I held off on reviewing until I knew I could sit down, with a coffee, and properly concentrate! So, here we go. Oooh, cells. Ooh, who on Earth could - I'm betting Sirius, then. I had assumed a bigger time skip, interesting. But it makes sense, since Sirius is probably Major Character #4 and now one of the last 2 alive. Gah, poor Sirius. I mean, poor Araminta, too, but right now, poor, poor Sirius.
Oh, OUCH. Ouch. and yet - necessary. To preserve canon - we cannot forget that people did not believe Sirius, mostly because the people alive were not in a position to do so; Araminta WAS and that would have been a hole (that, and nobody's a fan of the lone believer in Sirius running around for 15 years not being listened to). Dramatically, for just this story, it was necessary; there aren't just No Consequences for betrayal and spying, and though it would have been interesting to see what Araminta would have done had she survived, it would have been a whole new story - her story.
I must also extend kudos for doing it sharply, suddenly, cruelly. Because that's how such murders would be? Or even, casualties in a war. It Happens. This is not the epic tale of heroism of Harry, this is the story of the people on the ground, and the First War was notably bloodier than the Second. It's cruel. It's horrid. It's apt.
Hats off to you, for this final decision, for this final chapter, and for the whole story! It's been a thoroughly entertaining ride. I shall miss my Minty-G and Giddy-P. ;)
Author's Response: I'm intrigued that you imagined a bigger time skip. I never wanted to say too much because I feared that if I let slip that the time skip was to an important date, you'd guess that it was Halloween and the Potters' deaths. It's about a month between this chapter and the last.
For a long time, Araminta was meant to survive this story. I felt that killing her was the easy way out; that her surviving would be more cruel, and the more rewarding ending. But this was before she grew to like Sirius. And the moment that she DID decide that she liked him, as opposed to hating him on principle, she had to die, because there was no way that she would accept his betrayal without talking to him about it - and finding out his innocence. In the interests of canon, she then had to die because I'm not interested in a 'nutter who believes he's innocent for 15 years' story either, and besides, she would have cropped up in OotP if not earlier had she lived. It would be too OOC for her not to. So, she effectively signed her own death sentence. And, of course, it ends everything neatly with no need for further explanation or elaboration. Which, sadly, is another, purely creative, reason for Arieda's death previously.
So, Araminta leaves this world - possibly fitting, that it's inflicted by Bellatrix's wand in the end. Sharply because, as you say, that's reality. Unlike Snape, Bellatrix wouldn't have given time for an epitaph.
Thank you hugely for all your reviews! They began just as I was trying to sum up the motivation to finish this as my NaNo project, and I can't express the amount that your words inspired and encouraged me to carry on, so thank you so so much for that! I'm glad you enjoyed the final resolution, and indeed the story as a whole, as I certainly enjoyed writing it! Thanks for reviewing :)