|Reviews for A Difference in the Family: The Snape Chronicles|
| Hetc chapter 12 . 5/24/2020
I have been so engaged in the story that I forget to review. This is so well written. Your description of the gradual hooking and reeling in of poor Severus is almost painful to read. The stay at the Blacks' house is so real, with its description of how he is more comfortable in a servant's room, and the impact of meeting Narcissa.
His home life is awful, and presumably about to get worse.
I like the way you have historical and space events threading through the narrative.
Thanks for writing.
| Hetc chapter 9 . 5/23/2020
Catch 22 for poor Severus here. Display his talent, or risk getting beaten up.
| Hetc chapter 7 . 5/23/2020
Dumbledore seeing Severus in action refining his own spell is a great scene.
| Hetc chapter 6 . 5/23/2020
The different perspectives on Severus are interesting. Hagrid is the most accurate, I feel, with Slughorn the least. The others fall in between. Slughorn saying there's no bullying reminded me of the headteacher at my children's school. Hah.
| Hetc chapter 3 . 5/23/2020
Great world building! I'd completely forgotten about Lily
| LastScorpion chapter 64 . 5/15/2020
Awesome fic! I really enjoyed reading it.
| FreakshowIsHere chapter 64 . 4/23/2020
I have finally finished!
This was a wonderful story, and I wonder if I'll find any as big.
| shogunsherra1 chapter 64 . 4/9/2020
I found this fic off an old Reddit thread, and I must say I'm glad I did. It may be the best fic I've ever read.
Not to say there are no faults in this fic...I feel sort of like the big emotional climaxes - Lily's death and then Severus' death - I feel they fell a bit flat emotionally. There's something to be said for lingering on those things and really driving the feels home. There's a few points where canon doesn't match up quite right, and then a few creative choices I don't entirely agree with regarding his relationship with Lily and Harry.
That being said, the amount of thought and detail you've crafted around the canon novels is just freaking breathtaking. The good vastly outweighs the not-as-good, I don't claim anything was outright bad. This could very easily be a canon piece of work to me, save a few of those sticking points I mentioned.
You had me in tears, laughter, and misery throughout, your worldbuilding is insane, your dialogue and wit top-notch, and you've fleshed out my favorite character from this series in ways I will never be able to let go of.
| shogunsherra1 chapter 38 . 4/8/2020
"So I'm doomed to be alone, survive by my own celverness, be hunted mercilessly for things I didn't do, and be defended (probably posthumously) by a group of fanatic nut-cases."
| marca chapter 64 . 3/30/2020
Oh my dear. I really really love this story. It' incredible. Thank you so much!
| Raven-Scylla chapter 64 . 3/6/2020
Having read this wonderful tale of the life and death of Severus Snape not once but twice, it is without a shadow of doubt one of my absolute favourite HP fan fics. In fact I regard this as canon as far as Snape’s life is concerned and as an expansion of JKR’s books.
The way Snape is portrayed, the depth and breath of his character, reasons why he thinks, feels and behaves that way are so well thought out and integrate flawlessly into the Potterverse, I sometimes wonder whether Rannaro is a pseudonym for JKR, as the writing is capturing the essence of her characters to a T.
Absolutely loving it. Thank you so much for your work, Rannaro!
| EternalBibliophile chapter 64 . 2/22/2020
Oh my goodness, this was stunning. First of all, word count comparison puts this on par with the last three HP books combined, or else the first four plus more. I can tell this was a labor of love, and thank you for sharing.
What a rollercoaster. This was brilliant.
I was particularly impressed by the first chapters on Severus' home life. I was particularly impressed by the nuances in his background. Not only did you catch the effects of poverty and class, but the relationship between Eileen, Tobias, and Severus was amazing. Tobias' relationship to his son impressed me in particular. There was certainly abuse, and severe abuse, but there still was a relationship beyond simple hate and I found your depiction more nuanced and complex than anything else I've read. I loved the familial background, especially the fact that Severus' extended family was involved in his life. I loved how Nana was a respected witch of the old, non-institutional tradition, and her relationship to the community around her. I enjoyed how this played out after Voldemort's takeover: I have seen little mention of the various witches and wizards that we know exist in canon but do not attend Hogwarts. I loved Eileen taking Severus out onto the moor to teach him, as well as their opinions on when and how Severus should have been taught. I appreciated their superstitions, and the way they all did the best they could to prepare Severus for the not-so-welcoming world he would be entering. The Prince family's general mistrust of the Ministry helped made it even more believable that Snape would lean towards the Death Eaters, who we know from canon didn't show their true colors on blood in the early days of the first war.
I appreciated the way Severus grew isolated from the community around him, and how befriending Lily didn't just make everybody like him. Seeing him interact with bullies but being barred from retaliating sowed the seeds for the Severus we saw as a young man and adult who fiercely defends himself. I also appreciated his rich inner life, and I absolutely adored how he developed spells on his own. The description of the isolation and bullying he faced from his housemates felt genuine as well, and I could just picture this little oddball who doesn't fit in anywhere not reaching out for friends but doing everything he could to watch his back. I appreciated how he hid his skills as a first year; the idea that he had been trained fit in well with the remark in the books about how he knew more curses than half the seventh years, and also fit in with how he had the time and energy to focus on inventing spells, as he already knew many of the basics. His upbringing in general helped keep him from being a gary-stu genius to someone who was talented, but who had been trained and had a reason for precociousness. The idea that he was a rare innovator fit in well with Voldemort's collector personality. Of course he would be looking for a well-rounded organization, not just well-rounded individuals.
Occlumency. Oh, I loved it. I loved the way it was described and how integral it was to his character, from the scenes of him as a young child, to learning to hide things from his mother, to the Veritaserum scene, to his meltdown after becoming headmaster. It contributed so much to who he was and how he was feeling. I couldn't help but feel that Dumbledore was exploitive, though, when he tried to force him out. It felt in character but incredibly uncomfortable. I love the idea that he was a natural born occlumens, and that that was rare; it connected him thematically to the more intuitive magics on his mothers side and fit in nicely with his knack for nonverbal spells. I especially loved how it was both a blessing and a curse. Its overall effect was to shut people out, and I felt so bad for him when he was sorted. It was in character for him to shut down when something invaded his mind, but how very like the sorting hat to make an assumption and stand by it. The question of what house he really belonged to wasn't dealt with, and I appreciate this story for that. I loved his cynical attitude towards the house system in general, especially towards his later years when he recognizes that so much of his trajectory was shaped by his isolation as a young man in Slytherin at the wrong time.
There was an amazing element of horror in the slug potion trap set by the marauders. The same was true for the way Snape dealt with those who tried to give him trouble in his own house. I personally found the earliest written chapters of the story less compelling than some other areas, but they were still skillful. I do think the timeline switch of the werewolf prank and Snape's worst memory made for an overall softer approach to James. Their prank war did not feel much like bullying except for the slug and werewolf incidents, but we don't really have much info on how often and to what intensity those kind of pranks played out. I did appreciate the utter misguidedness of trying to scare Snape away from Bellatrix and co., and how the marauders completely misunderstood the rock and a hard place dynamic of Snape in Slytherin. Snape's understanding and manipulation of Wormtail was a realistic but tragic touch.
I loved Hagrid's relationship with Snape. That was unexpected but brilliant. I needed someone to care for him through it all and I can honestly say I wouldn't have made it to the end of this story without him. I don't think Snape would have, either. Snape's relationship with stress and food was also particularly poignant.
I loved Snape's early death eater and teacher of Hogwarts, especially surrounding his trial and depression post-Lily. I'm also in the camp that Snape wasn't actively involved in killing and torturing in the first round of war, and I loved how he was manipulated away from the elements of the organization that he would find distasteful. That seems in keeping with Hagrid's comment on how Voldemort tried to recruit Lily, and how a lot of wizards thought he had the right idea. Also, the whole bit with veritaserum and Snape's trial was wrenching but one of my favorite parts of the story, especially when Dumbledore couldn't protect him. Judge Bones was a ray of sunshine in that section.
I also really appreciate Snape's dislike of teaching, and his consciousness that G/S is an AWFUL combination. The stress surrounding the actual process of teaching hasn't come up in many things I've read. Some people have done the math and put Snape's actual teaching duties at a minimum 86 hours a week, even if he only spends 15 minutes preparing for each class. In addition, he's got possibly 500 students to keep up with, as well as head of house duties. He has no teacher training. Not only that, he teaches all students 1-5 in a subject that is comparatively dangerous and therefore much more stressful (I think only Care of Magical Creatures and Herbology can come close to the danger of potions, but CoMC isn't a topic they take until 3rd year I believe, so the teacher has to deal with fewer students, and while Herbology is dangerous, it's rarely explosive.) He was also trained from a young age and gifted at potions, and in your story tutored students who actively wanted to improve, so I can completely buy his frustration at students who seem less driven or competent, since he can't really empathize with their struggles and tends to interpret their actions as obstinacy.
One of my favorite parts of the story was how non-Harry centric it was. Harry's view of the world has Snape revolving around him: everything he does to Harry is out of personal enmity. In this story, Harry's just extra background character. Snape's life doesn't revolve around Harry.
I will say I didn't really like Dumbledore's approach to dying, and requesting Snape to fake kill him. I liked how in the original series, Dumbledore had accepted death and Snape resented him for making him do it. I thought that was poetic enough without adding resentment for being asked to do something impossible (save him). I also had a hard time buying that the Order teachers accepted Snape's story about killing Dumbledore. I liked it, but that was an element of the story that felt a little more AU to me.
There was so much I like, but this has gone on for a while, so I'll list some highlights:
The development of Moody's relationship with Snape
Snape's relationship with Umbridge
The staff side of things
Snape's dabbling with religion
Snape learning about cooking and muggle things and how that adds to his emotional maturation
Snape's relationship with Sirius and how he feels utterly justified in any comments regarding the nature of his spy work.
Dumbledore's comments on Snape's approach to pain were spot on
THE SPACE RACE (and also Snape watching muggle television as a kid, including Dr. Who)
His relationship with McGonagall
How his last memories weren't controlled, but an unconscious "please, take what you need to know"
Slughorn, and how Snape had to pick up his slack
His relationship with Lupin, and how he compartmentalized making potions that worked and his feelings towards Lupin (I personally feel the werewolf prank affected Snape a lot more than it showed here, but that's a personal interpretation)
| projektrevolution20 chapter 64 . 1/30/2020
I finally finished this! So amazing! I can’t believe what a journey this was. Thank you for the dedication this took. I loved every second of it and loved this look into Snapes life.
| olaeczka chapter 61 . 1/12/2020
you know, I think people tend to forget about the possibility of great mental damage he had to endure... I mean killing, hurting, watching people being killed... thank you for making me once again realise how terrible it must have been.
| Guest chapter 64 . 1/10/2020
I have to say, I couldn't stopped reading, despite some difference to book, it is a magnificent story, which anyone who don't have Severus,would like to read! I don't regret exchanging my sleep for time to read, it was worth it :3 Thank you for your work!