Reading Reviews for Dear Al
  
32 Reviews Found

Review #1, by nott theodore Prologue

4th April 2014:
ADI! So officially I'm here with the review I owe you from ages ago for the February Review Competition, but I'm also here because I haven't read your stories for ages and I really want to!

I loved your characterisation of Harry in this. He'd matured quite a bit from the character that we see in the books, and I think you took what we see in the epilogue and expanded on that really well. He felt like a very believable character, with a few contradictory elements which fit in well. My favourite aspect was the way he came across as such a caring father in this. Hogwarts for him, in spite of what happened later on, will always be the first place that he ever really felt he could call home, so I can understand that he would want his son to be excited about going and the time that he gets to spend there. Seeing that vulnerability and worry in his young son must be quite worrying for him, and his actions because of that feel like they make sense.

I felt really sorry for Al as well. I imagine that his brother probably hasn't helped him to feel more comfortable about going to Hogwarts, and while he is excited about the prospect of starting school it becomes a bigger fear, but still one that he tries not to show. I loved your characterisation of Rose, as well! I know you've written her quite a bit and I think the mention of her was really believable. I can definitely imagine little Rose - Hermione's daughter - with a training wand and a copy of Hogwarts: A History :P

The second part really intrigued me. I wasn't sure what to expect of the story when I saw the title and then the characters and summary, but I think the way you're going to segue into this tale is very effective. The description of Spinner's End was great, and actually reminded me of some places I've seen here.

The idea of the diary as a present and the photograph seemed simple but I think they were really effective and poignant here. It was a great idea to show us the two of them as friends before anything came in the way of their friendship, when it was simple and pure. I think seeing Snape like that makes it easier to prepare the reader for whatever will come next, especially if (like me) they're not Snape's biggest fan.

I'm really interested to see where you go from here with this story, so hopefully I can get back soon! This was a great start, Adi!

Sian :)

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Review #2, by HEG Prologue

28th March 2014:
Hi randomwriter! I'm here for our review swap :D

Ok so this title certainly got me hooked. What's going to happen in this? I was thinking to myself. In actaul fact, this was not what I was expecting. What I was expecting was a series of letters that Albus was recieving. Clearly, I was wrong.

I really feeel sorry for Albus, he is so shy and nervous and I really love the way you've described him as his face lighting whenever someone started talking about Hogwarts just to fit in but insde he was longing. That was good the way Harry could recognise it without Albus telling him or something. I like the way Harry was sort of worrying about Albus. Is he already at Hogwarts? I sort of got the idea that he was from this "But there was something about Albus' entry into this alluring world" that he was already at Hogwarts but if he IS, then how could he still be worried about being sorted into Slytherin if he has already been sorted?

I really enjoyed the part where Harry reads the diary to Snape. he must feel so bad/sad him not knowing hardly anything about his own mother besides Voldemort killed her and she has a horrible sister called Petunia. You really caught his emotion well there. Oooh! The last sentance! You've made me want to read the next chapter now!

Just a small mistake I spotted. You have put:

"How typical!" harry exclaimed

It should be this:

"How typical!" Harry exclaimed

You missed out the capital letter on Harry.

All in all this was a good start to your story. Keep up the good work!

HEG

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Review #3, by missclaire17 Hogsmeade

25th March 2014:
Hello!

This is a very interesting story idea! Though I do not like Severus Snape as a person, as a written character he is very fascinating and I love the idea of venturing to know more about his life in depth in order to understand him more.

There are many times when people would blame Lily, or blame the Marauders for Snape wanting to turn to the Dark Arts and Voldemort, but I think that assuming that it was due to Lily or due to the Marauders is oversimplifying Snape and merely giving an obvious though incorrect answer to a long riddle that is waiting to be solved. It's like the question of Voldemort. How was he so evil? Harry needed to learn more about Voldemort to understand him, therefore I think that we all need to learn more about Snape but without the influences of whether we ship Snily or whether we ship Jily.

I love that it's written in 3rd person point of view but we see Snape's feelings and thoughts. It makes for the perfect balance between seeing things in Snape's point of view and seeing things objectively in a way that Snape wouldn't.

Wonderful writing!!

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Review #4, by Rumpelstiltskin Hogsmeade

17th March 2014:
Back for more! (Blackout number 19/20.)

Plot/plot arch: This again has a lot to do with the characters, so I'll leave most of it to the next category. I loved James' interruption in the beginning, it seems like he's a bit jealous (and I use that term lightly) of Lily's friendship with Severus. Severus is beginning to get involved in dark things and bad company, but that doesn't stop him from trying to be close to Lily.

Characterization: Lily and Severus -- The level of comfort that they have with one another is fantastic, their friendship is strong here...for now ;). Lily -- She looks to Severus for friendship, though he's looking for something more. Her distaste for James is spot on. Severus -- He's still mostly all about Lily, which I think is pretty accurate. You've also mentioned some of the people that he hangs out with, who we know are future Death Eaters. There was also mention of a Dark Arts shop, which means that Severus is already dabbling in things that he probably shouldn't.

Detail: This had a bit more detail, but the plot arch made it so that most other descriptors would have been irrelevant, so this was a nice choice.


Other/notes: I hope you plan on updating!

-Rumpel

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Review #5, by Rumpelstiltskin Park Swings and Chaste Kisses

17th March 2014:
Back again (Blackout number 18/20).

Plot/plot arch: The plot here has a lot of indirect characterization in it, so I'll keep this short and save it for the next category. I love this little peak and the pre-Hogwarts Lily and Severus, it's awfully sweet (if you exclude Severus being mean to Petunia). I also love how Lily was finally excited to go to second year, after she'd finally experienced Hogwarts. I think what I loved the most was the ending, and it's bitter sting of irony.

Characterization: Lily-- she's as kind as I would imagine, even contemplating not going to Hogwarts because Petunia couldn't. Then, after her first year, she can't wait to go back. Severus-- I think you've nailed young Severus. He's shows no patience nor kindness towards Petunia, probably because he couldn't care less about her. His friendship with Lily is true to what I would imagine, and I love his reaction to Lily's kiss on the cheek, and the longing to be with her.

Detail: While this didn't have a ton of descriptions, this chapter had a lot to do about the characters, so the exclusion didn't harm the story at all.

Emotion: Lily's uncertainty about going to Hogwarts and Severus' longing for Lily really shone through in this chapter, so I think you did a great job evoking those emotions.

Other/notes: Another great chapter! Off to the next.

-Rumpel

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Review #6, by Rumpelstiltskin Prologue

17th March 2014:
I'm here for the Blackout (number 17/20)!

Plot/plot arch: Al's reluctance to go to Hogwarts because he feared being sorted into Slytherin was sweet. It was also fell nicely along the lines of cannon, because we know this was one of his concerns before boarding the train. Harry's longing for his son to be excited about Hogwarts -- Harry's true home as a child -- is completely understandable. Though it caused some serious Snape feels, I'm glad you included the section where Harry travels to Severus' old home in search of some more information about him. Harry was only able to learn a bit about Severus in DH, and it makes sense that what he did learn would spur some curiosity. I'm now super interested to learn what is in Severus Snape's diary.

Characterization: Harry-- I think you did a fantastic job! His role as a father is endearing, and his curiosity suits cannon.

Detail: I love the detail you've added to this. The little details make the story flow nicely, slowing it down appropriately, and they created some nice imagery.

Emotion: This has definitely evokes some strong curiosity and intrigue, so fantastic job!

Notes/other: This was well-written and interesting; I can't wait to read the next chapter!

-Rumpel

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Review #7, by Secret Santa Prologue

2nd January 2014:
This was so wonderfully written it pulled me right in. Now I have to continue reading, for someone who said you had a challenge, it didn't seem like that. I could have never come up with this plot bunny for sure, it soo original I could totally see Severus sending the diary to Lily :)

Author's Response: EEEP! Thank you, Santa ^_^

I'm glad you think it was written well and found it engaging. Please do continue. I'm being shameless, but it would make me happy :P Also, thank you for that! Originality is something strive for whenever I write.

Thanks for this lovely review! It made me very VERY happy. :)


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Review #8, by marauderfan Park Swings and Chaste Kisses

13th October 2013:
Review tag!

I liked this chapter! Your portrayal of Snape and Lily as kids is really adorable, and you've captured that childhood friendship so well. They'll get annoyed at each other, but at the end of the day they're still best friends and enjoy playing on the swings together. It's cute. And it's evident how much hope Snape has that everything will work out for him and Lily. :( I almost feel sorry for him.

You have some lovely descriptions of the setting in here too - I loved the line about the cherry trees and a haze of pinks and greens, it was such a pretty image.

The only thing I think might help the chapter would be some sort of tie-in to Harry's reading it. Since it's supposed to be Snape's diary, a few lines in the beginning about Harry opening the journal might be nice, or something to tie it into the previous chapter. Or a bit more of Snape's thoughts, so the reader is reminded that it's his story. Anyway, really well done - great work! :)

Author's Response: Hello Kristin :) Sorry for this incredibly late response *looks away in shame*

I'm glad you liked my portrayal of them. I really was trying to capture the childish innocence in his thoughts and in their relationship. I'm glad it seemed to have worked :)

Aww :) Thanks so much. I'm forever trying to improve with descriptions, so this really makes me happy :)

I actually wanted it to remain in third person. I was going for a different kind of style than the other stories I've read with diary entries. But what you say makes sense. It would be a god-tie in. I'll consider your suggestion when this goes through edits.

Thanks for this lovely review :)


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Review #9, by AlexFan Prologue

14th September 2013:
Oooh, never read something like this before. I'm actually looking forward to seeing what Snape wrote in his diary or journal or whatever he wanted to call it.

I like the way that it;s written though, it looks a lot like something that J. K. Rowling would write and it sounds a tiny bit like her but you can still your voice, the author's, in the writing and you can tell that it's different.

There's not much that I would change about this except capitlize the first letter of Harry and reword this sentence He uneasily eyed the locked drawer that was in front of him. because it's worded a little bit awkwardly.

The message that Lily left Snape though was so childish and young sounding and I could just picture her writing the message and giving it to her best friend with an excited look on her face. I could picture Snape in my head with this huge smile on his face, happy to get a present from one of the most important people in his life.

I like the idea of this though, learning about Snape's life through his diary. I really think that this is going to be really interesting!

Author's Response: Yay again for originality! I love it when someone tells me that it's something they've never read before :)

WOAH. :O Like something JKR would right!? You should see my face right now. It's split into the biggest grin you can imagine. However, I'm glad that it does have my own voice and style in it too. If there's anything you want, it's to have your own niche in this big world of writers.

Oh god! I've forgotten to edit these things! The thing with challenge entries is that sometimes, I don't have too much time and I don't get enough time to go through it three-four times, as I would like to!

I'm glad you could picture it well. Characterization and visual imagery are so important to a writer. Thank you :)

Thank you so much for this lovely review :D


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Review #10, by academica Park Swings and Chaste Kisses

5th September 2013:
Hello, here from Review Tag!

Aagh, my pet peeve strikes again--don't be so hard on yourself in your author's note! It's okay to ask for feedback on parts of a chapter that you think are weak, but try to be more confident in your work and don't apologize for a "bad chapter." It makes me sad to see people decide that a chapter isn't good after they post it, because it puts a damper on me as the reader. If you're really not happy with it, don't post it. Instead, keep working at it at your own pace.

I actually liked this chapter. I thought the theme of Lily not wanting to lose Petunia felt very realistic and I liked how it was something she confided in Severus about. I really loved his statement in the last section, where he said just exactly what she needed to hear, even if his intentions were somewhat selfish. I also adored that last line, though it never came to pass :(

I may have said this last time, but I think you'd benefit from the use of a beta; I see some problems with dialogue tags and other typos that a beta could easily help you iron out. The only other thing that might improve this is to add some more transitions, to help remind us that we're reliving Snape's memories and to help improve the flow between scenes a little bit.

Otherwise, though, this is good work :)

-Amanda

Author's Response: Hi again, Amanda! I feel incredibly happy when I see your reviews. I like your honesty, and have great respect for you as a writer.

You're right about that. I tend to be overly-apprehensive about my work, and I can see how stating so this often would probably seem unappealing to some readers. I shall make sure I keep this habit of mine in check.

I'm glad you liked it. I think that she really loved his company and his insights into matters. She trusted him a lot, before he let her down. I'm glad this seemed realistic and interested you.
I felt a little sad while writing it myself. His love is so sincere, yet he will never be at the receiving end of such a beautiful emotion.

I do write things out in a hurry sometimes, and I know I tend to make far too many typos sometimes. I'm planning to edit this soon. So hopefully, I'll fix everything and add more details, like those transitions (thank you ;) ). If I can't do it for some reason, I'll definitely get in touch with a beta :)

Thanks again, Amanda! :)



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Review #11, by Calypso  Hogsmeade

30th August 2013:
Aaaand I'm here from the Gatsby Quote Challenge for the third chapter!

Ooh I like how you're already beginning to show the cracks in their relationship... how everything's maybe not-so-perfect... The part where Lily was wishing to be in Ravenclaw rather than Slytherin was particularly telling, I thought, and a good addition to the general Lily/Snape storyline.

You did a great job of bringing across Snape's jealousy of James... I liked all the water imagery you used in those opening paragraphs concerning him: "a sense of security washed over him", "a surge of pleasure every time she insulted him."
His emotions- that kind of competitive envy- were so real that I empathised with him a lot. You were great at conjuring up those complex, quite dark thoughts.

Ahhh why couldn't he have just asked her to Hogsmeade?!?! He so nearly managed it! You're really managing to highlight with this how close Sev and Lily were, and how things might easily have been different... all through this chapter I was willing Snape to make different decisions. I can totally see why he resents James!

I found Snape's conversations with Avery quite revealing, about Snape's internal conflict between Lily and his friends... You do a great a job of hinting at the build-up to war going on in these times. I reminds the reader of all the difficult matters that these teenagers are going through!
Something that I wasn't sure quite worked was the Dark Magic shop- would people really allow one to be set up, in Hogsmeade? But I suppose it does work with your plot...

Wanting to impress Lily seems like a logical motivation for Snape getting into the Dark Arts- especially as it also highlights that really he doesn't understand her at all. All the same, I can't think that that's going to end well, but I look forward to seeing what's going to happen with all this next!

Another very enjoyable chapter!

-Bethany

Author's Response: Aaaand, yay for coming back :)

I was hoping that that part would be in character. It seemed so to me, while writing it. but I obviously wanted others' view. It is quite revealing. I'm glad you liked it and saw the development :)

Haha :) I LOVE water imagery too. It's so... I don't quite know how to out it, but let's just say that when these things happen to you in RL, you can actually feel it. Physically happening to you. I guess. Thank you :)
Wow. Really? I love dark! Wasn't sure how I'd fare at it. THANK YOU so much :)

You're right. He was JUST there. The thing is, one small difference in their storylines could have changed SO much between them. things could have been so different. I'm sorry I didn't make him ask her... yet (?). read on, I'll give in more about them :)
I can see why too! James is so open and confident, and Snape is constantly second guessing himself.

There's no two ways about it, there was a war going on then. And as much as this is a Snape/Lily/James story. I do plan on keeping the backdrop Canon oriented too. I'm glad you liked that part. i found that it was a good way of getting to know the other sides to Snape's story, rather than showing every memory as conversation with just him and Lily.

I think that during the times when voldemort really was at his peak, when he was feared by every body, everything he wanted was put in place. I think I'll change the location of the shop though, because you do have a point. Another thing, is that at that time dark arts was respected, feared and revered by many.

I don't think he truly understood some aspects of her personality, but there were other things he really understood well. The thing is, maybe it was some sort of a bad boy image, or an idea to look cool. But mostly, it was his environment and the false sense of glory hiding behind the promise of being Voldemort's supporter.
Thank you so much, Bethany :) I will update as soon as I can.




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Review #12, by Calypso  Park Swings and Chaste Kisses

30th August 2013:
Hello! I'm back, reviewing for the Gatsby Quote Challenge.

Ohh it's so sad to see Snape and Lily all young and innocent! I thought that you showed the roots of their relationship really well here- including Snape's slightly malicious streak... It seems really true to what we see of them in the books.
There's this lovely atmospheric, nostalgic feel to this chapter- it almost feels like Snape is already looking back on their time together, if that makes sense! Their conversations and the images you use around them have a sort of timeless feel that I like.

Something that did strike me while reading this, is that for a diary-type piece of writing, we get very little of Snape's internal monologue. Seeing as Harry is reading with the intention of finding out more about Snape, I would have loved to have had more about how Snape felt about these events, and the bits that we did see I really enjoyed! It's always great to see things from a different character's point of view...!

There were also a couple of places where I felt that your vocabulary choice could have been better- some of your sentences didn't quite sound right: "hence they did not want it to be taken down" and "he would not refute it" were two that I noticed in particular.

You're setting up a lot of good stuff here! I liked the little moment on the platform with James. It seemed very in character for Lily to be so friendly and open and conscientious, so well done for that!

And ohmygoodness that kiss was the sweetest thing! I think you wrote it just right- it was very understated and honest, and it didn't seem to unrealistic. You managed to stay true to the fact that these kids are only twelve, and that Lily is going to be shy about doing something like that, even with someone she's known for years...

Great chapter! It was really interesting to see some of Lily and Snape's early relationship, and I look forward to seeing how these things that you've set up here will play out later!

-Bethany

Author's Response: Good to see you back, Bethany! :)

I'm glad you liked how I've written the younger versions of Snape and Lily. I kept trying to make sure that they were in character, because I am this canon loving freak :P Timeless? Wow. That is the one of the best things you could have said about that. It made me feel SO good :)

I did write this with the intention to shed more light on their time together. On their experiences. From Snape's angle, but not in first person. I get your point though, and I have been toying with the idea of writing a companion piece to this, with the diary entrees. I'll let you know about any developments on that front!
I'm glad you enjoyed what's there though :)

I'll look into that, and see if I can write it any differently to enhance the flow. But i;m not entirely sure, sorry :(

Haha :) Yes. I don't think she's have hated him from the moment she set eyes on him. It would have to build up gradually.

Haha :P I understand the whole gushi-ness :P I think the only reason she would have done something like that is because she'd known him forever and she's comfortable around him. And of course, she really likes him at this point. Other wise, like any other 1 year old, she probably would never have considered it! I'm happy that it's come off well :)

Thank you so much :) I loved your review and I will look forward to reading the third one. I shall be updating soon! Promise!


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Review #13, by Calypso  Prologue

18th August 2013:
Hello there! I'm finally here with your review from the Gatsby Quote challenge!

Ooh a Snape story! I know he gets a lot of criticism, but I think he's such a fascinating character so I look forward to seeing that explored over the course of a longer piece of writing. I can imagine that Harry might have quite conflicted feelings about him following that scene in DH and so it seems totally natural that he'd want to find out more about him...

Kudos to you for narrating from the POV of such an established character! I always find it such a challenge and you did it marvellously here. Your Harry did feel like the Harry we see in the books, with the kinds of thoughts he was having and everything...

The first scene was very atmospheric, and I loved the description of the Firewhiskey "both intriguing and repulsing him"... The bit about Albus and Rose made me smile- Rose sounds just like mini-Hermione! I liked how Albus' fears about ending up in Slytherin came directly before the story of the man who taught Harry that Slytherin isn't all bad; that was clever.

I absolutely loved your description of Harry's trek through Spinner's End! You captured it just perfectly and I could really picture it in my head, which I always like when I'm reading!
I did think that you could have spun that part out even more to build up the tension- instead of saying that Harry performed the security spells, you could show him doing them and how he feels as he does it... I don't know, it's just a thought.

Oh that photo was so sad! It was horrible to think of all the things that would happen to Snape and Lily one day when I read the description of the photo. I really liked the way you talked about Severus' smile- it seemed representative of a side of Snape that Harry never saw...
The message that Lily sent was really cute! I loved the voice you had for her- she sounds just like that in my head! haha Plus it was a rather poignant message for her to have written him...

One of the things you manage to highlight in this is just how little Harry knows about his own parents, especially his mother cos he doesn't have Sirius or someone to tell him about her... I can see exactly why he wanted to investigate the diary, but also why he had been holding off...

Ooh and I do like a good cliffhanger! Great first chapter- I look forward to reading on and finding out more...!

-Bethany

Author's Response: Bethany :) Hello. I'm so sorry that I'm so late, I would have responded earlier, but I've been quite busy.

I love Snape. I really honestly do. he's such a complex character. He's so flawed, but driven. And I love what the power of true love can make you strive to do. Snape is simply brilliant, and his love, so pure.

That is the greatest compliment you could have paid me, for this chapter. Writing Harry was by no means easy. I tried to make it realistic. thank you so much :)

Haha, thanks :) I think using Snape's story here played well with the quote I was given!
I love nextGen characters, and I was very excited to include that little bit about them too!

Well, thanks :) I tried to write that part out in a descriptive manner. I'm glad you liked it. I will consider drawing it out, and adding more detail when I edit this! thanks :)

It is horrible, after you write about them in their early years, and you're suddenly reminded of what is left for them. it's really so sad. This whole short story is centered around a side of Snape that Harry never really got to see. And Lily. OH Lily, she sounds like that in my head too :)

Thank you so much :) It's quite sad that Harry never got the chance. To some extent, Remus and Sirius give us a great sense of who they were, but they obviously focus on James.

Thank you so much, Bethany. Your challenge was pretty great :)


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Review #14, by Elphaba and Boyfriends Hogsmeade

13th August 2013:
Hi, Elphaba back again!

Building on my review of the previous chapter, I have a suggestion: include brief paragraphs at the beginnings and/or ends of chapters to show where Harry stops/starts reading, along with some kind of reaction to what he's read. I think this would enhance the flow, and it would also just be really interesting to get adult Harry's reactions to the events in Snape's diary. :)

There were a lot of great momenta in this chapter. For instance, I like the part where Lily wishes out loud that she was in Ravenclaw. The face she makes when Snape suggests Slytherin shows that she really doesn't want to live there, and is just trying to not hurt his feelings when she says, "any house without Potter." I think your characterization of her in this section is spot-on.

I also like it when Remus plays the chaperone by telling James that, "Hexing Snape isn't going to impress Lily." He seems a little bolder here than he generally is in the books, but maybe that's because Sirius isn't around to tease him. :)

I noticed a minor slip-up at the end of the first section: "They walked backed to college slowly..." I assume you meant castle, here.

In the second section, I like how you show that Snape isn't always being bullied through his conversation with Avery in Hogsmeade. I like hearing the Slytherin perspective on things: Lily is "bad news" because she's in Geyffindor, and the dark magic shop seems to fascinate Slytherins in the same way that Zonko's drew the Weasley twins. :)

I'm looking forward to seeing Snape's perspective on more of the events from their school days!

Author's Response: Hi again! :) Good to see another one from you!

The more I think about it, the more I wonder about how writing it from that perspective would be. So maybe I'll change it a bit. But that would mean a LOT of changes. So I'll probably still continue with the third person and include Harry's reactions or something. I'll think about it.

Haha, thanks :) I loved writing these smaller versions of Snape and Lily. And I love hearing that I got the characterization right! Thank you :)

I've always thought that Remus would have to be the one setting James on the right path now and then. Not that he was successful. But Remus was sort-of dutiful. So I've tried to show that too. Also, I love the Marauders. except for Peter. Had to bring them in somehow.

Oops. I didn't notice the 'college' thing. How embarrassing! I'll change that soon :P

Haha, them Slytherins! I loved writing the conversation between Avery and Snape.

Thanks again :)


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Review #15, by Elphaba and Boyfriends Park Swings and Chaste Kisses

13th August 2013:
Hello, Elphaba here! :)

I really like how you showcase the doubts that Lily expresses about their magic, and the way that Severus attempts to reassure her. Their interactions flesh out the bare bones of their story from The Prince's Tale, and also shows Snape's nicer side (even if he does mention making Petunia cry). :)

One very little thing: "Cherry Blossom trees" should just be "cherry trees." You nicely show that the trees are covered in blossoms by saying that they've bloomed and by describing the colors.

You say that you didn't enjoy writing this chapter, and that some of your ideas didn't make it on to the page. The one thing I feel is missing is a direct tie-in to the prologue. Since I imagine that Harry is reading this chapter within the pages of Snape's diary, I would like to see it formatted as diary entries with dates at the beginning of each interlude. I would also like to see it written from Severus's first person perspective, just as he would have written it.

At the end of the chapter, I would like to see Harry's immediate reaction to these diary entries. It wouldn't have to be extensive, just a little teaser to carry readers through to chapter 3.

Despite missing these elements, I really enjoyed reading about Snape's (doomed) dreams for their future. I'm moving on to chapter 3 right away to see what will happen next! :)

Author's Response: Hi Elphaba! :)

Haha, yeah. 'The Prince's Tale' helped me make it more Canon compliant (because I'm a canon-freak). I also thought that it gave me some great ideas to carry forward their story! And yes, I also wanted to show other the shades of Snape's character. However, there had to be some tendency towards evil in him. It wouldn't have sprung up suddenly :P

Thank you :) I was not aware that just Cherry Trees would also do, because it's called by different names i different places. Bit of a confusion there!

I had decided not to make it very diary entry like on purpose. For a few reasons. One of them was that I didn't want to limit this to a short diary entry about each episode. Also, I am skipping many entries, obviously. I thought the freedom was more like this. I do like the diary entry style, but I thought this would be better. maybe I'll change it when I find the time! Thanks :)

Thank you for the lovely review! I'm glad you decided to read on :)


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Review #16, by Erised Hogsmeade

9th August 2013:
Hi again Adi! *hugs*

So I'm back to review this third chapter and I can safely say that I love it just as much as the others, if not more. We're well into the storyline now and so the plot has become more developed which is awesome to see. I can also see the beginnings of future plotlines too like how Lily and James fall in love which I am so excited to read!

Honestly, you are just SO good with feelings and emotions here. As it's written from Snape's point of view and we all know what happened to him and Lily it's so lovely to see how much he cared for her and as I mentioned before how devastated he would have been when she died even though they weren't friends anymore. That really comes across in this chapter as much as the others and it is really true love for him! This line in particular made me smile - "He watched her, as a feeling of security washed over him. He loved how comfortable they were with each other." - it just gives me the warm fuzzies to see just how much Lily means to him and also how she's his one true friend. To have Lily as his ray of light in his otherwise unhappy life is something you express so well in your writing.

I also thought that the conflicted emotions that Snape has about his interest in the Dark Arts and Lily was also really well done too. It's not something we're used to seeing in canon and so I thought that him choosing to go to The Three Broomsticks rather than the Dark Arts place first was a very good way of showing where his loyalties still lie for the moment. It'll be interesting to see the change in his behaviour in future chapters! Also I liked the little bit of banter between Avery and Snape too - Avery came across as very much a Slytherin but also very much a kid too - what I mean by this is not overly evil and still interested in things like Honeydukes. I'm not sure I've explained that very well but I'm glad you didn't write them as their adult selves too much!

I think my favourite line from the entire chapter was when Lily declares that she wishes she was in Ravenclaw, and Snape asks "Why not Slytherin?". Lily's response really just speaks volumes about the tiny invisible line between their friendship and really highlighted how fundamentally different people they are. I feel that it was a tiny exchange that said a lot with very few words! Loved it!

I can't wait for the next chapter to come out Adi because I have enjoyed this story so much so far! Keep writing and AWESOME job so far! :)

Jenny :)

Author's Response: JENNY! :D
I'm so happy to see another one from you!

Your reviews make my cheeks hurt from smiling too much, but I wouldn't worry about that one bit!

The story has certainly begun to take shape here. And it where I tried to introduce James into the story properly, so that the early dynamics between the three of them show clearly.

It makes me incredibly happy to hear that you think I'm great with emotions. It's such an important part of any story and to have managed to do that well, is something that makes me both pleased and relived. Lily is Snape's everything. He would do anything in the world for her. but at this point, I think that Lily is still quite unaware of his emotions, and this is what makes their relationship so innocent. I lobe the unrelenting love that Snape feel for her. She is indeed very lucky.

I also believe that turning to the Dark Arts wouldn't have happened overnight. Snape would certainly have had the tendency from before. When and how he chooses to act on it is a completely different matter. However, no matter what, Snape would always place everything over and above Lily. And I was trying to show this in an indirect way. I wanted to make it more interpretive and symbolic, rather than just laying it out there. I'm glad you picked up on that appreciated it!

And funnily enough, I did understand what you meant by that bit about still portraying them as children! It's endearing in a way to think that they are like everyone else, in a way.

Haha! :) I sort of like that line as well. It really highlights the difference in their personalities, something I've been hinting at since the very beginning.

I know I've been promising an update, and it's lying in a folder waiting to be uploaded. but I would like to add another chapter or two before that. I'll make it as quick as I can :)
Thanks again for another amazing review! :D


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Review #17, by Erised Park Swings and Chaste Kisses

6th August 2013:
Hi again Adi, back for more!

Okay, my first reaction: OMG THE FEELS! Ughhh. You have managed to pack so much emotion in to this chapter and I just don't know whether to cry for poor Snape or go and hug Lily about Petunia! Although Snape has that covered it seems. ;)

So I'll start with Lily. I felt that you managed to capture all the conflicting emotions that Lily would have felt really well here - her excitement and nervousness about Hogwarts, feeling guilty about seeing Severus when Petunia was around, and of course underlying this the fierce loyalty that she feels towards her sister and then ensuing heartbreak at her rejection. It's a lot of things for one eleven year old to feel but with just a few lines you really put across exactly what she was feeling. I also liked how at the station she was quite civil to James rather than when most stories having them hate each other from birth or something. I think after only knowing him a year she would just find him quite annoying rather than any hatred, so that was a good idea.

Now onto Snape. Well you have me completely and utterly on his side and I wish James/Lily never happened. :P You write his young character so well and I just really feel for him. He seems so hopeful and clearly loves Lily even from that age. It makes it even more believable when the canon events happen and that Snape's life basically ends when Lily dies. It's just so sad and he is so cute that I can't help but pity him. :(

And the cute little kiss! Awww. It was just so sweet to add that little moment between the two of them and it wasn't too full on either considering they're both still young. It also managed to open up a lot of opportunity until you killed me with the line, "That was the only kiss Severus Snape ever got from Lily Evans." Why why why! It's just so heartbreaking. :(

I think you did a really good job of describing little details like the sun catching Lily's hair and with the cherrry blossoms as the setting. It really added to the whole thing and made the chapter much more realistic because you could imagine where they were. Perhaps even more description of the settings and things for instance the busy station wouldn't go amiss, but it's awesome just the way it is!

Another great chapter Adi, I can't wait to read the next! :)

Jenny

Author's Response: Jenny! I responded to this review first, today... and my response seems to have disappeared, which is quite dis-heartening. I'd gushed a lot about another amazing review. As you know, I love anything you have to say! You leave perfect reviews! :)

I'll have another go and giving you a proper reply. You deserve it.

I love it when you complement the characterization, because it is a really important part of any story, and to know that I've gotten it right is HUGE! :)

I'm really happy to hear that you think I've conveyed the multitude of emotions that Lily feels at this juncture, well. While Snape gives her the kind of understanding company that she loves and needs, she cannot derive complete pleasure from it without Petunia's approval. Having a sibling really teaches you how to look at things in these cases. I definitely think that Petunia's approval would mean a lot to Lily.

I'm a huge Jily shipper, and I must say, I don't think she feel genuine hatred for him. Just a strong degree of annoyance, which comes out when provoked. Also, this annoyance isn't something that she has from the beginning. It's something that gradually develops.

As I said, I adore Jily. I'm such a canon compliant freak! But writing it from Snape's point of view has really given me a whole new take on things. I love that you think I've written him well! :) And I completely love how you've put that bit about his life ending with Lily's death. Though it does sort of give him a purpose to go on.

Haha, I had a feeling that that line would elicit that kind of a response! But I was going for the heart-breaking feel. I'm sorry. Somethings have to be done!

Thank you so much for appreciating the imagery, setting and symbolism. And I think you have a good point with the King's Cross scene. I was planning to add in another scene in this chapter. So when I get around to editing it, I'll certainly look into that!

Thank you once again for this absolutely lovely review :D You're amazing, Jenny. And I suspect you're spoiling me!

Thanks again!


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Review #18, by Erised Prologue

3rd August 2013:
Hellooo! :)

So this is a good start to what I can tell is going to be some sort of heartbreaking, gut-wrenching kind of Severus Snape fic. I always feel so sorry for him and reading this hasn't helped! ;)

I enjoyed the prologue and how you fleshed out Harry as a character. Making him kind of contradictory - for instance with the Firewhiskey enticing him and repelling him - made him much more realistic as a character and it's also nice to see a version of Harry that isn't so straight-edge and bland. I liked the small part about Albus and Rose too - you characterised Rose as I would imagine her to be, what with the training wand (great idea) and books! Poor Albus too with his worries - I liked how you described him as sad when nobody was looking.

As for Spinner's End, I thought you did a good job of describing it and it meant that I could imagine its dilapidated state very well. I also liked that you wrote about the 'dark aura' around it even though Snape was okay in the end - it's a great reminder of the things he did as an undercover Death Eater.

The diary and Lily's letter made me smile, a lot. Plus the bit where you described the photo and how Severus was smiling out of pure happiness just made my heart go out to him! Poor Snape :( Even though he had known some hardship in his young life he had Lily, and you alluded to their close friendship very well. Also I can completely understand Harry for leaving the diary unopened for years as it's so personal - that dilemma of whether to open it or not came across very well. Lastly, I loved the last line - it just summed everything about Snape up so nicely and makes me want to read more.

One thing I would suggest is getting someone to do a quick beta of this, as I noticed a couple of uncapitalised names when there needed to be a capital and a couple of mixed up words. (I would be happy to do this if you want to PM me!) Other than this the structure and flow of the piece was very good.

Overall I think this was a very good and intriguing first start to what I'm sure is a very good story! Well done!

Author's Response: Hi there! :)

I sat and stared at the screen for five whole minutes before responding to this. I just love this review so much, and I doubt that any reply of mine could do much justice, but I'll try.

It means a lot to me that you went into every detail and dissected the story, from your angle. it makes your review so much more valuable. I'm really touched that you took the time to do that :)

When I read post-Hogwarts or NextGen, Harry's character usually isn't given any other dimension apart from humility and heroism, apart from everything that's already in the book. I've always admired JKR for how she wrote Harry. He was flawed in many ways. Never immune to jealousy or irrational bouts of anger. She made him very much human. Whenever I write about a character, the first think I look to do, is make them as realistic and believable as I can. I'm so glad that you liked how I've described him here! :)

About Rose... Well, Rose/Scorpius is possibly my favourite pairing, so I've written a lot about Rose Weasley. And I've often thought of her like this. It's always seemed as if she, like her mother, would try to learn as much as she possibly could about Hogwarts and magic before actually getting there.

Al's fears are something that, like any other child of his age, he probably wishes to hide. However, as the time to leave draws nearer, I believe that his thoughts about the sorting are more and more frequent. Hence, the lonely, sad moments.

This chapter was very heavy, for me to write, because it took a lot of my focused attention. I was trying to think of how Spinner's End would be, and I kept trying to visualize whatever I was writing at each stage. I'm happy that you think I've done a good job describing the place. Snape did go to the moon and back for Lily, and eventually Harry, and I think Spinner's End is very symbolic of a lot of things, including his inherent darkness.

Snape feels very unfulfilled at times. I sometimes think, that if there ever was a time where he was truly and genuinely happy, it'd have to be when he had Lily. I feel quite sorry for him too, actually :( After everything he went through. Every time I open the book, and go back to that chapter, I feel myself tearing up. Especially at the- 'Always.'

I know that there are some errors. I will probably go through it once and try to fix it up, if I ever need any help, I'll be sure to shoot a PM your way!

Your review has made my day... No, my week. Thank you SO much :) I really REALLY appreciate it ♥



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Review #19, by magnolia_magic Park Swings and Chaste Kisses

1st August 2013:
Hi! Here from review tag!

This a very interesting way to tell Snape's story, I think. I really liked your first chapter, where you set up the diary and how fascinated Harry is with Snape's life. I just wonder how this will all connect to Albus (as I assume it will, since the story is called Dear Al.) I can't wait to find out!

I like your portrayal of Snape and Lily as children. You've done a good job with their interactions. Lily is clearly a happy person with a bright disposition, but she's sad about the growing rift between her and Petunia. That, in particular, came out really well in this chapter. And Snape is a little calculating and devious even now, as he plans his future with Lily. But his devotion to her is so sweet that I have to like him :) Good job with them!

I thought the flow of this was good overall. The switch from the summer before their first year to the beginning of their second did seem a little abrupt, though. Maybe a scene about their first year at Hogwarts would help bridge that gap. A Sorting scene, perhaps? I always love those, but you'd have so much room to be creative there :)

I enjoyed this! I think this story has great potential (and I always love a good Snily), so I do hope you update soon! Keep up the good work!

--Maggie

Author's Response: Hi there :)
Yes, you would be right. The story isn't called 'Deal Al' for nothing!
i'm glad you liked the portrayal. It was something I was worried about because I really wanted to make sure I got it right. I wanted to make sure it was believable. Having a sibling myself, I'm aware of how you end up being close to them and like sharing things with them. You may not have a deep relationship, but whatever you do share is usually special. So, I do believe that Petunia's disapproval would have broken Lily more than we can know.
I'm glad that it flows well. Thinking back, I guess it is sort of sudden. I'll make sure I add a scene or two in there. I too love sorting scenes!
Thanks for the review :)


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Review #20, by lovethepotters Hogsmeade

31st July 2013:
I was slightly disappointed reading this chapter because I knew there wasn't another chapter waiting for me (hint hint, update soon) :P

YAY JAMES IS HERE! *jumps around* sorry, I might have a slightly unhealthy James Potter obsession haha! I'm glad to see he made his first appearance in this chapter! Trust him to interrupt Lily's moments with Snape though, poor poor Severus :P

Just a quick question: during what year does the Hogsmeade incident occur? I'm guessing Snape's attempt to ask Lily out occurs in fifth year! Just curious :)

As usual, a few minor grammatical mistakes but they can be fixed in a jiffy! Can't wait to read the next chapter! :D

Author's Response: Haha, aww. I should apologize about that. I have somethings written out, and I've been meaning to update this story, but I've been so pressed for time, it's crazy!

Haha! I understand you. I have spent so much time gushing over James Potter myself :P I'm glad you're happy! And yes, something had to be done, after all, it is James we're talking about!

This happens in the third year. He's trying to ask her, but hasn't worked up the confidence yet.

Thanks, once again :) I'll make sure I update this soon!


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Review #21, by lovethepotters Park Swings and Chaste Kisses

31st July 2013:
I'm back! Sorry, I hope I don't bore you with this review!

First of all, I don't know why you are apologising for this chapter. I really liked it - short, sweet and directly to the point :) I think the three little vignettes of Snape and Lily as children are so believable, I could literally see all the events playing out in my head, so kudos to you! I think you've done a brilliant job with the imagery in this chapter (if you haven't guessed already haha)

I love the contrasts you establish between Snape and Lily from such a young age! You've subtly hinted at Snape's Death Eater tendencies with the line: "Don't worry, when we learn how to do some serious magic, we can make her cry". I really enjoyed that, in a completely non-sadistic way of course :P

I also love how you've subtly used the details JKR has given us about Snape and Lily as kids - Snape of course, being the poor, impoverished, unloved child while Lily seemed to radiate happiness wherever she went. I think you've done a really good job at conveying it here :)

There are a few mistakes regarding grammar and tenses, so you might want to look over this chapter again when you re-edit it. Now I'm off to read the next chapter, sorry for boring you with this stupendously long review!

Author's Response: You never quite bore me with the reviews. I feel a little elated when I see that you've reviewed one of my stories, actually :)

Phew. I'm glad you think it's believable. It was my main worry. What you've said, is a HUGE compliment. Thank you :) And I'm glad you appreciated the imagery!

And yes! I always believed that there had to be tendencies from the start. I don't think he'd have just hopped out of bed one day, and decided that he would like to follow Voldemort. Also, Lily and Snape seem like opposing ends of the pole. Yet, there is something sweet about the admiration that Snape holds for Lily. I would never see her with anyone but James, I guess. But my heart does go out to Snape sometimes.

And yess! I love JKR, and everything she's written. She's dropped off so many little tidbits that we can use for our stories, actually. And canon-y details all the way! 'Tis JKR's word. I wouldn't go against it!

Don't worry about boring me. You don't :P
Again, I loved your review.
Thanks a bunch! You've made me a happy girl! :D


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Review #22, by lovethepotters Prologue

31st July 2013:
Argh! My apologies in advance - I actually read this story about a week ago but didn't get around to reviewing! I thought I'd do so now, hope you don't mind :) I remember the first thing I saw when seeing this was JILY and then I thought, "YES I have to read this, especially since you wrote it!" :)

I really love the concept of this story - it's so unique. I'd never given much thought to how Harry would react if he visited Spinner's End but after reading your version of events, I think it's quite realistic. Just one little quibble - I was surprised at how quickly Harry managed to find Snape's diary! I thought it would have been well concealed (considering he would have had to hide it from Voldy and the Death Eaters in case of unexpected house calls) but I'll happily go along with what you've written :)

You have a few minor grammatical mistakes but they're nothing a quick chapter revision won't fix! Thanks for this lovely story - can't wait to see where it goes!

Author's Response: Hi there! It's you again :D
*jumps up and down*
Don't worry about that! I'm super happy that you did decide to swing back and drop in a review... or three. Made my day, they did.
I have been on such a Jily kick, as I told you. I think they're amazing together.

And 'Since I wrote it'?! *blush*
Why,thank you!

I'm glad you liked the idea behind the story. It struck me one day, and I just had to writer about, especially since I was doing a challenge that gave me a chance to. I never realized how easy I'd made it for Harry to find it, actually. Till a couple of reviews pointed it out. I'm glad 'you'll go with it' tough :) Makes it easier :P

I really need to read through things and fix up these tiny errors. Capitalization, I think. I'll go through it.

Thanks :)


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Review #23, by joy9494 Prologue

30th July 2013:
This was fantastic, I usually stay far away from next Generation Fiction because to me it's all the same, but I really like what you've done here. Harry feels really believable it's almost scary to catch such an older version, like I said I stay away from Next Generation, and I love the idea of him going back and reading Snape's Diary. I also really like how you've made this too, about Albus and his fear of being sorted in to Slytherin. Harry went most of his life thinking that Slytherins were just generally bad and then we learn about Snape's true alliance and it kind of flips everything around. I don't see enough stories focusing on Harry's perception after he discovers that Snape had saved his life, and that he was in love with Lily. I think you have a very believable and fascinating start here. I usually try to be more critical when I review but really I don't see anything that needs improving.

Author's Response: Hey there :)
Thank you so much for this lovely review :D
You've said such nice things, I just want to get over there and give you a hug! I'm glad you liked the idea, and how I've portrayed the characters. I too believe that we don't have enough stories which look at the Harry-Snape dynamic after Harry finds out the truth.
This review has made me so SO happy. Thanks a bunch! :)


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Review #24, by GingeredTea Prologue

15th July 2013:
This is a really terrific story. The first couple paragraphs were a bit hard to get into (not sure why, might just have been my mood), but just a tiny bit further in it really grabbed me!

I do kinda feel like Severus wouldn't have left a book like that out in the open (wouldn't it have been easy to find it if hadn't been covered in dust) when he did have Death Eaters going in and out during his life. But for the sake of my interest in the story I'll assume that it was disguised and when he died the magic around it died as well (like Lily's fish in a bowl with Slughorn).

Anyways, wonderful writing and pretty good flow. Can't wait to catch you in the review tag again and read more! :)

Thanks for the great read!

Author's Response: Hello there :)
Thanks for reviewing.

Terrific? Wow. It makes me feel really good. Maybe this is a story which takes a little bit of settling into, but I'm glad you liked it after reading on!

And that's an interesting point of view. It didn't occur to me that maybe he might have transfigured it. It did cross my mind that it wouldn't be easy to find, which is why I wrote it so that it took Harry some time to find. Plus, it was coated in dust. But you've put across a really interesting point!

Thanks for this :)
I hope we can hear from each other more :)
I'm glad you liked this!


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Review #25, by academica Prologue

15th July 2013:
Hello, here from Review Tag :)

This is a cool idea for a story. I love the thought of Harry being intrigued by the man he thought he knew so well but really of whom he barely scratched the surface. I can imagine the wheels in his head turning and him being interested in learning more, if only for the chance to try to understand his mother more. It was also neat how Albus's fear of being sorted into Slytherin caused him to reconsider his idea of perusing the diary.

This is a good start, and I hope to come back and read more soon. I think I'll favorite this so I remember. Oh, and on a personal note, I think it's much better to let your muse roam free than to restrict yourself to writing only one type of story, so kudos to you for being willing to try something new :)

Great work!

-Amanda

Author's Response: Hey there, Amanda! :)
Thanks for the lovely compliments :)

I too feel that Harry would have been interested to find out more about Snape after the war, as everything he had known up until that point had been beautifully put up by Snape himself, to save Harry's life. It seems like a very Harry kinda thing to do. I was just thinking that he would have waited till the right moment to open the diary. And Albus' fears may have given him the opportunity.

And yes, after writing this, I did feel like writing about other pairings too would be a good idea. It's quite nice, not being bound or restricted. I've written Teddy/Victoire too, after this.

Anyway, thanks for the great review and favourite! ^_^


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