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Reviews for Backbone

greenwood 2007.04.18 - 06:54PM 1: Backbone Anonymous
Well done! Really great short story that fits very well in with the cannon scene. It would be like Severus to use his wit and snarkyness to change the course of events!

Author's Response: Thanks. This is one of my early stories, but it sets the tone of how I write him; resourceful, unbending, indomitable.

MadAlice 2006.07.21 - 11:44AM 1: Backbone Anonymous
I agree with the idea that it's labelled his "worst memory" because of the chapter title. If I recall, Snape removes three memories before the first Occlumency lesson. We only see the one, though, because Harry gets caught, so we have no way of knowing what the other two might have been.

Author's Response: I wonder if finding out what Voldemort meant to do with the prophecy was one of the others. I suspect JK will show us what the others are in book 7; the fact there were three suggests the other two may be clues yet to be revealed.

Marion 2005.12.20 - 08:39AM 1: Backbone Signed
Hi. Me again. JKR said in an interview: ES: Was James the only one who had romantic feelings for Lily? Jo: No. [Pause.] She was like Ginny, she was a popular girl. MA: Snape? Jo: That is a theory that's been put to me repeatedly. Lupin was very fond of Lily, we'll put it like that, but I wouldn't want anyone to run around thinking that he competed with James for her. She was a popular girl, and that is relevant. But I think you've seen that already. She was a bit of a catch. MA: How did they [James and Lily] get together? She hated James, from what we’ve seen. Jo: Did she really? You're a woman, you know what I'm saying. [Laughter.] You can find it at: http://www.cosforums.com/archive/index.php?t-69181.html My point about 'nice and goodlooking' teachers/people being bad is more about 'nice-acting AND/OR good-looking people turning out to be not-so-nice after all'. Take 'Moody' in GoF. He's eccentric, but the Gryffies love him. He gives them advice. He tells them how rotten Snape is (and don't our Trio lap that up!) You know, I used to hate the HP books. I've come into the fandom only recently because I read some really good Snape fics (and thus decided to reread all the books because the gap between canon and fanon can be wider than the Grand Canyon) I still dislike most characters (Dumbledore, Sirius, Harry) but most of all, I dislike the Wizarding World. It's so illogical, arbitrary and unjust! (in Philosopher Stone Hermione makes a point that wizards are seldom logical, hence the brilliance of Snape's riddle) I mean, take Quidditch! You can have brilliant Beaters, Keepers or Chasers, but all they can play for are ten point goals, but with one action a Seeker scors 150 points and wins the game. Why strive for a team with good Chasers? All you need is one brilliant kid who can catch the snitch faster than the other to win the game? I hate that! And the wizarding government is corrupt, arbitrary and scary. They torture people with impunity because they are the 'good guys'. They put people in jail (sucking out their soul) without a trial! They whole overlaying theme of the wizarding world is 'if you are powerful, you will have everything. If you are not, screw you'. YoungSnape being a point in case. (on ff two writers - BekaJWP and excessivelyperky - wrote some intersting fic concerning this theme, I recommend them) But what makes me truly shake with disgust about the books is indeed the Trio's rudeness and selfrighteosness towards Snape. Kiddies might love that ("children rebelling against the Evil Schoolteacher") but I am 40 and not amused. Brrr... And nobody calls them on it. Yeah, Harry is constantly corrected about calling Snape *Professor* Snape, but they can disobey, attack and foulmouth him with impunity. Yuck! Anyway, my point about James is; everybody, from Hagrid to Lupin tells Harry what a wonderful character James was. But I say, a truly wonderful person with a good and strong character wouldn't surround himself with weak sycophants like Sirius, Lupin and Pettigrew. You can say much about a person by the friends he surrounds himself with... Best (and please write more - I've read all your fics on ff and loved them!) m.ros@umail.leidenuniv.nl

Author's Response: I'm 48 and I feel the same way about the wizarding world. Whitehound suggests that JK is "playing unreliable narrator" with us; that we're supposed to notice the discrepancy between what we're told and what we see and draw the right conclusions. She is convinced Snape will be vindicated in book 7. I am only convinced that he should be. I haven't trusted JK since PoA had no effect in later books on people's trust for Lupin. I can't even read that book now without revulsion for how badly Snape was treated, especially by Dumbledore. And I'd like to know, if the children were held not to have been Confunded, why didn't they get expelled or suspended for attacking a teacher of their own free will? Heck, they didn't even get a rap on the knuckles for all the rules they broke that night! (Except for the fifty points each and a detention in book 1, I can't think of a time when someone other than Snape has punished them appropriately for their misdeeds. Look at CoS, for example, where breaking the National and International Codes of Wizarding Secrecy, plus theft, illegally using an enchanted Muggle artefact and destruction of school property earned them one solitary detention! Compare that to twelve-year-olds in the muggle world stealing a car and crashing it into school property...) IbekaJWP and excessivelyperky are already favourites. Have you read Earthwalk's "I Was Right" or any of Alphard's stories? BTW, I'm emailing you. let me know if you don't get it.

Marion 2005.12.19 - 08:03AM 1: Backbone Signed
Hi. Love this story. Love ALL your stories. My two cents on the 'why is this Snape's worst memory' debate: I think it is not because of the bullying (which is one of the most dreadful, soulkilling experiences one can suffer) because apparantly ol' Severus lived through seven years of it. I think it is his worst memory because he, in a fit of helplessness and anger calls Lily a 'mudblood'. Now, I don't subscribe to Lily-worshipping. She lashes 'Snivellus' out to him and if she was truly so 'pure' and 'kind' she would not have done that (besides, JKR said in so many words in an interview that Lily's defending Snape to James was a way to get James' attention, playing hard to get) No, the reason why 'mudblood' must be reprehensible to Snape must be because he's a halfblood himself. I don't subscribe to the 'Tobias Snape was abusive' point of view either. Snape, after all, gets his looks from his mother's side (Eileen Snape is describes as dark and unatractive in HBP). We get a tantalising glimpse of Snape's homelife with a darkhaired, hooknosed man shouting at youngSnape and his mother, but would a witch allow a muggle to mistreat her and her child? No, my guess is that Snape's muggle father died at an early age and his mother had no choice but to return to her family (especially with an obvious magical child in her care) Her family, the Princes, probably detested her for eloping with a muggle and her child for being halfblooded. You can just imagine the taunts, can't you. "You? You are no Prince! You are a halfblood Prince!" It would be very like Snape to take that slur and turn it into a badge of pride. His ambition, drive, knowledge of the Dark Arts (would make sense if he learned that from the books in his mothers family home - his father wouldn't know a Dark Art hex from a kneazle) all stem from this. Sorry, instead of reviewing your story I'm reviewing the reviews. But I totally agree with your views. I heartily dislike Dumbledore (that man shouldn't be left to watch over a cat let alone hundreds of children) DETEST Sirius Black (bully as a child and bully as an adult), want to kick Lupin (spineless, cowardly jellyfish) and I abhor bloody Harry Potter. Yes, he's a child/adolescent but doesn't the little horror LEARN from experience? All the kind, goodlooking people who fawned over him (Quirrel, Lockehart, Lupin, Moody-who-turned-out-to-be-Barty-CrouchJR, even idiots like Fudge) turned out to be truly bastards. But put a sallowskinned, hooknosed, acidtongued Potionmaster (who saves his skin on many occasion) in his path and he hates him with a truly scary hate. Fawn over Harry Potter and he thinks you're the Second Coming. Expect him to be a hardworking, obedient and rule-abiding student and you're 'mean and nasty'. That boy should really come from his high horse! The funny thing is, that all the things Snape said to Harry (however harsh it may sound) was fundamentally true. James Potter WAS a strutting, arrogant bully. He might have grown into a decent person one day, but he was what? twenty when he died, so Snape can't have had the benefit of burrying the hatchet. And Snape himself has to deal, day by day, with the consequenses of what he did twenty years earlier, it is no surprise that he still holds grudges against the people who were instumental to his erstwhile bad decisions. One last thing; what is your opinion of James Potter? Looking at the sort of friends he had (and he was alpha wolf of the Marauders) I'd say he was a nasty piece of work. He had as his closest friend a bullying jock (who came from a 'bad' family, tried to kill a classmate and ran away from home when he was sixteen - clearly Sirius is a 'disturbed youth' and juvenile delinquent) a spineless yes-man (you already gave a good picture of Lupin - I don't need to add to that) and a traitorous toady. What does this set of questionable friends tell you about somebody?

Author's Response: If you nip on over to ffnet or Lumos, you can read my fic "Wrong", which sees this incident from the Marauders' point of view. I think James Potter was a spoilt unthinking jock, the top-of-the-heap popular kid who makes the "weirdos" lives miserable. He may have been decent at heart perhaps but he was not the sort to think things through so his actions were quite inexcusable. He justified his treatment of Snape on the grounds that anyone that interested in the Dark Arts must be a Death Eater-in-embryo. That's the first step of dehumanisation, which then progresses to demonisation and thence to full-blown persecution. (BTW, he was 21 or maybe 22 when he died. He'd have been 11 at the start of the 1971 school year, ie Sept 1, and he died Oct 31, 1981, therefore 21 at death unless his birthday was between Sept 1 and Oct 31.) People who defend the Marauders' bullying are presumably not aware that torture victims cite humiliation as being worse than physical pain. (No doubt why Saddam's torture chambers had hooks by which naked menstruating women could be hung upside down for days on end...) Harry at least understands that much. He's been on the receiving end. Snape is right, though. Harry is arrogant and cheeky and his headmaster and Head of House spoil him at school. Re-reading the first Potions lesson, it's very clear he brought Snape's wrath upon himself, regardless of the past's shadow. First he and Ron "raise their eyebrows at each other" in response to Snape's introductory speech, then he gives a back-answer (Why don't you ask Hermione?) coupled with smirking at another student. If Snape had never met James, that would still have been enough to peg Harry as a trouble-maker. Did JK say that about Lily? I made that point in "Levels", where Snape muses that "her compassion could never have been real; likely I was just a pawn in their weird mating rituals", but I didn't know JK had backed me up. :)) "Kind, good-looking peoplewho ... turned out to be b-stards"? Not sure I'd call Lupin a b-stard (spineless jellyfish, yes) or Moody good-looking...

winna 2005.09.21 - 11:54AM 1: Backbone Signed
Good story, a very interesting read. I think it’s highly in-character for Severus to use biting words and innuendo to get out of a tight situation. As for why that was Snape’s worst memory, I once read a theory suggesting the whole pensive thing was a setup for Harry. From Snape’s point of view, it was obvious that Harry wasn’t practicing and was just wasting Snape’s time. Furthermore, at some point in OotP Dumbledore said he could see Tom Riddle in Harry’s eyes throughout the year; maybe Snape caught a glimpse of that, too. If so, he needed a way to stop teaching Harry without disobeying Albus and before Voldemort saw something incriminating. Hence the pensive, which Snape could have kept locked away somewhere instead of in plain sight, just tempting that nosey brat Potter to take a peek. And really, the memory was at least as damaging to Harry and his hero-worship of Sirius and James as it was to Snape’s pride. The entire theory (and many other interesting observations) are at www redhen-publications dot com under the title The Pensive Gambit, for anyone who’s curious.

Um, sorry, didn’t mean to detract from your story there. I also liked the final obliviate, which is a very fitting, Snape-like revenge.

Author's Response: Great theory though it does himge on that accidental interruption that made Snape leave it unattended. Actually it was the second time he'd doneso but the first time Harry followed him upstairs to the screaming.


Aestel 2005.09.21 - 01:03AM 1: Backbone Signed
Hmm.. why is it his worst enemy? I think because in it he is completely hepless and humiliated. I believe Snape likes to see himself as powerful, dangerous and always in control of the situation. He did sort of bill himself as the next Grindewald when he was a first year, and there was the whole "Half-Blood Prince" deal as well.

In this memory, however, he's not only helpless, but his poverty and weakness (underwear) are exposed to the whole school... at least in whatever awful Death Eater things he was involved in, he was probably either torturing someone else or at least had the knowledge that he had opted into it and it was in pursuit of power.

Author's Response: He didn't bill himsellf as the next Grindelwald, Sirius did that for him. All we're told is that he knew more dark hexes in first year than most of the seventh years, not that he big-noted about it. Perhaps they found out by accident. The Half-Blood Prince bit seems out of character to me. It's a strange thing for a believer in purebloodism to be proud of but maybe it was his mother's petname or had some other deep emotional resonance. He wasn't at all like Voldemort at school on the available evidence. Voldie was patient, secretive and controlled, gathering a group of underlings around him and charming himself into teachers' good books whereas Snape was quite open about hating the popular bullies and tying to get them kicked out. True he's helpless in this memory, where he may not have felt so as a Death Eater - yet something upset him enough to risk life and torture for - but my impression, based on the witnesses' lack of outrage at his treatment plus the reaction of Sirius and Remus when Harry confronted them, was that this was no isolated incident. Helplessness and humiliation were the norm for him at school.


greenwood 2005.09.20 - 09:43PM 1: Backbone Signed
That was well done. I think that Severus using his words instead of trying a reveng hex was a great idea since he is the master of cutting remarks! Well done on this glimps of his past.

Author's Response: Thanks. After re-reading BekaJWP's youngSnape fic at ffnet some months after writing this I suspected she may have influenced my creativity here but she has kindly responded that it's probably just another case of simultaneous discovery, where two people independently arrive at the same conclusion. There's a follow-up to this, "Wrong", at ffnet. It gives the Marauders' point of view of the incident. I have to sign up to Lumos to post it at Sycophanthex though so it will take a while to get here. (Maybe I should ask an admin if I can post it as ch 2 and 3 of this fic, although it was really written as a separate piece.)

Trickie Woo 2005.09.20 - 09:04PM 1: Backbone Signed
You are right, there are plenty of hints and clues that Snape is still good in HBP. I never doubted him in the first place, when i read that chapter about what happened on the Astronomy Tower I was ready to strangle JKR because in my mind Snape is good and true to the light. Dumbledore has always been the one I doubted because he is a control freak and wants to be the puppet master over all. I still wonder if he's really dead. He's as much of megalomaniac as Voldemort, although his goals are altruistic. I've always thought the plot would turn on Snape, he has always been the best written and deepest character in the books. He was my favorite character since I read the first book and I think by the end of Book 7 he will prove to be the most important character in the series, even if it is called the Harry Potter Series. I am hoping he will survive in Book 7 to be redeemed and vindicated but, like you I am afraid it will happen posthumously for him.

Author's Response: As soon as I read "Spinner's End" I knew beyond doubt that JK was planning to make him kill Dumbledore (the obvious candidate to be Xed from the story). As I didn't know how quickly my son would make me give back the book (He and his second sister, the other HP fans in the house, had each gone out with friends or I wouldn't have got near it for days) I peeked at the end to confirm my suspicions and then read the rest of the book with an eye to evaluating the evidence. I can talk for pages of logical arguments on why I believe JK will exonerate him in the next book or I can just give my gut feeling:An evil Snape collapses the moral boundaries of her work and reduces it to Ambition = Evil.

marina 2005.09.20 - 06:07PM 1: Backbone Signed
I really like it. I never really wanted to imagine that James actually took Snape's pants off so I'm glad you provided us with a follow up of that scene. I think the humiliation was the worst also. I hope my grammar is better in this rewiew. I'm not a native speaker. Sorry if I offended you in any way in that last rewiew.

Author's Response: Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed. There was nothing offensive in your other review. Argument and exchange of different points of view is the best stimulus to thought and creativity. My next fic will be "Bludger", which will provide Snape another opportunity to vent his opinion on canon, this time in regard to Lupin being hired. I've already uploaded it so let's hope it will be up soon. There's a follow up two-shot, "Wrong", giving the Marauders' points of view on the incident. It' available at ffnet but here I'll have to upload it at Lumos and I haven't even signed up to that archive yet so it will be a while.

Trickie Woo 2005.09.20 - 05:45PM 1: Backbone Signed
I think It's his worst memory only because JKR decided it was when she picked the title for that chapter. It may be humiliating, but the way you've written it, he got in some satisfying digs at Potter and Black. I've always felt that his worst memory had to be whatever made him come to Dumbledore that night all those years ago. His memory of what Potter and Black did to him couldn't compare to witnessing the torture, rape, and murder that happen during Deatheater attacks. When she wrote that chapter she was aimimg at young readers and she titled the chapter to attract them, by the time the battle in the Ministry came up the tone had shifted to a more mature for a more mature audience. HBP is a book for mature readers, I doubt the children that are reading it understand the depth of ambiguity and the layers meaning and morality in the book.

Author's Response: I always suspected JK was lying to mislead us when she called it his worst memory. Why would it have been worse than all the other times they bullied him (It's obvious from the witnesses' lack of reaction that the bullying was habitual rather than a one-time incident), worse than meeting a werewolf, worse than his experiences as a Death Eater and his turnaround to Dumbledore? Another reviewer suggested that he might have trusted his spell to Lily and that her betrayal in letting it slip to his enemies was what made it worst. HBP is a very slippery book. I think JK has set it up to do a Sirius on Snape in book 7. There are plenty of hints in the text to suggestthat Snape is still on the right side.

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