Hello! I'm here as requested to check out your story :)
One tiny thing I notice immediately is that you've got a sizable gap between the end of your story and your author's note. To avoid weird formatting like this, always use the Simple Editor to post.
I know you said that you were getting a beta, so I'll just point out a few things that you might want to mention to him or her and make a focus of edits. For one, your dialogue tags need a little work; I saw several improper punctuation choices and erroneous capitalization. There's a tutorial on the forums that can help--I know because dialogue tags were the bane of my existence when I first started writing, and I still make lots of mistakes! One other thing is a lot of repetition in the text itself. For instance, in the first paragraph, you have several instances of something happening "as" Severus is doing something, and it sounds a little odd. In the third paragraph, you have a lot of mentions of "memory" and "mind," to the same effect. If you can vary your sentence structure and word choice a little, that will help this stand out.
But the focus of my review was meant to be characterization, yes? I liked it a lot, to be honest. I really thought you did an excellent job with Snape, as exemplified by his little heart drawing with the word "always." It's secret enough that it doesn't give him away, but it clearly expresses his love for Lily, at least between him and her spirit. It was great how he didn't immediately jump up and shake Dumbledore's hand, but questioned the man, showed his doubts about the arrangement. Speaking of Dumbledore, I liked him a lot, too. I thought you did a nice job with his speech pattern, which can be hard to nail down, and the way he interacted with Snape felt canon-like to me, making this a really nice re-telling of this moment. The only thing I stumbled over was the fit of the quote from the Potters' gravestone. I could follow your logic somewhat, in terms of how Snape connected it, but it felt slightly forced. If you go back in, I'd consider tweaking it to see if you can get it to fit in a little more smoothly and naturally.
The flow here is nice, and the length feels appropriate. I also liked the imagery; it definitely gave me the feeling of winter, and it was like Lily's "presence" was the only real source of warmth.
Nice work! I hope this is what you're looking for :)
Author's Response: Amanda,
Thank you so much for reading and reviewing this story. I apologize for my lateness in responding to your review. Life kind of took over.
I appreciate all the tidbits of helpful info you give about the dialogue, punctuation and the odd word choices that cause repetition. I will definitely have to mention those to anyone who is willing to beta the story. It's nice to have another set of eyes point these out so you know and see them before you ask for help. Thank you for that.
I am glad to see that you liked the characterization of Snape and Dumbledore. Dumbledore was where I was worried. He is so complex and intimidating that it can really mess with a writer in making sure he comes off not only believable, but sounds right too. I will have to work on a way to explain the quote better so it flows.
Again, thank you for this review. You have been extremely helpful. :)