Hello, again, darling! Here I am again, back for your next installment. This was definitely a slower-paced chapter, but not without its amusing and revealing moments. And it continued that gradual pull that brings Lily and James together. They're such stubborn people, not to mention struggling to overcome their fear of what could happen if they become more than friends. But things seem to be starting to roll downhill. Anyway, on with the review...
I love James -- make that Captain Git -- as Quidditch captain. He's unabashedly willing to do anything to give his team an edge, including waking up half of the Gryffindor girls' dormitory with a howler. Brilliant way to continue building his character.
Alice and Belle are such amazing friends. They don't even mind being jarred out of bed by a howler if it helps them continue to watch over Lily. I like that Lily not only appreciates what they're doing for her, but she's also honest enough with herself to admit that it still really helps. I think that somebody like her would be very tempted to tell them that she doesn't need the help, so as not to put them out. It's a subtle thing, but one that humanizes Lily a lot and differentiates your version of her from stories where she comes off as being impossibly strong.
Ooh! And what's this? Lily feeling just a tad jealous of Frank and Alice's relationship? I love it! Aside from the fact that it continues to develop the gravity between James and Lily, it also shows that she's turning the corner on her emotional recovery to the point where she wants that kind of relationship for herself again! Hip hip hooray!
OK, Belle's diversionary tactic was kind of gross and kind of brilliant. And I really liked your notion of how sex ed is handled at Hogwarts. It's one of those topics that never comes up in the books, for fairly obvious reasons, but there are certain aspects of the human condition that simply have to be taught, whether you're a muggle or a wizard. Madam Pomfrey was a good choice, although strictly for the humor value I think the heads of house would have been great, too. I'm just fast-forwarding about 15 years and imagining Snape trying to explain... things to the Slytherin boys... Maybe that needs a one-shot all its own.
Something deeper is definitely going on with Belle. I would be totally convinced of that by this point even if I wasn't beta reader for you and knowing the things I know. Whatever it is, she's scared that ii might drive Sirius away from her, so it's got to be a pretty big deal. My curiosity is serious piqued.
Alrek is a great foil to draw out Lily's deeper feelings toward James. Sometimes you need that contrast to really see things clearly, and I think Lily is starting to see her friendship with James for what it is: the beginning stages of something more. I really liked the way that she comes to realize that her fears about messing up her friendship with him are the exact, same sort of silliness that she was trying to talk Belle out of earlier.
Oh, my, the claw are out! Belle gives Violet a major league what-for, more of less putting her on notice that she won't be off of the naughty list any time soon. I love it. Belle has that fiery, French disposition. Shades of Fleur here.
Hmmnn... So Lily is a bit suspicious of Alrek. That definitely makes two of us. Something about his is a little off.
-- "I zink if I could 'ave any pet it would be a dog," Belle said absentmindedly.
-- "I always knew you had good taste, Leclair," Sirius remarked as he took another swig from the brown bottle.
You clever person, you! ;)
Gah! I love the way that Lily lays down the law to that nasty Slytherin girl, Abigail.
I knew it! I knew Belle has a big secret and it's about to come out! For once, I can't even really speculate. I'm always wrong when I speculate on your stories. So I'm just going to be pleased that I guessed that something was up.
Oh my god! James just went up about two notches on the smooth scale. A kitten? A tiny, butterscotch-colored kitten? I have to imagine he just melted her into her boots. Genius!
As always, I loved it. Like I said, no huge bombs were dropped in this one, but lots of small things happen that keep the story moving right along. Soon, we'll know Belle's big secret, and I have to imagine that the story takes some big turns, soon. Nice job, and I hope to see more soon!
Author's Response: Okay I'm kissing my last unanswered review goodbye...
When I first starting writing this Sirius was easily my favorite. He's so unpredictable and just reacts fully to everything. His temper is too fast but his happiness comes just as easily. But the more I write James, the more i love to. He's more calculated than Sirius, he thinks about things and sees the end result and he's just so laid back in most aspects. My favorite part of him and Lily is I think he's such an awesome compliment to her more organized type A personality. But anyway, he knows he can get what he wants no matter what, and has the dedication to stand behind that. Like getting his team out of bed to start practice early so the Slytherins don't have a lead on them :P
We both know our similar ideas of Lily and James, and the importance of making them normal and not these amazing people, so I absolutely want to show that Lily needs her friends. She would be no where without them at this point (oddly similar to how her son ends up.) because they really are all she has left.
Dan! You absolutely have to write the Heads of House doing that now, you have to!! HAHAAH! I had these fuzzy flashbacks to the first year of Jr High when all that happens. I don't remember much, but I do remember hearing one of the boys yell, 'OH MY GOD, THEY BLEED?!' from the classroom over. Hahaha. It's just not a comfortable situation for anyone involved :P
You've so caught me with Belle and Fleur resemblances. I don't know if you remember, but when Belle was developed she was supposed to be the daughter of Apolline Declacour's older sister. I don't remember the name I'd chosen for her now (the older sister) but anyway, Belle was Fleur's aunt, who Fleur never met because, well you know why. But then when I realized what happens to Belle, I decided it didn't make sense that we never knew about this aunt of Fleurs that _, because with what was happening with Voldemort it seems like it would have came up. Anyway, Belle's whole origin was created because I love writing Fleur so much. So then I figured I could keep her French, get rid of everything else, and just turn her into my own little version of Fleur :P
Ahh I wanted to hug James!!! The little kitten that she could never have! Whose basically named Butterscotch so that they can just call him by the last part of his name, and keep of with the tradition of Hagrid's current dog, Boozer :P.
I am so happy you liked this chapter and didn't think it was boring. I knew I had to include a slower one to get all these smaller details across, but ughh you know how much I worry about every chapter.
Okay. I have written so much in this review response. At least I've given you a mini novel to read at work :P
Thank you so much for your never ending support, Daniel!