|Reviews for The New Skin|
| FireGuardian89 chapter 32 . 7/15
Nice opening lines with the parallel between making the potion work and holding off of the skin- both present the issue of replication, expect for one is not desired to be replicated. I want to know why Avery created the skin- what was his motivation, was he forced, etc. This is one of the most compelling parts of the story and I cannot wait until you reveal it. The lines where you have “I would have…I only have…I would need” could be combined to increase the flow- it came a little choppy and mechanical. I laughed out loud at “watching Slytherin girls play dumb to try and get extra help…” I really like when you incorporate these sort of anecdotes when Snape was teaching at Hogwarts, and this sort of information are the things I wished Rowling expanded upon.
The banter between teenage girl Snape and Avery was interesting, and goes to show no matter what his form, Snape knows how to get into people’s minds and manipulate the situation. The skin part was very creepy and well-executed in the fact Snape seems to have found perhaps a resolution to getting the skin out of his trail, and has a lot of implications if it actually reaches Avery. It would certainly be poetic justice, but I am not entirely convinced Avery is the main person behind this and rather is a lackey being forced or told to do this for whatever reason.
The comment where Snape pokes fun at Yanks drinking waterbottles too much was good, and scary to think since this story is set in 1998, and we clearly are way worse than we were almost 20 years ago. I liked the line where Snape reflects on Avery at the beach and shows a slight hesitation in his plans. My only recommendation would be to expand on this idea because this concept has come up a lot for Snape in regards to feeling guilt and regret, and I feel in this situation he would probably felt more conflicted about this situation than portrayed, even though Avery threatened his life multiple times.
The scene after the skin attacks Avery was very conflicting for me. On one hand, I was happy Snape finally got justice and could relax about the skin, especially since Avery had taken away someone’s life unjustly. On the other hand, having to enter a room with someone dead would never be a nice thing to deal with, so I liked how you described Snape hesitating to look at Avery. The reflection on the value of human life was poignant during this scene, and Snape’s reaction after the event fit well. A suggestion would be to expand on the part where he says “The thought of being touched made me feel ill.” Surely he must have felt major emotions rise to the surface after that event and I am surprised he moved on so quickly.
The game analogy was very interesting- and reflects the nature of how Voldemort saw killing. He seemed to feel killing was a game and didn’t think about how others would be harmed by death, which is what I first thought of when reading the last few lines of the chapter. “We have to play to the very end [even- typo] if it kills us.” That line was so powerful- you really cannot ever escape the Death Eaters, the venom will come and find out eventually. Nice job!
| FireGuardian89 chapter 31 . 7/15
The first part was very descriptive and I thought you did a good job of discussing the background while subtly discussing the struggles Snape was having as they were leaving the area. Early in the chapter there is a missing comma: “a frenzied two hours sorting, drying and repacking,” just a tiny typo but not a huge deal obviously. Same thing with sauerkraut a few lines later. I was very shocked by Dick’s behavior at the beginning because he is such the happy, uplifting one and after leaving the rainforest was as pissy as Snape- that was a very interesting character change to observe.
There is a line where you talk about ‘the jewelry box…I had been carrying it.’ Since it is the same thought these sentences could be combined to increase the flow to the start of the paragraph. The dark bird dream was very interesting, because it once again the image is coming back to Snape and clearly is symbolic in some way. What on earth is kappa water? I have never heard of that, but it sure sounds interesting. It was, however, good to see that Snape has made serious progress on his project and has a way more cohesive plan going on – I think you have done a great job of describing the scientific progress without being too technical and boring readers.
That skin part was super creepy but I didn’t understand this line: “..but there was nothing to get purchase against it.” Did you mean perhaps ‘nothing to push against it? Just seemed very odd and out of nowhere given the context of the situation. Whoa at the clerk at the library being the dead person transformed into the skin- very well done! Not random enough to be an odd choice, yet not common to where the reader would realize how obvious so and so was the skin. This part was very intriguing because now we know someone was tracking down Snape’s moves when he was in Boston.
Good call on Dick’s part to call it a practical joke instead of making a big deal out of it and potentially scaring the crap out of people. Agreed with Snape that it wasn’t a very convincing claim, given the way Mata was terrified over it. Just my personal opinion, but I think there should have been a scene break after the skin was captured to better transition from the event to Dick and Snape talking about Snape’s lab work. I would have been interested to see further discussion with Mata and people outside of the lab reacting to seeing the thing. Or even better, Grossman butting in as usual and trying to refute Dick’s claims. At the very least a paragraph break would have been better to enhance the flow- it was a little jarring.
Publication? That would be cool to see Snape get some recognition out of this, and Dick made a great point that the results do not have to be perfect, and Snape needs to let go of that idea. “It is perfect for what it does” is an amazing way to describe the research and publication process! Nice to see Uli come in after all of that- maybe they will go get a drink because Snape certainly needs it!
| Luna Rapunzel chapter 28 . 7/15
How would it work exactly when Snape mutters to himself "behind" the Silencio charm? Does that just mean he winds up mouthing it?
This grammar seems wonky: [We began to have to look out for rocks as well as sandbanks, even at one tricky spot Grossman and myself at the prow pushing off from the surrounding boulders with boathooks as Uli steered and Dick bellowed directions.]
I appreciate Snape's voice coming through when he belabors traveling with "goddamn herbologists" taking too long, and then Dick's statement that "we're herbologists. You have to expect us to herbologize." I still have the same general issues with his character, where I don't feel completely convinced by how quickly he adopted Snape under his wing, but I am feeling really appreciative of all his funny quips in the last few chapters especially.
Snape's personality also came through nicely with his morbid interest in killing flies to waste time while waiting for the others, which strongly reminded me of the Pensieve memory in the Spinner's End house - wasn't he shooting flies at the ceiling with his wand or something like that in it? His freaked-out reaction to the dermatobia hominis was very in-character as well.
Funke pushing Snape's hammock so that it would rock him to sleep I thought was a very tender moment demonstrating more about her caring personality than it did necessarily about the relationship, since it wasn't especially intimate.
[Shit, he told me to relax, and then he told me to let my guard down. How the hell was I supposed to relax if I didn't have my guard up? It was ridiculous.] - Oh, man. This is another one of those punchers you keep including that so poignantly demonstrate the extent of Snape's emotional baggage. The whole description of how he assumes that what he needs to do is basically the Occlumency he practiced as a double agent, and his assumption that relaxing and letting your guard down are totally binary and incompatible, and his response to Dick that he feels safest when alone, not when with friends - yeah.
["You're getting off easy," said Grossman. "I had to explain the American electoral college last year. It didn't go over well."] - Ha, love this!
All of the descriptions of the Oi's culture throughout the chapter were really fascinating, and I appreciate how well thought out they all were. The stories were especially interesting - the jaguar legend and the story of why so many of the Oi people are wizards. LOVE the twist that Tepora is a Muggle, and I'm really really interested to see where you go with that and what he's able to contribute.
| FireGuardian89 chapter 30 . 7/14
I think you did a good job in this chapter of conveying Snape’s other aversion- change! The nuances you described with his frustrations of eating the fish with his bare hands and hopefully not burning them, worrying about how many hands were on the gourds, and roast meat being a little greasy are subtle yet effective ways to show he still has a long way to go in regards to being more open-minded. The tales you have made up for this tribe are hilarious because of their non-sensical and morbid nature- that for one I actually agree with Snape on. The part where you “about the spirits of the dead…about a network of rivers” I suggest a little rewording simply because the ‘…’ aren’t really necessary and disrupt the flow of the story. A summary sentence could easily hit all of those points, otherwise this framing comes out of nowhere and doesn’t really serve the purpose of the context.
The part where Snape is worried about having to sing was pretty funny too, because it nailed my suspicions I had about the Oi earlier in the story: they love death a little too much and poke fun at it. However, I was very intrigued by the part where Snape talks about having to drag his ‘dad home from the pubs’ which kind of makes me wonder if his dad had some sort of alcohol issue or was very distant from his family. Both, in my opinion, could really explain some of Snape’s behaviors. I haven’t read the prequel to this, so I am curious to know whether this was ever addressed or not. I think Snape based on his comments is used to people abandoning him and feeling as if they are better off without him- which is a huge reason he acts the way he does!
That little paragraph, to me, explained the most about Snape’s character compared to the all of the events and people he has encountered. I read it several times because I found it so telling and personal, which are things that make Snape very uncomfortable. Then his struggle over whether to be upset with his dad or not for wanting to happy for a few hours was very emotionally complex because it shows there are so many layers to Snape’s reactions. It was nice though to see Snape be able to let go of the past for a second and sing, even if it clearly is not his most favorite thing in the world to do. Canutsipem’s explanation for what he thought the song meant was hilarious!
Finally got back to the skin issue, sadly I almost forgot about it as much as the characters did. I laughed at Dick’s casual reaction to Snape throwing up and being concerned about what would happen next- he simply shrugged it off and said been there, done that. The concept of having Snape in a half-dream was very interesting, especially since it showed characters that he had a variety of relationships with. The part where he said ‘I always knew who wore the trousers’ was pretty funny and totally inappropriate for the situation. The angst was well-executed as Snape becomes hesitant that Tepora could help him and yet in the end it appears that Tepora might have figured something out? Seems promising and interested to see how it plays out.
| Luna Rapunzel chapter 27 . 7/14
I really liked your explanation of why Apparition and broom travel are difficult in the rainforest to explain why Muggle means of travel are the ones most commonly used there. Great attention to detail as always. Tepora and the Oi also sound like a really intriguing aspect of your world construct; I've really enjoyed seeing you build American wizarding society, so seeing how you incorporate magic into what sounds like a tribal environment should be really interesting as well. (On a related note, I love this: [Dick laughed. "No one cares about the Statute out here. Half the locals are from tribes designated as 'integrated Statute-exempt societies' anyway. Ministry officials never set foot in the rainforest. They just don't care."])
I was a little bit thrown off by the way you introduced the idea that Snape and Dick are going to head to meet Tepora using dialogue, though. It wasn't immediately apparent that the opening scene followed so quickly from the closing scene of the previous chapter, and I actually jumped to the assumption that they had already left for the rainforest and was really thrown off when Dick started talking about Snape staying in Arkham for the time being. Usually I'm a big fan of in media res presentation of information, but in this case I found it unclear what the setting was early on - maybe a few sentences or a paragraph showing the room they were in or whatever would help?
[And what if this was it; if I didn't come back from this trip? Then the project would never be finished. I would leave a legacy of nothing but death and wreckage behind me.] - This threw me off at first glance, but I actually really like how much this develops Snape in just a few words. My first thought was that this was odd because shouldn't he already be proud of having taken his potions mastery exams and helped the students that he did while he was a professor, but in retrospect, of course Snape's going to blame himself and think that all he did for Hogwarts was create death and pain, and that says something very tragic about his character that he feels more ashamed or disgusted than anything with what came of the time he spent there.
I'm surprised Dick was okay with Funke and Benji coming along on the expedition. Wouldn't he manage to arrange it so that Snape would have privacy for this? It seems risky to bring others along given the circumstances and given that Snape doesn't want them to know what he's really seeking help for.
| FireGuardian89 chapter 29 . 7/14
I liked how the women in the tribe seem to have a highly influential role, they are vital to the well-being of the tribe and treated far greater than producing children, which is nice to see. The dynamic of segregation was very interesting and drew for me several parallels to what happened over in Hogwarts. Snape wondering if Uli would want to stay there was a subtle way to remind the reader that perhaps he worries about losing her more than he is willing to admit to himself. The part where Snape wonders about they were going to fish and ‘sticking Grossman’s feet in the water’ was funny and is typical Snape using Grossman as his punching bag. The part where Snape says ‘there, nothing….waited for the sap’ I recommend combining into a sentence because the flow is kind of awkward.
The part where Snape is trying to bargain for the glasses was entertaining as well, because once again Snape cannot simply relax and let go of a pair of glasses that really serve nothing more than being an accessory to his new identity. Cool to see the exchange and the Oi kids being amused by the prospect of glasses. Grossman tries to point out how Snape made the kids’ day but instead Snape was so focused on having an advantage through bargaining that he couldn’t let his guard down fully and just have some fun. The line where Snape is describing Viti’s attempts of making a buzzing sound with “Then he stopped….wincing in concentration” has a bunch of commas that easily could be condensed by clustering ideas together in the sentences. Another example is near the end where you say “I found it a bit unnerving. They kept smiling at me,” are thoughts that easily could be combined to enhance the flow.
The use of the fly sound was a really cool way to get Snape to do the uncomfortable, and something that directly opposed the feeling of spells. He was right in the sense that spells are highly verbal, but with the task of the fly sound it actually required a lot of non-verbal cues that Snape was not used to. This was a great way to show perhaps using magic a lot makes the wand a crutch and can take any natural instincts, which is what the Oi do for a lot of their preservation tactics. I’m not sure if you intended to frame this parallel or not, but part of the reason I suspect the Oi are uncomfortable with modern wizards is simply not the magic itself but rather they are out of touch with natural instincts and nature. The wizarding world would rather produce results instantaneously, whereas with the Oi there is more of a process to things.
Best part of the chapter: Snape’s continued aversion (or denial!) towards making friends.
| FireGuardian89 chapter 28 . 7/13
Very good description in this chapter- I could easily envision the scene and the interactions with the Oi tribe. Even the food was very descriptive and made sense given the context. This chapter has also done a good job of portraying Snape’s PTSD, which is something I should have commented on earlier. The night sweats, nightmares, paranoia, anger, and illogical thinking at times really reflect someone who has undergone a traumatic event. You have made it realistic without taking away from the personal growth of the character, which is a very hard thing to do.
I died laughing when Snape was talking about his troubles of walking in the forest and the biggest struggle he apparently had was ‘was travelling with goddamn herbologists.’ Glad to see he hasn’t lost his prejudice against them! He had a point though about them slowing down the pace and taking time to notice unnecessary things. There is an error with the line “examine…collect it,’ as there should be a comma right before the ‘collect it’ part of the sentence. Dick’s comment of “now, now…you have to expect us to herbologize….we’ll get there” was hilarious! He clearly as shown in this story could not be bothered on set timelines, which is something that drives him nuts.
The banter between Grossman and Snape has also been one of the most enjoyable things about this story- they both light into each other in a humorous way and move on. Nice to see that they can keep some sort of relationship without killing one another. The paranoia Snape had over the bugs certainly drove his PTSD further, as he almost snapped at Dick to kill the bug as if a new skin was growing. Snape’s anxiety over the bug being attached and trying to grow on him, however, was well justified. God, and he really had the nerve to ask Snape to be open with people- Dick what are you thinking? XD
Where the lines “That was all…two figures rushed…Dick held on,” are really fragmented sentences that disrupt that flow, and I would suggest making one or two sentences with them. The part where he says “…when I craned my head” should go at the front of the sentence since Snape has to crane his head first before he is physically able to see anything.
Interesting to see Snape become nervous about addressing the Oi people when he has faced much worse scrutiny at Hogwarts, and of course the one thing he cannot do is relax- mentally psyching himself out by overthinking I feel. The comment he made about ‘having friends that he could let his guard down’ sums up Snape’s fear of vulnerability and I am glad you incorporated this into the chapter. I loved that Canutsipem didn’t think Snape was really smart because that is a great way to really piss Snape off since being smart is something he highly values. Poor Snape was getting worst treatment than you would expect in the TSA line, and really you did a good job of highlighting that he also is not a fan of physical touch.
That mythology (assuming it is made up?) story was very sad, and definitely reflects the nature of the jungle. I appreciated that you gave the Oi tribe some background and culture, which made the interactions way more realistic. Very cool to see that you incorporated actual tribes into the story, I was not sure if that was the case until I read your author’s note.
Okay, so after reading Snape’s Muggle comment it contradicts his attitude in Ch. 17, which is that he didn’t want for Muggle-Wizarding prejudice, but here he is clearly prejudiced against Muggles by believing they aren’t capable of helping him. Personally it would make more sense if these concepts are switched around, because now it would make more sense if it he had more faith in Muggles. I think the execution would be stronger if it showed Snape struggling a bit with the Muggle situation rather than already being skeptical.
Very creative and interesting chapter!
| FireGuardian89 chapter 27 . 7/13
I laughed at the banter between Dick and Snape, especially the part where Snape says in response to the trees probably wanting to kill him that ‘Well, I plan to write them out of the will, the ungrateful brats.” Probably should change ‘the’ to ‘those’ to be more grammatically correct. I liked the concept of going to a healer because once again Snape is going to be exposed to something he would probably turn his nose up on if he wasn’t forced to otherwise. Should also be a comment after ‘revenge’ in the stopping revenge line. I loved Snape’s immediate skepticism of the idea, which totally fits his personality and of course Dick was the positive one who kept telling him to go for it.
The thing about ‘it is the best opportunity for you see the rainforest’ is a tad bit hard to sell to the RA’s because everyone is aware that Snape doesn’t enjoy being in the rainforest, so would they actually believe this? I think Snape should have responded here by showing doubt in the way the RA’s would react- I would bet serious money that Grossman would respond and have a say in that. He has not had to go to the rainforest to do his research, so again I am not entirely convinced the lab would believe this. To make it work though, the next chapter should include a scene where Dick tells the lab and they don’t believe him at first and then he makes up a weirder lie that gets them to believe it.
The reaction Uli had to Snape coming back was very emotionally charged, and showed the consequences of his actions. Snape has shown to not fully understand the emotional nature of humans, and hopefully now this will be the point where he finally gets it. I thought he came off as self-centered to be honest, and was kind of surprised he just wanted to end things like that. However, the part with the RA’s I liked, and showed how suspicious Snape still is and his inability to calm down shows how he cannot compartmentalize things. Not sure what you meant by ‘looking at the winter’ at the end of the conversation between Snape and Uli. Glad to see they are trying to work things out on a realistic level.
The Crabbe information was interesting, and confirms my suspicions that Dick keeps tabs on things in England, which is funny considering you would think Snape would be more interested in those he cared about. The sentence that starts with “Yet there I was…first aid and hammock” is all over the place content wise and doesn’t flow too well- I would suggest breaking it down into two sentences. The Oi concept sounds really promising as well and I am interested to see where you take it.
Overall a very interesting chapter and looking forward to seeing what you have in store with the Oi healer.
| Luna Rapunzel chapter 26 . 7/13
I really liked the once again surreal aspect to Snape's dream where he transposed Dumbledore's words ("Severus, please...") onto Dick's image at his desk, and then your throwback to the dream when Snape sees Dick in his office, is momentarily panic-struck when he flashes back to the previous night and half-expects Dick to say those words, and then is relieved when he doesn't. It's a small detail but did a lot to capture how constant and ever-present Snape's paranoia is. There were a few other moments in this chapter that had that same effect for me: Snape's shortness of breath when he saw the negatives and recalled the very first scene of the first chapter when he was in another place (I'm still wondering what exactly was going on there, so I'm glad you referred back to it and haven't just forgotten it happened!) was very indicative of trauma because people without trauma wouldn't start hyperventilating at something as commonplace and minor as looking at negatives; Snape's panic here - [Oh god, Vince burned and I couldn't get him out, he burned.] - also neatly called back to Snape's lingering guilt and upset over Crabbe's death, and I liked that you had watching someone else burn immediately trigger a flashback there, which I thought was a realistic way to portray Snape's mind.
Really nice writing in the train station where Snape reflected, [The tunnel gaped in front of me. I stepped into the darkness. Usually, the second time down any path feels faster. But then I felt like time had slowed, stopped, and began to run backwards. I finally stood outside the metal door, wondering what beast was waiting for me inside. / The beasts were all in the past, of course, except that the past was following me now. I stood in the room for a long time, staring at the blackened circle on the floor.] Also, I'm wondering who exactly the skin man was... his hair color reminds me of Barty Crouch Jr., but that can't be right.
Favorite lines for this chapter both came from Dick for a change. Loving his clever comebacks and wit in this chapter!
["You're not going to propose, are you?" / "Not unless you have a very handsome dowry."]
["Make sure my RAs have been working and not mucking around." / "All right, I'll have a shout at them for you. Chin up!"]
["You just made that up!" / "Well, that is one of the perks of being lab director; you get to make up the rules."]
| NeoMiniTails chapter 3 . 7/12
Onto chapter three's review:
This was an interesting chapter for me. Snape getting the news about how it all went down and the hurt that he felt in reading the list of all those who lost their life in the battle against Voldemort.
For me, the final scene was the most interesting. Out of everything in this chapter, it was his interaction with Minerva and finding out that Harry had revealed Snape's true nature to Voldemort and his dread that he felt in knowing this. It really shows the fearsome nature of the "Dark Lord" seeing as despite him being dead, he's still quite afraid.
Like the previous chapter, I found that the first person narrative to be a bit hard for me to keep up with... Snape seems just a bit OOC. There's something off in the way things are said that doesn't feel quite right... and it takes me out of the story. In no way is the story badly written, but that is an issue.
My suggestion, if you write something similar later on, is to get a beta-reader who is there simply for characterization and narrative. It'll make a big difference. You have almost everything else down but that one thing.
Here are a few nitpicks:
In a few days (comma) I would probably be strong enough to apparate the seven miles to Boston,
I ran across several rabbits on my way back to Battery Terrill (no comma needed, splice-you could maybe delete "and then" and use a semi-colon) and then there were mussels and probably fish and crabs as well.
Perhaps (comma) he was right.
At the moment (comma) I could only affect two of the changes I needed:
Thanks for writing,
Until Next Time,
| FireGuardian89 chapter 26 . 7/12
The Mistakonic University was a cool nod since I learned it was a part of the fictional Arkham town you had included in this story- I love when authors include world-building as a part of the story, and that is one of the best things you have put together for this story. Ironic that Snape learns that skin sending is a pain in the arse because clearly trying to avoid them could be described in the same way. The skin information so far has been helpful but sadly is not fruitful on Snape’s end. So far there seems to be no good ending on what may happen with the skin, and hopefully Snape finds a way out of this instead of the presumed unfortunate reality of dying.
I laughed at Snape’s comment of: “Are you going to propose?” Typical snarky Snape always has something to say about others as usual. I appreciate that you have Dick press Snape in a polite way to keep a level head and not forget about his relationships. His honest candor about Uli’s reaction to the letter was a good reminder to reflect that Snape tends to have an out of site and out of mind mentality to relationships, as he hasn’t thought about Uli since she left. Granted the skin is the bigger deal, but it also approaches his lack of emotional understanding of people.
The part where Snape says ‘evidently we both had a spare wand up our sleeves’ should have context before it, such as a sentence describing Dick taking out a spare wand and then Snape laughing as he pulls his out, otherwise it sort of comes out of nowhere and doesn’t give the reader enough contextual information. Same comment with last chapter for the fragmented sentences. For example: “I tripped it…I cast lumos” could easily be one or two sentences that flow better. The line “I was staring” should be stared instead since Snape’s narration is in the past tense.
The interactions between Snape and Grossman when he went back to Brazil were great. You had Grossman awkwardly start the conversation with ‘we still have the distiller’ which actually does deserve a metal considering Zosimo’s wankery and then Snape responds with his metal jab. And of course Zosimos is still up to his antics as usual, and the mirror concept was really interesting with the premise of going back in time and showing the memories of the people looking in the mirror. I love how Dick made up that rule so Snape was forced to let him get involved, and I’m glad Snape requested help for once because clearly he cannot figure out the skin deal on his own.
Oh, so it was Avery? Wow, I did not see that coming and certainly makes for an intriguing plot line. The description you used to describe making the skin process was great, and really helped me to understand the process better. My question is why would Avery be the States? Someone must have been tracking Snape and asked for Avery to do this. And why would Avery turn against Snape and decide to do this without a strong motivation? Very interesting that now Snape is going to go back to Brazi and perhaps this will lead to an Uli confrontation? I imagine she still is probably not happy with the way that letter was constructed.
I appreciated your Dark Magic explanation and like that you diverged it from the canon book definition. Especially the point about it not being technically evil in nature, which always bothered me in the books with the ‘you are only light or dark’ implications of using magic. Well done!
| FireGuardian89 chapter 25 . 7/12
The part explaining the skin was very interesting, and it answered questions I have had since the beginning on how the skins originated in form. I liked the part that the creator had to have something of Snape’s to make it work, so now I am even more curious to know who set the skin after him, especially if Dick’s claim that it was made in the States proves to be true. That certainly is a game changer.
The scene where he thinks about Lucius’ reactions and tells him to shut was hilarious- now that is more of how I pictured their interactions to be. Where you wrote ‘I stopped dead’ should probably read ‘I stopped dead in my tracks’ because otherwise the context can be taken differently. There are also a few times where you have very short sentences that easily could be combined to improve the flow. For example: “My disillusionment went away…It was just as well…It would be very hard’ could easily be combined into two sentences since they pertain to the same topic. Same thing with the “A faint breeze…smell metal’ part could be combined as well.
The descriptions of the flying across town and being in the station were well-executed and reflected the dynamic nature of a busy city. You described the scenery and the actions of Snape in conjunction with his confusion and determination to figure out what was going on without losing the interest of the reader. I laughed out loud at the hand on his arse comment, I guess he forgot he was a teenage girl, which unfortunately more often than not are targets for sexual harassment.
The lines of “Eventually…in front of me’ is awkwardly phrased. I would suggest cutting it into two sentences to make it sound clearer.
The cork vial with Snape’s blood was very creepy, and makes me wonder how it got there in the first place. How would have someone in the States get his blood anyways? I am very curious to see where you go with this one. It is possible they collected it from the sback, but then that bodes the fact someone other than the skin had to have been following him. Creepy revelation about the skin man’s body- I wonder why that particular man was killed. A very haunting and disturbing way to end the chapter, which is a good way to up the suspense.
| FireGuardian89 chapter 24 . 7/12
I liked the opening quote- it sounds like something Snape would say in regards to his life, because there is certainly a part of him that probably wishes he did not survive out of guilt. The moth use is very interesting, and I think you have done great job of describing how Snape’s lab uses it to move forward his project. Sometimes the scientific parts in a story can come off too confusing to the reader, but you have done a good job of describing in a simplistic and easy to understand manner.
OH no the skin man! Ugh, I knew it was coming back! I’m curious as to how the skin found him, since he changed identities and moved all the way to Brazil. I’m assuming that you don’t change your natural scent despite the Polyjuice point? That is only explanation to me as to how the skin got all the way to Brazil unless you explain it later on. Blood doesn’t make too much sense for me because the skin would have to have open wounds to smell, unless you mean internally. I thought you did a good job of conveying Snape’s fears and yelling at everyone to get out. Even the ‘shut up and give me your lab coat!’ by Dick was believable because people often act out of character when dealing with a crisis. Sad to see Snape is probably going to have to live on the run after just starting a new life and being happy (in his own way).
I am super curious (as I was earlier) as to who exactly would be sending the skin. I would die if it ended being Aberforth, only to prove Snape’s paranoia about him. I’m not sure who else at this point would have any motivation to see Snape dead.
‘He was pulllng…paper.’ Should be pulled since the descriptive writing in the story is in past tense. I also noticed there are a lot of fragmented sentences, such as ‘I thought it over,’ ‘I snorted,’ ‘I stared at him,’ etc that could improve the flow by deleting them or simply expanding them or add them to the dialogue tags.
The conversation between Dick and Snape on what to do regarding the skin really reflected their personality differences. Dick was overly positive and determined to keep Snape in Brazil, whereas Snape assumed the worst and decided he would have to do things the hard way. Dick’s comment of “Why don’t we see…very worst possible conclusion’ pretty much nailed Snape’s attitude about the whole thing.
Question about the tenant situation where Dick lives during lectures- how do the Muggles not know about the wizarding? It seems almost implausible that they wouldn’t notice the wizards using their wands to open the door? I think this should be explained more because to me it doesn’t seem realistic. Also have to disagree based on my Ch. 17 review that the Dark Lord would care less about where wizards could and not live, because again, he is too selfish to be bothered.
And of course Snape’s letter is vague as crap-shocking! Looking forward to seeing where you take Snape’s impending dilemma.
| FireGuardian89 chapter 23 . 7/11
Ugh, he had to wait three weeks to get the distiller back? How lame, but I know Snape was taking advantage of all of those minutes waiting. I laughed that he considered going out with the RA’s a more daunting task- which again shows his underdeveloped social skills. The sexual tension between Uli and Snape was interesting in the beginning and I wish you had incorporated this earlier in the story instead of the two of them jumping into bed together- this would have been more effective in chapter 20. “I kept my hand there,” combined with his thoughts was interesting- shows how he takes everything from a logical approach. And Dick just went for it, cool and casual, which reflects his demeanor.
I thought the contrast with the Hogwarts policy on no relationships was good, I could totally see Hooch making that joke too. I wish Snape had dropped some more gossip there, would be curious to see what the personal lives of the professors were. Very smart on his end to buy Valeria a gift, shows how strategical Snape is in regards to getting what he wants. For someone who struggles to connect with others on a personal level, he truly understands human psychology well. I find this contradiction in your story to be quite compelling. Then he is willing to help someone because he knows he will get something out of it – classic Snape. Loved his reaction to Uli wanting to know what his plans, apparently to Snape human interactions of any sort are complicated.
The part where he offered Treehorn’s comics was awesome, he surely will go to whatever length to resolve the distiller issue. “It happened to suit my purpose admirably…I laid two of the comics…pushed the lip down on the paper bag…” This was a great part that really subtly described how Snape understands how body language works, as he was effectively able to manipulate Treehorn into helping him. In fact, he didn’t need to even have a conversation with Treehorn to seal the deal, he sensed the body language and walked away like a champ.
“You say what you think about others, but not yourself.” My god, she nailed him in one sentence! This is a great way to describe how Snape interacts with others, failing to divulge anything about himself, and everything about other people. Love how she called Snape out for wanting to do things himself instead of asking Dick as the simple way to solve the problem.
The dream was very interesting, to me it culminated Snape’s desire to try and save those he is incapable of saving and placing the guilt on himself. Going through one of Zosimos’ ex-wives? That showed Snape is willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done! I died laughing that the RA’s followed Snape to listen in on the conversation, as secretive as he wanted to keep the Zosimos issue, it seemed a decent amount of people knew. For once, they weren’t scared of Snape’s threats either, even the Death Eater once flew by them. Park started singing in Korean to distract them was pretty funny, and it was neat to see Snape allow his RAs to help him instead of forcing them to leave. The tension over the distiller was actually pretty exciting because you finally had the whole lab coming together for a good cause.
And lol at Zosimos getting mad about Snape brewing coffee in the distiller, he was making food for christs sake. “Champions!” indeed.
| FireGuardian89 chapter 22 . 7/10
Not surprised that entering the lair of Snape’s bedroom would be another room broken, seems as though he is slowly but surely letting those walls down and hopefully it continues to develop this way. The Muggle line in the beginning was very interesting and highlighted the sort of prejudice Snape held and still on some level holds towards Muggles ‘torment them with a desire….tbey could never have.’ Lily definitely represented the unobtainable dream in Snape’s life but I also argue this represents his mindset in general. Nothing is ever good enough for Snape, so he intentionally goes after things he can never reach because it keeps him from being vulnerable. Being with Uli is his first time of having something realistic and obtainable and you did a good job of highlighting his confusion here.
The part where Professor da Silva let that hairy spider near him creeped me out, I’m surprised Snape did not have more of a visceral reaction to it given the way he reacted in the jungle. Very funny how a bunch of random creatures are just chilling in da Silva’s office and he shrugs it off as if it is no big deal.
Metamorphosis is such a cool word to use because I argue that this can describe Snape’s journey for sure. He is slowly but surely changing his persona, and learning to let go of the vulnerability fears. And then da Silva randomly gets up during the meeting and kills the bug, I died laughing at that. He goes into a metaphorical speech which is so jarring for someone like Snape who has a linear track mind and just wants the answers right away. I thought this was an effective way to show how Snape needs to be more open and not worried about the future. Almost everything he is concerned about is what will happen in the future and he reflects this by spending too much time on worrying that the past will determine his future in an ironic kind of way.
“Not that you would have made it past the first audition if it was” was a nice nod to the singing reality shows that started around this time- seems to imply that Snape has seen some Muggle television? Now I am super curious about this and the extent to which Snape has had with Muggle culture back in England- Rowling never really addressed this. I enjoyed the banter between Grossman and Snape, they seem to have a like-hate (mostly Snape on the latter lol) relationship based on banter, which is neat to see dialogued. Of course Snape freaks out and assumes Zosimos had the distiller borrowing done on purpose, he really needs to a find a therapist at this point! ‘That wasn’t what I wanted to take a particular stab at’ was hilarious and totally Snape. I liked that there is some tension developing between them, you have an unorthodox rebel like Zosimos who is very scattered and Snape who is a perfectionist who has to do things the right away – another good foil in this story.
The distiller part was very realistic to how it works in lab, very cutthroat and frustrating. This was a good chapter, and I enjoyed that Snape stuck it too Zosimos, who seems to have grandiose false delusions about his talents- I bet the tension develops even more.