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Review:Toujours Padfoot says:
It has just occurred to me, right this very second, that in becoming a spy for Dumbledore Severus has freely given up any positive reasons he had for joining the Death Eaters - which is recognition. He will do the work of both sides and only get the negative recognition for the bad side. He won't get to lay claims to all of the good he will do. And since I believe admiration and respect was one of the leading reasons why he signed up with the Death Eaters in the first place, and now he won't be getting any of that from the Order, keeping it all a secret, I feel the full magnitude of what he's done. Years later, after finishing Deathly Hallows, you achieved what The Prince's Tale never achieved, no matter how many times I've read it since. You showed me exactly what Severus was sacrificing.

Okay. Hands-down, favorite chapter. It wasn't just what was said and shown, but the language you used - I don't know, it was just even sharper than usual, which is an amazing feat because your writing is already so marvelous. But in this chapter, every single sentence stood out. And that's why I had to keep pausing to reread things, soaking them in to remember them. This chapter felt so short because of the way it was written, and sdkfjdfj. Severus and Dumbledore and Peter and - oh my goodness. Everything about Peter's section, his guilt and descent into a sort of madness, and the parallels of both men who've become double-agents. We know Severus's motivations, which are much stronger than Peter's But then, everything about Peter is weaker. I think Peter might be beyond saving.

I feel so terrible for Beth, who has no idea what's coming...I wish the next chapter were posted already because it's like a band-aid; just need to rip it off.

Please don't hate me but I have things I have to quote back at you. It is physically necessary for me to do this, for no other reason than for you to know that these particular lines were very bright spots in a sea made up entirely of bright spots, and authors should know when they've written things that strike with readers:

There was a near-deafening silence; it seemed to roar in his ears, or perhaps that was only his own blood, throbbing there while his heart beat at what must surely be twice the speed of a normal man's.
- I had an actual physical reaction to this. I felt a sense of panic here. Actual, real-life panic, just because I was reading it and experiencing it in my head. You make Dumbledore so intimidating that even someone as intimidating as Severus is going around in circles in his head waiting for something to happen, for Dumbledore to speak. And that feeling of being freed when he confessed to Dumbledore made me smile because, even after everything he's done, Dumbledore used to be his Headmaster. An authority figure and someone who protected his students. It would, in light of everything and even though it might feel somewhat absurd, be so nice to receive a smile from someone so important. I don't think you could ever stop secretly wanting the approval of Dumbledore.

He looked up at Severus again, and the glinting, icy expression had come back into his eyes, cracked through with something that was, more than likely, sadness.
- Okay the imagery slayed me. Pile of jealous green goo over here.

But what hour? Severus had lost track of the time, of how long he'd been here, and couldn't remember any other bells to tell him otherwise. His senses seemed heightened, waiting for a verdict - everything was in sharper relief, the shadows deeper, his breathing louder -
- ♥ Love this. Literally made my heart speed up.

More and more, Peter, you sound like the rat, the scum that you are, for betraying those who trust you still... Had he made those words up, or had someone said them to him once?
D: SPREAD SOME OF THAT TALENT AROUND. It's a widely-known fact that you're very good at getting into the heads of those mentally on the fritz, and it's displayed so remarkably here that I am just skdjfkdfj. I'm so proud of you and all the wonderful things you can do with words.

UPDATE NOW, PLEASE.

Author's Response: SEVERUS IS SERIOUSLY JUST THE BEST, THOUGH. And I don't mean that in a self-flattering way, of course, because it's totally to Rowling's credit that he is the way he is. But you're so right: He stands almost nothing to gain personally by doing what he did, and yet he does it, because of his intense love (for Lily in canon, for Beth here), and that's part of the whole thing about complexities that I adore about his character. There are moments of good between all the bad, and then there are moments where he's neither, and I don't think I'm ever going to get tired of writing him. ♥

I think one of the most gratifying things about your reviews -- besides the fact that they come from YOU -- is that you always seem to notice things that I sort of see personally while writing, but don't think anyone else will ever notice. When I went back and posted this (since it's now been almost four months since I wrote this, and oh my gosh, when did that happen), it seemed a bit different; a bit sharper, like you say. And I don't know how you continue to pick up on things like that but I appreciate it immensely!

You're going to struggle with the next chapter. ♥ Most painful Band-Aid in the plot so far... except perhaps the last chapter. They're both kind of bad.

I love when you quote things back at me! :D Dumbledore's pretty terrifying in this chapter, now that I think about it. But I think of him that way -- he's not the basic saint that many of the canon characters portray him as. He lies, he does questionable things. He's human, despite the fact that he's one of the most brilliant wizards who ever lived. And Severus, who is sort of, but not really, the same, can see that; that's why it gets heightened in his chapters.

ANYWAY. THIS HAS BEEN A VERY RAMBLY RESPONSE. ♥ I'm typing up responses to your review and one other one, just so I can post chapter 32, and I seriously debated doing it at two in the morning last night (technically Sunday!) because I was /that/ excited about it. Seriously cannot wait for you to read it.

Thank you so much for being such an amazing friend. You don't need to, but you review EVERYTHING I write! How awesome is that?! ♥


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