Hola! Sorry for taking so long on this one. I really wanted to make sure I had the time to sit down and read the whole chapter in one go. And since you said you were mostly interested in what I was thinking/feeling while reading, I did my best to write a sort of running review. As it turns out, I'm pretty terrible at them, so I basically just stopped at ever break in the chapter and wrote down my thoughts. And here they are...
I really liked this opening scene. It was sweet and simple, and it was nice to see James and Lily in this sort of domestic moment. I thought it was great that you very gently began addressing Lily's sexuality. She is, after all, a teenage girl. But you did it in a way that didn't betray her as a character -- someone who thinks things through carefully, especially when it come to this relationship. The revelation to James was also done very tenderly. You just keep layering the divide that separates Lily and Petunia. This is just one more reason (at least in Petunia's warped way of thinking) for her to hate Lily.
Belle's childhood recollections were great. It was nice to see her acknowledge the difference between having terrible parents and having no fond memories of being a kid. It's too simplistic for everything in a character's past to be terrible. There must have been something good about Belle's childhood or it's unlikely she'd have turned out to be as nice as she is.
I have to admit, I totally expected this next scene to end on a snarky note. I thought for SURE Vernon was going to say something crass. But I liked this. You know we readers are all just sitting here thinking, "Oh, silly, silly James. Of course this evening isn't going to go perfectly fine."
Can I say how much I love when Sirius calls Belle "Princess" and then offers to take her for ice cream?! It was such a perfect moment. Belle is a bit of a princess at times, at least compared to Alice or Lily, but to call her that while standing in that house was kind of thoughtlessly perfect. Maybe I'm reading way too much into it, but it was like both an insult and a term of endearment. It totally seemed like the sort of thing that would just slip out of his mouth.
Okay, moving on to the rest of that scene. First, I did NOT see the Christophe part coming. I mean, I knew from what you told me that he'd get punched at some point, but I wasn't expecting him to be in the house. Perfect! I love surprises. I was a little confused on the motives of Belle's parents with hanging the pictures though. What exactly was their plan there? I get them being nasty and just wanting to hurt their daughter for no other reason than to make her suffer, but I didn't really see how it tied into their plan of making her want to return home to them. Hurting her only made her want to run away the first time...
Next scene! You mentioned in you request about the bouncing back and forth. This was the only transition in the whole chapter that felt a little off to me -- breaking the scene just to switch POV. That, and up until this point, every scene change has switched us back to the other big event of the chapter. I liked that rhythm a lot. It helped give "meaning" to the frequent changes and build the tension. Other than that, it was a brilliant scene. This was definitely one of those times where Sirius was acting his age perfectly. Of course he is being noble and totally doing exactly what we all want him to do, but in being so rash, he's also spoiling the whole point of why they went out there in the first place.
"And Ford, that's a car model, right?" This whole car discussion was so perfect. I know it's just a few simple lines but it manages to hit all the characters just fantastically. Vernon dropping brand names, eager to one-up James. And James not at all impressed but being obliging for Lily's sake. What a good boyfriend! But Hmmm... okay, now I'm seeing why you can't just switch this scene with the last one. The ending wouldn't line up. Well, you'll just have to write another scene, I guess :P Just kidding... sort of.
I was really expecting this chapter to end on a messier note. I have no idea why. I kept waiting for something to go almost comically bad at the restaurant. But the moment between Belle and Sirius at the end was sweet, and I loved how Sirius just wanted to go home and see his friend. Awww...
See? This is why I don't do running reviews very often. They tend to come out very uneven and disjointed. Hopefully there is something in all this mess that is helpful to you..
On a few technical notes... First, be on the lookout for unnecessary commas. There were a few times throughout the chapter where you had one with a conjunction but it wasn't needed (since one part of the sentence wasn't a complete clause). A few examples:
-- How was it possible they were not only on a trip together, but already talking of more?
-- What if they did show up, but no one spoke the entire time?
-- James glanced down at Lily again, and resisted the urge to kiss the top of her head.
-- Sirius let Belle's hand drop from his, and curled his fingers into fists.
-- The creature lifted his paw, and scratched at the window.
Second, be careful of repetition. You had the characters "forcing" themselves to do something quite a few times. You also referenced people's tone a lot. Just something to look for. The rest are just typos (if I can get them to fit). Sorry again about the long wait. I wish I could have followed it with a more cohesive review!
Nope... I just tried to paste in the typos and I'm getting denied. I'll pm them to you :)
Author's Response: Becky! I PROMISE there will NEVER be another chapter as long as this. Scout's honor. Haha!
I can't buy into the whole, Petunia just thought Lily was a freak and hated her because of the magic. I can't even buy enough into it was just simple jealousy that drove them far enough apart. And granted, that's because my head canon of Lily's parents play a lot into it. But with such a confident young girl who is brave enough to befriend someone that isn't the most popular boy in school, and keep that friendship up until they both get to a point where they just can't do it anymore, ti's pretty much set in stone for me that she had an extremely supportive childhood. And if Lily's parents are kind and accepting enough to understand this part of her life, I see there being NO way that they would be cold enough to treat Petunia poorly. So that leads me to the entire, there has to be more than just simple jealousy. Umm... did any of that make sense? Haha. But yes, this is one more reason in Petunia's mind to hate Lily. All this insane, not normal stuff happens constantly to her, and Petunia just doesn't understand that Lily's world is governed by it's own laws. You can not bring people back from the dead. I think this is probably what, more than anything, broke them. Okay. I'm done rambling about Petunia, haha.
I love your comments on Belle's childhood. I actually think she probably even had a pretty good one up until she reached the age where her mother wanted to start molding her. And even then, I don't think she would have ever really understood the manipulative sort of life that she lived in without the Christophe incident happening. I wondered if that section felt sort of pointless, so I'm really happy that you liked it.
Haha poor James, living in his world of denial :P.
With Belle's parents - I know Sirius thinks that it was done to hurt her, but I'm pretty sure that's not it. I don't think they realize how much Belle was hurt when all of it happened. She definitely didn't confide in them what all her friends had done, and how they'd treated her, so they probably thought they were giving her something positive to see. It's like when your young and break up with a boyfriend and rip up your pictures, then he apologizes and your like, 'Damn. Shouldn't have ripped those up.' Oh... Only I did that? Oops. Jk. Anyway - I think that her parents probably thought putting them back together and around her room would be a nice way to remind her of the life she had, because they really are that clueless. I've been thinking about addressing that in the chapter I'm working on right now, and I think I probably should so we can kind of see that Sirius's 'because they're sick an mean' reasoning is more his own biased than fact.
Haha BECKY I can not add another scene!! I can't past that 10,000 word mark. It's just too much. Haha! But I'm so happy that you liked Sirius in his section. I wanted to be the one to hit Christophe so bad. I really don't like him.
That section where James mentions the car model - hands down my favorite one to write. I don't even know why, but it was just so much fun. Most of the chapter was really emotional for me, so I needed that bit to laugh while writing it.
No! This isn't uneven and disjointed. It's exactly what I needed for this chapter.
I get SO repetitive in these longer chapter. I'll go through with command F and see if I can edit a few of those to help it. Same with the commas, thank you.
And please know that this review was exactly what I wanted for this chapter. There was too much feeling in it to really have any cut and dry AoC's... I just needed to know if the sections were making you feel what I wanted you to feel.
And I'm going to find a way to thank you for all your awesome reviews one day, haha. Or I'll just continue demanding reviews and more Over The Edge II. :P
Thank you so much for this amazing review♥