Jami, you and I need to have a little talk about this Violet girl. Remember how I've been lobbying for a very untidy demise for Mr. Rukin? Now I think I'd prefer to see Violet suffer a collision with the goalpost seconds after she catches the Snitch and mouths "I love you" to James. A fitting end, no? Everybody's happy. Well, except for Violet...
First, however, we need to talk about dear Bella. Her insanity is exquisite, as always! The mania with which she worships her Lord, and her burning need for even the tiniest measures of approval from him were perfect. She seems to be making her way back into his good graces, and the physical sort of affect that it has on her was well-written.
I like the way that you rounded out the Death Eaters by mentioning their attempt to recruit the giants. I think it's important not to lose sight of the fact that Voldemort is trying to take over the world. Wow, as I re-read that sentence, it sounds really dumb. But you get what I mean, right? There are lots of matters that need to be attended to, and you do a good job of weaving that into your story. Being the Dark Lord is about more than just saying evil things and going on the occasional murderous rampage.
Now what's this about Bellatrix taking revenge on a certain female who helped to prevent her from capturing James and Lily? I don't like the sound of that, not one bit. Yes, she thought as her lips curved into a very infrequent smile, she would get justice. She would stand and watch as the light fled from her prey's eyes. Watch as the heart slowed, then stopped. -- Gah, she's so awful! But I can't look away.
Before I get into Alice's section, let me just say that this non-verbal, wandless shield charm sounds like it could really come in handy. Nice idea!
I really liked the struggle that Alice goes through. She's trying so hard to deal with the argument she's having with Frank the same way that she'd tell any of her friends to deal with it: sit down and talk it out. She such a practical, level-headed person and she's a communicator.
Poor Frank, for his part, is such a mama's boy at heart! I'd probably be the same way if I grew up peeking out from behind the skirts of a woman as formidable as Augusta Longbottom. To wit: "But I need security, Alice. You know I've always been that way." -- That was a whole lot of honesty, probably not at all easy for him to admit. It's neat to watch the process of Frank transitioning his emotional attachments (dependencies?) from one strong, independent-minded witch to another. It actually makes him seem like a bit of a man-child.
Summoning all of those memories, both before and after Frank's arrival, was a nice was to ease the two of them back together. It also gave us some more great insight into Frank's character. Alice really does seem to mean almost everything to him. It isn't at all surprising that he's terrified of losing her. Makes me kind of glad that Neville never found a girlfriend while he was at Hogwarts. He might have been too busy sheltering her in a corner to cut the head off of Nagini. ;)
Aww, so it was actually Augusta who slapped some sense into Frank. Well done, Mrs. Longbottom! It's really awesome to see her realize what Alice is all about, even if she is a bit obnoxious about Alice's weight and going on about Frank and Alice's love life.
Lastly, there was Moody. I really love what you do with him, you know. You don't go over the top in either direction, making him a big teddy bear or a completely unapproachable lunatic. But you keep him gruff and grumpy and all-around menacing in an oddly loveable way. With that, he rubbed his hands together and told them to take out their wands and prepare to leave the room with at least one less finger. -- Yep, that's Mad-Eye!
You start off the last scene by weaving another little thread of connection into Lily and James's world. So Margaret's older sister is engaged to Gideon Prewett. I wonder how this will come to impact future events. I have the very sad feeling that aside from Peter, Sirius and Remus, none of James and Lily's friends have especially long life expectancies. :( It also gives Lily a bit of an opportunity to ponder what sort of living arrangements she and James will have after school. I feel like you're setting up a Big Decision, which is odd, because it's such a small mention. Wonder whether Lily and James will live together before they're married?
And then Violet arrives. Seriously, Jami, can we just kill her now? Belle seemed ready if Lily hadn't stopped her. In fact, I feel like there could be a violent confrontation in Belle and Violet's future. Or maybe that's just what I'm hoping for. Either way, I think I'm just going to start calling her Vile for short. As you know, that's a lot less nasty than what I want to call her.
I absolutely loved what you did with Lily. She's trying so hard to be the bigger adult here. Her logical mind knows that James isn't that sort of guy, and that he isn't going to throw away their relationship over any sort of quick fling with Vile. But her heart isn't going to let her head win the fight that easily. You captured something sort of primal in her character here. A part of her that looks at Vile fawning over James and snarls, "MINE! Get away, you trampy, amoral little hoe-bag!" Gah, I so want her to just hex the daylights out of that girl and leave her vomiting slugs and oozing unidentified green substances from every pore. But Lily's the Head Girl. She's a bigger adult. And the fact that you can't eat in the Library actually comes in handy.
Vile isn't going to give up easily, is she? Where's Alice when you need her? My money says that Alice would have confronted the girl right then and there. Because Alice isn't one to let a situation linger. Unlike Lily. Sigh. :(
Wonderful chapter, and I'm also a little sad to see things counting down to the end. Good thing there's another coming!
Author's Response: Dan! I should be in trouble for how long this response has taken. I'm punishing myself by ordering Italian for dinner. Poor me!
Violet really hasn't been liked the last few chapters, has she? I just can't see why, she's so lovely and delightful :P!!
Bellatrix is an addiction, I've decided. I think my decision to add the DE in this story is one of the favorite I've done so far, just because i love the dynamic it creates, and I might love writing the insane Mrs. Lestrange ;).
That's how I felt when I was trying to have Lily decide where Voldemort lived. It just had to be a lair, hahah! But that was always something I got annoyed with during the HP series. A lot of what Voldemort did focused on killing Harry, and I understand that a lot of that is his obsessive personality, but I did always want to know a bit more about what was going on. And why it took more than three years to finally face him off. I mean, for Harry it was good to figure out all the soul stuff. but i can't figure out why Voldemort was never able to find a way to get himself or his followers close to Harry, then one quick snap of the neck...
okay, not sure where I'm going with this. haha. Back to your awesome review :P
Everyone so far is sort of placing Bella's desire for revenge as the second defy... I'm happy I have someone i can talk to about the real deal :P
Frank, in my head, would be SUCH a mama's boy. Like, annoyingly so :P. And I think dependencies would be very accurate to show is emotions toward the women in his life.
Mad-Eye is someone I'm *really* excited about playing with in the next book. I feel like he'll have a lot of face time during it.
Haahah NO Dan! We can not kill Violet now! Though I absolutely love your new name for her. I think Vile suits perfectly ;).
I do try really hard to have a good balance between teenage Lily and Head Girl Lily. Being 18 is hard. Actually, 13-20 is pretty much just a struggle all together :P. And I think that Lily does do a really good job with being the adult, but that doesn't mean she's immune to jealousy .
I can't figure out how I feel about things winding down... but I am excited to see how the last two chapters are received!
THANK YOU DAN for all your amazingness!