Great chapter, as always! I'm starting to not know that more to say to assure you of my great love for this story. It feels like I've given all the possible praise in my previous reviews, and now I'm left with empty words. However, I do want you to know that my enjoyment of this story is much the same as it was in the beginning. Only it's growing with every chapter, with every new puzzle piece reveal.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a very confusing book to me in terms of the time travel business. I know Jo explained it the best she could but I never really understood how it worked. Every time I read about Hermione and Harry going back in time to save Sirius my head is filled with fog lol. I can't get it! I did however understand (and that was pretty logical) that you do not meddle with time. You don't mess with it, you don't change events or else your history and that of other people will be altered forever, triggering a frightening chain of reaction. Since this is not canon, and it's Next Gen, I fear for what Lily might do, knowingly or not. We have seen enough of her in the past chapters to know that she won't give in to her feelings for Alastor, that she is conscious of the dangers of playing with time and space, but she is also still a human being. How MUCH can someone handle before losing their mind, before throwing themselves in the abyss thinking it's the most beautiful thing in the world? My heart is crying for her and reaches out to her each time she is put to a cruel test, but she's mustn't give in to her feelings! Even a tiny little change in the past could rewrite history...and not always for the better. Things happen for a reason and Moody must become what we knew him to be: a brave, fierce, damaged war hero. That sounds so sad more so if it's the truth :(
Author's Response: No worries - I've had the same thing happen to me when reading longer stories because you get to the point where you just want to keep reading. Your words are certainly not empty, no matter what they feel like! I'm very glad to hear that you're enjoying the story!
Time travel in the Potterverse is a strange thing. What happens in PoA would, in science fiction, be a paradox. If Harry and Hermione successfully changed the past, then how do they remember it? How does anyone? Did Buckbeak ever die, or was it only that they thought he did? The movie version represents it in a better way than the book - at least, it made more sense to watch than to read the time travel scenes.
Lily knows about her father's time travel adventure, and she's close enough to her Aunt Hermione to know about the rules of time travel (and the rules of everything, I expect :P). Once she realizes that she's back in time, she can't forget that, by being in the past, she is posing a threat to the outcome of the war and thus to her own existence. The great paradox of time travel is much too clear for her - if she accidentally prevents her own birth, what will happen? She understands that she is the cause of Moody's madness, but she doesn't know enough of the rest yet - there's still so much of his history that eludes her. Not necessarily because she hasn't gone far enough back, but because she has missed too much in between. And her consciousness of time leads her to sacrifice, once and again, the connection she has with him. I wouldn't call it selfless, but it demonstrates a strength of character that she can let him go. More strength of character than I think she ever admits to having.
But as you've said, it's taking its toll, and that will only become more obvious as the story continues.
Thank you again for reading and reviewing this story! ^_^