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Poppy's first impression of Mrs. Snape – when she was calm enough to form impressions – was of a drowning woman who was desperate to stay afloat, despite being irresistibly attracted to the depths and hopelessly allergic to the air. She clutched her tea-cup as though it was a river-bank, and yet every sip was accompanied by a grimace of distaste. Poppy wondered whether she had to force herself to eat and sleep with the same shuddering reluctance.

She had seen people like that in France. They took no joy in life but forced themselves, jerkily, to go through the motions – for England, for King and Country, for little Margaret back home. They had been hollowed-out by despair and yet something was still animating their limbs and jerking their sinews. If the woman hadn't been so certain to snap, or make a joke out of it, Poppy would have asked her what it was.

They were sitting in nervous silence in the bar of The Shipwreck, clustered around one of the old tables with its patina of flaking varnish. Mrs. Snape had locked the doors, and dead-eyed Sally would be out cold for a while, but still, this was an emergency, wasn't it? What were they waiting around for? Someone was bound to turn up sooner or later – if not an angry villager, then an angry German. And they were just sitting here, drinking tea in prickly silence.

"Did you say we knew each other?" said Poppy slowly.

The young widow shrugged. "I wouldn't have gone that far. But we were friends, yes. You won't remember it."

"Why not?"

"Because it happened outside the dream. From your perspective, years from now. From my perspective, years ago. And from the perspective of everyone outside the dream, right now. Everything's about perspective, Poppy," she gave a hollow smile, and tried to loosen her vice-like grip on the tea-cup. "You taught me that too."

"And what exactly are you planning to do with us now?" Poppy asked waspishly. "Are we prisoners?"

"Yes, but not mine."

"Whose then?"

"The dream's." For the first time, she turned her contemptuous attention towards Morry. "You know most of this, don't you?"

"I think so, madam," he replied, cautiously transfixed. "We didn't know about the German airman."

She gave a dismissive shrug. "He's irrelevant."

"Irrelevant?" Poppy shrieked, but they ignored her.

"The point is, dear Poppy has to do something in order to wake up – pass some kind of test or solve some kind of riddle."

"Like what the hell we're doing talking to you?" Poppy shouted.

Mrs. Snape fixed her with a piercing, mascara-etched stare. "You are strange, Poppy Pomfrey," she whispered. "Healers have to be, of course, but you're stranger than most. You've spent your whole life trying to extract secrets from people who ignored you. And the ones who look you in the eyes and tell you the truth are the ones you find irritating? Do you enjoy being patronized? Because I can manage it, I assure you."

There was a silence, in which Morry placed a restraining hand on Poppy's arm. The widow shifted her mocking gaze towards him.

"You were a Slytherin, weren't you?"

"Yes, madam," said Morry slowly. "I don't know that you ever stop being a Slytherin."

She gave a snort of cynical laughter. "You know, Healers have a saying about Slytherins," she said, taking out a cigarette to clutch, as a substitute for the tea-cup. "You can go from curse to cure if you just take out the 'S'."

Morry considered this politely. "Very true, madam. But you can go from curse to cures if you could just persuade the 'S' to move around a bit."

Mrs. Snape raised her eyebrows. "Who's eloquent enough to persuade a Slytherin to do something he doesn't want to do?"

"You've just got to make us think it's in our best interests to assist," said Morry cheerfully.

The woman took a sulky, sultry drag on her cigarette. She didn't seem to like the silence, because she broke it soon afterwards, with an impatient – or a defensive – wave of her hand. "Most Healers are Hufflepuffs, did you know that? Content to beaver away – or badger away, I suppose – at thankless tasks for most of their lives. There are about as many Ravenclaws as Gryffindors. But lagging behind in fourth place are the Slytherins; good at brewing antidotes, but their bedside manner leaves a lot to be desired."  

"Your husband was a Slytherin, wasn't he?" Morry asked.

She glared at him. "That's irrelevant too."

Morry shrugged cheerfully. "I was just making conversation, madam. I think Poppy would like to know what we're doing here, please."

"We're waiting," she said simply, blowing out smoke through painted lips. "I thought you would like to meet the boy and girl who rescued the German airman. They know more about curses than I do, anyway - being Slytherins."


Severus and Elsa had crossed from the forest of thorns into a sort of cloak-room: windowless, doorless, and with a packet of what appeared to be lemon-drops lying open on a table in front of them.

Severus didn't have to think very hard. It was a peculiar nightmare, but the only person he knew with a penchant for lemon-drops had a peculiar mind.

"This is Dumbledore's nightmare?"

"Not yet," said Elsa, grabbing a scarf and some ear-muffs from a nearby hook. "I always come through this room first, 'cause it's really cold in his dream, and he usually leaves me gloves and stuff on the hooks."

"He knows you're there?" said Severus sharply. "He leaves you things?"

Elsa seized the packet of lemon-drops, crammed one into her mouth and crunched it up before Severus could stop her.

"I don't think he knew right away," she said, with her mouth full of sugary shards. "First time I came, there was no cloak-room, just a load of boys fighting in the dark, throwing curses at each other, and - ," she hesitated, and then ploughed on defiantly, " – and swearing something awful. Don't tell dad."

"It weren't very nice," she went on, crunching her way through another lemon drop. "In fact, I reckon it was nastier than most of the nightmares I bin through, 'cause some little girl got in the way, and then they was all kneeling beside her and holding their breath and watchin' the life drain out of her. I was crying, first time, and I reckon that's how come he noticed me, 'cause, the next time I turned up in his nightmare, it was different. I don't think he could change much in one go, mind. It was still the same fight, with the same boys, 'cept this time, they weren't swearing at each other no more. They were calling each other things like 'silly-billies' and 'nincompoops'. It made me laugh! Well… until the little girl got killed again. He could never change that bit. But he got better an' better at cutting out the blood and violence, till, in the end, the scene changed to the one we're going to now. It's still sad – he can't do nothing about that – but there aint no swearing or fighting, and 'e always remembers to leave me sweets."

Severus stared at the coat-hooks and the little table. Dumbledore was always trying to protect the innocent. As far as he was concerned, the people who had already lost their innocence had to bear the brunt of the horror for them.

Just once, Severus thought bitterly, I'd like to be one of the innocent people. I'd like him to show the same careful bloody scruples towards me.

And he got his wish, in a round-about way, because Elsa gave a sudden screech of triumph and yelled: "Look! He knew you were coming! There's a Slytherin scarf here and a pair of boys' gloves!"  

Severus took the gloves. They were much too big for Elsa's little hands. They were made of green wool, with a pattern of silver snakes knitted into it.

And he raged against the lump that was forming in his throat with all his might.

That's how he gets you. He makes you think he cares, so that you'll do his bidding without a moment's hesitation. He makes you think he's already considered your safety, and decided you'll be fine.

Don't get soppy. You don't have any allies, and you sure as hell don't have any guardians. Just get Madam Pomfrey and get the hell out.


He put the scarf and gloves back on their hooks and ushered Elsa onwards. He had been cold before. He had been topless in a Dementor-infested iceberg. Granted, terror had done a lot to keep him warm back then, but terror was always an option here, too. He would live.


Regulus had closed the curtains around his four-poster bed, just to keep the grim the shade of Euphorbia Coren from staring in at him. He was starting to think of her as the Grim Reaper, waiting patiently for him to die, so that she could escort him silently to wherever it was Death Eaters went when they snuffed it.

The other boys in his dormitory couldn't see her, but he was happy to shut them out too. They were lolling around with their shirts off, because Regulus's presence in a room generated all the heat of a sauna. They had even tried throwing buckets of water over him in order to generate steam.

Narcissa was gone. He didn't know where, but she had been barely more than a whisper when she left – just a little, gauze-like wraith, only visible in certain lights, drifting around without purpose. It couldn't be good that she hadn't come back. Snape's revenge was probably half-complete.

And his anxiety for her was fuelling the fever; it was raging across his skin like a hot-footed stampede.

In an effort to calm down, he was sitting back against his pillows, taking great, nervous drags on a muggle cigarette. He had turned the curtained bed into a tent of smoke, like a dingy opium den – and he was starting to accept that fear could do the work of opiates. Fear heightened every sensation: it was just that the only sensation you were capable of experiencing was a heart-pounding, nauseous discomfort.

Under normal circumstances, the cigarette would have been confiscated as a fire-hazard, but, since Regulus's whole body was now a fire-hazard, the prefects tolerated it. They told themselves it would probably be the poor bastard's last cigarette, in any case.

Kreacher Apparated amidst the smoke, coughing. He got as far as "Master Regulus..." before he seemed to reach a decision, and yanked the cigarette - as respectfully as possible - out of Regulus's mouth.

"Hey!"

"Kreacher does not know what will make Master Regulus well again," the House Elf grumbled, "but he knows it will not be one of these nasty muggle smoke-tubes."

"You're right," said Regulus. "It'll take at least three or four."

Kreacher gave him a stolid, imperturbable stare. "Kreacher does not understand wizard jokes," he said.

He clicked the fingers of one hand, and the smouldering cigarette in the other vanished, presumably to reappear in the kitchens, where the other House Elves could tut over it.

"Never mind," said Regulus, wiping the sweat off his forehead. "Have you been following Severus Snape?"

Kreacher gave a sniff of distaste. "Kreacher has seen him."

"Where?"

"In the grounds of that fine, ancient house on a cliff-top which is now in the hands of a filthy muggle."

"You mean the Valance House?"

"Severus Snape is a bad wizard," Kreacher went on obliviously. "He surrounds himself with pure-bloods and muggles, and he says different things to each of them, and Kreacher does not know which of these things are true."

"Probably none of them are," said Regulus, with a weak attempt at his usual, cheerful shrug. "You can't expect a clever, careful bastard like Snape to go around telling the truth. Did you find out what he needs, though?"

"Kreacher does not know what the wretched boy needs because Kreacher does not know when the wretched boy is lying."

At the foot of the bed, in the place where Euphorbia Coren usually stood, the curtains twitched. Regulus grabbed Kreacher by the front of his pillow-case smock in panic. "Think, Kreacher," he hissed. "This is important!"  

And here, it seemed, was the information Kreacher had been trying to avoid imparting all along. "The mudblood is helpless," he grumbled unwillingly. "Magic wasn't hers to possess in the first place, but she is… Kreacher does not know what she is. If she was a witch, Kreacher would have said she was unhappy, but how can a mudblood by unhappy? Vermin do not have hearts to break, my Mistress says. They're out for all they can get."

"If Master Regulus wishes to help Severus Snape, he must give the mudblood back her magic," Kreacher went on morosely. "It would be a disgrace, but, if disgrace is needed to make Master Regulus well again, Kreacher will endure it. He will even initiate it. But Kreacher does not know how..."

"I can't give the mudblood back her magic!" Regulus burst out. "You don't understand - ,"

"Does Master Regulus not have the mudblood's magic?"

"Well, yeah," said Regulus. "That's what keeps setting fire to the sheets! But I can't just - ,"

He stopped. Could it really be that simple? Could he really give the mudblood's magic back just by reversing the process by which he'd taken it? Pour the magic back into her body by healing her?

He would have to poison her, and then get really good at healing magic – by the rate he was deteriorating, probably in a single afternoon – and then drag her back from death's door. And the process had only failed to kill her because of that candle...

"It is…" Kreacher hesitated, twisting his fingers savagely, as though he was pre-emptively punishing himself for disobedience. "It is to help Master Regulus get well again… is it not, sir? It is not just… a last act of kindness? Because they do not deserve kindness, sir! They are not pure! My mistress would - ,"

"And where's she?" Regulus snapped. "Where are any of them? You're all I've got now."

Kreacher's eyes widened. By slow, painful degrees, he seemed to brighten up. He gave a determined sniff and croaked: "Master Regulus will tell Kreacher what to do."

"Go down to the library, and get me every book on Healing Magic you can find. Don't try to get them out in my name. Madam Pince won't let me borrow books anymore, because they catch fire. We're going to the Valance House tomorrow."


There was snow on the ground, and Dumbledore had a broken nose.

Of course, the nose had always been crooked, for as long as Severus had known him, but now it was swollen and red, and letting the odd trickle of blood escape when its owner didn't remember to sniff.

He was young, that was the weirdest thing. His hair was auburn, and the great beard was currently no more than a goatee. His hands were clasped behind his back, but there was no trace of his usual sprightly energy. He had slumped shoulders and sleepless eyes.

He was standing in a grave-yard – and somber, black-clad people were filing past, trying carefully, it seemed, to avoid looking at him.

The only one who didn't seem sheepish about looking at him was a young man, somewhat like Dumbledore in appearance, but much more shabbily-dressed. He was leaning against the far wall of the graveyard, and was in possession of a glare that would make a Basilisk flinch.

Dumbledore was not unaware of it. He was enduring it with pain, but it seemed like an absent-minded kind of pain, next to the agony that was bowing his head and bending his spine. Severus recognized the mannerisms of grief. It made you look as though the weight of gravity had trebled upon you. His mother always stood in that stooped, listless way.

So this dream had been constructed to torment Dumbledore while causing the minimum amount of distress to Elsa. No blood, no shouting, no swearing; just the iron grip of grief, which a child – especially a child of Elsa's bossy insensitivity – wouldn't understand.  

Severus examined Dumbledore. It was tempting to just grab him by the collar and haul him bodily into Madam Pomfrey's dream world. He would be useful, especially if Voldemort found the way through. But, somehow, he wanted to do this on his own. He didn't want Dumbledore to get the credit for charging in at the last minute and saving the day, like he had the last time. Besides, he'd only saved the day when he was ready to, but somehow that detail always got overlooked, especially in the mind of Lily Evans. He had left them on Azkaban, fighting Dementors and Death Eaters, for three hours before he finally deigned to show up. But, whenever Lily talked about it, her eyes misted over, and she said they never would have got off that island alive without him. Damnit, why was she always praising someone else when she was with him?  

God, how could he be thinking about credit now? Just getting out alive would be an achievement! He was starting to think like Potter. As if there was any credit to be gained now that Voldemort was involved! As though Poppy Pomfrey was going to turn into a warm, friendly ally if he managed to get her out! She probably wouldn't even heal his wounds for him.

It was all because of Lily. Or, more accurately, because of Lily's body. For years, it had seemed – especially when it was closest to him – as distant as the moon. And now… well, if he was living in a world where Lily would happily undress for him, then surely all bets were off? What was impossible, if that was normal? Death was still a terrifying prospect, of course, but he wouldn't be as annoyed, now that he'd slept with Lily, if his life was suddenly and painfully cut short.  

It was a stupid, dangerous, down-right Gryffindor way to think, and it was going to get him killed. And then who would take care of her? Bloody Bruiser Thuggle? How safe was his house, now that Voldemort was turning up at the gates? Besides, he wouldn't keep Potter away. He was already surrounding Lily with enchantments that a Gryffindor could walk through!  

Dumbledore twitched, as though he'd caught a whisper on the edge of hearing, and looked around. But his eyes met those of the glaring young man, and his shoulders slumped once again into submission.

"I think," said Snape slowly, keeping his eyes on Dumbledore's grief-weathered face, "that the dreamers sense you if you show emotional responses. You said Dumbledore only noticed you the first time when you started to cry?"

"Yeah," said Elsa.

"So, if you got the hang of Occlumency, you really would be able to walk around these dreams invisibly. In fact, if we stay absolutely calm, the Dark Lord may not be able to follow us."

"He's not following us," she protested, looking over her shoulder. "Stop saying that! You're too careful, dad says."

"Yes, that's why he was a slave for thirty years and I wasn't," said Snape absent-mindedly. "You said you were bored in the Dark Lord's nightmare? That might work in our favour. Boredom isn't a very… tangible state of mind for a Legilimens. Just try to clear your mind of all thoughts, OK? Especially the ones that upset you. I think they might attract his attention."

Elsa pouted, and stuck her hands in her pockets. "How come people can see us in Madam Pomfrey's dream, then?"

"I don't know," said Snape. "It's not technically a dream. A curse-induced coma might operate by different rules. Besides, it dresses us in period costume, and that's never happened to you in any other nightmare, has it?"

"No…" Elsa thought about it. "You're right. It's like the dream knows we're going to be seen, so it tries to make sure we don't look out of place. You know, so's we don't attract attention." She chewed her lip for a moment, squinting at the floor. Valances were always very ostentatious about it when they were thinking. "Do you think it really is alive?"

Snape shrugged. "Most complicated spells take on something of the personality of the wizard who cast them. That doesn't necessarily mean they're alive, but it does make it an even better idea for you to learn how to practise Occlumency."

It was hard to walk away from Dumbledore and the prospect of help. Severus did it by remembering that bloody twinkly-eyed smile, although it was nowhere to be seen now.

He stalked on, submerging every thought in a cool ocean of Occlumency. Actually, if some of the older tomes on mind magic were to be believed, alcohol would work just as well. It made your thoughts disordered and difficult to pin down. But there would have been too many awkward questions – from Bruiser, if not the Ministry – if he was caught trying to get an eight-year-old drunk. So instead he tried – in a soothing voice – to coach her on the finer points of Occlumency, while they walked on.

Asking a Valance to suppress her feelings was a bit like asking her to clutch mist, but she did her best. The nightmares she crept through had never seemed to frighten her anyway.

Jonah's nightmares were something to behold, since one of his eyes had been with his mother through all her adventures. Elsa led them through burial chambers and great, jagged caves, where dragons slept atop piles of hoarded gold. Jonah was nowhere to be seen – perhaps because he wasn't in the habit of fearing for himself, only his loved ones. And, sure enough, Guillotine Valance, or smaller, more helpless-looking versions of Elsa could be glimpsed at cave-openings, wrestling with mythical creatures, or being tortured by goblins with scimitars.

"This is where I first found out about my mum, and all the amazing things she done," Elsa whispered, as they edged past one of the sleeping dragons, their backs pressed firmly against the cave-wall. "I was a bit too young to remember her before, see, but when I went into Jonah's nightmares and saw these places I knew she must've been the bravest woman there's ever bin."  

"You know, pride counts as an emotion," Snape pointed out.

"Oh, come on!" she exclaimed, and the dragon stirred in its sleep. A few gold doubloons came trickling down the pile of treasure and landed at their feet. Severus glared at her.

"Alright, I'm sorry!" she hissed. "But you're not allowed to think anything with Occlumency! It's like being a zombie!"

Severus suppressed his frustration, and crept onwards. "Actually, there are several important differences," he muttered, from between clenched teeth. "One of them would be the fact that an Occlumens does not usually eat brains. Although we do occasionally hunger for them."

"Well, then that's the only difference," she grumbled. "How can you want to live like that?"  

For a moment, Severus took his eyes off the dragon, and looked down at Elsa's infuriating face. It would be useless to try and explain to her that the absence of emotions made you invulnerable. You could weather the storm of everyone else's vicious stupidity like a cliff-face, and never get hurt, or bewildered. She wouldn't get it. She wouldn't care. Invulnerability was boring to an eight-year-old.

But she would have to understand one day, because she was going to be a half-blood in Slytherin house, with a muggle father who drew attention to his muggleness with every breath he took.  

"It makes you strong," he said eventually. "Like your mother." He paused, made a face, and then added. "In some respects."

"But my mum was strong because she was angry."

"You don't have to avoid anger," said Severus, with a bite of impatience. The dragon stirred again. "You just have to learn how to rein it in – make it work for you. All emotions are your tools, but tools are designed for specific uses. You wouldn't use a hammer to reassemble broken pieces of pottery, would you? There's a time and a place for everything."

"Where's the time and place for having fun?" she asked irritably.

"When you're dead," he snapped. "If you want that to be soon, keep talking."

Elsa jutted out her jaw and walked on in silence. It wasn't the state of emotional detachment Severus would have wished for, but he didn't know how to control her. Emotions were starting to seem like docile, biddable things next to this insufferable girl.

Besides, she had struck a nerve when she asked about fun. Severus had never particularly desired fun. He even found the word itself irritating. For most of his life, he had desired freedom, and respect, and the shuddering bliss of close contact with Lily's skin – and fun didn't even come close to describing these things. They were beyond fun.

But fun was what Lily wanted, wasn't it? She wanted to giggle and shriek and be carried and tickled. Oh, it wasn't at the top of her list of priorities, granted, but he didn't want to fulfill her in only limited ways. He wanted her to want for nothing.

Severus couldn't be fun. He didn't understand how it was done. It wasn't the same as being funny, he knew that much, because all the least funny people in the world had the reputation of being fun. As far as he could see, it seemed to consist of suicidal recklessness and irritatingly shrill voices.

Everyone was always saying how much fun Potter was. Since Severus spent all his moments of close proximity with Potter either seething with fury or getting hexed, he had never been able to understand the idea. But, sometimes – just sometimes – Lily would laugh at his crazed, gooning, irresponsible antics, and it made the bottom drop out of Severus's world.

They reached Madam Pomfrey's dream in silence, arriving – as they always did – by the elder tree on the cliff-top. Elsa had thrust her hands in her pockets, and was staring gloomily out to sea.

"Listen," said Severus, in what he hoped was a conciliatory tone, "we'll just - ," But he stopped.  


Mrs. Snape was standing at the window, watching the clouds mass around the cliff-tops at the far end of the village. Poppy had been trying to stay away from her, but there was something maddeningly familiar about the woman. Or perhaps, Poppy thought, she was just recognizing bits and pieces of herself - things she had taught the strange little red-head, in whatever time or place they were supposed to have been friends.

"Ah, here they are," said Mrs. Snape brightly, looking up from the window. She pointed, and Poppy saw two small figures on the cliff-top, clustered together against the wind. "Now we'll just…" She stopped. The porridge-thick clouds were starting to darken, and this made the strange new light that had winked into being on the cliff-top even brighter by contrast. The elder tree was burning.

"Oh my god," said Poppy, at the same time as Mrs. Snape. The children weren't running away. They seemed to be mesmerised by the flames.

"It can't be him," the widow whispered. "Not here."

Poppy watched with her mouth open as the burning tree opened up. Chalk-white hands were pushing the boughs apart from within, bending them backwards, until the trunk stood gaping, with a black-clad figure standing in the middle, staring at the two little children on the cliff-top.

"Is that…" she stammered. "Are they going to be alright?"

"Oh, god," moaned Mrs. Snape. She dragged them away from the window and slashed her wand through the air. It left a burning trail, which sizzled and began to split apart. Gradually, the air before them opened up, to reveal a window – a window in mid-air, looking down onto a vast desert plain.

"I'll be back for you," said Mrs. Snape, through gritted teeth. Poppy felt a shove in the small of her back, and stumbled forwards. She turned round uncomprehendingly, just in time to see the young widow hiss: "Don't touch the Foe Fire; don't listen to the old woman!"

Then she swept her wand across the portal, and the drab, grey world of Mapledurham closed on Poppy and Morry. Behind them – and they felt it like another shove to their backs – was a wave of heat.
Continuing from Impressions [link]

Sorry its late again - I've started posting this story on fanfiction.net here: [link] and I'm trying to edit the early chapters as I post them (so that I can finally get to a point where this story makes sense - or as close to sense as it has ever come! ;))

As always, thank you for reading! Will try to be quicker with the next chapter, since it's getting all action-packed!
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:iconpolkadotpeony:
polkadotpeony Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2011
Oh my goodness! How do you always manage to surprise me?! This was so good! You lulled me into security by convincing me that Voldy wouldn't be there and of course he was. Freak'n crazy man. lol
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:iconnegracamada:
Negracamada Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2011
I've read all the chapters of this story as quickly as I could. I can't praise your imagination and plotting enough, and I can't wait for the next chapter!
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2011
Wow, thank you so much, you've made me really happy! :boogie: :hug: :love: It cheers me up so much to hear that there are people out there who are reading and enjoying the story! I actually finished the chapter that comes after 'Tea and Sympathy' today (although I haven't put it up on the list of chapters in my journal yet) It's here: [link]

Thanks again for your kind words! :hug: I really hope you'll continue to enjoy the story,

Lucy.
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:iconnegracamada:
Negracamada Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2011
Enjoying it? I was mesmerized. I find your Lily much more interesting and relatable to Rowling's. She seems to do best with characters she doesn't like. Your Lily is a person, not a plaster saint. I also like the recurring themes of martyrdom, nature vs. nurture, redemption, and responsibility. This is the best fic I've read in years.

You might enjoy White Hound's Giving Extras if you haven't already read it.

Cheers!
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2011
:w00t: :hug: Thank you! You've totally made my day! I love talking about the themes of the story! (Lol, is that self-indulgent? ;)) But I really recognize the themes you've identified, and I'm so happy they come across in the story. The nature vs. nurture one is especially important to me, because I share Sev's anxiety that I won't be able to escape the shadow of my genetics and upbringing (not that mine was as bad as his!)

I'm so glad you like Lily too, because a lot of readers have felt that I over-idealize her (I guess because the story is mostly told from Sev's point of view, so there's a lot of opportunity to rhapsodize about her various perfections! ;)), but I try really hard to make her flaws apparent. I wanted to convey the idea that a martyr would be a very difficult person to live with!

Thanks for the recommendation too. I think I've read the first chapter of 'Giving Extras' - it had lots of details of awesome details of magic and folklore, I remember. I should look for the rest (although I'm a bit hung up on the Sev/Lily relationship and find it hard to enjoy other pairings).
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:iconshyfoxling:
shyfoxling Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2011
You can't expect a clever, careful bastard like Snape to go around telling the truth.

XD
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2011
Hee hee! I like it when Slytherins understand each other! ;) :heart:
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:iconwearesevenstudios:
WeAreSevenStudios Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2011  Professional Artisan Crafter
Fantastic as usual. :D I loved seeing dear Kreacher (Deathly Hallows *just* arrived at the $2 theatre nearby, so naturally I ran out to see it again. Dobby never grew on me, unfortunately, but after the seventh book, Kreacher is one of my favorites). And your Regulus... well, I've said that before :XD:

On a chapter-unspecific note, I think this is may be the only fanfic I've read that has sustained its characters' canonical integrity over so many chapters while still allowing them to grow (that makes sense?). I tip my hat to you.
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:iconls269:
ls269 Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2011
Thank you! :hug: That really means a lot to me! Sometimes I feel as though these characters have escaped the realms of canon... especially Sev when he gets to date the woman of his dreams! But I always try to preserve their canon characteristics, because those were the things I first fell in love with. :heart: (Besides, I know from experience that damaged, neurotic people don't change in a hurry! ;))

Man, I wish there was a $2-theatre near me! We have an 8-a-ticket cinema with sticky floors! ;)
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February 13, 2011
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