Hello, Roots. I'm here returning the favor for the holiday review swap. You have so many great looking stories to choose from, but I couldn't resist when I saw the Lily/Snape. I really do enjoy stories that explore their relationship, and this one in particular was really touching.
I love the way you blended the flashback scene from the movie with the bits of Snape and Lily as children from the books. It all worked so well together -- very seamless. The opening was particularly catching. I like the way you set the scene with the activities of Halloween and the sick-feeling children before narrowing in on Snape. And you captured his anxiety and trepidation really well right from the start. The reference to his trembling fingers definitely caught my eye.
It fact, there were a lot of great lines throughout. One of my favorites was the bit about Lily being "incriminated only by her blood." It was really poetic and yet still rang true.
You really did a great job capturing Snape's character throughout. I thought the line "It was secret, theirs" was absolutely perfect. Snape definitely cared for Lily, but he isn't really able to develop very healthy attachments with anyone. This one line really captures that. He's got this possessive nature -- this sense of importance that he shares something with Lily no one else does. He loves her and yet there is this feeling that there is something off about his affections right from the start.
There are so many other great things I could comment on. I liked the addition of Hagrid at the end. It was unexpected and sweet and really helped tie everything back in with the books. And the writing itself was really solid. There was some wonderful description (the crunching of the leaves sticks out in my mind). And the interjection of the short sentences (Severus felt sick... Lily's only child... And that would have to be enough...) was very effective.
Overall, this was a really nice one-shot. Thanks for tagging me for the review exchange. I'm glad I got the chance to read this :)Author's Response: Thank you so much for this great review! I'm glad that you liked the way I wrote this one-shot.
When I started writing this story I couldn't think of a different way to start this story- I liked the comparison between Snape and the children too much to write something different. I'm glad that it's been so well received.
I'm also really happy that you liked Snape's characterization. He can be such a difficult character to write because he has so many layers- he's such a grey character. Luckily, though, I had a very specific image of his character in these scenes.
I'm glad that you liked Hagrid's introduction at the end of the story. As you guessed, it was my way of tying the story back into canon and ending Snape's mourning in the house.
Thanks for the lovely review and I may be popping back over to your fascinating story! Report Review
Hello, I'm here for my end of our holiday review swap! I have to admit, it was hard to choose which story to review for you. I've been wanting to come back to your Pansy story for a while, and your Moody story has also definitely caught my eye. In the end, though, I had to go with your Snape/Lily one-shot :)
You started out right away with a really interesting contrast. I love the juxtaposition of the children eating until they felt sick because of all the candy, which is a humorous image, with that line: "Severus felt sick." I felt like it immediately dropped me into the real theme of this one-shot, and the contrast was very jarring and powerful.
I also really love how you used Severus's position within the Death Eaters to track Lily's safety. It was interesting that he could pick up on her safety because of disappearing Order members and, sadly, on her fate through the Dark Lord's happiness. It seems to fit in very well with his canon characterization of being so perceptive.
I liked the section with Snape and Lily as children a lot. I especially liked the way that he noticed her because of the leaf and how he reflected on the fact that the thing he told her didn't matter, her Muggleborn status, was what ultimately drove them apart. It makes me sad because I think that if he hadn't been involved with the Death Eaters, it really wouldn't have mattered, and they probably would have had a close relationship for years. I also liked getting a look into his family life in that section, though--and this is the tiniest of critiques--it seemed like you kept going back to that rather deliberately. It might flow a little better if you can find a more subtle way to thread it in.
Severus's discovery of Lily's body was painfully and beautifully written, from his decision to endure the pain of a wandless search to his inability to knock James for clearly trying his best to defend the woman they both loved. I feel sad again in thinking that Lily once found magic wondrous and exciting and that it eventually caused her death. I really felt like you brought life to that poignant scene from the film where he cradles her body, in terms of using it to explicate on all of the regret he feels.
The scene with Hagrid was interesting. I felt a pang in my heart when Severus reflected on how Lily, if she were alive, would find the contrast between Hagrid's size and Harry's size quite amusing. I wonder, though, if Hagrid really didn't know what to do with Snape there or if he already somehow knew that Snape could be trusted. I also didn't really know what to make of the line you quoted from DH -- was that just a memory, or was it something he repeated to Hagrid in the moment?
I love the ending, though. It really sets up Snape's role in Harry's story nicely and makes it believable that he would be willing to work so hard for Harry's safety. I see the theme of him putting himself in danger time and again reflected in a smaller way throughout this one-shot as he endures the pain of searching for Lily and ultimately finding her dead.
Nice work. Thanks for the swap :)
AmandaAuthor's Response: Thanks for reviewing and I'm sorry that it's taken me such a long time to respond to your lovely review. I've just been really busy with work...
Haha- I would have loved your reviews for any of those stories and I'm glad that you picked this one. I had a feeling that you would. :)
I'm glad that you liked the way I chose to begin this story. It felt right to me, the sudden and almost violent change, and I'm glad that it worked for you as well.
I imagine that using Voldemort's reactions was one of the only ways in which he could obtain knowledge of Lily's whereabouts, especially since he couldn't be shown to be overly familiar or interested in a Muggleborn.
I'm so happy that you liked the section with them as children. You're probably right that if he hadn't been involved with Death Eaters he wouldn't have broken away from Lily when he didn't really want to... Of course, that's a tale for an AU story. :D
I'll go back and look at how I threaded his childhood into the story. I wanted to emphasize how his relationship with Lily was the most important one in his life and I used his home life as a contrast to it. But I may have overemphasized...
I'm glad that you liked how I described the scene where Lily's body was discovered. It's always difficult to find the best way to describe truly emotional scenes and I'm glad that the way I chose to write it worked for you.
The line I quote was meant to be a memory, though I can see how you could be confused. As well, I think that Dumbledore would have told Hagrid that Snape could be trusted, though not exactly why, which is why Hagrid might have been slightly awkward and unsure around Snape.
I'm really happy that you liked the ending. That was my intention, to try and set up his future role in Harry's life, and I'm glad that you were able to sense it.
Thank you for your fantastic and thoughtful review! Report Review
Hello, there! I was on a bit of a reading binge this morning and this story really piqued my interest. I've really gotten into "the softer side" of Severus Snape lately, and this story was a great example of that genre.
From the beginning, his anxiety as he makes his way through Godric's Hollow was so palpable. You built up the tension really well in spite of the fact that I knew what the outcome was going to be. Small details like the light posts, the playground and the dry leaves really helped to add depth and intensity to the scene.
Severus's recollections of Lily from their childhood also helped to really strengthen the connection to the fear and remorse that he feels in the present. I loved how you portrayed his childhood life, the way that he suffered from his parents' poverty and neglect. I think you meant to imply that his father was also embarrassed about his mother's magical abilities, which is even more sad. It made perfect sense that his time with Lily was his refuge from that life, and I'm sure he valued her friendship more than words could describe.
One detail that you spent some time emphasizing and I wasn't completely sure why was his misplaced wand. It doesn't seem at all like him to lose something that important. Maybe this was an indication of how distraught he was or maybe it was meant to highlight his vulnerability -- physical complementing the emotional -- as he mourns Lily. Either way, it was a small detail of the story that I found very interesting.
It was interesting to imagine Hagrid and Snape meeting inside the destroyed Potter home. If anything about the story gave me just a bit of pause, it was this. I was under the impression, perhaps mistaken, that Snape's defection to Dumbledore's side occurred very shortly before James and Lily's death. If Hagrid was aware of it, it seems like it would have been a fairly recent thing. His last thoughts as he watches Hagrid fly away with baby Harry were touching, and the seem to presage the events of years to come.
Overall, this was a lovely piece. I truly enjoyed reading it and I'll definitely be adding this to my personal Snape head canon. Well done!Author's Response: Hi! Sorry it's taken me so long to respond- I didn't notice this review until just a little bit ago (I usually don't check the 'Unanswered reviews' category).
I'm really glad that you liked this story and I'm glad that Snape's emotions were very present. I was trying very hard while I wrote this to ensure that they were present, because this is largely a piece about his emotions.
I couldn't write a piece like this without including some memories from his childhood because, as you said, they are what made his current connection to Lily so deep and strong. Yes, that's a perfect way to describe it- Lily was his refuge from that life and she only became more important to him as the years passed.
I think that I spent the time emphasizing hte loss of his wand not only to indicate his vulnerability, as you said, but also to explain why he couldn't just use a spell to locate Lily's body. I thought that it would have more of an effect if he had to search for her throughout the house and with the presence of his wand, there would be less of an excuse as to why he didn't just use a tracking spell.
I based this story more on the movie scene where Snape was holding Lily's body with Harry in the background. Hagrid just seemed to naturally fit into it. But yes, I believe that you're correct in that Snape's defection occurred very shortly before their deathes (or very shortly afterwards).
Thanks once again for this review and I'm glad that you think it fits Snape well enough to include it in your personal head canon! :) Report Review
Miss. Roots in Water,
I must offer my most sincere appology. I kept procrastinating these reviews until I realized it's almost May. EEK! I am so very sorry, for the wait. So I thought i'd start with this one.
This story is absolutly beautiful. I absolutly adored the description and Snape is such a loveable character. I really love your writting style and hope to read more soon! :)Author's Response: Haha- it's totally fine. I definitely understand what it's like to put things off but I'm glad that you're here now!
I'm so glad that you enjoyed this story- I had a great time writing it. I hadn't written from Snape's POV before, so this was really interesting to write. Snape's truly an interesting, complex character and I'm glad that I was able to portray him well.
Thanks for reviewing! Report Review
This is such a heart-wrenching and beautiful piece. I LOVE it, dear, and it's written perfectly. The description, flow, emotions conveyed - EVERYTHING is just perfect! 10/10, and going in my favorites.Author's Response: Thanks so much for reviewing and I'm so glad that you enjoyed it! I had a great time writing it as well. Report Review
This was wonderful, the writing superb! Absolutely captivating from start to finish. I loved the strong imagery. I'm so glad I decided to open the link to this story. It was a delight to read.Author's Response: Thanks so much for reviewing- I'm so glad that you enjoyed the writing and found the story interesting.
I'm very glad that the imagery came across well- I focusing on the emotions and images in this story while I was writing.
I'm glad you read it as well. :) Report Review
Oh, wow! This was wonderful. So well written, it isn't often you see Snape's vulnerability but you bring it to life so well. Keep writing!Author's Response: Thank you for reviewing! I'm so glad that you enjoyed it and that you thought it was well-written! Report Review
Oh jesus. I'm crying too much. That. Is. Beautiful. It's wonderful. Fantastical. When he'd holding Lily and aah I just burst into tears! I even cried a little at their childhood. Well done, that was truly beautiful! They were er, good tears. Haha 10/10Author's Response: Thanks so much for reviewing! I'm so pleased that you enjoyed this story! And I'm glad that you cried a little (no matter how sadistic that sounds) because this was meant to be an emotional piece and I'm glad that the emotions came across properly.
Thanks once again for reviewing! Report Review
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