This is simply amazing. Wow, what a great read! The pacing, the style, the prose, the banter-- aces, all.
I loved the bit about Minerva's mum telling her faeries slept on beds of heather-- the image of little Minerva and all that lovely whimsy made a great counterpoint to this.
"Alone at last," she says. She takes Minerva's hand because she wants to, because she doesn't want to lose herself in her own maudlin thoughts, and because there were never so many stars near London as there are in this sky tonight. I love this line oh so much. And also the bit about stars at the end-- all very circular, I think.
Augusta and Minerva have such a fascinating relationship and I just love their banter. Minerva's jokes and stalwart loyalty to her chosen few, Augusta's acerbic barbs, irritation at silliness getting in the way when there's things of import to be done, and how she's so soft and worried for her own dearest ones-- I love that about her.
Young Severus breaks my heart here; he's glorious. His pain and fear, his cockiness and cleverness, his acid wit and sharp edges. What a perfect portrayal of this very mixed up boy/man. I delighted in his genius and portable cauldron and how he vertitably glowed under Amelia's warm attention. And Amelia-- I just love her take charge attitude and how she also needs a friend/lover here and the hints about her own lonely life and personal pains.
Also the part where Minerva and Severus are snacking back and forth about her optimism making his head hurt and such-- love! What a great prelude to their very interesting relationship to come as they spend so many years working together and having their rivalries and such. I enjoyed that bit.
This was an absolute delight to read, every word. Thank you for sharing this one!