Reading Reviews for In The Black
  
634 Reviews Found

Review #26, by Courtney Dark The Malleable Future

6th August 2013:
Okay, first of all, it just struck me how right your description of Severus's character in your author's note really is! And that definitely showed in his point of view - which was super, super interesting to read. I can't believe he thinks Beth is coming around to his 'ways'! How could he possibly think that? Oh, Sev:(

Speaking of Sev, his friends are really horrible (which I know I've said before, but I feel the need to mention it again because it was so prominent in this chapter!) My favourite (wow, am I supposed to have a favourite?) would have top be Mulciber because he seems the, erm, nicest? Well, not nice but you know what I mean. Probably. Or maybe you don't, I never make much sense.

MY POINT IS that Severus's life is now starting to get quite dark with a whole lot of AGGHHNESS and GRNESS! And I love it!

Oh, and I'm glad Beth has decided not to write back to her parents and make her own decision. She is a grown woman, really, after all!

On to the next chapter!
Courtney:)

Author's Response: Severus is, unfortunately, a bit self-minded... which certainly comes back to bite him at times, notably in thinking that he's converting Beth's thinking in blood supremacy issues. I think it's a very necessary part of writing him, because he was DEFINITELY selfish, but it certainly isn't a very nice part.

His life's going to get even darker, though -- that I can promise you! I know you've pretty much reached the beginning of that in ITR already, but that's something that'll continue to be proven true time and again.

Beth's a strong, independent woman who don't need no parents! Except it would probably really nice if hers seemed to care about her well-being, instead of their own... but, as you'll see in future chapters of ITR and BE, that definitely isn't the case. :( But I'm proud of her for sticking up to them when they do her wrong!

Thank you for your review!!


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Review #27, by Courtney Dark Quidditch Again

5th August 2013:
Oooh, another good chapter!

Quidditch matches can be very difficult to write - and even more difficult to write interestingly, but I think you did a really good job! I loved how there was still all this tension between the Slytherins and Gryffindors, James and Wilkes, even while they were in the air! It definitely made it a lot more interesting and exciting to read. And James's injury was nasty!

Oh, and I really don't like Wilkes - he seems pretty foul, to be honest! Tut tut, Severus, you need better friends! Oh, and the Slytherin Quidditch team doesn't tend to go for very smart players - they're definitely size rather than brains sort of people.

Courtney:)

Author's Response: Quidditch is much more difficult to write now than it used to be, I think -- mostly because I've done it so many times at this point that it does all feel the same. I don't know how J.K. Rowling did it! But I'm glad you liked it! It does make me feel like I did something right. :) Switching between the players and the spectators did help, and of course there was all the blood purist drama to build on.

Wilkes is actually my favorite of Snape's friends, solely because he's a foul little git with a horrible habit of spitting when he talks. :D His characterization was one I liked so much, actually, that I carried it over into my AU James/Lily murder mystery! Severus totally needs better friends, you're absolutely right. Like a certain peregrine falcon we know...

Thank you (again) for reviewing! Tired of hearing me say it yet? No? Good. ♥


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Review #28, by Courtney Dark One Morning

5th August 2013:
OMG! OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!

I JUST CAN'T EVEN...GAH! THIS WAS JUST SO PERFECT! HOLY GUACAMOLE THIS WAS GOOD! I CAN'T...

Breath Courtney, breathe.

BREATHING IS HARD!

Is is weird that I am so, so excited about a Beth and Severus holding hands - not even kissing, just holding hands?

NO IT'S NOT BECAUSE THEY ARE PERFECT FOR EACH OTHER! I AM SO EXCITED RIGHT NOW!

I am not going to be able to write a coherent review right now, so I'm just going to move onto the next chapter. I am literally shaking from excitement - I can barely type right now!

Courtney:)

PS: That bit about apples really got me thinking, man! Next time I see someone eating an apple, I am going to be studying them hardcore!

Author's Response: Breathe, Courtney, breathe! ♥ Except not really, because I am all for anyone being breathless due to a fictional character. Lord knows it's happened to me enough in my (relatively short, in comparison) life. And YES, it's okay to be excited about Beth and Sev holding hands! Can you imagine how anxious I got, sitting on this chapter for a few months, with other people not knowing what was coming? Can you imagine how I feel now?! Oh, my friend, you have things in store for you...

I need either less sugar or less caffeine. I'm feeling jittery and excited. I'm mostly just really pumped at how hard you're shipping Beth and Severus right now, just because I ALWAYS get excited when other people ship my characters with other characters! That's like... top-tier status. I'm thrilled!

Fun fact: The beginning of this chapter came from another writing friend who, after listening to me complain about not knowing how to start it, told me to write about Beth watching someone eat an apple. The end.

I AM SO WEIRD. But thank you for reviewing me anyway! ♥


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Review #29, by Courtney Dark A Plan and a Patronus

5th August 2013:
Severus's point of view! I was extremely excited when I started reading this, as his point of view is extremely different from everyone else's and I find it super interesting finding out what is going on in his head.

It was a huge contrast, going from Beth's point of view last chapter, who was talking about making a difference by joining the Order of the Phoenix. And in this chapter, Severus is hoping to make a different, too - but by joining the Death Eater's *shudders* If anything, this chapter definitely showed me that Severus is a lot darker than Beth's perspective paints him to be - and I kinda like that, just because it's so fascinating.

Aw, James and Lily:) I'm really glad James has started opening up to Lily a bit more now - after all, he is planning on proposing to her! And I liked the fact that we got to see some of Lily's magical skill in this chapter.

Moving on to the next one!
Courtney:)

Author's Response: Sarah once commented (actually, more than once) saying that there's a marked difference between the way Severus and Beth's chapters read, and I just think that's the neatest thing I never intended. :D He's VERY different from Beth, of course, but opposites do attract, as the saying goes. It's weird, too, in this book, because they're both on different tracks to different ends, and yet they're strangely similar. Even their reasons, minus the specific details, are similar: The betterment of the wizarding world. But the path Severus is on is, yes, much darker than Beth's, though that has its share of darkness as well.

We'll just call it even and say that things are going to get darker, period. Agreed? Agreed.

I always did wonder how Lily would have reacted to the news that her boyfriend/fiancé/husband could turn into a stag at will... so, well, that's where that scene came from. ;) Ah, back when things were nice and light. I feel like I'm looking through a photo album of life before everything went wrong. Does that make you feel good about what's coming in the story?

Wow. The more reviews I respond to, the weirder I get. Duly noted. Thank you for reviewing all the same! ♥


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Review #30, by Courtney Dark The Order Assignments

5th August 2013:
Wow, there was so much new information is this chapter! I certainly enjoyed it a lot.

I loved reading the Order of the Phoenix meeting section of this chapter - although I have to wonder why McGonagall is so disapproving about these students joining the order. Is she just worried for their safety? Or is there another reason? Or am I just over thinking things? Hmm...

Omg! I think I might, yet again, be over thinking things (I'm like Beth!) but the moment I read that James, Lily and Peter would be doing an assignment together I was like NO! PETER IS GOING TO BETRAY LILY AND JAMES IN THE NEAR FUTURE! DOES IT START WITH THIS MISSION? OR IS JUST A COINCIDENCE? So it is safe to say that I am now very concerned for Lily and James's safety.

I think it makes absolutely sense for Sirius and Beth to be the ones working with the Aurors - they both have very strong, fiery personalities and extremely strong beliefs - they know what they stand for, having come from pure-blood mania-ish families. And Beth's little conversation with Dumbledore was sweet:)

James is going to propose to Lily alread!!?? Oh my goodness, they both seem so young! I could not imagine getting married at eighteen. I hope the proposal goes well!

Great chapter!
Courtney:)

Author's Response: I'm always worried about chapters like this -- infodump is a very real and serious problem -- but I'm glad you liked it! You did bring up a lot of points I can't answer right away, of course, like the one regarding the Order assignments between James and Lily and Peter. ;) But I know you'll get those answers in time, anyway!

At first I was worried about what people would think about Beth getting made one of the two to hunt Aurors (that is, before I realized it was my story and to heck with what people thought!), but I can't even imagine what would have happened now if I hadn't. You'll see why, of course -- you've already seen part of it -- but it helped her character growth tremendously. She's a nice antithesis to Sirius, too, who is definitely more reckless, and that's a large part of why she got assigned to missions with him in the first place: To help him toe the line.

James and Lily are young, but they married really young, period! Ah, who knows. J.K. must have had her reasons. Thank you for your review! ♥


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Review #31, by Courtney Dark Forgiving

4th August 2013:
I definitely feel Beth when she was talking about how she'd ignored so many of Severus' more unfortunate traits, because I have so been there, and totally understand what she is talking about!

Oh and by the way, I love how each of your chapters flows so nicely and how the transitions, which are often quite quick, feel really smooth and natural - I would never be able to pull that off the way you do! And Beth's internal monologue is always superb. I've said it before, but she is just so real, and I love her so much!

I'm actually quite surprised she decided to write a letter to her parents, because they really don't seem like very nice people. Then again, I guess everybody has a little part of them that wants their parents' approval.

Ooh, another meeting with Dumbledore! I'm really looking forward to the next chapter now, finding out what this meeting will involve!

Another awkward Beth and Severus conversation! I'm really glad they made up, and the way you wrote their conversation was perfect! I kind of felt like I'd stepped into Beth's shoes. It's amazing that you can get so much of her personality into the narrative, especially considering it's in third person, which I personally think (although this is probably just my amateur opinion) is a lot harder to write.

Nice work!
Courtney:)

Author's Response: Oh, I have so been in Beth's position too -- the more I answer reviews on these books, the more I've come to realize exactly how much of myself I put into her. :D Whoops. Although my parents are much, much better than Beth's, which is a nice thing -- if I may say so myself, she's quite strong, breaking it off with them like she does, even if she continues to write to them. She does want them to be happy for her... but unfortunately, I'll tell you right now it's a slim hope.

I'm glad the chapters flow well together, too! It's a tricky thing sometimes, writing and posting in a chapter-by-chapter environment instead of writing a real book that the reader will get all at once. Got to keep people interested and knowledgeable, yeah? ;)

Third person is actually much, much preferred on my end to first person. I just finished a novel in first person (though it switches between two points of view) and it was HARD for me! Third is a bit slower-paced and more descriptive, which I like, but the word I'm searching for here is thank you. ♥ It really does mean a lot to me that you're able to empathize and react so well with the characters I've written!

Whew. I'm getting wordy again, and Mom's just summoned me for pie. And because Dean Winchester is my spirit animal, pie wins out over more typing. :D Thank you for yet another lovely review!


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Review #32, by Courtney Dark The Row

4th August 2013:
I loved this chapter too! It had so much drama and tension and made me want to scream with excitement.

Well, maybe that was a little over-dramatic. I don't generally scream when I get excited after all. But you get the idea!

Dumbledore's speech was absolutely perfect! Gah, it was just so Dumbledore. I could really picture him in my mind, standing in front of a sea of students and addressing them in that serene way of his. I also really hope that Lily and her friends get a bit more clued in as to what is going on soon!

I really, really, really enjoyed the fight between Severus and Beth. I'd add in some more reallys there, but that would probably be unnecessary. Anyway, I think that you have written the relationship between them perfectly - it is very realistic and I'm so glad that you haven't erased all of Severus' flaws and darkness and made him into this perfect boyfriend material sort of character. He's real and Beth is real and they both have very different opinions about the war, which definitely shone through in this chapter!

I'm really looking forward to finding out what happens next!
Courtney:)

Author's Response: I'm glad to hear it! You'd think it'd get old... but nope. :D I don't think you can hear that someone enjoyed a story of yours enough, you know? Maybe that's also over-dramatic...

I loved getting to write all the little Dumbledore bits in this trilogy, mostly because it was a challenge; I think I'm sort of in the abnormal category of people in that I really, really don't like Dumbledore all that much. Too many lies, not enough truth -- but he can make a mean speech! ;)

The fight between Severus and Beth was actually one of my favorite things to write in this whole book, which sounds a little bonkers. I ADORE a good (verbal) fight scene, though! So much anger and angst and hurling words at each other. ♥ It's my cup of tea, both in reading and in writing. Physical fight scenes are another story, but I won't go there. But you know, couples fight, no matter how much there is between them. It's a fact of life!

Thank you for reviewing!


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Review #33, by Courtney Dark Sirius Versus Slytherin

3rd August 2013:
Sirius! Yay! I really do love him:) Although, then again not yay, considering he just got into a fight in the corridor with Avery and received two weeks of detention.

One of my favourite parts of this chapter was when Beth and Sirius were discussing their families and the whole pure-blood mania thing. It's only just occurred to me now that Beth and Sirius are actually very similar in many ways. And I'm really glad Sirius mentioned his family - from what we know of them, I think they'd be the kind of people that are hard to forget. And I also wonder if Regulus will play any part in this book/s? Will he and Sirius ever come face to face?

Why do people have to pick on Remus?! Remus is perfect and adorable! I just want to give him a hug! I really enjoyed the fight scene (mwahahaha). Sirius definitely has a bad temper, which is actually what makes him so interesting, in my opinion. And it is his temper that really connects him to his later, post-Azkaban self, for me.

Yet another great chapter!
Courtney:)

Author's Response: Yay anyway! Sirius stood up for Remus (in a platonic way -- no Sirius/Remus shipping here!), and even if he did punch out a Slytherin and get detention, that's honorable enough for me to overlook it. :)

Beth and Sirius really are VERY similar, and that's on purpose -- she's unlike Snape in all the ways she's like Sirius, and vice versa. It makes for contentious points in her relationships to both of them, you can be sure, and I think that's a large reason why she and James are closest. She doesn't see as much of herself in him, and so it's easier to confide in him, if that makes any sense at all. (Regulus definitely does play a part, albeit a small one, in ITR -- but you've passed that point already, I know!)

Cringing so much now, because this part of the book was written way before the Pottermore version of Remus's story, and I've got a lot of it wrong. But hey -- this is partially AU anyway! Never mind the fact that if I'd had his canon, I would have stuck to it... One of the hazards of writing fan fiction, I suppose.

Thank you for reviewing!!


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Review #34, by Courtney Dark Opinions and Omens

3rd August 2013:
Another amazing chapter! I'm pretty sure I've said that every single chapter, but they're all just so good! And I'm really looking forward to the next one, what with that mention of Sirius...intriguing!

Aw, Sirius:) Being all deep and meaningful and thinking about his future! I actually love serious Sirius (mwahahaha) and I hope we get to see more of him in the future.

Aw, Remus :) Yep, that was two aws in a row - this is obviously a very aw-y chapter. When he realized that Beth had been hurt and that he was the one who had done it, my heart honestly broke for him. And then when he told Beth that she needed to go to the hospital wing, I actually started to panic - I thought of Bill being badly scarred by Fenrir Greyback and started to worry that Beth was going to have some signs of lycanthropy. But all is well! I think...

Oooh, the end of this chapter was great! I sense some foreshadowing, I think! I can't wait to find out more!

Courtney:)

Author's Response: *cackles* Author's notes are either super exciting, or a pain in the butt. I'm sure you know the feeling! There are times when Sirius can settle down and be actually pretty mature, which probably surprises the heck out of his friends. He is definitely a huge, huge contender in the coming books, which is something you've already probably noticed in ITR. Much more of him to come!

I think one of the best things about my Marauders (a term I use to distinguish them from canon, where Beth sadly doesn't exist) is how protective and brotherly they all really are towards her. ♥ I probably shouldn't say that, since, well, I wrote them. But I'll say it anyway, and have a bit of a selfish moment. :) Rest assured that all is well where Beth's scratch is concerned!

I sort of suck at foreshadowing, but that was a definite attempt at it. Haha! Thank you for yet another awesome review!!


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Review #35, by Courtney Dark The Unexpected Visitor

3rd August 2013:
This chapter didn't seem long at all - for me it just flew by, probably a sign that I really, really enjoyed it. In fact, I'm tempted to say that it is my favourite chapter so far.

I love that you incorporate Remus's transformation into a werewolf each month, because many marauders writers (at least the ones I've read) tend to leave this out, and I just think Remus being a werewolf is a huge part of the marauders era! If I had a friend who was a werewolf, I certainly wouldn't be conveniently forgetting about it, anyway.

I love the way you wrote his transformation - it was very chilling. And when Beth got that injury as a bird, well I definitely saw the Gryffindor in her! If I was in her shoes, I would have been running for the hills.

Finally, more Severus! That was an AMAZING conversation! You couldn't have written it better and it was only the tinest bit awkward this time - they're getting more comfortable around each other, and I definitely see the chemistry!

And I loved Severus's point of view, too, even though it was very small.

This was an amazing chapter! I am really, really enjoying this story!
Courtney:)

Author's Response: I LOVE when someone says that a chapter flew by for them. ♥ I know the feeling, and it's really awesome to think my writing spurred that reaction in someone else!

One of my goals, in writing the Marauders, was to keep all the little elements that made them... well, the Marauders. I've read a fair share of this era in my time, and one thing I notice across the board is that people leave out things like the map or Remus's transformations in favor of developing a thick, sometimes shoddy romantic storyline. (Sorry -- that's probably a bit harsh.) I'm so glad someone else seems to feel the same way! I loved writing about his transformation, and there's definitely enough drama in it not to need arguments between couples, or misunderstandings about who was snogging who, or anything like that.

MORE SEVERUS. *squee* I shouldn't be so excited about my own story, my own pairing... but I am! They definitely are slowly getting more comfortable around each other, this duo built on awkwardness and silences, and I had so much fun building up to these moments. And, of course, you know what comes after... but not everything, and there's definitely more in store for you!

I'm seriously just so, so floored that you enjoyed reading ITB so much. Seeing someone so dedicated to it is like getting to re-read it with a fresh pair of eyes, and that's an invaluable experience. I'm so grateful for your reviews!


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Review #36, by Courtney Dark Nifflers on the Loose

3rd August 2013:
I really, really enjoyed this chapter! It was definitely a very light and fluffy one - which is really good, because I always enjoy having a bit of fluff or mushiness or happiness (you get the idea) here and there throughout a story.

What I loved most about this chapter was that we got see more of Remus! His idea for a prank was genius, and there was definitely a Remus-ish feel about it, as opposed to a slightly more thoughtless prank Sirius might pull. You write Remus and his personality really well.

I also loved Filch in this chapter - well, not the character Filch, but the way you characterized him. It was very similar to the way JK Rowling seems to write him, so kudos for that!

Great chapter!
Courtney:)

Author's Response: This chapter came solely from my belief that I needed to write at least one Marauder prank before it got too late. :P And, like you said, from the fact that there's a lot of angst in this book, and the story only gets steadily darker.

I can't remember where I heard the idea for this prank -- it definitely came from somewhere, much as I'd like to claim it for my own -- but when it popped into my head to use for the Marauders' own prank, I just rolled with it. And it was so much fun! More time to showcase Remus's brain, of course. ;) Writing Filch is something, like writing Sir Cadogan, I think more people should do, as well as Peeves. There are so many minor characters J.K. Rowling gave us with such distinctive characterizations -- Filch, Peeves, Sir Cadogan, the house elves, Hagrid -- that I don't understand why you wouldn't write them!

Thanks for reviewing! ♥


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Review #37, by Courtney Dark 9 Dustund Way

30th July 2013:
Woo! I loved this chapter?

Hmm, I'm really starting to notice that I suck at writing reviews...

Anyway, there was so many bits and pieces I loved about this chapter that I'm now struggling to remember them all.

I feel Sirius' pain about all the schoolwork, man! Take today, for example. I honestly spent about three hours sitting in front of my laptop trying to write a long and very boring essay and ended up writing fanfiction instead. Whoops. I think this is the reason I loved Beth's comment: Its pretty bad when you dont even attempt to butcher an introduction so much.

I really love your Sirius, by the way. He's quite different from many of the other Sirius's I have read, who all tend to be quite stuck-up and arrogant. And have way too many girlfriends. I love how eager he was for the meeting with Dumbledore!

Oh, Peter. Dont you guys think following a trail of sweets would be a bit obvious? I'm going to be honest, it sounds a bit like something I'd say but still: oh, Peter.

I've probably said it before (my memory is notoriously terrible) but I love your characterization of Dumbledore! I can just paint this perfect picture of him in my head.

Aw, James! Yeah, I have, said James a bit defensively. Because you know what? I love her. My favourite line of the whole chapter! But I am missing the Severus and Beth action (is it Snabeth? Sneth Beverus? Betherus?)

Great chapter!
Courtney:)

Author's Response: If you think you suck at reviews, imagine how I feel about review responses! :) And yes, by the way -- Sirius's thoughts on schoolwork (which were written during a woeful year of my high school days) are very much inspired by real life. :P All I ever feel like doing, when I'm supposed to be doing homework, is writing or reading or watching TV. Isn't that always the way?

I'm so glad you enjoy Sirius! ♥ He is, as I said, largely inspired by (and written for) Sarah, which is why Sarah Wright appears in the story in the first place. I have such issues with the womanizing, rude, hottest-boy-on-the-face-of-the-planet characterization a lot of people seem to use, and I tried to draw on what we know from Sirius as an adult to influence his character as a teenager/young adult.

The ship name's come to be known as Sneth, yes! And all the other names just look weird to me now. :P Severus/Beth action is, understandably, a bit limited, especially in this early part of the trilogy, but I'm very excited for you to read certain moments that occur further down the story's road. As it were. :3

I FEEL LIKE A BROKEN RECORD. This is why I shouldn't let reviews sit so long! ♥ Thank you for all your wonderful comments and compliments!


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Review #38, by Courtney Dark A Few Truths

30th July 2013:
Hey!

Hm-tra-la-la-la...what shall I write in this review? I really wish I could just write 'This was a great chapter! I love this story and I love your writing' but that feels so inadequate for such a brilliant piece of writing! So I'll push myself to the max and think of something creative to say.

I can't believe James gave Lily that ring! I mean, it was extremely cute and super adorable and all, and I just wanted to give him a big squeeze, but I do think it was probably a little bit soon - I wouldn't want poor James to get shot down! I mean, I know he doesn't (unless you're planning on completely and utterly AU'ing on me) but still...

As you can see I am feeling totally un-creative tonight, so I'm just going to toddle off to the next chapter.

TTFN!
Courtney:)

Author's Response: Just for future reference, you can write nearly ANYTHING in a review and I'll giggle and grin and squeal like always. :D It doesn't take much to make me happy, and the fact that you've chosen to read my story at all is far more than enough! ♥ I'm just so, so pleased beyond belief any time someone likes something I've written. It's honestly the best feeling in the world.

I feel like James would be a sort of take-it-fast kind of guy, especially after how long he's been pursuing Lily. A lot of the marriages in the wizarding world seem to happen young, anyway, especially around wartime, which does lend a bit more credit to the theory. But then again, he could just be in a huge rush. Either opinion's very plausible! I can't tell you how things will end in the James/Lily story, though... that's something you'll have to find out for yourself in the third book. :)

I'm feeling un-creative in the extreme with all these responses, so trust me, you're not alone. I can't begin to do them justice, but thank you for your reviews anyway! ♥


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Review #39, by Courtney Dark Christmas Boys

28th July 2013:
Yet another awesome chapter!

I feel super cheesy writing this, but there was something so Christmas spirity about this chapter, if you know what I mean. I don't know why, and I don't really know how to describe it, but it just made me think: 'WHY CAN'T I ATTEND HOGWARTS AT CHRISTMAS? WHY CAN'T I ATTEND HOGWARTS, FULL STOP?" I'm still a bit cut up about the fact that I didn't receive my Hogwarts letter when I was eleven, to be honest.

James' gift to Beth made me laugh - only James would give Beth a gift that she didn't actually want, just so he could eat it all himself. Although I have to admit, it is kind of a smart move. Maybe I should try it out sometime...

Poor Beth, being stuck in the middle of her parents' tug of war. They are both being very unfair to her, I think - I know I would be super annoyed if my parents sent me letters like that at Christmas, or any time really! And the guys clearly have a bit more intuition that Beth gives them credit for.

Speaking of the boys, I really enjoyed seeing a lot more of Sirius in this chapter - I am tempted to say he's my favourite character in the marauders generation...except then I'll probably eat my words when something exciting happens in the next couple of chapters, so I'll keep my mouth shut.

Yay, we got to see a bit more of Severus in this chapter! Beth's conversation with him was very sweet, in a typically awkward, stilted sort of way.

Courtney:)

Author's Response: That's not cheesy at all -- that's totally what I was going for! :) I get so sentimental when I think about Hogwarts sometimes, because it just sort of hurts that it's not real, you know? I want to go to classes and have Christmas and sit by the lake and watch Quidditch, and UGH. (Never mind the fact that I'm too old for Hogwarts now. I'll manage somehow!)

I'm sure I got that idea somewhere, giving someone a gift you know they'll hate, but it was too good not to. ;) I'm sure Beth got him back in her own way, though! It really was one of her better gifts, considering how her parents chose to fight through her on Christmas. Lovely people. They crop up in the later books, too, and each time they make me grit my teeth and tug at my hair. I HATE THEM. Which, of course, made them fun to write!

Sirius is totally and completely inspired by Toujours Padfoot and her portrayal of Sirius (her favorite character), especially in her novel Curious Happenings at Number Twelve. You should definitely give it a read! He's endearing and I love him very much, even if James is my Marauder of choice. ♥ (But, of course, Severus wins the overall prize from me!)

Fact: Beth and Severus are built on awkwardness. But I love them anyway! :) Thank you for reviewing!!


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Review #40, by Courtney Dark The Map

28th July 2013:
I actually really enjoyed this chapter!

I haven't read a super huge amount of marauders era stories but in those that I have read, never has the creation of the marauders map been mentioned, which I personally see as being a very important, or at least a very big part of the marauders lives at Hpgwarts. But that could just be my opinion.

Anyway, I loved how you went about the creation of the map - if it was me trying to write this chapter, I would be absolutely stumped! But you did it all in such a creative way - I loved how the team put all their heads together to create the map together. It was definitely a team effort! And it was nice to see a little more of Remus and Peter - I actually really like the way you portray them. Both of their character's seem to be quite subtle at the moment, which I kinda like.

Hehe, Sir Cadogan:) You characterized (can I say characterized about a painting?) him really well, and he definitely brought a nice touch of humour to the chapter!

I am guessing this story will go a little AU at some points? Beth, being the fifth marauder, will probably change some certain canon events - like the fact that her name is on the map? Or will her name somehow be erased later on? Hmmm...

Great chapter!
Courtney:)

Author's Response: True story: I totally and completely forgot about the Marauder's Map until really late in the story, and had to write in this chapter two days before my Sunday update to fill the void. Whoops! But it was actually a lot of fun to do, and I managed to write it in, I think, two sittings, so all was well. Maybe a bit rushed? But I am very fond of it, in general, and I definitely think Remus would have been a large part of the brains behind the operation. ;)

Also, just saying that Sir Cadogan should be in WAY more stories than he actually is, because he is absolutely so much fun to write! ♥ One of my favorite minor characters at Hogwarts, actually. And this story is AU for sure, because Beth's a completely new character. What I like to tell people is that I try and keep as canon as possible, except for events Beth directly touches. The map would be one of those. ;)

Thank you for reviewing!


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Review #41, by Courtney Dark Conversations and Catalysts

26th July 2013:
Haha, I love how awkward all the conversations between Beth and Severus seem to be! Poor Beth - I certainly know the feeling of wanting to smack myself on the forehead after saying something stupid - I consider myself very talented at saying stupid things in embarrassing situations. I can't stand awkward silences.

ANYWAY, I really love winter and Christmas chapters, too. I think that's partly because over here we have Christmas in the summer and I've never seen the snow, so a white Christmas has always been this big novelty for me! But I'm definitely look forward to seeing what Beth and Sirius (and hopefully Severus!) get up to over the holidays.

Oh, James. Not getting a present for Lily - what a typical guy move! Not that I can talk, as I'm a bit of a present-forgetter myself. I really love your characterization of James, so it was nice to see a little bit more of him this chapter.

Wow, I'm just realizing now that this was a very self-obsessed review, sorry about that. I LOVE YOUR STORY! There, hopefully that balances out my me-rant.

Courtney:)

Author's Response: Oh, man, there is so much awkwardness between Beth and Sev. ♥ (Which, by the way, heavily stems from my interactions with most people at all times -- I'm absolutely an expert at screwing up social interaction! Words are so much easier, don't you find?)

It's weird, responding to a Christmas review in the middle of August, but I watched a Supernatural episode about Christmas yesterday... guess I should be used to it. :P Are you Australian, by any chance? I've seen snow -- we have a winter Christmas -- but we never see it ON Christmas!

Ah, James, forgetting to buy his girlfriend a present. ♥ He's actually my favorite Marauder in these books, I think; at any rate, I got very attached to writing his character. Dear boy!

Pfft. That wasn't a self-obsessed review at all! Responses are way more self-interested than reviews tend to be, which is partially why I don't like doing them; I hate talking about myself. But readers do so much for me, responding to their comments is the least I can do! ♥


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Review #42, by Courtney Dark Joining Up

24th July 2013:
Oooh, this chapter was super exciting! There were so many bits that I loved about it, but I'll just point out my absolutely favourites, otherwise this review will probably be extremely waffly and boring.

Obviously I loved the scene in Dumbledore's office - you wrote their induction, I guess we can call it, into the Order really, really well! I loved how eager they all were, and I think I loved it even more when Beth was the first to say she was in. And once again you nailed Dumbledore on the head. I'm a bit puzzled about McGonagall though - why was she so against them joining, I wonder? Was she worried about her students' safety, perhaps?

I also loved other random bits and pieces from this chapter - glimpses we got to see of the characters and their lives. To me, they all seem like such real people now, and none of them have these over-exaggerated Mary-Sue like qualities which is always good!

I loved the little details of the scene in the common room you gave us - like Peter and Remus playing Gobstones and Peter winning (I have to mention that I rarely see Peter winning at anything, so it made a nice change) and James attempting to copy off Beth.

And then Sirius' arrival was just perfect! I love how long it took him to get to the actual topic, what with all of the interruptions, like Beth asking if his pocket was squeaking.

Amazing chapter!
Courtney:)

Author's Response: Writing the Order scenes in ITB -- if you can call them that, because that's just a glorified way of saying "a lot of talking" -- were some of the trickiest, mainly because I thought they'd be too dull. :P I'm so happy to see that, for you at least, that wasn't the case! As for McGonagall, I responded to another review about this earlier today, but I think a lot of her reservation on wanting the young in the Order is because she's had these kids as students for 7 years. In the absence of a family of her own, she'd see them as her children, I think, and it would feel to her like a mother sending her children off to war, if that makes any sense at all.

Oh, I am SO glad my characters seem like real people to you! That's absolutely #1 in writing for me -- creating characters that come alive and feel real to the reader. ♥ I can't tell you how happy that makes me. I got so attached to every single once of these characters while writing that I always want to think other people are attached, too. And yet thinking that and actually hearing it are two very different things.

You're amazing. Your reviews are amazing. Thank you so much for them!!


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Review #43, by Courtney Dark A Chance Meeting

24th July 2013:
Hey there!

I really enjoyed this chapter - it was great to see a couple of different POV's, which I always find refreshing in a story both when I'm reading and writing. And I was especially happy to see Sirius, who we haven't seen up until now.

First of all, Severus' point of view: for me, you've really nailed the characterization of teenage Snape, which I've got a feeling I've said before, though it becomes more obvious when it's his point of view. As you mentioned, his 'thinking' was super cool to read and then he had an encounter with Lily, to top it off!

And then we had Sirius' point of view. I really enjoyed reading his encounter with Dumbledore - the way you portrayed Dumbledore was excellent, you got him exactly right! And it was definitely nice to see the plot moving ahead a little bit, I'm definitely looking forward to the gang finding out more about the Order of the Phoenix.

Great chapter!
Courtney:)

Author's Response: I look back at writing this story, and all the books since it, and the original novel I just finished -- and I wonder how I ever managed to write a whole book from just one POV. :P Writing from more than one just gives books a depth and perspective that would be very hard to otherwise achieve. Kudos to the brilliant authors who actually can do it!

I'm so happy you think I got Snape on point, too, especially because he's one of my all-time favorite characters, and I really want to do him justice. :) At this point in the story, he's still pretty fixated on Lily, and then later -- oh, but you're not there yet! *zips lips*

Dumbledore is somewhat of a tricky character to write, and I'm glad you think I did right by him, too! The Order is a massive part of the next two books, and I'm very excited for you to read more about it there, too. :)

Phew. These responses are getting more unintelligible by the minute, it seems. ♥ I hope you know just how much your lovely words truly do mean to me! ♥


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Review #44, by Courtney Dark The Letter

23rd July 2013:
My eyes are drooping and I really should be asleep right now, so I'll make this review short and snappy.

Loved this chapter! It had so many great moments. You manage to write the little things, like James' apology to Beth so incredibly well. Everything about this story is just so exciting and fun to read and makes me want to keep coming back for more and to find out what's going to happen next!

Anyway, my favourite part of this chapter would definitely have to be the conversation (definitely a little awkward, which I love) between Beth and Severus - it's kinda adorable that they share a secret! But I can't help being suspicious about that owl just coincidentally delivering the letter to Severus...or maybe, like Beth, I'm just overthinking things!

Yet another awesome chapter!
Courtney:)

Author's Response: You silly, reading this story until your eyes droop. ♥ Is it weird that that makes me really happy? (Probably.)

One of the things I personally love best about this trilogy is that there are little things that go along with the big story -- small sideplots, if you will -- and I tried to make them as important, in their own moments, as the overall arc of the story. So thank you for pointing that out! :)

Aaand more awkward Beth/Severus conversations ensue! This is their first secret of several down the road, I can assure you. I will say that you probably don't have to be too suspicious of that poor owl. It's mostly just lost and confused, somewhat like Errol. Or maybe it just wanted to play matchmaker? *furiously avoids writing a one-shot from the point of view of that owl*

Thank you (again) for your reviews! I just... cannot get over them. Ever. They are so fab. ♥


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Review #45, by Courtney Dark Just Words

23rd July 2013:
JAMES POTTER!! I have to say, I am very disappointed in him for being such a blabber-mouth with Beth's secret and even more disappointed with Sirius for acting so harshly towards Beth - you have no idea how bad I felt for Beth in that moment! I just wanted to give her a bog, comforting hug and say 'I DON'T MIND IF YOU LIKE SEVERUS!'

Anyway, I enjoyed this chapter - it was nice to see a bit more of Lily and a little of James' point of view. And Beth and Severus actually had a proper, non violent/angry/completely awkward/odd/mysterious conversation. I mean, it wasn't completely normal, but they're getting there! Slow and steady wins the race. At least I think that's the saying. I've never been so good with inspirational sayings.

Great chapter!
Courtney:)

Author's Response: Oh, James! :( You have every right to be disappointed in him, of course -- blabbing to Sirius like that was a very rude thing to do. And, of course, Sirius's reaction was less than desired, because he still has the mind of a five-year-old, essentially. It's amazing he doesn't still think girls have cooties, actually. Beth needs all the hugs you're willing to give her, definitely! ♥

It's sort of sad, I think, that a lot of readers felt the need to mark Beth/Severus conversations as huge milestones. :P But then again, for Severus to be getting over Lily and talking to another girl? I personally think that IS a huge milestone for him! And one of the things I wanted to do, more than almost anything, was to move Severus's attentions from Lily to Beth as realistically as possible (I've got documented proof of wanting this even before I started writing the story!). Slow and steady wins the race indeed.

Thank you for reviewing!! ♥


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Review #46, by Courtney Dark Concession

21st July 2013:
Loved it!

Sorry, I'm feeling a little brain-dead today, so this probably won't be a particularly interesting/intelligent sounding review. BUT THAT'S OKAY!

I can't tell you enough how much I LOVE your writing style! It's so easy and so...relaxing to read, and it just flows so nicely, like one of those clear blue rivers in the summer...

Ahem. Anyway, I love everything about this story so far and the characters are all beginning to grow on me so much! I liked the conversation between Beth and James, too - I'm glad that Beth has finally told someone her secret and I'm glad that James took it well - definitely a sign of his growing maturity, I'd wager! And i don't like to see Sirius and James fighting:(

Courtney:)

Author's Response: No worries! Judging by all the review responding I'm planning on doing, by the time I get to some of your later ITB reviews, I'll be feeling a little brain-dead as well. Not to mention the feeling of mush that results from all your lovely compliments! ♥ I'm so, so, so pleased that you like the way I write, and that it flows for you, because that's something that's just so HUGE to me. That's one of the things that I need to translate well if I have a hope of selling my books someday, and it's definitely my HPFF reviewers who are making me want to do that, anyway. ♥

Oh, these characters. They're a rascally bunch, but I do love them. James matures very much throughout ITB! Sirius... not so much, but he grows later. I promise. :)

WOW. I'm so behind on responses from you. I'm very sorry at how long it's taking me! I'm going to try and answer all of them, or most of them, today, so there's that. But definitely know that my long response time has nothing to do with your wonderful reviews! ♥ Thank you so much for leaving them!!


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Review #47, by The Misfit The Order Assignments

18th July 2013:
Eee eeeh. *cries at the lack of Sneth in this chapter* You do know that my feels are currently staging a protest? :P

And yet, this was as super as ever! All of the characters here were perfect (and yes, I laughed at Sirius' reaction to being told he'd be training as an Auror). I guess being a part of the Order means that strings are being pulled for them, considering that they haven't officially applied to the Ministry as far as I can recall. :P

I know that McGonagall is concerned that the Marauders and the girls are too young to be a part of the Order, but I can't help wondering why she's so against it. If they weren't Order members, they'd actually be in more danger because of their beliefs and the fact that they'd be mainly unprotected. I just can't help feeling that there's something more than youth in her doubt. (I hope that made sense :3)

WAIT. I was just about to type something about Beth's uncertainty about becoming an Auror but it got replaced by a lightbulb question - is she subconsciously concerned that in her mission, she might end up having to arrest Severus?! :3

And James' announcement came right out of the blue! I know this story is mostly from Beth's POV so that would be why, and James probably thought about it before now, but awww. James is growing up ♥ I just hope that the proposal goes more successfully than Sneth's non-existent relationship is...

And the ending just made me completely empathize with what you said in your AN - they're growing up. Our Marauders are growing up and it's both so sad and wonderful and the fact that you're invoking so many conflicting emotions in one moment just blows me away ♥

Author's Response: *cries at the lack of Sneth in basically this whole book* I hope I didn't bore anyone too terribly by making their relationship so stop-and-start... One might argue realism has no place in fan fiction. Oh well!

I think McGonagall is largely against having such young people in the Order because they were, for seven years, her students -- her children, really. (I'm under the impression she'd see most of her students as children, and would care about them in a personal way.) So yes, it's more than youth -- it's sort of the feeling of a mother sending her children off to war. If that makes any sense!

*whistles at your assumption about Beth and Severus and mission work*

To Beth and Sirius, and basically anyone but James, that announcement would definitely have seemed totally out of the blue indeed. :D You'll have to see how it goes, though!

Oh, I have such intense feels right now. Sneth feels. My babies. :( They're so old now... Oh, don't mind me, I'm getting sentimental. ♥ Thank you for reviewing!!


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Review #48, by The Misfit Forgiving

18th July 2013:
(I totally forgot to say hi in the last chapter. HELLO, RACHEL ♥)

Somehow, even though you're describing a monologue / several days' events in a few paragraphs, you manage to keep things moving and I love that. There are no blunt transitions between event summarization and the chapter's events - it's so smooth and seamless and I take my hypothetical hat off to you. XD

I really like Beth deciding to write to her parents. Even though she's seventeen, she's actually more mature than them in some respects and, compared to her slight immaturity in ignoring Severus' beliefs on blood purity, you balance her character really well. The letter was very aloof on first read, but I liked the touch about Beth trying to make more space - personally, I think that shows she does have some love for her parents to try and give them a decent letter instead of a brief note. :3

Teehee, that chess/poker gag was so funny! And now, it becomes official that Sirius and Severus are allergic to each other :P I love how Beth is starting to stand up to Sirius more now, reprimanding him for his insults - although there does seem to be a lot of bumping into each other in this chapter. Oh, and you did fabulously writing this tension-filled bump with Sneth and then making me burst out into laughter when Sarah bumped into Flitwick (partly because I was visualizing the very large purple moon that is TP's icon floating in mid-air and hitting Flitwick on the nose :3)

And that ending with Sneth! I love the realisticness of this pairing, but ugh. That was one of the moments where there was so much feely tension in the air that I was internally screaming "COME ON, JUST KISS, YOU IDIOTS".

You make me love this pairing so much ♥

Author's Response: (HELLO, KATIE. ♥) Keeping things moving in chaptered stories -- especially my HPFF novels, which always seem to have small time jumps -- is very important, and I'm grinning like mad to hear you think I've done it well. One less thing to worry about! Although, let's be honest -- I'll worry about it anyway. It's what I do.

Beth's parents are so distracted by their personal problems that their daughter is, to them, little more than a tool. So, yes, I do think she's more mature in some respects, definitely (and in others, definitely not). She does love her parents, as anyone with parents would love them, but she's getting to the point where she realizes that she controls her life, and they don't.

Ah, that chess/poker gag. ♥ Sarah's a doll. I am so proud of Beth and her friendship with Sirius, which was really almost as fun to write, throughout the entire trilogy, as her relationship/non-relationship with Sev. It makes it that much more fun, too, that Sirius and Sev can't stand each other... drama!

JUST KISS, YOU IDIOTS. I'm screaming that right alongside you! :D Thank you so much for reviewing ITB again!!


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Review #49, by The Misfit The Row

18th July 2013:
Eee eee eee eee. When the HC task said "review your OTP", Sneth instantly came to mind - so here I am and typing as frantically as I can!

Your beginning is wonderful - you offer so much detail that it's easy for me to remember what happened last chapter without being repetitive. I was worried that as it's been a few months away from ITB, I'd have to re-read a few chapters to catch up but no, you're superb on gentle reminds.

Sirius is spot on - I know I must sound terribly repetitive when I say your Marauders characterization is the best I've read on HPFF, but it's true. ♥ And Dumbledore - he's so perfect I don't have the vocabulary to describe him. That scene where he stands up unexpectedly, and his little speech, would absolutely not look out of place in the Potter books!

Ugh, one chapter in and my Sneth feels hurt. You have this uncanny ability to make me want to reach into the computer screen and hug Severus, because even though I totally agree with Beth on the purity issue, you've written Severus so humanly that I feel bad at his floundering at saying the wrong thing even though his beliefs just grate against mine. It's just so heartwarming and realistic to read ♥

And the way that you ended this chapter just felt right. Beth's feelings for Severus have been Beth's for seven years, and just because the Marauders now know doesn't mean she's going to tell them everything about Sneth, and I love that you're remaining so consistent. ♥

*hands over Nutella-covered chocolate brownies*

Author's Response: I am delighted FOREVER that you chose Sneth as your OTP to review for the Cup challenge! ♥ Honestly, honestly, honestly made my entire month. And I'm very glad that it was easy for you to pick right back up where you left off, because as a fan fiction writer, I think that's really important in a story like this.

I love my Marauders so much, and it thrills me to no end when other people think I can write them, too. :) That's definitely my favorite era to write! (With the possible exception of Hogwarts, because I'm crazy for canon.) Fitting everything into the facts we know, and keeping characters as close to the way J.K. Rowling wrote them as possible, is like a little puzzle for me, and one I always love working out.

Severus will always accept your hugs! Lord knows I've tried to hug him myself enough times over the years. (I'll let you figure out whether or not I'm telling the truth on that one.) He's got really good traits, and really bad ones, and I'm so fascinated with him for those reasons. I was about to say my love for him could fill a book... but then it's already filled three, hasn't it?

CONSISTENT. One of the best words I could see in a review for this story ever! I'm squealing so much right now -- that's huge for me, writing a trilogy. Thank you so much for this amazing review!! You're too kind, my dear, but I'll accept it anyway, just because.


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Review #50, by HeartFyre Same Old Secret

10th July 2013:
I'm glad you didn't make Peter one of those cookie cutter wimps that you could actually see betraying them later on. It gives this story a lot of originality as well as character. I will read on eagerly!

Author's Response: I never much liked Peter, but I set out to write him in this story as someone who intentionally wasn't awful -- too many people portray him that way, and I've been guilty of it myself in the past, but there had to have been SOMETHING about him that James and Sirius and Remus liked. I'm glad you appreciated it, too!

And thank you for taking the time to review! ♥ I'm glad you're enjoying the story so far, and I do hope you continue on. I'd love to hear more from you in the future, too!


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