Hey again, Beeezie! So sorry it's taken me so long to get to this second review! March has been a little hectic, and while it's not exactly slowed yet, I'm taking a break from the madness to review again! Yay! ^.^
This was another great chapter! Sort of simple, though not at all boring or slow or without purpose! Nothing wrong with simplicity! And in this case, it really gave us a more in depth look at your main pairing!
I really do love the relationship between Rose and Scorpius, and this chapter in particular really showcases the two as a couple and their dynamic with one another. We get to see a lot of sides to them here - the way they wheedle information out of one another, the forms of distraction they use to get away from something they don't want to admit to or talk about, the way they can go from annoyed to comforting to scared and helpless to... adult time happiness. hehehe There's just something so real about the two of them. It's great.
Rose is such a fun character to follow. I love when we get to see the sneakier side to her, because I think most people have that side to them, and so it's easy to relate to her when she uses Scorpius' mention of Van and the face he pulls to poke for information without having to bring up the fact that she'd been eavesdropping. She wanted him to know that she knew he was feeling insecure about Van, but she did it in a way that kept her out of trouble - it's very compelling to read her thoughts during that section - especially because she's still such a likeable character.
I loved seeing the broken down side of Scorpius, sad as it was. I imagine this is probably how a lot of people who work in medicine might feel because they know how easily people break and how often they don't recover. They start seeing the world for all the ways it can hurt the people they love and how, ultimately, there is only ever so much a person - even a professional Healer - can do to fight off permanent damage or death. Having so many people so close to Scorpius being off with their dangerous jobs must be really hard for him to handle all the time. But I bet he feels better after a nice cry; I know I always do! :-p Still, makes me want to snuggle him! Poor thing.
So I know I mentioned this in my last review, but I really do like the bit of trouble that Van's stirred up between Rose and Scorpius - it's just a fun additional level that adds a bit of tension to the story without feeling overbearing or overly-dramatic. I also love that Van is a character who's going to be around (unless he gets hurt or killed or something), and so Rose will continue working with him while Scorpius has to fight his insecurities. It'll be interesting to see how it continues to play out! I still have it in my head that it won't actually be a thing that comes between them, but hey, what do I know? ^.^
The pacing of this chapter is really great. You fit a lot of details through dialogue into this chapter, but still pause for more descriptive phrasing where it's needed, allowing the more emotional moments to have some reflective depth. It gives the chapter, as a whole, a really great flow - quickly paced in some sections, but slowed down in the moments that require a bit more feeling. Really good.
And just a few very minor things:
"Be... be careful tomorrow. You might not care much about your life, but I do." - I think this is the first time something was said about one of your characters that I didn't quite feel like I understood - like maybe I'm missing some information (possibly from the prequel). Of course, it's very possible that I just missed or forgot something mentioned earlier in this story, but I'll ask anyway: Is there a reason Scorpius doesn't think Rose values her life all that much? I've never gotten that feeling from her. I know she has a dangerous job and was a Gryffindor at school, but I don't think there's been anything that's made me question her self-preservation in a dangerous situation. Not that she wouldn't be the type of person to risk her life for someone else, but I think there's a difference between that and not valuing your life.
"It (The, not It) door suddenly opened wider, and Scorpius stumbled back into his cousin Johanna."
"But... Scorpius, look, our jobs our (are, not our) dangerous, but it's not like we're Hit Wizards."
Overall, I really liked this chapter! I'm really enjoying the story and like your characters more and more with each new chapter! They're all developing really well, as individuals and in relation to one another. And the hints of action and adventure and mystery to come still have me intrigued! I look forward to the next chapter!
Author's Response: Aw, no worries - my March has been hectic, too. I haven't forgotten your third chapter, though, and I'll head over to do the review soon. :)
I'm so glad you liked this chapter! Thank you so much for all your kind words.
I definitely agree about Scorpius - a huge part of what's fueling this is that at this point, he really is very aware of how easily it is to break human beings and how hard it can be to put them back together (metaphorically speaking), and he hasn't really been doing this long enough to get real perspective... because Rose is right, too - there are plenty of people in dangerous professions who live to retire in perfectly good health.
I can see how that line could come off a bit strange. It's not something that I think would really have been clarified if you've read Curiosity is not a Sin, though. Rose can definitely be a bit reckless sometimes and doesn't always think out what she's going to do, which is what Scorpius is talking about... but he's definitely taking that and making an assumption that isn't completely warranted.
Thank you so much for the review! :)