Omg this story was amazing! I'm so sad that it's over. This was the first story I've read from snapes pov and I highly doubt that I'll find a better one. Thank you!Author's Response:
Wow, thanks so much! I'm just happy someone read my story all the way through. Getting a review like this completely made my week! I'm so glad you enjoyed the story as much as you did.
pix Report Review
hey, it's me again!
Ah, it has happened! Well, I find you described the scene very effectively! Considering how I am still under the impression that Dorcas is a bit Mary Sue-ish, it goes a long way to say I still enjoyed the long awaited clash between the two. And I did. The best was Snape's uncertainty. Somehow it really does work well for his character. Basically, i will state once again that you have a great grip on who Snape is. There were a few other bits where I thought you did a great job characterizing him, like here:
"It wasn’t her fault… or maybe it was. All she was supposed to do was her job, not drive him madly to distraction. Severus was pretty sure that Dumbledore didn’t have his people running around whoring for him just to get information.
He’d been the one who had almost ruined it weeks ago. He tried to reason with himself, but she was just so… He gritted his teeth. If she got herself killed, he’d…
Damn it! This wasn’t supposed to happen."
At first I had to eye-roll when his stress about Netterheim immediately slid into petty worries about his feelings, but you quickly made it clear how distracted they made him and managed to incorporate his attraction to Dorcas into Snape's life. So, as I said, good job on Snape!
Dorcas is another issue. Maybe if you would add a few bits just as insightful from her pov as the one I quoted above from Snape, she would be easier to understand. So far, all I get is her being irritated at him (understandably) but not doing anything about it and then thinking something along the lines of "And she shouldn’t care because he was a Death Eater" or "she was pretty sure it didn’t mean anything." which comes sort of out of the blue. What are the consequences of her feelings for him? Compare them to something. Make her remeber something from her past. Illustrate her conflict of trust with some emotional details (not just her noticing his physical closeness or caring about his safety). How does she feel or react when he is mentioned? (The exchange with Marlene was a start, but we never discovered how Dorcas felt, just what she did). When she is annoyed at him, is there some sort of twist that nags at her more than it should? What is it like? And, the most important question: what does she try to do to compensate for these feelings? Snape gets angry and distant and tries to belittle her, for example. And he has a backstory to fall back on that convinces both the reader and him that he is no good for her. What about Dorcas - what is her story, her baggage, her dreams? You describe her actions, but hardly ever her hopes and fears. Basically, I still wouldn't be able to tell you how she reacts to things even if there was a gun pointed to my head. I don't mean to be harsh, but I just feel that, seeing the quality of the rest of the story, that you could do a better job characterizing her.
That said, the rest of these chapters was great! So both Netterheim and Avery became significantly creepier. I do love creepiness :D Avery's little collection was...if not necessarily the most believable thing (I just cant imagine him doing anything requiring the physical concentration of pinning an insect of wrapping up a, uh, stub)...was still wonderfully described and contrasted most effectively with the messiness of his state. As always, you did a great job setting the scene!
As to Netterheim, I knew it! Germans must always be evil unless they are in a Germna story :P Don't get me wrong, stereotypes can be great. Especially like this:
"Netterheim's amusement grew. Just for fun, he stepped forward, crowding her into a corner. She had a certain innocent appeal, he thought. When her pretty blue eyes widened, he leered closer, wondering if she was the type to fight back if cornered." From those few sentences I got a better idea of who Dorcas is than during everything that came before it.
I will do some terribly annoying nitpicking, but when using the English alphabet "Gemutlichkeit" is spelled Gemuetlichkeit. Also, I don't know what it is with making all foreigners use that awkward "no?" at the end of their sentences, but Germans don't really talk that way, as I'm sure you know ;) But you're in luck, as they do add an even weirder "or?" to the end of their sentences, so maybe you could use that instead? Up to you, really :)
Oh, and I have to mention I loved how you went from Avery's collection to Dorcas squishing insects on her plants. Great transition :D
Ehm , I think those are the main comments for now. Basically, the only critique is still Dorcas. Setting, secondary characters, tone, flow are all amazing.Author's Response: Hey! I'm still alive out here, and so are you, so that's points for the both of us!
Yay! I feel like it's my birthday every time you come back for another review. You always have such insightful and pointed things to say and I learn so much about my writing from reading your reviews. They really are very special.
Okay, so I was very, very nervous about having you get to chapter nine, when things came together like they did, especially since you had so many concerns about Dorcas' character. And I'm so relieved that the eye roll didn't develop into something that completely knocked you out of the story, because that would definitely have been tragic. I worked so hard to keep Severus in character, or at least in the character that I had set him up to be, and I'm glad that paid off here. I felt like the only thing he had going for him was his insecurities, so I played those as hard as I could within the scene, but hopefully not hard enough that he couldn't work through them eventually.
I now have some concrete things that I can figure out about Dorcas to make her character "feel" more in the story. And I don't know if I mentioned this earlier, but I finally figured out why she's having such a hard time emoting on the page. It's a personal issue between her and me, but now that I know what it is, I can, if I choose, work around it to bring her out in the ways that you suggested. I feel like this is an incredible breakthrough for my writing. It wouldn't have been possible for me to see it without your feedback, so I am eternally grateful! Thanks so much!
I know I built Avery up as this largely incompetent guy, especially through Severus' eyes, but he's got some skills or he wouldn't be in the Dark Lord's services for too long. I guess the only way to get into his head was to , err, get into his head. Glad you liked the creepiness and the scene setting! It was pretty fun to put all of that together.
Ah hahaha! Of course all Germans are evil! (not really, but they do have this inborn uptightness about them. I'm convinced it's genetic, or at least the older generation does). Nah, I was just having fun, and Netterheim is quite the astute businessman to be doing deals with all sides like he does. He's gotta have some less than savory attitudes to pull that off. Ah, and nitpick away. I forget that if there's not an umlaut, there's gotta be that extra e... or at least that seems to be the rule. I'm a bit fuzzy on how that works. Just the other day, I was watching some show where the "foreigner" in question used the awkward "no". I think the character was Ukrainian or something. It made me smile and think about your comment. Ah, well. Sometimes stereotypes and awkward tropes are are too fun to pass up.
I can't remember if that cool bug transition happened on purpose or if it was a happy accident during revision. Either way, thanks for mentioning it!
Thanks so much for another amazing, insightful review!
Until next time... Report Review
Ugh, I KNOW i typed you a long review for these two chapters, but it seems to have never been posted. Whatever I did - I'm such a dunce XD
Well, I'll give you the highlights as I remember them, then.
First, I loved how much darker the story had gotten, what with all the mind-invasion, insanity and death.
What struck me as very odd was the way you handled the ex's death/betrayal/revelation. At the end of the previous chapter, I just though Dorcas was being squeamish about seeing a dead body - nothing even hinted to me that there was more to the story. Nobody's reaction seemed to point towards the fact that one of THEM had just turned out to be a DEATH EATER! If I were Moody, I would not have sent anyone on their merry way - I would have called a meeting to discuss new security measures IMMEDIATELY!. Like, yesterday! you know what I mean? Why was everybody so casual?
Also, I liked how Snape finds out about the attack and Dorcas almost being killed. It was a nice narrative touch and helped illustrate his growing attraction to her. Dorcas almost falling for him as well could be understood under the circumstances, but, well, since we don't get any insigt into her emotional world, I still couldn't feel it very much. I get it that she is a strong woman of steel that is an Auror and Order member and has probably learned to supporess her emotions. And these chapters got pretty close to painting her that way. But a little bit more contrast to illustrate how she is underneath and how she comes accross on the outside could really liven her up.
Ok, those were the main points as far as I can remember. I'll make up for this short review in the next one, promise!Author's Response: Aww, I hate it when the site eats my reviews! I've had that happen to me a few times and it's not fun.
I'm so glad you're enjoying the darkness. My current WIP started out all lightness and joy and has since taken a turn for the dark as well. Maybe I'm meant to write that sort of stuff. Huh.
Yeah, why was everybody so casual about there being a traitor in their midst? Someone should tell the author that it's serious business, oh wait. That's me. Haha. I gotcha.
I'm understanding the whole "not seeing Dorcas' emotional reactions" point you're trying to make. After thinking about it, I have finally figured out why I wrote her the way I did and didn't include a whole lot of personal, feely things about her in the story. Now that I've discovered the culprit, I see the things I could do to fix her.
I really enjoyed playing around with the mind magic in this story. It's something that we got to see in the books, but I wanted more. I guess I'm drawn to creepy things like that.
Thanks so much for another insightful review. I don't mind the wait so much, just as long as you come back sometime. :)
pix Report Review
Hey! I'm back!
I'm terrible with time and all things related to time. Basically it's a miracle that I can survive in this world on my own :p So yeah, I hope you don't hate me for the monumental delay between reviews! (^.^)
These two chapters had some interesting relationship development!
Maybe I'm reading to much into it, but the way Snape thinks about Dorcas seems to be a mixture between belittleing her and being aware of his own inability to comprehend her. Here are some examples that struck me:
"He paused, considering, "You're too pretty to die.”
That was probably the stupidest thing he’d ever said and for some reason, he found it ridiculously funny. “Don't die." Severus rolled on the ground, giggling at himself. "
And:"She’d gotten damned good at wrapping those bandages too." I like this attitude because, although not very respectful, it IS realistic and I find that it captures the sexual tension very well! As I mentioned in my earlier review, you seem to have a great grip on Snape's character and I really enjoy reading him this way. That said, I did find it a bit strange for him to lament the destruction of his flat quite THAT much. Didn't he think that he had been sabotaged? Also, shouldn't he worry more abot the potion? Or about his wounds? Or attracting attention to himself and his activities? Oooor, well, the well-being of the others in that building maybe? Just about anything would seem more important than the actual flat. From what I got, he spent more time in the potions store than at home anyways. This is similar to my comments about the conversation at the bar with Dorcas: somehow the stakes veared into the territory of Normal People Problems when the situation was much more complex.
As to Dorcas, well, I'm still not convinced, but you said you learn as you go, so I'll just wait a few more chapters before looking into her characterization in more depth. I do have some advice though, so hear me out XD
At some point, you have her perceive Snape as a wild wounded animal. I liked the comparison, but I couldn't recall any situation that would point towards Dorcas seeing him this way. They have several strange moments where you could add a few details that would re-enforce and build up this image - for example when he attacks her in the kitchen or in earlier chapters, maybe even from their very first meeting. If you throw in a few adjectives that paint Snape's appearance or behaviour as animalistic and wild, then a lot would become clear about Dorcas' relationship to him. Her mistrust and confusion about his motives as well as her desire to help him, not only on a professional level, would just make more sense. So far, we had Dorcas open up about her ex, allow Snape to mark her, show up whenever he needs her, invite him to her home and, well, just be passive and accomodating all around. These situations could easily appear more conflicting and dangerous if described in a different way. So far, every time they are together I imagine them speaking in hushed voices, sitting really close together and spilling their secrets haha. Basically, very intimate but not dangerous.
Let's see, now to our Death Eater goons. Although goons are not my favourite type of villian, I respect your choice to portray them this way. I liked the little moment of bonding they experiences towards the end of this chapter. This, for example "Severus almost cracked a smile, and for a split second, he thought that Avery might have returned it before looking away and knocking back his drink." I liked the implication that, although they are sick of eachother, the guys can't help but experience a certain level of undestanding and sympathy after such a long time of working side by side. I wish you would focus more on that and less on Avery bashing :P Maybe use the Death Eaters less for comedic relief and show them working as a team? After all, I bet they lash out at eachother not because they like to, but because of the pressure they are under and the constant struggle for power that defines their group dynamic.
Oh, and while I'm still on about that scene, where was the magic?? give me magic!!! XD sorry, but you spoiled me in the previous chapters with the potions and the tracking spell! And now we have Death Eaters throwing darts and drawing with chalk... I alwys imagined Death Eaters would use magic all the time, for everything. Just to not be like Muggles, you know?
Oh, btw, I liked Netterheim! Die Heimlichkeit der Welt was a great touch, although I wonder what use a Muggle work would have for a wizard? Argh, who cares, it was fun! You mentioning the Übermensch in his pov was also a nice detail. Let me guess, Netterheim is German :P Going by the "Danke vielmals" bit in your A/N, I deduce that you are too?
Well, I hope I could be helpful! I'll try to leave less of a wait between this review and the next :P Tschüs!Author's Response: Hi again! *is very excited*
First off, I apologize for the late review response. Things have been piling up in RL and I had to run off and be "responsible" for a few weeks. :)
But that's all behind me for now, so I can devote my attention to this great review. I really love how you get into everything about this story and point at things so I can see exactly what you're talking about. I wish I could take a screenwriting class, just to see how things are crafted to come together like they do.
I really like the idea of building Severus up in Dorcas' mind as a wounded animal. I spent an awful lot of time trying to understand Severus' character for this story, and I suppose that if I had spent the same effort on Dorcas, she would have seemed more "together". I guess I concentrated too much on her impulsiveness and not as much on the reasons why she would be so impulsive. I'm learning. :)
You are absolutely right about the Death Eater goons and the reasons why they lash out at each other. I was going for the "we're people too" scenario, with that scene in their flat. I suppose you do have a point that Death Eaters would use magic for everything. I thought it would be funny for them not to. Actually, now I have a crazy notion that if I were to rewrite that scene, they could be so drunk that they'd think it was funny to act like "stupid" Muggles and then sometime in the middle of it, they'd give up and use magic, or pass out, or... okay. I am NOT rewriting this story... haha!
Netterheim was my favorite OC to write. I have a bit of German heritage to pull from, and I definitely used some of my relatives as a basis for him.
Again, this was way more than helpful! Thanks so much for another informative and detailed review! Report Review
It's Roots in Water here with your review!
It has been some time since I read chapter two, but I still do remember most of it. I apologize if I forget anything that's happened in previous chapters.
Once again, I'm struck by how different, how original your story is. I still had to shake my head several times to remind myself that you're not contradicting anything canon, persay, just the headcanon of many people.
This story continues to be a very interesting look into the life of Snape while he lives as a double agent during the first Wizarding War.
I noticed three things as I was reading through relating to phrasing/word choice. The first was with "Whatever", which sounded a little odd coming from Snape, perhaps because it's typically associated with youth and youthful rebellion... Unless that's the effect you're looking for, you could change it to "What ever you do in the privacy of your home". As well, with "which I hadn't" I think it should be "haven't" instead of "hadn't" and with "with the it" it should just be "with it".
In contrast with what I've written above, I really liked the small hints in the phrasing that showed that Snape is not yet a bitter almost-forty-year-old man but rather a young man who's making mistakes but pushing through already.
As well, I liked how you had the Order (or at least one member of the Order) make a mistake in this chapter. Though it was a possibly fatal one, it did show that they are still young and unprepared in the dangers and ways of war. They can't imagine all of the possibilities and pitfalls that could occur like an older, more experienced person could and so they will make mistakes. (Hopefully just not fatal ones). Furthermore, it was another nice touch that you had Dorcas contact him even though her news wasn't of much significance and didn't require a face-to-face meeting. It showed once again just how inexperienced some of the Order members are. I felt that Snape was completely justified in feeling snappish and irritated with her- she had, after all, risked his life over something small (though perhaps worth knowing. I can't remember exactly what we know about his employer).
Just a small thing: in the last scene, you wrote that Snape needed all three shield charms in order to be safe... And then described only two wands in the first few trials. Snape then asked Avery to add his wand to the mix. I was wondering why only two wands were needed for the first two experiments. I don't think that you mentioned the reasoning in the chapter itself.
I'm very intrigued by the events in the last section of the chapter. Avery had reason to be afraid but the disaster his hesitance caused! Poor Snape! I can only imagine now that since the Dark Mark has been cast over his flat that the Order will believe he's dead. I wonder what their reactions will be... If the majority of them will only know that their "source" has gone missing/died. However, I think I would have been more surprised if nothing had happened while the experiment was taking place. The Death Eaters he had for help weren't exactly high quality.
I am confused about one point, though. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that a flat was an apartment building... Which would make Severus' action of collapsing the building very dangerous. Am I mistaken?
All in all, I think that you're doing a great job with this story. The plot continues to be very credible and well thought-out. Thanks for requesting and I hope that my review is helpful/wasn't too confusing and jumbled.Author's Response: Hello again!
Have I mentioned how much I love your reviews? I do, I do. It's because you catch things that no one else does and makes me think more logically about my story. :)
This is a good thing. I think my greatest weakness was continuity. I say "was" now, because I hope that I've improved, but sometimes logic still trips me up when my muse says things like, "wouldn't i t be neat if someone flew into this scene in a hot air balloon?". At least now, I bombard my muse with annoying questions like, "And how exactly did that character get their hands on said air balloon? Do they even have air balloons in this world? Would this character have ever encountered an air balloon before, and how did he even learn to fly the thing??" before jumping right in... anyway...
I hope you really feel like I'm not contradicting canon in this story. That was the one thing I put a boat load of effort into to make this idea work out. It does contradict almost all head canon out there regarding Severus Snape, but that can't be helped. Again, if you need to think of it as slightly AU, I don't mind.
I think the reasoning for my word choices in this chapter were indeed trying to show Severus as a younger man. I might have gone a bit too far with it in those instances that you pointed out, but I'm glad that the idea of it didn't go without notice.
Dorcas was a difficult character for me. I had all these things that she was supposed to "do" in the story, and they just didn't make sense. She was supposed to be all reckless and think more with her feet than her brain, and sometimes I think she went a bit too far. Again, you deducted correctly. She is very inexperienced and will make mistakes, and her superiors are much too occupied with "other things" to keep a close eye on her.
Ahh, the inconsistencies still plague me. One day, I will go back and fix the "three shield", "two shield" mix up. Sigh. You are such a good reviewer. I swear it seemed important at the time, but it ended up being a non-issue in the final revision.
Also with the flat. Yeah. That makes sense. *shakes head in shame*.
Your review was not at all confusing or jumbled. It was perfect. I love your reviews! Have I said that already? Thanks so much for your incredible attention to detail. You'll have to excuse me now. I have an air balloon that needs to be deleted from my WIP. ;)
You realize that you've torn my heart out along this little ride, right?
Cuddles Lily's kitten. Cuddles kitten.
Honestly this is going to be much less a review and more just a gushy puddle. This chapter ended just how it should have, as sad as that is. Your story took canon and weaves it so skillfully into its own story of Dorcas and Severus that my head canon is always going to have these two together.
You didn't hide from Severus's hurt. You did let him find a magical comfort in his new life as teacher. That wouldn't have been him. This is him. Still as tortured as the day we met him, even more so now that he's lost something so incredible.
He'll never see his own value. And slowly he'll morph into the bitter man we know. He'll miss Dorcas for the rest of his life, and gah. But what he does in her memory just ties into the books perfectly and I can't believe how amazing this entire ride was. Now it's over (insert cryptic winking frown here).
You have such a beautiful way with words and you told a story that I never thought I'd be interested to hear, but that I really loved so, so much. I can't believe how drastically you've changed my opinion of this man, and I hope you're incredibly proud about what you accomplished with this.
It was an incredible ride, m'dear. ♥Author's Response: Okay. It's been a while, but I really have to respond to this.
Just, err... don't smother the kitten too much, will ya?
Aww, that's the best compliment ever, that you see this story fitting into canon. That was my initial aim, to make sure that nothing contradicted the story we know, but gave more depth to a character that we *think* we know. And yeah, my head will always have this story in canon too. Funny what an Idea will turn into.
I think that's the biggest thing for me: not hiding from Severus' pain, not giving him the chance to resolve his conflicts in the future. I think I've said it before, but with a character as complex as Severus Snape, I just couldn't see him living as he did without something else shaping him into who he became. Of course Harry and the other students saw him as this incorrigible monster who didn't have the capacity to care for anyone, but they were kids. Snape doesn't need to justify himself to anyone. I don't think he ever does. But something keeps him going.
I'm so grateful that you gave this story a chance. It's not a story that many people want to hear, but it was the story I was compelled to write, even if it had started with an impossible challenge. You know how these things can grab you and not let go. And I learned so much with writing this thing. The ride was quite incredible for me too.
Thanks so much for your cryptic winking frowning faces and your incredible support of this tale. I'm so glad you made it to the end!
I think I’m going to do a running review for this. Maybe that will make what I know is going to happen or has already happened hurt a little less :(
Nevermind. It’s already hurting. No :(. Noo :(. Maybe he’s wrong? Maybe he just wants Severus to think that to keep him there until he recovers? Or until he tries to kill him because there’s no way Lucius doesn’t know about Severus and Dorcas’s... feelings. But Lucius never mentioned anything about Dorcas’s house and Severus being there.. okay. I just need to keep reading, apparently. I have burns in my eyes, just so you know. The kind that happens when you keep saying that you will *not* cry. I will *not* cry. They’re fictional people. They’re not real. Not real.
No no now he’s just making it worse ;(. I won’t Dorcas to lounge on the tall chair, too. Why are you doing this to us?!
Lucius is actually being really kind. I love the idea of him caring about, well, the people he cares about.
That entire dream scene followed by his evaluation of his scars. His self hate mixed with the fact that he doesn’t understand how Dorcas could have loved him... that’s almost as painful as losing Dorcas to me. God, I what JKR would have done something like this for Severus. I wish she would have made him this man, instead of the creepy one who is in love with another man’s wife and who doesn’t care if either man or child die as long as he keeps the woman. She just ruined him so much for me, even knowing he was good, because she turned him into this obsessive monster. But you... you haven’t ignored his dark side. You haven’t turned him into something he’s not, you just gave him *more*.. he’s still the self loathing thing he always is, but he’s a person I really care about right now and not the creep that tried to take my Lily away from James. I can say without a doubt that this is the best Severus I’ve ever read, and that you’ve done something JKR never managed to...you made him seem real to me.
Her body :(. She really is gone, then? Pixi, (Michelle? I feel like for some reason I think that’s your real name?) I loved her :(.
So Lucius does actually care about Severus. And it seems that even Netterheim may have survived. I think you did a really great thing with making Lucius think of Severus in a family sort of sense. He, more than anyone, understands what it’s like to *not* want to follow every order the dark lord commands. And we know that Narcissa trusts Severus enough years down the road to ask her to watch out for her son’s life, so having a closeness with the Malfoys fit in perfectly, I think.
It still doesn’t make up for Dorcas being gone :(. Nothing will :(. They should have just let that night. They should have given the antidote to someone else and left, because they didn’t deserve to have their lives destroyed :(.
I need chocolate ;(. If you ever want to write just a small AU one shot where Dorcas and Severus are laughing together in the moonlight, forty years down the road with greying hair and years of happiness, I wouldn’t have any objection to that. Just so you know.
I knew this was happening. I thought I was preparing. I have to ask, how did you handle writing this? What did it feel like to end it. You knew it was coming, we all did, but I’m sure that didn’t make it easier. I’m terrified pf the point when I reach this with Lily and James.Author's Response: Wow! Would you look at this review!
Lucius cares. Not as much as the rest of us, but I can see him looking out for family. I bet he considers Severus to be close. I thought it was fitting.
Gosh, I love you so much right now for understanding what I did with Severus' character. The one thought I clung to while writing this story was that a person as complicated as this guy, someone who lived a double-sided life and did all the wrong things for all the right reasons, someone like this could not possibly have had a singular event shape him. There had to be *more*. In the books, he never gets to tell us his side of the story. We only see snippets of his memories, and I tried really hard not to contradict any of that, while still giving him the chance to have a little more depth. Yeah, I stretched it a bit with his parents at the beginning, but I needed a little room to plant some of my ideas.
I thought that Lucius and Severus together were a great pair. I really enjoyed writing them in the same scene and letting them interact with each other. I don't see a lot of that in fanfiction. I think they have enough in common to understand each other, and I think they have enough differences that they won't ever really be close either.
I think I mentioned to someone else that I almost had "war is stupid and ruins a perfectly logical romance arc" as my main theme. Almost. ;) I'll have to think about your question for a while. Maybe I can PM you later with an answer.
Thanks so much for being such an awesome reviewer!! Report Review
I am already scared to read this chapter, just look at the title!
We are only a few paragraphs into this chapter and you've already given me heart palpitations!
We are not friends anymore. Seriously, I am not okay with this. I am still trying to believe that it doesn't end how I think it's ending, but I'm fairly certain that I'm wrong. :(
I really wanted to comment on your fight scene and what loved about it, which is pretty much everything, but now I just want to go lay in my puddle of sad feels. But if I were to comment on the fight scene, I would mention how absolutely awesome it was that you use so many different perspectives to show exactly what was happening, without actually showing exactly what was happening.
It made for such a gripping, intense scene, but like I said I am not commenting on that because I'm too sad.
I've been telling Dorcas this entire time to stop being so reckless !!! and now look what's happening. Why are you making me feel so sad?! :(
I also wanted to mention how impressed I was with your scene of Voldemort going into her thoughts. I love that you pretty much had him seeing only what he thought he needed to see, and missing what actually happened.
Okay. I'm going to go live in my optimistic. 'Dorcas lived' world, now.Author's Response: Hey, it's me responding to this awesome review finally!
Yeah, the chapter title is pretty telling. I actually had a lot of fun (I don't know if fun is the right word, but it was a gratifying experience anyway) coming up with chapter titles that I felt embodied the spirit of each section of this story. Most of them came from the music that I listened to to get in the mood for this. As you can imagine, it took a lot of effort to get into these dark, disturbing characters' heads.
Let's say that you were able to comment on that fight scene, which I admit, was tricky to pull off with all those POV shifts. Let's imagine that you were able to put aside your sad feels for a moment and enjoy it for what it was. I would have gotten immense satisfaction knowing that someone like you appreciated all the effort that I put into that scene, and I would be so thrilled to read that you actually got it: that I was trying to "show exactly what happened, without actually showing exactly what happened".
But since you're too sad to comment at all, I'll just pretend that you did in my head. In my head, I am gushing over your use of the word "awesome" and that you liked the different perspective thingy. Besides chapter 12, I found that scene to be the hardest one to get right.
I'd been talking to Dorcas every day I sat down to write that she was doing things all wrong. She never listened to me or anyone. She just plowed ahead, all stubborn-like. I think she, like you, was just hoping that sheer determination would get her through it all.
I hated having to write the scene with Voldemort. I was sure that I would botch it beyond belief. But you got the point of that one too. Like a big ole' shell game.
Thanks, once again, for putting all your emotions into this review. And just so you know, I had a dream once that involved what it might have been like at that cottage in France. Dorcas wants me to tell you that she's learning how to grow broccoli and peas. Report Review
I could seriously kiss you right now I was so happy when Lucius left and Dorcas was still safe.
Things are getting closer and closer to a boiling point, which would be good except the fact that I know I only have a few chapters left... and this can only end one way :(.
I love the details about the shadows communicating with Severus. It feels like, even though we're not entirely sure how it's all happening, that the other members of the guild want to help him.
I don't remember if the detail about the Dark Mark tingling if somebody is looking for him is Canon or not but regardless it's super awesome. Especially considering it alerted him that creepy Avery is a few minutes away and gave the guild time to try and help him duplicate the book.
That little bit for they dwell on their parents was such a sad reminder of how much everyone really is losing, and I hate how often you have to go and make me feel sorry for Severus. Telling Dorcas that the only reason he joined the death eaters in the first place was because they threatened to kill his parents in front of him made my heart sad.
Why did you have to go and make me fall in love with Dorcas and even get to the point where I actually like Severus? I know you're just going to rip them away from me ;(.Author's Response: Oh good. I made Jami happy for once!
I love those shadows too. I was tempted to go out on a tangent and make those shadows into a full fledged story line. Could be fun one day. And I figured that it just made sense that if you had a mark on you and other people were using it to track you that you'd feel something, especially if it was stuck to your arm or something. I dunno if it's canon either, but it follows a certain logic.
Hey, it's Severus. For most people, I have to give them constant reminders of how hard it was to be him. Apparently all it's doing for you is making you need more chocolate. *hands over another bar* I left out the almonds this time, so, err... drink some milk or something...
I like Dorcas's idea of following the rules. it sounds like the safest plan.
Her thoughts revolving around letting it happen and backing off make me so sad. I just wish that her and Severus would talk about it and realize they both want to be together still even if they're too stubborn to realize it. And obviously it doesn't help that Marlene is gone, just adding more to this list for poor Dorcas to be sad about. it's like every single time she thinks about it she's is rubbing salt in such a bad wound.
I am going to start crying. This is so sad because he's talking about going to France after the mission and then part of me thinks that maybe they can go to France together and live happily ever after but we all know how this ends.
You are the meanest person in the world. I'm doing this whole review as I read thing and I just keep getting so excited because he just asked her to come with him and she's going and they can live happily ever after. But they won't. Unless you'll surprise me and the end will be AU?? Please??
No no no I am not ready for this to happen. get Lucius out of the house and bring Dorcas back.
If I cry at the end of this all, I'm never going to let you hear the end of it.Author's Response: Yes, Dorcas should follow rules and keep herself out of trouble. Yes, they are both stubborn people, one out of necessity and one because he doesn't know any other way to be.
Here's where I think I need to offer more chocolate. Do you like almonds? Because I have a few chocolate bars with almonds in them. I hear that the extra protein keeps you from getting a severe sugar crash. That might be important, since there are still a few more chapters to go and I don't want you sleeping through the rest of your day. I also hear that France is nice. If you ask sweetly, Severus might let you rent that cottage sometime. ;)
Ahh, Lucius. At least he has great hair...
*offers more chocolate* I suppose you're never going to let me hear about those extra pounds either? *sigh* Report Review
You're never going to let us rest, are you? If I'm not up to my feels in Marlene Family Deaths, then I'm sitting on the edge of my seat because every which way something is unraveling and you-know-what is about to hit the fan.
Severus. No no no Severus. But it really is so like him, isn't it? And there's that feeling, because whatever happens at the end of this won't be good, and Severus won't be there to stop it. Or he'll be too late to stop it. This story has always been filled with shadowy characters and less than trustworthy/false alliances... but I feel like this chapter kind of marked the start to the end of it all. Like, any hope we had, whatever you did to us when they finally kissed for the first time, whatever you made us feel when we learned how much he does care about her through the course... it won't be enough to save her. And it's really, really heart breaking.
I'm kind of angry at Netterheim. I understand why he's leaving. No, he's not evil, but he's not good either. He doesn't want to be mixed up in all of this, but still. Something about him being around just felt good for Severus. Maybe I'm crazy. But now he's leaving, the Guild is going to rally from afar (though it really does seem like the most logical response) but Severus won't be invited to go with him. Not that he can't get his own way out at any moment... but this just may be the reason he stays.
So -- through this chapter I've wanted to shake both Severus and Dorcas silly. You -- author, you need to put some more sense into that reckless girls brain. Except then she wouldn't be Dorcas..but still! She's causing me heart palpitations!
I'm getting very sad at the number of chapters I have left ;(.Author's Response: No. I am not letting you rest. Get up off that couch and start washing dishes! Pronto!
Seriously, after reading your reviews, I feel like I owe you chocolate because you sound so morbidly depressed and sad. One of the reasons that I chose these characters and this timeline and this plot in particular was because I felt like I needed to toughen up as a writer and really stretch to put my characters in bad situations. So if things seem to get worse and worse every chapter, that's actually a compliment... but I still feel like you need a Dove bar or something.
Netterheim's departure is kind of like pulling Severus' support structure out from under him, isn't it? With the Potions Master gone, Severus will have to fend for himself. the Potions Shop was a sort of haven for him, a little buffer between Severus and the Death Eaters, and now that that's gone, well... Let me just get you a bag of Hershey's Kisses and we'll cuddle a while...
Dorcas is really rash and all over the place. I wondered a lot if I was pushing her too far, but she doesn't know what else to do. You seem to be so attached to her. It's great. And I think you have given me my first winking sad face ever. I think I have an eclair or two over here... Report Review
Hi, I decided to sample another one of your stories, and I must say this is an excellently written first chapter. It really conveys a lot of intrigue and captures the ominous dealings of Death Eaters very well. The writing is just lovely, and the vivid descriptions add a lot to the story. There was one place where I thought the description delayed the pace of the story though, and I was anxious for the dialogue to come in faster, and that was in the spot with the paragraph that started 'Not waiting for a reply, he turned back to the warehouse.' - but that's a really minor point, and it might strike other readers differently.
Otherwise, I really enjoyed all the little tidbits you put in about potion brewing and all the descriptions you used. The sentence with Netterheim alluding to a combination of pigs and dogs - well, I speak some German so I knew exactly the word you meant, and I just broke out laughing.
I like your dialogue for the characters. It does feel authentic. While your portrayal of Snape's relationship with his family is a little different than in Canon, I really didn't mind much. The scenario you present for Snape is very much like how Draco felt forced to go along with the Death Eaters to protect his family, while in Canon Snape chose to become a Death Eater of his own free will. The one flaw that strikes me about your version is that it doesn't make good sense for Snape to have such loyalty and love for his mother or father, when his mother did nothing to protect Severus from an abusive muggle father as a child, that you describe at the end of this chapter as a 'worthless man for whom she'd sacrificed everything - including her own son.' So it just struck me as a discrepancy in logic for Severus to be willing to go along with the Death Eaters to protect his parents. But I had no trouble overlooking that point, and it certainly didn't spoil my enjoyment of this chapter at all.
Your writing is lovely and the story-telling in this chapter is captivating. It kept me immersed. I love Snape as a character, and I enjoy a good Snape story when he's well-written. Overall, I think you've done a terrific job writing from Snape's POV and portraying the dark world Snape gets tied up in. A really great first chapter!Author's Response: Hi there!
You came to see another story! That was incredibly nice of you. I see you caught my "AU" interpretation of Snape right away, and I have no excuse for that, other than that's the way I felt it had to be written for this story. I'm glad it didn't spoil the chapter for you. Snape fans can be very picky about that sort of thing. :)
I hope you get a chance to read more. This piece was my first novel-length story, so I really hope that I can grow from this experience and write cleaner, more sensical prose in future works. Clarity and continuity were definitely two of my weaker points.
Thanks so much for the encouraging review!
I don't even know how you write Severus the way you do. He's so... he's everything he should be. He has the heart that for so long no one was sure existed, he cares so much for Dorcas and just needs someone to remind him that he isn't bad, useless, anything. But then there are these instances of power where, before he gets that sense of revulsion in himself, it's easy to understand why he became part of the DE circle in the first place. Part of him wants that power so bad while part of him hates it and hates that he wants it and ugh.
I'm so happy Dorcas come into the shop, I just want to pluck her up and hug her though :(.
The entire scene where he goes into Avery's mind.. takes away what would condemn them both to death... it was just so vivid and incredible. You have such an insane talent for story telling, you crazy girl. I just felt so raw after that, although I did enjoy watching Avery suffer. Is that terrible?
His life has so much chaos in it.. I just want him and Dorcas to cuddle on the couch in a happy world where Voldemort doesn't exist and none of these differences matter and ugh.
Awesome chapter, my dear.Author's Response:
Blood, sweat and tears.
That might be a bit of exaggeration, and I'm sure it was easier writing Severus at the time, but my memory is a bit fuzzy after all the post-writing therapy sessions.
The mind-wipe scene was the genesis for this whole story. I'm glad you appreciated it. Maybe that's why I can't remember much...
I think my favorite part of your review was when you used "ugh", not once, but twice. I guess I don't have to worry about the story being "not dark enough". ;)
Thanks for your extremely kind words! Report Review
Oh God I wish I'd been writing a running review! I'm at the end of the chapter and I had so many things to say during it and so many things I wanted to comment on but now I can't think of anything except wanting to cry :(. It isn't fair. A brand new family with their baby so close to being *theirs* and gah. You're crushing my heart.
Avery is just such a blood thirsty stupid idiot. His bragging is the only thing that saved Dorcas, so I kind of want to pat him on the back for that. But then I want to do something entirely different so we can finally just be rid of him for good.
And Severus :(. Why are you making me like him?! I don't want to! I don't need to! But no, here I am feeling so sorry for him and just wanting to scoop him and Dorcas up and hug them both. But Severus doesn't seem to be the type to enjoy being hugged by random strangers.. soo..
And! I had a guess before about Avery being Rookwood! Go Jami! Still, not sure how sorry I feel for the real rookwood. Maybe because I'm too bad feeling sorry for Dorcas :(.
This chapter was so heart breaking and a very, very sharp reminder of how we now this has to end ;(. But your writing is so beautiful that I feel like this story is just telling itself, playing like a little movie in my head.Author's Response:
Aww, Jami! You're so into this it makes ME want to cry a little.
Avery is everything you say he is, and more. Or maybe not much more, but still. Unfortunately, canon lets him live, if you can believe that.
I don't want to make you like Severus at all, I don't know where you ever got that idea. *whistles innocently* He's just some guy who's in a bad spot and happens to have stumbled on some girl who thinks he deserves more than the awful existence that he's been given. I didn't mean it to be you. Sorry!
The whole Avery/Rookwood thing was a last minute muse attack that almost derailed my plot, but I made it work the best I could. I guess I really liked the idea of tying Dorcas' family to the "other side". She's such a mess!
Thanks so much for your review and all your lovely compliments about my writing. You give me those little warm, fuzzies all over. :)
Hey it's me! I know this took for ever, sorry about that. But I guess I have good news: I decided to r&r the entire story!tada! I know: I'm the most inconsistent reviewer ever :P
Alright, I might never make it to the end if I stop to review every chapter, so I hope you don't mind very much if I merge the reviews for ch2 and ch3.
You might recall that I had issues with your Snape at first. He is very AU, but consistently so, which means I have to put aside my cannon-nazi hammer of judgement and deal with it:p
I have come to like him, in fact, but more as an OC than as Snape. So I chose to relax and enjoy the story, refraining from any connon-related comments. If you DO desire for me to take a look at how your story fits into cannon, then tell me and I'll take that hammer of judgement off the shelf and get right to it.
But for now, I feel that you have successfully created an HP-inspired world for your story which feels unique and alive in its own way. Many stories on this site try to venture out of Hogwarts and into the big bad wizarding world. It's not an easy task, considering how the books don't actually give us much to go by. Sure, there is Diagon Alley and the Ministry among a few other disconnected locations. But this is hardly enough to picture what the wizarding city-life looks like.
I have read many stories where the writers are quick to place the wizarding world into a replica of the sparkly-clean Hollywood big-city feel with large office buildings, cocktail-bars and what-not. Sometimes they get so carried away, they even forget about magic.
To cut a long story short: What attracted me to this story was the way you managed to keep the grimy, secretive feeling of HP while adding the atmosphere of a big city. (And there is magic! lots of it!) London is still London, but there is an underground life with wizards and odd potions, conspiracies, etc. This is always how imagined it, and you did a wonderful job setting the scene.
Although you didn't describe very much, you managed to bring vivid images to life. The bar, the Ministry, Snape's lab,his place...all of the locations worked towards creating a specific atmosphere of adventure and mystery. Everything is gritty, chaotic and full of activity. Such a feeling in itself can establish a sense of foreboding. The world you have created assures the reader that everything and everyone is on the move. And something big is bound to happen, soon ;)
But, as always, I have come up with a couple of comments about possible improvement.
Although I am a girl like any other and I like me a good ship, I need it to seem natural. Which is why I would like to offer you some of my impressions of Dorcas and Snape's coversation at the bar. From how the situation was set up, their meeting was a risky and an emotionally stressful endeavour. Snape had recently discovered the death of his mother,which entailed a betrayal and a threat. Dorcas, on the other hand, is living a dangerous double life as an active member of a secret organization. She might be experienced in making people disappear, but how could she not be nervous? In their conversation, the highest stakes seemed to be neither of the two giving away their emotions. That's the definition of flirting, not a secret spy-meeting...If you wish to bring in their interest in eachother that goes beyond a mutual mission to defeat the Dark Lord, then there are more subtle ways to do it than the two discussing Dorcas' ex or Snape musing about their days at Hogwarts. I'm not sure I'm making sense, but, to summarize, there was simply too much trust and emotional connection for a first meeting. If I were you, I'd focus their conversation more on Dorcas' shock at Snape being a Death Eater and make him more distant (you can still drop signs of him observing her). The way he pulled at his sleeve to indicate that he had The Mark was a very strong moment, I think the scene would benefit greatly from a focus on that topic instead of Dorcas' love-life.
In chapter 3, there was another shipping moment when Snape whisked Dorcas off to the forest. All in all, it was a nice scene and it involved magic (I can't stress enough how much I like magic XD), but Dorcas' emotions were all over the place,and not necessarily in a good way. "Not that she read anything selfless or noble into it," struck me as as out of place in the context. So, wait, she *doesn't* like him? Considering how many heart-to-heart moments they have already had, it seemed forced to have her suddenly experience some sort of mistrust/denail moment. What I'm trying to say here is that their inter-actions have been a bit messy and I am missing a stable emotional frame of reference for Dorcas. Snape's pov's have been solid. He is busy with his potion of doom for the Death Eaters and is experiencing an existential crisis, where Dorcas plays a blast from the past kind of role of reminding him of his innocence in Hogwarts( correct?). But Dorcas...I can't say what she is feeling,what her motivations or goals are, or anything else. So far, Snape has been the active one, although she is the Order of the Phoenix member, not him. And although you let her challenge Snape intellectually during their potion-talks, I'm jsut not convinced...
One other thing I noticed was that you really like getting technical. I admire that you are trying to give some logic to the way potions work in oder to make the story seem more likely, but I feel that you over-do it sometimes. The events that lead up to the fire, for example, were much too detailed. A good rule of thumb is don't mention what is not directly relevant to the story. In terms of themes and atmosphere, you will find that this still leaves many fun details you can add, but you just have to learn to pick them more carefully. I'll get into this more in my later reviews (I'm running out of characters :p).
Cheers! I'll be back :DAuthor's Response:
Oh wow. Just, wow.
First off, I'd be delighted if you reviewed every other chapter, or every third or fourth chapter like this from now on. Believe me, whatever you can handle, I'll take it.
If the AU makes it better for you, that's great. I'm actually surprised that you like my MC's character, but happily so. Maybe if/when you get to the end of this story, you can swing that canon-nazi hammer around a bit and let me in on a few of your thoughts, but for now I am content to hear how he progresses through the story I've set up as it is.
I tried really hard to SHOW the magic in this world, and I must have read those same stories too, because that's what I DIDN'T want people to think about this story. It's a bad, bad world out there, and things are messy and magical and might not make much sense, but they're real... kinda. Anyway. Thanks for appreciating my scenery. :)
I have second-guessed Dorcas' character a LOT while writing this. Her personality went through a major overhaul during revision, and I feel like I still hadn't gotten her right when I was all done. At the time, I just didn't know what else to do about her, so I left her the closest I could to what I thought I wanted. So yeah, you picked up on all of that flailing around. It's my first novel-length story, so I know I have a lot of growing room. I agree completely with that conversation not addressing the higher stakes in the room. Thanks for your specific notes on that section and the other shipping section in the next chapter too. Fortunately for you, I tend to learn as I go, so perhaps she will do less emotional flailing as we move forward? I can only hope for the best. :) I'm sure you'll tell me, which I look forward to very much.
Aaand the technical section too. I knew I might have overdone it a bit there, and probably in a few other places too. I am also looking forward to your ideas about this in the future. I guess I didn't wield the Editing Pen of Death firmly enough. That's another thing that I hope I'm getting better at *now*, but who's to say? You are, my friend. Say it all.
I am SO happy you have decided to review my story. *takes lots of notes*
Come back soon. I'll make cookies! Report Review
Slughorn snuck himself right in here! I have to say that, though that wasn't expected, it makes perfect sense. And even though it's clear that Netterheim isn't this nice bit of rainbows, and he clearly doesn't really have Severus's best interest in heart... I still like him. In a way where I probably shouldn't, but I do anyway so I figure I might as well embrace it.
I think you played the scene between Severus and Karkaroff *very* well. You gave him enough to keep him in good graces, and anyone with half a brain knows that something being done right is better than being done quickly. So even while Severus is buying him more time, he's still getting deeper and it makes him sick and argh.
I really wish these two were going to get a happy ending. Anyway you can go AU with this? Maybe bribery with cookies??
You've done something very unique in those last few sections. They're incredibly confusing, but the kind of planned confusions where it's obvious that, even if I can't connect all the dots just yet, you meant that and I'm going to trust that you'll make that all a bit more clear when the time is right. PS nothing is creepier than an amusement park. Nothing.
I liked the small sections you had toward the end. It was like i was looking left, then throwing my head right so I wouldn't miss that, then back to left.. it really made for a necessary kind of intensity that just cemented me to the page.
Santa likes mysteries, you know. HO HO HO. It's almost time for me to go back to the north pole and help Mrs. Clause clean from the mess of this Christmas season. You know, she's always letting Dasher sleep in the house. Makes for some serious messes.Author's Response: Hi Santa!
It's so good to see you one last time before going back to the North Pole and helping Mrs. Claus with what promises to be a thankless job... snarffle!
I like Netterheim too. Not sure why, but he was my favorite OC in this. I guess it was because of all the unharnessed power.
Severus and Karkaroff's scene needed to make all kinds of sense, and I'm so happy you thought it played out so well. Sadly, this story is already completed, otherwise, I'd maybe take you up on the cookie bribe. I worked so hard for these two and it's all going downhill from here on out.
I felt the same way about the amusement park. Part of me was cackling with glee that I could put Severus in a Muggle amusement park and ahve it make total sense, and the other part of me was shuddering at all the creep that could potentially happen there. It was a fantastic setting to work with. I know it was a lot of smoke and mirrors, and my betas were cringing with all the assumptions I was making about my readers being able to follow it, but I'm glad you trusted me enough to get through that section without major complaints. Some of it does become clearer as we move forward.
I'm so happy that Santa likes mysteries. You have been a great Secret Santa. Thanks so much for my gifts! Report Review
Also, ANYTHING else you want to point out. I'm tough. I can take it. Be aware, you just let the nitpick out in me. ;)
The thin mucus-like film stretched in sickly patterns all over his lab equipment, [LOVE THIS VISUAL] his carefully hand-written lab notes… [.] Disgusted, he Vanished [Why is this capitalized? It isn’t the spell name, after all] the mess.
He breathed it in slowly, savoring the vision of a world... Love how you tie this into the earlier mentioned cigarette. Little things like that make me swoon with admiration. ;)
Alright, I’m at the He’d followed the instructions of the ancient text to the letter and the experiment had still failed. paragraph. When I started reading I actually thought he had broken into someone else’s work place and that this wasn’t his potion - donno if you meant for me to think that, but thought I’d point it out. That said, it’s not distracting me too much from the story...must keep reading...
Severus seems like such a sad man and with so many emotions, yet you retain the ‘Snape’ like quality that we expect. Wonderful.
Netterheim stood by as Severus reread the Ministry letter. “Take your time. I don’t expect you in the shop tomorrow.” He set two Galleons on the counter in front of Severus. “For her eyes.” Huge creep factor there...perfect.
I love the whole thing! You brought out the nitpick in me but she had nothing to nit pick!Author's Response: Aww, thanks!
Your nitpick did just fine. As a first chapter, I found it extremely difficult to get right, and by the end of it, I just couldn't take it anymore. So now I have a few things to fiddle with.
I'm glad you found Severus to be "Snapey" enough. He's younger here, so he's not exactly the man we all know so well... yet. And I loved throwing in a few creepy details here and there.
Thanks so much for your review! Report Review
Ho ho ho! A bit of a late present for you!
I hope you don't mind that I didn't review a few chapters, but they are very addicting, I just wanted to keep reading! And I've decided to stop here to review.
This was a very, very steamy chapter! I think you handled the subject so well by making it both intimate but still tasteful. I was so excited by the time it finally happened that I just wanted to clap for them! But I suppose they wouldn't appreciate them standing at the edge of the bed clapping... it may ruin the moment.
I really like that you've found ways to include Lily in all this. I'm really not a Severus Lily shipper myself, so I wouldn't have been upset if you wouldn't have included anything that related to that, but I do think the fact that you did really helped tie into canon. I love the idea that it was more of his guilt causing him to protect Lily, but that he was still stuck about doing it. It really fit in with this character.
The first section with Netterheim was actually really fun. I couldn't help but be amused by him kind of messing with her just for fun. It wasn't really nice, but he's never come off as a warm fluffy man anyway. Then her and Severus's pathetic attempt to cover up and making ridiculous excuses. Hahaha.
This was such a great chapter! Merry late Christmas!Author's Response: Hey Santa! Yo're not late. You're great!
Addicting chapters?? That's the best compliment I've had all year! I don't mind at all that you kept reading. That's what it's all about, anyway.
I'm glad you found this chapter tasteful. I didn't want to go too far with it, but it was important for the characters to make the connection that they did. It may have ruined the moment if you had applauded from the end of the bed, but with all that has happened to Severus, I'm sure he would just groan and add it to his long list of humiliating life experiences. Though, you might want to check what's in your food or drink for a while afterwards.
I'm also greatly relieved that you found Lily's place in this story to be acceptable. She's too important to Severus' character to leave out, but she's not the main focus of the story, so it was a puzzle to fit in. I also love the idea that his guilt drove him to look out for her more than his fascination with her.
Netterheim was loads of fun to write. He's a slimy, secret man with a wicked sense of humor. I think he's also allergic to fluff, so...
Thanks so much, Santa! I love you! Report Review
I really need to stop telling you what chapters are my favorites, because then I read a new one and that all changes.
Avery is way past creepy. He doesn't have the intelligence to realize what exactly he's doing, and just does things. That's what makes him most dangerous. No one would *not* master an Unforgivable Curse if working for Voldemort. They would realize the second they found out, it was more than death waiting for them. They would figure it out, practice it and master it. Nope, not Avery. He just finds more primitive ways of killing, barely thinking about what his repercussions would be if ever found out. Nasty, nasty piece of work, that one. And his box. Oh god, I'm going to puke. And now exactly what does this man have up his sleeve.. hmm?
You made me cringe with the idea of smashing the bugs between my thumbnails. I hate bugs. I like Severus's idea much better, haha. Speaking of, does the man take classes on how to give morbid and ominous answer? I still can't believe you are making me like Snape. I swear, I could shake you for it. But I do! I feel like sometimes he's so stuck in his own thoughts, and now he's realized what he's going to have to do to really become trusted enough to know the plan and I think he needs a huggle :(. I liked how moody she was after Severus left when he realized it was noon on Saturday. But we all get that about someone we really care about, right? And I hate when I remember how this ends :(. It makes me want to pluck these two out of the story and give them an AU ending.
Well, Dorcas is doing a damn good job of trying to make sure she doesn't get a happy ending, isn't she? STOP GOING IN SECRET DE DOORS, WOMAN. And of course you cliffied me... naughty author.
Thanks for another awesome chapter ♥Author's Response: We're going to find out who's naughty and nice this season anyway, so...
Avery, Avery, Avery... would it kill you to know that I loved writing every single creepy word about him? It might have been because I was reading Neil Gaiman at the time, or maybe I'm just that way. Anywhoo, we won't spend too much time thinking about that. I needed a good detox session after finishing this story, I'll tell you that much. (Hence the arrival of the Weasley clan on my author's page...)
If you're feeling even the slightest bit of sympathy towards Severus then I did my job right. If you're actually LIKING him, I'm not sure I can take credit for that, and I'm pretty sure he's not going to accept any hugs from you, no matter how badly he may need it. And for Merlin's sake, don't you dare point out his emotional shortcomings to him. He may put a surprise in your morning coffee and then I won't be getting any more fabulous reviews from you.
Seriously, Dorcas needs a slap upside the head. But really, what slave-driven paper pusher doesn't want to DO something *meaningful* and *important* every once in a while? Her best friend is an Auror (on desk leave, but still...) and all she gets to do is gather information and file reports. So she takes the "gather information" part of her job and runs with it... and ends up with a cliffhanger that I'm not going to apologize for. ;)
Thanks so much for your review. It made my day! Report Review
Wow, what an original start to a Severus Snape fiction! I really enjoyed that you began with Karkaroff, because he's someone we don't read about much and that immediately had me interested.
One thing that I think helped to really define his character was when he's thinking about the book he pried from the old man.. he cares not even a tiny bit that he killed them because he took a life, but he's thinking he shouldn't have right away so he'd have more answers. That sets the tone for the DE just perfectly.
I like all the new things you've created in this chapter. Severus working under someone who sounds to be one of the greatest potions masters, him being in a position where he really has no control over what happens to him may be my favorite quality. We only see him as the confident man who, by the end of it we know, is besting the world's most powerful man. Spying and hiding things from Voldemort which aren't discovered until it's way too late. Seeing him here, as a more fearful and reluctant death eater, having to follow each order or knowing it will be his life.. is a very lovely contrast to the man he becomes.
Also, the line about loving his potions because he has control over them has so much insight about him in just one small line. He wanted control over Lily, he wanted control over everything at Hogwarts, he isn't a man who likes being out of control... and we're seeing why here. Or, at least, what he was like when he had very little control over anything. Awesome touch.
It's so sad that the last time he saw his parents was three Christmases ago! And now he's too late...
I really liked this first chapter! I think you have an awesome writing style and am excited to read more!Author's Response: Oooh, Santa! What a nice surprise!
I'm glad you appreciated the "new things" I put into this story about Severus and his early days with the DE. I really stretched the common perceptions we have of Snape's character to fit the man I wanted to write about in this story. I tried my hardest to have it eventually melt into canon, but you know how that goes. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I'm so glad you read and reviewed the first chapter of this piece.
Thank you, Santa! Report Review
Hi ♥ so I tagged chapter 6 a while back, and I didn't realize you'd requested for it in my thread, so now I'm fulfilling you request with chapter 7! :)
In this chapter what stuck out at me the most was Dorcas's absolute disregard for her own life, her own safety.. when she ventures to Knockturn alley and to listen at the door. I think that was such a perfect touch, because right now she's still living off of what happened. She probably feels incredibly invisible while still wanting to test her own mortality, and she's acting without thinking... something Mad Eye would NOT approve of!
You absolutely had my heart racing throughout that entire section. From the point of Dorcas seeing the masked men, to casting her silencing charm to going to listen at the door... it was very stressful and I really just wanted to skip a few paragraphs to make sure she'd be okay :P.
One thing you also did with Dorcas in this that I really loved was her comment about there being on bread. When bad things happen, scary things, we tend to focus on the mundane. Like a wife whose husband just died and she holds it all together, until she realizes she didn't get make enough pie for the gathering after the funeral. Then she looses it. Dorcas obviously wasn't as extreme with this, but it falls under the same principal. She has nothing else to say, nothing else she can even think, so she points out something simple. Something mundane that doesn't matter in the tiniest bit.
I think you are doing a magnificent job with Severus having his own sort of conflicting emotions. He's one of those characters that seems like he does a lot of things 'for someone else' when he really does them because he doesn't know what else to do. He's thinking that Dorcas doesn't need him anymore, but she really probably could use someone to force her into taking comfort. But he knows he's too scared to let her her need him, he doesn't want to need her, he doesn't know what to do! He's really a big sad puppy sometimes, you know. Anyway I think that the fact that he cares about her, that she cares about him, but the knowledge that neither of them should really comes across well.
And it seems Severus has a decision to make... hmm hmm hmm.
I think this chapter is so far one of my favorites. The intensity, the move of emotions from Dorcas's self destructive behavior, her fear, her realization that her life came very close to ending... all made for an awesome read. You continue to bring these two together without rushing it, and give there characters a chance to make sense.
Awesome chapter, darling ♥Author's Response: Ahh, I feel spoiled!
Chapter 7 had a lot going on as far as character development, didn't it? You hit the nail on the head with Dorcas and why she did what she did. The "no bread" line was one of my favorites in this chapter. I'm so glad that it resonated with you like that. It was totally meant to do just that.
And you read Severus correctly too, which is a huge relief for me. I did try really hard to get these characters to make some kind of sense, both separately and together. It took a lot of revision (and many sessions with my wonderful character relationship therapist, Melian, who helped me hash out the character arcs when things got squirrely) to get them where I thought I wanted them. Knowing that you *got* it makes that all worth while.
Thanks so much for another fantastic review! Report Review
Hey,it's Whiskey from the formus!
When I read Snape/OC in your request form, I had to sigh. Most Snape/OCs are the most unlikely, fact-ignoring tales of teenage fantasy one can imagine. This, on the other hand, so far sounds like a proper story about Snape! I'm very glad that you've requested it and I'll be sure to read quite a chunk of it if it continues in the same fashion as this chapter.
I liked how it's actually about the wizarding world. Snape is a very political figure: a double spy, a convinced Death Eater, Dumbledore's best man, Hogwarts Professor, etc. His private world is a mystery that we only get a glimpse of during the books, no more. His life is a collection of difficult decisions that always take something from him and leave him with more responsibilities than freedom. It is refreshing to read a fanfic where that is taken into account.
I would also like to compliment you on staying true to the Harry Potter feeling. All of the characters and locations mentioned so far would make sense in Rowlings universe, even the ones you made up (the Guild! :3 I often had to think of video games during the chapter!).
Now some critique:
What threw me off immediately was Karkaroff swearing in Russian. I am pretty sure he isn't Russian. Although his nationality is never explicitly stated in the books, it would make more sense to assume he was Bulgarian (due to his favouritism towards Krum) or even Finish, due to the location of Durmstrang. Just because he is adorned with Eastern European stamps does not mean he is Russian. I just hate assumptions like that. *If* he was Bulgarian, then I suppose he would have learned Russian as a child, so I can grant you that he would know Russian, but it is a far stretch to assume he would chose to swear in it. But I will also grant you this: you managed to avoid any other national stereotypes when describing him, so I suppose that is redeeming :P
Next is this paragraph:"Death Eaters. Stupid name for the Dark Lord's supporters who were dutifully clearing the way for wizards all over the world. It was a war after all, and people had to die. No more hiding, no more coddling those lesser beings... exterminate them when necessary. Karkaroff had no problem sacrificing the Muggles if it meant a quicker victory."
It's kind of confusing, first of all, in terms of pov and point. All I get from it is "Karkaroff=bad", which is not very interesting. Black-and-white-ing your characters is sometimes necessary in order to save space and effort, but in a story about Snape, the most grey-area character of them all, I think it is allowed to show some more moral relativity.
You did the same thing with Snape, which really surprised me. He joined the Death Eaters to protect his family? As far as I know, he joined because he wanted to... After he lost all hope of getting Lily's affections, he chose to overcompensate his self-worth through Muggle-hatered, dark magic and elitism...Right? That doesn't make for a great hero or a romantic interest, but I don't see why you felt the need to change it...
Another thing that confused me was the function of Lucius. I think you characterized him very well and he was a nice addition to the story, but he just popped in to tell Karkaroff to go to Snape? At first I thought Lucius would have gone for him. There could have been a nice moment of hierarchy there.
Besides these few issues, the chapter was a real treat! I know I might sound critical, but I honestly enjoyed it. Snape's trip to the Ministry was described very well, and I really liked his thoughts on how "on the other side" the brightest and most talented only get an assistant job :D It was a nice touch.
Oh, one more thing. This sentence: "For Severus, forcing someone to make amends for their wrongdoing was like waking up to a field of snow in July." I just don't get it! :P This comparison is very, very confusing to me. Amends are...as useless as snow? As out of palce as snow? But why?
Well,I hope I could be helpful! I will review some more soon and I hope you don't hate me for all of the critical bits :PAuthor's Response: Hellooo!!
I love you!!
Maybe I'm the only person out there who actually WANTS someone to pick apart my stories and give me specific examples of techniques I used or things I did that didn't work for the reader, but that was exactly the kind of feedback I am looking for. Though it's been revised, blah, blah, I never felt like I got the first chapter "right" in certain little places. You pinpointed those things perfectly.
I see you found some of my choices baffling, which is fair. I assumed Karkaroff was Russian and I made some decisions about Severus that are not commonly accepted. You're right: his characterization is neither heroic, nor romantic. I did take quite a bit of license with some things that I felt were merely "assumed" , yet "not fully proven". You can consider it slightly AU if that helps. And no, it's not a "ship" story. It's a story that happens to include one. I hope that makes you feel a little better... if not, meh. I'ts Snape.
I really wanted to show Snape as a more gray-toned personality. I didn't see that the way I chose to establish his specific back story derailed that until you pointed it out to me. Also, I totally agree that I missed an opportunity to establish Lucius' "function" here. I always felt like I didn't ground him well enough into the story, and you caught that too.
Wow. Please, please, please continue giving me this kind of critical review for as long as you can stand. This is excellent!
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I've been meaning to get back here for so long, then when I have time I do my review thread reviews and completely forget. When you tagged me it was an awesome reminder that I WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS.
So I'm here!
TENSION. All the way through. Dorcas shows a lot more than bravery in this, which we already know considering what she's chosen to do with her life, but she shows a sense of acceptance in what kinds of things may happen because of this life. She doesn't seem shaken up anymore than angry that this man was in fact trying to kill her.
And then you whirl us from that, to the quite danger placed in the manor. Even the mention of Draco injured my heart just a bit, he never had a chance.
I love that you don't make Severus seem like this perfect man who was so brave and amazing to act as double agent. He still likes power too much, is very skilled, and not altogether pleasant. But he's also not a bad person. So far I really enjoy the balance you've found with him, and you have so much skill at writing him.
This chapter was an amazing one to come back to! And now I'm kicking myself for taking so long!
See you soon ♥Author's Response: It's Jchrissy!!
Hey, you felt the tension. That's great! I was hoping for loads of it throughout the story. It's hard to maintain that kind of intensity for long periods of time.
Learning how to characterize Severus Snape as a young, early twenties sort of man was a real chore, let me tell you. I like to think of the early twenties as the time in one's life when you're old enough to know better, but you're young enough to do stupid things now and then anyway. Severus always struck me as the type of person who was acutely aware of his surroundings and the people around him. I loved discovering his self-aware nature and then running with it. It brought him the sense of nobility that I craved to write about without sacrificing his selfish nature that we see in canon. I'm glad you appreciate my interpretation of him here.
Poor Draco! At least he partially inherited his father's hair. It's the only redeeming feature about Lucius Malfoy that I could find. Honestly. Report Review
Okay, first of all something out the crickets just really disgusts me and creeps me out. The entire situation with the four of the Death Eaters creeps me out in a - half of you are so dumb that you're dangerous, one of you is smart enough to be more dangerous - then Snape just really makes me feel the difference between all of them.
I really liked the beginning with Karkaroff and Netterheim. It was such a stressful game they were playing, each making a move and waiting to call the others bluff. It was really well written and absolutely captivated me.
I love Dorcas. I want to hug her. I don't even want to read anymore because I don't want anything bad to happen to her, ever ;(.
Sorry it's taken me ages to get to the next chapter, stupid RL! But I'm so happy I finally made it back because this was an incredible one!Author's Response: Hi there! Welcome back!
I suppose that if you weren't halfway creeped out by the crickets, I'd have to worry about you. It was meant to be creepy, so I guess I did it right. ;)
Netterheim was my favorite OC in this story! I'm glad you liked the back and forth between him and Karkaroff. And I'm doubly pleased you are getting along with Dorcas. Sometimes, she came off to me as too headstrong with not enough sense, but that's what the story dictated so I had to run with it. She does what she thinks is right, which is all we can ask of anybody.
Thanks so much for coming to visit! Don't feel guilty about RL. It happens all the time. Dorcas will be here when you get another breather. :)
I like the plot overall. think it builds and keeps readers interested. I am not really familiar with Dorcas though, and as one of the main characters I was confused in the last chapter, but brushed it aside, and can't help but pointing out That I can't help with characterization in this. I do like the story, it is written well and the structure is good. It is interesting, I just don't like how I don't know the main character.Author's Response: Hello!
I guess no one really knows Dorcas, since in canon, she was only a name on a list. Thanks for the review! Report Review
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