Gah! It feels so wrong not to be reviewing every single chapter! I did look over the last two real quick, though, so I wouldn't get totally lost :P
And I'll totally get to your main AoC, but first, I just have to say.
Good riddance, Abigail, indeed!! What a little you-know-what. Don't you just want to slap her? But seriously, it was a nice touch in the overall theme of the war growing around them. That someone would just stand up and call the Head Boy and Girl a blood traitor and a Mudblood just shows how far things have gone. I mean, just in fifth year it was scandalous for Snape to sort of mutter it under his breath, but here is a girl shouting it in front of several dozen students without any real fear of punishment, except losing her badge, which she was already going to have taken away from her anyway.
I'm not sure if it's because I didn't read the previous chapters carefully or you are just super sneaky, but I did NOT see the Violet/Alrek conspiracy coming at all! As I was reading through the start of the scene, I was kind of wondering why you were taking us down this path with Violet, and then suddenly... BAM! Plot twist!! I love they way you brought two seemingly separate plots and mashed them together in such an unexpected way. The danger and the romance of the story just got set on a major collision course. Perfect!
And it really did a lot, perhaps unintentionally, for Violet's character. At least for me. We all remember girls like her from High School. She's easy to hate. But now you've made her an unwitting pawn in a much larger game, with consequences she didn't sign up for. That makes her a victim of sorts, which in turn, makes you feel a little differently about her. Her obad decisions and devious ways are the cause of her problems, but there is a big difference between trying to steal someone's boyfriend and setting them up for something that might get them killed. It really adds a whole other dimension to her story!
I'm going to sidetrack here for a second to offer a suggestion. I know you mentioned being a little overwhelmed at the length of the story and possible wanting to make the sequel shorter. In that light, I think this is the type of scene where you could lose some length. I love the Violet/Alrek subplot, but I don't think you would have lost any of the impact of it by cutting the scene off after "And I think I am having a vay to help you vith your situation."
Okay, you might need one or two lines before or after, but in general, the plot wouldn't suffer if you cut the next 600 words. We already know Alrek is a bad guy and there was no doubt in my mind when he said he had a way to "help" her what he was really up to. Next time you cut to Violet, a quick sentence or two about how she'd been surprised to find Alrek so eager to help, perhaps guessing he had the same interest in Lily that she has in James and was willing to go along with any plan that might help her get him alone would be all we the reader needs to know. There's nothing wrong with what you wrote, but cutting scenes like this will not only help with length, but also build tension. We know enough to get a sense of the danger Violet is in now, but it would leave us on the edge wondering what Alrek really has in mind.
I should end this all by saying I'm not nearly as good at moving scenes along as quickly as I wish I was, so take this all with a grain of salt. You know who I think is really good at it? WTM. She can do what I only preach about :P
Okay, back to the action. Erm, maybe that wasn't the best choice of words... hehehe
I can get why you were worried about this scene, but honestly, I think you handed it perfectly. I totally believed and understood Lily's thought process here. She didn't want to be with him for all the wrong reasons, but she didn't really want to be with him for all the right reasons either. She wants to be with him when the time feels right; she just let Violet get under her skin enough to think now WAS the right time. And as so often is the case, she didn't see the real truth of her actions until James confronted her on it. Oh, Lily. Always over-planning.
I thought James' anger was not only realistic, but justified. He was right to call her out on this, and to say they'd been through too much to rehash this old business. James has done all the right things to make Lily feel secure in their relationship, and he's right to be a bit miffed that she still isn't getting the message. I loved when he called her exhausting. She is, but so is every other teenage girl ever, so you really can't blame her. Everything at that age is just so damn complicated :P
Okay, I think that's it from me. Oh, except the line Usually they traveled in a pack. HAHAHAHA! She has no idea how right she is!! Gah, and I was going to talk about how much I like the way Violet views Lily (about her being a snob). It isn't true, of course, but it's so realistic in the way (a) people have these grossly incorrect opinions of others sometimes, and (b) how we convince ourselves certain things are true to support our own bad behavior. But I'm running out of room, so that will have to do!
Just a few typos if they fit. Great, great chapter, my dear. And a killer ending!
Hi Lily (Hi, Lily)
Lily gestured for the girl to sit down at the chair beside her (sit down in/on the chair)
If I run into any of the Gryffindors I'll remind them... (Gryffindors, I'll remind)
Remus was a bit of a know it all, but he was nice enough (know-it-all)
"Hey," James whispers, moving away from her and reaching up... (whispered)
What would Alice and Belle say if she'd have told them? (Not sure on this one, but maybe: What would Alice and Belle have said if she told them?)
"No, It's not that," she lied. (it's)
"What would happen if we didn't do this. (? not .)
Author's Response: Do you feel like you're cheating on my chapters with other chapters? :P Haha!
Abigail almost ended up being a loose sort of end for me, but I've figured out a way to sneak her into the next book. Mwaha. You know those times when you're going somewhere with something, then it doesn't happen, but you can find a different way to go about it by some miracle? That happened with her :P!
I don't think I gave any sort of Violet Alrek hints... I think for once I really was sneaky! Woot! I loved the idea of Violet's actions having consequences much more serious than she meant for them, and I think that's sort of how I ended up wanting to tie her into Alrek's plot. I'm so happy you weren't expecting it!
Yes, I love what you said about there being a big difference between wanting to steal someone's boyfriend and wanting to set them up for a murder. Violet, at least to me, isn't bad. She's just self absorbed and she has no loyalties to Lily. Why should she?
You know how 'derrr' I am when it comes to knowing what to cut out and where. Obviously it's too late for this novel, but you spotting these parts is such a huge help. It gives me an idea of the other sort of scenes that I don't necessary need, and that's what I need to really work on!
Isn't that the truth of everything at that age being so much more complicating? I'm so excited that you thought that whole scene worked. I don't think Lily realizes just how long James has waited for her to reciprocate his feelings, and he's not going to risk doing something a bit earlier than necessary and just taking a million steps backward. Then Lily... poor thing just needs to go take a bath, haha!
When I was writing Violet's section I couldn't help but think how, to someone who doesn't like Lily, annoying she really could be. Head girl, perfect grades and a solid group of friends. Of course we know how far from ideal her life is, but I think Violet definitely has enough to go on when working herself up into, 'I hate Lily,' fits :P.
I'm so excited you liked this chapter! Especially the James and Lily, or, well, almost :P. Because those still really make me nervous and knowing that I'm on the right track is such a huge relief.
AND thank you for the typos!!