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Review:Roots in Water says:
Hey Amanda! I'm here to return your review - I'm sorry it's taken me so long to actually write it.

I think that you did a great job with this chapter! I particularly liked the opening scene in which James watches the Marauder's Map for Lily's dot. Although it's not something I've read him doing before, it's definitely something that I can picture him doing. After all, it's a way to watch over her without getting too close to her and thus annoying her.

I really liked the small details you included in this chapter. As always, your descriptions really made the story come alive for me and your characterization was great. Severus' line about Lily having to love him back was great because not only did it show the ferocity of his emotions for her, it also showed the creepier or more desperate side to them. He cannot accept that she might not return his affections.

Another one of my favourite moments in this chapter was when Lily told Regulus that if he wanted her to make an effort with Severus, then he would have to make the same effort with Sirius. It was such a great turnabout and her reasoning made sense. Of course her condition would act as just that: a condition, one that would allow her to stop her efforts with Severus if Regulus didn't make any changes to his relationship with Sirius. It was clever of her to have a safety like that.

I did have a few questions and comments, though, as I was reading. To begin, who's Celestina, the witch that you mentioned in the beginning? Is she a character that you've mentioned previously that I've just forgotten (sorry if this is the case). If not, it sounded a little weird to have a new name be included out of the blue like that. I would've just described her without using a name.

As well, I noticed a few point-of-view changes from Regulus to Lily during their negotiation scene. I'm not sure if you were intending to change the POV, but I thought I'd point it out, just in case. The changes didn't negatively affect the flow of the story, in any case.

I really did love your characterization in this chapter. I think that you did a great job with Lily and Regulus- their thoughts, their reasoning, their actions... It all fit so well with what we already know of them. However, I was a little surprised by the mention of both Severus and Sirius crying. I would have thought that they'd both try and hide this "weakness" from the others. Crying just seems so vulnerable, an action that I imagine would be especially unwelcome in the Slytherin common room.

All in all, I really enjoyed this chapter and I'm eager to see how this deal between Lily and Regulus will affect the canon we all know and love. Will Sirius and Regulus actually become close as brothers again? Will Severus and Lily repair their friendship? Ah well... There always has to be some questions, in order to keep the readers coming back for more. Great work! :)

Author's Response: No, that's fine! It may take me a while to return the next one, due to the fact that my real life has booked up my calendar for the month.

I tried to draw some parallels between James and Severus in this chapter. One thing that I think often plays out in James's favor is that he's this handsome, popular guy. I would bet that if it had been Severus reading the Marauder's Map and staring at Lily's dot, people wouldn't have found it nearly as endearing as they have in the reviews so far. I have to wonder what the reaction would have been if it had been James railing about needing Lily's love and crying in the common room. It's been really interesting for me to toy with both Severus's bad side and James's good side and to switch them up in this story.

I also wanted to step away from the characterization of Lily as this frail flower. She's too smart to just go with this bet idea without having some kind of failsafe in place, and everyone has some kind of selfish side. The conflict between her heart and her mind will come into play more as the bet gets ever more tangled and more gets put on the line.

Celestine was actually introduced back in chapter two along with Lily's other best friend, Ellery. You'll probably remember her if you step back and re-read that :) No worries!

I have tried to play with point-of-view in many of my recent stories, just because I think it's interesting and I like shaking things up, so the changes there were probably deliberate. I will go back and check just to make sure, though. Thanks for pointing them out to me.

The comment you made about crying is helpful. I think it makes slightly more sense with Severus, since he obviously doesn't have good emotion regulation and can sometimes be socially inappropriate when he's upset. I can see why it would be odd for him to break down in front of Regulus, though, since he didn't know him all that well that this point. Sirius, though, even in front of James--I agree that the crying is a little weird for him, too. I'll go back and take a look to see what I can do.

Thanks for this lovely review, Claire :)

-Amanda


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