Reviews For Dark Dilemma
Reviewer: Zaeyl
Date: 04/25/13 10:56
Chapter: Chapter 1: Healing the Headmaster

This is good.

Author's Response: Glad you enjoyed the read :)

Reviewer: tutt38
Date: 10/11/11 3:38
Chapter: Chapter 7: The Morning After

WELL DONE!

Author's Response: Thank you :)

Reviewer: tutt38
Date: 10/11/11 3:29
Chapter: Chapter 5: The Cavalry

wow!

Author's Response: Glad you liked :)

Reviewer: fuishiongirl
Date: 08/21/11 7:44
Chapter: Chapter 7: The Morning After

good ending for a good story.

Author's Response: I'm glad you liked it. It can be hard to close the door on a story, to know just where that should be. We of course, know the story is far from over, so I had to find a smooth way to transition back to JK's story. I hope that worked well for most readers.

Reviewer: KilJackie
Date: 08/03/11 6:17
Chapter: Chapter 3: A Lesson in Fear

Great writing, I can picture the scenes as I read

Author's Response: Thank you. It means a lot to hear my descriptions are working as intended :)

Reviewer: KilJackie
Date: 08/03/11 6:11
Chapter: Chapter 2: Taken!

Can't wait to read more

Author's Response: Glad you enjoyed :) I have a couple more nearing completion that will be published soon so stay tuned.

Reviewer: Atrox Tempestas
Date: 07/25/11 16:48
Chapter: Chapter 7: The Morning After

I loved this line.
"then donning the cursed mask of his errant alliance, he turned on the spot and was gone."

A rare moment of humanity from Severus Snape, concluded - as it always must be - with him raising his shields and slipping his mask back into place. You have a great talent for showing what motivates the characters and showing what's going on behind their masks. This was a good ending to a cool story.

Author's Response: Thank you. I wanted to end it on a note of apprehension, so that readers felt the close of this story but also felt the weight of Snape's future path laid out before him. I hope I achieved that. My awesome beta also suggested I allude to his double mask again, which was of course a brilliant idea.

Reviewer: Psychick
Date: 07/16/11 1:00
Chapter: Chapter 6: Infirmary

Oh, my god! That was totaly awsome! Detailed, but not too grossly so, and wrenching. Don't take this the wrong way, but you have a talent for torture.

Author's Response: Thanks so much and totally thrilled that you enjoyed it so much. Talent for torture... lol I can live with it :)

Reviewer: Weaselredhair
Date: 07/08/11 1:27
Chapter: Chapter 1: Healing the Headmaster

you needed to describe the rape more on McGonagall's side. What pain is she feeling? What is he doing to her? What is she thinking at that very moment.

Author's Response: That is an interesting suggestion that has made me think, and that is always good. The vast majority of this story was written in Snape's POV, and my beta was not certain I should divert from that at all, though I did anyway for some key POV shifts I felt were necessary. If you mean more of her physical reaction, I deliberately shied away from anything that might be too graphic for the Mugglenet censors. For emotional reaction, I feel most of what McGonagall is feeling/ thinking are still evident in her visible reactions, but I can understand how you might want to see more. The next chapter, while still very much in Snape's head, does focus a great deal more on what McGonagall is dealing with, so even though it may not be exactly what you were envisioning I think it will leave you much more satisfied about her state of mind and how she copes with this development. I think you want to see more than just the glimpse you have so far of her human side, and I feel confident that you will be more satisfied with Chapter 6. It has been submitted and is awaiting validation now. Thanks for reading, and for the thought provoking review.

Reviewer: Atrox Tempestas
Date: 06/29/11 13:27
Chapter: Chapter 4: Desperate Measures

Well, "Bugger the greater good, then!" is a favorite line for this one.... "Obviously." ;)

It's always interesting to see how a beloved character reacts to torture... either their own torture or someone else's. A true hero will rise to defend their stricken comrade, just as a true jerk will hide behind others and allow the suffering to continue. We didn't find out what sort of man Severus Snape really was until the end of the series. For that reason, it's good to be able to go back to some of the earlier times in the story when we didn't yet know his back story... when we didn't get to see him stand up and do the right thing- and be a hero.

Top-notch writing. Waiting for the next one.

Author's Response: Thanks, I am very glad to hear you're enjoying it. That was one of my favorite lines as well. It was sad to see him have to watch Charity Burbage and do nothing... but McGonagall, that was a deal breaker for sure :)

Reviewer: Padfoot Patronus
Date: 06/24/11 2:57
Chapter: Chapter 3: A Lesson in Fear

It is always ironic how good, wholesome, purposeful stories have a few reviews, but give you an average story but a known author, and the reviews come in like a flood. I might be guilty of that too, because it what you review begins to matter more if you really do know the person and the impact your review will have on them.

However, as far as your story is concerned, I found it a good read. First off, your summary was hugely drawing. I only opened one story yesterday while browsing the recent page, based on the summary, and yours was the one. I came around to reading it only today. I'm glad I did.

Another thing I find notably well-done is the aura in your story. There's a dreaful shadow painted in your first chapter, dreary, hopeless, but the way Snape's narration is written with a constant reminder of his humanity and concern intergrated with his inner fear, my mind kept picturing Dumbledore's office, which is like always a scene of safety and warmth. Conveying the scene like you did, helped make the scene really real. People never usually write about this part of Snape or this timeline specifically. All of this made this chapter memorable for me.

Once I was through reading that chapter, I lingered onto the last line and for a moment, I can't help but link the way you setup this chapter to DH's The Dark Lord Ascending. On judging how you capture and transport the reader's attention to Snape's world, I think you might have written just as well as Jo in her first DH chapter.

I like the fact that your talent with descriptions was viisble also in the second chapter. I particularly like the one of the moonlight disappearing and how Snape links it to the presence of evil. That's again potent. Because a simple description of two or three lines doesn't just has the purpose of describing but settling the tone and environment. Good job again. I really enjoyed Snape's inner monologue towards the beginning of Two. McGonagall's fear and Snape's fear for her are really very real. You consistently make the reader appreciate the complexity of Snape's job in this war. That's what makes Snape Snape and I applaud you for getting that right on.

However, something goes down in the last part of chapter two. In all honesty, I didn't like it as much. Now, you must see this as a VERY personal way of looking at something. Please read on.

I always enjoy keeping track of the way heroes are developed in movies, books and more often than not, that process is often dictated to us, narrated and told in plain words. Villians are tricky. The thing that moves them, in order to write that convincingly you have to believe that its possible to believe what they do, and justify that with your actions. I have always noted that smart, intelligent people make villian. I have always find this intriguing. Examples that come off the top of my head, Dr Hannibal Lecter, Joker, Dr Octopus . . .

You will always see that they have a penchant for evil and torture, but I have always felt that they are capable of almost rationally draw a line sometimes, between their victims, in the way they take a stance in certain situations. So much in fact that you hate them but inside you are doubting their animalistic tendencies. I just watched Silence of the Lambs for the first time last week, and it's amazing to me how Lecter calls the agent in the end and sort of spares her, decides not to come after her and actually tells her that.

The whole point of this long long thing is that I don't see Voldemort as the sort of person to publicly rape someone. I can't be convinced on this at all. It's just my view of him. How his agenda involves showing muggleborns their original place but a person of his intellect and power, it's hard to imagine that he's succumb to an act of raping. Perhaps privately, if he and McGonagall have had a past, that action could be psychotically justified. I always see it this way: that there's a difference between the way his followers will treat a woman who defies them and then there's the way Voldemort will behave. Humiliation is his motive, but I don't see Voldemort really going through with this.

Overall, I found it a very interesting read. Love the reference to Lily in the end. Love that you have written Snape as a braver person than I have ever read before.

Awaiting the next update,

-Akay-

Author's Response:

First off, I want to thank you for such an honest and thought out review. That is exactly what I was hoping for. I am very humbled that you find my wirting so effective, and especially that you compared it on keel with Jo's herself. My deepest appreciation for your kind words.

In regards to your concerns about my portrayal of Voldemort, part of me is even in agreement with you. I debated myself what form the torture would take. We really have little information on what exactly goes on behind the scenes for the darker characters, mostly due to the books being written for children's ears. I agree with you that Voldemort is in many ways above the lower actions of his followers. However, I also wanted to push the envelope here a little. This may, in fact, have been a first for him. He was VERY angry after the battle and the prophecy were lost at the Ministry building. He may be feeling desperate and afraid he's losing control of things. Then this new opportunity presents itself. He has some history with McGonagall, and even more with Dumbledore. He wants them to suffer, especially Dumbledore. He, like Snape, also realizes that all the Order members are prepared to die if necessary for the cause, so even Crucio is only so effective to "break" their spirits. To get someone as self disciplined as McGonagall to beg him like he wanted, he had to push her farther. The humiliation factor, as you mentioned, was his goal. Those were the ideas in my head when I wrote this.

I love the Snape character, as I suspect is obvious in my writing. I am glad you are enjoying the complexity with which I write him. He is very brave, and often very confused. I'm glad you liked the Lily reference. I like to use reminders of Snape's humanity whenever possible. Thanks again for your wonderful review.

Reviewer: Mykdanice
Date: 06/23/11 21:59
Chapter: Chapter 3: A Lesson in Fear

Ooooh, this is very interesting :)

Author's Response: Glad you're enjoying :)

Reviewer: riddler22
Date: 06/22/11 22:12
Chapter: Chapter 2: Taken!

this seems like a very interesting story, i wasnt sure at first but you do a really good job at incoorperating stuff from the book and adding a common connection from voldemort to mcgonagall, cant wait to read the rest :]

Author's Response: Thanks, I'm glad you're enjoying. I wanted to allude to the fact that they knew one another in school, while also keeping whatever transpired between them a mystery. It leaves open the possibility for a flashback fiction if I ever decide to do it. According to canon sources, she was one year above Riddle at Hogwarts.

Reviewer: Atrox Tempestas
Date: 06/20/11 22:10
Chapter: Chapter 1: Healing the Headmaster

I like your handling of Snape, very true to the character, and I also like they way you're building up the dread for his meeting with Voldemort. Very good beginning, ready for Chapter 2....

Author's Response: Thanks, me too... and I already submitted it. I sure hope validation doesn't take as long as the first one.

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