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Reviews for The Unconditional Vow

greenwood 2009.09.26 - 12:09AM 60: Heir of Slytherin Signed
Great chapter. What a close call that was. I have a feeling that old Voldy is not totally convinced that she is not going to be a useful tool to him against Severus or to use a "security". He didn't have her do too much to provoke Severus. Looking forward to more.

Author's Response: Thanks, Greenwood. You raise a good point. The question that interested me most after the encounter was this - how will Severus react when he realises Voldemort can use Tess as a security or weapon against him?

LadySeverus 2009.09.24 - 04:26PM 60: Heir of Slytherin Signed
Urgh, my skin is still crawling with the thought of Tess touching LV and having to be that close to him. I would've been scrubbing myself all morning in a red hot shower and still would not have felt clean enough. Nasty. Anyway, I love your story. I too have been reading it for months. I will continue reading it to the end and, like you have always said, this is a canon compliant story so I know the end is coming. I am glad you have given Severus this chance with Tess that he never got in canon. I already feel the weight of the years and the pain falling away from him. I'd like to think that when he finally crosses to the other side of the veil, his steps will be lighter and he will forever have a real gem of happiness in his heart to carry with him.

Author's Response: Congratulations on being the 200th review! I'm glad you have a sense of the change that has taken place in Severus during the course of this story, and your sentiments of lighter steps and happiness in his heart were exactly what I hoped to give him before he had to face his demise. Thank you for your review, and may I say how lovely it is to hear from so many new reviewers!

tomo 2009.09.24 - 02:49PM 60: Heir of Slytherin Signed
I feel the need to comment once more, given the discussion that seems to have followed. I am completely understanding in your intention to create a canon-compliant story although I can understand some readers upset at the idea of finally giving a character happiness and then (seemingly) taking it all away. But to be honest, thats reality. Things like that happen every day and not everyone gets to experience a happy ending. I feel that you were very upfront from the beginning of this story about it being canon compliant, and while I, as a reader, may not be happy with that I am understanding and had the option to never read the story in the first place. To touch on a point that Sevvy brought up, as someone who grew up alongside the books (I was the same age as the main characters each year the books were released) I really matured along with the characters. I started at the beginning awed and bewildered by this world of magic and the wild adventures Harry & co. embarked on. But as the books went on and darker storylines were revealed I could understand and cope with the, usually, upsetting plot twists because I was maturing in reality. Let me close by saying, regardless of the outcome, I am so pleased with the way you have created a storyline that JKR, for whatever reason, did not feel suitable. Everyone (no matter how their lives end) at least deserve a little happiness. I am very excited for the next few chapters and I am already stockpiling the tissues as I imagine it will still be a rough one. Thank you for writing this and please dont back down on your original intentions. You are a truly gifted writer!

Author's Response: It's nice to hear from someone who has had the experience of growing up with the books, and I concur that this seemed to be JKRs intention. To quote Snape in the OOTP film "Life isn't fair" and I agree that happy-ever-after endings are not necessarily commonplace (except, of course, in the majority of Hollywood films). I have always been drawn to the bittersweet and tragic, and this infuses my writing. Don't worry - I have no intention of backing down or bowing to pressure from readers. The remaining chapters of this story were written two weeks ago, whilst on holiday, so the ending has been finalised and there is no turning back. I repeat something I said a few chapters ago - I have no plans to leave the reader bereft. But by all means stockpile your tissues! I've shed a fair few tears on this journey, and will probably shed some more when it ends.

star_girl 2009.09.24 - 02:48PM 60: Heir of Slytherin Signed
I'd like to add my two Knuts worth, if I may ;) Firstly, I very much agree with Sevvy, in both her praise of your writing and indeed the way JKR's work grew darker in response to both the main characters growing up, and the readership growing up alongside them. And also I'd like to say how much I have noticed your writing blossom. I enjoyed reading this at the start, and chapter by chapter it gets better and better. I have written my own AU story which leads to a better, post-war, non canon-compliant life, but that is not to say I do not think canon-compliant stories are any good. On the contrary, it is a challenge and it takes great skill to weave another narrative into your own story and characters, as I have discovered writing Star Sisters, and you are doing wonderfully here. I am very much looking forward to where this leads, and I know you are going to make me cry at least once by the end. Keep up the good work!

Author's Response: Your two Knuts worth are always welcome! Thank you for your kind comments on my writing; I've been on a tremendous learning journey throughout this story, having only ever written a 4000 word PWP previously. You are quite right - weaving my characters and story into canon has been a huge challenge - even more so as the story heads to its conclusion. My beta readers have their tissues, teddy bears and alcoholic beverages on standby as we head towards the finale! I appreciate your encouragement and am delighted you're still reading and enjoying.

Trickie Woo 2009.09.24 - 10:20AM 60: Heir of Slytherin Signed
I am another who has not reviewed before. I started reading thsi story when you first posted it in April of last year, but I decided against following it regularly because you stressed it was going to be canon compliant. It is beautifully written and I have managed to read all the chapters through the months, just not all of them when they were posted. I sometimes read them in blocks. I agree with sevvy about most of the part I quote here "It's also nice to read something without explicit sex scenes, gorey descriptions or swearing to be perfectly honest (not that I'm against any of that in the right context but a gentler story has been lovely.)". I enjoy sex scenes that aren't the tab A goes into slut B type of graphic, I want romantic and loving sex. I abhor violence and gore and perverted sexual practices like double penetration. I would never see any context where detailed descriptions of any of that is necessary, but I do hold one exception. That exception concerns collateral damage, in a war both sides always suffer collateral damage. I know all about this, I lost my father to WW2 when I was a baby and I've known others from both sides who lost fathers to the war as well. My husband was a career soldier and as an Army wife I saw him off twice to Viet Nam, and while he made it through safely, many men we knew came home in body bags. What I'm trying to say is that the enemy of the time, the Germans, the Japanese, the North Vietnamese, and the Viet Cong also suffered losses and collateral damage. Rowling never gave us that side, was the Order and the Side of the Light too highly principled to use the methods that would help to decimate the 'Tedious One's' Death Eaters? Did they think it was all supposed to fall on the shoulders of a 17 yr. old boy and that if he killed the 'TO' they would have peace from that moment on? I never got her logic here, why didn't the Order and the loyal Aurors take down any DEs when they responded to a raid or had an assignment? At least I don't remember reading that they did. I'm off topic here, but I never mind seeing that the 'Tedious One's' forces also suffered causualties. Also there is no way that the death of Charity Burbage and what happened to her remains was suitable for children to read, or even normal adults. I'm sick and tired of the swearing that passes for dialogue in too many fan fics. I am thankful that I haven't seen any of those things that I oppose in this story, but you still say this will be canon compliant. If it is canon compliant, why did you lead me down a path that gives Severus hope for the future that will not be his? Why are you giving Contessa the broken heart that will surely follow the events in the Shrieking Shack during the battle? She has already suffered the loss of one love. I know life isn't fair, I never got to know my father; my only child was born with a very serious heart defect and died after open heart surgery to correct it; my mother gave me an evil and abusive stepfather. None of that is fair, but with years of counseling and therapy I learned to cope with it and go on with my life. Severus has finally managed to do that in those sessions with Contessa and he is prepared now to survive and hopefully find happines. Contessa has recovered from the loss of her fiance and has found that she can love again. A canon compliant ending negates all that they have achieved and gives them no possibility of a future together filled with happines and the love we know they each feel for the other. I agree with bdancer and I quote her, "your writing and character development is far better than hers. Oh that you could go your own way in this character's existance. I think I would love the journey you would take me." I would have loved that journey too and I'd had hopes that you had changed your mind after discussing it with a friend who is a regular reader and reviewer of your story. But after seeing you AN and reading your profile, I see that those hopes are dashed and I'm very disappointed.

Author's Response: As you have already said, I made it perfectly clear at the beginning of the story that it would be canon-compliant. I make no apologies for not changing my mind on this. The collateral damage of which you speak was written by JK Rowling and, obviously, I too was greatly affected by Snapeís death in canon, otherwise I wouldnít be writing this story. I intend to give him a better ending, but I wonít be giving any hints as to how I plan to do this because it would spoil the tension and the plot. But I will say this: I donít believe a canon-compliant ending will negate all that Severus and Tess achieved. You ask why I led you down a path that gives Severus hope for a future that will not be his. First of all, I didnít lead you anywhere. You chose to read this fanfic, knowing it was canon-compliant. Secondly, Severus has now experienced hope and love in his life, two things which were significantly lacking in canon. Heís already earned himself a better death. Thirdly, you donít actually know how I will conclude this story and what the ultimate point is. This is deliberate dramatic tension. I hear that youíve suffered some terrible losses during your life, and Iím glad to hear that therapy helped you to cope and go on with life. Thank you for your complimentary comments about my writing skills.

sevvy 2009.09.24 - 04:34AM 60: Heir of Slytherin Signed
I Wouldn't normally comment on other's reviews, but I feel compelled to do so in the case of your previous reviewer as it seems to typify what many people feel and I also want to speak in defence of this excellent story. Firstly, whilst I tend to agree with what has been said about JKR's treatment of some of her characters, it needs to be realised that sometimes life is hard and horrible and doesn't work out the way we planned and many don't get 'justice' or end up with what they deserve. If everything had worked out perfectly in canon - i.e. all the 'good guys' shine through without a blemish and all the 'baddies' get their immediate come-uppance it wouldn't have been much of a story! (However, bear in mind that the main baddie did get defeated - and those whose lives were sacrificed along the way, most especially Severus Snape's of course - helped to achieve that end, just like in real life war.) In JKR's defence, I think, when she conceived the story, it was her intention that younger children would grow up alongside the books as they read them over a period of time and therefore be able to relate to Harry & co. as they too matured & read the most 'grown up' bits at the appropriate time. Despite being a total romantic myself, and an opptimist at heart, I've had more than my fair share of suffering but have become stronger through it. I don't believe that life was meant to be easy. It's what happens to us and how we deal with it that makes us who we are. Our respect/interest/admiration for Severus Snape is only really so because of what happened to him in the end and his bravery. (Helped of course by the fact that in the films he's played by the fabulous Alan Rickman!) He was a 'tragic hero' - his actions/outcome making enough of an impact to create fanfic sites like this this one! Whilst I too would like a 'Happy Ever After' ending (there are far too many out there to compensate for what JKR did I reckon!), I'm guessing this is lined up for a bittersweet ending which will elevate it above most others, thus making it memorable. We really should be reading/reviewing stories for their writing skills etc., not just the content, & this is a beautifully written story, as I'm sure everyone acknowledges. It's also nice to read something without explicit sex scenes, gorey descriptions or swearing to be perfectly honest (not that I'm against any of that in the right context but a gentler story has been lovely.) Everyone is entitled to their opinion of course (and with the greatest of respect to the previous reviewer - who I hope doesn't mind me picking up on her comments - & also others who feel the same) but I think it's a shame when readers give up on a good story just because the outcome may be similar to canon. Btw: This was a great chapter (finally got round to saying that!) What I wouldn't give to be craddled in Severus' arms like that - make the most of it, though, Tess! (Sorry for going on so - just wanted to get my point across!!) :-)

Author's Response: I confess myself bemused that a ĎCí rated fanfic can cause such furore. I agree with what you say about JKRís treatment of her characters, and would like to add that I love all the books, and this story is my homage to them. The end will be bittersweet Ė something which Iíve been quite clear about from the start Ė and I also hope it makes the story more memorable. It certainly seems to have provoked debate, and Iím flattered that people care so passionately about something I have written. Thanks, Sevvy, for your kind words about my writing. I hope that you (and all the readers) will keep the faith and see this one through to the end.

bdancer 2009.09.23 - 08:58PM 60: Heir of Slytherin Signed
I think I should stop following your story here as you have stated you intend to follow the insipid path Rowling has set. She sold out a potentially wonderful childrens' story to mean and violent acts inflicted on too many endearing characters in later books. I allowed myself to become enchanted along with my two little nieces into the wonderous world of reading aloud together by what started a colorful and wonderous wizarding world in the first five books and found the last two books depressing, disappointing and too ugly to share with them. More meaness and violence than the Lord of the Rings which was meant to be an "adult" fairy tale. The only saticefaction I have is that I used the library therefore not contributing a penny to her undeserving massive coffers. My opinion is that your writing and character development is far better than hers. Oh that you could go your own way in this character's existance. I think I would love the journey you would take me.

Author's Response: Iím sad to hear youíre considering stopping reading, and Iím even more puzzled that youíve chosen this point in the story to air your thoughts. From very early on, the following words have appeared on my author bio: ďA lot of people have asked me if Snape is going to die. The answer is: this is a canon-compliant story. Right to the end. However, that doesn't mean the ending will be sad Ė it will be bittersweet, but perhaps not as rigid and foretold as you might expect.Ē These words have not been altered and readers have been invited to read my bio several times. Iím curious that you chose to read a Deathly-Hallows-compliant story even though you disliked books 6 and 7. Thank you for your comments on my writing and character development. It would be a shame if you gave up on the journey now, after coming this far with the characters. I think youíll miss out.

tomo 2009.09.23 - 06:29PM 60: Heir of Slytherin Signed
I havent reviewed until now, and I'm not sure why but something about this chapter absolutely compelled me to tell you just how moving it was. I was drawn right in to it and I could truly empathize with Contessa. It was incredible... No fan fiction I've ever read has ever drawn out that big an emotional response. This is a very wonderful story and I look forward, well not completely, to the inevitable conclusion. I hope you will give Severus a bit of happiness before the end.

Author's Response: Thank you so much! I've learned a lot about writing since I began this story, and I found this chapter in particular a real challenge. I'm pleased the writing drew you in and that you experienced such a strong emotional response. And, with regards to the ending, you're just going to have to trust me on that one!

Rose of the West 2009.09.23 - 05:22PM 60: Heir of Slytherin Signed
I thought for sure the Tedious One was going to tell Severus just how deeply her feelings went, but he never really checked after he Imperioed her for himself. That turned out to be a useful formulation, after all. Poor Severus, allowing himself to think she only liked him because of the curse.

Author's Response: Thanks for your review, Rose. You might be jumping ahead on poor Severus... wait and see how it plays out.

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