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Review #26, by Ardeith Chapter Eleven - Avrille

2nd April 2013:
I really loved this chapter, so I'm glad it wasn't there to read with the April Fools joke all over it. :-)

I liked this insight, I'm sure I would want the "evil" wives to like me, too:"Even though back then you’d despised the clique of rich, popular girls, most of the time you still secretly wished they’d let you sit with them at their table for meals."

I have to compliment your powers of description, too. I could just see Malfoy Manor and Narcissa. I loved the description of her robes. But beyond that, I loved how well she fit with the canon Narcissa. Even though Harry's take on her is pretty much negative (until the end), I can imagine that a fellow wife/mother would find her more sympathetic. I actually liked her here, especially her love of Draco.

Oh and points to me... I guessed Nan's problem before it was revealed! Oh dear, Avrille is not going to let this go easily, is she?

Author's Response: Oh man, the April Fool's stuff was so funny! But I was kind of horrified after I posted the chapter the night before (because I think the site runs on GMT so it was already the first) and read what everything had been turned into. I was thinking, "Oh no! What if someone reads this and doesn't know about the site's prank! They'll think I'm totally high or something!" So I pulled it and posted it the next night :D April Fool's is always so fun around here with the amount of people who think it's true.

I feel like Avrille would still have a lot of insecurities, even though she's matured a lot since she was younger. With her own troubles when she was in school combined with not really fitting in at Hogwarts anymore since she isn't a teacher, I think it would be realistic for her to want to at least impress Narcissa, especially when it was so important to keeping her family safe.

Narcissa really struck me as an interesting character after the Spinner's End chapter. For once we got to see that not every Death Eater is stereotypically evil like Bellatrix, which I appreciated. I loved Severus because he was so complex, and Narcissa is the same way. She also ended up in a difficult situation being married to a Death Eater, but having a child to protect probably meant she didn't feel as free to do the "right" thing. I do feel a little bad about having to paint Lucius as being such a scumbag, but we didn't get any hint that he actually cared about his family until the seventh book, and my own first story was already almost done by then. :/ Maybe I'll give him a change of heart down the road. Maybe.

Oh, good for you!! Super points! Poor little Nan. I like to think she joined Dumbledore's Army after that incident. Maybe she reconnected with Luna and they became super BFFs again :) I hope everyone isn't disappointed when Avrille doesn't blow up Umbridge or something. Unfortunately we know from canon that she stuck around the whole year. There really isn't much in the world that is more torturous than knowing there's injustice going on and being completely unable to stop it. At least we know the centaurs get Umbridge in the end! >:D

Thank you, thank you for the double reviews! I have the next chapter started, so hopefully it won't be longer than a couple weeks so get it up. The next few after that one should be faster since they're already mostly written from NaNoWriMo. Thanks again! ~Renny


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Review #27, by Ardeith Chapter Ten - Severus

2nd April 2013:
Yay -- there are two chapters of Sev/Avrille goodness to read! And I'm the first to review. :-)

I love your mastery of Severus' voice. The rant in the opening paragraph is just wonderful! I love how you explain everything through Severus' eyes. I know it's challenging because some of his actions don't seem to quite make sense in canon. You do a great job of resolving the fact that Severus is "good" with the fact that he still doesn't like Harry.

Sev did better than I expected, having to bring Char to such an important business meeting! Wonder what use Sev will get to make of Mrs. Selwyn's blood status.

And nice ending...I didn't expect that and it was a kind of chilling reminder of the risks Severus is taking.

Author's Response: Yay! I was hoping that might be exciting for one or two people :) I couldn't believe I was able to get the next one out that fast. Credit has to be given to my amazing husband who watched our toddler when I was on a roll and wanted to keep going.

Writing Severus is just so fun. It's like I'm able to voice the few frustrations I have with the series through him :) I mean, JKR is totally the most awesome of the awesome, but I really get sick of Harry sometimes and don't even get me started on Ron (though I always forget book Ron isn't nearly as dumb as movie Ron). Some of his actions are definitely weird once in a while in canon, so it's always interesting for me to try and get in his head and think of a good reason why he does stuff.

I wish I had magic to instantly appease my toddler sometimes. There's no way I could ever bring him to a real meeting like that. But then again, he's always better for his dad, so maybe with magic this scene *might* be realistic? :D Writing about kids is so nice. They always do what you want them to do.

Having a little leverage over another Death Eater can never hurt. Selwyn's turning out to be an interesting guy in his own right in my mind. I started out with him just being kind of a generic jerk to have someone give Severus a hard time, but now he's evolving into something slightly different. All I can say is, Severus is going to be very grateful for having the advantage over him later on in the year.

I'm glad you liked that ending. It just sort of came to me. I knew a while back this would be a chapter where he was getting life insurance, but I decided to end with that at the last minute. I think the risks Severus took was one of the scariest parts of the books, once you knew what was going on. Then in the end when it almost ended up being all for nothing... *SOB!* I don't even know what must have been going through his mind when he thought he was going to die without fulfilling his job to Dumbledore of passing all the information on to Harry. That whole book was just so sad :(

Thank you for the review! They're always just so so SO appreciated!! ~Renny


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Review #28, by ogmistress Chapter Nine - Avrille

14th March 2013:
Oh this was great. I was trying to figure what Avrille figured out before I read on so I read the passage a couple of times.but I couldn't get it. (cause i am not a mom yet maybe) That kind of scared me a little that situation but didn't detered me. =)
This was a lovely chapter...I might be saying this because I ran out of things to read today and this was very refreshing.
Also I had feeling when you mentioned the M on the envolope that the letter was from Mrs. Malfoy. Oh i can't wait to read what happens at tea time...if it happens.

Author's Response: I'm glad you liked it! Yeah, I think it's one of those things you don't really know about until you experience it yourself. After I had my baby, suddenly everyone said, "Oh yeah, that time of night is totally hell on earth. It's normal." It's hard to feel that way when you're in a postpartum hormone crash, so I'm glad Lavinia had Avrille to tell her she wasn't going insane. Um, even though they're all fictional. I totally know that ;) For the record, I think the first few days with a newborn is just as scary as being attacked by Death Eaters. The level of responsibility suddenly thrust on you is paralyzing.

Tea time will happen, I just need to wrap up the next Severus chappie first. Narcissa won't have a huge role in the story, but the small roll she's playing will be very important later because she's a mom too, just like in the books. I'm going to be taking the epilogue into very slight AU territory, but Narcissa will still have a pivotal role. Thanks so much for the review! I'll do my best to get the next chapter up before the end of the month! ~Renny


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Review #29, by Ardeith Chapter Nine - Avrille

13th March 2013:
Nice chapter. It is so obvious that you've had a baby! You've so perfectly captured new mothers/experienced mothers here. I remember when my daughter was a baby I would passionately wish for her to go to sleep then just as passionately wish for her to wake up because I missed her! Also, remember the first time I slept for 5 consecutive hours and I felt so good and thought "I can do this after all."

Anyway, I can't wait to read of Avrille's meeting with Narcissa Malfoy. It will be interesting to see how they like each other and how Avrille deals with her own opportunity to be a double agent.

This was a great insight into Sev's spying: "I was constantly in awe of the staggering amounts of information he must always be mentally sorting through spying for the Order, perpetually at risk of falling to pieces like the block buildings Char had just thrown once more to the floor." Though not precisely a missing moment, it's something I'm glad you are exploring here.

Author's Response: Thanks! I thought that might be one that the fellow moms would appreciate (and hopefully not bore/scare the ones who don't have kids). It's great to know that you're a mom, too :D I always have this weird picture in my mind that all my readers are 16 year old girls. Getting that first big chunk of sleep is amazing... then once they sleep through the night for good: heaven!! I don't think I could go back to the up every two hours thing again at the moment. I really felt so bad for Lavinia when I was writing this. I'm waiting for some of my close friends to have babies themselves so I can be "Avrille" for them.

I hope the Narcissa chapter comes out ok. I'm trying to really push to get these next couple chapters out of the way because I'm about to get to stuff I'm really excited about. Lots of danger and drama :) Not that the next chapters aren't important, but they're more ones that are setting the stage for things down the road.

Writing Severus is legitimately hard sometimes, for the reason in that quote you picked. I'm always having to check the books to figure out what he knew at what time, and who knew what about him. JKR's notes to herself must have been insane. But that's what makes him so interesting to write about, especially in the later books when his motivations seemed really dark to everyone in the series except Dumbledore, who was kind of dead. Thanks so much for the review! I've set a deadline for the end of the month for the next chapter. I need to really make progress or I'll be writing this for years to come. Thanks again! ~Renny


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Review #30, by ogmistress Chapter Eight - Severus

18th February 2013:
I have a cousin that will be turning 2 in April. I currently babysit her. I only have her a couple of hours a day and I get stressed out. *sigh*

Patiently waiting for the next chapter.

Author's Response: Yeah, two is a really stressful age but I think any age is stressful if it's your own kid 24/7. Thanks for understanding :)

Feelings pretty good at the moment, so I'm going to go try and write something! Thank you as always for your review and patience! ~Renny


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Review #31, by Ardeith Chapter Eight - Severus

29th January 2013:
Yay! You're back...and with such a great chapter! And I'm the first to review.

I love Severus' voice as always. Here is a favorite quote: "The sharp staccato of Minerva’s bony applause combined with a further thinning of her mouth belied she was currently feeling any pleasure beyond that experienced when having an eruptive skin boil removed. "

And your depiction of Umbridge is masterful and exactly right, down to the little details. I loved her pink pad of paper that she was hiding so no one could read her notes.

I loved the part about the prefects nominations again down to the little details -- Flitwick using Charms to hand over his names. :-) One thing I love about this story is how you write "missing moments" from canon.how you explain Snape's rationale for choosing Draco as prefect is perfectly logical, in character and a fit with canon.

You mention the forums and beta-ing... I have a question. I have tried to sign up for the forums, but it won't take my personal email address (gmail). I don't want to use a more official one. If there are other free services the forum takes, will you let me know? I could create a new email...

Author's Response: Here I am! I know. Finally. It's insane how long it took me to finish the last 10% of this chapter. Thank you for being so patient and obviously checking back once in a while to see if I'd updated.

I always find Severus easier to write than Avrille, which constantly amuses me since I feel it should be the other way around. He's just so deceptively passionate, whether towards his wife or about his work, that writing him is really enjoyable.

Umbridge on the other hand... *shudder* She won't be playing an enormous part in this story, but I definitely felt I needed to show how her presence at Hogwarts affects Severus (and Avrille by proxy) as negatively as it affected Harry in canon since both consider Hogwarts to be their home. I'm glad to hear her characterization is on track for the moment.

Missing moments are kind of a favorite of mine. With Severus in particular, I like to try to think of reasons to better explain some of his behavior in canon that never sat well with me. I never liked the idea that he let Draco buy his way onto the Quidditch team as well as not liking the idea of Draco being made a prefect simply because Snape felt some weird urge to "balance out" the fact the Gryffindor prefects were two of the trio (and two of his least favorite students).

I think I had a similar issue with The Dark Arts (the sister graphics forum) when trying to register with gmail too. If I remember correctly, I used my Facebook e-mail (that I never use) and that one worked, then changed it back to my gmail once I was registered. It seems they don't accept gmail for regeristering because of spam issues. Maybe if you have Facebook you can try that instead. If not, try some of the help links either here on HPFF or on the forums page and see if a staff-member can help you out. We can't give out personal info on the site or else I'd just give you my e-mail to help troubleshoot with you. But the staff here are all awesome and great about answering questions, no matter how small. If you ever have the urge to check out The Golden Snitches forum, unaffiliated with these sites but still with many awesome HPFF authors, I'm on there as well with the same screen name and pretty sure they take gmail. Good luck! Thanks so much again for the review! ~Renny


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Review #32, by angelicdemon1209 Chapter Seven - Avrille

12th November 2012:
Thank you so much!! For that honest view-point about Sirius. I honestly did not mean to be rude or so, when in the last chapter, my review mentioned how I wasn't happy about the way Severus spoke about Sirius. The truth is, I just love Sirius, and I feel the same about how very very very unfair life had been to him. I mean, actually.. I don't want to extend this any further. I love this chapter. And thank you for updating. And be assured, you would never lose out on me as a reader!

Author's Response: You're welcome! I specifically had you in mind when writing this chapter hoping this would smooth things over for you and any other Sirius fans who might have had a few feathers ruffled from the last one. One thing I love about JKR's characters is that they're all so complex that they can completely change depending on who's viewing them. We got a very positive version of Sirius from Harry's point of view, and obviously negative one that I wrote from Severus' POV, and Avrille's comes closest to my own feelings about him, somewhere in the middle. I didn't like him and honestly wasn't very sorry when he died, but I WAS sorry Harry missed out on having a new father figure. I also had to admit he wasn't a bad person, just someone who did some bad things.

The next chapter is almost done. NaNoWriMo has turned out to be harder to do than I thought it would, so I might just put my focus into wrapping that chapter up to post soon. Maybe the writing bug will bite later in the month :) Thanks so much for coming back and reviewing! ~Renny


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Review #33, by ogmistress Chapter Seven - Avrille

6th November 2012:
Ha finally, I have been trying to write these review for like hours now. The first time i tried the interent craped out on me.
Anyways what I wanted to say that I am still here and reading. This chapter was like a filler chapter for me, but an informative one that can be useful.

Author's Response: I HATE it when that happens when you're trying to review! I've lost really long ones before and it's so annoying. But thanks for not giving up on the reviews with your internet issues. I know how frustrating it can be to have to retype stuff. So I extra appreciate it :)

Funny in that I had the filler feeling in the back of my mind as I was writing. I did cut a big chunk out that really added nothing to the plot and was taking way too long to explain. So at least it's more streamlined than it would have been otherwise. There are a couple little things that might seem insignificant now but will play a larger part later. I also wanted to add a little bit of balance to Severus's extremely negative portrayal of Sirius in the last chapter. Avrille's feelings about him are more like mine are personally, though I do think the way he behaved as a teenager was unpardonable. Harry also had a very hard childhood, but he would never be cruel and a bully like Sirius was. Sirius won't be making much of appearance in the rest of the story, but I thought given how important he is in the "Order of the Phoenix" book he should at least get a nod of recognition here.

So thanks for sticking this one out even though there wasn't much action. Unfortunately not every chapter can be a thriller. As a mom, some days you really do feel accomplished just getting a little bit of cleaning done. I wanted Avrille to get out of the "house" alone at least once before Severus went back to school. :) The next chapter is really close to being done. The only reason I haven't finished it is because I'm trying to do NaNoWriMo at the same time with later chapters. Thanks so much again for the review! ~Renny


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Review #34, by Ardeith Chapter Seven - Avrille

25th October 2012:
So glad you are still working on this story! Sorry that it's taken me a while to review...

Nice chapter... I loved the cleaning scene, all the little details about the books really made it come alive. This is a great example:

"finally figuring out that the “great, noble sport of our ancestors” the author kept referring to was not Quidditch but Muggle-hunting."

Also loved your/Avrille's insight into the characters of Remus and Sirius. I hadn't really thought of it... but Remus' flaw is indeed a reluctance to make waves. (Maybe because it's my flaw too. There are already too many waves in my family! And maybe among Remus' friends, too!) Great, great insight into Sirius character and the impact of his lost years in Azkaban. Good for Avrille for recognizing it.

Hope you keep writing! Can't wait to see how she helps to keep the Order "better prepared than ever before to cast his influence off for good".

Author's Response: Thanks so much as always for the review and support, Ardeith :) I'm definitely still working on the story, though sometimes it's slow. I'm constantly worried that by the time I finally post a new chapter, anyone who was reading the story will have forgotten about it. So it really means a lot to me that you and a few other readers keep coming back and are SO incredibly patient and understanding!

I'll be the first to admit, I've never liked Sirius once I read about how much of a bully he was as a teenager. I don't think any sort of upbringing excuses that kind of behavior. But I did think it was important to balance out Severus's incredibly negative take on Sirius in the last chapter because both men did things in their past that were horrible. Sirius didn't "grow up" as much as Severus did (though canon-Severus did certainly still have his immature moments, especially around Harry) but the part of me that's studied psychology understands he had some very good reasons not to. So I'm glad that came across in this chapter.

Don't worry, I will absolutely keep writing. I was hoping to maybe get another Severus chapter out before NaNoWriMo starts, but I doubt that will happen :P So I'm going to spend the next month hopefully writing a big chunk of future chapters. I'm really looking forward to it. I did most of my work on this story last NaNo, so hoping for a big push.

Thank you again for the review :) Reading your thoughts always make my day! ~Renny


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Review #35, by Clover Chapter Seven - Avrille

13th October 2012:
I absolutely love this story!

Author's Response: Thank you! I'm so happy you like it :) I'm so sorry the updates have been slow, but I'm doing my best to put this story ahead of the couple others I'm working on. Thank you so much for taking a moment to leave me a review! ~Renny

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Review #36, by tangledconstellations Chapter Six - Severus

4th August 2012:
Hey again!

I've reached the end! :( Oh no! I'm going to be one of those really annoying reviewers and say UPDATE SOON UPDATE SOON! :P

You warned me about potential Sirius-slating in this chapter, and even though I am secretly a massive Sirius fan, I really really liked this chapter, and it was actually kind of fun and interesting to see him portrayed in such a bad light. I only ever really read him when it's pro-Sirius, so in terms of expanding my reading horizons - thank you! Your take on him is really refreshing actually. In the books he is kinda mopey and actually a little scary and out of control but they're character aspects I usually brush over and cover with, 'oh well he was in Azkaban', haha! But here you've drawn the attention on to the fact that he is as stubborn as he was when he was younger and he is hotheaded (not an attractive quality). Sure, I guess it is from Sev's point of view so it is a little biased, but at the same time it's very rarely that Sev gets a point of view like this and he is the one we all thought was bad and was actually good! In the books Harry like, idolises Sirius' every move in a really child-like way, but I felt as though this chapter was really rational and contrary to the usual Sirius interpretations. It was great!

As this is chapter six, you can really tell the initial rose-tinted introductions have worn away by now, and there are going to be all sorts of spanners in the works. You left me on the edge of my seat at the last chapter, feeling as though something really awful was going to happen. And, alas, you've done the same here! This was something I was worried about - the Order coming between Avrille and Severus. I hope they find a balance soon. Him not being able to tell what she's thinking, and her not wanting to tell him - heartbreak central! I kind of wished that at the end of this chapter Severus could have told her about the prophecy, about everything...but then I guess he is trying to protect her. But is he making it worse by not telling her? I don't know. Because then I think of Char and Avrille's responsibility, and SEV'S responsibility too...gah! It's so confusing and difficult. And that much, at least, you have shown so well. It will always be impossible for these characters to decide how to act and decide to speak when they should or shouldn't, because they are in such a unique and difficult position.

This chapter was ever so snazzy though because it felt so vibrant. I loved your introductions to all of the Order members - it'd be great to compare them to Harry's idyllic portrayal of them in the books! There is something quite liberating about viewing all of these scenes again but from an alternative viewpoint. Like, Harry, having his massive rant! I loved that part. In the books it is just so intense but here he's just a nuisance - which I guess he would have been when he was throwing his strops :P At this point, I think you have converted me to being a Sev-lover. I NEVER thought I would say it...but here I am! Haha! No, but in all seriousness there is a wisdom to Severus and like I said earlier, a responsibility (though this time to Harry and Dumbledore etc and not just his family) that he has got to uphold and maintain. He is a very strong character, very strong indeed. My respect for him just doubles with each chapter.

This was great, honestly :) your story is so absorbing and I am excited as to which direction you're going to lead it now. My heart has gone out to Avrille, Char and Sev and I want things to be okay for them, really truly! But yes, another fantastic chapter. Do let me know when you manage to update because I can't wait to read on :)

Laura :) xxx

Author's Response: Hi hi! Sorry for the couple day late reply again. It's been hit or miss with my toddler wanting to take a nap and it's totally impossible to sit down and write something coherent when he's awake, even a review reply. That's part of the reason I've written...oh...NOTHING of the next chapter yet :( But hopefully the bug will bite me again soon. It's nice to know there are nice people out there like you looking forward to more, but then once in a while like right now the pressure makes me kind of shut down and procrastinate. Works in progress are HARD!

So I'm really glad you didn't think I was overly critical of Sirius. I assume most people who read my stories are big Snape fans so might dislike Sirius like I do because of what a jerk he was to Snape in the books, but there are obviously also people who like both characters. I definitely don't like Sirius but also didn't want to bash him for no reason. He had lots of good qualities like being smart, determined, protective and stubborn when he thinks he's right. Oh...wait, much like Severus! Hence why I think they dislike each other so much in my mind. What you mentioned about giving Sirius a lot of leeway because of Azkaban is a very good point, and something I'm bringing up whenever I get around to writing the next chapter so Sirius is portrayed in a more balanced way. Of course Severus is going to only see the bad things because he doesn't think the excuse of having something bad happen to you is a good enough reason to act however you want. Severus probably views Sirius as being weak because he can't move past what he went through (which I think is a little harsh because, yes, Severus had a hard life but being tortured for 13 years is unimaginable.) Avrille's view of Sirius is tainted by her love for Severus and his built-in prejudices (a similar thing happened in the first story with regards to Harry) so she's going to have to learn from others that Sirius isn't all bad like he's been acting and how Severus sees him.

The Order is definitely going to cause some problems between them. It would be unrealistic to think everything would be ok with them in this book because they're both under an insane amount of pressure for different reasons. Severus is literally risking his life on to of dealing with regular school stuff and Avrille feels very trapped and useless since she's stuck at home with Char when in the past she was able to rush off and be a heroine.

I guess since I read the books in my 20's, I always viewed the characters slightly differently than people who started the books as children themselves. I ALWAYS thought Sirius was irresponsible and hotheaded while teenagers might have idolized him at first, like you said Harry did. I also always found Harry's outburst so annoying in this book even though I get it's because Voldemort's mood is affecting him. But it still felt nice to throw that little barb about his wizard angst in there.

So as I've said over and over, thank you so much for your reviews. They really helped me a ton. Hopefully I can shake this writer's block I have soon. It's not even like I don't know what to do... I guess I'm just really tired so it's hard to find the right words to describe the scenes in my head. Thanks again and I'll definitely be requesting whenever I'm able to post a new chapter!
~Renny


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Review #37, by tangledconstellations Chapter Five - Avrille

28th July 2012:
Hello again!

Sorry about the really long delay between reviews. :( I feel so bad about it! It's been almost 2 weeks since you requested! I've been so busy and sleepy recently - I think its the un-English hot weather! But here I am, hopefully with a solid review to put your worries about this chapter (and the next) to rest.

I really, really liked this chapter. I think probably so far it's one of my favourites. Sure, it was shorter than the others but it was a length that complimented the rest of the chapters. It was like a breather, or, (Ok, I'm about to quote Gandalf) "the deep breath before the plunge". I don't think it came across as stunted or forced or anything - because I know you've mentioned that you found this one difficult to write. I guess if I really looked into it, I could sense a hesitation with continuing with the heavy plot lines, probably because of the things you've indicated - that the material wasn't fresh in your mind. Don't dwell on that though! An ordinary reader wouldn't pick up on that (because you won't have told them that in 'critique focuses' (; hehe) and instead it just feels as though the dynamics of this story are just very, very well timed.

I've said before that you do a wonderful job of consolidating the relationship between Avrille and Severus, but here you exceeded that by a million percent. This wasn't clouded with actions scenes or a menacing plot to switch to; instead you've given us a hefty, enjoyable and tangible snapshot of them together instead of it being a passing phrase to set the atmosphere (which in the context of the other chapters wasn't bad either!). It was very, very comforting and inviting, and yet coupled with the sense of foreboding Avrille feels at the end it was exciting too. Especially as I haven't read the story that precedes this, I found the mention of bits and bobs that have gone on before really helpful and insightful, such as about Severus' family. (I really do need to read it!!) It colours the story so much more because this isn't stand alone and brand new, in a way - its something returned to and repolished and picked up. But I think that's one thing that is so effective in this story - the characters have a background and history from their trials that went before this. Especially in this chapter, you drawing on that, on events that went before this, you've managed to keep the flow going and have tied this chapter in really well.

Agh, you attention to detail again astounds me so much! I wish I could write like you! There are so many parts of this, even if it's something one of them mentions, that makes me think you've covered every possibility for the way they might act and talk, and decided on the best one and made it match the story. The way Sev and Avrille interact is just amazing. And I love the way you write Char. Do you have children of your own? I would be so bad at writing toddler scenes, but you make Char seem so small and fun and curious, just like he would be.

Okay, so right now, take all of those worries you have about this chapter being inconsistent and put them in your hand. Gather them up from floating around your brain and squeeze them into a ball. Are you doing it? Oi - no, actually do it!! I don't care if you look silly. Got it? Ok. Then - chuck the ball into the nearest bin.

This chapter was brilliant, Renny! Honestly :) it flows on from the next one just as perfectly as I knew it would even before I clicked "Chapter Five - Avrille".

:D Laura x

Author's Response: You really need to stop apologizing about the "delay" in between reviews :) I have no right to complain (not that I want to at all!) when you're doing me such a huge favor offering your time and advice. It sounds like you're really busy this summer, so I appreciate it even more.

So I normally don't indulge in annoying net-speak, but OMG Gandalf quote! :) It's been too long since I've read LotR. I should remedy that. I'm so so so glad this chapter came across just as how you thought it did, as a breath before the plunge. I'm sure you can guess just from knowing stuff from the OotP book that some tough things are in store for my characters, and I definitely wanted them to have at least one solid happy memory to look back on when things get difficult. This was pretty much their last chance to do whatever they want before Umbridge descends on the school. I feel like her arrival at Hogwarts is really the moment where stuff starts to get bad in canon. Voldemort coming back a few months earlier was horrible of course, but Umbridge's presence at Hogwarts removes that sense of security a lot of people in the story had. Like Harry, Severus and Avrille both view Hogwarts as their home, not just a place of employment, so it's going to be even more difficult for Severus in particular to not even have that to come back to after dealing with Voldemort.

Ugh, so glad as well this chapter didn't read as forced at all. I felt like I was banging my head off of things trying to write it. I knew exactly what I wanted, but finding the words was so hard. Probably cause like I said, I have an 18 month old little boy. He's amazing for source material but leaves me sort of unable to do anything except lie on the couch and watch tv once he's in bed. I don't think I would have been able to write babies or toddlers (or the way moms feel) accurately before having a baby myself. It's one reason I'm so glad I waited four years after finishing the last story to start this one. It worked out so coincidentally (random fact, the date used to calculate my due date ended up being Avrille's birthday and I was due on Severus's birthday! WEIRD!) If you ever want any insight into the toddler mind, let me know ;) I actually ended up not exaggerating too much when I wrote Char likes to climb bookcases *face palm*

As far as details, thank goodness for the internet. I've never been to England sadly, so I had no idea what the Hampshire coast would look like. Hopefully it will come across as realistic in the slight chance anyone from the area ever reads that :) I always really liked that property I thought up for Severus's family to have owned, so it was fun to expand it a bit.

Ok, doubts have been binned. Now I just need to get in a writing mood again. The chapter after this one got written in less than two weeks, so I got sort of paralyzed by how fast that was and haven't even started the next one. I feel like I can move forward now, even if it's slow and slightly torturous to me like this chapter :)

Thanks again so incredibly much, Laura. It helped me immensely to have an objective review of this chapter. I hope you like the next one (and aren't too offended if you're a Sirius fan). If you don't mind in the future, I'll keep putting in for a review when I get a chapter done. Your feedback has been invaluable! Truly! ~Renny


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Review #38, by tangledconstellations Chapter Four - Severus

24th July 2012:
Hello!

I haven't read much of this story in a while, so it's great to finally have some time to myself and read some more! I did worry at first that I'd feel a bit lost getting back into this story, but actually, saying that, it was great and so familiar to be reading this again. The alternating POV's in each chapter are as ever super effective and really colour this story all the more. Sev is just.awesome :) You said that this is one of the chapters that you wrote fairly soon after having a lot of the material at hand, and I could really tell, such as with the previous three, too. Everything is so thought out and I feel as though you just haven't missed anything. Little things like Dumbledore being kicked out of the Wizengamot...you've paid a lot of attention to this and it totally does pay off! I will most definitely look out for any changes (if there are any!) in the next two chapters, though.

Everything about this chapter just flows so well and I can't ever express how addictive this story is! It's so solid and so well written. Are you secretly a published writer?! Because if not, you should be. You manage to make everything sound so impressive and vivid, even if all that you are describing are puddles of mud or the summer weather! Genuinely, this does just astound me, and I don't care how silly I sound. In comparison to some maybe more artsy one shots or something, this may not be the most abstract, but the quality of writing and the imagery is just as bright and striking and amazing! And, after all of that, the way you always bring things back to Avrille and Char - it reinforces this homely feeling about this story and about Sev. This is a story that feels so real to me, and I'm sure other readers will agree because there you've managed to achieve this awesome balance between amazing creative writing and a solid, believable and continuing story. And gah, just Sev. Sev the family man. It's a side we have never had the chance to see and strangely it suits him. I think that's why I love this story so much! As well as one trillion other reasons...

Teehee, indeed I am British! There aren't any obvious slip ups with Britishisms, apart from near the end Avrille referring to the sofa/settee as the couch. But then, that's subjective I guess. Some British people might call the sofa the couch - and it is only a little thing anyway! Something I did grin at though - Dumbledore eating a crumpet. I don't know why this image amused me so - I guess because it's SO English ("crumpets and tea, ma'am?") and the word is just...quite funny sounding anyway hahaha! Maybe I'm a big kid, I don't know. But no, there was nothing here that actually needed correcting. Rather, you were actually educating me while reading this! Your use of vocab is just so impressive. There were words being used here that I didn't even know existed and they sounded as though they fitted just place perfectly! I've just made myself sound really dumb, haha, but oh well! It is always great to read a fic and be constantly impressed and to not have the narrative feel forced or repeated at all. Do you revise chapters before you post them? I have an awful habit of just writing and going 'ugh fine that'll do' and posting it :P I really shouldn't though. But yours - I get the impression you do really mould and care for your chapters, as I've mentioned in previous fics with the amount of incredible detail you have with your plot and characters. It is so inspiring!

The plot is progressing at such an awesome rate - I can sense that at some point Severus is going to get tied up in where his responsibilities lie. Already he's stepping in dangerous territory and has been for years, but now that Avrille's involved in the Order it makes Order business so much more HIS business, if that makes sense? I've always been interested to see how Voldemort really would talk to Sev and how equally he would consider him. I loved the part with the two of them - sure, Voldz does think that everyone is inferior to him but it was interesting to have him actually considering and listening to whatever Sev was saying. It was very believable. For all of his cunning and evil powerful ways, I guess Voldemort would have had paranoia as a weakness and would try to compensate that threefold with people like Sev feeding him information. There are so many new insights that this story has given me!

So, I'm going to sign off for the night and hopefully will be able to see to the next two very soon. For some reason (even though it's the summer holidays!!) my life has just exploded with busyness! I apologise for the wait for reviews though, :( but I can't wait to get on to the next ones, especially as you requested the most critique there. I didn't want to rush them while I'm feeling a little sleepy. I can't wait to get back to them though! If I leave Sev and Avrille alone for too long there'll probably be another baby on the way!!

:D Laura xxx

Author's Response: Hi Laura! Sorry it took me a couple days to respond. I've been kind of "meh" about being online the past few days, probably because I'm very "meh" about writing at the moment in general, but as always, I really appreciate your review!

Yeah, like I think I said, I wrote most of these first four chapters in two weeks (!!) at the start of NaNo last year. I think it helped to flow better since I did do it all at once, and that's why I feel a bit like I'm floundering right now writing new material.

Oh gosh, blushing over your compliments :) Funny how you mention the stuff about the weather and the mud puddles because I specifically remember writing those sections (and being a little stuck on them). I usually have to go back and insert some descriptive details here or there because I tend to get caught up in the flow of the action and dialogue.

"the way you always bring things back to Avrille and Char" --Thanks for noticing that! That really is the main backbone of this story. No matter what they go through in the war against Voldemort, I want it to always come back to this idea that home and family is the most important thing in the world

I *think* the couch thing is ok because Avrille is actually Canadian. I'm not 100% positive if a Canadian would say couch or sofa. I've never had a Canadian comment on her word choice, but even if they did I have a bit of leeway since I had her do all of her schooling around the Boston area (Salem Witches' Institute) which is conveniently the general area I'm from originally... so I'm covering my bases by saying maybe she picked up on some American slang as a teenager ;) But crumpet is definitely such a funny word!! They're really yummy, though. You can get them at some specialty stores here in the US. Good when grilled with honey! Thanks for specifically reading for the Britishisms! I have a beta, but she's American too, so she probably would miss the same things I would. When in doubt, I try to imagine Alan Rickman saying something. Granted he's not how I picture MY Severus in my head, being the more "canon" Severus to me, but it still helps.

Oh man, you are SO not dumb! I'm pretty sure I'm probably around 10 years older than you, so I've just had more time to read, read, read. I'm constantly always checking a thesaurus when I write as well because often times I know the gist of the word I want but can't recall what it is. And I will admit I am definitely an editing addict. I was really nervous posting these first four chapters when I did since I had never done a WIP before. You can imagine I edited the heck out of them, probably half because I was stalling.

I find the Voldemort/Severus interactions interesting as well, hence why I like to make excuses for them to talk alone together. I was always curious as to how Severus went from being the "he will be killed, of course" Death Eater from the graveyard to being virtually Voldemort's most trusted follower. Obviously killing Dumbledore had a lot to do with it, but he had to have been slowly working his way up to that point this whole time. I agree that Voldemort probably had paranoia being one of his greatest weaknesses, or maybe strengths since it did keep him in power for so long. I don't think he would have ever truly trusted anyone. More like he took a gamble, like "it's about 90% likely Severus is loyal to me," and it turns out he was wrong.

So once again, thanks so much for your time in reading and reviewing this!! Please don't rush or push yourself. I know all about crazy busy days. Hence why I just haven't felt like writing lately. At least the review challenges are making me stay active in HPFF and TGS cause I'm determined to do all of those suckers. Hmm, I wonder if you'll win feature reviewer! I went to nominate, but someone beat me to it ;) Good luck! You totally deserve it!
~Renny


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Review #39, by tangledconstellations Chapter Three - Avrille

12th July 2012:
Another perfect chapter ♥

I think I love Avrille 100x more than before, just because she is so gutsy and so real. She's not defined by Sev alone at all, but is so her own person, and you've just magnified this independent feeling you've placed around her in the previous two chapters. At the same time as saying that, the way they make up at the end here, and mirror each other in their dialogue - so lovely. It reinforces the way they're one at the same time. I also love the way you have covered so much in this chapter but it is all just so entirely legit, and not rushed or anything. Woohoo, as we are canon nerds, I adored the way you paid so much attention to the headquarters! I felt like I was reading all over again when Harry first sees it, but from a different angle. Thank you, thank you! I think my imagination is about to explode withe excitement! The transition from GoF to OOTP is seamless, by the way ;)

The way you slip in little bits about Char is awesome (like Dumbledore giving him the liquorice), and it makes him so much more involved and reminds me how integral he is to the story and every decision Avrille makes. I guess that's a really important aspect, as with Sev, like we saw in the last chapter. Molly too, totally coming into her element with the child was lovely. Like I said in the last review, you working with canon - it's just amazing! I totally laughed out loud at Sirius, just because it's so rare to see him lose his cool like that. The exchange of words between them was honestly SO funny, just like a comedy sketch or something. Nice work!

This chapter felt a little different to the others though, but not in a bad way. I sort of liked that Avrille was being a little deceptive, and that her boundaries with Sev were shaken. They are such a strong couple, but the fact that they did almost fall out is so important. There's no better way at showing a character's loyalties to one another than having them fear for another's life. It makes me wonder about what other trials they are going to face, and reminds me that this isn't a fluffly romance at all. In some respects, I felt Avrille was being foolish in joining the Order, but when it comes down to it, for the greater good it is better to support the good guys than stand around on the sidelines, especially when it is something as important as this. I really did sympathise with Sev though, and I found myself itching to hear what he thought about Avrille joining to Order from his point of view - which of course made me read on. I wonder whether you will touch upon that in the next chapter :) I saw what you said in your last author's response, about how you viewed the books in a more adult way. Again, I can really see that coming across here, such as your attention to Char, but also the way you handle their emotions. Life experience shapes things we write, and I can honestly feel that in this fic. Every emotion is so developed. I mean, it's not just like, fear, love, horror, funny - you've intermingled them all. Just like real life :)

I'm looking forward to the next chapter, to seeing what Sev is up to! Nice work though, lovely. This is a real winner of a story! And, omg, no way do you have to nominate me! You're so kind - I just like rambling on after reading chapters and hopefully making writers feel a little more inspired! :D

Laura x

Author's Response: Hi Laura! Sorry it took me a couple days to respond. It's a little harder to get online when I'm not at home with my own setup. Thanks for reviewing this one, too! I'd love to put in a request for the next three if it's cool with you, but I want to wait a few more days in case anyone else on TGS wants to jump into your open slots. I don't want to be a request hog :)

Squee! I'm so glad you like Avrille! I tried really hard to make her a strong, independent woman. I didn't want her to get all love-sick and passive once she and Severus got together. I also think she needed to be tough because it really is very hard to be a single mom to a baby/toddler while your husband's off working (believe me, I did four months of it, so I know!)

I get very canon obsessed when I write "real" places and events. You have no idea how many times I referenced my GoF book to get the timing just right for the third task scene (like "Would enough time have passed by now for Harry to have dueled Voldemort?" Stuff like that.) So I did the same thing with headquarters. I think I did a bit of a mixture with the movie set and how it was described in the books because if I remember correctly, a couple things like where the kitchen was seemed different once or twice in the book.

"it makes him so much more involved and reminds me how integral he is to the story and every decision Avrille makes."--Thank you so much for noticing and pointing that out! It's been kind of weird writing Avrille in this story because she has different levels of responsibility so I have to keep that in mind while writing. I can't just have her run off somewhere to do Order business whenever she feels like it since she needs to consider things like a babysitter for Char or how her actions could potentially put Severus in danger. It's been slightly limiting in a way, but strikes very close to home for me.

I'm going to throw modesty to the wind and say, yeah, that part with Sirius was hilarious. That was a scene I literally had in my head for YEARS, so I wanted to get the wording just right. Hopefully it also softens the blow when I'm a little harder on Sirius lately. I don't know if you're a raging Sirius fan, but I hope if you are you keep in mind whose point of view the story is in later, so you don't get too mad at me ;)

I felt I needed them to have a bit of conflict now, because in the first story things were very "new love" where they never had a fight, you know? But having a baby and being in a war's bound to add a little bit of stress, not to mention both Avrille and Severus are very stubborn people.

And you're GETTING a nomination, so deal with it! :D I'm kind of glad you're a rambler because as I'm sure you can tell with my own responses, I am too! Thank you so much for the review and insights! You're the best!! ~Renny


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Review #40, by angelicdemon1209 Chapter Six - Severus

12th July 2012:
Hey.. You already know that I really, really like your story.. But please stop making my Sirius look like a villain.. We know Sirius isn't that bad. Plus, he's not had an easy life and someone needs to understand that.. I feel so conflicted, because I love Severus and Avrille, but when one goes against Sirius, I can't help but defend. Honestly, nothing against your story. I just wanted to share how I felt...

Author's Response: Hi! Well, I felt like I needed to respond to this right away cause I can totally understand why you're upset if you love Sirius :D I figured I'd catch some flack from someone over this chapter! I was actually worried about the exact thing you said which is why I asked my beta to specifically check out whether or not I was TOO hard on Sirius here. She said she thought it was very in character for him, so I left it the way I wrote it.

So here's my reasoning: You have to remember whose point of view this chapter is. Do you think it would be believable for Severus to think, "Well, he's had a hard life so we should all be more understanding"? No way that's happening. In Severus's mind, HE had a hard life but got over it and is now fighting Voldemort while (it looks to him) like Sirius is sitting on his butt all day. Think if this chapter was from Sirius's POV. He'd see Severus as being pompous, gloating, and self-important, don't you think? It's really all a matter of perspective. Remember we had no inkling really that Snape in canon was anything but horrible until the last book because Harry was so prejudiced against him. This is the same sort of situation. Severus is never going to see anything but the worst in Sirius, and Avrille has no choice but to follow his lead since she barely knows Sirius herself.

I'll admit Sirius is one of my least favorite characters, but I'm willing to give him a lot of leeway for his actions after escaping from Azkaban because I can't even imagine how screwed up someone would be after being in there for a year, let alone 12. However, my main problem with him is how he acted as a teenager. I know he must have had a very hard time not having a loving mother or a supportive family, but that's no excuse to be cruel and a bully like he was. Harry also had a very hard childhood, bordering on abusive, but he was still loving and never picked on those weaker than him. So being a Snape fan, I'm always going to pick his side, know what I mean?

I will warn you that the next chapter is going to have a tiny bit more sort of anti-Sirius stuff in it. However, please understand this is also because Avrille's view of him is tainted by association with Severus. I don't know if you remember, but way in the beginning of the first story, her impressions of Harry were prejudiced before she even met him because of Severus's obvious dislike and Lockhart's lies about him. Later when she met Harry, she realized he's a very nice kid. Same sort of thing is going to happen here because Avrille just doesn't know Sirius well enough to find his good points. So there will be a little bit of Sirius acting like a jerk, but then Lupin is going to give him some defense and mediate, so don't worry! I normally wouldn't reveal plot stuff, but I didn't want you to think it was going to be all Sirius-bashing and stop reading. After this next chapter, Sirius isn't even going to show up anymore, so you don't have to worry about anything ;)

So I hope that helped you to see a bit why I wrote Sirius the way I did. I'm definitely planning on having him and Severus have a grudging sort of reconciliation before the Department of Mysteries battle. I don't want to paint Sirius as a total bad guy, because he wasn't. Yeah, he did some not very nice things, but there's no denying had Harry been able to live with him, he would have provided Harry with a loving, stable, supportive home. And no matter what Severus thought, Sirius WAS very brave and very loyal to the Order.

Thanks for your review! It's VERY important to me to get honest feedback, especially when there's something that bothers you or you don't like. I really hope you keep reading despite your inner conflicts ;) Thanks again! ~Renny


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Review #41, by tragicYETmagic Chapter Four - Severus

11th July 2012:
Another great chapter, I like how the story is going and how we are able to see more of Voldemort and his workings behind the scenes thanks to Severus' POV. You are a great writer.

Magic xxx

Author's Response: Thanks!! It was really cool being able to sort of find the little details here and there in canon to flesh out the Voldemort side of the "Order of the Phoenix" book. I'm so glad you're enjoying the story and thank you very much for your compliment! ~Renny

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Review #42, by tangledconstellations Chapter Two - Severus

11th July 2012:
You know, for all the apologies you give about your chapters being long, I really, really don't mind :) I almost didn't review this and wanted to skip straight on to the next chapter! I love this story so much already.

Having Severus' viewpoint here instead really changed the tone and made it much more real in a way. When I think of all the things that have happened in these past two chapters, from both perspectives, makes me so excited to read on and see what else is going to happen. Severus also refreshed my faith in their relationship, in a way assuring me that they do work well together. The last part of this chapter was especially intimate and really loving, because it wasn't just lust or anything - it was perfect to see that Avrille is safety for Sev, because he needs it.

In terms of canon, reading this has made me love Sev so much more than I ever have done in the books. By the end of DH I got that he was the good guy and that he'd done something amazing in being a 'double agent' but I didn't really dwell on it, but reading this really brought it home, just like reading about Cedric in the previous chapter. When I think about the times he would have to have mentally prepared himself over and over again and submit himself to the torture and jeers of the Death Eaters I have so much respect for him, and I know I wouldn't have really thought about him like this if it was not for this. You've made him so strong here, and I honestly believe that he was, because at the end of it he is just a man, not a super human baddie/goodguy. It's like you've taken the Harry Potter books, and shaken the childish naivety out of them and turned them into an adult series all of a sudden. I just love this, I really do.

For the one-thousandth time, your writing has blown me away, because you tell the story in such an effortless way. As I said a moment ago, I just wanted to keep reading on and on, because I am so absorbed by this! I especially loved the way you wrote Voldemort; I didn't even bat an eyelid at anything he was saying because it was all so canon and I really believed it was coming from him. Often some things are a little 'off' with canon characters but no way with this fic, and you've done such a super job at making the baddest of the bad guys so darn believable.

One last thing before I dive into the next chapter - I have so much respect for you in terms of sheer Harry Potter knowhow! Little things really stood out for me in this, like the way you used to correct name for the Strengthening Solution, and the way Sev was concerned he looked like an 'Inferius', and the way I kinda almost felt as though you'd memorised the floor plan for the Riddle's house ;D I know it's silly really, but the way you know and remember and include all these little details from the books makes this feel as though it is just a continuation from JK and makes this fic so enchanting :) You've done a really, really, super duper good job.

See you in the next review!

Laura xxx

Author's Response: Well, I'm really really glad you don't mind the length because it was really against my gut instinct to cut them up to shorten them. :)

I really enjoy writing Severus. Like I said in my previous reply, I'm much more into canon events than making up a lot of my own, so I really enjoy filling in all of the missing moments for him. There are a lot, too! Especially with all the spy stuff since obviously Harry wouldn't know what was going on. One of the main parts of the books that always stuck a chord deep within me was when Dumbledore asks Severus when they're in the hospital wing at the end of GoF (and I'm paraphrasing here): "You know what I must ask of you. If you're ready, if you're prepared..." and then Severus answers "I am," instantly without even batting an eye. Even before we knew for sure he was good, his bravery always impressed me so much. That part means even more to me now when I think about that in reference to my own story.

Anyway, trying to not ramble too much. I'm glad the love scene at the end was ok. I'm definitely NOT a person who just throws them in left and right to make it "mature" or anything. There's only one scene in the first book, and it was only there because it was very integral to the plot. What you said about Avrille being his safety is exactly what I wanted that to be about.

It's probably because I didn't start the Harry Potter books until I was in college, but I've always been way more interested in the grown-ups in the series (hence why I will never write a story about Harry or the other kids). Going through some big life changes myself like having a baby brought a new dimension to the canon events and really helped me to appreciate how scary and dangerous the books are when you get past all the silly jelly beans and everyone wearing cloaks. Even the first book has some scary, effed up stuff in it if you think about it logically.

Wow, I'm so happy to hear Voldemort came off as believable. He was one of those characters I wasn't sure about writing. I kind of wanted to keep Ralph Fiennes in my head, but then I would get this more book-description Voldemort pushing his way into my thoughts, like the high cold voice and red eyes. It was weird cause I love Fiennes so much (even his awkward Voldy hugs).

Yes, I'm a huge insane Harry Potter geek. Granted some things I probably looked up on the Lexicon (which I hate to use cause of the lawsuit but sometimes it's a necessity when you're stuck on a fact). I really do work very hard to make everything exactly like the books like capitalization (though I realized there were some I missed, like Wizarding should be capitalized so you have no idea how much that's bugging me!) and dialect with Fleur and Hagrid. I'm actually re-reading OotP right now and smacked my head when I read the Strengthening Solution is supposed to be turquoise. I decided to keep it read on the assumption Severus improved the "official" potion and made it better for his own use ;) So since I'm crazy about canon details, I really appreciate it so much that my "work" shows :)

Thank you a billion kajillion times again for your reviews! They're really just the best (and I know "someone" who will be getting a featured reviewer nomination from me this month for sure!!)
~Renny


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Review #43, by tragicYETmagic Chapter Two - Severus

11th July 2012:
I love this story. I have always wanted to know what it was like for Severus to have Voldemort back and having his POV and Avrille's is perfect. I'm absolutely in love with this story and your writing. Your descriptions are so detailed I can imagine the story in my head while reading. Perfect.

Author's Response: Thank you so much! Yeah, I always had a hard time feeling like the first story was over since I couldn't stop thinking about how things would be with Voldemort back as well, especially when they would have a child together (um, Severus and Avrille. Not Severus and Voldemort. I don't think Voldemort would be very good about child support). I finally decided to just WRITE IT and have fun :) Thanks so much for your compliments, and I'm so glad you're liking the story! ~Renny

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Review #44, by tangledconstellations Chapter One - Avrille

10th July 2012:
Renny!

Okay, so I thought I should just let you know. When approaching this review, I made notes. ACTUAL notes. This really was a chunky first chapter! :D Saying that though, it was incredible, really truly honestly. This part of GoF is one of my favourites, because it is so intense and magical and heartbreaking. I love reading perspectives aside from Harry, too, just because it heightens the moments all the more and just..GAH! This was just so epic!

Okay, first up on the agenda for this review: I have written in a little notebook page entitled 'Renny - N.E.M. ch1': "'Hi' - lol! - colloq. - foresh. gah! good summ.". I understand if you cannot make heads nor tails of this, because it took me a moment to understand my ridiculous short hand too hahah! But basically, I scribbled these bits almost instantaneously with reading about the first three paragraphs of this, because I was swept away with the effectiveness of your writing and I didn't want to forget all these points I wanted to make! I LOVE that you started with dialogue, because it was so funny, bringing us closer to your character, and combined with your really colloquial and hilarious, casual "Hi." I know that Avrille is going to be an awesome narrator, and that there are going to be relaxing touches of humour later on, too :) It just adds to the whole cosy, mumsy feeling of the first section of this chapter, what with Char being freakin' adorable too.

You mentioned when posting the review request that you were concerned about your prequel fic, and whether or not you'd brought the readers up to speed. Well, you have! I assure you I haven't read your previous fic (though I probably will do now!) but I feel confident with my knowledge from what you've given me here to kinda grasp the characters and their circumstances a little better. Do be pleased with your summary, because it is effective, and somehow not overbearing, either, which is always good. At first, I couldn't quite get over Severus married with a child - it just felt a bit funny to me, but no, by the end of this chapter you'd eased me into the idea, mainly because of the fact that he is really quite canon too :)

Your actual writing style is so strong and so descriptive. This fic kinda reminds me of Mary's 'Unwritten', and honestly, you should see the amount of fangirling I do over that fic. You set up the scene so effectively - less is more! - which really adds to the 'actiony' feel of this fic. Yet, although you have done this there are some really beautiful descriptions scattered in there too, which make this chapter magical. I love this; "The first stars were just twinkling to life in the magenta-splashed violet sky above." It's so simple but SO gorgeous! With all of these elements combined, I was honestly so absorbed in this first chapter. My sister came in to ask me something - I waved her away without even lifting my eyes from the screen!

As I said before, I really like it when fics are set in surroundings and situations we know. I didn't really know what to expect from your request (but that's the fun with having a thread!) and was so excited when I realised when and where it was set. At first I thought it was another Triwizard Tournament, like, post-Hogwarts, because I didn't know if your previous fic was totally AU or anything, and was like, hmm, well this will be interesting, but as soon as I read the name 'Ludo Bagman' I swear my heart danced, and I was just like, NO WAY NO WAY IS THIS GoF!! From that moment on, I was won over by this fic :D It makes it so much more magical and so much more intense to set this somewhere we know. Truth be told, I adored this so much because I kinda felt like a Hogwarts student watching this all unfold from the stands ^.^

As well, you have captured the canon characters SO (note: 'so' is underlined twice in my notes) well! The Beauxbatons students, the Durmstrang students, even the teachers we already know. They all worked in total accordance with one another, in exactly the way I knew that they would have had JK included them in this part of the GoF. I don't really know how to explain it, but I just, I don't know. Honestly. The canon characters were just rad. Somehow you've impressed the way they are upon me so well and I can't even pick out why that is - I am so, so, SO impressed! It made this chapter just that little bit more awesome!

So, as the Hogwarts student waiting in the stands that I am, the intensity of the maze was so incredible. I went cold when I read that Fleurs scream was heard, and the first star had been shot up, and when Fleur was brought out - AH. It suddenly all turned snappy and instinctive, and I wanted Avrille to just be able to see and know what was happening because I really needed to know too!! The atmosphere was amazing and I was completely and utterly captured by it. And, God, when Harry and Cedric come out :( It was like the final release of pressure, and my heart broke all over again like it did in the books. My only constructive criticism to you in this first chapter would be to make his death more striking and, I don't know, in a weird way more sad. I just think, you've fantastically built up this incredible tense mood and he's there, they're both there, something awful has happened, and it would just be so traumatic to witness. It's so macabre with the band playing, too. I only really thought of this because of the Slytherin Prefect's response and attitude wasn't as I expected, I don't know why, and in a way she is telling of the rest of the students. Maybe I'm just sinister and weird, haha - MAKE ME CRY. Bahaha :P But in a way I needed to feel as though time had stood still and through the confusion there was realisation of the horror, too.

Eep, oh man I'm so sorry, only 218 characters left! The last part, in brief: Sev and Avrille are perfect and like magnets, and I love that I can feel their relationship and love. Gah, 28!! So much more awesome left to come!

Laura xxx

Author's Response: Ok, I think the lost reply went something like this: WOW! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR REALLY LONG, WONDERFUL REVIEW! I appreciate you taking a look at this chapter even though it's so long.:D I wrote the preceding story like this one alternating Avrille's and Severus's first person POVs, so I couldn't end this one before I was done with all the stuff Avrille had to say. I felt like all of this needed to be from her POV since we know Severus's side from GOF, and I try to steer clear of retelling events from the books since JKR already did that so masterfully :)

I'm so glad you liked the beginning of this story because I always feel very guilty requesting reviews instead of just receiving them spontaneously. However, since this was my first attempt at posting a WIP instead of a completed novel, I really appreciate feedback, *especially* from lovely readers like you who are knew to my writing so coming at it with a fresh set of eyes. So really, thank you!

I'm really glad you like Avrille! I think anyone who has an OC main character, especially one paired with a canon character, is nervous about how readers will take to her.

Good to hear the summary was adequate, and also that you were able to get over Severus being married. That would be pretty jarring without having the lead up of the first story. I think it would help if I explained my version of Severus had more of a big brother/little sister relationship with Lily before they fell out over her relationship with James since I wrote most of the first story before DH came out. I could never imagine canon Severus EVER being with anyone except Lily (hence why "Unwritten" is so AWESOME! Right?! Right?!?! I'm really honored to call Mary one of my closest HP buddies online, so to have my story compared to hers is really amazing!) The only other difference with "my" Severus (besides mine has amazing hygiene since I say so) is that his father was a wizard. Having him be able to do magic was really important to the plot of the first book, and having made most of THAT plot before HBP came out, Severus just had a different childhood in general, coming from a more wealthy, pureblood background, though his father lost all the money to alcoholism.

Alright, pressing on. I like surprising people with the time period, because I really don't think there are a ton of actual Hogwarts-era fics out there. I guess I am the same as you where I love reading a different take on events we already know. I can see the appeal of Next-Gen to people since you can do whatever you want, but personally if I'm doing that, I'd rather write original fiction. I fell in love with HP because of the Hogwarts years, and I like to stick to them. It also makes it a bit harder, I think, to fit an OC in. It's like a big puzzle and really cool! It's funny you mentioned AU since I used to have an AU tag on the first story because of Severus's past, but removed it since it's really alternate Severus, not alternate UNIVERSE, you know? And I worked way too hard to make the first story flawless with (pre-HBP) CoS canon to feel right calling it AU. This one might get an AU for events at the very end, but we'll see when I get there.

I want to throw out an extra HUGE thank you for the CC you mentioned about Cedric! You have no clue how helpful that is. That's something no one has picked up on before, and what you said makes so much sense. I think I was so focused on Avrille's worry about Severus that I totally neglected how emotionally devastated she would be by Cedric's death. I think she probably would have known Cedric a little bit from her own brief time teaching and then later helping the kids out unofficially with homework and studying when she was pregnant and stuck in the castle with Sirius "on the loose." So once I'm home, I'll definitely take a fresh look at that part and see what I can come up with.

Thanks a million times over for this review. It helped me so much! ~Renny


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Review #45, by ogmistress Chapter Six - Severus

10th July 2012:
yay! New chapter. Makes me wonder if have to put added pressure on you all the time. lol

I wanted to say i like that you put in the part of Harry yelling. It made me think back to the book and think "oh yeah". Personally I didn't like book 5 a whole bunch cause I felt the Harry was always angry.

Author's Response: Yay! Haha, yeah, the pressure certainly helped ;) I'll be away for 9 days so no writing getting done while I "relax" (because you can never relax when away from home with a toddler. Not. Going. To. Happen.) but I'll get to work as soon as I'm back!

Yes, Angry Harry made ME angry. I understand a lot of it was because he was actually sort of channeling Voldemort's anger the whole time, but it still really got on my nerves. That's the book where I stopped liking Harry. I just had to throw a dig at Harry's angst there, totally as a tribute to the Potter Puppet Pals' skit "Wizard Angst." Poor Severus, always having to deal with those insufferable teenagers. Thanks so much for the review! Keep the pressure coming. It's good for me, like asparagus and stomach crunches. ~Renny


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Review #46, by Ardeith Chapter Six - Severus

10th July 2012:
I think I'm the first to review! I love your Severus chapters and his wonderful snarky voice. Here were some of my favorite parts...

Severus on toddler stuff ("an assortment of snacks for him to choose from (even though he had just eaten, and it was somewhat likely Lavinia and Henry kept food in their house), and his “Conjure-A-Nursery” expandable cot that he had never actually once slept in.")

and Severus on "Black" ("The less time I had to stew in the seeping discontent of Black, who had not even bothered to glace our way yet, the better." was just one of my favorites.)

I wonder what is on Avrille's mind though? Guess we will find out next chapter.

Author's Response: You are! I think people were thrown by the fact that I actually got this one written so quickly ;) The next one won't be quite so speedy since I'm away visiting family for 9 days and didn't want to force myself to write, but I'll be back on it as soon as I'm home.

Severus on toddler stuff was great. I kind of thought what my own husband must think when I pack for us to all go somewhere since my kid is Char's age here. He doesn't see the point of bringing a diaper bag when he's going food shopping up the street, but I constantly think, "What if you break down? What if the store loses power and you're locked inside?!" Stuff like that. So yeah, Avrille's a bit over the top, but you really can't blame her with all the crazy stuff going on in the world. Sometimes the snacks you pack for your baby are the only things you can control.

I loved FINALLY being able to write Severus's thoughts on Sirius. We got enough of Sirius's stupid immaturity in the books, so I thoroughly enjoyed showing that character from someone else's perspective besides Harry who worshipped him.

You'll definitely find out what's up with Avrille next chapter. Nothing earth-shattering, but it's all leading up to something coming later on down the road. Thanks so much for the review! I always look forward to yours :) ~Renny


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Review #47, by Ardeith Chapter Five - Avrille

26th June 2012:
What a lovely chapter -- I enjoyed your description of Severus and Avrille's day off. You are so good at describing places that I could visualize the beach and the light house.

Also it is so obvious you have a toddler yourself because your depiction of Char and the pleasures and hassles of parenthood are so spot on!

Author's Response: Hi Ardeith! I'm glad you liked the descriptions in this chapter. I'm always constantly paranoid that I'm not doing enough and just summarizing a bunch of actions, especially since it took a while to get to actual dialogue in this one. Sometimes I see scenes so clearly in my own head that I wonder if I'm just assuming readers can see the same thing as me.

Hoo boy, my toddler has been giving me some GOOD Char inspiration lately. Being a mom is weird in that it gives me lots of experiences to translate into story details, but also gives me no time to write them. And Avrille thinking about her Occlumency exercises is pretty much exactly how I feel about writing. This reply is pretty much the only thing I'm going to write tonight since I'm in brain-dead land. Thanks so much for the review! I promise the next chapter will be done much sooner. It's already half-way there, and I have a much better idea of where I'm going with it than I did this one. ~Renny


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Review #48, by ogmistress Chapter Five - Avrille

22nd June 2012:
*waiting impatiently for the next chapter*

Author's Response: Ack, way to lay on the pressure, ogmistress! And I was so proud of getting *this* one done! Haha, I'm just kidding. The next one should be done WAY sooner. It's already working up really quickly since I have a much better layout already in mind than I did with this one, which I pretty much was winging almost the entire time. Sorry also this reply is a few days late. I read the review right away, but spaced for some reason and forgot to reply. I'm pretty obsessive with replying right away because I'm always so grateful when readers take time to review. So thanks!! Crossing my fingers that the next one should be up in no longer than two weeks or so, depending on how much time my Char-inspiration toddler gives me alone to write. ~Renny

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Review #49, by bellatricks Chapter Two - Severus

20th June 2012:
love avril so far but sirius casting a sedating charm on her was a little invasive. Why does sirius keep calling dumbledore 'professor' when he's not sirius's teacher anymore?

great chapter!

Author's Response: Yeah, I agree that the sedating charm is kind of a grey area. Under normal circumstances Severus would NEVER do something like that, but this was a very post-traumatic situation for him, so he did what he felt he had to to get through it. He needed a few moments to recover and he knew it would hurt Avrille far more to see him so messed up like that (not to mention making her anxiety even worse in the future when he had to report back into Voldemort). So I had him go with the charm, even though it is, like you pointed out, kind of invasive.

I'm very interested that you noticed I have Severus call Dumbledore "Professor" all the time! No one's ever pointed that out. I did it on purpose as a sign of respect to Dumbledore because in my stories, I have Severus consider him almost like a combo father-figure plus mentor. When Severus is talking to Voldemort, he drops the "Professor" to make it seem like he doesn't respect him. Thanks for reading so carefully to notice that, and also for another review! They are SO appreciated! ~Renny


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Review #50, by bellatricks Chapter One - Avrille

20th June 2012:
I love sirius stories!! consider me hooked.

Author's Response: Cool! I'm guessing you meant Severus because if you're an actual Sirius fan, you're going to be disappointed since he's not going to be shown in a good light in this story, being one of my least favorite characters. Thank you for taking time to review! ~Renny

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