This was such a brilliant, phenomenal, outstanding chapter. I feel like this is the closest I've seen Severus where he's come across as so human. You can feel his vulnerabilities, and I really liked seeing that side of him. Also, now that he and Beth have gotten closer, I love the way his thoughts of her change his character, even if it is only slightly. He feels almost warmer to me, because he isn't the cold, arrogant man that Harry sees in Potions, and he isn't just the Hogwarts spy who might be a Death Eater. You've given him so many layers and that's really interesting to read, especially because you've written it so well!
I'm just going to tell you right now that Malfoy gets on my nerves! In the best way possible of course :) He definitely had the Malfoy family pride and arrogance that we see in his son later, and he's just so smug that it makes me want to... I don't know... Grab his shoulders and shake him or something like that! Sev's annoyance with the Death Eaters he's going on his mission with is perfect, and I could definitely feel that! He just seems a lot older than his friends, and I guess it's because he's so serious.
Also, the fact that Severus is sickened by the thought of torturing the Muggle woman just for fun really says a lot about his character, especially considering who he hangs around with! You wrote that internal conflict beautifully, and I loved how you showed his decision of doing what Malfoy says or potentially endangering his own life if he disobeys and shows he's not loyal. It's really a dangerous game that he's playing, and he has to be really careful about his choices, even if he doesn't necessarily agree with them. But the Order comes along and stops him from torturing her, even if they didn't know it!
AND THE SNETH AT THE END. That is also really dangerous! If they ever got caught the consequences wouldn't be good! I can definitely feel that desperation, and there was a breathlessness to that scene that I really loved. They're so sweet together, even if they aren't overly romantic, and I just love how genuine and realistic they feel! It's really natural and fun to read!
This chapter was amazing. I love your interpretation of JKR's characters, and of course I love Beth, too. She feels like a natural part of the story and I could definitely see her as a character in JKR's plot! Wonderful work, as always! 10/10
Author's Response: I'm so glad you liked this chapter! I'm very fond of it as well, and it does mark a turning point in Severus and Beth's relationship, however minute. It's sort of the first time where the two of them actually acknowledge, without words, that there IS something between the two of them, and that they're going to maybe try and figure it out. He reacts to her differently than he reacts to most other people in his life.
Haha, Malfoy gets in my nerves too, don't worry! Draco is all right (though I'm still not a huge fan), but he doesn't even come close to holding a candle to the arrogance and prejudices of his father. Writing Lucius in this and getting to explore that side of the Malfoy family was actually a lot of fun, and quite interesting. :)
Severus is quite interesting in that he didn't grow up with the bigoted ideals of many other pureblood fanatics -- he had to adopt them, and I take that to mean that sometimes his childhood teachings would have taken precedence, like in the scene with the Muggle woman in the middle of the street. He's very internally conflicted. And it /is/ a dangerous game that he's playing, but he plays it very well!
SNETH. ♥ Gah, I'm so into my own pairing, it's a bit ridiculous. They're... real, I suppose, in my head, at the risk of sounding a bit screwy. :P
Thank you so much for reviewing again, Cassie! ♥ I'm so glad you're enjoying it, and that you're enjoying Beth's part in it, too. You're amazing!