Hello some more!
So I have something to share. It's a realization that I've come to after, what are we, seventeen chapters into Al and Lexi's advanture in parenthood-to-be? I hope you won't be upset about it, but I feel the need to get it out there in the open. I think I like your "Lexi chapters" a little better than your "Al chapters". It's just something about the way you write her inner voice. The "snarky but still kind of serious" comments she makes inside her head. Those little implied pauses that make her comedic timing perfect. Lexi's inner monologue is hands-down my favorite thing about the entire story. It's brilliantly done. Not that I don't like Al, mind you. I've almost forgiven him for not playing Quidditch by now. :P He's a good guy with plenty of his own quirks and insecurities that make him fun to read. But Lexi is really the star of the story for me.
This chapter had a heck of a lot going on, so I'll try not to miss anything. Lexi's opening meditation on the physicality of Quidditch players once again challenged a major piece of head canon I've accumulated while reading Next Gen stories. People always write professional Quidditch players as these top-notch, extremely fit athletes whose grueling training regimens keep them in amazing condition. Your version kind of makes sense in a way, now that I stop and think about it. I mean beaters obviously have to have big upper bodies to slap the bludgers around and Seekers probably need a lot of core strength for all the tight maneuvers, but basically Quidditch players are the magical equivalent of polo players and nobody thinks of polo players as being incredible physical specimens. This story makes me think a lot...
Anyway, moving right along, I like Scorpius as the quiet, artistic type and I like his career choice. I've grown rather weary of stories where he's an Auror. And I bet he'll design Lexi and Al an awesome house someday.
All of the banter about Cody McIntyre -- great teen heartthrob name, by the way -- was funny and very humanizing for Xavier. Well, having him stuff his face at the buffet table was pretty humanizing too, but it's nice to see that even gorgeous professional Quidditch stars get unrequited crushes sometimes.
I'll highlight a bit of that awesome internal monologue of Lexi's that I was raving about:
I must really want this thing with Albus to work.
Either that, or I'm just growing up. Maybe both. I hope it's both. We hope so, too, Lexi. Just don't change too much when you grow up, OK?
Goodness. Cody McIntyre knows who Al and Lexi are already. And not exactly for the best of reasons. It's obviously such a mixed bag, being famous. At least he's on the correct side of the Jessica issue.
So Al... yeah, he doesn't really have a subtle bone in his body. You did a good job with the horribly awkward conversation about Xavier's supposedly lost child, I thought. Whatever's coming in the next chapter, you set it up with a double dose of dramatic tension.
The Minister's son seemed like such a sweet kid. You keep giving us little peeks at the way Al and Lexi interact with children. And even though it's totally not the same interacting with somebody else's kid -- trust me on this one. I know from experience! -- I think it bodes well for their future as parents. The fact that Al was able to overcome his awkwardness and Jason's seemed like a pretty big deal for him.
This Jessica is a nasty, nasty piece of work, isn't she? I hope the doubts she tried to plant in Lexi's head don't take root too deeply, but pregnancy is an emotional, hormone-overloaded time. Sometimes little anxieties turn into big things. :(
Well, I have to say, the next chapter is shaping up to be a barn-burner. I might have to go ahead and read that. ;) But then I'm all out of chapters!
Here are a few things I noticed while reading that might be typos:
plates of little sandwiches and mini sausages and Bertie Box in a bowl, among other things. - Bertie Botts?
I turn, mouth still open and ready to speak, then shut it quickly when I recognize the little person who must have shouted me running in my direction. - who must have shouted at me
"The other's aren't like Al. - others aren't like
"How long before he starts to worry about how long you leave him now? - There's something really odd about this sentence. Not sure where you were going with it.
Great job with this! One more chapter and then I'm all caught up!