OK, a day late (several, actually) and a dollar short (but who's counting?), here I am, ready to review Jami's new chapter! Seriously, vacations are such free time killers!
I wasn't sure about using Sirius as the narrative voice for the first section, but the more I read, the more I liked it. I feel like James and Lily are probably still pretty shell-shocked at this point, a thought that would seem to be corroborated by their behavior later in the chapter. So I'm not sure how insightful either of them could be during the conversation with Dumbledore and still have it sound natural. Also, Sirius brings a certain combination of barely-contained anger and debilitating fear of loss that went really well with the subject matter. From the very beginning, you can almost feel him trying to pull his friends closer -- physically in Belle's case and emotionally for the others. You write him with such awesome complexity!
The message had only requested Lily and James, and Sirius smirked to himself as he looked around the room; all eight of them were spread about. -- Yep, those are Jami's Marauders. They're like the Eight Musketeers of Harry Potter fan fiction.
The crazy thing is I'm with Sirius. I don't know how I would have reacted if Alrek had somehow managed to make it out alive. I guess there was a very real possibility that Voldemort would have simply ordered the Death Eaters to dispose of his body, which would have left everyone uncertain about his fate. I like your resolution better.
That was Lily. Keeping herself together for as long as possible before reality finally set in. -- This line was perfect, and chock full of sad feels.
And Alice and Remus... Sirius knew they'd probably all have killed each other dozens of times if it wasn't for them. They were soothers. -- This chapter has something for everyone. I love the way that Sirius goes through each member of the group and understands the role they play in making the whole stronger. Good Lord, Black, Sirius thought, shaking his head. You're worse than a girl with all that rubbish going on inside your head. -- Well, he said it, I didn't. ;)
Once again, you did a terrific job of keeping Minnie and Albus in key. That's becoming a secondary stock in trade for you, you know? If you get tired of writing Marauders, you always have the two of them to fall back on. :p The interplay between the two of them was brilliantly complicated and subtle. I can only imagine the conversations they had before and after sitting with James, Lily and their friends. Dumbledore's stump speech for the Order must have nearly sent McGonagall over the edge. I bet she wanted to throw something at him, and that's funny and sad all at once. Dumbledore's deductive process was quite brilliant on your part. I felt like it all held together really well.
"Alone, we're simply inconveniences in their greater plan to either be disposed of or used. Together, we create a force unlike anything they can understand. One built on the need to help each other, constructed with friendship and love." -- You tell 'em, Albus! Oh, wait. That's the sort of talk that gets them all killed. Sigh. Nothing is ever simple with this lot, is it?
The conversation-bordering-on-fight between James and Sirius was a good way to cap off a very tense section of the chapter. Sirius has a good point. James has a good point. There aren't any easy answers here. But the way that Remus is able to step in and defuse the situation was perfect for everyone involved, especially him.
Poor Lily seems to hit a really low point right before her conversation with Remus. Her experience with Alrek forces her to question everything about her life, even the things that she takes pride in like her studies and being appointed Head Girl. It made me feel very sorry for her. Such a terrible thing to have to deal with.
Gah! You make Remus so amazingly insightful. The parallels that he was able to draw between his own situation and Lily's were perfect. Not only did he open up to her, he basically held himself out like a mirror, helping her to understand how some of her feelings were perfectly normal while others were ultimately self-defeating. The poor guy has been through so much. I'm so happy that he's out in the open now where Lily is concerned. I feel like this is going to be a really good thing for both of them, although I think you've created quite a challenge for yourself down the road. I'm really interested to see how you manage to set up events so that Lily could believe there was a possibility that Remus was betraying the group to the Death Eaters.
Terrific chapter! I absolutely loved the change of pace after the frenetic energy of the previous one. The story feels like it's careening madly toward an end, with events rapidly converging. Can't wait to see how you pull it all together!
Author's Response: Dan!! Okay, review is posted in a separate pages document. I have a drink next to me, and a puppy cuddled on top of me. review response time!!!
Isn't it crazy how you take time off work, you pack up, you get everything in order, then spend a week or more exhausted without as much as a free second to blink your eyes? Don't get me wrong, vacations are the best, but far from relaxing most the time :P!
James and Lily still being shell shocked were exactly the reason Sirius felt best for it. He had to see enough, and is passionate enough, that he still opted for an intense narration, but he wasn't quite as out of it as Lily and James.
Haahhaha 'Jami's Marauders' in a sentence together just gave me all sorts of smiles. Can you believe how far we've come with this naughty group? Part of me wanted to keep Alrek alive at the last minute in case I wanted to bring him back next book, but it just wouldn't fit. I don't think James or Sirius... or Belle... or Alice.. or any of them would have rested until he was caught. I just have this image of all of them tearing through the skies on this never ending man hunt, and the group spending their last few years in the air hunting for Alrek didn't fit JKR's canon quite so well :P! It was nice to tie up his story in a way, though oddly sad to know I wouldn't be able to use him anymore. haha.
Get tired of writing Marauders?! Don't utter such terrible words! :P But it's such an awesome compliment that you think I'm getting a handle on them. They're still scary, Minerva less so than Albus. No one can be as scary as Albus, haha.
When you mentioned that being the sort of talk that gets them killed -- YES. And it's so sad because he's so passionate about it, when they all sign up they'll all be passionate about it and they want so much to end it all and UGH. Why can't they just see it through, Dan? Why :(.
Dan Dan Dan. you know me and my spreadsheets and planning! Although their idea of Remus, or Sirius's idea, being the possible traitor will end up being more circumstantial than anything. Is it normal that I want to put them all in time out and give the a big long lecture about trusting one another? Even in Peter's case, because by the time we get there, his actions are just as much about not trusting them as anyone else's. Okay, zips lips. UGH. THERE ARE TOO MANY SADS.
I'm so happy you liked this chapter! The next one has a fun tie in to canon that I hope you like! Five more chapters!
Thank you again so much for always making me excited about this story ♥