Susan, what have you done with my heart? After this chapter it's shattered in thousands of different pieces never to be whole again. You can't imagine how I cried during this chapter. What I said may not be the most original line, but I did cry until my vision was so blurred that I couldn't see the letters any more! I can't imagine what's to happen next after this heart wrenching chapter.
Seriously, I think I only cried like this when Snape and Dumbledore died in HP and when characters from Game of Thrones die. Your Moody is up there with the best characters from my favourite two book series ever. It's fascinating how even though I KNEW he dies, and have read in Deathly Hallows that he dies, a scene like this can bring forth such emotion.
How much more is Lily going to go through? In only a day she lived more than some people live throughout their whole life. It's almost a cruel joke that this was what got her out of her boredom. I commend you for being able to transmit the feeling that between the moment we were first introduced to Lily, the crippled, bored girl and this moment, almost thirty years passed. It's not easy to convey that but you pulled it off so well!
Also, WHO IS THAT WOMAN IN THE PORTRAIT? It's driving me crazy haha. But more than ever I suspect it's her. I may be awfully wrong but I can't help but think that it's Lily. A Lily from the past that would have chosen to stay with him, surrender sense to feeling and forsake the perils of time. Another hint to her being Lily is that half of the woman's face is burnt. And I have a terrible feeling that the flame spell Lily cast bounded on her. That the winds were so powerful that they turned her flame towards her direction. I'm already dreading the next chapter if my hunches are right...
Author's Response: Ah, this chapter. Of a story of sad chapters, this is the most sad. First of all for the obvious reason, but also for its effect on Lily - she survives and goes on, but it can never be the same for her after this point, no matter what happens. I'm so sorry that this chapter made you cry, though! Yet it's also wonderful that the chapter was successful, that it did what I hoped it would.
What I liked about including this chapter is that, while it occurs only hours after chapter 2, it feels like so much more time has passed - thirty years, like you've said. And Lily has lived those years in fragments, transforming from that bored girl who had given up on her life into a hero. I don't want to say that she's grown up, but she has developed in other ways, and by having her return to 1997 - the first time she travelled to - we can see that development and its effect upon her decisions. By this point, she has found the answers to nearly all of her questions, even if she doesn't always tell her audience what those answers are.
The foremost of these omissions is the identity of the portrait. She has seen its face, but it's not clear whether she's repressed the knowledge out of fear, or whether she just doesn't want to tell anyone, even her audience.
Thank you again for reading and reviewing! I really look forward to seeing what you think of the next chapter. :D