I haven't read much of this story in a while, so it's great to finally have some time to myself and read some more! I did worry at first that I'd feel a bit lost getting back into this story, but actually, saying that, it was great and so familiar to be reading this again. The alternating POV's in each chapter are as ever super effective and really colour this story all the more. Sev is just.awesome :) You said that this is one of the chapters that you wrote fairly soon after having a lot of the material at hand, and I could really tell, such as with the previous three, too. Everything is so thought out and I feel as though you just haven't missed anything. Little things like Dumbledore being kicked out of the Wizengamot...you've paid a lot of attention to this and it totally does pay off! I will most definitely look out for any changes (if there are any!) in the next two chapters, though.
Everything about this chapter just flows so well and I can't ever express how addictive this story is! It's so solid and so well written. Are you secretly a published writer?! Because if not, you should be. You manage to make everything sound so impressive and vivid, even if all that you are describing are puddles of mud or the summer weather! Genuinely, this does just astound me, and I don't care how silly I sound. In comparison to some maybe more artsy one shots or something, this may not be the most abstract, but the quality of writing and the imagery is just as bright and striking and amazing! And, after all of that, the way you always bring things back to Avrille and Char - it reinforces this homely feeling about this story and about Sev. This is a story that feels so real to me, and I'm sure other readers will agree because there you've managed to achieve this awesome balance between amazing creative writing and a solid, believable and continuing story. And gah, just Sev. Sev the family man. It's a side we have never had the chance to see and strangely it suits him. I think that's why I love this story so much! As well as one trillion other reasons...
Teehee, indeed I am British! There aren't any obvious slip ups with Britishisms, apart from near the end Avrille referring to the sofa/settee as the couch. But then, that's subjective I guess. Some British people might call the sofa the couch - and it is only a little thing anyway! Something I did grin at though - Dumbledore eating a crumpet. I don't know why this image amused me so - I guess because it's SO English ("crumpets and tea, ma'am?") and the word is just...quite funny sounding anyway hahaha! Maybe I'm a big kid, I don't know. But no, there was nothing here that actually needed correcting. Rather, you were actually educating me while reading this! Your use of vocab is just so impressive. There were words being used here that I didn't even know existed and they sounded as though they fitted just place perfectly! I've just made myself sound really dumb, haha, but oh well! It is always great to read a fic and be constantly impressed and to not have the narrative feel forced or repeated at all. Do you revise chapters before you post them? I have an awful habit of just writing and going 'ugh fine that'll do' and posting it :P I really shouldn't though. But yours - I get the impression you do really mould and care for your chapters, as I've mentioned in previous fics with the amount of incredible detail you have with your plot and characters. It is so inspiring!
The plot is progressing at such an awesome rate - I can sense that at some point Severus is going to get tied up in where his responsibilities lie. Already he's stepping in dangerous territory and has been for years, but now that Avrille's involved in the Order it makes Order business so much more HIS business, if that makes sense? I've always been interested to see how Voldemort really would talk to Sev and how equally he would consider him. I loved the part with the two of them - sure, Voldz does think that everyone is inferior to him but it was interesting to have him actually considering and listening to whatever Sev was saying. It was very believable. For all of his cunning and evil powerful ways, I guess Voldemort would have had paranoia as a weakness and would try to compensate that threefold with people like Sev feeding him information. There are so many new insights that this story has given me!
So, I'm going to sign off for the night and hopefully will be able to see to the next two very soon. For some reason (even though it's the summer holidays!!) my life has just exploded with busyness! I apologise for the wait for reviews though, :( but I can't wait to get on to the next ones, especially as you requested the most critique there. I didn't want to rush them while I'm feeling a little sleepy. I can't wait to get back to them though! If I leave Sev and Avrille alone for too long there'll probably be another baby on the way!!
:D Laura xxx
Author's Response: Hi Laura! Sorry it took me a couple days to respond. I've been kind of "meh" about being online the past few days, probably because I'm very "meh" about writing at the moment in general, but as always, I really appreciate your review!
Yeah, like I think I said, I wrote most of these first four chapters in two weeks (!!) at the start of NaNo last year. I think it helped to flow better since I did do it all at once, and that's why I feel a bit like I'm floundering right now writing new material.
Oh gosh, blushing over your compliments :) Funny how you mention the stuff about the weather and the mud puddles because I specifically remember writing those sections (and being a little stuck on them). I usually have to go back and insert some descriptive details here or there because I tend to get caught up in the flow of the action and dialogue.
"the way you always bring things back to Avrille and Char" --Thanks for noticing that! That really is the main backbone of this story. No matter what they go through in the war against Voldemort, I want it to always come back to this idea that home and family is the most important thing in the world
I *think* the couch thing is ok because Avrille is actually Canadian. I'm not 100% positive if a Canadian would say couch or sofa. I've never had a Canadian comment on her word choice, but even if they did I have a bit of leeway since I had her do all of her schooling around the Boston area (Salem Witches' Institute) which is conveniently the general area I'm from originally... so I'm covering my bases by saying maybe she picked up on some American slang as a teenager ;) But crumpet is definitely such a funny word!! They're really yummy, though. You can get them at some specialty stores here in the US. Good when grilled with honey! Thanks for specifically reading for the Britishisms! I have a beta, but she's American too, so she probably would miss the same things I would. When in doubt, I try to imagine Alan Rickman saying something. Granted he's not how I picture MY Severus in my head, being the more "canon" Severus to me, but it still helps.
Oh man, you are SO not dumb! I'm pretty sure I'm probably around 10 years older than you, so I've just had more time to read, read, read. I'm constantly always checking a thesaurus when I write as well because often times I know the gist of the word I want but can't recall what it is. And I will admit I am definitely an editing addict. I was really nervous posting these first four chapters when I did since I had never done a WIP before. You can imagine I edited the heck out of them, probably half because I was stalling.
I find the Voldemort/Severus interactions interesting as well, hence why I like to make excuses for them to talk alone together. I was always curious as to how Severus went from being the "he will be killed, of course" Death Eater from the graveyard to being virtually Voldemort's most trusted follower. Obviously killing Dumbledore had a lot to do with it, but he had to have been slowly working his way up to that point this whole time. I agree that Voldemort probably had paranoia being one of his greatest weaknesses, or maybe strengths since it did keep him in power for so long. I don't think he would have ever truly trusted anyone. More like he took a gamble, like "it's about 90% likely Severus is loyal to me," and it turns out he was wrong.
So once again, thanks so much for your time in reading and reviewing this!! Please don't rush or push yourself. I know all about crazy busy days. Hence why I just haven't felt like writing lately. At least the review challenges are making me stay active in HPFF and TGS cause I'm determined to do all of those suckers. Hmm, I wonder if you'll win feature reviewer! I went to nominate, but someone beat me to it ;) Good luck! You totally deserve it!