I followed the bandwagon over here :D
Okay, this is AU, so all bets are off. I'm so intrigued to see what you make of this odd and fascinating premise! My personal theory is that someone is trying to frame Snape based on the Mudblood incident from canon. Perhaps he'll be a suspect if something terrible happens to poor Lily. At the same time, though, the movements you described in the first half of this chapter seem very Snapelike indeed. Maybe framing isn't necessary... ah, well, I'll hold my tongue and be patient, then.
For the most part, I love your characterization. The boys are perfect, especially James. I love this idea of him being a quiet observer, taking in little details like the ceiling and the behavior of his friends. It seems like this James--sixth year, I suppose?--has grown up a little, and it gives me hope because I believe that this James will protect Lily and treat this matter with the seriousness it deserves.
I hope you don't mind a teensy bit of critique, because I wasn't quite as certain about Lily here. Her entrance into the Hall and concerns about the note at first seemed just right, but then she seemed to recover a little too much when she found out that it wasn't James doing a prank. If someone had written something that serious about me and it wasn't an awful joke, I think I would feel more upset about it instead of calming down slightly because it implies that some stranger (or at least an enemy) really does want to hurt me. I know she takes her role as Prefect seriously, but she just kind of seemed to regain a sense of security and duty a little too easily for my taste. Does all that rambling make sense? Maybe she's just trying to put on a brave face and I failed to pick up on it. I could have grossly misinterpreted her behavior, but I thought I'd share my reaction to it anyway.
This is a lovely beginning and I'll try to keep up!
Author's Response: Hi, Amanda! How lovely to see you this way again. :) One of my favorite things about AU is that there really is no predictable path, and I hope you'll find that's the case here. The thing about this story is that it is going to be rather short -- only five chapters -- so you're going to find out the details pretty quickly. I'll reveal nothing!
I got really into writing the Marauders while writing the Beth Bridger trilogy, and basically all of their representations here are how I wrote them in that. I missed them very much once I got to the end of those. ♥ James is actually my favorite Marauder, I've come to find, and I'm so pleased my portrayal of him did justice in your own mind! He is a bit more mature here than most people paint him, and that's done intentionally. I see him as the glue that holds the boys together, the one who is the least extremist in personality. I'm not quite sure where that comes from, of course, but there it is.
As for Lily, I do see the points you're making, and I do acknowledge them! I think the thing about Lily is because we saw so very, very little of her in canon (which is arguably the same with James), everyone sort of has a different view to her. And it was always hard for me to write her as I saw her, mostly because I focused on the boys, not Lily, and no matter what she was to James, I don't consider her essential to the group of Marauders as a whole. What's important in this story is the time period it's being written in. I don't believe Lily fell in love with James in a year; I think it came about more gradually, and because she seems to hate him at the end of her fifth year at least, then the softening might naturally have come about in her sixth year. I intended for her to accuse him of the letter out of habit more than anything else, but she knows instinctively that James wouldn't ever send her a letter calling her a Mudblood. That's why she backs down so quickly and is willing to accept his help at all; I think the Lily you describe wouldn't have wanted him to have anything to do with it. I think it's just a difference in interpretation of her character. :)
Whew! That paragraph got away from me, didn't it? Sorry about that! Seriously, thank you for your review, and I do appreciate your opinion very much. ♥ I hope you'll be back to check out further chapters as well!