I never thought it was possible to cry more than the time Fred died, but then I read this chapter, and I honestly didn't know if I'd be able to stop crying. You portray the emotion, the emptiness, the reaction of Sirius so perfectly -- slightly too perfectly in fact -- and it makes such an emotional, moving and touching chapter. The bit that really got me was when Belle realized they would kill her, and the full malice and ruthlessness of Bellatrix. You made that realisation sink in so well, and I think the way you made Sirius' vision and hearing go was also very realistic because that often happens when you're in shock.
The last paragraph was so heart-wrenching I was literally paralysed - when she was in his lap, and the way his patronus kind of dies with her made me sob even harder. You also described the different stages of death incredibly effectively, from the shock, to the anger, to the disbelief, to the utter sadness. And all the way through Belle being tortured, I don't know if you did this deliberately, but all the four qualities of the Hogwarts houses were shown in her. At least she felt hope (the word 'fleeting' in front of it made it much more effective, but i don't know why, it just was) when she died, and not fear or anything. When the green light doused over her, I had to reread that quite a few times, because I was thinking "she can't be dead, it'll just be a jinx or something" and I love the way you left that quite unclear until later on when Sirius bursts in.
Another thing that made it moving, was the word "No!" in bold. That made it really stand out, and played it visually in your head. It was so Sirius, to shout it out in such cracked emotion, it sent shivers down my spine. The eerie repetition of it, also, really punched you in the stomach. I liked the way it was James that made sure he didn't crumple to the ground, like James was his last hope. It also makes me feel much worse for Sirius when James dies, and really brings out his Gryffindor side and willingness to keep going. On the other hand, it makes me happier when Sirius dies in the fifth book, because he at least has Belle, James and Lily to look forward too :)
Overall, truly a 'soul-splitting' chapter like in the story description at the start. Sometimes I wish you weren't such a good writer, so then it wouldn't be as moving. I've grown so attached to Belle, and she was definitely one of my favourite OC characters on the archives. Gah, I'm going to go sob in a corner now, this chapter is completely amazing.
Author's Response: Awww Sophie :( I didn't want you to cry :(.
Sirius's reaction was what made me most sad. It made everything feel too real, and I wanted to just stop writing it and delete it all and say, "everyone lived happily ever after," haha!
I almost ended this chapter after the dousing of green light, but it just felt too sad to let people hope she would be alive and her not be, if that makes sense. I wanted to get it all over with, to show it happened and to be done with it so I could pull my sad self back together, haha!
Awww haha i don't know if I should say thank you or I'm sorry to your awesome compliment about me being a good writer! I grew so attached to her as well, and it means so much to me that you have ♥ I wanted people to love her as much as I do, and the fact that you cared about her just humbles me beyond words. Thank you so, so much for your support, Sophie.
This chapter was a nightmare for me to write, and I'm so happy that even though it made you sad, you don't hate me.
Your awesome, detailed, thoughtful review really made my day, and I know I said it a thousand times but THANK YOU for your incredible attention on BTF! ♥