Re: Thank you!
Just when I think I've conquered my procrastinatory habits, I fail again. But here I am at last, and I'm delighted, in a wicked way, that the opening sequence both repelled and reeled you in. The first sentence of the fic is the first sentence I wrote for it, and it didn't change despite my not entirely knowing what I was getting myself into, which is almost unheard-of for me (the intact first line, I mean, not the lack of preparation). But I knew right off the bat that it threw open the door and waved a warning flag announcing what I intended to do, and I felt a certain amount of unholy glee about that. I still do.
Ironically, I'm not fond of the Marauders myself, and I've always been irritable around Lily's character. She doesn't sit well with me in canon. Mostly because I think JKR made the mistake of assuming that her readers would automatically see Lily the way she does, and so underwrote her. And I'm not generally inspired by themes of incest, but it was an inevitable side-effect of Lily's fascination with Harry's life and Snape's entanglement in his possible future. Also, it works in reverse, in a slanted sort of way - if you put Severus and Harry together, then Lily's ghost and Severus's fealty to her memory introduces a strange vibe of infidelity. I actually enjoyed playing with the charge among the three of them - such a messy history! And giving the voyeuristic position to the mother, the betrayed friend, the girl who carries with her a missing piece to the secret of Severus's soul, enabled me to put Lily in the hot seat, as it were, and judge her choices and reactions. I worked out what I thought of her - or rather, what I wanted to think of her - only as I wrote it, in other words.
Ah, that baby. I don't think one gets to raise the question of souls and then not deal with him/it. He's unavoidably creepy and unavoidably pathetic. The question of evil - or whatever it is baby!Voldie represents - isn't laid to rest by the mere existence of an afterlife. Same with the question of redemption. Which is why it mattered to me that Lily, who gives Snape back his life, should be the one to risk protecting her erstwhile murderer. Perhaps even Tom Riddle deserves a second chance. Or perhaps Lily's blind to what she's risking. But the ambiguity needed to be present, even if never resolved.
It gives me a huge glow of pleasure when people say they love the relationship between Harry and Severus, with an emphasis on words like intense and imperfect. Because that intensity and imperfection are what keep me in thrall to this pairing, and I struggle (sometimes at enormous length, heh) to brainwash persuade readers to my point of view. Plus, of course, it gives me a good reason to wallow in describing them together, something I apparently never tire of doing.
Thank you for praising both the writing and my attempt to interweave ideas into an aesthetic whole. Now that some time has elapsed, I'm less fussed by the weak spots and happier with the parts that ring true. And utterly delighted that people are still reading it. :)