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Review:Ravenclaw Secret Santa says:
Wow, that was an interesting conversation Beth had with Severus! I personally have never particularly cared for Snape. He is an interesting character, definitely. However, I've never found him very likeable. I'm glad you haven't fallen into this "Oh, he's so sexy and amazing and brooding and misunderstood and OMG!!!" characterization. He was suitably strange and intense. That "I've been watching you for a long time" line was suitably creepy/off-putting, and I think it fits well with his somewhat obsessive tendencies.

I feel like the plot is starting to thicken now. Obviously, Severus is suspicious, and this must be leading up to the whole near miss that occurred when James wound up saving him. I'm curious to see how this plays out, and how much he lurks around, and whether this will lead to more conversations between him and Beth.

I was also suspicious of Peter! If I didn't know he winds up betraying his friends, I wouldn't be suspicious, but since I do know . . . what if he has some ulterior motive for suggesting they don't all transform with Remus at the same time?? Is he starting to distance himself from his friends here? Is this evidence that his courage is breaking down? There's plenty of room for speculation!

Lastly, I really liked the way you handled the whole Voldemort issue. This is a time when things are starting to get worse, but (and I have to admit that I am not an expert on this time period of the HP universe, so I could be wrong) I think Voldemort might not have been right out in the open in an in-your-face war at this point. He does prefer the behind-the-scenes terror approach anyway. I'm starting to lose track of my point. :P My point is that I thought Beth and her friends reacted realistically. Yeah, they are aware of the war/conflict, since it is starting to encroach on their lives. But it hasn't impacted them in a very real way yet, so it is still more abstract. Being teenagers anyway, they have this tendency to sort of romanticize the whole situation or find it potentially thrilling. I thought you captured that well.

The story seems to be gaining some momentum here, and it is definitely off to a good start!

By the way, I intend to write two more reviews (for a total of five) for this first round of gift exchanges. However, I won't be posting the next two until tomorrow (the 14th), and depending on when the Secret Santa gifting post is made, I don't know if they will be written before that or not. They'll be up within 24 hours of these ones at the most, though.

Author's Response: I'm so sorry for how long it's taken me to respond to these reviews! I'm planning on sitting down and responding to all of yours tonight, to hopefully rectify that, but I'm a bit ashamed that this has been sitting here for a week and a half.

One of the fun things about writing this story is seeing how many people were like you in that, before this, they didn't like Snape very much. :P I find his character fascinating, and it's one of my favorites to write, but I have no illusions about him: In large part, he really wasn't a very nice person, and definitely not "sexy". :P He's definitely got obsessive tendencies, like you say, but I also don't believe he's all bad and evil, like some people do. He walks a thin medium, and for that I love exploring him and his motivations, getting down deeper into who he is.

The plot does start to thicken and gain momentum from here on out! I think that's one of my weak spots, and is consequently one of the things I'm trying to work harder on in new stories now: Getting to the POINT before people lose interest, you know? Beginnings of novels have to go fast to hook interest. But now we're getting more into the interactions between Severus and Beth, and he's definitely one to watch (which, of course, this being a Severus/OC, you probably know!).

One of the things that sort of bugs me about a lot of Marauder-era novels is when people DON'T mention the upcoming war, which is basically already going on at this point. It escalates a bit after their graduation, and culminates, of course, in James and Lily's deaths, but it's definitely an issue, and I sought to give the war its due, if you will, in this novel. A lot of times I write fan fiction novels to correct things I fault in other stories (which is a bit pretentious-sounding, though I truly don't mean for it to be). I'm glad you liked the sort of tone of conflict working in the background here!

Thank you so much for these reviews! ♥ They've really brightened my entire day, and I'm so happy when people mention liking this story in particular. I've said it before, but it's so close to my heart, and it's been around for such a long time now, that I almost take its compliments and critiques as personal ones. :P In the best way!

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