So I was going to apologize for not getting to this yesterday like I wanted to, but then you snuck in a new chapter a day early so I'm feeling a lot less guilty :P
I really liked this opening scene. It served as a perfect transition. It isn't really important for us the reader to see what happened right after the attack. We only care about if everyone is okay. This was a great way to keep pushing the story forward. And I really liked that you saved more of the details of the attack and the injuries for the second scene. Just like we want to know if the characters are okay, Lily's top priority is finding out if James is safe (totally adorable!). Everything else can wait until after that.
Speaking of the injuries... I thought you did a great job handling all the medical details here. That's definitely been a running theme throughout the story -- blending muggle science with the wizarding world. Human anatomy is human anatomy, right? And in light of Lily's desire to be a healer one day, it makes sense that, especially when you're writing in her POV, that those sorts of details would stand out to her/would be something she'd want to know.
Only one small detail in the healer scene stood out to me as a little off. The healer doesn't show any hesitation about sharing all these medical details in front of a room full of people. In a muggle setting, a doctor wouldn't usually do that, at least not without the healer's express permission. Same with sharing the details of James's injuries. I wouldn't normally bring up such a small detail, especially since not everything in the wizarding world is the same is in the muggle world, but since you've clearly done so much to meld the two together, I thought it might be something you'd want to consider. Maybe having the healer hesitate to elaborate until Lily gives her the go ahead...
The Potter's stance makes total sense. Of course they want to protect their son and all this friends, but they are old enough to know their own limitations. If they aren't physically able to fight, they may do more harm than good getting involved in other ways. I don't know if this played at all into the way you wrote the scene, but it really serves as a great hint that the "old regime" is over. Dumbledore shares a lot more with the kids than he does with the parents. It's a real passing of the torch.
I thought you choice to go to Regulus instead of Bella was absolutely perfect! You're right, it would have felt way too much like a repeat of the previous chapter. Besides, her viewpoint is biased. Regulus is a great narrator for filling the reader on what's really happening. But you did it in a way that still made the scene about him. He wasn't just a front for you author giving the reader the info they needed. And yes, to hit on your AoC, it definitely feels like this is only a minor set-back in the grand scheme of the war. We know from what Regulus heard of her mumblings, James and the gang are far from safe. I am curious if you'll address why Bella didn't immediately take James and Lily off-site of the hotel. Unless that was addressed in the previous chapter when Bella is discussing the plan. But I remember wondering that during the attack itself.
Last point from your AoC. IMHO, you've really hit a great rhythm with your descriptions. I think descriptions tend to decrease in frequency as stories continue, once they've been used to set the mood and tone, but I also think you've come a long way since those early chapters in narrowing down what's important to tell. For example, you hardly described Lily's hospital room at all in the opening scene. This was a smart choice. We all know what a hospital room looks like. Even if the ones in the wizarding world are totally different, it really doesn't matter. As a reader, I can do all the work myself. Same in the following scene. I know I mentioned in previous reviews about the "positioning of character." There were a lot of characters in this scene, but their locations remained relatively vague -- which was totally appropriate. And if they *were* mentioned, it was done so casually, as part of the scene -- as opposed to having to set the whole scene first before getting "down to business."
On a technical note, there are still a few of those unneeded commas. I didn't post them all, but here are a few:
-- She made the mistake of glancing in the bathroom mirror as she walked past, and was half terrified of her own reflection.
-- She reached for his hand, and found a small amount of comfort in the fact that it was warm.
-- Lily felt James's hand slip into hers, and squeezed it tightly as the healer cleared her throat and continued.
On the last one, it isn't really clear which one of them is squeezing the other's hand. And the rest is just typos.
-- She bit down on to her lip, ignoring the exhausting, and kept going. (exhaustion?)
-- Her fingers shook she pulled back the sheet on the bed and climbed in... (shook as she)
-- Don't leave me James (comma after me)
-- ... Professor Dumbledore greeted, nodded somberly at her. (nodding)
-- She dropped off those for both of you both (pick one both; either is fine)
-- But even with that, the injures were severe. (injuries)
-- However, the second wasn't working quickly enough, and a Muggle medical specialists was called in. (specialist)
-- She supposed the man probably wasn't often surrounded in a bunch as demanding as hers (surrounded by a)
-- They're strong and capable, and all we can do now is give them every ounce of knowledge we posses to keep them safe / Olivia knew it was silly, but she felt a small pang of jealousy for the kind of vigor he seemed to posses. (possess, not posses)
-- He would let all that drown from him (drain?)
Author's Response: Becky! I've eaten an M&M, so I might make a little more sense now. We'll see if that chocolate got my brain working at all...
I'm happy you agreed with my decision of getting us to the aftermath. I'm working on picking what's important to see and what isn't, because we're too close to 200,000 words for me not to start wrapping this up in the next ten chapters or so, haha! Actually by my outline's calculation, we have 13 left of this book. Then book two starts after graduation. And, um, I have no idea why we're on this subject. Stupid chocolate.
You know what's funny? I had the Healer asking pretty discreetly if either of them minded discussing this in front of anyone else, then for some reason I thought it was unnecessary. I'll definitely edit it back in since it stood out to you. Thank you ♥
Oh I'm so happy the Potter's stance makes sense! That's what I've been worrying about most lately. That's really what I was trying to show. This is some of the first steps into the younger ones getting involved, and Dumbledore treating them more as adults than ever before. Though that doesn't mean they'll all want to be apart of it at first... Hehe.
Regulus ended up really being a lot of fun to write in this. OH YES! Here it is! I knew you asked about why Bella didn't take them away immediately!
Okay, I'm unsure if this will ever come out in the story. But the conversation between Voldemort and Bellatrix about what to do when she had them was basically to get them, and convince James, maybe Lily. They're no good to him as prisoners or anything to get information out of. He wants James on his side, or he wants him dead. But on his side is better. So her job was to bring James, ready to receive a mark, to him. And of course she'd already decided to kill Lily just because she loves the power. I'm not sure if that makes sense outside of my head, though... if it doesn't would you mind PMing me and telling me? And I'll try and play with it in the story to make it make sense?
Ahh I really work on not positioning my characters now!! I'm so happy that's showing! Thank you so much again for all your amazing feedback. I'm going to need to find the perfect chapter to dedicate to you in this story...
Thanks again, Becky ♥