that he hates the boy. Harry's anxiety concerning James was so sad. I'm probably just kind of sensitive to it given my own situation at the moment being a temporary single parent. All in all, Severus did a pretty good job with his Harry-watching without even having to resort to his baby-jail he was imagining (man, sometimes I wish I had something like that in real life...)
One thing, though, *could* Severus's mind really be penetrated by Voldemort? I kind of assumed that it couldn't, or else there's no way he'd have stayed alive for so long. I always thought that Severus's skill at Occlumency was equal to or even exceeding Voldemort's skill at Legilimency. I do think that, if he wanted to, Dumbledore would probably be able to get inside Severus's head, though I don't think he'd ever do such a thing without permission. But I find it very believable that their strange relationship where Severus probably greatly respects Dumbledore and has grown to manhood under his tutelage, would make it very hard for him to completely shut Dumbledore out.
Well, we knew Voldemort would be wanting a report before long. Nice cliffhanger at the end of this chapter :) ~RennyAuthor's Response: Ha!!! Yes, I thought about Harry still nursing, but decided that it would not be time period correct at 15 months. My take is that Lily probably nursed for a while.
I wrote this originally when my boy was about two and it was all very fresh in my mind how tiny and vulnerable but extremely smart toddlers are, and how much they really do understand.
Harry's mischief is straight from my son's playbook. Harry is maybe a little too mentally advanced for his age in retrospect, but we can always say "wizard kids develop a little faster," right?
I totally wanted the magic playpen! My son was a little wrecking ball at that age...
I think Severus really can block Voldemort's Legilimency, but he's nervous when push comes to shove. (keep reading to see more!) Severus and Dumbledore have a twisted relationship for sure, both here and in canon. Severus feels like his unappreciated puppet, his hunting dog, his pawn. Dumbledore cares for him but is more interested (perhaps) in what Severus can do for him than in the health and well-being of the man himself. It's the same way I believe Dumbledore uses Harry in the canon series: perhaps his motives were essentially good, but it's extremely lucky for Harry that he survived being used as a weapon.
That is the essential difference between canon Harry and my AU Snape: canon Harry was willing to lay down his life for Dumbledore's fight because he made it his own fight. (and canon Snape also, because he had nothing more to live for.) AU Snape is only willing to lay down his own life for Lily at this point. He made the choice just in time in this story... AUs are such fun! Wish fulfillment city.
Severus's pushing back against Dumbledore is my reaction to puppet master Dumbledore in canon. I was so frustrated with Dumbledore; was he really any different from Grindelwald after all? When I finally finished DH, I could see where Rita Skeeter was coming from: Dumbledore's actions had positive results but they were not always clearly the right thing to do on a case-to-case basis. "For the greater good" was never given up, even if Grindelwald's ideas did not hold sway.
Thanks so, so much for your detailed and helpful reviews! I feel like I learn as much from responding to them as I do in any other kind of story research for volume 2! Report Review
It took me three separate sittings, but I was *finally* able to finish this chapter. The log-in lock out messed me up one day, then I took a couple nights to steel my resolve and put the first chapter of my own sequel into the queue (what can I say, you inspired me!)
I find it interesting that in canon, everyone jumped to the (correct) conclusion that Peter betrayed James and Lily, instead of assuming, like you have done, that he was captured and the information tortured out of him. Knowing Peter, I think what your characters assume would have been more likely. But I think maybe what you've done was to make Peter secret-keeper all along, and not have switched out with Sirius secretly? Unless I'm reading that wrong... I think that makes a little bit of a difference.
Twenty-one year old canon Snape alone with a baby is a terrifying thought. Ok, ANY AGE canon Snape alone with a baby is way scary. He's probably just cast a sleeping charm on it and hope its diaper didn't leak all over him (like poor Lily. But I did a "Woohoo!" when Severus transfigured those towels into cloth diapers. I use cloth diapers on my little guy, so I thought that was neat :D)
As you might have noticed, I really don't like canon Sirius. But I think I might at least grow to respect your Sirius since he seems like he's going to fight with everything he's got to recover Harry. That's really admirable for a man to do for a baby that isn't his.
The wizard mortician part was great! I'm really interested in wizarding ceremonies. We got a glimpse of the wedding one in "Deathly Hallows" so it's very cool to read a tiny bit about what they might do with death. I feel like it would be a really long, elaborate process, kind of like what the Japanese do preparing a body for cremation (did you ever see the movie, "Departures"? It's really interesting and I think it won the Oscar that year.)
Hmm...so Severus's magic finally gave out. Pretty impressive that it lasted throughout the entire "embalming" process, but he's awesome so that's to be expected. Hoping they weren't planning on having an open-casket viewing...Author's Response: They did switch Secret-Keepers in this version, I believe it was approximately the beginning of October when they did so: I believe I get to it later in the story (but I can't recall which chapter, 60K words will do that to you - :D )
I never understood why people would immediately assume Peter betrayed them, when he seemed like such a quisling. He was looking for the strongest protector to save his own skin, and he changed allegiances from Dumbledore to Voldemort when it looked like Voldemort would win. In canon, Peter is such a survivor. In this version, he didn't get into the deep Death Eater activities that he did in the books since our dear Severus took care of that for us. (bringing Voldemort back to life, etc)
I often use Sirius's POV as "my" POV in this story. I felt like I grew close to him over the years I wrote this... he shares a lot of my opinions. He's foul-mouthed and whiny at times but he does have a good heart and he acts based on love and loyalty. He does ridiculously dumb things at times but they are well-intentioned, at least toward his loved ones.
I'm glad you liked the mortician, he was a walk-on and I enjoyed being able to give the wizards of Godric's Hollow a chance to talk about James and Lily. It seems to me like they were a big part of the community before they went into hiding. I haven't seen the film you mentioned but I'll look into it.
I suspect you are going to enjoy the next chapter quite a bit! Thank you so much for reading along. I will try to return the favor soon so I can jump into your sequel! Report Review
Terms of Service
categories & genres
short story collection