Hello, again, darling! I continue to be very impressed by the pace at which you're publishing new chapters. I know what an effort it is to maintain this level of output because I see it week in and week out when I read for you. You're doing fantastic.
Yay, Bella is back! You do such incredible things with her. I loved her emphasis on control. If I was an evil, maniacal genius and Bella was one of my followers, control would be right at the top of the list of things I'd want her to improve. Her delusional, all-consuming devotion to Voldemort comes through so strong in this chapter. The way that she focuses on subjugating ever her body's most basic needs and repeats his dogma over and over in her mind... she's just perfect! I am officially really worried for Lily and James. I know that they won't die or anything, but that doesn't mean that it's going to be a pleasant experience.
I said it once and I'll say it again: You and your leggings! Now you've put Lily in them, as well. Clothing aside, you did a good job of continuing to develop this mothering/nurturing/counseling side of her. She helps Sirius overcome his doubts about what he's helping Belle to do and we even get a peek inside the home life of Peter. His story seems to be growing increasingly sad. You're trying to make me feel bad for the two-faced vermin, aren't you? Well, it's not going to work! (At least not completely)
The Christopherson household sounds like such a stifling, stuffy, sterile place. One has to wonder how a person like Alice manages to emerge from there without having all of the spirit crushed out of her. All I could think of was that line from Ferris Bueller's Day Off: "Cameron's house is like a museum. It's very cold, and very beautiful, and you're not allowed to touch anything." The way that Alice tweaks her parents was really entertaining. She's plainly gone her own way in life, just not quite to the same extent as Belle or Sirius. It's easy to see why the three of them became friends.
“Well,” James said, distracting Lily. She glanced over at him, his hands tucked into his pockets and a small rucksack over his back. “I suppose I should leave my robes here, instead of wearing them to the wedding.” - Now there's a scene I would love to read!!!
Gah! Olivia and William really are the Universal Parents, aren't they? Maybe it's one of those things that comes with advanced age or maybe they're just that awesome -- probably both -- but the two of them just have an irresistible quality about them. Anyone under the age of 40 who set foot in their house would instantly be absorbed into the family, it seems. I did love Lily's realization about Sirius's relationship with James's parents. One thing that's always been a little hard to get my head around was how things managed to go so horribly wrong so quickly for Sirius after Voldemort murdered James and Lily. You sit and wonder, "wasn't there anyone who spoke up for the guy?" But with William and Olivia gone, Peter missing, James and Lily dead, Remus alienated and Sirius being a complete outcast from his own family, his entire support system was totally gone. Your version makes so much sense.
The last section with Belle was really nicely done. All of her doubts felt completely realistic. It's going to be really tough for her, confronting her entire upbringing and being faced with an opportunity to flee back to all of the familiar things from her past. Sure, those things were hurtful and soul-numbing, but they were also safe and predictable. Fortunately Alice is right there to deliver one of her trademark pep talks. With her, Lily and Remus as friends, how could somebody ever go wrong? It's like being surrounded by counselors all the time.
The last thought stuck into her mind, and she tilted her head back so she was able to meet Alice’s eyes, then took a deep breath and prepared herself for what she’d been wanting to say for weeks. “I zink I really like Sirius.”
She expected Alice to laugh, or giggle, or scream. Something. But instead, she just gave her a quizzical kind of stare.
“Well, that’s nothing new.” Alice finally said. - Well said, Alice! Once again, we see Alice stepping up in her undisputed role as the "Stop Being Stubborn and Deal With Your Feelings" Police. A role that she plays to rave reviews from... well, at least from me!
And lastly, there's her conversation with Sirius. It was one of those awesome moments you excel at creating where things could have easily tumbled into romance, but they fall just a little short. All in good time, of course. If it happened for James and Lily, it will happen for these two, as well. The two of them have such a nice, easy dynamic. They never seem uncomfortable around one another, even at the outset of their grand adventure together.
So... I feel like the next chapter is going to be explosive. James and Lily having dinner with Petunia and Vernon. Sirius and Belle visiting with the LeClairs. There could be a whole lotta yelling to go around. I can't wait! Fabulous chapter. Until next time...
Author's Response: Dan ♥ Bellatrix is too much fun. I actually have a short story idea going for her. but I don't know if it'll actually happen or not :P
Hahaha I have a legging addiction, okay! Poor Peter, even his bad home life isn't going to earn him sympathy?? JK. Really, you'd think he'd value his friends even more for sticking by him through this kind of thing.
I haven't seen Bueller's Day Off in so long. Now you have me wanting to google clips to watch :P. I think Alice was probably able to do okay in her household because her parents don't really have the same sort of need to conform her to what they want like Sirius and Belle's parents did. They won't associate themselves with certain people, and absolutely think too highly of themselves, but they also don't make Alice's life difficult. They kind of just do their thing and let their daughter do hers, which is still sad, but not nearly as crushing as Belle or Sirius's past. Hehe I had fun with cheeky Alice :P
Could you imagine Petunia's face if they showed up in their full wizarding attire? And Dumbledore accompanied them in HIS full wizarding attire? Petunia would go off the handle :P
I have a hard time wrapping my head around that too. I think that's why I'm so convinced that Sirius more or less let it all happen and didn't fight back. We know how dramatic Sirius is. After he finds James and Lily dead, and isn't able to kill Peter, I think the only thing he'd be thinking about is how it was all his fault. he wouldn't be thinking about why he had to stay out of Azkaban for Harry or Remus, he'd just think that he deserves to sit in there forever for being the one to suggest Peter. And maybe he made it too easy for them to arrest him without trying to put up a fight.
Poor Sirius ;(
Hahah Alice is very good at her part, isn't she?! :P
You are going to get to know how the next chapter goes VERY soon! Eek!
Thank you so much for all your amazing advice/support/not killing me when Friday night comes around :P