|Reviews for Triptych|
| llimbus 4/2/13 . chapter 3
Oh dear lord...
This was perfect. This is perfection. An absolutely brilliant tale about the dark life of Eileen and Sybill. And the sad background of Severus'. I loved it. There's nothing to complain about, there's nothing you could've done differently. Not a very useful review, I know. But I wouldn't want you to make their story in another way.
| Tea for Lupin 12/13/11 . chapter 3
Wow. It's taken me a while to get round to this story but I'm so glad I did. Such a sad backstory for Severus (although that is to be expected unfortunately). The voice of each character comes across so clearly, particularly those of Tobias and Sybill (poor Sybill, always so misguided. I always feel so sad for her).
I do find the concept of Sybill as a romantic or sexual attachment for anyone to be rather hard to imagine but that is, clearly, my own prejudice talking. ;) i admire your capacity to take even the seemingly least likely characters and reveal their hidden histories and depths. The section of Eileen's tale in which she and Sybill are exploring their own and each other's bodies is particularly moving. Thanks as always Kelly!
| Zenheim Panda 10/16/11 . chapter 3
Wow! You sure know how to write and carry a story. I'm so genuinely impressed by your talent. This was a wonderful story, and even though it wasn't exactly conclusive, it left me with a warm feeling anyway. Excellent job. :)
| the real snape 10/16/11 . chapter 3
/No, what Eileen understood was the anguish of being an outcast./ Such a very believable take on their relationship. And the way you humanize Sybill, while keeping her perfectly IC, is just great.
/how one was constantly bruised (emotionally speaking) from the blows (not literal, of course) of the disdainful world. One had to try to ignore them, but that didn't make them any less felt./ I love the careful 'in brackets' of your Sybill. So telling of one who feels mostly misunderstood.
/Sybill admired people like Eileen, with her facile tongue (just how facile, Sybill was to learn later) and quick mind./ Very believable. Snape's mother might well have some of that quick wit herself. And again, the bit in brackets is priceless.
/She collected delicate china tea cups (for one must have beauty) and knitted herself soft, colourful shawls (for one must make one's world vivid) and took long, soul-cleansing walks./ What a wonderful subversion of the quirky elements.
/after a fortifying nip of a little something to warm her bones, / You introduce the budding drinking problem so wonderful. A bit of healing sherry to warm one, a fortifying nip.
/She Saw them together as old women, grey and a trifle stooped, still in sunshine, still smiling./ Poor Sybill, and poor Eileen.
And what a killer ending.
| moira of the mountain 10/9/11 . chapter 3
Such a gentle portrayal - and especially touching, knowing your aversion for Sybil. You've given her depth - she's still the flighty maddening creature we know, trailing her scarves and her sherry fumes - but you've found the core of her that truly does believe in the validity of her Gift (a talent that did assert itself honestly, at least a time or two). Living in her commune, with her "pretties" and such, one feels a certain protective fondess for her - for about 20 minutes and then you'd want to thrash her.
Several things I found esxpecially poignant - Eileen tucking her hair behind her ear - a trait her son exhibited later - and the last bit, about her boy being happy at school... So sad... And I likd that Eileen recognized that Severus has much of Tobias in his makeup as well...
All in all - this story is a perfect portrayal of hopes and dreams barely recognized and soon enough dashed - an outcome that, tragically, carries over so bitterly into the makeup of a boy from Spinners' End. I wonder if Sybil remembered her happy predictions of his fate, and Saw their terrible demise - or was she ever even quite aware.
| Swallow B 10/9/11 . chapter 3
It's hard to believe you don't like Sybill, after reading this. You make her really likeable. She is the one who brought colour and hope into Eileen's life.
Then I was surprised by Sybill 'Seeing' a bright future. It was wishful thinking, helped, no doubt, by the influence of her commune, who seem like the sort of people who would be into positive thinking. Sybill believed her illusions and I can just 'see' the end of the story: she was cruelly disillusioned. That would explain her tendency to always be negative in the HP books. That way, she was safe from disappointment. Surprises could only be good.
I don't want to pester you for a sequel, but I would like to know what happened next: Sybill's relationship with Eileen and with Severus. In a word, this has left me hungry for more.
| Jadzania 10/9/11 . chapter 3
I really, really love this story. I think it may be one of your best. I love your McGonnagal-stories, too, but those are stories in which the reader already has symapthies for the main persons and that, i think, makes it easier to get into the mood of the story. With this triptych you have taken three characters, that I've never held sympathies for and that i've actually never thought about much, and you've brought them to live, you showed me their lives, their feelings and their thoughts and now these three people will always stay alive in my mind, and when i think of them now, i think, it will always be the Tobias, Eileen and Sybill you brought to life here. Your story replaced the cardboard figures in my mind with real, living characters. And I want to thank you for that :)
| the real snape 10/8/11 . chapter 2
/That's what her gran had called it, "wifely duty." / Such a perfect period detail. And so telling of that bleak marriage that it was never more, although they were both willing to consider the other at first.
/Even Severus - - no matter how old or unsuitable his clothing, she always made sure it was clean./ The pride of the poor working class housewife. Cleanliness. They may be poor, but they're respectable.
/She had never done anything about it, just kept it as her own secret, something to hug to herself and take refuge in when times got bad./ Poor Eileen. You do such a marvellous job of creating sympathy for all of them. And one can readily believe that the kiss was all Tobias had seen. Still, he was right in interpreting it as what he calls a perversion, for underneath there was so much more than a kiss.
/when noon came and went, with no Sybill, Eileen had straightened her spine, said "yes" to the clerk, and signed the marriage certificate with a flourish./ the poor thing. So desperate.
/And I'll provide for my boy and for his mam. / Bleak, rigid, principled Tobias.
/In her more cynical moments, Eileen called that exit "Tobias's finest hour." / And Eileen is right, too, for he must have had quite a bit of pride in himself: a man who keeps his word no matter what.
/Lying under a grunting Tobias had never been her idea of a good time./ Grin. I like the wry humour of your Eileen, that still shines through occasionally.
/As for the girls' remarks, she just never quite seemed to hear them./ Great description, and just what a bullied child does.
And I love the whole description of the two girls together. It's such a happy moment, and all the time there's the bleakness that is to come in the background.
/She had a home, and she had her baby, and she had once known love, and that would have to be enough./ Your Eileen really commands sympathy, however bleak and bitter she is.
| moira of the mountain 10/3/11 . chapter 2
And now a completely different perspective. Haven't we all experienced that with couples we've known - each so certain of the righteousness of their claims against the other. Such damanged people - the relationship was doomed before it ever began - and how clearly they both affected their son. Poor bastard didn't have much of a chance in hell from the get-go of not coming out of that house wounded to the quick...
Very much enjoying your portrayal of Sybil - far from the empty-headed vapid picture that canon paints of her... Looking forward to her POV.
| aptasi 10/3/11 . chapter 2
I like the way you're using the different points of view in this story and that none of the characters are perfect.
| Jadzania 10/3/11 . chapter 2
This story is really fabulous, i love it
| Swallow B 10/3/11 . chapter 2
This chapter made a strong impression on me. Though I had imagined a different story for Eileen, I find this one very convincing. It sounds so 'real' and it could be, if transposed to another setting. At the same time, it fits well in canon. for example, you found a plausible explanation to the state of Severus's clothes (I had wondered about that).
It was good that you started the story with Tobias. After reading Eileen, it would have been much more difficult to empathise with him.
I had always felt sorry for Eileen, and this story makes me feel even more sympathetic to her plight. It's sadder when one realises Tobias isn't entirely at fault. He is a product of his environment.
Poor Eileen was stuck in a pattern, running off to The Three Broomsticks alone 'to show Rachel', and then marrying Tobias 'to show Sybill'. Somehow it's very IC with the little JKR tells us about her.
I see similarities between Eileen and Neville here. Eileen's gran must have been like Augusta, for her grand-daughter to have so little self-confidence. And there are obvious similarities between Sybill and Luna.
I had to smile at the line "unless she'd been taken over by one of that Lovegood boy's weird creatures", as I recognised the reference to another story I have liked a lot.
I expect next chapter is about Sybill. I am curious to read it. I didn't find your description of her negative at all, here.
| the real snape 10/2/11 . chapter 1
I love the way you set up Tobias's working class accent, from the very first /she hadn't married him for love, neither/.
And his ideas of what to expect in a girl. So very bleak, and he's so completely unaware of it.
/he had a reputation even on the other shifts of being a man who was a wizard with repairs./ Poor Tobias. Even though he's not much of a catch. That was probably the last time he enjoyed the use of the word *wizard*.
/The tea had been hefty: a good, thick stew/ A man after your own heart, then?
/He took her to a posh place, with white tablecloths and linen napkins, wine glasses, two forks apiece, and real flowers, and he made his offer./ He's, at some level, such a thoroughly decent chap.
/If you ask only half as often as you want it, and she gives in to you twice as much as she wants to, you'll get along fine."/ Such a fine cameo of Tobias's Da and the kind of upbringing he got.
/And then the anger had come: anger that she hadn't told him sooner, before he'd taken an oath with her, before he had taken her into his house and bed for all to see. / You can see why that would make him angry - justifiably so. And also why she didn't tell him before. They're such a doomed couple from the very beginning, and yet both meant well.
/All he asked was a little security, maybe a few extras now and again - - take a caravan at Blackpool for a whole week, maybe./ Such a poignant detail. A caravan at Blackpool. For a whole week. Poor Tobias.
/He didn't have no pleasure in his home or his family, the very places a man ought to feel most comfortable./ One cannot help feeling sorry for him. And for Eileen and Severus.
What a pleasure to be able to give a line-by-line review this time! I look forward to the next chapter.
| Swallow B 9/24/11 . chapter 1
It isn't easy to write about Snape's childhood. I am sure you did some research here.
Tobias's voice was a good choice. His side needs to be told, I suppose. Did Severus ever realise what made his father turn to drink?
Original interpretation. I wonder what made you choose Sybill (especially as I seem to remember you mentioned somewhere you avoided writing about her because you didn't like her). Interesting choice, when we remember that Sybill is the person who gave the prophecy. Did Severus know her? Was she around Eileen's age? This story arouses many thoughts and questions.
So my verdict: intriguing and unsettling - which isn't a bad thing at all. A story stays with you when it shakes your preconceptions.
| moira of the mountain 9/24/11 . chapter 1
Ah, once again - you've delved so deftly into the mind and heart of a character to make them real. You've portrayed Tobias much as I imagined him... A plain and simple man, hardened early, with few expectations out of life - the product of his upbringing and his culture. I've never cared for those depections of Tobias as simply a hulking brute nor Eileen as little more than a cowering victim. I've always suspected that Severus was the product of both parents - with their individual strengths and weaknesses. His magic came from his mother, true (or at least so we think... but who knows what may have lain long dormant in Toby's own genes) but certain of his strength must surely have come from the working class roots of his father - work hard for your pay, do your bloody job, get it done right the first time, don't shirk your duty, expect little help, if any, from others... that sort of thing.
Certain small details are so telling. One wonders, if Tobais had noticed Eileen's small sounds in their bed, if he wans't conditioned to think it not quite proper that a woman might find pleasure there, they might have had a different level of connection early in their marriage. And, I can't help but wonder if much of his rage wasn't so much over the fact his wife was magical, as the fact that she had taken a woman into thier bed over him...
The scene in the pub is heartbreaking - that moment of father-son together, the rough camraderie of working men and their little kindnesses, the flash of affection for his boy, Sev's pride in his da - and then gone, in an instant. You summed up so much in that small scene.
As always, beautifully done. This one goes to Favorites !