Okay I think I mentioned already reading these last two chapters, but if not, well I have :P and even on the second full read through this chapter is still every bit as addicting. I loved the descriptions around the watch. The creepiness of it sounding like a heart beat instead if the normal tick tick tick is so awesome. It reminded me of The Tell Tale Heart. Except it was the heart beat of a watch hidden under the floorboards instead of an entire severed person :P and I think lily did actually hear a heart beat instead of her mind creating it, haha.
So we have Scorpius's father and grandfather involved in murdering Narcissa. The Aurors onto them, and somewhere tied into all this we have Severus Snape alive and someone wanting to document that. You are weaving such an awesome web of suspense here, missy.
I want to mention something for a second that doesn't really involve this chapter as much, but I am really impressed by your style. Not for this story only, but just the way you write. The fact that you always put forward something different in the prologue/first chapter before beginning your story, then set a really perfect pace is so awesome. I think having their own style is something everyone sort of strives for and you've totally nailed it. I also like that your writing is easy to read but it isn't cold. Sometimes I read these really amazing stories, but something about how the author chooses the words and arranges them makes the story feel. Too cut and try almost and too cold. You managed to keep your sentences from getting long winded but you still put so much emotion into what's happening. That's something I really don't see often. I'm going to move on now because I feel like that made no sense...
Al and Lily's little spying escapade! Lily really grows on me more each chapter. I already pointed out how much I adore her being just a normal teenager, but now we're really seeing more sides of her. The curiosity she has toward anything is so great and reminds me of both her parents. She can't just let something go. And the fact that she's a good person - yes she lies to her parents and sneaks around. We all did. But she thinks first about what her turning Scorpius away may have done to him, when she's waiting for him in the cafe she first hopes everything is okay before getting angry... She's a kind girl and you haven't shoved that down our throats but you've certainly made it clear.
I hadn't even thought about Scorpius using lily to know about the investigation! Now that lily thought of it, I can see where it makes perfect sense. I bet he wrote to her wanting to talk to her about that, then he saw her and everything sort of came back feeling wise so he brushed off what he'd really written about. Then wanted to see her again when he sent the butterfly for no other reason to see her. But then all this happened with the aurors there so he couldn't put off asking any longer, and ugh of course it looks to lily like he was just using her.
The conversation that they overheard was done so well. Al's motives for having her listen we're very brotherly, but really all they did was drive her more into needing to help Scorpius.
Really awesome chapter!
Author's Response: I'd totally be lying if I said I didn't get a little inspiration here from Poe. I had to memorize The Tell-Tale Heart in grade school. I don't think it's ever really fully made its way out of my brain :P
Hooray for suspense! I know I've probably said it before, but as much as Lily might be motivated by her feelings for Scorpius, this really isn't meant to be a romance story.
I don't know if it made sense, but it certainly made me smile! Thank you so much for saying such lovely things. For a long time, I fought against my natural writing rhythm. I wanted a more interesting style, I think. I've come to terms with its simplicity a bit more lately, and even though I still think it stinks most of the time, I've been able to embrace the fact that I'm most comfortable with keep my writing as inconspicuous as possible.
I love next-gen because it gives you so much freedom to play, but when it comes to Lily, I tried really hard to make her a natural fit with her parents. Impulsive and with a bit of a save-the-day attitude from Harry, a little hot-headed perceptiveness from her mother. And maybe it's just because I wasn't an overly rebellious teen, but I just can't imagine Harry and Ginny letting any of their kids turn out to be total brats :D Anyway, I'm glad she's continuing to grow on you. I'll admit she isn't always the warmest character.
I think at this point, Scorpius is just more confused than anything. He didn't really set out to use her, but he got desperate and things started getting away from him. He -- like his father -- isn't as good in a crisis as Lily.
Writing the eavesdropping scene was super tricky. But it was fun to write a set-up I'd never tried before.
Thank you for another lovely, amazing review. Now I'm off to do some more writing!