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Review:dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap says:
Honestly, he never smiled at anyone except me; I must have been his prime source for daily entertainment.

From the moment I read Christmas in this chapter I knew that this was going to be something light and airy. I just finished the entire chapter instead of reviewing as I read along so I have to say I love all the interactions you put in here. It really felt like they had some of the Christmas spirit inside of them, especially Severus.

There was something so kind and loose about him in this chapter that I just adored.

Just as our gazes met, the bell sounded to signal the end of the period. Severus quickly dropped his hands from me, and I reluctantly did the same.

Darn you, bell!

At that moment we both reached for the same fang, and our hands touched. I pulled mine away quickly with a nervous laugh

"So... will you come?" he asked tentatively.

"Are you asking me?" I replied teasingly.

They're like teenagers! Every time something almost happened between them, a look shared, a smile, hands touching my heart started to race in my chest. I knew nothing was going to happen because itís too early but honestly, they're acting like a couple of teenagers!

I like how you had him mention the ball. It was very nonchalant on his part even though we know he has ulterior motives. He just wants to stare at her all night. He's like a hormonal teenage boy in a grown man's body.

I ate a delicious ham sandwich, while Hagrid ate a whole ham.

^ That line made me giggle.

This entire chapter made a huge smile appear on my face. Their relationship does that to me though. Little by little Severus lets his guard down around her and I'm just thrilled by that because he has so many layers and you peel/examine them very nicely.

I was surprised that Avrille didn't go to Severus and tell him about Hermione. I know she wouldn't want to hurt her schooling career and she sees the way Severus treats Hermione/Ron/Harry/Neville so it makes sense why she didn't say anything. I think it really speaks a lot about her character. She's kind but she still has that 'hand' of a teacher. She would go to him if she does it again, no matter the consequences. I felt like she's very intuitive. It didn't take her long to figure out why Hermione had taken something. I think if she would have pushed the subject a little bit more she could have found out exactly what Hermione was up to.

I don't know if that would have been a good outcome though because then she really would have had to tell Severus about it because by making the polyjuice potion she's breaking many rules.

I kind of wish she'd say something to him though. Stick up for some of the students when he 'picks' on them. She sees how he treats them and yet just whispers quick instructions in Neville's ear to help him out. I suppose she knows it would anger and embarass Severus because no one speaks up to him. Of course they aren't really her students either so getting involved and critiquing his teaching methods (which she previously said she liked) would not be the best idea.

Are we ever going to meet her mother? You mention her from time to time and I just wonder what she's like. I wonder if she would like Severus.

Author's Response: Yay! I'm glad you liked this one! :) This was actually one of the earliest chapters I wrote since I had a huge hole between the welcoming feast and here that didn't get filled in until nearly the very end. So when I see this chapter, it's kind of like where it all began in a weird way. I knew Severus and Avrille would be getting much more friendly and starting all the fun sexual tension, I just didn't know how they'd end up there ;)

I do think this is the turning point where Severus starts to loosen up a bit. Or lose control. Maybe both? Well, you'll see. It must have been exhausting for him to have kept so much bottled up inside for months with Avrille being flaunted in his face every single day. I was kind of bummed when I found out later having a ball is a bit of a cliche (since I didn't know these things when I was writing it) but there's no denying it's a good plot device to get things moving. Especially when you think of how McGonagall said they're a time to "let our hair down" (heheehehe!)

I especially love your reviews because you often make me go, "Oh WOW!" about my own characters, which is very silly (on my part). I guess I kind of just knew them well and knew what they would do without always analyzing it. For instance, how you said they were both acting like total teenagers here, which I agree with. It's probably because neither one of them has had a serious relationship, mostly because neither one was allowed to have a true childhood or carefree adolescence. I also came to the realization when reading your musings on the part with Hermione that it's likely Avrille didn't report her because she probably saw a lot of Hermione in herself. Avrille was also incredibly smart but sort of an outcast with very few friends in school, so I can definitely see her identifying with Hermione. That's also something I never really thought about consciously. So amazing job reading so closely and making me aware of these things!

But like you said, it was also a big part that Avrille knew she wasn't a licensed teacher yet, so she didn't want to step on Severus's toes in the classroom (with the added awkwardness of being totally taken with him personally). That's also why she probably wouldn't say anything about his borderline abusive treatment of some of his students. But you can bet she had something to say about it later on when she felt she had more of a right to ;) (whether or not Severus actually listened to her is a matter of debate since he's obviously still horrible to Harry and Neville later in the books, and I try to stick as close to canon as humanly possible. I like to think that he tried his best, but certain students were too infuriating for him to keep his word to Avrille.)

Avrille's mom makes some indirect appearances in later chapters (I can't really explain how because I'd have to give too much away) but she'll definitely be making a "real" appearance in the sequel. She has some very vital information to give Avrille as to why her magical powers are so crazy powerful that will need to be explained in person. I haven't written that part yet, but I'm looking forward to it because I think Avrille's mom is pretty strong and awesome for raising a strong daughter as a single parent.

Thank you so much for the review! It always really brightens up my day to get a new one from you because it seems like you're really enjoying the story. Hope July NaNo hasn't been grinding your brain into a pulp. I haven't been on the forums much lately to read people's status updates to see how everyone's surviving this insane summer of writing :) Thanks again! ~Renny

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