For those of you who don't read my feedback, know that I do. And I love each message - even the short ones that just say 'great job!' But I have to pay special thanks to Carlotta who left me some of the most mind-boggling feedback I've ever had. I feel, therefore, compelled to reply and will do so in kind for anyone else who feels the need to give feedback of a similar kind.

Here it goes:

I should preface everything else I want to say with that everything you (Carlotta) mentioned is intentional except the mistakes (like April having 31 days) or my obvious lack of writing skills. As for the rest, I'll comment as best I can without giving the future plot away.

My only criticism of the way you have Snape handle Dumbledore's death is that he seems to adjust too easily to his new position of authority.

I didn't intend it to be such, so I think this is a fault in my writing, which I'm hoping to make up for with the future plot. The problem is that we've seen this entire story (except for one small part in DoS) from Kara's eyes. And, I think as we'll begin to see, she doesn't have the entire story. I see it as being much like Canon, where we see Harry's view of Snape, which is rarely accurate.

You start the story by convincing us that Snape doubts his own ability to take over in just three weeks, but once he gets over the initial shock of Dumbledore's announcement, he seems to have practically no self-doubt.

There is a very JUICY plot bit that will explain that 'rush to confidence.' It will take me some time to get there in the story thought.

Paraphrase: Regarding maudlin angst and self-pity Snape-ishness.

I can't imagine Severus Snape in Canon, or in my stories as being someone who could be mushy or full of self-pity. Granted he does regret his past and to a certain extent his present (as we'll begin to see). However, since the age of 3 he spent day in and day out with a ritualistic taskmaster (Nabokov). Then at 10 he came to Hogwarts where he had to defend himself against his peers. He's never known self-pity. He does know guilt however. And that is important to remember.

I concede that your Snape is slightly more ambitious than I usually imagine (the scene in which Kara first calls him Headmaster, and the grieving Snape whips his head up, grinning, is perfect); but I imagine him with more frustrated ambition.

I was inspired by CoS where Draco talks about him becoming Headmaster:

---

"Sir," said Malfoy loudly. "Sir why don't you apply for the headmaster's job?"

"Now, now, Malfoy," said Snape, though he couldn't suppress a thin-lipped smile. "Professor Dumbledore has only been suspended by the governors. I daresay he'll be back with us soon enough."

"Yeah, right," said Malfoy, smirking. "I expect you'd have Father's vote, sir, if you wanted to apply for the job -- I'll tell Father you're the best teacher here, sir -- "

Snape smirked as he swept off around the dungeons...

(Chamber of Secrets -- JK Rowling, Chapter 15)

---

It's just enough of a hint that got me thinking Snape has an ego that he can't hide. I don't see him being bloodthirsty when it comes to his ambition. It's sort of a quiet thing he has but keeps tucked away inside. We also can't forget how disappointed he was when he lost of the Order of Merlin in PoA. I suppose that all works up to your frustrated characterization. I haven't portrayed him that way - yet - and with good reason.

Assuming Snape really wants the DADA job

I don't follow that assumption at all. I think it's just another "Harry misinterprets things and listens to rumors" problem. He's been misinterpreting Snape from the beginning and I think this is just another example of it.

Someone at the Ministry would almost certainly leak information about Snape's Death Eater days to the Daily Prophet.

Or someone at the Daily Prophet would report it directly ;) I am way ahead of you. The other thing is that his activities are known. They were given in testimony to the Ministry and he was cleared because he was a spy.

From what we've been told in JKR's books, Dumbledore is the only person who trusts Snape, and no one really knows the basis for that trust. (Of course, we all have our theories.)

Another plot point I hope to cover in future chapters, starting with Chapter 8.

Snape is not going to be a popular choice for headmaster

Yeah. He realizes it too. He says as much to Sirius when he offers Sirius the job.

I also think there might be a lot of resentment toward him from some of the other teachers, or at least from Sirius.

He gave Sirius a job.. and there is more to their budding relationship than I've written about yet. Things Kara hasn't seen.

And [resentment] from Harry.

Harry, who in my story has a life debt to Snape. Harry who is more powerful than Snape - theoretically because of the blood in his veins. Harry who wears Kara's life around his neck. And Harry who will no longer have to sit in Potions class with the greasy git. I think Harry will be ok with the situation. There are other things that when the story is finished I'll be able to list. And it'll make Snape's blood curl. Harry is definitely on top.

I also think he would take the complaints that he is bound to get from so many parents seriously.

This is probably true. Canon tells us he has quite a temper. But I'm hoping to explain that. I tried to explain it a bit by touting some of it up to boyhood rivalry (James, Lupin, Sirius). Perhaps to other's he's not quite as menacing?

I love Snape, but if I were a colleague of his, even I would probably question the wisdom of making a man with such a past, a man of such strong, even violent emotions and prejudices, Headmaster of Hogwarts.

There is strong evidence in Canon for that opinion. For instance in GoF when McGonagall admonishes him for accusing Harry of cheating to get his name in the Goblet of Fire. But the call came from Dumbledore. Who would question the Headmaster?

More please. I think Sirius Black is the only person in the Potter world that even comes close to rivaling Snape for obsessiveness.

I *SO* agree with you here which is why I'm dedicating a story to just Sirius, Snape and their common 'entity' - if that's what you'd call her. Sirius is a very strong character. You will definitely see more of him from Chapter 8 and beyond.

I'm not normally a big Draco fan, but your Draco interests me and I feel compassion for him.

I am giggling suspiciously to myself at the moment. All I can say is you won't be disappointed.

Your Hermione doesn't work for me and I'm not sure why.

I haven't written her well. And partly this is because the story has been written from Kara's perspective. In Kara's eyes, Hermione is a bright student, but she's not abnormally gifted. However, JKR wrote an interesting plot point into the end of GoF - when Hermione commits a CRIME and kidnaps Rita Skeeter. I can only wonder what JKR will do with this. I have many ideas and I think it'll help round out my Hermione for you. Again, I'm laughing suspiciously to myself while writing this.

Are you suggesting that she [Hermione] is jealous of Harry's powers?

Well, no. I think she feels left out of this important part of Harry's life. She's always by his side to feel proud of him, help him, comfort him, and be a great friend. She helped him with learning complicated things and he had trouble with - and now she can't help him become an Oracle. There are no books she can read, she can't help him train, and her obsessive ness with learning was driving Harry crazy. Imagine her going on and on about 'Harry you have to go practice' 'Harry I read about how you can do this'. I am reminded of the scene in the first movie where Ron says to Harry 'It's scary. She knows more about you than you do!'

To the extent that she would betray him?

No. She would never. But... she has an interesting role in the times to come.

I'm also concerned about the hints that Ron is somehow the weak link among the Gryffindor Four.

I think he's actually the strongest. I think it's his friendship that Harry values most - remember in GoF when he gets jealous and angry with Harry? Harry spends a pretty significant amount of time feeling awful over it. But Ron has to come into his own in his own way. He can't hang on Harry's shirttails forever. There is going to be a period of growth in his life where he has to learn to be himself. I think JKR will have to write this into Canon as well. Just how gets there with my story... well that would be a plot spoiler.

I think you do an excellent job with Ginny Weasley, but I haven't been a teenager in a very long time, so her love life with Harry just doesn't interest me that much.

Thanks. Ginny's real role won't become interesting until the end of AME. The reason being that I'll be spending too much time writing form the wrong perspective to write about her. I loved picture the things I wrote in DoS. About Kara seeing her future, about realizing who she was to Harry and for some reason I particularly loved the idea of Kara coddling her. I'm not sure why. Perhaps it's because I feel sorry for Ginny - growing up poor, being beautiful, being in love with Harry, and being the youngest of seven children and the only girl. I suspect this is why most people like this pairing.

If he's my fiance, I am not leaving without him. Gods, does that make me a Mary Sue?)

Not at all! Kara's an interesting woman. But there was strategy involved. That was the first time she'd seen Voldemort, Snape was still a spy and no one knew he had Inner Focus. What if Voldemort had pulled something tricky and they never made it out of there alive? She did what she had to do, and she knew how strong Snape was.

I think your Snape is much sexier than JKR's character, but I'm all for that

JKR also writes from Harry's perspective. I'd be afraid if he came off as sexy. :)

I think Snape almost seems a bit superhero-ish and perhaps a tiny bit too god-like.

From Kara's perspective? Sure. Remember this? "and anyone who had seen Severus Snape naked would consider him a God." She's going to marry him, she thinks he's heaven on earth. He is flawed. She does misread him, or fails to read him at all. I think the story is headed in that direction. After all, every relationship has flaws. I'm in the midst of writing a huge on.

---
Thanks so much for writing that review. It made up for the hundreds of non-reviewing readers that I suspect are out there. (You know who you are! :) ) I just hope everyone continues to like the story. As long as people like it, I'll continue to write it.