|Reviews for The New Skin|
| ShadowDeity'sFire chapter 26 . 7/12/2015
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!
| ShadowDeity'sFire chapter 25 . 7/12/2015
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.
| ShadowDeity'sFire chapter 24 . 7/12/2015
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.
| ShadowDeity'sFire chapter 23 . 7/11/2015
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.
| ShadowDeity'sFire chapter 22 . 7/10/2015
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.
| ShadowDeity'sFire chapter 21 . 7/10/2015
Going to be honest here, did not like the opening at all because that sort of action on Snape’s end is very OCC. Granted we all do things inebriated that aren’t in character, but someone as calculated and controlled as Snape would be way too guarded to run past third base. Their relationship seemed to jump very fast out of nowhere, which to be honest is a little disappointing. I liked that their relationship was developed slower and more realistic, and this sort of scenario needs to be handled carefully. I don’t have a problem with Snape letting his guard down around Uli, but to me this is was a little too fast of a progression between the two.
I did, however, like the aspect of Snape being uncomfortable with deviating from his normal plans, which I think could have been executed stronger if you had them fall in love slowly and portray these feelings over time. Subtle is stronger with Snape, and jarring stuff like this sometimes does not come off as believable. I thought the part of Uli confronting him was great, because Snape is someone who runs away from his feelings instead of actively acknowledging them. “Some people say I am too blunt…but better to have things settled all at once” really stood out to me. UIi is a good foil to Snape because she directly addresses things, unlike him. I love the fact she is confident and brazen, and will not sugarcoat things to Snape. The problem I have sometimes with Dick and Snape’s relationship is that Dick kind of enables him in a way by letting Snape fall into bad habits. Uli, on the other hand, will not- she will slice and dice him with ease. XD
Hilarious the reaction he had to the RA’s asking him out to have drinks with them, a stark contrast to the uncomfortable and frustrating experiences the RA’s had during the start of the lab. The fact he wanted to ‘bin, feed to fish, burn’ his notes was a really effective way to show how rigid Snape is despite the numerous changes he has made in his life. “What was he playing at” was another good nod, because once again Snape is assuming the worst of people when in reality Uli strikes me as that cool kind of professor that wants to hang out with her students. Goes to show all it takes apparently to get Snape out of the city is Uli, so she is starting to have some sort of impact on him.
Where the line ‘unfortunately, and two..’ you can get rid of the ‘and’ since it kind of messes up the flow of the sentence. The part where Snape is asking about when da Silva was coming back combined with his own thoughts was good execution to show Snape’s continued obsession in the lab. The line where he talks about ‘revealing a vulnerability’ was bang on with Snape’s issues, which extend to many areas of his life. He started to freak out when Uli asked pretty tame questions about his past, and instead of saying he doesn’t like PDA and is worried about what people think, he evades questions to make it worse. But luckily Uli was able to beat it out of him in her own way and get Snape to calm down a bit.
I died laughing at ‘fondle might not be the right word….Well, I wouldn’t do that in public either.’ Ending shows Snape still has a long way to go in regards to opening himself up, but progress has been made!
| Luna Rapunzel chapter 25 . 7/10/2015
I like the fact you're showing Snape being tormented by nightmares, like I've said before, but it is starting to feel formulaic that so many chapters open with a dream sequence. (That said, at least in this particular chapter, the line where Snape tells his reflection in the mirror that Voldemort is dead hoping to convince it since he can't seem to convince himself - that was gold.)
I honestly don't have too much to say in response to this chapter, not because it wasn't interesting (it was, very much so!) but just because it was very point A to point B-type plot driven without as much happening by way of character development as a lot of previous chapters had going on, where the plot action and decisions Snape made would be representative of some personality trait or fault of Snape's. This chapter actually reminded me a lot of this story's very early chapters in which Snape was casting around the island or Boston trying to get his health back up to speed and establish himself in a new place. I'm really curious what kind of information Snape's going to be able to get out of the skin man's tooth that he found at the end, though. And I thought you did a nice job of setting up suspense and intrigue as Snape followed the popsicle stick underground and tried to find the source of the blood.
| Luna Rapunzel chapter 24 . 7/10/2015
Forgot to mention this in my last reviews (I read chapters 22 and 23 on my phone so wasn't able to note-take as usual), but I was really interested to see both Snape and Zosimos using a principle of Dark Magic in their experiments, and one that looks so innocent at that - simply a parts/whole divide - unless it's coupled to one of the given examples like blood of an enemy for vengeance. I'm curious how exactly you define Dark Magic, since the world of the books very much set it up as a Vague Bad Thing, whereas your construction of it so far seems to be implying that it's only evil if put to evil purposes.
Ahh, I knew the skin would be back... and I would've actually been really disappointed if he /didn't/ return, since you'd set skins up to be so inescapable within the world construct. (I do notice, though, that you're calling it a "skin man" in this chapter when I remember it from earlier as just "skin"? So slight discrepancy there.) Speaking of things coming back, I'm wondering when Aberforth is going to make a reappearance... it wouldn't make sense for him to go to all the trouble he did in the early chapters and then never show back up or have any further relevance (or that all the news trickling in about the Ministry's honors and protections for Snape never have any relevance, either).
Okay, so based on this bit - [The landlords and property owners on this side have a very strong preference for magical tenants. Completely illegal, of course, but the practice is entrenched, especially as the authorities won't enforce the law, and non-magical people aren't exactly in a position to complain. I'm sure they have no idea that they are being discriminated against.] - it looks like you are in fact following canon that the Statute of Secrecy is an international policy. So then why does UFAM have a magical division? Unless it's a covert affiliation and there are people super high up in the administration keeping things under wraps and held together?
It's a little hard to imagine that Dick would be SO generous with Snape when they'd only met in person a few times before this. It makes sense that a kind person would stretch and put themselves in a bit of danger to protect someone in that dire a situation, but Dick didn't have any timidity or hesitation or anything and treated Snape like an old, close friend. I can believe that Dick would be super valuable to Snape, but I have a hard time imagining that someone as warm and friendly as Dick is would be in the same position Snape is of having very few friends - few enough that an academic correspondent with whom he had very little personal relationship before this would be someone he'd treat with SO much familiarity.
I do find it a little interesting that Dick was still calling Snape "Cyril" in Dick's Arkham apartment even when there was no one anywhere near the vicinity to overhear them /and/ as Dick was openly acknowledging the false identity (talking about how Snape trusted him with his name). Practicing staying in the habit, I guess?
My "aww, Snape!" moments of the chapter:
[Unless it ate me first. That was one solution, the only drawback being that for some reason I didn't want to die.]
[Of course I couldn't simply live. I would never be permitted simplicity.]
| FlameofSwords chapter 3 . 7/10/2015
Back again, and so now Snape is trying to go to Boston, huh? I’m not exactly sure what this would do for him, but he did want out, so here is out! Though of course plot would be waiting in Boston for him…hehe.
I actually like the humor you included in trying to show us Snape trying to become Dr. Ramson. It nicely offsets the news he receives later…and there we can feel a drastic change. But here, the humor is actually pretty subtle. I extremely liked it when the Headmaster told Snape that he wouldn’t be able keep that ID for five minutes – a short amount of time if you ask…well, anyone. And the fact that Snape agrees, but still tries to mimic how Ramson looked. He’s desperate to get to Boston, even if it means trying to find Muggle hair dye just so he doesn’t have to use magic to be detected by Muggles. Though, quick question – have the Muggles become aware of magic in their world? I know in the first book the wizards invaded, but as I haven’t read past that, did that event make them more aware of wizards and always look for signs? Because if they did, it would make sense for Snape to want to look like Ramson to avoid detection from the Muggles and want to by their products instead of using charms. But if not, then it confuses me as to why he would go through the trouble, but then again, it’s probably the former. Though XD to Snape’s shaving attempts. I honestly have to wonder how he’ll tell a Muggle about his bleeding cheek.
As for the news, I must have read it wrong in the previous chapter…Snape was mad at this guy name Vincent for not listening, not Harry. That part confused me mainly because there was only a mention of Harry, and while it was a new report, Snape didn’t exactly think: “Vincent, you messed this up!” Or something of the sort. But this is interesting, actually. Snape wants Harry dead, and yet he actually cares about how he gets dealt with. Most people who want the main character of a series dead don’t care what method is used, but Snape doesn’t seem to be the type for violence. He didn’t want for countless of bodies to be sacrificed, huh? Interesting character there…so I’m guessing that Vincent is in a load of trouble, huh? Well, that is if Snape can get back to where he was before.
The other news were actually quite interesting, but I did have a problem with what came after it. The scene that came after it was jarring. I can only assume that Snape fell asleep after leaning back. But there’s no transition and you’re just assuming that we can assume that Snape fell asleep. I get that everything doesn’t have to be said, but this just really did strike me as odd. Don’t get me wrong – you have a wonderful style and despite being mostly fandom blind, I’m interested in your story. It’s just that sometimes my mind trails off due to the amount of times we stay in one complete scene with no breaks showing that we’ve moved on to the next scene. So that occasionally confuses me. Though either way, I still want to read on, so see you again!
| FlameofSwords chapter 2 . 7/10/2015
I’m actually rather surprised that Snape can still cast a spell even with his strength draining away. I would assume that perhaps he would be unable to do magic but am I wrong? Is “lumos” such a low level spell that one can use it even though their strength is draining? And I’m still confused as to what it did for Snape…
Ooh, and now he’s confused. The terminology is flying over my head, but I’m going to assume that a Death Eater is some organization that people tend to dislike. I’m also going to assume that they’re shrewd. And so Snape entertaining the possibility of his helper being one…I don’t blame him. He’s really confused and you capture that well here. Granted, I missed it the first time, but Albus dancing around in Snape’s dream really shows that Snape is potentially losing it. Because Albus apparently doesn’t do that…but its rather interesting that Snape doesn’t characterize that as weird, but as something he should feel happy for? I’m taking a wild guess here, but Snape doesn’t appear to be the happy type to me, so the line about him being unable to dance kind of made me chuckle, but I’m rather surprised that he doesn’t question the dancing as weird. He wants to be happy for him, but he can’t because of the pain he’s receiving in the dream. It’s honestly confusing me, and I’m actually not sure if this is me reading his character wrong or not. But still…
Okay, now I know what “lumos” does – it shows the room. Which explains how Snape was able to see the room perfectly fine, despite someone who in that state probably wouldn’t be able to see. Though I honestly don’t see the logic in Snape being too weak to stand and yet is able to cast spells. Though if this is canon, well ignore little miss ignorant.
Poor Snape – I feel for your want to get outside. It is pretty bland staying inside. But my mind is drifting towards the fact that plot is happening if he manages to figure out the password. I dunno, but I just get a feeling that he should *not* open the door at all costs. I’m not exactly sure if it’s the beginning that’s making me think this, or Snape’s sick condition, but something’s bound to happen. I don’t want him to go through that pain he got in the beginning. Then again, plot…
Okay, so now plot is happening in a form of an article. Based on the premise, I’m going to assume that this is an alternate version of events and Harry Potter actually didn’t simply kill the Dark Lord and Snape doesn’t want to kill him, right? If so, well, this is an interesting way to fuel the story. I’m going to assume that Snape is going to find him and you know, attempt to lecture him. Maybe not, since Snape apparently wants to get away from it all, but it seems plausible. Or maybe this led to it. It probably did.
Though, to be fair, and sorry about this, but I found the point where Snape leaves the house to be very boring. Sure, to me it adds to his personality and now I know a bit about Albus, even if it is just he likes sweets, but it didn’t do much for me. It was just Snape walking on a beach, something that I don’t find terribly interesting. And nothing really grabbed my attention. Sure, he was in New York, farther away from where the plot of this book takes place, but I just see absolutely no emotion to the scene. He’s just merely observing, and I don’t know if it’s because he’s too tired to do more than a little bit of walking and thinking or because that’s his character. But it really makes the end of this chapter a little forgettable and not exactly something that would make me want to read on, you know? I know that unlike the first one, this chapter isn’t exactly eventful, and that’s fine – not everything needs to have someone get hurt or something. But I rather enjoyed it when Snape was feeling helpless in the house. It just felt more human to me. And here, Snape’s actions read as robotic. And I’ve seen him portrayed by you as a character with some emotion…and there’s nothing here. Either way, it doesn’t exactly take away from what this story can become, but it does kind of make this chapter a little bit uninteresting and not really something that will make me, a reader, want to click on. But because I do want to see how this affects Snape, I will read on. Because, hey, it still makes me wonder if Snape, when he’s feeling all fine, will react to this new place in any way. Anyways, I’ll see you next time.
| ShadowDeity'sFire chapter 19 . 7/9/2015
Ugh, another creepy dream with the skin and the black hole, perhaps this is a major foreshadowing of the skin coming back? What is wrong with joking Snape? I think someone is getting too worried about his results and again lacks social skills to understand barking at people does not preclude respect or likability out of you. Snape seems to have a very organized system for running his lab so far, and the tension with Park showed some hidden anger within Snape- thought he was way overreacting to a common mistake you find with newer lab RA’s. The line “less, work…all I do is work more” shows that Snape is running his lab with a linear tracked mindset, which is really not good.
The line “just like in the Great dinner hall…any one of them happy to kill me given half a chance” cracked me up- he definitely would be thinking that. It seems the anxiety over the nightmares with the combination of having to manage students in a more variable setting is getting to Snape. The part about having to watch is back all of the time was a good line to highlight Snape’s paranoia- even though things are going way better for him it is clear he is still shaken by the events that have unfolded during his time overseas. The line where he talks about ‘defeat’ shows Snape’s loner nature, and mistrust of people. Something you have done a good job on is conveying this, as this personality characteristic has been evident throughout the whole story.
Even when Dick comes to talk to him about the lab environment, Snape already assumes the worst of people and gets on the defensive. That is one thing I really cannot stand about him, he assumes the worse in people and very rarely does he acknowledge that he is part of the problem. I laughed out loud at the Sirius line and Dark Lord comment, it is clear that expressing feelings might be his least favorite thing to do in the world. Even with his ‘why didn’t you bother to tell me’ line Snape is already annoyed that some level of power was taken away than self-reflecting on how he was too strict and judgmental of his lab RA’s. I thought Grossman’s apology was pretty sincere, but I think Snape owes everyone an apology for his actions as well. Ben did a good job of highlighting Snape’s impersonal and hands off approach, which isn’t working out too well.
“I can see that you’re starting to turn the RA’s against you” was the most important line of the chapter and really highlighted the main issue going on here. Ballsy on Ben’s part to go there considering the ego Snape has displayed from day one. Something I would like to see more is Snape having to deal with cultural differences between his RA’s, which was nicely done with Guilherme’s reaction to his previous comments and Ben explaining why culturally it came off as offensive. The ‘I refuse and reserve the right to unreasonably abuse whoever I please’ was hilarious as well. The part where Dick tells him he can leave the lab is another good way you emulated Snape’s lack of trust in people.
A fishing trip with the team? Cannot wait to see how Snape handles this one, and lol at the throwing Grossman to the piranhas.
| ShadowDeity'sFire chapter 20 . 7/9/2015
Of course Professor Funke is going on the trip as well, how perfect to continue developing a nice little romance.
I like the fact the boat was originally a Muggle one that was converted to wizarding powers, again you do a great job of progressively integrating more Muggle and wizarding culture together. The part about the ‘meeting’ was very interesting and I didn’t know that, so it is always neat to incorporate actual history and facts into the story, gives it a very authentic feel.
Dental floss? Oh. My. God. I died laughing at how oblivious Snape was to the actual meaning of that. Nice to see the RA’s in a good mood as well and having fun for once. Ugh, I’m really disappointed though to read that Snape was not going to consider Grossman’s ideas to help the RA’s and concerns me that things are going to get worse. I am not liking Snape these last couple of chapters because his character has seemed to be regress quite a bit.
The part about making Grossman wear a bikini was good for the fact it kind of negated my fears above, and that possibly things would improve along the way with the RA’s. Snape has never had a sense of humor, so I appreciate that you are trying to develop a new facet to his personality, and hopefully this remains the same as the story progresses.
I have to say I loved the incorporation of the dark and light side of the river because it not only serves as a crossroads, but reflects the dual nature that Snape often feels conflicted with. I see this chapter as the crossroads for Snape, as he is starting to let go of his painful past and come into the light so to speak by loosening up a bit. He is also slowly letting go of Britain, which is nice that he spends less time worrying about being caught or deceived. Snape perhaps is realizing that we are not entirely bad or good, but in fact are simply human. Snape also is getting to point of accepting his new skin and shedding the layers that he often keeps as a defense mechanism, which has been enjoyable to see play out.
I laughed so hard when he was thrown in the river, but it was nice to see Snape for once take it in stride instead of getting angry or offensive. He hopefully learned it is okay to have fun with his RA’s and he DIDN’T need to follow Grossman’s plan to do either. Talk about some character growth there. And now it appears that his RA’s are starting to like him, which is good because again you are refuting my previous comments in this review.
The spider part was very creepy because I hate spiders, but I love the Snape X Uli thing we got going on as I mentioned earlier. This is a well-executed romantic plot unlike the majority of stuff you see on FF where the two fall in love immediately then the next day they are married. I love that she called Snape out for disappearing on people like he always does, and makes fun of potion teachers in the process (which is ironic given Snape’s earlier comments on herbologists…). Arrogant and strange are two words to describe him but then he insulted her right back instead of getting insulted.
I think you have done a good job of subtly getting Snape to relax a little and open up to people more. Very interesting ending too, looking forward to seeing the SnapeXUli.
| Luna Rapunzel chapter 23 . 7/9/2015
This was definitely one of the most entertaining chapters that I've read in this story so far, and I liked that it had its own insular plot with Snape carrying out his elaborate scheme to get the distiller back from Zosimos. The RAs and Benji following Snape around everywhere as he executed it all was PRICELESS (possibly the highlight of that trope was da Silva's ""Good day, Potions lab" as they all piled into his office to hide, but Park's song-and-dance to distract the alchemy RAs was pretty fantastic, too). The entire thing was so very juvenile, as Funke rightly pointed out ("Oh, but this is childish"), and I thought was very nicely in character for Snape, whom I can definitely see realistically holding petty grudges and executing them in ridiculous ways based on what we saw of how long his grudge against the Marauders lasted in canon and the extent to which it influenced his behavior toward Sirius and Remus (and Harry too).
| Luna Rapunzel chapter 22 . 7/9/2015
I had to reread the part about needing an impossible dream in order to endure an impossible mission before I fully understood what you were saying there, but once I did, I found that unbelievably sad (in a good way!). The notion that Snape would need to be holding out for something that's never going to happen because, if it /did/ happen, he would have too hard a time finding a reason to keep going on as he was when there was no way out of what he was doing - that's some intricate doublethink right there, and very tragic that he would have had to resort to it.
The whole scene with Professor da Silva and the various abounding miscommunications was very entertaining, especially when the typewriter bug started composing Snape a (hilariously flowery) essay about metamorphosis instead of translating for him. Benji and the RAs served as excellent comic relief fawning over the metamorphosis moth and literally standing outside Zosimos's office watching the argument for kicks (which in itself was very entertaining to read as well, especially when they dropped into full-on name calling with "arrogant prick" and "buggering twat").
| Luna Rapunzel chapter 21 . 7/9/2015
I didn't enjoy this chapter as much as I've enjoyed the past several, and I think part of that was because I've been enjoying watching Snape and Funke's relationship evolve gradually over time, whereas this chapter certainly fast-forwarded through quite a lot of that. However, probably a large part of it too is that I'm not a fan of the romance genre overall, and this chapter's primary focus was definitely on the sexual/romantic relationship between the two (and delved a lot into the kind of romantic-comedy stuff that I'm just not a fan of, like with the lab trying to set Snape and Funke up at the bar), so I won't harp on about personal preference!
Funke was charming as always, between cheerily commenting on and then dismissing how many people in her life think she's too blunt, being happy to set aside the fact Snape walked out on her after talking it through and recommending Silencio, and insisting there ought to be a rule against the sort of work environment like with the Death Eaters where personal information can be held against you. I think what I like about her is that she's very brusque yet always super chipper and doesn't take anything too seriously or personally.
Snape latching onto Funke's presumed reason for his unwillingness to show affection in public with her - that it was against workplace rules - because it "didn't expose [him] as excessively paranoid" was funny yet sad as a reminder of just how deeply troubled Snape is. More fun reminders of Snape's deep-rooted problems when he completely lost it in the bar and had to bolt out of there and when Funke noticed his beads and he admonished himself for not being more careful - it's very tragic that he just wants "to simply live, after all," but his past that in a lot of ways he fell into for reasons out of his control won't let him let his guard down enough to be the simple potions master with a girlfriend that he wants to be.
Best lines: ["I won't fondle you in public." / "Ah, 'fondle' might not be the right word." / "Well, I won't do that in public either."]