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Review:Roots in Water says:
SURPRISE! I thought I'd review the next chapter of Before They Fall, see if I can once again try and catch up...

Wow. This is such an emotionally packed chapter and I think that you did such a brilliant job with Belle's portrayal. I had been wondering about her past since the pregnancy scene in the last chapter, and her past explains her reaction perfectly. To have gone through such a horribly tragic event so young... (Not that it's not awful at any age but she was without the support of her friends and family). Wow.

One thing that I really liked about the manner in which you wrote Belle in this chapter was that you didn't try and create more drama from the events. Instead, you let them speak for themselves and that made them all the more powerful.

It seems that just about everything that could have gone wrong with her situation did and yet it fit in perfectly with her previous role. She was the "golden girl", I suppose, and she was paired with the "perfect guy". Of course it would have made sense for them to take their relationship to the next step once they were alone... That was what everyone around them was expecting and pressuring them to do (the weight of social expectations). But when something happened to shatter everyone's illusions of her living a charmed and beautiful life, they broke away from whatever chain had been tying them to her. They saved themselves and told themselves that they were lucky, that it would never happen like that with them. (Assuming a little here, of course). I'm only glad that her sister was there to help her, however minimally that she did. For a time I believed that her sister was raising her child while she attended school so that she could graduate and get a better job... But that wasn't meant to be. Oh my gosh. I'm sorry for repeating what you already know but you did it so WELL that I had to work through my thoughts on the matter bit by bit. I hope you don't mind. :)

As well, I liked how you had Belle almost trying to distract herself or prepare herself in the beginning by asking Lily that question about James. Not only did it allow us a chance to clearly see what Lily thought about the progression of her relationship with James but it also showed us (if her story didn't already make it clear) just how difficult it is for Belle to tell them her past. It was such a vulnerable chapter for Belle and you did really well with it.

I really hope that she'll reveal her past to Sirius soon. I'm of two minds about her actions on that front. One is that telling Alice and Lily will make it easier to tell Sirius because she'll have already bared her soul once... And the other is that it'll take her longer because- wait, no, nevermind. I definitely think it'll be easier for her to tell him now because she knows that she'll have the support of her friends no matter what.

Alrek is at last explained! Wow- I don't think that I would have seen that coming. All of his actions make sense now... But why would he have chosen to become closer to James by making friends with Lily? Surely by now he would have realized that it would only make the group irritated with him... Or wait- perhaps he (correctly) assumed that the Marauders would be so close as to make it near impossible for someone new to insert themselves in a position somewhat close to James.

As evil a cause as Voldemort's logic will be used for, it is interesting that he believes that everyone will follow James and the decisions of the group... While probably true, it didn't work to sway more people into defending against the Death Eaters.

But what's really interesting about their plan to get James alone is that it looks like it will be the first of three times where James and Lily defied Voldemort... I'm really excited to see that!

All in all, I think that you did a fantastic job with this chapter! The emotions were beautifully portrayed and the developments (especially on the Alrek front) were really fascinating. I look forward to reading the next chapter! Great work! :D

Author's Response: Hiii ♥ sorry for taking forever to get here :(.

No! I LOVE when you work through your thoughts like that. It makes me feel like I really got across what was in my head, if that makes sense. I think Belle's past story is such a tragic one for all the reasons you talked about. I especially liked your comments about the rest of the school sort of just feeling like they're happy it wasn't them, and they'd never be that stupid. She wasn't the perfect golden girl anymore. She finally feel, and they loved watching that sort of tragedy. And of course the willingly accepted Christophe's tale, because how much fun is it to think the perfect princess has been so low all along? Stupid mean girls :(. Now I'm feel all defensive of Belle and want to yell at them all :P

This chapter gave me so much grief. It was hard to try and get across the feelings of everything. A flashback like Sirius's wouldn't have worked, I needed her to be with her friends during it, and I was so nervous about doing the... glimpses into her past sort of thing. I'm just so happy that you think it was done well and it all felt emotional to you. I'm totally resisting the urge to hug my computer... but I really want to :P

With Alrek -- YES! Yes on your latter reasoning. Eventually, Alrek will go through step by step what it took to get here. And we'll learn that. But I'll tell you early because you already figured it out. He's obviously working with Regulus. When he and Regulus were first told that their assignment is to get as close to Potter as possible, Regulus decided to try and sort of watch from afar and find a weak link in one of the friends. We'll learn about all that later, but Alrek realized right away that he'd have to go a different route. He took his chance at getting closer to Lily during the party in chapter 4 with the idea that if he could get her liking him, he could find stuff out about them. He realized that wouldn't work the second she left with Sirius the next day, so he decided the other route. To be the guy that just needs some friends.

Okay. I'm totally going off on tangents. Like I said, we'll find out more of this later, so I'm now shutting myself up :P

I'm writing James's first defy right now! It's scary so far. Haha. I'm so happy you liked this chapter, and thank you for these amazing surprise reviews ♥

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