First review, first review! -dances-
This was AMAZING. For me, you've done quite a few things that have really caused me to think about my favorite ship in different ways, and I can always appreciate that. For one, you've got two really impressive themes playing together here. One is this mega-theme of Lily and Severus being two mere pawns, just two examples of the many individuals who were shaped by the war and forced to choose one side or another, for many reasons. The other theme is evident in the minutia of Lily's own personal journey into the darkness, daring as much as possible to let herself fall into it, and then at the last moment, running away as she realizes that she may have gone just a little bit too far.
Another thing is that it's so refreshing to read a Snape/Lily where it's Lily doing most of the chasing. I can't think of a Snily I've read that I haven't liked, but so often they rehash the same theme of Snape sitting in the shadows, longing for Lily, while she is off leading her perfect life with James. In this one, though, I can really see her tempting fate, and it was nice to get her perspective on their relationship and to feel like it wasn't so perfectly one-sided. Canon obviously suggests that Snape had deeper feelings for Lily than maybe she had for him, but I don't see any reason why she might not feel what you've written.
Your imagery really shines in this piece. Sometimes imagery just flows for me, but I've definitely experienced the feeling of having to 'force' it. Your work never seems forced, though, and this story is no different. Your words really gave life to the world that JKR created, particularly in the way that you transformed the dungeons (which are, after all, still a part of the castle) into a whole new world of mystery and danger, reminding me slightly of the Underworld with Lily as an angel diving into it. I loved getting her flashes of memory and the way in which she focused in on every part of him, really attending to the details of his appearance and behavior. Again, I think it casts Snape in a light that I don't often see in more 'traditional' Snilys.
I could gush forever, but I think you get the point. I absolutely loved this. You know I'm favoriting ♥
Author's Response: Oh dear, I'm so sorry to have left off responding for this long! Where has the time gone? It still feels like I just posted this story, and already a month has passed.
I'm really glad that you got the first review. These days, whenever I think of Snily, you're the first name that comes to mind. XD I was very much inspired by your stories, and it has surprised me that I haven't been able to write more Snily before now, so thank you for the inspiration to try new things with the ship and with Lily's character. She's always been elusive for me, but with this story, I think I've finally been able to grasp the kind of person she could have been.
But writing her in this way made me think about her place in the war. She and Snape (and the Marauders) were so young. How could they have been more than pawns? Talented, powerful pawns, but they were trapped in these positions that seem painfully predestined. The story of Snape and Lily is a very frustrating one for me because it feels like it was fated to end tragically. It would have made a great melodrama. But there's also something "big" about it, as though it's a grand moral tale about love and loyalty.
The mythical potential inspired me to make this like a descent to the underworld. Lily attempts to bring Snape back into the light, but instead of recreating the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice, Lily discovers that it's really the story of Hades and Persephone, and she, Persephone, is in danger of being trapped within the underworld herself. So just when she tastes the fruit of her quest, she realizes its meaning and makes her escape.
But you didn't ask about that... I'm rambling again. *sigh* I am, however, very glad that you like Lily's characterization. I couldn't resist turning the tables on the old convention of guy-chases-girl, especially because poor Lily is one of those characters in fanfiction who is paired up with everyone. I've used her in this way in Sirily, but I didn't think it would be canon with Snily. Yet it was the image that hit me when I was thinking about writing a Snily story. I saw that moment when Lily kisses him and filled in the rest afterwards. I like to think that Lily would be perceptive enough to notice that Snape loved her, and that her friendship with him was not like her friendship with others; so knowing this, an impulsive teenage girl might take liberties (as Austen would phrase it :P). Canon is thin in regard to Lily's character, which gives one a nice amount of wiggle room. :D
Thank you for all of those compliments! I don't know what else to say other than to thank you profusely. There seemed to be so much imagery and description in this story that I worried it was overdone - it's a great relief to hear the opposite and a dream to hear that the words give new life to the Potterverse. I'll stop before I burst into tearful squees. Know that this is a wonderful review and it means an incredible amount to have you admire this story! ^_^