Re: Another Brilliant Work!
Thank you, thank you, and thank you again! What a marvelous comment. I'm so pleased you enjoyed the central conceit! The main problem at first was in narrowing down all the possibilities; there's so much Lily could have focused on, and it was tempting to take her beyond the orbit of Harry and Snape's "courtship." But the fic would have started sprawling all over the place, and I was initially worried anyway that it would leave a Lily-centric impression, with not enough Snarry to satisfy the intended readership. I think I overcame that objection, but it meant I had to be strict in hewing to the parallel storylines. Well, with the more loving description lavished upon the Snarry side of things, of course.
The last scene with Severus at the swings was always fairly clear in my mind - not the dialogue so much as the sharp, regretful flavor I wanted it to have. Because this is a reprise of their parting. It's a farewell, with Lily seeming to renounce and abandon Snape yet again, while in fact gambling on the hope that she's making the right decision for his sake. I wanted it to hurt, because the first time she rejects him, he's devastated, while I always got the sense that she was merely indignant. If she was upset about losing a friend, canon doesn't show it. I wanted her to feel the loss this time, but to renounce him for the right reasons. Well, as right as they could be with all the tangled emotions involved.
Oh, baby!Tom! One of my pettiest of pet peeves! Although I do believe I've finally laid my irritation to rest.
I love Snape the bitter, sarcastic arsehole, but when I write him I want to humanize him and put all that immaturity and mordant intelligence in context. Also, frankly, I find it fascinating that JKR, for all that she professes to dislike Snape, gave us a more detailed expression of his powers and accomplishments than almost anyone else in the books: potions, logic puzzles, formal dueling, legilimency and occlumency, spell creation (as a teenager! so he was a prodigy), sufficient acting ability to survive as a double agent, enough knowledge of the Dark Arts to be the obvious choice of DADA instructor, wordless spellcasting, terrible courage, and last but not least, the ability to fly. I may be forgetting something, but you get my drift. It adds up to a wizard of enormous power.
it's kind of like me and the way I am about reading Snarry! Hah, I promise you, I was very conscious of the meta level I was flirting with by allowing Lily to embrace the wonders of Snarry. It's almost as if the fic was devised to convert her into a fangirl.
Albus. *harrumphs* He's a fascinating character, and I'm firmly in the camp of those who consider him a scheming, Machiavellian bastard - Great without necessarily being Good. Someday I'd like to write a fic that explores his relationship with Severus in greater detail, because he was clearly the dominant personality, and he exploited Snape without mercy.
I'm delighted you caught the emotional intent in the scene where Snape finally tells Harry that he actually died that day in the Shrieking Shack. I wanted the reader to understand the implication that Harry didn't know because Snape had never told him, and that there's a reason why he's telling him now, after all this time.
My apologies for taking two weeks to respond to this delicious feedback - life's been running me ragged. But your comment made me dance with joy. Thank you again, especially for so acutely singling out some of the moments in the fic that meant the most to me. :)