I finally got around to reading this and...I don't even know what to say. This was simply *glorious* and had me entranced in a way that no HP fic has managed to in ages.
I don't think I can adequately convey how impressed I am by your style, except to say this: while I appreciate atmospheric and stylistic writing on an aesthetic level, it usually has the side effect of blunting the emotional impact for me as a reader. Your writing is one of the few examples I've encountered where immediacy is not sacrificed for lyricism. Emotionally, this fic had me in its grip from the moment I started reading, and will stayed with me long after I read it (actually read it two days ago, but since I finished reading it at about 7AM, I thought I'd spare you my sleep-deprived ramblings).
I love how you took a seemingly cracktastic premise and turned it into a masterpiece. Your Snape is so canonical it's almost scary: all bitterness, and sharp edges, and nearly impossible to love (well, for the characters around him; as a reader, it's a whole other story), and just *painfully* right. Harry seemed to have jumped straight out of the book's pages, yet still managed to achieve a certain *growth* and three-dimensionality he never quite got to in canon. I could use this fic as an example of exactly *why* I adore Snarry-because it's never easy, or healthy, or balanced, but at the same right it seems almost unavoidable on some visceral level. And did I mention the sex was hot? It seems almost shallow to focus on that in a piece of such literary merit but...damn it, it WAS.
But more than the *superb* Snape/Harry dynamic, which I kind of expected from you, I was surprised at how much this story made Lily real to me. It was like an unflinching, unforgiving light was shone on her character, on her flaws and weakness, mean streak and superficiality, on her both emotionally selfish and oddly sweet relationship with Severus (to say nothing on the complexity of her feelings for his adult version), and even as I despaired from her immaturity and myopic insistence that Harry get his 'right' future (perhaps understandably, giving all that she knows of Severus), I found myself, almost without realising it, falling a little bit in love with her character? How did this happen? I can safely say your Lily has forever become the 'true' Lily in my own personal canon, and I'm finally able to use this icon for reasons other than I like teh pretty fanart.
I truly appreciated the touches of humour in an otherwise emotionally draining (and I do mean this as a compliment) fic. I'd attempt to go back and quote my favourite funny lines, but then I'd end up rereading the whole thing, and I do need to leave the house soon! ;-)
And I just have to mention how much I loved all the secondary characters and little details: I find the image of Albus and Gelert working things out in the afterlife oddly heart-warming, and Lily taking in disfigured!baby Voldemort was, while INCREDIBLY DISTURBING, inspired. And thank you for giving us THIS ending, even though I was unsure, until the last few paragraphs, of whether Lily would make that choice. The alternative would have probably left me an emotional wreck.