Reading Reviews for Nightmare
27 Reviews Found

Review #1, by tangledconstellations Nightmare

20th June 2015:
Reviewing for Ravenclaw, for the House Cup 2015

Hey Grace,

I was super intrigued by the summary for this, and I admit, I do love me some angsty Severus. This was really cool, and really freaky, as well. I thought the way Severus is constantly plagued by this vision was really cool, because along with all his other general-angst (he's such an emo kid) this was just another thing to distract him, to make him even more flawed. I thought it was great.

The way he seems to be physically reacting to his nightmares was the thing that got to me, because it reminded me a lot of how when you wake up from a nightmare you have that moment of 'omg its not over' until you realise that, well, it is :P but I like the idea of that embedded fear staying with him. Whether it's really there or not I don't know, but that's what makes it feel scarier - is it real, is it not? When you combine that with the fact that at the end Sev is awakened by Charity Burbage it's just so scary and effective - because even if it's not real, even if she's not there, he's so afraid of what he's done that it feels like a wound. That in itself is terrifying.

This was really good and I think you did an awesome job on the freaky-front!

Laura xxx

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Review #2, by The Fat Lady Nightmare

16th April 2015:
Why hello there my dear!

It is I, the Fat Lady who guards the entrance to Gryffindor tower! There’s a rumor that’s been floating around Hogwarts, a rumor that you played on a certain team for something called Capture The Flag. I have no clue as to what that could be, but I was quite intrigued by your team name. Apparently, you’ve styled yourselves “The Fat Ladies”. I’ve even noticed that all of your team members wear a badge of sorts with my picture on it! I have to say I’m quite humbled by this. Usually, no one pays me much mind unless they’re locked out of the common room of course!

You may be wondering how I found this particular story and it just so happens that the portrait of Professor Dumbledore in the headmasters office explained how to use this…errr…what do you call it? Computer? That’s it. He then told me that there was one in an obscure portrait on the third floor at the end of a long dark corridor that I could use. After a bit of touch and go, I finally managed to figure out how to work it. I guess I’m a bit behind the times, but I suppose that is to be expected. I am over 300 years old after all!

Once I managed to get the computer working, a kind student by the name of “nott theodore” gave me the names of each student who had played on Team Fat Ladies and I came across some very lovely stories. This one caught my eye because none of us portraits know much about the inner going ons of Severus Snape. He was of course a very private man as you can imagine. It was quite intriguing to get to infiltrate his nightmares.

Oh poor Charity! She was such a sweet witch! So kind and very caring towards her students! The way she died, well suffice it to say I heard about it after and I just can’t imagine what she went through. It brings a tear to my eye or at least it would bring a tear to my eye except portraits can’t really cry. Regardless, her death was heartbreaking.

To think that of all the people Severus saw murdered, that Charity would be the one to haunt him the most. I always imagined that he would feel Lily’s blood on his hands, not hers, but it all really does make sense. She was his friend, one of the few people who was kind to him and made an effort to bring him into conversations amongst the staff. I could see why it might bother him that he couldn’t save her. So tragic!

Oh dear! This err…computer had a little box that just lit up saying the…errr…battery is low, whatever that means. These things are so confusing. I must be on my way now. I’m sorry I can’t stay and chat longer, but I have a few more stories to read!

Thank you for the lovely story, dear and for the team name in my honor!

Yours Truly,
The Fat Lady

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Review #3, by awesomepotter - Round 6/7 Nightmare

12th April 2015:
Hi! This is a jailbreak for CTF - from one Grace to another ;)
I thought, for your first attempt at a scary story, you did fantastically at creating that eerie atmosphere and the suspense that built throughout. Normally, I don't read horror/scary stories, they're just not my thing, but I really enjoyed this. The mysterious identity of the woman in Severus' dream helped to add to the suspense you built. I have to confess, though, that I honestly thought that it was going to be Lily Potter. As soon as the story mentioned a woman with red hair - and the riddle as well - I immediately assumed it would be her. So the fact that it wasn't her in the end made the ending that much more significant and interesting to read - it was an unexpected twist, and so I thought it very effective.
Your characterisation of Snape was also very intersting - all throughout the books, because we only ever see him from Harry's point of view, the audience are given the impressino of a very cold-hearted, closed man. But here, you showed him as having vulnerabilities, and of him becoming plagued - obsessed? - by this dream, and that side of him is very different to the one we so often see in the series. You did it very well - whilst it was a very different side of him, it was still recognisably Snape; it didn't seem like a separate person.
And that line you repeated - the 'nobody can hear you scream' - that was so effective in adding to the overally scariness and eeriness of the whole thing. Especially as you used it as your closing line, as well - it was such a fantastic ending - I loved it!
Overall, a really great story, especially for something you may not have done much of before. Well done!

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Review #4, by krazyboutharryginny - round #6/7 Nightmare

12th April 2015:
This... is honestly terrifying. I honestly can't believe that this is your first attempt at a scary story. You've pulled it off so well.
One thing that I found really interesting about this is that it didn't really inspire much sympathy for Snape in me. I'm completely unsure as to whether or not that was an intention of yours or not. (Even if it was an intention, I really dislike Snape, so it's probably less to do with the story and more to do with me).
The ending of this is fantastic! What a twist! I totally wasn't expecting it to be Charity Burbage at all. As I read, I was tossing around possibilities in my head - the most prominent one being Lily Potter (although I was sure I was wrong about that, as Snape would have recognized her instantly). Charity didn't even cross my mind. I actually gasped out loud at the reveal!
One little tiny change that I would make here would be to include more detail about Malfoy Manor. I think it would make the ending stronger if you wrote "straight into the dining room of Malfoy Manor", because it really did take me a minute to figure out the connection between Charity and Malfoy Manor.
Anyways, great work! This is a truly creepy story. All the little "riddles" are what really make the creepiness come out, I think. Awesome job with this!

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Review #5, by The Basilisk Nightmare

10th January 2015:
Hiss Hiss. I had come to petrify you with my review but you my dear have petrified me with this haunting tale.

Merlin. This was scary. I have a feeling I'm getting nightmares tonight.

That aside, I really liked this. The ending came as a surprise, I couldn't have guessed it was Charity. The nightmares, Snape's thoughts, the feeling of fear, it was all portrayed really well. There was this thrill and darkness and creepiness about the narrative that had my heart thudding. Your writing style coupled with the concept worked very well for the theme.

All in all, awesomely chilling story. It surely gave me shivers. Great job!

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Review #6, by PolyJuice_ Nightmare

13th March 2014:

Uh oh, even before reading this story the summary has me on edge. It looks like I'm in for a sad ride, and after the other 17 stories of this battle I'm not sure I can handle too much more sad!

Aw! Okay, that's it. I'm officially a pile of tears. This was gut-wrenching. it was written very well and it really made me empathize with Snape - something I don't say too often for obvious reasons, haha.

I liked the way you tied in Charity. It brought it in with all the thinks JKR has said and wrote and made this seem all the more canon.

I loved the way you portrayed Snape as not a horrendous bad guy, but not a sweet guy either, just as himself. As nothing more than Snape. It's not something you see often ; either they villanize him or they rationalise his actions, which is a nice refreshing change.

Anyway, I loved the story, and am holding you accountable for all the heart break you caused me!


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Review #7, by adluvshp Nightmare

7th March 2014:
Blackout Battle 10/15

Wow, this made for a very chilling read. I loved the darkness that surrounded the piece.
At first I thought the red-head was Lily and then it turned out to be Charity. It was a brilliant twist right there, and it also made so much sense.
It was all very creepy especially with the raw fear and feel of danger and such.
Snape's characterisation was pretty much spot on too. I could imagine him acting like this in such a situation.
It flowed beautifully and had a very haunting feel that almost gave me shivers, especially since your descriptions were so awesome.

All in all, great job!

Author's Response: Hi Aditi, thanks for the review!

I loved writing this piece as a whole, so so glad you enjoyed reading it.

Yaay for twists! It was going to originally be Lily but decided to mke it a bit different and become Charity for a bit of a darker, sinister feel.

I'm glad that Snape's characterisation was well and that it flowed great, both things that I was cautious about, so very happy to hear they went well.

Thank you for reviewing!


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Review #8, by MyMyMiss Nightmare

7th March 2014:
wow - the intensity of this story was really well portrayed! His danger, fear and the raw emotion you poured into this story was terrific!

I love how it ended up being Charity, I was like oh my god it'sl Lily, Lily's ghost is going to kill him eventually - and then bam, Charity. Also, I love that you chose to 'stab' him, instead of killing him with the killing curse, I thought that was a real nice touch - especially since she was the Muggle Studies Teacher :P

Nice flow, great characterization - espeically the part where you wrote about severus being moody because of his dreams and taking it out on everyone else - I lvoed that part!!

Very well written story!

~ MMM; Slytherin & Gryffies blackout.

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Review #9, by Maelody Nightmare

7th March 2014:
Oh goodness! This just terrified me! (I'm reading this in the dark, a nearly 4 am, with nothing but my computer light!) I got goosebumps and now I want to cover every part of my body with my blankets!

At first, I thought the red-head was going to be Lily, and she was the woman of his guilt. Charity was a nice touch, though I think what she ended up saying was just slightly awkward. Only in the one spot though where she says, "I loved you as a friend!" I think just saying, "I loved you!" would have sufficed, and a whole new mindset would have opened with that! As in, why did she love him? Did he know she did? What did he do to make her feel that way?

Otherwise, this was a creepy little piece that has me shivering and checking every corner of the room now. Seriously, I'm a little scared to look around anymore! D: I'll call my dog over! :)

Great job on scaring me! I'll probably have nightmares now! Night!


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Review #10, by GingeredTea Nightmare

9th December 2013:
This was really creepy. Not necessarily frightening (but it is hard to frighten me with written words), but absolutely creepy. I thought it was Lily until the end. I thought maybe he was regretting. You left it wonderfully open at the end too, so we can't be sure if it is real or another hallucination and so that you could continue the story, if you wanted. You managed Snape really well as well as the story. The pacing, flow, and sentence structure I felt all really worked for the story. Wonderful job! :D I'll be back to read some of your other stories - this summary just sucked me in though.

Author's Response: Hey GT!

I'm glad you liked this! Yeah it is hard to write something frightening in words, and I have never written anything like this before, so nevertheless im happy with how it came out :)
I'm glad that you think leaving it open-ended was a good idea, i thought it would help keep the creepiness up.
I'm so very glad you enjoyed this! really means alot :D

Thank you again!


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Review #11, by ReeBee Nightmare

8th December 2013:
Oh my god, Grace! That was so creepy! :) Wow that smiley seemed out of place, but u get the gist! :D

Okay, firstly, characterisation was perfect! Like, Snape- oh my god- with the whole thing that he usually didn't get scared because he'd been through too much! That was amazing! Perfect! :D I also liked the fact that u used the info from the books- where she screamed that he was her friend- very nice :) Sorry, I meant your writing, not the betrayal part... And we don't really see Charity as much in the books and movies- sort of a push over, I like this side of her :)

The only CC is that in the end Halloween dream, there could have been a bit more description. Maybe the expressions on younger Sev's face?? Just a bit more to smoothen and slow down the plot flow :) But, that's all I've got :)

I also loved the open ending! We don't know whats happening- every things a bit mysterious and confusing- but u used that to your advantage and it made the story way better!! :D Like, we don't know how charity's alive and how sev dies, at all that, but it was amazing!! Yayayayayay!! Loved it! :D

-ReeBee :D

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Review #12, by Lady of Tears Nightmare

6th November 2013:
I'm FINALLY here with your review. Sorry it took so long.

I was not expecting that ending at all! You did such a good job making me think it was Lily, but it was so cool that it was Charity. I think the build up was good too. It got progressively more mysterious as I read. You also do a good job at leaving a lot to the imagination.

The only thing I would say threw me off was at the beginning. First, that first paragraph has so many alliterations my "mind tongue" was numb, haha. I don't know if you realized, but it was a bit of a tongue twister.

And when you're describing Snape's teaching, I thought, "Isn't he always like that?" So it made me question for a minute if I really had the time of the story down right.

But outside of that, I really thought you did a great job for your first attempt at something like this!

Author's Response: Hello! Not a problem, as you can see my replying is bad so no biggie :)

Really? YUS! Objective reached! It was originally going to be Lily but my beta helped me come up with the idea that we could use her as a decoy to someone who looked like her, and Charity fit the bill!!

I wanted to leave it to the imagination, I think that way it can increase the fear in the person individually.

Ahh, I understand!! I wil definitely look into it and change it so it is a little more easier on the 'mind tongue'! :P

Hmm, that's true! I will have to have to make him a bit more harsher in the new version :)

I am really glad you enjoyed this, and thank you for the great review!

Grace :D

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Review #13, by nott theodore Nightmare

4th October 2013:
Hello, I'm here with your requested review!

From seeing the summary of this story I was really intrigued, and I enjoyed the way that I kept seeing that phrase appear throughout the story, because I think it really helped to build up the sense of fear and illustrate how much Snape's nightmares are plaguing him, and how much of a constant they have become.

As far as Snape's characterisation is concerned, I think you've done a good job. I was able to pick up on some of his mannerisms that we've seen in the books, especially the way that you mention his low tolerance for the students causing trouble. He always seems to be severe on the students - especially those not in Slytherin - so I think that sort of thing helps to build up his character well. Perhaps to fit in better with the time you've set this story in, I'd add in a couple of details about how he was attempting to keep the Carrows from noticing his distraction, or that he was leaving discipline to them. I do understand that you were focusing mostly on his fear of nightmares, though, and I think you did a good job of characterising him and writing his reactions to this situation.

There were a couple of small typos that I picked up on:
"of what he can only determine" - could only determine, since the rest of the story is written in past tense
"the nightmare that was cleverly alluding him" - I think you mean eluding here

Honestly, I don't have any suggestions to make that would heighten the suspense, because I think you've done a brilliant job of conveying Snape's fear and desperate confusion about what is happening to him and what the nightmares contain. The repetition of that quote is really effective and I think the variation in sentence lengths also helps to build up the fear and suspense. The short sentences are extremely effective as far as that is concerned - "And dreamt", for example. As soon as I read that line I had a sense of forboding and I think you wrote the suspense and fear very well.

I definitely wasn't expecting the ending of this story! You really played on the idea that most people would think of it being Lily, since Snape has a hand in killing her and she has red hair. It was brilliant that it turned out to be someone completely unexpected, like Charity Burbage! When I discovered that I was really surprised, and I think it was a great twist. I wonder if it might help with the surprise even more if Snape actually thinks of Lily when he sees the red hair? It's just a suggestion as I think, with the war going on and putting his life on the line for Harry, he would think of Lily when he saw hair like that. If Snape was convinced it was her then the reader definitely would be. That's just an idea, though, and feel free to ignore it!

One aspect I loved in this story was your use of description. There was some really vivid imagery here which helped to enhance the fear and build up the suspense. I think you've got a great story here and have done a brilliant job to write about Snape and his fear of nightmares - well done! I hope you found this review helpful.

Sian :)

Author's Response: Hi Sian!
Thank you so much for reviewing! I am so sorry it has taken me so long to respond! I have been delinquent with my responses, RL got to me!

I am really happy you liked that phrase! I had about six different versions, with different perspectives and tenses to choose between. It seems I chose the right one :)

I really struggled with writing Snape, so I am gld to see that he works with the canon, as I was trying my best to keep him as canon as possible. Those ideas that you mentioned are definitely worth adding, thank you for pointing them out!

Ah, typos will be the death of me. Thank you! I'll change those.

Oh yay! Fear has never been my forte but I like working with sentences in regards to suspense, so I am happy to worked! I really enjoyed having a play around with this story with the fear aspect.

Ah yay, another fooled *cackles maniacally* It was originally supposed to be Lily, but when I was throwing ideas around with my beta she thought that maybe using someone different would work even better, and we came up with Charity and using Lily as a decoy because they have similar qualities.
I did think about adding him thinking it was Lily, to add even more suspense, and I am ooing and ahhing about it. Maybe I'll write it in and see how it works :)

Ooo, a compliment on my description goes a very far way, thank you Sian!! Usually I am really bad with description and imagery.

I am beyond elated that you enjoyed this, thank you for taking the time to read and review, I really appreciate it :D


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Review #14, by MC_HK Nightmare

30th September 2013:
Hi! After a long wait, I am here, and sorry!

This was definitely suspenseful! I really liked the description you gave in each scene, because it's like I can imagine it happening to myself and it gives me the shivers! It was all so well written! And to be honest, when you talked about red hair, I was definitely thinking of Lily first so the ending was certainly a surprise.

I think Snape was written well, but if you were wanting him to have strong characterization, I don't think that's fully achieved. It's not bad at all, honestly this is really lovely and well written, but if you took out Snape's name, you kind of wouldn't really know it was Snape unless you remember events from the book. I would suggest adding in a few extra Snape-isms maybe to help bring out his character even more!

Overall, I really enjoyed this chapter! :)


Author's Response: That's okay! I'm sorry its taken me so so long to respond :

I'm glad you liked the description as I am usually horrible with that, so am so so happy that it works :D Hehe yes the Lily was a surprise wasn't it!

I never really thought about that out of context, I will definitely look into that and have a looksy into how I can create a more Snape-like person,

Thank you so much for that help, I really appreciate it :D

Grace :D

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Review #15, by academica Nightmare

30th September 2013:
Hello, I'm here at last with your requested review!

I like what you did with this one-shot. I think you did a nice job of explaining why Snape was so unpleasant all the time - well, among many reasons - by describing his sleepless nights and the fear that constantly followed him. I also liked how you heightened the suspense throughout the story by vaguely describing the red-haired woman and continually adding in those cryptic words she spoke to him. I actually thought the climax would be him taking his "final rest," but it was extra creepy to actually go into the dream and face the strange woman at last.

Speaking of which, I definitely did not expect it to be Charity Burbage there at the end! I can tell you really played off of everyone figuring it would be Lily haunting him, and it seemed like even Snape himself was surprised by the big reveal.

I can't come up with any way to heighten the suspense further. I liked your slow build up and your use of the single lines toward the end, because it helped slow the scene down and force the reader to examine the horror before them. To me, this was written quite effectively.

Sorry I don't have any crit, but hopefully you don't mind :) Nice work, once again! Hope this review is helpful!


Author's Response: Hi Amanda! I am so so sorry this response is so late! Life is kicking me at the moment, so I do apologise! Thank you so much for reviewing!

I am really glad you enjoyed this, I tried my best to incorporate ideas that were Snape-ish, without losing him or the suspense in the story. Hopefully it worked!

Haha yusss, I tricked ya! It was originally going to be Lily, but when I was going over my ideas with my Beta she suggested that I open up the field for someone else, and the similarities between the two worked well and we came up with Charity! I am really happy it seems to be surprising all who have reviewed so far, which makes me relieved that the idea worked :D

Naww, lots of squee right now! I am happy you think so. I have never written anything like this so to hear that you think it was written well is such a boost, thank you!

Thank you again, i really appreciate it :D


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Review #16, by randomwriter Nightmare

28th September 2013:
Hello Grace! :) Here from the 'Review the person above you' thread.

I am extremely glad to have come across this. It's haunting. I'll give you that. Your choice of words and phrases and the way you've presented it, your descriptions and sentences... everything adds to the element of horror and I think that this is a great entry for The Fear Challenge.

It was very well-written, easy to read and follow. I liked the style you adopted while writing this because it relied heavily on visual imagery. It was very well described and I could picture everything happening in my head.

I am tough to scare, honestly. I come out of horror movies laughing sometimes, and even I think you did a great job with this. It was imaginative and you hooked me on from beginning to end. You kept me guessing and I never would have thought of Charity Burbage myself. I kept wondering if it was Lily!

I love all those italicized lines in the beginning and in the middle. They really are perfect in this story.

I have a couple of nitpicky things that I think I will mention solely because this is nearly perfect and because they don't detract from the story and are very minor. So easy to miss. I hope you don't mind. I only wish to help!

- "Fear no longer touched him as it had when he was a youth." I think you meant to either say 'toughed him as it had when he was young' or 'touched him as it had in his youth'.
-'version on dreamless sleep potion' should be 'version of dreamless sleep potion'
-'obscured to his sight'. I think you mean obscured from.

I really hope you don't mind!
Other than those tiny pointers, this is so perfect. I salute you for getting fear right. It's a hard one!
Great job. Like, really REALLY! :)

Author's Response: Hi Randomwriter, so so sorry it's taken so long to respond! Thank you for the review :D

I am really glad that you enjoyed this, really! I have never written anything like this before, so having your positive comments about the writing is really relieving :D

Haha yusss, the deception of Lily worked! I was going to use her originally but changed to Charity after a discussion with my beta, and it was such a good fit.

I don't mind at all! Thank you for picking these up, I will go back and have them changed and then re-submit it. Thanks for those Nit-picks are always needed.

So so so happy you like this!! Got a grin right now! :D

Grace :D

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Review #17, by Rumpelstiltskin Nightmare

27th September 2013:
Creepy...I love it!


Author's Response: Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it :D


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Review #18, by onestop_hpfan18 Nightmare

25th September 2013:
Hi, here from the forums to review as requested. I thought you did a good job with the pace of this, however the sentence lengths weren't as varied as they should have been (you had more long sentences), which made reading it feel like it dragged on. You could definitely break some sentences until a couple smaller ones, which create more tension and suspense to the piece.

I also noticed that some sentences had commas in them that really shouldn't have been in them. Like this sentence here: she walked, she turned to him as she walked past him(,)* with the younger Severus wandering behind her. The comma I indicated doesn't need to be there, also the sentence sounds awkward because you use walked twice so close together. You could change it to something like: ...she turned toward him as she walked with the younger version of him wandering behind her. You won't even need to insert a comma if you rearranged the words and eliminating extra words that make it sound redundant.

PLOT: As I already said, I liked the pacing. I just felt like you left it too open, especially with his nightmares. His dreaming felt disconnected from his being awake and haunted by these dreams. I understand that he doesn't know why he's dreaming these things, but he must have some shred of thought as to the meaning behind them. I felt like you could have interwoven the nightmare better to show its meaning toward that conclusion; some evidence that Severus was expecting it since you mentioned how he knew his time was ending.

CHARACTER: I feel like Severus would have been a bit smarter and able to come up with at least part of the truth behind why he was having the nightmare. However, I did feel you captured the essence of Severus's mannerisms quite well.

Over all, I did like this, I just felt like it it was left too incomplete at the end. I actually didn't pay attention whether I was reading a one-shot or WIP until I finished it and went back to see what type of story it was and was somewhat surprised to find it was a one-shot. I feel like this could have been stretched out as a short story with a few chapters to better explain why Severus was feeling this way and to shed some light onto these nightmares he's having. That said, still a good story.

Author's Response: Hi there, thank you for reviewing! So sorry it has taken me a little while to respond, real life took over all my time! Thank you very much for you patience :)

I do have a problem with writing lots of reallly looong sentences, so thank you for picking that up, I will definitely look into it, there are definitely some places where they can be split.

Okay, I will change around the comma's as well. I haven't read this out loud yet (I just wanted it submitted :P) so will read it out loud and change the ones that you pointed out as well :)

I understand what you are mostly talking about in the plot, but I don't entirely understand your comment on the dreaming. The only time we get his dream is at the end, the rest is all what he is thinking about, or seeing the ghostly figure during the day. You are probably right in regards to intertwining the nightmare more into the story, I will have a bit of an experiment in that, and see how it works out :)

Snape could've been portrayed a bit smarter, but it was supposed to show that he wasn't emotionally stable and his health was deteriorating, draining his life. He had begun to write lists of ideas, but none had really come to mind.

I understand what you mean about it left incomplete, it was supposed to be used for you to imagine your own outcome, it obviously hasn't worked, which is sad. But at least I know where to improve!

I am really glad you enjoyed it somewhat, and thank you again for your review, this was very helpful :) I appreciate it alot.


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Review #19, by toomanycurls Nightmare

25th September 2013:
Creepy, haunting, and chilling. I loved that you used Charity. It was a big mystery who it was until he put the pieces together. I love how you described the nightmare's effect on Snape and that it ate away at him over time.

I really felt the sense of spiraling down a dark hole while reading this - which goes toward the scary aspect you were looking for.

Uh, I might sleep with the lights on now. :)

Author's Response: Aww toomanycurls, your awesome :D :D

I am really glad you enjoyed it, and I thank you SO MUCH for discussing ideas and plot bunnies with me. I wouldn't have been able to write so brilliantly with them!

Will be putting up the beta'd version soon, have made a few changes, description and such. Will be a lovely thank you rant on there for ya :P

Grace :D

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Review #20, by CambAngst Nightmare

23rd September 2013:
Hi, Grace! I'm tagging you from the Review the Person Above You thread in the common room.

I think you have a pretty good command of the horror genre. I'm not normally one to feel a great deal of sympathy for Snape, but it's hard not to have a few pangs as his persistent nightmare gradually steals his nights then his days and eventually his sanity in this poignant vignette. You did a good job of writing his physical reactions to the intensity and fear of his nightmares. Gradually, bit by bit, the severity of his reactions grows and the dreams become more debilitating. I thought you paced the story really well, balancing his attempts to understand the dreams with his physical decline.

But he did not ask for help, or advice. No-one would answer, anyway. -- That was a great line. It really captured the proverbial island that Snape became after Dumbledore's death.

I have to say that I was really surprised when the red-headed woman turned out to be Charity Burbage and not Lily Potter. Severus contributed indirectly to both of their deaths, less so with Charity, I suppose. I really like the way that you tied Charity's words in with her final words to Severus before Voldemort killed her at Malfoy Manor. I appreciate what you're saying in your author's note, but depending on whether you see the moment where Charity stabs him as really happening or just part of another nightmare, I think it's possible to interpret this story as happening completely within the timeline of events from Deathly Hallows.

There were a couple of things that bothered me in a nit-picky sort of way. First, you keep mentioning Snape being in a classroom. I doubt that, as Headmaster, he was still teaching during the events of Deathly Hallows. Slughorn was teaching Potions and Amycus Carrow was teaching Dark Arts. Second, the idea that he would have put McGonagall in charge rather than the Carrows seemed a bit odd, since they were made out to essentially run the school whenever he was off doing the Dark Lord's bidding. Again, not major things, but they jumped out at me.

Also, I saw a few things that might have been typos:

The flashes and riddles given to him was only beginning to confuse him further; he was not able to connect the dots. -- were only beginning

It had begun to a mental and physical struggle for him to leave his dungeon chamber. -- begun to be a mental

Also, I saw several places where you say 'alluding' when I think you meant 'eluding'.

Overall, you write very nicely. You have a knack for description and imagery. This was a very enjoyable read!

Author's Response: Hi hi! Thank you for reviewing! And I apologise for taking so long to reply, real life ended up taking over, so thank you for your patience :)

I'm really glad that you thought I did Snape well. He is a character I have struggled with, and had never thought of writing about before this challenge, but in this instance really enjoyed writing him. I thought showing that the line between real life and his nightmare begin to blur would be an effective way of showing that Snape can be harmed too, but it must be in a severe way.

I originally had the character be Lily, but when I discussed my story ideas with my beta she said that Lily may be too obvious, and we looked into less obvious characters. We decided on Charity purely because she has several similarities to Lily that Snape shared with them, and it seemed to work in really well. I have had a few comments about the author's note, so i think I may just 86 that :)

I ever really thought into those ideas you mentioned, they make a lot of sense, so I will go back and change them, and the spelling mistakes that you picked up. Thanks for pointing them out!

I am really glad you enjoyed this, and thank you for all your comments, I really appreciate them :)

Grace :)

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Review #21, by Cannons Nightmare

22nd September 2013:
I really enjoyed this. I thought you wrote Snape really well.

I really liked the repetition of the line 'In the dungeons, no one can hear you scream' It added to the suspense.

The ending was so unexpected as I expected it to be Lily that I had to read it again!

Author's Response: I'm really glad you did enjoy this, it means alot :)

Thank you, thank you, I actually had six different versions of that one sentence that I was deliberating with, happy I chose the right one!

Hehe good little twist huh!? It was going to be Lily but then my beta gave me the idea of Charity and I used Lily as a decoy :P

Thanks again for reading, means alot :)


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Review #22, by AlexFan Nightmare

22nd September 2013:
WOOHOO! Another Fear Challenger!

That ending though, woah, that seriously scared me. But more on that near the end.

I could definitely relate to Severus's fear of falling asleep. There have been times when I wasn't exactly thrilled to slip into unconsciousness because I was scared of having a nightmare.

The fact that he refused to go to anyone for help though seemed spot on with his character. It seems like something that Severus would do, keep his fear to himself and speak a word of it.

This line But he did not ask for help, or advice. No-one would answer, anyway. stood out to me the most because it summed up Snape perfectly. His entire life he's become so used to people pushing him away and not giving a damn about whether he lived or died that he's just stopped talking to people about things that worry him.

That sentence said a lot about Severus Snape to me and it made me incredibly sad because it showed that he had no one who he enjoyed the company of and vice versa who would care about his nightmare.

The ending though was unexpected. I don't know about anyone else but that was definitely not expected. It freaked me out though and scared me and my immediate reaction to it was, "Nope, not okay."

I swear to God, I think my heart skipped a beat and I stopped breathing for about two seconds. It was just so sudden and out of nowhere and I think that's what made it so scary. The fact that Severus is trying to figure out where he's hearing that line and then Charity Burbage just shows up with murder on her mind is scary.

“The only thing stronger than fear is love, Severus. And I love you, as your friend. So I’m here to take away your fear”

That line was absolutely terrifying. It's a simple line but given the way that everything is at the moment, that is the most terrifying thing that you could've said to complete the scene.

The very last line though, is what leaves the reader with shivers. All in all, I think this was pretty brilliant.

Author's Response: Hi hi! I'm so so so sorry it has taken me so long to respond! Real life overloaded on me last week.

Thank you for your review! I am so very glad that you have enjoyed this!

I tried to keep Snape somewhat in canon for this, however with this going on in the part where we do not know much of him I thought it would be a good time to work with him as a character, as I think he would be a bit emotional at this time in the series.

I am so glad that you enjoyed this and the suspense and feel of it all worked for you! From what you have mentioned above you got my idea of leaving it to the imagination really well, and I love how you've interpreted Snapes nightmare and Charity.

Haha oh man, that line took me so so so many tries to decide on. I had six different version, with diff p.o.v's and tenses, and finally decided on that one. Seems I made the right decision!

Again, so glad you enjoyed this, and thank you for such an awesome review, I really appreciate it :)


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Review #23, by patronus_charm Nightmare

22nd September 2013:
Hey Grace, I’m here with your review!

I really loved the quote and thought it fitted Snape really well. One thing though, I would place it before the date as it looks as if someone’s saying it when they’re not so it led to a little confusion on my side.

The way you tied in fear with sleep was really powerful because I always thought that the two were interconnected. One thing that I really liked was how you showed the effects of the fear and what it did to him in his sleep with the clammy hands and moved sheets it was really effective and a nice way to show his fear. Also, the way he was searching for a Calming solution showed how desperately this nightmare haunted him and how he needed anything to rid himself of it.

Lily was really haunting in this. Your descriptions of her were great and took on the supernatural form really well. The italicised added a new layer to the story and made me wonder to what extent was that true for Snape and how much those consequences haunted him. I rarely see that explored so I really liked it here.

Here ‘ “Come Severus, we must return to the castle now” she said, ‘ you need a comma after now :)

The dream sequence was really great and definitely gave me the chills. My only CC in regards to that is perhaps include some more sensual description such as what did he smell, what did the ground feel like beneath him. That way, it would heighten the fear as I would really understand what he was going through.

What??? The red head wasn’t Lily? I had to read through to make sure as you really had me fooled there! I thought that was an excellent twist as it made it even more scarier with the distorted reality and never really knowing what’s going to happen to you next. It most definitely surprised me!

I really liked this one-shot, and I thought you characterised Snape really well which is often hard to come across! Great work! ♥


Author's Response: Hi Kiana! Thank you for reviewing, sorry i've taken so long to respond :(

Aww yay! I'm glad you like the quote. I will look into changing it around. I do get what you mean there, it's a way to pull him out f his dream.

I am really glad you liked how I showed his fear taking him over. I am usually very reliant on dialogue (as you know :P) so to write this with Snape and Snape only, with a few quotes here and there was hard! So i worked a lot on describing what he was feeling and how it affected him. I'm glad it paid off.

Yes, 'Lily' was really haunting! I wanted to create her as a ghostly figure, appearing in and out of his life, showing that the line between nightmares and reality was shifting. I am really really glad that you liked how that was written *happy dance*

Ah, I will look at that! I am getting better with those, promise!

I thought that my description lacked a bit in there, so I will definitely look into the dream. Will help full it out a bit, as I feel I made it a bit too short. That will definitely help heighten the awareness. Thank you for that!

No! It's not Lily! My beta and I came up with this, We were discussing this, I was telling her my outline and she said that why don't we make it Charty instead of Lily? (was going to be lily first time round) And with that in mind I wrote Charity under the decoy of Lily, because they are very similar. Red, hair, friends with Snape, he feels somewhat responsible for her death etc . I am glad that it helps the scary feel! Because you think you know... then you don't! Hehe

I am really really relieved to hear that you think I wrote Snape well! That is a great compliment, thank you!

SO glad you enjoyed Kiana! And I'm sorry this response is so long!!

Thank you again :D


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Review #24, by marauderfan Nightmare

21st September 2013:
Hello there! I'm here with your requested review!

First off, I wanted to say that I love your story summary, because it reminds me of the movie Alien (which is awesome) and that's quite fitting for a horror fic! :)

I think you did very well at writing a scary story, considering this is your first attempt! So bravo to you for that. I really liked the attention to detail in Severus' appearance, and how the fear is manifesting itself and having an effect on his health. It was really effective in making the fear aspect strong.

The ending was surprising too - I expected it to be Lily, given the red hair you kept mentioning. I liked the surprise when it wasn't her! And I think Snape was written effectively. He's not the same Snape from the books, but fear does things to a person and we never really saw what Snape was like during DH anyway, since Harry wasn't at school to witness it. So I'd say he was convincing.

The only thing I wondered was how the two sections were related, other than that they both related to his nightmare. Perhaps you could include a transition between the two sections to make them flow more smoothly?

Regarding your A/N at the beginning... I don't think it actually disregards DH. At least not the way I interpreted it. How I see it, it could go right along with DH and this whole thing is just Snape's nightmare as he deals with the consequences of killing Charity Burbage (especially because the way you've written her appearance reminding him of Lily, so it haunts him even more), and it's all his imagination - the whole thing is a dream. That's how I read it, anyway. And that's still canon compliant. But as you say, it is very up to interpretation at the end. (I love stuff like that :D)

Great job on this story, I enjoyed it!

Author's Response: Hello! Thank you for reviewing! I am sorry that it has taken me so long to respond, that darned real life got in the way :(

Thank you! Aw man, I went through like six versions of that quote, all different descriptions and tenses, and I'm glad the one I chose works well :)

I'm glad you think so! Usually I write very-drama filled basing my work only on dialogue, but I wanted to use description and inner monologue and less dialogue in this to show more of the mystery. I am glad that it works!

Haha yus! Another one fooled! :p My beta and I came up with that. I was going to use Lily originally but she suggested that I use Charity, as she had strawberry blond hair (Had to elaborate a tad :P) and then I decided to use Lily as a decoy for the surprise!

I'm glad you think Snape was written good. I have never had any experience with him, and just wrote, hoping he seemed somewhat in character. That's what I thought as well, because we didn't see him at Hogwarts that I could work with him in this time period.

Okay, I will definitely look into the two sections there. Thanks for picking that up :)

That's very true! I'm glad you interpreted it the way I wanted, that it was all in his head! (Yay someone gets my logic! :P) I will probably get rid of that, gives more into the suspense of it :P

Thank you again for this, it was extremely helpful and well-appreciated! So glad you enjoyed the story :)


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Review #25, by prefectperfect Nightmare

21st September 2013:
Ahh Gracie!! This is soo good :) I thought the woman was going to be Lily at first!

I can't wait to read more if your other stories :) xx

Author's Response: Hehehe, had ya tricked! That was the idea :P

So glad you enjoyed it Jayde, really :)

Grace xx

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