It's been a long time since I've had the opportunity to read this amazing story. However, from the very first sentence, I completely immersed myself in this wonderful world of yours. Incredibly tight, concise writing, perfect characters, just what the doctor had prescribed.
The teachers: Minerva, Flitwick, Binns, Sprout... a tad bit younger (well, except Flitwick and Binns), but immediately recognizable. In fact I think your book should be made into a movie under the title "Harry Potter - The years before", so close you are to the JKR universe.
I liked the picture of the Slytherin dorm you painted for us; under the lake, the window making it into a big aquarium. A nice flashback to the first movie is the scene with the Vingardium Leviosa spell. That's when I fell in love with bookworm-Hermione.
I will try to catch up with your next chapters as well, hopefully, this week. I hope you will update soon.
Thank you so much for this wonderful review. I'm sorry it took me so long to respond. I don't check Gluttony as often as HPFF (mea culpa), and, then, my laptop at home was misbehaving and not processing my last two attempts.
JKR's characters are so wonderful to play with, aren't they? I thought that, during the Marauder years, the role of class Brainiac would be divided. James is obviously very gifted in Transfiguration (he's got the wand), whereas Lily blows everybody out of the water in Charms (a charm-favoring wand chose her, after all). Severus excels in DADA, while he and Lily battle it out for supremacy in Potions. Sirius is as talented as James but he's far less stable (Like Snape, he had a looney-tune for a mother.) Lupin is all-around competent and can give anyone a run for their money. Peter is not quite as gifted as his friends, and is perhaps a bit slow to catch on, but he will get there. (I see him eventually being of about the same level of ability as other Slytherin boys, like Avery and Mulciber. After all, being able to master self-transfiguration, without the benefit of an instructor, is quite an accomplishment.)
Thank you again. I will try to update after NANO is over.
Another great chapter, well worth the wait. There is, as usual, so much good stuff in here that I don't know where to start. I loved the nicknames of "Black Hole" and "Dotter". Perfect! I feel even more sorry for Rodulphus, too, wondering what's wrong with him and why he's so sick. As always, excellent characterization and all the touches that remind us of where we are.
This is the first review I have received on this chapter. It means a lot. (It was up at HPFF for a while, but I had to wait to post at Gluttony, as it was down until recently.) I can't tell you how much I appreciate your encouragement. The next chapter should be up relatively soon. (And I hope I'm not jinxing it by making that prediction!) Best regards, Bella.
This was so full of good stuff that I'm not even sure where to begin. Miss Artemis Chambers has to be Luna's mom! I've not done any research into the canon characters you've mentioned here, like Rodulphus, but I can't help but feel sorry for him. He certainly comes across as abused. It's very well done how you present the character of Justinius - at first glance, one hates him. I suspect there's much more to this, however. These last 2 chapters just have me hooked in all over again! I am also wondering how long it's going to take for the Slytherins to notice that Severus needs a bath, and how they'll react to it.
The only problem noticed was a few typos of 'Rabastan' and 'Rabastian". Other than that, anxiously waiting for more.
I so appreciate your comments. I wanted to get these chapters up, so I didn't have another pair of eyes proofread them. As a result, I'm still correcting mistakes and making minor rewrites (with the result that the chapters in Gluttony and HPFF won't be absolutely identical -- can't be helped.)
Once I got into it, it was kind of fun inserting younger versions of canon characters into the story. Artemis, of course, is her Luna daughter one generation removed. (In my student chart, I have Xenophilius also in Ravenclaw, a couple of years ahead of her. I'm thinking of making him the editor of a student paper.) I named Artemis after the hyper-intelligent barmaid, Diane Chambers, in the TV show "Cheers."
All we really know about the Lestrange brothers is that they were at school the same time as Snape, they hung with him, and Rodolphus married Bella. Bellatrix was about 10 years older than Snape, so she must have been 5 to 10 years older than her husband. It would've been a marriage of convenience, since she was in love with somebody else. I thought it would be interesting to write Rodolphus as kind of a victim, a young and rather passive individual who never had a chance at a life. I thought I'd have him being friends with Snape and Lucy, and even with Lily and Mary, because they're nice to him and because he feels so inferior that he's intimidated by members of his own class, even underachievers like Elvira and Vanessa.
Best regards, Bella.
I don't know how I missed this one!
Great read, as always. The capture of the kids, with the perfect mix of eleven-year-old-flaws, is very realistic. Reading this almost feels like watching scenes from the first film again. So very well done, and not too long and not too short. Wonderful job!
I just posted it. Thank you so much. I'm really sorry it took me so long to get it up. I have a little vacation from work, so I'm trying, among other things, to get some "update" material edited and posted.
I have tried repeatedly to answer your review at HPFF, which I so much appreciate, but for some reason the website won't let me input. Please know how much I appreciate your kind words and your encouragement.
A long wait but worth it, a good start to the year for our favorite Potions Master (as a kid).
Thank you so much. (At least, I am only responding 3 months after the fact.) I had written a lot of material in the intervening months, but I had not had a chance to edit it into chapters. When you read this, more chapters will have been posted.
Thanks again for your comments and your interest.
Great story, I do hope to see more chapters added soon.
My goodness, have I had this chapter up since November? It is now April 2011; two new chapters are up with (I hope) at least one more coming shortly. Thank you again for your wonderful encouragement. Bella
WOW talk about a disfunctional family, kinda makes you feel sorry for Snape and wish he could do something to his father.
I am really enjoying your story, very good.
I do have plans for his father, down the road. Thank you, thank you for your kind comments. Bella.
No wonder Snape was so mean, with parents like his its no wonder why he was like he was.
Thanks, good story
I figured JKR dropped clues that poor Snape came from a pretty unhappy home. His background created a pretty mean adult, but one who was, nonetheless, morally intact. Again, I am so sorry I took so long to respond. Bella.
My friend told me to read this story, he was so right.
How sad I feel for Snape, the guy we love to hate, you have truly gotten into his mind and soul. I can't wait to read more.
Thanks for the start of what is to be a great story,
Thank you so much. I am so sorry it took me so long to respond. I had not updated in so long, I didn't realize anyone was reading the story. I really appreciate your comments. I have updated (finally, after about 18 months), as of this writing. Thank you again. Bella.
This first day is something that Severus will remember all his life. A complete change in his life, a whole new world opening up for him. And, he will belong. He will have friends, he will have the chance to excel and mean something. I can feel his excitement.
I'm glad you returned to the story and will be continuing it. I don't think I will be mistaken if I say it's not only me who is looking forward to it.
An amazing story from an exceptional writer. Full stop.
I hope the Beatles diversion was not too distracting. As I mentioned, I was thinking of abandoning musical references altogether and calling the chapter "Lucy Miller," after the OC, but then I thought of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." I wanted a counterpoint to all the snooty purebloods, so I made a plebian Slytherin who couldn't care less about being in Slytherin or about what the other Slytherins think.
It's a challenge to get back into the groove, but I'm trying. Thank you SO much for reviewing and for your kind remarks.
For this chapter you chose a song that's relatively unknown. Even I had to look it up and play it once or twice before it clicked into its place.
It was a long chapter, but it server its purpose perfectly. After having received his letter, days and weeks must have passed in a whirlwind for Severus, and so is this chapter built up from short fragments, replacing each other in rapid succession.
It was really nice to see that you and I think the same way about Petunia's attitude towards her sister (Chapter 2: Envy of Seven Deadly Sins).
Furthermore, the sorting. Everybody was there. Sirius, who managed not to be sorted into Slytherin. The fathers and mothers of those who would be Slytherin in Harry's time. It's only Marcella Longbottom that doesn't ring a bell. Neville's Gran, Augusta, was a Slytherin, but 'by the time this story takes place it's her son, Frank, who's in Hogwarts.
And finally, the scene in the library. Something has ended. Definitely and irrevocably. I'm not sure whether Bronwen would see young Severus one more time, but she's done a lot of good for him. Little does she know what dangerous journey he'd just embarked.
Bravo. It's just... bravo.
I bought the boxed set of Sabbath with Ozzy a while back, so I have a whole collection of songs, including some very obscure ones, to choose from.
Marcella Longbottom was actually an original character. I noticed there was at least one Longbottom on the Black family tree, so I figured there were a variety of temperments within the pureblood Longbottom family. I actually figured Gran would have been a Gryffindor and a generation before, and I though Neville's parents might be here but a couple to several years ahead and in Gryffindor. Marcella is the smartass Longbottom with a rather nasty disposition, hence, Slytherin.
I was actually going to include a bit about a Muggle friend of Petunia's with whom Petunia was inseparable until this girl committed the unforgivable crime of getting accepted (like Billy Elliott) to the Royal Ballet School, after which Petunia treated her like she died. I cut this bit, mainly for length. However, it would have driving home the point that if you aren't mediocre, you cannot exist in Petuniaworld.
Thanks so much.
Ohhh, I can't believe I've been missiong out on THREE chapters!
Anyway, I'd love to see at least ONE man/woman who never played air guitar, tuning up volume to the max, while listening to this song. Everybody, even the non-rock music fan, seems to know exactly whose song this is. Simply amazing.
I'm also of the opinion that this song matches the closest the chapter that had been written around it. I won't ever be able to listen to it again without seeing before my eyes that eleven-year old boy in his oversized, saggy clothes watching Lily from behind the bushes or pacing that hopeless little town under pouring rain.
Little did they know that this event, Severus and Lily seeing each other for the first time, would mark the two with a black stamp, and define the fate of the Wizarding world for years and years to come. It's such an innocent scene, yet, the breath of the impending disaster (Thanks Bruce Dickinson) has already touched them. And, their fates are sealed as Lily catches up with Severus, demanding his explanation.
Bravo. My heart's bouncing in my chest. I need to take a crash dive into the next chapter.
Yes, I love this sone and those chords. Actually, I'm quite sure it's from the original Sabbath, so thanks are probably to Tony Iommi, Ozzy, and perhaps, Geezer Butler. Though I'm sure Dickinson must have covered it.
I could have sworn you reviewed this on HPFF a year or more ago when I posted it, but that in no way diminishes my appreciation for this review. Thank you and thank you.
You're welcome. I know the feeling of posting, then the disappointment of not getting a review. I've often wondered, where are the comments from those that insisted that "we" go on in a story? Real life does get in the way, yes! I know that feeling well, too. That's my problem on getting new chapters out. Sometimes I feel like posting the outline and saying "use your imagination!" hehehe
Still, the character of Firstie!Snape here just tugs at me. It changes one's whole view of Professor Snape in canon. I think our Lily here sees this as well, but of course, the boy is bound is reject anything that anyone offers. We can see that coming, and you capture very well this attitude that is often prevalent in real life.
By all means, continue! I will be reading it, for one.
Thank you so much. I had an idea of Rodolphus Lestrange as kind of a weak, rather shy kid who was prone to be bullied and dominated by others and, ultimately, by a much older, much more aggressive wife. I'll see how that works out. Thanks again for your comments.
Worth the wait, as always. Once again, we get a great look at how Severus doesn't seem to fit it. Anticipation of his coming humiliations builds up, but is then tempered by his meeting with Lily. The intro of Peter here was excellent - his ratlike character already showing through. I get the feeling that the meeting didn't go as Sev would have wanted it to? Once again, I'm feeling so sorry for the boy, just as I have in every chapter. What an insight, deserving of canon, into his character!
I can't tell you how grateful I am for the review. After all this time, I wasn't sure if anyone remembered the story. I wrote first drafts of the first few segments, in which I introduced a few new characters, close to a year ago. However, with the intensity of real life (aka work), I never got around to finalizing them.
I wanted to do a "take" on Snape's contemporaries at that time in their lives. Thank you so much for your kind comments.
This was the first song I'd learned to play on the guitar, somewhere back in time, 20 years ago. I couldn't have imagined a more perfect song for this chapter, even if it's only three years younger than me :) A perfect background for a child's "alienation".
The moment everybody was waiting for. First contact between Severus and Lily, a complete disaster, then the second one, which will lead us to the events already known. Lily's intrigued, she assumes Severus might know the answer to her questions on all those "events" happening to her. The sudden change in tenses at this point is a very powerful element! Why did you change back to Past tense in the last sentence, by the way? Was it at all intentional?
Rock steady and highly enjoyable. Always holding my breath back while reading.
As I so often do, I accidentally posted this reply as a new review instead of as a reply. Oops.
You will see the neighbor boy again. I put him in this chapter because he will be important later, and I wanted to introduce him fairly early.
I meant the "killing curse" to be sort of an analog to a kid grabbing a gun and pointing it at his father under similar circumstances, the difference being that his father neither saw it coming nor recognized, after the fact, what just almost happened. Severus didn't really miss. The curse too a second to emerge, which it did slowly because he'd never done it before and because he was a child. The extra second gave Eileen time to push her husband out of the way. If she hadn't done so, the curse would have killed him. (Like he intended to pull the trigger but he had a lot of trouble squeezing it, due to being young and lacking strength; but his aim was true.)
Thank you so much for your review.
Thanks so much. Sorry it was so long in coming. I thought Lily must have occupied Snape's fantasy life, so I wanted to show some of that. As for Petunia, I thought she was one of those little girls who grew up thinking she got life's short stick.
As to your suggestion about the closed Chemist's Shoppe -- you know, I was imagining the place being like a drugstore, selling sundries and magazines as well as operating a pharmacy. So I didn't think it would be closed. I figured shop assistants would keep the place open to sell over-the-counter items even though the boss was on vacation. They just wouldn't be able to fill prescriptions.
That said, the scene you suggest probably would have been a better choice from the standpoint of creating tension and character development.
It's a somewhat slower-paced chapter than usual, mainly because Severus can not find either the guts or simply a good possibility to speak to Lily. He feels the urge to do so, partly because he's happy he's not the only "weirdo", partly because he understands Lily would be relieved to learn she's not alone with her "oddities". He imagines the ways how he could walk up to her and engage in a talk, he prepares diverse speeches for this occasion.
Soon, this would turn into a sort obsession when he would tail Lily or watch her house for days, weeks in a row.
This is an incredibly well written piece, showing us the development of who would in due time be one of the most powerful wizards of his age, following him through the stormy events of his life, until the bitter end. I applaud you for your amazing writing skills.
Furthermore, this story is one of three all-time favourite fanfics I've EVER read.
Reading your second review of this chapter reminded me to check and see whether I'd fixed that sentence fragment in the Gluttony posting. I hadn't. I have now. It now reads, "When a weekend had passed and the family had still not returned, Severus felt the beginning of panic." If this is one of your three favorite fanfic, I am completely thrilled, because I have great respect for your writing. Best regards, Bella.
I think that's a common fantasy of children in dismal straits, to dream of the day when they'll be powerful enough to change it and make the responsible people pay. I figure he must have been a really smart kid -- he was annotating his textbook with his own improvements and spells. But we know he had a dark imagination, also. Poor Severus, indeed. Since he did manage to grow up pretty much intact -- basically empathetic and moral, with a conscience -- I thought he needed a supportive adult in his life. Hence, the librarian.
Thank you very much for reviewing.
I figured he first saw Lily being a witch in very ordinary circumstances that would have gone unnoticed by everyone else. He finally sees someone like himself, who can be his friend. He's never seen a child like himself before. This chapter went through several rewrites, one of the reasons being that I did not know what to do with Bronwen. Thank you so very much for your wonderful reviews.
I look forward to your reviews. I'm sorry it took so long to get this chapter posted here at Gluttony. As to the law enforcement stuff -- being an American, I had to do some research on the British titles and police-station arrangments.
Thank you so much for your comments.
What a wonderful review! I drew from my own memories of being a child coming to worship at the blessed shrine of the library -- the huge peculiar checkout desk, the walls of card catalogues, and the many stacks of books. When I was a kid, a library was my favorite place to be.
I appreciate your comment on the chapter image. I thought it was great, and I will pass it on. Unfortunately, my relative unfamiliarity with Gluttony caused me to leave out the title, which is "Children Start to March."
No, there is no parricide in Severus's future, although he will have a very close call. I have a different fate in mind for Tobias, one that will give him ample time to reflect on his sins.
Thank you again, so much, for your review.