Very well done, as is all your work. Only a couple of things that jarred a bit with me. One was the maturity level of the boys. I find few men that mature, let alone teenage boys. Though I will grant that these two are exceptional. The other thing, which also deals with maturity, is Snape’s acceptance of his desires for Lupin. He’s not squicked that he has a hard-on for another boy, he’s squicked (a little) that he has a hard-on for a werewolf. OK, I know this is all fiction, but are seventeen year old wizard males really that comfortable with their homosexuality?
Author's Response: Ha- you are finding all my little gems around Sycophant Hex, aren’t you? I am delighted to be keeping your interest through this many fics and archives, truly. I love your comments, so let me try to expand on a few of the points you’ve made.
Regarding the maturity issues, I’m more than willing to concede that the dialogue and characterisations of Snape and Lupin here may not ring true; I’m much more used to writing them as adults, and teen!fic isn’t my forte. ;-) But that said, I did consciously make them more studious and nerdy than others their age, and that was based on the only real canon glimpse we have seen of them both as teenagers, in OotP – both of them are sitting with books, concerned about their exams, while James and Sirius are off doing non-book things (not least of which, torturing Snape).
I also sort of pictured them studying for NEWTS as 17, possibly 18-year-olds who would really love to go to university if they could; they’ve just discovered Machiavelli and all these cool ideas, and they don’t really know what to do with them yet, but they enjoy having someone else around who is willing to discuss it with them. Again, you’re right: *definitely* not your typical teenagers, but I don’t think either of those two was ever typical!
Also, what I was trying to do here was to set up Snape’s decision to join the Death Eaters, which, remember, was made when he was really very young – still a teenager, as best we can tell from canon at this point. I liked the idea that his research into government and political philosophies influenced his decision; that he didn’t just see the DE’s as evil bad asses that he wanted to join with, but as a political path that he believed in.
On the eve of the war, I wanted to show that they were both excited about *ideas* for the way the world could go, in that sort of promise-of-youth way – definitely not the teens of today, who would rather go hang out at the mall than sway the future of Wizarding government, but rather in that sort of Les Miserables-youth way, of meeting and discussing things and really *believing* that your generation would decide the future…
You do make a good point about Snape having issues with being attracted to a werewolf (and, as I point out in the fic, a “boring bookworm whose friends regularly humiliated him in front of the entire school”). Those were the two major issues I saw him having, not, alas, being attracted to another male! But you’re right, that could have been brought out more, definitely.
Gah, this is a treatise in itself, sorry! I’m just so excited that you’ve read my stuff and have (gasp!) opinions on it! I hope I’m not sounding defensive; I do appreciate your critiques, and love to discuss things like this! Thanks so much for reading and reviewing. ;-) ~Lee
Again, very well done. But again, Lupin seems so self assured. Not what I would expect from a boy his age. Also, if he is worried about reassuring Black, he doesn’t seem to be whining much. And if those are his true feelings for Snape, why does he flirt with him? Or am I reading more into this than there is? *sigh* But I am reading this with great pleasure!
Author's Response: Ooh, all excellent questions, again! I wish all readers were as careful and thoughtful as you, doll. ;-) Let's see... what can I say in response, when I basically agree with you?
Lupin seems too self-assured in his scene with Black, I assume you mean? Fair enough. That's more than possible, and I shall willingly concede that teenage sex should not really be as easy as those two seem to make it. ;-)
His true feelings for Snape... do you mean when he tells Sirius he's not interested in Snape? I think he is protesting a bit too much, isn't he? His denial his *very* strong, that he would *never* consider being with Snape... well, I imagined him saying that for Sirius's benefit (and now that you've read a bit of "Habit," the sequel, perhaps you see why he felt he had to reassure Sirius so vehemently).
I imagined him protesting that strongly because, in fact, he *does* feel some attraction to Snape. But of course he could never admit that to Sirius, and maybe never even to himself. Perhaps that didn’t come across, which is more than a fair critique.
As for the flirting with Snape… I actually don’t think he’s flirting too much, is he? This fic is sort of supposed to be about Snape lusting after Lupin, and Lupin hanging out with him and coming to care about him, but not exactly *lusting* back, per se. That doesn’t happen until “Not Love.”
But if you’re talking about the final scene of this chapter, of course that is Snape’s dream, right? Lupin’s not really there; he’s not really saying those things. It’s just what Snape imagines him saying, thus the rejection is so total.
Sorry, I’m being a typical narcissistic author, eager to discuss my own fics till the cows come home! Thanks so much for the consistent reviews. They truly make my day. ;-) ~Lee
Good story. Makes logical sense out of some of the burning questions of HP. They may not be the right answers, but they make a great story! Still. I know some kids will deny a friend who is absent in order to curry favor with a friend who is present, but Lupin (in your story) did not strike me as the type. If he were truly as needy as he seems to be in “Not Love,” then it seems he might be less self possessed as a seventeen year old. And with this chapter, we know he had feelings for Snape – at least strong feelings of friendship. So, what I perceive as inconsistent bothers me, but not enough to put me off the story! And I do see your point about his protesting too much. Above all else, it’s your story, and you can tell it any way you want – lol! It is a well told and intriguing one, not to mention HOT!, and I’m looking forward to more of “Habit.”
Author's Response: Ah, yes, the nagging inconsistency bug. I totally agree with you in all the ways that this is inconsistent with "Not Love." I knew that going in, which is why I put the disclaimer at the beginning saying exactly that: the continuity ain't perfect; in some places, it's not even close!
The reason for that is I never imagined that "Not Love" would have any prequels or sequels when I wrote it, and I didn't even conceive of this one until six months after "Not Love" had been sitting around on various archives.
By that time, my ideas were different and the ways in which I imagined the characters were too; if I could, I would have gone back and changed some things in "Not Love," so that they matched up better, but I felt it wouldn't be fair to tamper with it so long after posting it. Not sure if that's a valid excuse, but it's the only one I have!
But thank you SO much for all your comments. I'm delighted you took the time to read so carefully and leave me such detailed reviews! Stay tuned for more of "Habit" in the next week... :) ~Lee
Excellent - of course! Love Remus wondering about himself and looking for a reason. Maybe he'll figure out that sometimes, there just aren't any reasons...
Author's Response: Thanks! I'm glad you liked it. I've been thinking about a fic like this for some time, but it finally just started writing itself without my approval. I think Remus has a lot to figure out!
Very nice. I really like the slow development. Too many people *points to self* seem to be unwilling to take the time to develop an unlikely relationship. If something happens with the two of them, it certainly isn’t going to happen overnight. I think most pairings could be made believable if enough time and care were taken. Thanks for doing that. (Now hurry up and post again!)
Author's Response: Thank you!
I guess I'm kind of the anti-PWP queen. I couldn't write a PWP if my life depended on it. Long, drawn out explanations are my forte, and I'm so glad to see evidence that people enjoy it ;)
And you're right about most pairings being believable if enough time and care is taken. I keep hearing about Snape/Hagrid and Care of Magical Creatures. Someday I'm going to be brave enough to go check that one out.
And I have the next update on my screen now! I'm working on it (and trying to strike the balance between slow developing and unnecessarily long and drawn out... I hope I walk that line well enough. *nailbites*)
Thanks for your comments.
Interesting dilemma. Is it any more or less acceptable to pursue a person of the same sex who doesn’t want to be pursued than it is to pursue someone of the opposite sex who doesn’t want to be pursued?
Love the way you write dialog and really love the way you write Minerva – manipulative, crafty, caring woman that she is.
“It’s Severus,” he said softly.
Author's Response: Thank you! I'm glad you're enjoying.
Oh, yes. I recognized the “sycophants and minions” reference. To good an opportunity not to use it – lol!
Author's Response: lol
I certainly thought so.
Perfect, just perfect! Love the interaction between Lupin and Snape. I didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. But you have more cooking than just our two, don’t you? Malfoy’s minion? What will Snape have to do? And what, pray tell, is going on with Sirius? Poor Lupin, either he’s going to be up to his butt (you should pardon the expression) in men, or he’ll be spending his time trying to avoid them!
Author's Response: lol Thanks, smoke. I'm glad you're enjoying it ;)
I had a lot of fun with the Snape/Lupin scene. It really flowed easily. And yes, I have plenty more cooking, but you might be surprised to find out just what ;)
I once read something like, “There is no one so attractive as one who is attracted to us.” Or some such thing. I think this holds true for Snape. I doubt he would ever have looked at Lupin as a possibility had not Lupin looked first at him. Excellent, as always!
Author's Response: Very true, that. Someone certainly had to start the ball rolling, and I thought it was much more likely to be Lupin than Snape.
Thanks for your comments!
Outstanding! Not that I would have expected less, but you just keep getting better. Thanks for a great chapter!
Author's Response: Thank you for the compliments! I'm glad you're enjoying, and I'm thrilled that you see improvement. If you have any suggestions of where I can improve more, be sure to let me know.
Another chapter! My heart is happy. Can’t for the life of me figure out how you make slash so bloody erotic, but, well, this is definitely NOT reading for the workplace. Great job, as always.
Author's Response: Thank you! I'm so relieved at the response my first attempt at slashy lemons has gotten. I was terrified and nervous posting it, feeling like I didn't know what I was doing. Thanks for the encouragement!
It is so hard, so very hard, when you has protected yourself for years, to let someone else in, to open yourself up to what you are sure can’t be real, what you are sure will cause pain. Lupin gave himself up to Snape, said, OK, this is how I feel, step on me if you must. That takes courage, or, perhaps, less of a history. While the Dark Lord’s finding out is a very real consideration, I think in this case it is of secondary concern for Snape. I think guarding his heart concerns him more than guarding his life. Here’s hoping he finds the courage to take a chance.
Great dialog. I had a bit of trouble following Snape’s thought processes sometimes, but that doesn’t surprise me. I think that’s him, not you. (How’s that for an incongruous remark?)
Favorite line; "...a feather-soft touch on his shoulder, almost like the caress of a sunbeam." Beautiful.
Author's Response: I think you're very right about Snape and his priorities. Voldemort is very real and very immediate, but protecting himself from pain takes precedence.
Thanks for your comments.
Ahhh, how I love Severus! He thinks just the way I do; round and round, over-analyzing everything. Beautifully done. Better and better. (Though I'd like to kick Dumbledore for treating them like children.)
Author's Response: lol. Thank you. I had fun writing Snape in that scene. I really intended that scene to be a few hundred words, not three thousand. Oh well.
Favorite lines: "I could strip you here and now and do unspeakable things to you," *gah*
"I want you to know that I hate you for making me care whether you're upset with me or not." *sweet*
"It's nearly two in the bloody morning and you're in my house and I haven't hexed you into a pile of paté yet." A pile of pate?? lol!
Very nice! (Still pissed at DD.) I loved the dream sequence, but have one question/quibble. The yellow flower. I can see the aconite/monkshood being Lupin, danger, not knowing where to put it/him, but what was the yellow flower? Did the roots change from monkshood, to something else, to Lupin as a yellow flower that wasn't dangerous, and then back to aconite? Sorry, I'm hopeless at this stuff; don't feel you have to explain... (Loved the oak and the thistle.)
Author's Response: The pate bit made me giggle as I wrote it. I wanted that sentiment, but I didn't want it to be as cliche as it has the potential to be. Pate was pretty much what I thought someone would look like when Snape finished hexing him. ;)
Aconite=monkshood=wolfsbane=a waxy yellow flower=a deadly poison. It started out as the roots because of symbolism to the past, but the flower is... the attractive thing that's still dangerous, if that makes sense. The flower can be yellow, white or purple, but I thought the yellow one was fitting. A bright spot. So, it was always the same thing, just with different names and different images.
Thanks for your comments!
There are times when I'd just like to bang their heads together. Gods they can be annoying!
Author's Response: But they're getting better, right???
Was there ever such hot non-sex? Will those two ever get on the same page? (I know, probably about the time Snape blows it all up on the top of the tower, right?) Why do I not see a happy ending on the horizon? Canon be damned!
Author's Response: Awww... Don't lose hope just yet.
Lupin is such a slut! And worrying about how Snape is going to hurt him - does it not occur to him that he has enormous power to hurt Snape?
Author's Response: I gave that one quite a bit of thought, actually, and I came to the conclusion that it would be a bittersweet irony to work with. I don't think that Remus understands Severus at all yet. I'm going to enjoy writing that arc, I believe, with Lupin not realizing the capacity that Snape has for emotion. It's easy to equate 'inexpressive' with 'unfeeling'.
Thanks for commenting!
Excellent job of fitting your story into canon. And I do love those two...
As with the prequel, I found this to be very OOC, but so endearing I didn’t care. Wonderfully funny, and the playfulness of the two is heartwarming. Love Snape’s, "Snape’s don’t..."
Didn’t like the ending, however. Not because I necessarily wanted something different, that’s up to you, but didn’t like the sudden change of tone. It went from a gentle comedy, to something suddenly very serious. Had this not been the end of the story, just the end of a chapter, the feeling would have been different. Having two short stories in the same vein, then suddenly doing a switch in the last couple of paragraphs, kinda leaves the reader blinking in confusion. You suddenly wonder if you were supposed to be enjoying things so much.
A perfect solution would be to extend the story, *grins* or chop the melodrama and leave it a comedy. But, hey – just a suggestion! Let me say again, I loved the story. You have a real gift for writing humor, are absolutely devilish, and gave me the best laugh of the week.
Favorite phrase – "... while his insane werewolf lover, currently incapacitated by his own wit, was naked in the next room ..."
Author's Response: Now that was some good feedback specific and helpful. I happen to agree with everything you've said. I have been itching to go edit the story and change the ending almost from the moment I posted it. It was not at all what I had originally intended. I don't know the etiquette for that though, can I just go in and change it? Or is what's done is done? It seems like cheating somehow :) Also I had (and have) every intention of a follow up and have begun writing it, however life keeps interfering...and interfering..and, well you know. Thanks for your thoughtful comments. Cheers, Rosemont
WooHoo! So glad you brought this from your LJ - it rocks!
Author's Response: heehee Thank you for the feedback there as well, and the encouragement to post it here.
Just reading again, and loving it just as much. Poor Sirius. (I can't believe you made me say that. :-)
Oh, brilliant! Hotter than fire and a wonderful ending.
Short and hot and sweet. The best kind.
Nice. We need to see more of Neville.
Well done! Such a lot in such a small number of words - great imagery.
Author's Response: Thank you, I'm glad you liked it!