Reviews for Better Angels
Ivycloak chapter 11 . 3/3
Read this a second time and loved it again! You wrote the changing relationship dynamics and mental states of the characters so well.
Dark Angelx1992 chapter 11 . 4/29/2023
Given how old this story is, I shouldn't hope for a sequel. I do hope you will see this review though. This was really well done, I think you managed to portray a canon compliant James quite well. He is an idiot and bully but not a complete monster, there's humanity in him and he is able to learn. I can definitely see the man who sacrificed his life to even attempt to protect his wife and children.

There aren't many slave Snape fics and the ones that do exist are so gory in their violence and sexual abuse that it makes you stomach twist. This one was comparatively tame as it focused more on what's going on in Snape's mind.

I loved your portrayal of Slughorn, I definitely can see him treat a slave the way he did and Lily was perfect as well. She probably had history classes before coming to Hogwarts that did mention how slaves were treated and therefore she can sympathize with Snape. I half expected her to go full Hermione Granger and fight to abolish Slavery in the Magical World. I also loved all interactions between Poppy and Snape, she is the mother figure he never had.

I would have liked to see a sequel with Snape and the events of canon. There could always have been another Death Eater to eavesdrop on the prophecy and with James dead, the bond could be inherited by Harry.

Maybe someone else will pick up the idea? But you definitely did great with this fic and I enjoyed reading it.
SandsOfTimeAndDropsOfBlood chapter 11 . 2/1/2023
This was really good! And incredibly screwed up, obviously, but really, really good.
You probably won't read this, considering that the first chapter is a matter of months younger than I am, but either way this was really well written and very true to every character involved. Usually fanfics where Snape and James wind up even sort of getting along do so by getting them really out of character, but here they weren't. Snape was very different from canon, but it was all in ways that made sense with this version of his background, and he kept a lot of himself anyway.
I've also always been a major Sirius fan, so making him act in a way that felt in-character and still got me actually, properly mad at him is a very impressive feat.
I really enjoyed your ironic references to canon, like when Snape promised himself he'd never be a teacher, and when James talked about Sirius not knowing to pick the choice that wouldn't land him in Azkaban and said that he and Lily would never get too old to play make believe. They were really fun in a story that, given it's literally about a character being an extremely traumatised slave who thinks he'll be raped by people I generally like, and who has been by people I don't, really didn't seem like it would have fun bits.
I am incredibly impressed that you managed to put lighthearted, funny moments into a fanfic like this without them seeming jarring or disrespectful. Getting a balance that lets you have moments like that in really dark stories is something I strive for in my work, and don't think I succeed at, so I hope that the fact that I try regularly gives me the credentials for how impressed I am to mean something.
Almarohe chapter 11 . 12/10/2022
I loved the story. Thank you for writing and sharing it.
Amaniel chapter 11 . 4/29/2021
Great work. Sickening but great. Thank you for the story :)
guihualiusha chapter 11 . 5/28/2020
Wonderful work! I love it. It sounds so real when you described reactions of the boys, which is realllllllllly amazing! I also pretty fancy some of your sentences. Sorry for my gramma mistakes, I am not a native speaker.
PinkMusicalCherry chapter 11 . 2/17/2020
I couldn't stop reading this omg. my favourite favourite bits were Lily and James thoughwrite, the cheekiness, the little sly moments, the creative dates omg
Temple Cloud chapter 11 . 11/8/2019
Thank you for this story. It's well-observed, hopeful, and an interesting AU background for Snape. It makes sense that slave-Snape would be more cautious and less creative than the Half-Blood Prince of Rowling's books, who spends his time inventing new spells and making improvements to the standard potion recipes (or sometimes not bothering to learn a spell at all if there's a simpler alternative). I love James's parents, and it looks as though they will probably be effectively adopting Sirius AND Snape, which is going to be problematic. I realise you have personal reasons for not writing any sequels to this, but we can enjoy imagining them. And in this version, James is actually growing into someone Lily could believably come to love, without our losing any respect for Lily.

This story makes me wonder whether you have read the Miles Vorkosigan books by Lois McMaster Bujold. If not, please read them, starting with Shards Of Honor and Barrayar (published together as Cordelia's Honor). One of my favourite characters in there, Sergeant Bothari, reminds me of both Sirius Black (violent and almost sociopathic, but deeply loyal to and protective of those he loves - and describes himself as a 'dog', even if he can't literally shape-shift into dog-form) and Severus Snape: born into dire poverty and abuse, finds escape by joining his planet's armed forces as Snape does by going to Hogwarts, comes under corrupting influences there, but finds redemption - and is so chivalrously devoted to Cordelia, the heroine of the first two books, that he is quite willing to devote his life to protecting her son. Admittedly, it helps that Cordelia, her husband Aral Vorkosigan, and their son Miles, all like and respect Bothari - it's not as if he has to pretend to be Miles's enemy while secretly working to protect him. (Though he'd be perfectly capable of doing that if necessary.) Like both Sirius and Snape, he's also tall, thin, ugly, and sinister-looking.

Bothari, like Snape in your story, had been forced to be a child prostitute, until he eventually ran away from home. He is so psychologically damaged by this and later experiences that, like Snape in your story, he isn't really capable of being set free - he needs the structure, whether as a soldier or as someone's private bodyguard, of having someone in authority over him, a uniform to wear, clear rules, and orders to follow. But above all, he needs to belong to people who love, trust and respect him enough to help him grow into the best person he can be, but are still sufficiently aware of his darker tendencies to be able to keep him under control. Aral and (especially) Cordelia generally manage to get the balance right; Miles, having grown up at a time in Bothari's life when he was comparatively stable, doesn't always realise how dangerous he can be until it's too late.
Temple Cloud chapter 7 . 11/8/2019
Wow - Sirius Black actually coming to Snape's defence! I'd been worrying earlier that Sirius wasn't a safe person to be left with any unconscious patient, particularly not Snape, and especially not at the moment, but it looks as though there might be hope.
Temple Cloud chapter 5 . 11/6/2019
This story makes me feel desperately sorry for Snape, unable to believe that James really doesn't plan to abuse him, because he has never known anything except cruelty either from James's gang or from the Malfoys and their friends (and in this AU where he was brought up as a slave in the Malfoy household, he wouldn't even have had the prickly brief friendship with Lily before they started at Hogwarts and began to drift apart). But it also reminds me that Sirius, however horrible he is, has his own problems too. However flawed James was, he and his parents did at least enable Sirius to escape from his abusive family - but in this AU, James needs to concentrate on finding some way to help Snape, and to stop Sirius being horrible to him. Sirius won't have the emotional maturity to understand why they can't just go tormenting Snape as usual, and is going to see James's sudden capacity for being a decent person as a rejection of him. The truth is that both he and Snape need help, and Hogwarts doesn't seem equipped to give it. (I've always had a lot of time for Whitehound's interpretation of why James and Sirius weren't expelled for the werewolf incident: it wasn't that Dumbledore liked Sirius or generally preferred wealthy, Pureblood Gryffindors to impoverished, Half-Blood Slytherins, but that he was worried about what Sirius might become if he were expelled - an emotionally unstable boy from an abusive family, aggressive tendencies and few close friends, exactly the sort of teenager likely to be recruited by the Death Eaters - and didn't realise until too late that the same applied to Snape.)
Arboreal Musteline chapter 11 . 6/28/2019
That was really, really, really great and I thank you for sharing such a wonderful story with us.
Guest chapter 11 . 6/3/2019
This was a really intriguing story
michalmil chapter 11 . 11/17/2018
That's great. I really like this storyline.
Thanks for the story!
Guest chapter 11 . 7/22/2018
wow that was really really good
Guest chapter 11 . 9/16/2017
I know this was written long ago but I am happy I came across this story. I was good, high detailed, thought out, and powerful. Is there really a sequel? Anyway this was great and I enjoyed it. You hardly run across raw, real, and stories like this, covering a tough issue realistically. I hope to read more. I am definitely going to check out more of your work. Thanks for sharing.
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