Hi Jami! I'm back for your review! :P
About your first concerns about the first scene, i thought it was done fairly well. It was actually really interesting to see Bellatrix's weird obsession and that it started so early for her. I hope to see progression from her as well though as she probably wasn't always so devoted as we knew her in the books. I liked the fear that she showed though because it made her feel realer to me, more relatable. It also makes me see how she becomes so manic later on because of this drive to always please Voldemort. That was really well done.
With those scenes however, although i liked how they showed a darker side of the war and it brings a lot of really interesting new plots into your story i felt like there should have been more evil. I hope that makes sense, but i kind of expected to be disgusted or scared by Voldemort and he didn't evoke fear in me as i read this. Even with the other DE's, i expected a little more out of them, something a bit more sinister feeling i suppose.
The transition from the first bit to the second was alright. A bit jolting but it wasn't a turn off for me. Although, I feel like now that i've got a taste of the war, i feel like it's effects should be felt in the castle as well more. Perhaps not in this chapter and maybe you've done it in later chapters but don't put the war just in those small segments. It will permeate even the halls of Hogwarts as students will be dealing with the deaths of family and friends. Also, this war is a bit different than the second too as the second Voldemort was after Harry. For most of the first one, he wouldn't have been and would have been more about blood supremacy and chaos.
You handled the retelling/ glossing over of details in the past chapter really well. It's normal for characters and stories to refer back to past actions and past thoughts. For me, i think it makes the story more continuous. It also didn't seem overly redundant either, which is a plus. I'm curious to know what Lily did so that she didn't have a hang-over... had a potion already?
There were times that i thought that some of the ways you describe things could have been done better or i was looking for more that give me a richer look at the scenes/actions. This for example: Sirius strutted I feel like it could have been more creatively done. What does his strut look like? Does he wiggle his shoulders, does he seem like there is a half hop? Make me see how see how he walked rather than just tell me he strutted. I feel like that would highlight his arrogance more and the imagery would hit me harder. Sometimes, when your describing an action/feeling/scent go into more than just a one word description. I hope that makes sense. What you've done is fine, but sometimes it would be nicer to see exactly how it's done as well. I suppose, make us feel how he struts or how someone. It's the classic line, show, don't tell :D
Alrek is weird. I'm not sure if i like him, which isn't bad, of course, it's great when you can write a character that is generally unlikable but still make him a well rounded character. But he's suspicious to me, how does he already know that she's smart and been hearing things about her... didn't he just transfer? There were a few things i think he mentioned in the last chapter that seemed weird that he would know that. This may be intentional and he may just be a stalker with unseen motives or i'm just reading way to much in that... I have a tendency to do that. :P
I was a little worried with all the POV changes. typically though they were consistently done. I noticed at the beginning Bella's POV slipped into Dobby's and then back again. I found that a bit distracting. The end switch to McGonagall's and Dumbledore was the most jolting one however. It didn't seem to fit with the rest of the chapter and felt like an odd place to end. I think it might have been because there was this lead up to the meeting and then suddenly the meeting didn't happen or it did but you skipped it in the narrative and then changed POV's. For me, it just seemed a little disjointed. There would be no issue if you stayed in the same POV but skipped the meeting or glossed over it as you probably don't just want to retell the events of last chapter. (one a side note... wouldn't the Heads know the password?) However, I think i understand the motivation behind that, you want to introduce the Order but i'd just suggest making that transition from Lily's POV to Dumbledore and McGonagall.
On a final note and because i didn't have enough time in the last chapter to mention this but i love what you've done with Peter so far! For one, he EXISTS!!! and two he's not a fat, dim-witted fool!! I could hug you!!
I'm curious what the Marauders will do now since they have an idea how Bella got into the castle... is it going to affect them? Will they consider telling Dumbledore? Will they try to stop her themselves or is everything just going to go on normally?
Anyway! Thanks for requesting me! I hope this review helped a bit and that I covered your questions well enough! Feel free to rerequest :D
Author's Response: Ahh actually there won't be much in terms for Bellatrix and character development in this :(. And that's mainly because the DE scenes aren't always told through her. For example, the next one in Chapter 6 is from Lucius's PoV just because it made more sense. So whoever it fits more is really who it will come from. I hope that isn't too disappointing! I'm happy you liked her fear, I loved playing with the idea that having her mark taken from her was worse than any kind of pain.
Yes I've been really working on the show don't tell! I'm happy you pointed that out, I'll have to go through this chapter and really implement what I've been attempting in the later ones.
I'm happy you have your concerns about Alrek, as I've said before *no one* is introduced without a reason, keep your eye on him ;) And you're reading absolutely as far into this as you should be, I strongly suggest you continue that attitude because I do leave a large amount of subtle hints about what else is happening in the next few chapters ;).
They actually did tell Dumbledore about Bellatrix getting in during the meeting. Maybe I could find someway to sum up the meeting to make it more clear and try and keep the PoV's stable? I'll definitely have to look over that!
I'm so happy you like what I'm doing with Peter! He's actually much more fun to write than I originally thought. And I really dislike when he's made into an idiot, because despite the things he did, he still played a double agent for over a year (that's going only on Lexicon dates) and was smart enough to get through it.
So with the castle, that sense of doom (for lack of better words) will of course come. I guess I just can't stand when it seems like everyone's frightened of the war, but we don't actually see what has happened to make them frightened, so I'm trying to start this off at the point where everyone has that 'it's Hogwarts, nothing matters here' mentality and then really show how these students become part of the chaos. The first chapter that really hits into Hogwarts, and shows everyone that even *they* are at danger, is the end of 8/beginning of 9. I'm so excited to see your thoughts on it!
This review was amazingly helpful, I'm anxious to play with different ways that I can make that last scene more clear and yet leave out any monotonous feelings! I hope you enjoy chapter 6!! And seriously, if I'm requesting too much, please tell me! ;).