This was an interesting story! Although I'm not sure if it fits my challenge I can see where it's going. I dont' have time to continue RandRing but I can get this first chapter done! Sorry for the long wait.
It was interesting! How Severus asked Voldemort to spare Lily and such. I liked it! :)
Mike. Report Review
Oh, Sev, be careful what you wish for!
There're just some people you don't want to owe. I take it that was an Unbreakable Vow, and from the wording, a bit of a blank check. Not good!
Thanks for dueling with this piece.
~Ty Report Review
Boo! Happy Holidays from me! I am your Secret Santa and I am here to fill you full of happiness to them brim on this awesome day! I am going to review all your wonderful stories - or the stories that I can!
I remember reading this story a ways back, so I had to recap myself before I continued onto this chapter! I can't wait to get around to the rest. You can expect to hear from me over the course of the next few days!
And now your review! What a lovely chapter. A perfect continuation to the first. It was dark, but you got me. I'm a sucker for the darker stuff. You have captivated me and drawn me in.
Your characterization is lovely. Brilliant and wonderful. I loved James and Lily in this. Their relationship really shines. How easy everything is for them as the words flow so smoothly. You can easily see what kind of couple that they are and that they belong together. You did them justice, and it was the perfect way to sever their ties.
And your descriptions. Wow, your descriptions! Your opening description of the night was beautiful and vivid. You really painted a picture for me. I could see it and feel it as the story progressed. You really have a talent for that, but I don't think I could pinpoint anything that would be called your "best" talent dealing with writing. You are so talented with every aspect of it.
Ah, and so this chapter hits that defining moment when your story takes a turn for the AU. You officially have me intrigued, and I can't wait to see what else you have changed. It was eerie, but you made a vitally important note of elaborating on how the light that hit Lily was in fact red. Any real Harry Potter lover knows what color it should be, and with that one little twist we know something has changed and that we're in for something good. I can't to find out more.
Ah, and then that closing piece there! What an eerie and mysterious bit. You really pulled me in. I was desperate to read more when the chapter ended.
This was wonderful, hun! Update soon and I will be sure to return for more! I'm off to your author page to read more of your wonderful things! :)
DrueAuthor's Response: Hello Secret Santa!
I really wanted to set the scene in a way that connected it to the first chapter, even though it wasn't a direct continuation of it. So I'm really happy that you liked the description of the night and saw this chapter as a continuation of the first.
This story is most definitely headed towards the darker stuff. This chapter is really only the beginning. From here on out any happiness is really just going to be for dramatic irony, so I really wanted to work hard to make the best of this scene with the Potters.
I wanted to show the Potters at a sweet and happy moment as a family, showing both James/Lily's relationship and Lily's relationship with Harry. And then I killed them. Yeah, it's one of *those* stories.
Descriptions are what makes the world go round. I want the reader to see exactly what I'm seeing, but I don't want to bog them down with information they don't need. It's taken a lot of time to get it to the point where you say it's my best part. Hard work clearly pays off.
The AU starts to come out here, most definitely. It was AU from the start, but this is the part where it's not even going parallel to canon. The light's always been an important part of the story in canon. It's what Harry remembers best about that night. There was no way I wasn't going to point it out.
I'm really glad you liked the story. You're reviews are always awesome, so you've definitely given me a lovely present.
-Houlestar Report Review
I loved this chapter. The idea of dressing Harry up as a Snitch is too adorable, and I loved the way you depicted his parents fussing over him and using magic to play with him, like with the rubber duck (another adorable touch). It's exactly how I would picture them.
I also really liked the attention to detail you gave when describing Lily re-establishing the wards on her home. I always appreciate when authors take the time to describe the intricacies of magic - to me, it demonstrates care for the plot.
The ending was quite good as well. I've seen several stories that tell of this dreadful event, but most of them begin just moments before the intrusion of Voldemort. I like how you started this off with an uneasy feeling of normalcy, knowing that your readers would anticipate the events to come. I could feel Lily's suspense as she realized that it was not her husband, a man she knew intimately well, coming up the stairs. I could sense her panic, and I felt afraid for her. And that twist at the end! I eagerly anticipate the next chapter.
As a note, one moment toward the very end stood out to me: Snape's brief moment of happiness that James had perished. I like Snape, and I'm fascinated by him, and often I fall into the trap of wanting to make him more "good" than he perhaps deserves. That moment bothered me, because it seemed so evil and selfish, and I wanted to thank you for including it because I think sometimes we need to be shaken up and forced to look at things in a different light. Clearly you've given a lot of thought to characterization here.
Well done! I have no critiques. I look forward to Chapter 3 :)
-academicaAuthor's Response: Hello there! Glad to see you checked out Chapter Two!
I'm glad you enjoyed the Potters. They were so much fun to write. I positively loved getting to imagine all the things that Lily and James would have done with Harry. I couldn't resist the temptation not to dress Harry up as a Snitch. It just seems like something James would do (and besides, it's totally cute!). And I'm glad you like the magical Rubber Duck. It was something that I came up with on the spot and thought, "Gosh, I wish I had one of those!"
I was worried people would find my description of the re-warding dull, but I'm glad you appreciate it. I always feel that as much detail should be given to the reader so they can see what I see and not have huge gaps.
When I started planning this novel, I fully intended to show the Potters before the attack. I wanted to show Lily while she was happy. I wanted to give the readers the dramatic turn about and fill the entire chapter with dramatic irony. (My friends who read this chapter say I'm absolutely horrid... but it worked, and that's what counts).
JK Rowling's always talking in interviews about how people love the bad guys. I love the bad guys, especially Snape. Even though I love Snape so much, I know that I can't forget that this (at this point in his life) is a man who was perfectly willing to have a child murdered so long as he got what he wanted. I have to include the "you disgust me" part of Snape that is so present as a young man. In canon, Snape is a selfish man with skewed morals. That's the Snape that's present here. I want the reader to say, "you disgust me" but understand why he is doing what he's doing, even if it's pretty terrible.
Thank you so much for your lovely review! You picked up on so many points that I love discussing.
-Houlestar Report Review
Very nice! I like how it's coming along, and can't wait to see how you write the rest!
-CaitAuthor's Response: I'm glad you read it! I hope you continue to do so!
-Houlestar Report Review
this is really amazing...i love the way you describe things in such detail!Author's Response: Thank you. I really try to get the picture that I have in my mind onto the page. Of course, I can't tell everything. I make up really elaborate pictures of what's going on in my mind.
-Houlestar Report Review
I really like the detail in this chapter. And I think you did a really good job of using the little bit of information that we know about this night and turning it into a full scene. Good job!Author's Response: I took the basic details about the night that wouldn't have changed if Severus hadn't gone to Dumbledore and based this chapter off of that. I really liked getting to go in and play with the canon we have.
-Houlestar Report Review
Hey there! I saw this in the New Stories thread on TGS and I thought I'd come by and check it out. I do love a good Snily :)
This is definitely an interesting twist. I've always been a little interested in what the dynamic of Severus and Lily's relationship would look like if he'd gotten his wish and been able to save her. I'll be especially interested to see if you spare James and Harry as well, as that choice obviously has a lot of bearing on where the plot will progress from here.
I love your imagery, especially the way you described Severus and Bellatrix journeying to meet with the Dark Lord and Severus's memories of Lily. I like your attention to detail; it gives the story a nice pace where there might be a temptation to move it along to the critical moment where Lily is on the line.
Your characterization is great as well. I think you did a good job of showing Severus's vulnerability and fallibility, and I look forward to seeing what you do with the tinge of reprieve we see here in Voldemort's character. As a side note, I also appreciate your brevity; shorter chapters are easier for me to fit into my schedule, making the idea of actually following this story and reviewing regularly much more feasible for me! :)
Great work! Keep it up, please! :)
academicaAuthor's Response: Sorry it took me so long to respond, but the more awesome the review, generally the more time it takes me to respond (facepalm)
I'm glad you saw it and decided to check it out. I was hoping someone would come over and take a look at it.
This is definitely a bit of a what-if fic (though it's a lot more than that, or at least, I'd like to think it is... tehee). You'll just have to keep reading to see how I handle the fates of those characters.
Details are golden. Of course, there can be too much detail, and that's what I worry about sometimes, but I'm glad you think I've struck a good balance and that it works well. Details can either slow something down or really enhance a work.
I'm pretty happy with how Snape turned out in here. I think that I was able to get a side of him that is only shown briefly (and we don't see it to Voldemort, only to Dumbledore...). It's a pretty hard side to write. I don't think I got it perfectly, but I think it works.
Voldemort's going to be a very interesting character to write. I haven't written him recently, and he's pretty difficult. But he's going to play a big role in later chapters, so I hope I'm up to the challenge.
Thank you so much
-Houlestar Report Review
Hello there, dear! I'm here with your review as requested. I want to apologize for the ridiculously long wait. My laptop crashed, so I was without a computer for a few days, but I finally have access again. Yay!
And I'm so glad you requested this piece. It was amazing. Simply captivating and enthralling. I loved every bit of it. I love a good piece about Severus that can go in-depth and capture every aspect of his emotions and and the thoughts that led him to make his ultimate decision. And I thought you did it brilliantly.
Your descriptions were amazing. I love how you started the piece with the description of the dropping water, setting up the scene of the story. It was slow, dark, and ominous. It set up the vibe for the rest of the story, and it got me all excited and I anticipated the rest of the story. There was just perfect unity between the descriptions and the plot of the story, leading into the deeper emotions of Snape as the story developed. That was really well put together. :)
Your flow was just as perfect. Just as I said above, it ran from one thing to the next in perfect conformity and beautifully. Really wonderful job. While this was a fairy short piece, it didn't have too much of anything all at once. There was a great balance of the descriptions, the dialogue, and the plot, and they all reflect the aspects of the other perfectly.
I feel like the scene of Severus telling Voldemort could have gone somewhat like this. I thought most of the dialogue was so perfect. There was a dominating sense of power in Voldemort's voice and with his dialogue, perfectly executed, and Snape seemed perfectly frightened and vulnerable. I think you really did a great job with all of this. :)
Ah, and then there's the interesting twist here at the end! I'm not sure if Snape and Voldemort actually make the Unbreakable Vow in the books or not, but I think adding that in there is perfectly fitting. It's a good twist to the story and adds to the suspension and the importance of the entire event. I love that they made the vow in this piece. It was all so great.
I think you also nailed the three characters in this piece perfectly. Bella kind of the instigator in it all, bringing Snape and Voldemort together for this meeting, just like she instigates the vow in Half-Blood Prince. Really well done and perfect characterization of him there. As for Snape and Voldemort, they were dead on as well I feel. Voldemort is that controlling bad guy he always is, and I think in this piece you captured perfectly Snape's feelings for Lily. Through all the darkness in this piece, the happiness that is his love for her really shines through. You did a great way of showing that.
I don't think I passed any mistakes at all. So that's brilliant, and I really don't think I have anything bad to say. Everything was so brilliantly done and I can tell that you put a lot of time and effort into this piece. There aren't many pieces about Snape out there that are this good. This one really shines through them all.
Fantastic job, and I hope this was somewhat helpful for you! I really enjoyed reading this piece.
I'm so glad you requested for multiple reasons. One: you introduced me to this piece, and two: I have been a huge fan of the original James's Sketchbook for YEARS now! And since you requested, I saw that you are rewriting it! I need to read the new one. I'm sure I will love it just as much as the original. I love your work. :)
Thank you so much for requesting! Again, I hope I helped! :)Author's Response: Thank you so much for your epic review. I'm sorry it has taken me this long to respond, but I wanted to right a response worthy of the review, and until recently, I haven't really had the brain power to do so.
I wanted to convey the desperation Snape felt, without having to write several scenes (I did consider it) or going into angst. Ultimately, I wanted one scene to show all of his emotions and character. I'm glad you think it works well, since I was worried that I had erred to one side or the other (angst vs no emotion, just description).
The setting for this chapter sort of caught me off guard, since originally I wasn't going to set it there. I had considered writing it in Malfoy Manor, but I realized that it had to take place somewhere else. It took me awhile to think of the perfect place, but I'm glad it plays off, and I'm glad my descriptions are affective in conveying the mood.
Flow is always something that I worry about, since its so easy to mess up. *wipes brow* It's just as annoying as mood. Too easy to trip up.
Voldemort is one of the hardest characters to write, I find. Usually I don't have him in my stories, since I don't want to touch it. Every time I write him, I feel that there's something wrong. Writing Snape's interactions with Voldemort was even harder. It's really challenging to convey Voldemort without him seeming ridiculous and Snape's weakness without being OOC. In order to write this scene, I had to look at Snape's scenes with Dumbledore, since his early interactions with Dumbledore show a bit of how Snape was as a Death Eater.
I don't think that in the books Voldemort made the Unbreakable Vow. Voldemort didn't even promise to keep Lily alive, so I don't think he would have bothered with it. Honestly, I feel Voldemort's a little OOC here, but I gave him a loop-hole so that he didn't have to uphold his end of the bargain. The Fool follows Faustian tradition, however, and so there has to be a catch.
Bella's not really the instigator (in both cases). She's the glue that connects everything, making the whole story possible!
Writing Voldemort's take on Snape's love for Lily was fun (and one of the few places I felt confident about Voldie not being OOC). While for Snape, it's the last good thing he has, Voldemort sees Snape's love not as source of strength but of weakness. This contrast will be very important in the story overall.
I'm really glad you enjoyed reading this piece and I love hearing what you had to say on it. I worked really hard on this chapter and I like hearing that someone else thinks the hard work paid off.
I remember you from James's Sketchbook (which is very different from what I'm doing now...) I hope you enjoy the rewrite. (Hopefully I'll get to put the big ending on).
Your review was awesome! I can't thank you enough.
-Houlestar Report Review
This was a very interesting beginnig to your story! I'm very interested to see where it goes from here. Snape's story is one filled of sadness and at the end of the day I feel so bad for him for having to harbor his feelings for Lily for so long and knowing that she didn't love him back is just terrible.
The flow of the story was really good there was only one spot that sort of had me tripping over myself: " He kneeled beside his companion, who stood gaze turned to the far end of the room, to where another man - if he really was a man - sat upon a throne-like chair." the part that says who stood gaze is what had me tripping over myself. But other then this I couldn't find any other mistakes!
Your description in the beginning was really well done! From the description of their footsteps to the surroundings to the wall even the throne of human bones was all done really well. I think that this will make for a great story as its an interesting beginning! Great Job!
~Slytherinchica08~Author's Response: Snape's story is definitely one I wouldn't wish on anyone, and is definitely the stuff that tragedies are made of, hence why it's so much fun to write and play with. I can't reveal whether or not he will get a reprieve however, since that'll spoil some, eh.
I'll look over that sentence. That and another couple of sentences I think need to be fixed.
I'm glad you liked the description. I had a lot of fun imagining it and writing it all out. Once the dialogue started I was like "nooo, more description!" I'll have to put more into the next chapter I guess. ^_^
Thank you very much!
-Houlestar Report Review
Here's your review! :)
This sentence doesn't really make any sense to me. Maybe consider rewording. 'Desperately, “But if you let me talk to her…'
Also, this sentence should have a period after 'desperately' instead of a comma. 'Desperately, “But if you let me talk to her…'
I really liked this. I think you captured the Severus's vulnerabilty at the thought of Lily's death really well.
Feel free to come back and rerequest for another review for the next chapter! :)
(LiveLaughLoveHarryPotter on the forums)Author's Response: Thanks for pointing that out, I'll have to fix that sentence a little bit to make it clearer. (The comma is actually grammatically correct because it's an adverb with the implied 'said').
I thought that Snape wouldn't be able to be a good occlumens given the circumstances, even if he is normally, so I'm glad that you were able to pick up on it.
Thank you for the review!
Houlestar Report Review
Agnes bringing your review :)!
Readability was no problem whatsoever. The flow was very smooth, without a hitch! As for characterization, it seemed spot-on from what I can tell. I could imagine this actually happening between all of the characters, and that's always a good thing.
I really liked the mood you set for this chapter.
I could feel that something serious was going to happen by the way you described the dank surroundings and then--oh my, Voldemort appears! Definitely serious. Then, near the end when Severus is begging him to spare Lily, the setting becomes sort of surreal, especially when you mentioned him almost blacking out before holding his hand out to Voldemort in a dream-like state. I wonder just what Snape's got himself into with that Unbreakable Vow. Making deals with the devil is never a good thing... For that reason, I found the beginnings of this plot to be very immersing.
I will definitely be keeping an eye out for updates on this one!Author's Response: I'm always worried about characterization of Voldemort (he's one of the characters who I am always like "I'm not sure..." about). And I haven't written an emotional Snape in a long time, so I was really nervous about how he'd come across. I'm really glad that it seemed natural.
Yay on the mood. I really wanted to set up the mood because the mood is really important for the overall story.
I'm glad to hear that I've peeked your interest, and I hope you continue on reading. Thank you so much for your review!
-Houlestar Report Review
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