Durmstrang! Ooh, he needs to be hit with a killing curse and fed to the squid. I love how disturbing -- and disturbed -- you made him in this first scene. Somewhere in the course of his punishment, he obviously cracked. Best I can recall, the Dark Lord wanted Lily alive, at least for the time being. I'll take a small measure of comfort in knowing that even if he succeeded -- he won't, right? Right? RIGHT??? -- he'd have a world of hurt waiting for him when Voldemort found out what he'd done.
On to happier topics. So Frank and Alice are getting a nice little house in the 'burbs with a white picket fence and a dog and maybe a little garden out back? I don't know why, but I sort of feel like mocking the two of them. I have this odd comparison running through my head of the stretch of How I Met Your Mother where Marshall and Lilly move out to Long Island. It's probably because that's more fun to think about than what ultimately happens in Frank and Alice's house. :(
I loved Frank's little trick for figuring out whether Alice would agree to move in with him. That felt so much like Frank. You've done a great job of defining him over the past few chapters. He's obviously grown up a lot during his years of school, but there's still a lot of insecurity on the inside. I can plainly see where Neville gets a lot of his personality traits.
"If zere is any'zing close to a love letter in your rucksack," Belle began, a clear warning in her voice, "it had better be for me..." -- This cracks me up. He wub her. Sirius Black would not put up with this from anyone else.
I have to join your other reviewers in thinking that it would have been neat to see Alice, Belle and Lily live together for a while. You throw Frank, Sirius, James, Peter and Remus in the same apartment building and you sort of have Friends plus a werewolf and an evil, back-stabbing rat. Somebody should pitch that to NBC. But I like the way that Frank and Alice's life transition continues to pull James and Lily toward one another, even in ways that are a bit uncomfortable at times.
Lily still has that ferocious independent streak, which really keeps things interesting. It's a great tool to keep your story from ever sliding into situations that feel "too easy" as far as these young people making their way in the world. Some things are supposed to be difficult, like striking out on your own.
You also did a really good job, I thought, with the inner conflict that each of the characters seem to feel between helping with the war effort and moving on with a more "normal" life. Belle's bookstore is starting to haunt me, because I'm pretty sure that she's not meant to survive the war. It seems like a place where she would find a lot of peace. You even gave poor Peter a glimpse at a quasi-productive livelihood that he would probably enjoy. And I like that Lily stopped to ponder poor Remus's fate for a moment. Such a sad waste of potential...
Wow, so Durmstrang managed to force McGonagall's writing and everything. I'd be impressed if I wasn't so mad at him.
A rush of excitement washed through her when the portrait allowed her access. -- I have to say, I felt a little thrill there, myself.
Gah, Jami!!! You've led both of them into prefect traps! How could you do such an awful thing? And then make us all wait a week to find out what happens. Mean, mean, mean!!!
Seriously, though, awesome chapter. I think you made the right decision breaking this one up. Everyone will be on the edge of their seats until the weekend!
Author's Response: Alrek might make a tasty giant squid treat! As you know, I was planning on going a different way with him... but an ocean creature's meal could really be the best option :P
I don't think, when I started this, I really thought about making one of them the less secure one and one of them the more comfortable one. And if i would have thought about it, I'd have made Alice the less secure because she wasn't really given the same sort of parental attention that Frank was. But I'm really happy it ended up going this way because these two sort of just ended up defining themselves. It's fun to think of Frank with his confident exterior but a shaky sort of self confidence. And thinking about what Neville would have been like if these two could have raised him just makes me want to curl up and pout :(.
Sirius totally wub her. Poor dog knows he has no chance.
Friends and HIMYM references both in one review! You have good TV show taste. I actually did think about that for a while, but I think Alice and Frank are in a more definite part of their lives. They know what they're doing next, that they're doing it together, and that together is pretty much the only option for them. But really, having those three live together would have been so much fun. Alice would constantly have to remind Belle to pick up the bathroom, and I can imagine a lot of nights would have been spent with these three staying up too late over a bottle of wine.
You know how much I think there needs to be a balance between these being good people who want to help, and still being human beings that want to live their own life. JKR sort of put marauders era writers in a bad situation by saying James and Lily just worked for the Order, because how could you really spend all day everyday just working for the Order? I do have something that they'll be doing non order related, but they don't know that yet so they still have to make their own plans for the future. Ummm did that make any sense? haha
Hahah I am NOT mean! I'm a nice girl!! And besides, it's not like *you* have to wait to know anything :P
Thank you as always for your awesome support and mad betaz skillz :P. I'm so happy that you're still sticking with this! Not that I'd give you much of a choice... :P