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Reviews for A Matter of Will




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GgyUIcRjnkjxuB (Anonymous )1: Coming Back
Hi, I have surely got to state, I love your internet site. The hues, the layout, the entire design, they all move flawlessly together. Anyhow, that's all I really needed to declare.

Author's Response: ---
2013/07/27 - 17:47

Alcina vom Steinsberg (Signed )4: A Study in Black
It's very helpful to read where your inspiration and experiences come from, and I understand very well that these experiences are your main inspiratons.
But still, there is so much that, to my eyes, doesn't make true sense.
Severus has been a very, very successful spy and decieved Voldemort for an extremely long period of time. It simply isn't plausible that this feat should have been accomplished by a man realting only on his sight!
Particularly as this man is a very good potions master. You need to use the senses of taste, smell and hearing as well as sight for being able to brew successfully and to prepare ingredients. I know this very well, being married to a "Muggle" potions master and having talked about the subject of potions making with several pharmacits quite often, too.
Your psychologigal observation of his character doesn't fit into canon very well, too, in my opinion. "Arrogant and proud" - even if JKR didn't give us too much clues in the early volumes, but Book 5 and 6 alone seem to be sufficient to get some glimpses into his life and character - enough to understand that he is neither proud nor arrogant, but in the highest measure insecure, unloved and unwanted and continually seeking to keep his walls up, not to let anyone close. Proudness and arrogance derive from selfconfidence, over-selfconfidence, and he has neither.

So in my opinion, he wouldn't react in this way to becoming blind. As long as his senses of touch, smell and taste would not have been incapacitated, it would be just natural to him to use them. As well, being the successfull spy that he was, he must be rather proficient in interpreting nuances in speech or sound.

Of course, I absolutely agree with you that becoming blind would have been a catatrophe for him which he wouldnt' neither adapt to easily nor without fight, depression, self-denial and  everything else in the book.
But I'm really convincet that once he had passed the initial shock, he would be able rather easily to use his remaining, welltrained senses to his advantage.

Of course, his treatment by Poppy & Co is completely wrong ;o). They should rather require action from him instead of pampering, show him how he can help himself instead of doing things for him. But again, this can nicely be contributed to the inexperience of the wizarding world with such cases. And to be used in this way in a story is quite a good idea.

All in all, your tale is very well rounded-up in itself and works well, and your descriptions of feelings,  situations, tension is really well done - no matter if I agree with certain aspects or not ;o).
And before you ask - yes, I do have experience with blind or partially blind people, among others having a grandmother losing her sight and having a blind friend in my school days.

Author's Response: Dear Alcina,(do you pronounce it Alkeena, the German way, or Alcheena, the Italian way?), I am grateful for the many comments you left to this chapter. This is the very beginning of the story, and normally people leave me reviews about their reactions at discovering the horror of being blind. Instead, you see, we both have been "blessed". Being exposed to other people's dufferings make persons realise how lucky they are, while hopefully creating empathy and desire of being of help. BTW, sorry I can't divide my sentences in groups, the browser doesn't allow me. This is going to be tough to read, sorry again. Now, going to your comments, I will begin by explaining that this story was created at the beginning of 2007. It was my second attempt at writing something long and complex. At the time, we were all waiting for the arrival of book 7, so I tried to imagine something that could possibly happen and to give Snape that possibility of surviving that Rowling denied him... So, this story has abruptly become AU and "personal" immediately after DH. Real Snape is only Rowling's and she decided to eliminate him and then show us how good he was. (I'll never forgive that woman! ;)). Now, about your comments: of course, Snape didn't rely only upon his eyes! But my story wants to show the reactions of a man who feels to have been betrayed and used till the end, with no reward waiting for him but something even worse than death. To lose sight unexpectedly, and to know that it will be like this forever can ignite a strong rebellion in somebody's spirit. Add this problem to the many other ones the individual had in his previous life, add the terrible realization that now he will depend on somebody else for the rest of his days, and you understand that my Snape is exasperating his reactions, to punish at least those around him. Blind people can live by themselves when trained, but however thay can be easily tricked and harmed. This is what happened to my aunt in her last years, for instance. The person who she thought a devoted helper slowly stole her all her pension... Of course, my Snape uses his other senses. But my story focuses on an internal struggle. Now that he could be free, he is forced to be trapped again. In a way, he is perennially linked to his past world, as he can't see the new one he has contributed to create. About "proud and arrogant", well, these are the problems of translating from another language. "Proud" in Italian is "orgoglioso" and has many acceptions. One of them is to be extra sensitive, because of the many sufferings, troubles and torments he had to undergo. "Arrogant" was instead referred to his way of reacting. Perhaps "disdainful" would have been better? However, both these adjectives weren't meant to have a negative meaning. I hope you understand my poor explanations. Now I am thinking to change them or perhaps to leave only "proud". So, thank you for your comment. Instead, I am a bit perplexed about your note on Poppy and Co's treatment. They are doing exactly what you say. After an initial coddling - after all, he has been severely struck - Poppy tries to force him to react and live again by using his other senses. I thought that the final part of the chapter had explained this. And, of course, he tries to make her life difficult. Somebody must suffer with him, as everybody else seems to have forgotten his existence. A bit childish, you may say, but understandable. Aren't so many men like this? However, be assured that in my mind, Severus would react in a totally different way if he were alone. If alone, he would use all his immense resources. It's being entrusted to somebody else's care that allows him to wallow in his misery and, at the same time, to begin a new life by slowly examinating his feelings. OK, I hope you have arrived here to read these lines ;) Thank you very much for all your notes. I hope to read from you again. Please let me know what you like and what you don't like. Otherwise, how could I improve? Best regards from Italy.

Alcina vom Steinsberg's response: It's Alcina like in "Bertolucci" or "Gucci", I suppose - I absolutely suck at this. But definitely not what you call the German way, though I'd like to doupt it would be the German way, though I can't really *g*.
For the rest of your answer, permit me to answer you privately, as this is going to be a bit too private for my taste for a public review.
2008/08/14 - 07:17

Alcina vom Steinsberg (Signed )2: Discoveries
Again, very intense, and with plausible reactions on all parts. Though I sincerely doubt that Poppy's handling of Severus and the news-telling is realisitc; I believe this is usually done in a completely differnet manner.
But then, wizards have their own ways and may not be up to date on modern psychology ;o) - and overall it works well in its own right.
This dark cuse is quite fascinating, by the way - eyes turned to stone? *shudder*  It will be truly hard for Severus, accepting that he has to depend on help from now on. Let's hope he will find a way to cope, I simply can't imagine him giving up even now.

Author's Response: Thank you again for leaving me a message. Of course, in real life and in a real hospital, things would be handled differently. But this is an invented story, so I could make things happen according to me. This is the magical pleasure of writing. In a hospital they would probably keep you waiting, hide your real condition... in my story, time is forcedly reduced, as my intention was to put Severus in a desperate situation and then explore his reactions. More explanations in the answer of your next review ;)

Alcina vom Steinsberg's response: On the contrary, in a modern hospital and situation, if there is no chance for recovery, there is no waiting at all, you are told right on the spot and have to deal with it. With counseling, of course, and the respective treatment by the staff. It's rather hard and you're being thrown in cold water, of course, but I have been told that this is much easier to deal with than a long waiting for the final verdict.

I absolutely agree - in a story the author is free as a bird to invent things to his own liking. I personally prefer sticking as much to reality as possible, though, because it limits your opportunities as a writer, and in the same time shows your skill and fantasy so much better.

Author's Response: Ops! Then I'm sorry, I misunderstood your initial words. I thought you were telling me that Poppy was too hurried in communicating Severus what happened... Thanks again for answering my answer.

Alcina vom Steinsberg's response: No problem. I suppose as we're both not writing in our mother language, there's much more chance for misunderstandings ;o)-
2008/08/14 - 06:17

Alcina vom Steinsberg (Signed )1: Coming Back
Very intense, very dense, and well written. You really got me hooked into the story, I can't wait to read on.
I didn't discover any "strange" english, too, but then, I'm not a native speaker as well.

Author's Response: Thank you very much for your kind words. You expressed the dream of every author: to hook his/her readers to the story. And about"strange" English, well... my chapters are revised, of course, and very thoroughly. Read my answers to your comments and you will find the Italian coming out ;) Thanks again and off to your next review.
2008/08/14 - 05:15

braye27 (Signed )5: Visits

With his monthly pension, Severus can now live independently, but he is still troubled at the loss of Poppy
and Miss Ingram.

Instead, surprisingly, he feels incredibly outraged. He had begun to consider Poppy and Miss Ingham as two annoying but useful appendices in his life. Now he realises that he will have to start everything again, teaching some unknown house-elf how to manage his needs and facing every occurrence by himself. This unpleasant perspective makes him feel oddly disappointed, and as a result, his mood begins to oscillate from a deep joy to a resentful nastiness while his mind swings unsteadily in emotion.

Hermione's visit earlier in the day had upset him, and now he will be loosing Poppy, while Hermione will still have her since she will be returning to Hogwarts, too, for several months anyway.

Severus' life has changed so much that I am certain that his mind is still filled with such fears of the future that he can't muster a calm moment to truly consider all his options in a rational way. Add Harry's visit on top of everything else, and what we are left with is a surly and frightened man.......

Surely with time, his perspective will improve once he is actually living his new life in his own home and finds that at least he doesn't have to do without because his pension will allow him to live comfortably.

The future is fraught with unknowns, but only by immersing himself in this new life will he regain his emotional footing and feel more sure of himself.

This is a wonderful story, full of possiblities for all the characters, and I want to find out what happens, so I'll be keeping my eyes open for your next update. Well done!

Beth



Author's Response: Thank you, Beth. This review so long and full of hypothesis is very nice of you. But there are more surprises in store for Severus, of course. Please let me know your considerations. I am always glad to hear from you :) Best regards from sunny Italy.
2008/08/13 - 03:51

braye27 (Signed )4: A Study in Black
You have give us an understanding of the struggles of someone who has lost his sight, and then finds that even recalling faces from memory becomes more difficult with the passage of time.

This is a convincingly written chapter, full of pathos, and fear, and some small bits of progress of our Professor.

Please update soon.  I truly enjoy this story.
Beth

Author's Response: End of your reviews' marathon... but only for the moment, I hope! Actually, there are 16 chapters written, so I hope to "feed" my kind readers at least for a certain while.

I will post chapter 5 today and keep my fingers crossed for your reactions. Thanks again for your nice messages. Oh, I forgot: sorry for my English. As I always say, my answers aren't revised.

braye27's response: Your use of English is very good and very clear!!!
Never fear, you are doing a great job.
2008/07/28 - 20:06

braye27 (Signed )3: Memories
This is an intense and powerful chapter!!!  Well written and engaging all the emotions, I found myself with tears in my eyes as I relived that final battle — saw through Severus' memory that horrific final battle.  The losing of his sight was a terrible waste, and it was typical of the Dark Lord to strike any one he could, to do harm to any one he could, while he still could... cause misery and mayhem.

Very good chapter!!!
Beth

Author's Response: Gee, I'm blushing!

Thank you so very much. You felt exactly the emotions I hoped to raise. This is a great satisfaction for a humble writer who enjoys telling stories but who is not a native speaker. ;)

Thanks again.
2008/07/28 - 19:42

braye27 (Signed )2: Discoveries

The scene of Severus' utter anguish when he learned of his blindness was splendidly written.  How terrible that he cannot shed tears!

When Poppy told him of the injuries suffered by Ron and Hermione, I felt so sad.  But in the very next moment, I thought of Severus and Hermione becoming friends because she will be reluctant for anyone to see her with her disfigured face, and Severus cannot see it.

I hope, too, that something can be done to help Remus Lupin walk again, or at least gain some kind of mobility.

I hope something can be done for Ron to help him be able to move his limbs again without his having to bear the pain of opening new wounds in his skin.

I wonder what kinds of injuries Harry suffered.  I'm sure you will tell us more as the story progresses.

Good job!
Beth



Author's Response: Well, I'm embarrassed.

First of all, thank you for your kind comments.
Second, clever girl, you have already guessed a part of what will happen. What did you guess? I'll leave the joy to discover it to you. ;)

And, about Severus discovering his blindness, I think that it's one of the most terrifying perspectives for everyone of us. Don't you think?

Just one little note: Having read your profile (ah, how curious these authors are!) I wanted to let you know that this is not a love story between Hermione and Severus. I have many friends who have been disappointed by this decision. However, our beloved characters share many moments that could be defined also "sweet".

Hope this won't stop you from reading and sending your comments. Thanks again and best regards from Italy.

braye27's response: Of course I will continue to read!  Now I must try to guess which part I guessed correctly!

Beth  8^)
2008/07/28 - 18:43

braye27 (Signed )1: Coming Back
This is a wonderful beginning to your story, and I am eager to find out more.  Off to read the next chapter.

Well done.
Beth

Author's Response: Hi Beth!

It has been a joy to discover your messages today. So, thank you for your kind words. Now, off to your next review.
2008/07/28 - 18:05

Muggline (Signed )4: A Study in Black
A very intense chapter. I imagine that it must be much harder to become blind after having lived a "seeing" life for so long than to be blind right from the start. I once read an article about someone visiting a dark restaurant with a blind friend (dark restaurant = no light inside, all the personnel are blind people). Everybody got along just fine - except him...

Author's Response: Thank you for your kind words. I just discovered that we are "neighbours", so I hope you won't be disconcerted by the many mistakes in my answer. Unfortunately, no beta revises them ;)

Then: blindness is something that has always terrorised and pained me. To have a little hint of it - though I suppose that everyone of us has experienced this kind of games - just close your eyes and try to move. But, to add pure horror to the situation, now imagine that, from this moment, it will be like this forever.

If you have a good imagination, you feel a sense of panic and you have to open your eyes and breathe, immediately.

As you have probably imagined, this story is about blindness, but in all senses. I hope you will follow me and let me know your thoughts. I like to tell stories, and it's beautiful to know that there is somebody who listens to me. ;)

Best regards from Rome.
2008/07/28 - 13:53

Muggline (Signed )3: Memories
A very powerful chapter - I am looking forward to the next!

Author's Response: Thank you very much for leaving me a message. I think that you will find next chapter completely different from this one...but I hope you will like it. Best regards from Italy.
2008/07/15 - 03:09

Severina52 (Signed )2: Discoveries
I love it

Author's Response: Thank you very much.
2008/07/12 - 23:08

Muggline (Signed )2: Discoveries
Oh my god! Sure, you have to hit rock bottom to start climbing, but I hope that the latter will start very soon...

Author's Response: Well, this story is a long travel in Severus' psyche. I hope you will travel with me and let me know your thoughts. Thanks a lot for your message. Best regards from Italy.
2008/07/11 - 07:22

notsosaintly (Signed )2: Discoveries
This chapter was so full of feeling.  Just all the injuries, but especially Snape's.  And his breakdown was so heartbreaking.  You did a wonderful job communicating that.

Author's Response: I'm glad you liked this chapter. Thank you very much for leaving me a comment :)
2008/07/10 - 18:21

karelia (Signed )1: Coming Back
I'm so glad to see this finally posted here! Keep going, good job!

Author's Response: Thank you very much for your kind words! You know how insicure I was about this story...
2008/07/05 - 14:00

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