You know what? You had the perfect title for this chapter. I think that "Build Up" sums everything up nicely. End of review.
Just kidding! I read this quite a while ago, all of your chapters actually, but I find that writing a new story and reviewing someone else's story don't mix well in my head. So now that I'm out of my own head for a bit, I thought I'd jump into your story and see if I can string a few words together to express how it made me feel.
Aww, first off there's the warm and fuzzy with the mention of Butterscotch again. I really love furballs, and to give Lily that extra sense of comfort was a brilliant touch. I had a roommate in college that snuck a contraband kitten into our dorm room for a semester and it was fabulous for a while... though I think that poor animal had some serious mental issues after its dorm experience... off topic... anyway...
I especially like the professor's explanation to Abigail for awarding points to another student. Abigail needs to know that extra points are for extra hard work, not for doing what is expected of you. *nods*
Aside from that, or rather, more importantly, I love how you purposefully use all of your story to show us your characters. I feel like every sentence gives us important pieces of their portraits, sometimes even more than a few pieces of the picture from different angles, and it's just lovely to read so much detail into the story without feeling like I'm getting lots of detail from the story. Your economy with words is truly skilled.
I can tell you love these classroom scenes, and it works in your story, because Lily loves the classroom scenes just as much as you do, making it pertinent to the story. And if Lily didn't love being in the classroom so much, and if she didn't have such a keen eye for all the details of things, we would have missed the cutest little scene ever, with Belle and Sirius working on their potion. Aww, that was so adorable, and it made it even more special that they didn't even realize that they were being watched by Lily... and all the rest of us. :)
James stepping in to be the honorable one after Lily's offer really surprised me. Oh gosh, and so unexpected! I loved how you turned it around and had his friends talk him into going with her. That showed how close those boys were, that they would want James to finally spend some time with Lily rather than help them out. And then you twisted it on us again by having Alrek step in. I don't like that Alrek fellow at all, but at least he provided an excellent plot twist. Gotta be good for something, right? Haha!
And then the owl!!! And the letter from Petunia!!!
Okay, that was my shock reaction to your scene twist at the end, so well done on that!
And the chapter is over!!!
Haha, that was my first reaction to the chapter, but luckily, I can just go on from here. Lucky me! Wonderful chapter fourteen!
Author's Response: Pixi! This was such an awesome surprise!
And now I have a confession. I've read all of Better Days Than These as well *ninja face.* But I've always been on my phone and I HATE reviewing on there. I need to go back and review. Yes. Nods at self.
Every time my dog does something cute I'm like, oh Butterscotch can do that in the next chapter, haha!
I'm so happy you felt like you still got a lot about the characters through a more mundane sort of chapter. I feel like showing them how they spent a lot of their time is important, and it was a lot of fun to play more with magic. hehe.
James had a rough time in this chapter, didn't he? First he has to say no to Lily then he gets talked into saying yes and is secretly super happy about it THEN we learn he's too late. Poor guy. They're not meant to have that much emotional stuff happen to them in such a short span of time. He probably needs a nap now :P
I'm so happy you liked this chapter, and I can't believe you've read past this!!! That's so exciting to me. And I'm sorry I'm a terrible reviewer, but I promise I'll go back and stop cheating and actually review our BDTT . Hehe.