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Review:Toujours Padfoot says:
A DECLARATION. THERE IS A DECLARATION OF FEELINGS IN THE NEAR FUTURE.

MY DREAMS HATH COME TRUE.



Every now and then in this story, something happens that marks a shift in the atmosphere, and this chapter hit upon two of those events - Caradoc going missing and Severus allowing himself to fully realize his feelings for Beth. Dearborn's mysterious absence - they don't even have a body to trace back to the Death Eaters - is a definite party dampener. Things have been grim from the start with Order vs. Death Eaters, but this unprovoked act is a signal of sorts that Voldemort is growing more confident in himself, and less afraid of the opposition. They're about to embark on a murdering spree against just about everyone, and I consider Caradoc to be mostly practice. I'm sure they tortured information out of him before they let him die.

I am so scared that something will happen to prevent Severus from telling Beth about the prophecy. Absolutely terrified. It's just the sort of cruel thing you would do to us poor readers who want nothing more than for the two of them to dash off into a rainbow sunset on a glowing white unicorn. In the back of my head I'm naively hoping that Severus spilling prophecy deets = they find a way to fight off the inevitable and keep Lily and James alive. I'm just screaming at this point for you to make it massively AU and spare the poor Potters. JUST LET VOLDEMORT TAKE HARRY. MAKE A DECOY BABY. Srsly why didn't they get on a plane and fly to Africa or something when all of this was going down. And stupid Dumbledore had the cloak, which could have concealed at least one of them.

The power of Beth and Severus's love can save everyone and everything will be James/Lily forever and nothing will hurt and Harry will have siblings, etc. Also whatever happened to the family cat. Maybe it's Mrs. Norris and that's why she's so resentful these days.

Sirius's threat to Severus was the highlight of my day! YOU TELL HIM, SIRIUS. YOU JUST TELL HIM. Because I don't trust Severus not to hurt Beth in some way, knowing him. With his Death Eater allegiance, secret-keeping, and hatred for her best friends, there's bound to be a time when he screws up. I pictured Sirius like a mighty lion here, defending Beth. Getting all up in his face like, LISTEN HERE, YE LAD. YE SHALT NEVAR HURT ME BETH OR ELSE SUFFER MY BOILING WRATH. (Don't know why Sirius is suddenly a leprechaun here, but you get the gist.)

I feel like this review is lamer than usual because I'm a wee bit tired and my fingers are freezing. They look like little frozen sausages. FORGIVE MY NON-SENSE-Y-NESS.

Author's Response: WEDDING BELLS ARE RINGING, AMIRITE. (I am actually not right. Sorry for all the bubble-bursting that just occurred in those few seconds.) It kind of kills me how dangerously close to admitting something both Beth and Severus get, though -- and then they just back away from that ledge. Smooch already, what is the matter with you two.

I love when you bring up the atmosphere shifts, because weird as it sounds, I never notice them until you point them out -- and then they're basically staring me in the face. It's not something I did on purpose, but when I'm picturing these two sort of parallel lines of plot in my head, they visually LOOK quite different. And I suppose, somewhere along the line, that bled through into the writing of them. This book itself is ten times darker than In The Black (and it's basically the darkest of the three) with all the missions and the murders and what have you. This is where I miss the Hogwarts bubble more and more. I want to write in the Hogwarts setting again. First ITR, and then Break Out, and then BE, and I'm fairly sure my next long-term project will be post-Hogwarts. HOGWARTS WHYYY.

I will not address your comments about Sev telling Beth about the prophecy. Mostly because I suck and have been slow at responding to reviews, and that is addressed in the chapter I just posted. :3 I never, ever expected to get this attached to writing Lily and James, though. And of course I suck, and am a masochist, and keep inserting little barbs about them talking about their future and whatever, and all the while I'm sitting at the keyboard plotting their mutual demise. Why do I do this to myself, I ask you. ALL THE DECOY BABIES.

Leprechaun-Sirius. ♥ This is really the first moment in this entire book where he has protected her in a true best-friend way: No underlying motives, no selfish whims, but just because he truly wants her to be happy, and he knows Severus is what makes her happy to some extent, even if he can't understand it. Wee little Sirius growing up, and my poor heart wants to keep him a manchild forever.

Fact: Your reviews are never lame. Fact: My responses will forever suck in comparison to your reviews. Fact: You are seriously amazing, and I am forever indebted to you. ♥ NOTHING TO FORGIVE WHATSOEVER.


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