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Reviews for Breaking Point

WelkinCooper 2012.06.01 - 01:07PM 2: Upon Interrogation Signed
I think this is one of the best characterizations of Snape I've read. If you're still around, I hope you'll consider finishing your story.

Author's Response: Thanks. I had hoped that HBP would provide some hint of what Snape was doing behind the scenes between this chapter and the DoM fight, but all it did was raise an entirely new set of questions. I don't have particular plans for this fic at the moment, but you never know. I just uploaded a new chapter of "Crabbe" at Lumos and ffnet after a hiatus of just over six years.

LChaim 2010.05.12 - 12:34PM 2: Upon Interrogation Signed
Your writing is excellent! I have really enjoyed these two chapters! It's nice to see how things that happen to us in our youth really can directly determine who we turn out to be as adults. That was pretty traumatic, what happened to Severus and I honestly do know how he could teach that kid year after year...I don't think I could do it! Also, thanks for not redeeming those blasted Mauraders...I absolutely can not stand them! They were such thugs/bullies...picing on a poor, scrawny boy who had few friend...grrr...sorry for the rant! lol But I really am enjoying your story and I liked the repport between Albus and Severus...I hope to see more! This is definitely going on my favorites!

Author's Response: Thanks, nice to hear from you. I was never fond of the Marauders and the more we heard of their story the more unfond I became. They're a loathsome lot of thugs, bullies and criminals - even Lupin, who'd rather see children under his care murdered than admit to being a wild youth. I took a more sympathetic view in "Wrong" (Lumos and ffnet), one of my early stories, but now that we know SWM came *after* the Shack incident and that James was primarily motivated by sexual jealousy rather than anti-Dark Arts fervour, I don't think it's really sustainable to say that they improved or were ever likely to. They had plenty of faults to work on, but no will for the labour.

testingt 2008.05.15 - 04:06AM 1: Breaking Point Signed
Good point about how he mixes in corrections with the sarcasm--someone had pointed out that he did that while fleeing from Harry after killing D., but you're right, he does that always. He really is determined to teach his students. Which, regarding Hermione, may explain the difference: correcting the errors Neville had made brewing the Shrinking Solution must have been, theoretically, within the children's knowledge base, or Snape would have just Evanaescoed the mess as he did with other failed potions. Hermione seems to be better at the "exact art" than the "subtle science" (remembering how you had S. explain the distinction to her parents, very nicely done, by the by) of this field. She seems to be good at it and to work hard but to lack the "feel" for it that would allow her to do original work. Unlike in Charms, where we do see her come up with, at least, original applications in her 5th year (the galleons, the curse on the parchment). I personally think Snape is a polymath, but then I'm wildly prejudiced; I admit in canon we only see him perform superlatively in 3 fields (4 if you count DA separately from DADA, which I guess Durmstrang would...) (but then if you conflate his healing skills with DADA, he'd be back down to 3)... But I do agree with Whitehound on James: we're TOLD James and Sirius are brilliant, but we're not shown it. And since we're also TOLD James stops being a bully and is a hero of his age--I'm not inclined to believe hearsay about James. Sure, they master the Animagus spell--but so does Peter, and we know Minerva's opinion of Peter's abilities and intelligence. The only real corroborative evidence for their brilliance is the Marauder's Map. However, they're using Snape's jinxes instead of inventing their own. Very competent, very bright, and with a self-confidence and a privileged background that helped them look better than others--but brilliant? Show me.

Author's Response: I don't like any of the Marauders. Lupin showed himself to be selfish and untrustworthy in PoA, Sirius was a reckless bully, James pretty much the same and Peter a cowardly betrayer. I don't even believe in James's heroism anymore. I've come completely around to Snape's belief that James was in on the prank from the start and only stopped it upon realising that it was going to backfire on himself and his friends. How does this square with canon? No problems. Dumbledore's comments get junked because he clearly hadn't the foggiest idea what really happened - didn't know anything relevant about the Marauders, such as the Map, the Cloak, the Animagi abilities, the full moon excursions or the public bullying - and Lupin's comments, upon examination, do not contradict Snape's. "When James heard what Sirius had done" might just as easily mean "when Sirius reported the progress of the prank so far." Thus far the evidence depends on whether one sees Snape as a reliable narrator, but what tips the scale for me is the apparent lack of anger and/or mistrust towards Sirius by the other Marauders after the incident. There's no evidence of a Marauder split in the post-Shack Lily-Snape argument, nor in the underpants scene. James even supposedly trusts his family's life to someone who betrayed Lupin's secret to an enemy for fun. Is he mental? Or was it no betrayal at all, but a joint scheme to intimidate/incriminate Snape into leaving them alone so he wouldn't discover their criminal behaviour? (They weren't afraid he'd discover Lupin was a werewolf. A quiet word to the staff would see Snape being warned to shut up or be expelled. No, it was the unregistered Animagi excursions with a loosed werewolf that they thought he might discover.)

testingt 2008.05.15 - 03:22AM 2: Upon Interrogation Signed
What I like best about your works, including this, is that you apply the brain of a thinking and feeling adult to the situations in HP, and then you write good fictions about them! Also that you notice things I don't: the implications, for instance, of the fact that Snape never dredges up Harry's memories of their own interactions. I also like the reviews you got--fascinating to read the discussions.

Author's Response: Thanks. I find my Occlumency reviews are the most interesting of any site. Fanfiction for me is a combination of meta and fiction; I always intend to analyse canon simultaneously with creating a story that's complete in itself.

testingt 2008.01.01 - 02:17PM 1: Breaking Point Signed
Really good Snape POV. Not sure about wanting to be a Marauder, but I'm sure he wanted to belong somewhere; probably a motivation in becoming a DE. I grew up in a mill town. I suspect he went to Hogwarts, as I went to college, assuming he'd finally instantly be accepted and fit in--I was mildly disappointed, I think Snape was brutally disappointed. In fact, James and Sirius disillusioned him on the train, didn't they? I think another thing going on is Snape probably learned the hard way (possibly the almost fatal way)to disguise his brilliance. Notice in canon he doesn't generally react any better to acknowledgement than to taunting. (He's learned company manners and the right thing to say, so I except his reaction to Fudge in POA. Knowing now that his "disappointment" is that the man he still at that point thinks is Lily's betrayer got away.) But in his memories in DH, any time DD tries to praise or thank him, he either ignores it or gets angry.... And notice that in HIS potions classes, the students almost always work from his own formulae, not the text's--and Hermione can consistently brew perfect potions from them, which she CAN'T do in Sluggy's classes working from the texts. I think he's giving away his potions improvements--anonymously. And look how no one knows about all the spells he's invented.... I think he's afraid of recognition as much as he craves it. I started to think how a young Severus would have been treated, really, in my home town, and it was gruesome. A lower class boy, brilliant, dressed weird (in his mommy's smock, OMG), not physically strong or attractive, no older brothers or cousins to help out... he'd have been flattened. He'd have learned not to draw attention to himself. Really, spying is the ideal career choice for him: the better he does it, the less he's noticed. I got beaten up a lot for doing too well in school, but I was largely protected by being a) middle class; b) a girl (most boys wouldn't seriously hurt me); and c) a crybaby (they usually stopped once they'd wound me up). I suspect, despite the nickname, that Snape learned stoicism early; and if not, in a boy that would make things worse. I'm working on a fiction myself about Snape's pre-Hogwarts childhood; its motto is the saying, "The nail that sticks up gets hammered down."

Author's Response: Thanks. I didn't grow up in a mill town, but children are fairly brutal anywhere you go. They might not beat you up, but they can make you wish you were dead. I was a nerdy crybaby too and I remember how miserable parts of my youth were - and I was never completely friendless. (One of my sons had it much worse - kids would push him down the stairs, dangle him out the window and regularly throw his bag in the rubbish skip till we took him out of his parochial school and put him in a state school with a better anti-bully mindset.). That's an excellent point about the formulae in his class. It doesn't completely explain how Hermione could go from being able to fix a messed-up potion of Neville's to being unaware something was wrong with Borage's instructions, but it's a start. Have you also noticed that, mixed in with the sarcasm, Snape *always* points out where and how someone went wrong in their preparation and/or brewing?

grugster 2006.04.18 - 01:28PM 1: Breaking Point Signed
Please let me know if you think about going on with that story! I really like it! So is it worth to check from time to time for a new chapter or did you abandoned it? Sunny

Author's Response: I wrote two chapters, then thought I'd wait and see what light HBP shed on Snape's and Dumbledore's activities during the subsequent period before continuing. As you know, HBP didn't shed much, but I still plan eventually to write at least one more chapter to cover Snape's version of the end of OotP. I've just been sidetracked by my (non-romance) HBP-concurrent SSHG mentor-fic over at Ashwinder, "Who Lives in Disguise", plus my series of HBP-poems at Lumos, "Dumb" and my final battle post-HBP, also at Ashwinder, "Dumbledore's Man". All are also at ffnet (mostly in more complete versions though DM has a second chapter exclusive to Ashwinder), but Sycophanthex hosts my definitive versions. And I have Percy battering at my head wanting to tell his story, either as another bonus chapter insert to "Everything" (Ashwinder, romance) or embedded in the as-yet unwritten sequel to to "Disguise".

Verity Brown 2005.10.20 - 01:52PM 2: Upon Interrogation Signed
I went back and took a look, and you were right--Snape did tell the staff about the Sectumsempra incident. I think you're also right that Snape has given up on trying to get Harry expelled, since he knows that it will never happen. I do wonder what Snape thought would happen to Harry if he *were* expelled (when he was younger), since he does (or should) know that Harry is the only one who can defeat Voldemort. Did he imagine DD would set up private tutoring for him or something?

I guess I just get really worked up about the Sectumsempra incident because I perceive it as not being very different from picking up a gun, pointing it at someone, firing it, and then saying "but I didn't know it was loaded!" Harry knows by now that spells can have dangerous, even deadly effects, and this spell was marked very explicitly "for enemies" (not "a little jinx for people you don't like"). He doesn't seem to have even thought of attempting to figure out the spell's effect without actually having to try it out on someone. (Surely the library at Hogwarts has a Latin/English dictionary? And what DO they teach them at these schools?) So I see Harry's behavior as criminally reckless. I suppose one could make excuses based on his naivete, but it still really bothers me. And the eeriest part was that Snape didn't go half as spare on him as I expected. Snape's self-control in HBP is just sort of generally scary.

Anyway, the Sectumsempra thing is just another in a long list of rather serious incidents that DD has just let go by him. The more I think about it, the more I wonder just how poor DD's judgement *is*.

Author's Response: Absolutely. It was criminally reckless. Take that in conjunction with his cheating and his attempt the previous year to Crucio Bella and then ask how Dumbledore can tell him that his heart is pure and he's safe from being corrupted by Voldemort... I find Dumbledore's approach incomprehensible. If I was a Potter character, I'd probably be Percy.

Verity Brown 2005.10.20 - 11:59AM 2: Upon Interrogation Signed
I was just too tired last night--I had a look at PoA, and Lupin admits that he didn't tell Dumbledore all year long. So yes, Lupin was ridiculously cupable.

The really startling thing in all this, as you've said, is Dumbledore's willingness to forgive the Marauders for just about anything. I am still grealy puzzled about why Sirius was not expelled (at the least!) for his attempt to use his friend's condition to kill Snape. And clearly, from what we've seen, the Marauders were not just carefree, innocent boys-being-boys. It's yet another example of Harry's immovable hatred of Snape that Harry continues to place the Marauders on a pedestal, even after seeing their treatment of Snape (I was hoping for a while there that the Pensieve incident would have a lasting impact on Harry, but it didn't :~P), and particularly after seeing an unbiased record of their crimes at school (that was such a brilliant detention, I thought...if only it had worked).

But then, it's puzzling too (thinking of the reason for that detention) that Snape--who has been trying for so long to get Harry expelled--would let the Sectumsempra incident go by with a mere *detention*. Harry almost murdered Draco (and, if certain theories about the Unbreakable Vow are true, if Draco had died, so would Snape have). And yet Snape does not appear to have even *mentioned* this incident to anyone else. Egads, is Dumbledore rubbing off on him?

Author's Response: I think Sirius was not expelled because a reason would have had to be given and that might have ended up revealing Lupin's secret. Not only would that have darkened Lupin's life, but Dumbledore would have had a tough time explaining to the Governors and parents why he allowed a werewolf student on the premises to endanger the other pupils. I don't think you're remembering correctly about Snape not mentioning the incident to anyone. I seem to recall that Minerva harangued Harry at length about it. However, by book 6 Snape's really not in a position to argue for Harry's expulsion. Firstly, he has no power in the matter as only the headmaster or Harry's head of house can expel him (as we learned in CoS). And he already knows they won't. Let's face it, Harry's second year began with he and Ron breaking both national and international Codes of wizarding Secrecy and all they got was one detention. Secondly, he's reaching the endpoint of his tenure at the school so he won't have to put up with him much longer) and he must surely know that Harry is the only hope to defeat Voldemort. (He must have always known. The beginning of the prophecy states, "THE ONE with the power to defeat...", thus implying that no other can do so.) Thirdly, perhaps he would rather have died than have to kill Dumbledore. More likely however, he was covering up for Draco. An investigation of Harry's conduct would probably have led to Draco's exposure and expulsion (and probably Azkaban) as the one who almost killed Ron and Katie.

Verity Brown 2005.10.20 - 02:31AM 2: Upon Interrogation Signed
That is *such* a good point about Lupin. Perhaps he could have fooled himself, at first, into believing that Sirius could not enter the school without being detected, even as a dog. Or that Sirius, even if he was a crazed murderer, would not actually attack Harry. But once it was clear that Sirius *had* entered the school, and *had* attempted to enter Harry's dormitory, Lupin should have felt morally bound to tell Dumbledore everything. And yet we see the same kind of moral failing in Lupin that we saw when he was a teenager--standing idly by while his friends do as they please. But because he is kind to Harry, we are expected to ignore this. (It's a bit spooky that we were so easily led to trust Barty-Moody for *exactly* the same reason, despite the fact that in Barty's case, the kindness was a complete sham.)

Or...is it possible that Lupin *did* tell Dumbledore? It would not be the first time that Dumbledore has failed to take adequate steps to protect Harry from dangers at school that he believes Harry is capable of facing. And one has to wonder what Dumbledore *really* may have thought about Sirius, after the betrayal of the Potters. Could Dumbledore, with his peculiar sense of justice and fairness, have refrained from looking too closely into the possibility of Sirius's innocence, maybe because Sirius was at last getting the punishment he had deserved earlier, when he attempted to murder Snape? PoA is the one time when we see Dumbledore really treating Snape unfairly "onscreen." Could it be that he felt that Sirius had finally paid his "debt," by his years in Azkaban, and that Dumbledore therefore need not uphold Snape's claim to justice. On the other hand, it could be possible that it's just way too late at night and I'm rambling. :~)

Author's Response: Lupin's silence was indefensible from the start. For an entire year, he kept silent about secret passages into the school. (We know beyond doubt that he did not tell the other teachers because Snape, one of the school's primary defenders, didn't know that Harry was loitering near the entrance to one.) Admitting to Sirius's animagus abilities would have incriminated himself but who would have been angry or disappointed in him for having found secret passages as a schoolboy? Everyone would have simply said that he used to be a prankster, something that was certainly no secret. Put it into Muggle terms and examine it: A teacher knows of hidden ways into a school threatened by a killer but tells nobody. Even if he doesn't know that the killer knows of them, his silence is culpable. ANYONE concerned about student safety would want to plug those holes in the school's defenses. And if he does know? Even when he confiscated the map from Harry, he didn't share the information with the other staff. Wouldn't it have been safer to share the surveillance potential with other teachers? Instead he held onto it in the hopes of catching up with Sirius and sending him away. Make all allowances for old friendship that you like, and for the embarrassment of having to admit to Snape that he'd colluded with a student to undermine school discipline; it comes down to the fact that he put Sirius's safety ahead of student safety. As for Dumbledore, he claimed at the end of the book to have been unaware of the Marauders' animagus abilities until that night. If he had known, it's hard to justify his tolerance of such unsafe practice as allowing a werewolf to roam free under the shaky supervision of three teenage hellions, so let's give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he was telling the truth about that. In that case, why was he convinced of Sirius's innocence even before hearing the testimony of the children or Lupin? And if he had doubts of Sirius's guilt before, was he judge and jury to allow him to be sentenced to Azkaban for the rest of his life for a homicide (premeditated murder, manslaughter or reckless endangerment?) that was only attempted?

Verity Brown 2005.10.20 - 12:28AM 2: Upon Interrogation Signed
I thought about Hermione remembering Snape, but I think you're right--Harry would have probably blown her off, determined that *his* plan to check on Sirius himself was better than bringing Snape into the picture. I'm also sure that Harry wouldn't have felt the tiniest pang of grief, even if Sirius had *literally* driven Snape to his death (as, indeed, he almost did at school--another fact that Harry conveniently fails to consider when he evaluates the character of his godfather).

My own prediction about the ending of book 7 is that Snape will die (and sadly, I think he *will* die, regardless) to save Harry. I only hope that Harry will finally grow up enough to feel something about that. I'm not sure how Joanne *can* end the book without having Harry realize that he's been wrong about so many things.

Author's Response: i've felt since at least PoA that JK will kill Snape off at the end, probably sacrificially to save Harry (though another possibility would be to die at Harry's hands just too soon to be exonerated.) I certainly hope JK will have Harry realising that he's been so wrong so often; her whole universe falls down for me if he doesn't. And not only Harry. It bothers me how moral implications of people's actions don't seem to carry through to the next book. You mentioned the lack of mourning for Sirius and I could go further back to the lack of mourning for Cedric (apart from Cho. Yet in OotP Harry finally gets to know some Hufflepuffs better and none of them seem to remember the death of the pride of their house.) For me the most glaring deficit is the lack of fallout from PoA. Lupin betrayed everyone's trust by repeatedly and routinely putting the safety of his old friend, whom even he believed to be a crazed murderer, above that of the children he was supposed to be protecting. Yet his trustworthiness is never subsequently called into question - not even by "constant vigilance" Moody.

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