Hello, again! I'm busting my butt to squeeze in as many reviews as I can under the wire for Valentine's Day. Not that I wouldn't have been back anyway. ;)
Al's friends really do their darnedest to push him in the right direction. Occasionally, it seems, they get so excited about it that they blast him into a wall. I really liked the way that Chris helps Albus finally come to grips with what he needs to do. He's completely blunt, laying it all out in such stark terms that even Albus -- whose ability to rationalize and equivocate his way out of doing things that he doesn't want to do is becoming pretty legendary in my head after the first fourteen chapters -- can't avoid it any longer. It's strange that Chris's own relationship is such a rocky affair. I guess nearly everyone is better at diagnosing the flaws in somebody else's relationship than their own.
On a tangentially related note, since Albus is training to be an Auror, I think it would be really neat at some point in the story to see him doing powerful magical Auror things. I know that this isn't principally a story about magic, but it's obviously a major component of his life. If he qualified for the training program, I have to assume that he had really strong marks in Defense and Charms. Maybe this Jessica girl could afford him the chance to show off his skills at some point. Just a thought.
Moving along to the family get-together, I thought you did a great job characterizing both Ginny and Harry. Ginny still has that irreverence and toughness that comes from being the baby in a house full of older brothers, two of whom happen to be Fred and George. Harry, for his part, seems every bit the reserved, caring, somewhat doting father. I would have loved to see more of both of them, but that's pretty much the bias I have with every Next Gen story, so I'll just hush.
Hey, I actually did see one thing in this chapter that bothered me. The idea that it was Ginny's choice to name Al after Severus Snape sounded really strange to me. Even after Harry explained Snape's true situation to her, I just can't see her overcoming her loathing enough to do that. Not a huge thing, but it grabbed my attention.
Aanndd Al puts off talking to her. What is it with this guy and big conversations? OK, I understand that she was tired, but come on, Al! What on earth are you waiting for?
Naturally, this allows him time to run into Lexi's worst enemy and probably stick his foot in his mouth in some really horrible way that just isn't apparent quite yet. I'm not sure what Jessica will do with the "truthy" explanation that Al gives her, but I can't imagine that it's anything good.
Al isn't very good with words, so I thought the things he says to Lexi almost qualify as sweet, coming from him. He's very awkward and, like he says, he's bad at this. But Lexi knows exactly what he means, so I guess it's alright. And the chapter ends on a really precious note, with the baby kicking.
So I saw a few typos that you might want to take a second look at:
I remember Lexi telling me that people had noticed, that shed heard whispers. - that she'd heard whispers
You don't hid behind self confidence and other things that make me not like people. - You don't hide
That's all. Another solid addition to a great story. I'll be back soon...
Author's Response: Hey, Dan!
Haha. Chris blasted Al into a wall because Al wasn't paying attention. :P Chris' relationship is less rocky, I think. He and Megan know what's what, where they stand, he's just moving at a slower pace to being ready for "the next step" than she is. But, yeah, flaws are easier to spot in another's than your own. :)
Ah, a physic reviewer? ;) You will see Al use magic in Auror training and you'll hear about it, too. :D
I'm glad you said that about Harry and Ginny; while I'm more confident writing Harry, I still have my moments with both when I think "this doesn't seem right", you know? I love writing them, especially Harry, and I try to include them as often as I can in my Next-Gen fics for that reason. :)
The naming of Al has a reason, a small part compared to the other things I've got going on, but still there. Ginny does not get over it completely, though I imagine she would have been able to let some of it go to allow her son to be named Albus Severus in the first place. She does it because of something she tells Lexi about in chapter 18 - it's all about what she tells Lexi. ;)
He's waiting for her to not crash while he's talking and miss it... :P
Jessica is more of a talker than a doer, so Lexi isn't all that worried. The things she says, though, can make Lexi pretty angry... ;)
Yeah, he's bad. Lexi knows what Al means because she's known him so long, if he wasn't her best friend she'd probably be like "huh?" for a moment. They're kind of inspired by me and one of my friends - we can be like "get this", "did you see that", "yes!" all the time and know what the other means when others don't, and that's these two. It's fun to write. :D
I'll go back and fix the typos, thank you for pointing them out. And thank you for another wonderful review. :D
See you soon!