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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2007 :  10:59:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great chapter and ending Theo. You pulled everything together nicely and concluded Snape's storyline in a way I would like it to be but don't think could happen in canon.

I have one suggestion to make, if I may be so bold.
After reading chapter 30 and jumping into 31, it seems the action/climax comes very quickly and the suspense ends abruptly. Perhaps the insertion of a Daily Prophet account of the DPS attack on an innocent student outing in Cornwall would be of help. Firstly, it would slow the pace (that crest of the roller coaster before going over) and extend the suspense as to whether Snape survived. Harry's sense of suspense is different from the readers'. We need a little more time to truly worry and then be relieved. Secondly, it could lighten the mood a little by telling the story of the "attack" rather than the diversion. Thirdly, it would enhance the DPS abuse of power/thugishness storyline that is related later. It would enhance our sense of Day's fury when he shows up at the Ministry (and Harry's small smirk ). Lastly, an article inserted here would mirror the ending textbook excerpt-- bookending the chapter.
This is only a suggestion, I know you are probably emotionally drained by this point. If you do write something of this sort, though, I will place it in my binder in just this spot.

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sunsethill
Confunded

USA
653 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2007 :  12:08:03  Show Profile  Visit sunsethill's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Siobhan
I have one suggestion to make, if I may be so bold.
After reading chapter 30 and jumping into 31, it seems the action/climax comes very quickly and the suspense ends abruptly. Perhaps the insertion of a Daily Prophet account of the DPS attack on an innocent student outing in Cornwall would be of help. Firstly, it would slow the pace (that crest of the roller coaster before going over) and extend the suspense as to whether Snape survived. Harry's sense of suspense is different from the readers'. We need a little more time to truly worry and then be relieved. Secondly, it could lighten the mood a little by telling the story of the "attack" rather than the diversion. Thirdly, it would enhance the DPS abuse of power/thugishness storyline that is related later. It would enhance our sense of Day's fury when he shows up at the Ministry (and Harry's small smirk ). Lastly, an article inserted here would mirror the ending textbook excerpt-- bookending the chapter.


I second Siobhan's suggestion. While it seems like heresy to say that we were reassured of Snape being alive too quickly, it did seem like we didn't "feel" the true depth of Harry's relief because WE couldn't mourn long enough.

I loved this chapter, though. Day got his--in public! From Harry! It was wonderful. Dumbledore survived and had an important role to play in helping Harry understand what Snape needed--and thus not only doing away with Voldemort but insuring that the wizarding world actually got better because of the teamwork of Harry and Severus.

Lupin was wonderful. All the set up paid off as he shows how much he has changed and as he offers Severus something he desperately wants--a age-level friend. And the postscript shows us that Severus repaid Remus' gift with a wonderful one of his own.

You did a beautiful job with covering what happened the night James and Lily died. I don't know if Snape was there in Canon, but I loved your line about how your Snape would have died trying to kill Voldemort in a rage if he had ever come out of the house. And I loved Harry giving Severus the comfort of knowing that his actions did lead to something good--Harry's survival. And I loved when Severus realized that he had come to care for Harry for his own sake, not just Lily's.

But the major squees have to come for your postscript!
That was brilliant. I don't know exactly why it moved me so much, but I think it was because we now know that Harry and Severus worked together for many long years to actually make things better for the wizarding world. Magic is wonderful in JKR's world, but the actual society has so many problems. And it is so satisfying to know that all that Harry and Severus suffered actually resulted in major improvements. And, of course, I now want to see how they actually work together. I really, really hope that a rabid plot bunny bites you in a few months!

Thank you so much for such a wonderful story, Theo. Now I'm going to reread the whole thing before DH!

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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2007 :  12:30:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi guys! I'm glad you're enjoying the chapter.

Siobhan and SH, I know what you mean about the resolution of Snape's fate coming too quickly. I thought about this, too, but couldn't come up with a way to extend this that felt quite right. I think the best way to do it would be to have Day show up first and have the whole confrontation with him before Snape arrives. Let me give this some thought.

In the meantime, let me answer a few questions and give you a bit more detail on the post-LV Thanon world:

Harry never tells Snape that Neville could have been "the one".

Harry's scar never disappears. The Dark Mark was very refined and a purely magical mark. The scar by contrast is a physical injury as well as a magical one. But after LV's death, the scar is just a scar.

Hermione goes to work as an activist for this eccentric group promoting non-human rights. This is a bunch of wonderful misfits (think Luna) who have some wonderful insights and ideas, but no organization. With Hermione's logic and discipline to lead them, they soon become a political force to be reckoned with.

Ron does indeed go to work for the Ministry where he gets to be thoroughly annoyed by Percy on a regular basis. (Yes, Percy survived Day's disgrace. The guy is like teflon!) Percy is a conservative, traditionalist who doesn't like change. Ron is like his father, happy to break the rules and embrace new ideas. They eventually become heads of their own departments and spend their careers attempting to sway the Ministry between these conservative and liberal views. Percy will have his victories, but Ron will win when it counts.

Neville becomes Herbology professor at Hogwarts and eventually headmaster.

Fred and George become two of the 100 richest wizards in Britain (tied for 24th place).

Luna takes over from her father as editor of the Quibbler.

Ron and Hermione marry, of course, as do Harry and Ginny. Remus and Tonks continue to be a couple, but they don't marry for nearly two decades, each preferring their independence.

Harry remains the brightest champion of light and right. He's the new Dumbledore, but it takes decades for him to grow to be comfortable in that role. In the meantime living in the spotlight is hard. In addition to the headaches of running the Auror Service, Harry has to deal with Ministry intrigue on one hand and Dark wizards out for revenge against him on the other.

Snape and Harry remain fast friends for life, though they don't see eye to eye on everything. Gryffindor idealism and Slytherin pragmatism make an effective, but tumultuous combination. For all of Harry's passion to make the Auror Service squeaky clean, the shady side of life can't be ignored and Snape is an expert at walking that line without crossing over it. He and Harry will have quite a few discussions about ethics and getting the job done over the years.

Remus proves to be a tremendous help when these arguments threaten to get out of hand. He and Snape become very close friends and Remus understands Severus in a way that Harry doesn't, so he is able to bridge the gap between Harry and Snape especially in that first decade following the war when Harry is still very young.

Snape's friendship with Remus is what leads him to begin a life-long quest to eradicate Lycanthropy. This also causes him to become involved with Hermione's activist group. Remus goes to work for them and when Snape develops the new Wolfsbane potion, the group uses this breakthrough to successfully push for werewolf rights.

One of Snape's most valuable aquaintances is Draco. Draco wants nothing to do with Harry, but he considers Snape an old family friend and will do what he can to help Snape as long as it doesn't adversely affect his family.

Katrina Knight is another wildcard who proves both valuable and troublesome. She continues to work firmly outside the law to bring down Dark wizards, but Snape is not above giving her tips at the same time that the Aurors are trying to curb her excesses. He will even go as far as to protect her from his colleagues since he knows the value of having allies in the right places. He and Harry have more than one argument about this, too.


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Edited by - Theowyn on 07/13/2007 12:35:23
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sunsethill
Confunded

USA
653 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2007 :  12:43:49  Show Profile  Visit sunsethill's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Theowyn
Ron does indeed go to work for the Ministry where he gets to be thoroughly annoyed by Percy on a regular basis. (Yes, Percy survived Day's disgrace. The guy is like teflon!) Percy is a conservative, traditionalist who doesn't like change. Ron is like his father, happy to break the rules and embrace new ideas. They eventually become heads of their own departments and spend their careers attempting to sway the Ministry between these conservative and liberal views. Percy will have his victories, but Ron will win when it counts.


Teflon! Wonderful word picture.

quote:
Fred and George become two of the 100 richest wizards in Britain (tied for 24th place).


Of course they do!

quote:
Remus proves to be a tremendous help when these arguments threaten to get out of hand. He and Snape become very close friends and Remus understands Severus in a way that Harry doesn't, so he is able to bridge the gap between Harry and Snape especially in that first decade following the war when Harry is still very young.


Now this is intriguing. I'm not sure I picked up that Remus came to understand Severus so well in Thanon, just that he decided to forgive, and act as a true friends should. So with Remus' help, Harry and Severus were able to become true friends, not just mentor-mentee. I like it.

And you have given Harry a LOT of responsibility for one so young, and the postscript indicated that he became a force to be reckoned with very quickly. That would have been hard for Severus.

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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2007 :  13:08:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'll go back and read previous posts in a minute, I just wanted to let you know a couple of details I checked with the Lexicon for consistency with canon. In the Afterword, when Harry's achievements are listed, you've go him as president of the Board of Directors of Hogwarts. This should be Board of Governors. Head of the Wizengamot should be Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot.

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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2007 :  13:15:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sunsethill
quote:
Remus proves to be a tremendous help when these arguments threaten to get out of hand. He and Snape become very close friends and Remus understands Severus in a way that Harry doesn't, so he is able to bridge the gap between Harry and Snape especially in that first decade following the war when Harry is still very young.


Now this is intriguing. I'm not sure I picked up that Remus came to understand Severus so well in Thanon, just that he decided to forgive, and act as a true friends should. So with Remus' help, Harry and Severus were able to become true friends, not just mentor-mentee. I like it.

Harry and Snape would have gotten there anyway, but Remus does help to smooth the way. Remus is the great peace-maker and diplomat. He is unfailingly reasonable, low-key and knows how to use humor to difuse a situation - something Harry and Severus could both learn.

Remus is a wonderful friend to both Harry and Severus because he plays a key role in both their lives. He is Harry's link to his parents and because Remus grew up with James, Lily, Sirius and Severus, he has a personal understanding of the history that made Severus what he is. As a werewolf he knows what it is to be shunned. He knows what survivor's guilt is like - something Severus felt acutely when James and Lily died. And Remus and Severus are contemporaries. They've lived through the same period of history and they're nearly 40 years old, so they're in a different place in their lives than Harry who is only 18.

quote:
Originally posted by Siobhan

I'll go back and read previous posts in a minute, I just wanted to let you know a couple of details I checked with the Lexicon for consistency with canon. In the Afterword, when Harry's achievements are listed, you've go him as president of the Board of Directors of Hogwarts. This should be Board of Governors. Head of the Wizengamot should be Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot.

Thank you! I'll fix these.

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Edited by - Theowyn on 07/13/2007 13:17:22
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2007 :  13:21:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Theowyn

Hi guys! I'm glad you're enjoying the chapter.
Siobhan and SH, I know what you mean about the resolution of Snape's fate coming too quickly. I thought about this, too, but couldn't come up with a way to extend this that felt quite right. I think the best way to do it would be to have Day show up first and have the whole confrontation with him before Snape arrives. Let me give this some thought.

We need a reason for Day to be so over the top PO'ed. We know he's an extremist, but we've not seen enough of him to know how far his temper will go. If we knew he'd suffered a great humilliation because of the diversion, it would explain his emotional state much better. I know this involves a couple of jumps in time -- back to before/during the Voldemort battle and (if the Daily Prophet report idea is used) forward to a report after the fact, but it doesn't seem odd to me for some reason. Also, we would get a clearer picture established for how the wizarding world feels about the DPS-- how opinion has turned against it. We all know how the Prophet lags behind when things are going OK, then catches up and sounds as though it's been reporting disquiet all along. If we had background it would also bolster the secondary characters's roles.
And on a completely selfish note, it would be a thoroughly enjoyable read.

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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2007 :  13:32:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Siobhan

quote:
Originally posted by Theowyn

Hi guys! I'm glad you're enjoying the chapter.
Siobhan and SH, I know what you mean about the resolution of Snape's fate coming too quickly. I thought about this, too, but couldn't come up with a way to extend this that felt quite right. I think the best way to do it would be to have Day show up first and have the whole confrontation with him before Snape arrives. Let me give this some thought.

We need a reason for Day to be so over the top PO'ed. We know he's an extremist, but we've not seen enough of him to know how far his temper will go. If we knew he'd suffered a great humilliation because of the diversion, it would explain his emotional state much better. I know this involves a couple of jumps in time -- back to before/during the Voldemort battle and (if the Daily Prophet report idea is used) forward to a report after the fact, but it doesn't seem odd to me for some reason. Also, we would get a clearer picture established for how the wizarding world feels about the DPS-- how opinion has turned against it. We all know how the Prophet lags behind when things are going OK, then catches up and sounds as though it's been reporting disquiet all along. If we had background it would also bolster the secondary characters's roles.
And on a completely selfish note, it would be a thoroughly enjoyable read.
I can easily add in the post-battle article, but to capture Day's humiliation, I think the best solution is to hear it from him and just have him go off on a rant about the battle when he confronts Harry at the MoM. There's no other clean way to introduce this short of actually cutting away to Cornwall in chapter 30 and there is already too much going on there.

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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2007 :  14:04:45  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If the Prophet reported publicly that Day was tarred and feathered, etc. by a bunch of underage wizards when he and his auror squad mistook a school outing for a gathering of dangerous vigillantee wizards (paralleling Moody in GoF) it would establish the humilliation as a fact for the reader without having Day explain it all (which I'm not sure anyone who has just been handed their... erm... bum on a platter by a bunch of kids would do). We already know to a certain extent that he's going to have been outwitted by Fred and George on a grand scale. Having Day show up after that, Vernon-Dursley angry (spittle flying, vein pulsing, face puce, blood pressure soaring-- perhaps a feather or two in his hair) would top it off nicely. The Minister could be scandalised by Day's behaviour into the bargain-- rather like he was over Snape's behaviour when he was denied the Order of Merlin in PoA. It's always fun to see these authority figures taken down a few notches.

This is the kind of thing I had in mind:
quote:
Word has reached the Daily Prophet of an unprovoked attack on an outing of Hogwarts Students on the Cornish coast. In an yet another act of incompetence, Day and his DPS team, apparently, under the impression that a group of underage students constitutes a dangerous vigilante wizarding society, ambushed a group of sixth and seventh year students collecting pixes for a school project.

“It was terrible,” said one of the youngsters. “One minute we were collecting pixies, the next everyone was screaming as stunning spells flew. Then everything went black as night.

“I thought it might be Death Eaters. I didn’t know what was happening. I heard lots of noise and came to help my friends. Got off some pretty good jelly leg jinxes before they got me,” reported another student.

One student remembered, “The last thing I saw was the Head of the DPS standing screaming on our boxes of pixies-- feathers were everywhere and a strong smell of tar.”

Day has been under a watchful eye of late. Reports of unprovoked attacks and bungling of several cases have cast doubt over his suitability to head up an agency meant to protect the public. A Ministry official had no comment to make upon this as he scurried off to the Leaky Cauldron, no doubt late for his early luncheon.



Another thing I was wondering, in canon as well as Thanon, is the Dark Mark visible at all times, buring black when activated, but like a tattoo otherwise? Or does it disappear so that a DE cannot be easily identified in his off hours? Snape and Karkarov said the mark had been getting darker all year, but it could look more like a scar at those times.


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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2007 :  15:05:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Siobhan
Having Day show up after that, Vernon-Dursley angry (spittle flying, vein pulsing, face puce, blood pressure soaring-- perhaps a feather or two in his hair) would top it off nicely. The Minister could be scandalised by Day's behaviour into the bargain-- rather like he was over Snape's behaviour when he was denied the Order of Merlin in PoA. It's always fun to see these authority figures taken down a few notches.

I see Day arriving at the Ministry in precisely this fashion and this should be more than enough to get his humiliation across, I think. But we can't have anything in the DP beforehand. Jumping back and forth in the timeline won't work here. There is simply no place for it between the time Harry wakes up and arrives at the atrium. It absolutely cannot come first in the chapter, because the first scene must be Harry opening his eyes after seeing Snape plunge into the abyss in LV's mind. That continuity has to be sustained. While it's fun to see Day get his comeuppance, it can't take precedence over Harry and Snape.

quote:
Another thing I was wondering, in canon as well as Thanon, is the Dark Mark visible at all times, buring black when activated, but like a tattoo otherwise? Or does it disappear so that a DE cannot be easily identified in his off hours? Snape and Karkarov said the mark had been getting darker all year, but it could look more like a scar at those times.
This hasn't been made clear in canon, but given Karkaroff's statement about the mark growing clearer, I think it's a good bet that it's always visible when LV is alive and has his powers (probably as a grayish scar) and only burns black when activated. This is how I handle it in Thanon, anyway.

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Siobhan
Chief Healer

USA
2157 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2007 :  15:15:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The continuity is there regardless. The reader is still sitting there wondering what has happened with Harry and Snape and Voldemort-- its the suspense that needs to be drawn out a bit-- a mini cliffhanger in the story like we experienced waiting for the final chapter to come. Harry is unconscious, so we should be too-- sort of for a time. Jumping right back into it at the beginning of the chapter makes it feel almost like it shouldn't be another chapter, simply the end of the previous one. In a way it is too continuous.
Obviously, this is only my opinion and not meant as personal criticism. I am amazed at the story you've given us and am proud to be among the first to read it.

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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 07/13/2007 :  15:37:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Siobhan

The continuity is there regardless. The reader is still sitting there wondering what has happened with Harry and Snape and Voldemort-- its the suspense that needs to be drawn out a bit-- a mini cliffhanger in the story like we experienced waiting for the final chapter to come. Harry is unconscious, so we should be too-- sort of for a time. Jumping right back into it at the beginning of the chapter makes it feel almost like it shouldn't be another chapter, simply the end of the previous one. In a way it is too continuous.
Obviously, this is only my opinion and not meant as personal criticism. I am amazed at the story you've given us and am proud to be among the first to read it.
I don't at all take your ideas as criticism, Siobhan. I enjoy seeing different perspectives on how scenes can be changed to have different effects.

The mini-cliffhanger you refer to can be achieved just by putting off Snape's appearance in the chapter. It's timing, not any particular event, that makes the difference here.

But for me, Harry opening his eyes has to be the first thing in the chapter because it really does happen in the same breath as the last moment in chapter 30. Just as in his sessions with DD and Snape, Harry experiences no loss of consciousness. One moment he's deep in someone's mind, then he closes his eyes, opens them and he's back in the real world. The moment LV's mindscape dissolves around Harry, he opens his eyes back in the DoM.

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Edited by - Theowyn on 07/13/2007 15:39:24
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Theowyn
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Posted - 07/13/2007 :  19:51:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
For Siobhan and anyone else who would like to see an alternate version of the scene in the atrium, here it is.

This takes the place of pages 1 to 5 in the released version of chapter 31.

Harry opened his eyes. He was lying on his back, staring up at the ceiling and he was exhausted. He couldn’t move, couldn’t even lift his head. His muscles felt as though they’d turned to water. He rolled his head to the side and looked around. Voldemort’s crumpled form lay a few paces away. In death, the greatest Dark wizard of the age looked diminished, like some large, grotesque puppet that had been dropped and forgotten. His deformed features were twisted into a mask of horror, but rather than frightening, he only looked pathetic.

Harry turned away. He’d done it. He’d beaten Voldemort. He had almost never dared to imagine this moment, but when he had, he’d always envisioned himself feeling elated, filled with relief and happiness. He felt nothing like that now. Instead, he felt drained of all emotion. There was nothing but a weary ache in his heart.

Harry’s melancholy thoughts were interrupted by the sound of footsteps racing down the corridor outside. They grew louder as they approached, then stopped. Harry could hear muffled conversation just outside the door and then Ron and Hermione stepped into view, their wands raised.

Harry looked at them and managed a wan smile. “Hi.”

“Harry!” Hermione sighed in relief. She and Ron hurried forward as Harry struggled to sit up.

“Are you all right?” Hermione asked anxiously.

“Yeah, I’m okay.”

Ron was staring past Harry. “Is that –?” he asked hoarsely.

“Yeah,” Harry said. “It’s all right. He’s gone for good this time.”
More footsteps were approaching and as Ron helped Harry to his feet, Moody and Kingsley Shacklebolt appeared.

“Merlin’s beard!” Moody exclaimed, staring slack-jawed at Voldemort.

Shacklebolt, meanwhile, pulled out one of the purple communicators. “We found Potter. He seems fine and You-Know-Who is dead… That’s right, dead…”

Even hearing someone else say it didn’t pierce Harry’s weary indifference. The whole wizarding world would be celebrating soon and he didn’t feel at all like joining in.

Moody was sniffing around Voldemort like a bloodhound, examining the deceased wizard closely with his magic eye. Finally, he nudged the body with his toe, then grunted in satisfaction. “We’d better seal the room until a team gets here to dispose of the body. Come on, Potter. Let’s get you out of here.”

Harry had no objections. He was more than ready to leave and headed back to the lift in silence, ignoring Ron and Hermione’s concerned glances.

The atrium was teeming with people. Tonks spotted Harry the moment he stepped out of the lift and shouted out his name, causing the entire crowd to surge forward. In a moment there were people all around Harry, clapping him on the shoulder, pumping his hand enthusiastically. Moody, extolling Harry’s accomplishment to all, pounded him on the back so hard that he almost knocked Harry over.
The congratulations were cut short however, as a rapid series of ‘pops’ sounded and dozens of people Apparated into the atrium. The DPS Aurors, Harry guessed, and in the midst of them was the last person he wanted to see: Ian Day.

The new arrivals all looked much the worse for wear. The Aurors were covered in dirt and the unmistakable scent of Stinksap filled the air. They all showed signs of having been hit by multiple hexes, but mostly they just looked stunned. Day on the other hand looked livid. He was wearing dress robes that reminded Harry of the ancient ones Ron had worn to the Yule Ball in their fourth year except that Day’s were a bright shade of pink and trimmed with even more lace than Ron’s had been. The man was plucking yellow feathers from his clothes and had a wild look in his eyes.

“Arrest everyone!” he snapped shrilly. Then he spotted Harry and his mouth drew into such a fine line that his lips seemed to completely disappear. “Potter!” he said furiously, pushing his way through the Order members to reach Harry. “I knew that you were behind this. For years you have done nothing but wage your own private war, heedless of rules or laws, running roughshod over the Ministry’s authority.” Day sneered at Harry. “‘The Boy Who Lived’, ‘the Chosen One’! Fame has gone to your head, Potter, if you think that you can waltz into the Ministry as you please! You are subversive and dangerous and I will see you in Azkaban!”

“Day, you’re round the bend,” Moody growled. “Potter here just killed You-Know-Who.”

“What?”

“Saw him myself. The body’s down in the Department of Mysteries if you have the courage to go and have a look.”

Day looked from Moody to Harry and Harry smirked. “You were saying?”
Day opened and closed his mouth several times, clearly at a loss for words. At last he managed to blurt out, “You have overstepped your bounds!”

“If anyone has overstepped his bounds, it’s you, Ian,” another voice replied. It was the Minister for Magic, Harry realized, who had just arrived as the Order members stepped back to let the man through. “Storming Hogwarts? Attacking students in Cornwall?

“They attacked us!” Day said angrily. He waved his hand at his Aurors, the lace on his sleeve fluttering as he did so. “They ambushed us!”

“Ambushed you,” the minister said, skeptically. “Professor McGonagall at Hogwarts says that they were on an overnight campout and thought they were being attacked by Death Eaters.”

“That’s a lie! They were not on a campout. They lured us to Cornwall so that Potter and his supporters could infiltrate the Ministry!”

The minister was staring at Day as though he suspected the man was mad. “Professor McGonagall insists that they were on retreat and is threatening to organize the parents of the students involved to bring charges against the Ministry. Frankly, I wouldn’t blame them. I believe, Ian, that the pressures of your work have proved to be too much for you. You are relieved of your post effective immediately. Mr. Shacklebolt, please have your Aurors escort Mr. Day from the premises.”

“Of course, Minister.” Shacklebolt clamped a hand on Day’s shoulder.

“What?” Day protested. “You can’t fire me! I’m telling you the truth. They were all in league together!”

Harry forced himself not to grin as the big Auror steered the spluttering man away.

“Mr. Potter, you have my sincerest apologies,” the minister said, looking decidedly embarrassed. “The man is obviously unhinged and I hope you understand that Day’s flagrant abuse of power was not sanctioned by the Ministry nor will it go unpunished.”

Harry nodded, but he couldn’t help wondering if the minister would have been quite so conciliatory were Voldemort not dead.

“The warrants for your and Professor Snape’s arrests will be rescinded at once of course,” the minister assured Harry.

Harry’s chest tightened painfully at the mention of Snape, but the minister continued. “If there is anything I can do to rectify this situation…”

“Actually, there is,” Harry said. “Have you heard any news of Professor Dumbledore?”

“There’s been no news from Hogwarts on his condition, I’m afraid. But then, with all of the commotion at Cornwall and here –” The minister shrugged apologetically and Harry nodded once more. “Don’t hesitate to contact my office if there’s anything else you need. You’ve done the wizarding world a tremendous service, Potter.”

The minister turned away and as he did the Order members closed in around Harry once more to resume congratulating him. Harry shook the proffered hands numbly wanting nothing more than to be away from the stifling crowd.

“Harry!” Remus, dirty and disheveled, pushed his way through the throng and grabbed Harry, hugging him. “You did it, Harry! I knew you would!”

Remus pulled back and regarded Harry, tears of joy and pride glistening in his eyes. “James and Lily would be so proud of you.” He tousled Harry’s perpetually messy mop of hair affectionately, then frowned. “Harry, what’s wrong?”

Harry couldn’t answer. He blinked rapidly to hold back the tears that were threatening to well up in his eyes.

“Draco Malfoy? What’s he doing here?” Kingsley Shacklebolt’s deep baritone caught Harry’s attention and he gratefully turned towards it.

“It’s not really clear,” another man answered. “But he was sitting in the library next to his father’s body. Bellatrix Lestrange was there too – also dead. Looks as if a family dispute got out of hand. We sent the boy back to Hogwarts. He doesn’t seem to have been involved in the fighting at all. McGonagall’s going to contact his mother.”

“What about the rest of the Death Eaters?” Shacklebolt asked.

“They’re all dead as far as we can tell, though how, I’m not sure.”

“What about our people?”

“A few injuries, but no casualties.”

“Is everyone accounted for? Where’s Snape?”

At the last question Harry felt himself go cold inside. He had to tell them; he owed Snape that. But before he could speak up another voice, exhausted and barely above a whisper, answered.

“I’m here.”

Harry froze then whirled around. Standing apart from the crowd gathered around Harry and looking as though he might collapse at any moment, yet obviously very much alive, was Snape. Harry gaped in astonishment, then shoved past the witches and wizards around him to get to the man. Harry only just managed to stop himself from grabbing Snape to make sure that he was real and not some odd hallucination. Abandoning that action, Harry settled for waving his hands to take in Snape’s rather bedraggled condition. “You’re alive?”

“Apparently,” Snape answered wearily.

“How? What happened?” Harry asked.

“Before or after Lupin let the entire ceiling of the DPS office collapse on top of us?”

“That was your idea, Severus,” Remus countered, having come to stand behind Harry. “And you’re lucky that my shield charm held.”

Snape grimaced. “Oh, please don’t tell me that I now owe you my life.”

“How did you survive Voldemort?” Harry asked impatiently.

Snape considered. “I’m not really sure. It was –” Snape hesitated, a haunted expression in his eyes. “It was an experience I wouldn’t wish on anyone.” He shook his head as if to banish the memory. “There’s no doubt that you were successful, however.”

Snape pushed up his left sleeve and held out his forearm for Harry to see. The pale skin was unblemished. There was no trace of the Dark Mark, nor any sign that it had ever existed.

Snape pulled down his sleeve and regarded Harry calmly. “Congratulations, Mr. Potter,” he said formally, extending his hand to Harry.

Harry stared at Snape’s composed features and outstretched hand in disbelief. The man was supposed to be dead and yet after everything they’d been through he expected to just shake hands? “You’re joking.”

Hurt and humiliation flickered in Snape’s eyes. He dropped his hand and started to turn away, but Harry grabbed his arm.

“Don’t be an idiot!”

Harry pulled the man into a fierce embrace. Snape tensed, drawing a sharp breath in surprise. He tried to pull away, but Harry only hugged him tighter and after a moment, he relaxed. Slowly, tentatively, he put his arms around Harry and embraced him in return.

“It’s all right, Potter. It’s over.”

Harry nodded and let go of Snape. He stepped back and smiled at the man. “Yeah, it is.”

“Potter!” Harry looked around as Moody came stumping up to him. The old Auror handed him a small, dogged-eared book on inanimate Transfigurations.

“McGonagall sent this. It’s a Portkey to take you back to Hogwarts. We didn’t know if you’d be up to Apparating. Trigger word is victory.”
Harry nodded, grateful for the chance to get away from the Ministry and to check on Dumbledore. He clutched the book tightly, then glanced at Snape. The man certainly didn’t look up to Apparating and was surely as anxious to get back to school as Harry was. Harry held out the book. “Come with me.”

Snape hesitated only a moment, then grasped the book tightly as well.
“Victory,” Harry said and in a moment he and Snape were standing in the Great Hall at Hogwarts. Harry automatically glanced up at the enchanted ceiling depicting the sky and was startled to realize that it was morning. The sky was bright blue with the promise of a lovely spring day. It still had to be quite early though since no one seemed to be up yet.

Harry shoved the Portkey into his pocket, then he and Snape headed for the hospital wing...


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Edited by - Theowyn on 07/13/2007 19:55:39
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U-No-Poo
Addled

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Posted - 07/13/2007 :  22:25:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just finished reading the chapter and the comments. Absolutely wonderful, Theo! Snape's explanation felt very real, as did his conversation with Lupin. I'm ridiculously happy about how well things turned out for all of them in the end! I'm particularly happy about the twist you put on Harry's and Snape's future career.
In my mind, though, Neville become the new DADA teacher.
I also like the above modified version of the chapter more.
You win the universe for telling this wonderful story. Thank you for the laughs, the thrills and the tears.

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Siobhan
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Posted - 07/13/2007 :  22:41:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I like the revised beginning of Chapter 31! That does it for me, though I'll probably write my own Prophet article for fun.

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Theowyn
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Posted - 07/13/2007 :  23:05:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Siobhan

I like the revised beginning of Chapter 31! That does it for me, though I'll probably write my own Prophet article for fun.


Oh please do and post it here! I'd love to read it.

quote:
In my mind, though, Neville become the new DADA teacher.
Well, maybe he could teach DADA for a few years and then Herbology, or vice versa.

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Eeyore
Barmy

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Posted - 07/14/2007 :  01:12:31  Show Profile  Send Eeyore a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Theo, I like that better too. I hadn't realized it till Siobhan mentioned it, but Snape's return was too soon, and without the proper grief from Harry in the first one. This has a much better mixture of reasons to celebrate and reasons to mourne. Thanks for sharing it.

It's been so much fun, and a privilege, to read both HPEW and HPCS. I've loved the anticipation of getting a chapter every other week and then of having the opportunity to discuss it with everyone and especially with you. Whenever there has been a question, you've always had a reason for the choices you made, and it's great to see how carefully you've planned it out.

Eeyore

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gimu
Addled

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Posted - 07/15/2007 :  18:16:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Perfect! Just perfect.
You are all great - I know I don't post here as often as you deserve Theo. You really have given us the other story, and we will always have that even if next week is a disappointment. I'm nervous now!
You are right to leave Snape's return that little bit later... I'm glad you have told us everyones story - what happens to all the important people. Its nice to see what other people think...
So, fair play to you Theo - well done!
Now get to it with writing something for profit - sure you are more than capable!!!
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Siobhan
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Posted - 07/15/2007 :  23:19:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
There was a really great question and response on the Sugar Quill reviews of CS, so I thought I'd post it here. Theo is responding:
quote:
>> Oh -- sorry to put in a second appearance, but I forgot that I had a question, here at the end of the story. Way back in the summer, when Snape was watching Harry brew the Clarifying Solution, he reacted with "longing and revulsion" to it, and said he had taken it himself once. Are you at liberty to give us the backstory on that now? I'd love to know. >>

Yes! Thanks for asking, Rachelindeed. This goes hand-in-hand with Lily's "Don't throw your life away on vengeance!" Up until the Shrieking Shack incident Snape had been hedging his bets with his fellow Slytherins: staying close enough to them to maintain their googwill and protection, but not really committing himself to their cause. After the Shrieking Shack he was so angry and bitter that he turned his back on the Light side and decided to join Voldemort to get even with all the people who had made his life miserable.

After a few none-to-subtle comments snarled at James in front of the other students, Lily realized where Severus was headed and cornered him one day to entreat him not to join Voldemort. He brushed her off, but what she had said troubled him. He had tried to convince himself that he didn't care about Lily and that she didn't care about him so her concern made him uncomfortable and planted a seed of doubt about the path he had chosen.

He brewed up a batch of Clarifying Solution in the hopes that it would tell him whether he should become a DE or not, but needless to say, the insight he got was not what he expected. The Solution revealed that Lily did indeed still care for him and, worse, that he still cared deeply for her.

You can imagine how disturbing it was for this young man - on the verge of becoming a DE - to realize that he still loved this Muggle-born girl and childhood friend who reminded him of what he had hoped his life would be back before he'd ever heard of DEs. However peer pressure from the Slytherins and his bitter resentment of the Marauders overwhelmed this reminder of his better nature and he joined Voldemort.

Now, a reasonable person might ask why the stupid Clarifying Solution didn't tell him, "No! Becoming a DE is a really, REALLY bad idea!"? The answer is two-fold. First, even if it had, the tide of emotions and events leading Snape to join Voldemort wouldn't have abated and he likely would have ended up ignoring the Solution (that flash of insight comes and goes awfully fast) and become a DE anyway.

Second, in the long-run, for the sake of defeating Voldemort, Snape *did* need to become a DE. But he needed a lifeline to pull him back when the time came. Love, that certain knowledge of his own deep feelings for Lily, is what provided that and caused him to turn spy for Dumbledore years later.


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Eeyore
Barmy

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Posted - 07/15/2007 :  23:53:30  Show Profile  Send Eeyore a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Ooooo, thanks for posting that, Siobhan. That is something that I had forgotten but something I would have found on a re-read sometime in August or September. And Theo, I really like your reasoning and how that all ties in with where Snape ended up in the story.

Eeyore

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Theowyn
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Posted - 07/16/2007 :  00:10:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oh thank you for posting that, Siobhan! And if anyone has any other questions, I will be happy to answer them.

Thanks, too, Siobhan for prompting me to rewrite the first part of the chapter. It is so much better now.

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Krabat
Giddy

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Posted - 07/16/2007 :  10:28:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A very satisfying ending for a brilliant story. You really managed to wrap things up nicely, Theo. There were still some question that bothered me which you answered very convincingly such as why Dumbledore pushed Harry and Snape together in the first place although he knew what Harry would have to do. And the job you found for Snape in the end is just perfect. I mean, just think defence practicum.

Of course, I would love to read in detail about how the relationship between Harry and Snape develops further since there is still much potential. For example, I don't think that Harry stopped to distinguish between Snape and Severus. From what you wrote in some of the posts I get the impression that Remus could help to resolve that misconception. Although he probably has a hard time dealing with two people not very keen on discussing their feelings.
So I have to second Sunsethill in hoping that a plot bunny will sink its fangs into you sooner or later.
But for the time being: Thank you again for a wonderful ride!
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Siobhan
Chief Healer

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Posted - 07/16/2007 :  11:09:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Theowyn

Oh thank you for posting that, Siobhan! And if anyone has any other questions, I will be happy to answer them.

Thanks, too, Siobhan for prompting me to rewrite the first part of the chapter. It is so much better now.

You are completely welcome, Theo. I was a little worried that I would hurt your feelings if I mentioned it, so am very glad you weren't offended. Your story is truly wonderful.

Come here little bunny!!!
See the nice lady author over there? Why don't you go visit her?


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Theowyn
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Posted - 07/16/2007 :  12:22:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Krabat, so glad you enjoyed the chapter. Yes, 'defense practicum' pretty much says it all for Snape's Auror training. He will have so much fun.

You bring up an interesting point about Snape/Severus, because one of the things that has already begun to happen is that Severus must be reintegrated with Snape. Now that Snape is finally able to let go of the past and move beyond Halloween 1981, the deepest part of his mind will not remain his 20-year-old self. In the months ahead that psychological damage will heal. If Harry were to delve into his mind in the future, he would find the adult he knows in the real world.

But that adult would still be Severus. In effect, the interior Snape would have all of Severus's memories of Harry's previous visits as well as full knowledge of all that has transpired up to the present. This is very important because while Snape doesn't consciously remember anything that happens in his mind, that knowledge is still there and affects him. Now, he has both the experience of Harry as his friend and contemporary when he was young as well as the experience of being Harry's mentor and colleague. This will make for a very deep friendship between them.

Siobhan, you need never worry that honest, constructive criticism of my writing will hurt my feelings. Really, you should see some of the things Myf has said! I want my work to be the best that it can be and for that I need objective feedback. Every author should be lucky enough to have so many intelligent, genuinely engaged people to read and review their work. It is a blessing.

Ooooh, I just thought of a question I haven't answered: Lily's locket. This was actually a gift from her parents when she was eleven and heading off to Hogwarts. It contained a tiny photo of them so that she would always have them near her heart while she was away ten months out of the year. It eased the separation and homesickness.

She never took the locket off and wore it her entire life, even after she was grown and out of Hogwarts. Severus saw it every day for years and asked her about it fairly early on. It was one of the closest moments they ever shared. Lily's loving relatiohship with her parents was so different from Severus's own experience and the locket prompted him to open up to Lily about that. Seeing the locket again at 12GP during Christmas brought back so many memories and emotions. It was quite a bittersweet moment for him.

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Edited by - Theowyn on 07/16/2007 13:52:37
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Siobhan
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Posted - 07/16/2007 :  14:53:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Theo, you have developed a deep backstory for Lily and Snape. Though it may not make it into your stories in detail, you know what has happened so can write from that position of knowledge. Did you develop a deeper family backstory for the Evanses? For instance, you mention Lily's closeness to her parents, but what of Petunia? Where did she fit in-- or did she? She is obviously jealous of Lily, but did perhaps something happen that hurt her even more deeply?

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Theowyn
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Posted - 07/16/2007 :  16:14:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My Petunia is pretty much what she appears to be: jealous and snooping. Her parents loved her and she had them to herself most of the time. But she still felt that Lily was favored mostly due to her own jealousy. She hated magic from the moment Lily received her letter from Hogwarts because she desperately wanted to be a witch herself.

She spied on Lily and Severus during summers out of curiosity and also because she hoped to catch them doing something that would get Lily in trouble. She loathed Severus, of course, this greasy, unsociable "awful boy" who was clearly from a poor family. Though the Evanses were a family of modest means, they weren't as poor as the Snapes. Plus, Severus was neglected whereas the Evans girls were well cared for and this showed in Severus's shabby clothes and poor hygiene. Petunia would have been scandalized to have him in the house even if he weren't a wizard.

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sunsethill
Confunded

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Posted - 07/16/2007 :  20:03:15  Show Profile  Visit sunsethill's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Theowyn
You bring up an interesting point about Snape/Severus, because one of the things that has already begun to happen is that Severus must be reintegrated with Snape. Now that Snape is finally able to let go of the past and move beyond Halloween 1981, the deepest part of his mind will not remain his 20-year-old self. In the months ahead that psychological damage will heal. If Harry were to delve into his mind in the future, he would find the adult he knows in the real world.

But that adult would still be Severus. In effect, the interior Snape would have all of Severus's memories of Harry's previous visits as well as full knowledge of all that has transpired up to the present. This is very important because while Snape doesn't consciously remember anything that happens in his mind, that knowledge is still there and affects him. Now, he has both the experience of Harry as his friend and contemporary when he was young as well as the experience of being Harry's mentor and colleague. This will make for a very deep friendship between them.


This is probably the last thing I was wondering about, so I appreciate you addressing it here. It seems to me that Harry will need to tell Severus sometime about what he was doing in his mind. I can't imagine Severus allowing him to go a long time without wanting to know how Harry's sessions--which were so painful to him--actually helped. It might make a great one-shot to actually detail how all of this resolves.

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Krabat
Giddy

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Posted - 07/17/2007 :  05:40:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Reading the last posts reminded me of two more points I wanted to mention. First, I was really moved by the way Snape admitted being in love with Lily. I ached when he so deperately tried to reassure Harry that he was perfectly aware of how unworthy he was of loving her. I wonder how things would have gone if his upbringing had not taught him that he was something weak and dirty. If he had the confidence to approach Lily and admit his feelings, perhaps their friendship could have become something more. On the other hand, the marauders would probably have seen to it that that wouldn't happen.

Secondly, you managed to clear up a matter that was sitting not so well with me ever since the end of HPEW. Snape told Harry that the prophecy persuaded him to change sides. But Snape never struck me as someone believing in prophecies. But I can definitely imagine that he starts thinking after seeing Voldemorts reaction, his fear that makes him vulnerable. It fits Snape's character that he spots that weakness and recognizes a chance to successfully fight Voldemort. For me, you thus really managed to write a satisfying ending for the story arc beginning with HPEW.
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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2007 :  11:25:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
SH, I will definitely consider doing more fanfic in the future, but I'm guessing it will take at least a few months for me to process the emotional flood DH will no doubt be in order to get to the point where I can write again. It was six months after HBP before I was able to start HPCS.

Krabat, I'm glad I cleared up that business with Snape and the prophecy for you. He definitely is not one to believe in prophecies for their own sake, but Voldemort made the mistake of showing fear. Really, if he had just shrugged off the prophecy, he probably could have taken over the world. But he's always been a coward and even with all his protections he thought he might be vulnerable.

As to Snape's confession that he loved Lily, this was actually a very important moment to me personally. I love JKR, but I think the cruelest statement I've ever heard was when someone asked if Snape would fall in love and she said, "That's a very horrible idea. Who would want Snape to be in love with them."

Now, I understand that the questioner was hitting far too close to the mark at that point and I know she just meant that Snape isn't someone that most people would want a romantic relationship with. "Who could love that guy! He's horrible!" Fair enough. Maybe Snape isn't lovable.

But to say that it's a horrible idea for him to feel love, that is something else entirely. To say that anyone is unworthy of feeling love is just terrible beyond words. And, of course, it's exactly what Snape believes.

But just as Snape assured Harry in HPEW that "You don't need a right to grieve," Harry tells Snape, "You don't need a right to love someone." This is essentially the same truth. There is never any shame in caring for another human being.

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Edited by - Theowyn on 07/17/2007 11:45:28
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sunsethill
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USA
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Posted - 07/17/2007 :  13:18:28  Show Profile  Visit sunsethill's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Theowyn
As to Snape's confession that he loved Lily, this was actually a very important moment to me personally. I love JKR, but I think the cruelest statement I've ever heard was when someone asked if Snape would fall in love and she said, "That's a very horrible idea. Who would want Snape to be in love with them."

Now, I understand that the questioner was hitting far too close to the mark at that point and I know she just meant that Snape isn't someone that most people would want a romantic relationship with. "Who could love that guy! He's horrible!" Fair enough. Maybe Snape isn't lovable.

But to say that it's a horrible idea for him to feel love, that is something else entirely. To say that anyone is unworthy of feeling love is just terrible beyond words. And, of course, it's exactly what Snape believes.

But just as Snape assured Harry in HPEW that "You don't need a right to grieve," Harry tells Snape, "You don't need a right to love someone." This is essentially the same truth. There is never any shame in caring for another human being.



Beautifully worded, Theo. I know she was trying to encourage young girls not to fall into the romantic trap of trying to redeem a difficult man through love, but as you point out, to say that it is horrible to imagine Snape loving someone is a very stupid thing to say. As she has also said, it is the fact that Snape has been loved that gives him hope--and if he has truly loved someone it is even better.

I am rereading HPCS and I'm in chapter 3 right now. In chapter two, I never remembered that the mirror was placed on the dresser with Phineas' portrait. That was such wonderful misdirection, I didn't figure it out until the reread. And knowing the end makes Snape's belief that it is impossible for Harry to truly forgive him make more sense. On first reading, I didn't really see why Snape should be so pessimistic, but now that we know he was still hiding what he felt was an even bigger secret from Harry makes it understandable. And as Krabat said, Snape's belief at the end that he was still unworthy to have loved Lily was SO incredibly sad.

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