This is good. I can't wait to see what happens next. Report Review
Hello there! teh tarik from the forums finally here with your requested review :D Apologies for taking so long!
First of all, I love stories about limbo, because I find this concept intriguing, and my own story also deals with this subject. It's a concept that is so open to interpretation and possibility, where boundaries between memory and time and reality and other things can be blurred, and I think you handled some of these ideas well in your story. To answer that question at the end of your prologue about whether this should be a what-if sort of story or a second chance at life for Severus, I'd say it's up to you, but I do like the idea of past and present blurring together. And I think it would be great if you don't make it too clear just exactly what or when or how this story is unfolding (hope I'm not being too obscure here). Just tell the story and confirm nothing; let the readers guess and come to their own conclusions. Of course, this is my opinion; how you treat your subject matter is entirely up to you.
Characterisation wise, I like your Snape a lot so far; you've chosen to depict his softer, caring side. From the story, I get that he's the protective, brave, slightly awkward, a little sentimental sort of person. However, I also sensed a hint of wizard / magical superiority, from the line: "...it was a pity that she was only a Muggle." I think his dismissive attitude toward Muggles does lend him a touch of arrogance, but it definitely makes Severus more in-character. I would like to see him portrayed in more detail in future chapters, i.e. pay close attention to simple things that might set him apart from others - such as body language, mannerisms, thought and speech patterns.
I also like your portrayal of Lily; there's a lovely sense of energy and innocence to her, and the scene about jumping stone to stone in the swollen river was very well-written, with some nice details to it.
I'm not sure about Dumbledore, though. As a character so far, he seemed rather insubstantial to me. If he appears in future chapters in greater detail, then fine. Though I don't remember Snape ever having called Dumbledore by his first name in the books, I suppose things and relationships between characters would change in the afterlife. Perhaps you could focus on these changes - elaborate on them, or rather, depict them in greater detail. I also wondered if Dumbledore would be a little less grave - still with plenty of compassion and empathy, but a shade more light-hearted. But then again, as your writing is quite delicate and with a touch of melancholy, humour will have to be dealt with very carefully...
There are some nice contrasts here in your story, e.g. Lily's Muggle mother and Severus' Muggle father both reacting to their children's magical abilities. However, I wonder if Lily's mother would be so calm and unsurprised at the reality that her daughter can perform magic; I thought she was a Muggle and would not have known about the wizarding world.
Other than all that, there are a number of grammatical and punctuation errors, and some instances of awkward sentence structure, which hopefully your beta can help you with in the future when you get one.
Well, I think that's about it for this review :) This is a great start to your story, well thought out, and with plenty of empathy. I hope this review is of some help to you, and good luck with writing the coming chapters :D
-tehAuthor's Response: Thank you so much for your review. I'm glad that you like how I characterized Snape and Lily I was a little concerned since I'm trying to give Snape a soft side but I don't want him to be too much out of his character either. I'm glad that you've noticed some of the contrasts. I just got this chapter back from my beta! =D So it should be all cleaned up shortly. Report Review
I'm not entirely sure why but it won't let me sign in to review, no matter.
What I really love about your writing style is that you manage to have the right amount of speech and description. Without saying too much i can picture so much and it takes a really talented writer to do this.
If i'm being honest, I have never been a massive Severus/Lily fan, just because Snape's character, for me, doesn't appear redeeming until the end.
However, I did really like the way you characterised Snape and his complete and utter devotion to Lily. You also have a knack for leaving little hints throughout the story that link to the canon. I like how it isn't a 'back in time' story about changing the whole entire story of Harry Potter but just simply allows Severus to go through his memories.
If I'm honest, I did start looking for Snape/Lily stories just because of your fantastic writing skills. If I've got any criticisms, and I really struggled here, it's that sometimes your sentence structure can seem a little bit simple BUT because it's the point of view of a 10 year old boy it's understandable and yet again another reason why you're such a good writer
Hope I get to read more,
peanuts11 :DAuthor's Response: Wow! I have to say that this review probably just made my day :) I'm very glad that you enjoyed the story and that I got you interesting in looking up Snape/Lily stories. I've always loved the idea of Snape and Lily being together because he never really got the happily ever after that he could have gotten. Thanks for your review! =D Report Review
Again another really good chapter but just one small thing I'd like to say.
This sentence is just a bit clumpy if you know what I mean - 'watched as I spoke with her about her becoming a witch and then watched as she got so very upset – since she thought that I was insulting her and her and her sister wandered back to their house quickly.' I think you could have made it flow a bit better. I find that with a few other parts of the story, you use quite a lot of short sentences.
Apart from that I really enjoyed it!Author's Response: Thanks so much for your feedback! I'll take a look at the sentence and play around with it. :) Report Review
I really enjoyed this chapter, it definitely captures a reader and would make them want to read on. Fantastic opening!Author's Response: Thank you so much! I'm glad that the first chapter was enough to make you want to read on. :D Thanks for taking your time to read this! Report Review
I really liked the first part of this chapter. I thought your characterization of Albus and Severus was spot on. I like how Albus still has trouble believing that Severus truly loved Lily, after having so many opportunities to see that love played out. I also like Snape's skepticism--is it even worth it to replay memories with Lily if she still chooses James in the end? It was interesting to imagine the two of them looking on the scene of Lily in her childhood.
I LOVED how Snape discovered that Lily was magical, with her perfect leap across the perilous river. It was great how he was ready to save her without even really knowing who she was yet, and how she was a little shocked at her own luck, and yet very pleased at the abilities she had discovered. That was such a great little look into what his perception of her must have been like.
I liked how you compared different people's reactions to discovering that Snape and Lily could do magic. It's interesting how Snape's mother and Lily's mother both had the same attitude of acceptance and yet a need to keep it a secret. It's also sad to see how much Petunia's reaction mirrors that of Snape's father. I think you did a good job using those comparisons to pave the way for Snape and Lily's eventual friendship. The ending to this was cute as well, and I'm looking forward to seeing their friendship grow later on.
I still think a beta would be helpful, in terms of helping you clean up the technical errors I noticed in this chapter and improving the flow, but overall I enjoyed reading your take on the first meeting of Snape and Lily. Nicely done! I'm sure I'll be back.
-AmandaAuthor's Response: I'm very glad that you've enjoyed it, I was going to wait to request a beta originally but got too anxious to post it and just wanted some ideas and opinions first.
Thanks so much for taking your time to review! :D Report Review
Hello! I had some time and decided to come by anyway :)
Must be a characteristic trait that he recieved from his mother. How fortunate for him.
^I love this. I think it has this clinical, almost detached tone to it, which is purely Severus.
I liked how Snape finally gave Harry credit for not just being a clone of James. I did get a little confused in this introductory chapter, because he seemed to switch between focusing on Harry and drifting back to Lily. I suppose that makes sense, though, when it comes to final dying thoughts.
I think it's good that you're getting a beta for this. I'm not a big fan of using stand-alone fragments, except very sparingly to add emphasis. Anyway, I think having a beta will help you smooth this out.
It's very interesting, especially for me as a Snape/Lily shipper, to imagine Snape having a second chance to live with Lily as he wanted to. In response to your comments in your author's note, I think maybe it would be interesting to make that question a theme--maybe Snape has trouble believing that his new life with Lily is real, and it creates some conflict between them. Maybe the climax of the story is at the end, when he finally discovers whether it's real or just a dream. Those are just my two cents, and I'm looking forward to reading on, whatever direction you decide to take.
Nice work! :)
-AmandaAuthor's Response: Hi! I always wanted for Snape to at least acknowledge that Harry was not James. We never really got to take a deep look in Snape's thoughts so ever since, I've been itching to write a story just a little bit different. :)
I'm glad that you've taken the time to read and review my story and that you enjoyed the first chapter and also read the next! Makes me feel like I got a good plot. Thanks for taking your time to review. Report Review
It's Roots in Water with your review!
I think that this is a very interesting idea: not reuniting them in the afterlife, not changing a part of his actual life, but instead having him re-live his life with the knowledge of his mistakes and their consequences. It certainly seems to be working out well for him at the moment... I hope that it continues to do so. Hopefully he won't make other unforgiveable mistakes (for I'm sure that he won't make the same mistakes again).
I like how you introduced this transition into his new life, making his regrets and his understanding of his mistakes clear. It really helps us as readers to believe that he will not make them again in his new life. As well, I like how you continued to emphasize his love for Lily.
I like the parts of his history that you wrote in this chapter. It was well done and I particularly liked how you didn't overdo the details. It's nicer to have it revealed over a longer period of time than in just one big dumping. :)
While I think that you're doing a great job of writing young-Snape, I felt there were a few moments with older-Snape that felt a bit out-of-character. His feelings were right but the way in which they were delivered felt a bit too informal for Snape. You wrote him as almost pleasant and calm, which works for him at this stage in his life, but you also used casual wording like "There's this funny thing when it comes to death" and I found it difficult to picture Snape saying that. Snape has been a bitter man for most of his life and I think that his thoughts and his wording would reflect that mindset.
I am very interested to see how you will write his new life. From this chapter it seems that you will write it from the persective of a person remembering (which works very well with your concept). What I'm curious about is how you'll integrate/explain his different decisions. Will he be aware of his past life and base his decisions on his memories of it?
I noticed two small things as I was reading and I'll quickly point them out. In the prologue, with the phrase "look at all of the people you know and you find yourself wondering the perfect question" I would change it to "looking" and "finding" and take out the "you" before "finding". In the second chapter. for the phrase "her and her sister wandered back", I would change the first "her" to "she".
All in all, I think that you're off to a great start with this story. You have a fabulous story and you certainly seem to understand what to change in Snape's young life to make his future life better. I look forward to seeing what other changes you make to the events of his life. Thanks for requesting a review and I hope that my comments are helpful!Author's Response: I shall look through the chapter and look through those errors. I'm glad that you let me know about them!
I appreciate the tips and opinions that you gave about characterization and I'll be sure to work on that in the future. I plan on getting a beta to help me as well.
Thanks for your review!
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