Hallo! Guess who's here again? I am thrilled with how the story is going at the moment so you better get used to seeing my presence here after every chapter :D
OK so this chapter we see Beth actually talking to Severus. Let's take a moment and SQUEAL! Oh dear I wouldn't be more excited about this if it was me in place of Beth! I don't know yet exactly why, but your story reminded me how much I love Snape and how I always wished there had been someone out there that loved him, or at least cared for him as much as he cared for Lily. We have no indication whether his story with Beth will be a happy one but I am overly pleased with the idea that he did have someone to care for him at least (even if it isn't canon...but you write it so well it could pass off as canon any day!).
I am deeply intrigued and a little unsettled by Peter's proposition that only two of them should transform and be with Remus when it's that time for him. Knowing what we know about Peter I can't help but be suspicious about this thought he had. Plus the reason he gave to back it up was very shallow. I was somewhat surprised that James agreed with it. I was expecting them to dismiss it on the spot. Hmm...I'll keep a lookout on Peter! You treacherous rat!
Also, Snape! What is wrong with you man?! Why won't you even look in people's eyes when you speak with them? That was very rude of him to do but maybe he was just...shy...or rude lol. In any case their conversation was delicious to read, albeit it was too short for my greedy liking haha. Can't wait to see what happens next!
You are very well on your way hun. Beth feels like a person and that's very hard to convey at times with OC's but you are great at it. Not to mention Snape and the others. It's a pleasure to read stories such as yours that carefully follow canon material :)Author's Response: And guess who's here again to leave another response on one of your lovely reviews? :D I'm so excited to see how much you're enjoying the story so far -- really!
The idea of wanting someone to love Snape, beyond friendship, was exactly the reason I set out to write this story. The story I mentioned a few responses back (Curious Happenings at Number Twelve) is mostly a Sirius/OC, but there are touches of Severus/OC, and it was that story that planted the idea in my head in the first place. I love writing original characters, too, and it's a weird thing, but all my stories have put canon men with original women. Maybe I feel none of the canon women are up to their standards -- who knows? I'm really just thrilled to pieces that other people have seemed to think along the same lines as you and me!
Everyone was suspicious of that line of Peter's; I promise I didn't mean it to be that way. :P Writing Peter in this was quite a challenge, though, to be sure! And I will admit that I sometimes have Snape's problem of avoiding people's eyes when I talk to them... which really isn't a good thing. I am trying to be better about it! (I hope shyness is the reason...)
So, so, so glad that Beth already feels a person, and not a character, to you. ♥ I've worked so hard to keep this story as canon as possible while still including an original character, and reviews like yours make me know that all the small plot headaches I've had through the months have all been worth it! Thank you so much!!
(And while I'm thinking of it, congratulations on making prefect!) Report Review
And I am back. I couldn't wait to read another chapter so I returned sooner rather than later. I had planned to hear from you first but my curiosity was too aching to wait for that haha.
SO, we finally find Beth and the Marauders in their "natural habitat" so to say. They're back at school. I am guessing this is the point where everything starts getting good (or bad for some characters I imagine). And Sirius already acting like well...Sirius this early on is not the best omen for poor Snape. I can almost feel a lot of torture in store for him, which makes me sad really. I've always thought half of what Snape got from the Marauders was unasked for. Yes, he was insufferable at times, yes he deserved the other half of everything that happened to him but if we are to judge by what JK wrote (and what I remember) James and Sirius were the ones to pick on him the first, so we can't really blame Severus for wanting to defend himself, right? At the end of the day, who wouldn't? I know I would. Having been a bullying victim during my earlier school years (although what I went through wasn't nearly as bad as what Snape went through) I have a very deep, compassionate bond with Severus that nothing anyone says will break it. Bullying is BAD, BAD, BAD. It's horrible to experience and by my own experience with it, you just blow up some day. Accept no more. Do what it takes to get some respect. And that is what I think Severus wants. Some respect! Is that too much to ask?! *breathes out* Every time I remember how the Marauders treated him I get all fired up like this, so please pardon my rambling. It's just infuriating and I can't help it most of the time. I'll shut up now!
I am really enjoying more and more the dynamics between Beth and the other Marauders. Their relationship, their close relationship, doesn't feel forced at all and you (the reader) have the pleasant impression that she has been part of their group from day one. She knows when to laugh at their jokes, when to reprimand and I am guessing when to back off. All of these three are much needed in a friendship because they keep a balance between what is good and what is detrimental to the friendships lasting.
Also, we can see another layer of Beth forming this chapter. It's still a bit flimsy but we see enough to know that she isn't the type of girl to be okai with bullying. Yes, Sirius directed his sneer at Snape, who we know from last chapter Beth is in love with, but I have a feeling that she would not have reacted differently even if it had been thrown at someone else. Whereas James, Sirius and Peter most likely applaud themselves for their "wit", I see Beth and Remus as the ones that look very disapprovingly upon behavior such as this.
On to the next lovely chapter I say. What say you? :DAuthor's Response: I meant to respond to you long before this, if it's any consolation. :D How did I let a whole week pass by?! My dear friend Aiedail came by and left me 18 reviews in one swoop, but that really isn't an excuse. I must offer you another apology!
There are a few intro chapters into this story -- which I think I would change now, if I were writing this story, but at the same time it does sort of ease the reader into the story, too. I'm too attached to them to do anything about them now, anyway!
I agree very much with you that a lot of what Snape got from the Marauders in the way of teasing, he didn't deserve. It's a very interesting balance between those two boys, and if I took the time to lay out all my theories and so on, we'd be here for days and days! (I am probably not exaggerating.) Snape has both good and bad in him, and while I don't believe that he never instigated the negativity, I think a lot of times he didn't, just the same. He is twisted, and he has a one-track mind in some views, and I just absolutely, absolutely adore his character. ♥
It makes me so happy to hear now natural you find Beth's relationship with the Marauders! It's another thing that goes along with the cliche issue, and I thought it was so important to try and make it seem... not forced. (I can't think of a better word for that right now. Please excuse my brain.)
I say onwards! :D Honestly -- thank you so, so much for reviewing this for me. I know it's probably going to sound like a broken record at some point, all this gratitude, but I really do mean it so much!! ♥ Report Review
Hello hunny. I've been meaning to read this for such a long time but uni has been unforgiving on my poor time so I've never really gotten to it until now. Plus I have heard SO much about it that I always knew it deserved to be read without rush, with a mug of hot chocolate beside and all the time in the world. So here I am at last with the first of (hopefully) many reviews!
First thing that hit me while reading was the fact that you chose a pretty well known cliche on the forums to set the basis of your story on: Beth is the renown and more often than not hated fifth Marauder. What do I say to that? KUDOS! I've always thought that cliches are only cliches if you handle them poorly and keep on repeating the same pattern of mistakes everyone makes when writing them off. Since I know beforehand that your 'cliche' will be a well handled cliche, I applaud your courage to go ahead with it. I believe it takes a lot of "Gryffindor" traits to write a cliche despite so many people being against it. I applaud you even more that you pulled it off neatly!
OK - characters. First on my list is Beth. This is the first and only chapter I've read until now so a fair warning that my opinion is limited and my 'guessing' might be way off. Beth comes off as a normal, likeable girl with normal flaws. Nothing too over the top (I find that exaggerating flaws turn me away from a story pretty quickly - especially when they are dramatically acted) but enough to put in place the first layer of her personality. What piked my curiosity was her relationship with her family and if that will have an influence on her future development. After I read that passage she warmed up to me a whole lot more because I could relate to her. Having come from a similar background myself I know how easy it is to feel out of place everywhere, even in your own home, and how you crave for a place to belong and for people to call you "one of us". Beth is off for a great start!
The Marauders: James is of course very much as the James I've always imagined. You've described him pretty well at some point "less like the whirlwind tornado James so often resembled". I always thought he was like a bubbly boy, always agitated, always all over the place, as if he was always on a sugar high. I also always thought him as being the fairest of all of them. So no surprise him, other than the pleasant one that you got him so right!
Sirius is the boy with two very different personalities: the hot-blooded, impulsive, rash and unthinking side and the other more calm, icy and contemptuous one. He is the fierce friend, the most loyal companion who loves you with a passion and is willing to go through ice and fire for you but he can also be the silent, cold stone if you cross him. I'm excited to see more about your take on him because he seemed very well portrayed until this point.
Remus and Peter didn't have that huge of an appearance in this chapter but they felt in character too. Remus with his more 'one step back from everyone else/cautious' attitude, buried in his books and Peter the timid, the ever longing boy who wants to belong somewhere as well. Remus has always appeared as the wisest of all, as the perfect balance between them all. Can't wait to see more of them as well!
I'm terribly sorry for the long rambling. I bet nothing of my review really helped you haha. So to sum it up I am just going to say this: I am greatly enjoying the story so far. I am dying to see how the dynamics of their relationship will change after the boys find out about Beth's crush...I can already picture their reaction and it hurts :(
Have a lovely day! (oh and I should ask this...is it okai for me to call you by your name? I find it a lot easier to communicate to someone by using their name but I thought I'd better check first ;) )Author's Response: Hi! Okay -- I am SUPER late in responding to your reviews, and I know you said it's okay, but I still feel really bad. ♥ I just want you to know that I honestly really do appreciate your reviews so much, and I'm thrilled to pieces to know that you're already enjoying the story thus far!
I had no idea before starting to write this story how cliche it was, and then, of course, found out later. So I'm so pleased to hear that you and others have found it to be done well, which I am so grateful for! Beth is a character who's grown extremely close to my heart in the writing of these novels, and I'm really, really going to miss writing her story once it's all said and done. I tried very hard to make her as normal as possible, without trying to make it SEEM like I was trying, you know? (I made that mistake with another OC of mine!) She gets a lot of her quirks from me, and that is, I think, why they seem realistic a lot of the time: Because, in essence, they are real. :)
It was a surprise to me how fun it was to write the Marauders in this story, but now, in the middle of writing the third book, they're still as enjoyable as ever. :D There are sides I didn't see to them before writing them down, and I think writing the Marauders has given me a new appreciation for both the characters and the era. Sirius's characterization, as a side note, was heavily inspired by Toujours Padfoot's portrayal of him in her novel 'Curious Happenings at Number Twelve,' which is highly recommended!
But anyway. ♥ I'm so excited for you to get deeper into the story, and to hear your opinions on the plot I've set out. And I promise you -- Severus does make appearances! :P I apologize likewise for how long and rambling this response has turned out to be, too; I really shouldn't be responding to reviews this late. I'm pleased as punch, of course, to hear how much you're enjoying the story, and thank you so much for taking the time to leave me this review!! ♥
(And of course you can call me by my real name! It is easier to communicate with, and it's much more friendly, I think. No worries!) Report Review
Wow. The making of the map is awesome!! It's very creative kind of work, you know. =]
Hey, but are you sure this isn't AU? The map Harry uses doesn't have "Talons" written on it!
Anyway, can't wait to read the rest!
AshwiniAuthor's Response: I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I'm sure basically everyone knows by now, but fun story: I completely forgot about the Map until I posted the chapter before this one. :P I had to go back and write this chapter really quickly so I could post it here, just to explain things away! I'm quite pleased with how it turned out, and doubly so, knowing I wrote this chapter in a matter of a few days.
Oh, this is definitely AU! I try very, very hard to stick to canon events -- unless they're things that Beth would affect. Severus/Lily, the Marauder's Map, they're all things that change because Beth is a part of the story now. AU isn't a warning to the story, but it's definitely an element, as I'm sure you've noticed time and again.
Thank you for your review! I'm so excited to have you continue on in the story. :D Can't wait to hear your opinions on future chapters!! ♥ Report Review
Oh, James! Harry's so much like him- doesn't know anything about girls! ;) In the HP books, Hermione tries to help him and here Beth's doing the same thing. Oh, but I don't know what he's going to gift... I'm curious! ;)
Can't wait to read the rest!!
Ashwini =]Author's Response: I wrote James intentionally to be a lot like Harry. People wouldn't keep saying Harry was so much like his father if they didn't have similar personalities, you know? That's one of my biggest frustrations in other Marauder stories, that inconsistency. :P
At the risk of sounding like a broken record -- thank you so much, again, for taking the time to review! I honestly do appreciate it so much. Report Review
I knew Beth would be in the Order! :D I'm as excited as Sirius to see what happens next! I liked Dumbledore's charcterization.
Hey but Dumbledore called Sirius "Mr Black" in the last chapter, didn't he? I think he said "Sirius" in his letter. That seems a bit odd.
Ashwini =]Author's Response: Of course! After all, you knew the other Marauders would be -- and Beth isn't one to be left behind. ;) Dumbledore was so fun to write in this story! He's tricky, but it's like a puzzle; I recommend it, if you've not yet had the opportunity to write him.
I did fix that way of addressing Sirius! Alopex pointed it out, too, and I honestly don't know WHAT I was thinking. That's why it's so important to have great reviewers like you! ♥ Thank you so much for your review! Report Review
Seriously, just when I thought that I couldn't love Beth any more, she goes and sets James' book on fire! BAHAHAHAHA! :') And James' reaction to it was priceless - then Madam Pince coming around the corner! "“Destroying literature?” she hissed, snatching the book up off the table before James could grab it and stuff it out of sight." < I just had this picture in my mind of her giving James massively evil glares, as if he had just been kicking puppies or torturing small children! We don't see Pince very much in the books, but you include her really well here, and provide excellent amusement just like JKR did with all her glares and pursed lips - but I digress.
Aww at Beth and Sirius' conversation! Yet again, you blow me away with your talent - I've read so many fics where Sirius is unaffected by the Blacks after he runs away, but you show that they still have an influence on him, because a) they're his family and b) he was a part of them for fifteen years and while he might have had differing beliefs for some of that time, no-one could just throw away fifteen years with people they once loved. It just kind of reflects how Sirius and Beth can't stand what their family think, and they can't quite understand why their family think that - and I'm rambling, aren't I? (Sorry. I'm on my fifth cup of coffee and I'm still not back to human yet.)
I caught a typo, btw: "start having people arrested on suspicions of being" < suspicions doesn't need a third S. ;)
I loved Sirius' hot-headheadedness - it's so true to his personality, and I never say no to beating up Slytherins when they're like Avery. ;) McGonagall's reaction was priceless, although this line: “Enough, Black! And you, Avery – enough!” gave me the feeling that the stress was starting to get to her what with Dougal McGregor and Elphinstone Uruqhart occuring somewhere around that time, and worrying that her Muggle father and wandless mother might be victim to Death Eater attacks, and helping Dumbledore to run the Order... I don't know. I just got the impression that she was just... tired. If you know what I mean?
"“If anyone was provoked, it was Mr. Lupin, and I don’t see him sporting any sort of fighting injuries.” She looked up as though half-expecting such injuries to have blossomed in the time it took her to make the statement." < I can't describe how much I loved this bit, especially the latter part. Oh, if only one of them had thought to cast a charm that would make Remus look all bloodied. :P
This chapter was fantastic, and I think I'm going to go and edit one of my one-shots tonight so I can give you three more reviews. Cause, editing totally counts as writing a chapter, right? ;) ♥Author's Response: It's so embarrassing -- I was thinking about the scene where Beth sets James's book on fire, and Madam Pince gets all snippy, and accidentally giggled out loud at my own scenario! :D I guess it's good to be amused by your own writing! But I miss ITB Beth in ways I didn't realize until reading your reviews on her earlier self; I'm really, really glad you were able to make me see that. It's given me a few fresher ideas to work on in writing the second half of BE.
I've read a lot of fic about brash, cocky, nothing-can-touch-me-Sirius, too, and that just doesn't seem realistic from the canon glimpses we get of him. He's humorous and fun-loving, but you can see (especially in OotP) his darker side, too. And there's a lot of similarity in that respect, between Sirius and Beth and their families; Beth has little bits of all her friends in her, I think, as well as Sev, which is one of the reasons I love writing her so much. ♥ Whew. Getting all sentimental over here!
I wrote this segment before the Pottermore stuff on McGonagall came out, so I think it's so neat that you tied it into that! :D I'm grinning like a fool over here, let me tell you. I think she is a bit tired there, which is something I did intentionally anyway; after all that time of reprimanding Sirius, one would probably be understandably tired, no?
Editing is totally chapter-writing, what are you talking about? Hee! Oh, Katie. I truly have no words for you to express how much these reviews sincerely mean to me. I'm just so, so glad you're enjoying ITB so much. Seriously. I can't wait for you to find out the rest of the story!! Report Review
Suspense! Action! Sirius! < I love your Author's Notes, I really do! :P (But I love your chapters more!)
I suddenly got very worried about Snabeth when I read the beginning of your chapter, but became immensely happy upon reading this line: "But despite all of that, Beth couldn’t allow herself to think about him less." *breathes sigh of relief* ♥
I loved that conversation with Sirius, too! He's finally realized that adult life is vastly different from his current life - I'm guessing that he's going to grow up somewhat in In The Red and Breaking Even, but I still want to hug him. You always make me want to hug your characters and I just wish I could! D:
Remus is another character I just want to hug, seriously! He obviously feels so badly about possibly seriously injuring Beth while transformed, and he's scared, but that's just so double-standardy of James to agree with him! I mean, if it had been James or Sirius or Peter who had been given a non-serious scratch that looks worse than it is, would they have been insisting that the injured boy no longer help Remus out? How do you make stupid teenage boys so realistic?!
I loved loved loved that moment with Severus, because despite its briefness, it had so many lovely Snabeth feels. ♥ “I wouldn’t want it to be serious.” < Severus has feelings for Beth and just admitted it! (In a very indirect way of course, and I'm probably overanalyzing, but I just love the two of them together. ♥) (Have you noticed I tend to use hearts when talking about Snabeth? o.O)
I'm a little off at why Madam Pomfrey would let Beth go with healing her cut, though. Surely she would at least have tried to heal her?
We also finally start to see the effects of the war! Beth is completely right when she says that despite their youth, the students are aware of the war and how dangerous it is. D: That was a nice touch btw, setting up a way for Arthur Weasley to get promoted! XD
I apologize if this review didn't make sense; I'm currently caffeine-deprived and just about to go out in minus 8 degress Centigrade to get coffee. I'll do the next review after a cup (or ten) of coffee, but I just want you to know that I love this chapter, as always! ♥Author's Response: I don't think you and Sneth should have too much to worry about! After all, a trilogy indicates there should be much more in store for them. :P Although I'm pleased to know you're so concerned! And you're very right about Sirius in ITR and BE, too; he really does come into his own, although he never entirely loses his sense of fun (it gets severely quashed in Azkaban, in my head, but that's information for another time!). I will pass on the hugs to all of them!
Ugh. The boys wanting Beth to go to Madam Pomfrey is SUCH a double standard, right? Which is one of the reasons why she gets so annoyed herself! But then that gives her time with Severus, which, in my extremely biased opinion, is always a welcome thing. ♥ As for whether you're overanalyzing... no comment. :3
Ah, you got the bit about Arthur Weasley! I was quite proud of that little canon tie-in, which is probably a bit silly of me. I always get a bit frustrated when other people writing Marauders stories don't include things about the war. I know there are things I don't include in stories of mine, and mistakes are made... I don't know where I'm going with this. :P But the war is such a big part of this time in the wizarding world, and Hogwarts isn't some oasis, away from it all. It's very real to the students, just like it was real to the students in the same way in Harry's day.
Your reviews always make sense! ♥ And are so lovely, too. Thank you so much for this review!! Report Review
Sirius and Severus, both were great! ;) You've captured Severus' mind perfectly, I must say. His conversation with Lily, feelings about Beth and the confusion everything's just awesome.
As for Sirius's part, I thought it was very very good because I personally can't write Sirius.. =[ I find him too complicated, you know. He was mischievous, careless boy when he was in school and then maybe Azkaban changed him.
Anyway, can't wait to see where this goes! =]
AshwiniAuthor's Response: I'm so glad to hear you think I've got into Severus's mind well! :) I really have tried to explore his character accurately wherever I write him, and especially in these books. Hearing that really made my entire day!
Sirius is actually more complicated than I think I anticipated, but I got a lot of his characterization from the novel 'Curious Happenings at Number Twelve' by Toujours Padfoot -- Sarah has an absolutely BRILLIANT vision of him in that story, and I'd be lying if I didn't say a lot of my Sirius was inspired by it. That being said, I'm so happy you found him accurate here, too! This is one of the best reviews I've had on this chapter; just knowing that people are finding what I hoped they'd find in my stories... it's an indescribable feeling.
Your reviews are so great, Ashwini. I honestly cannot thank you enough for leaving them. :) Hoping to see you back very soon!! Report Review
This was very very touching... =[ I don't know why, but this almost made me cry. I hope Severus and Beth will come closer after finding this similarity between them. Still I don't figure out why the owl deliverred the letter to Severus. Hey, but it doesn't matter! I'm just glad that Severus and Beth are getting closer... =]
Ashwini =]Author's Response: Aww... I didn't mean to make you cry! Although I am pleased to have evoked such emotion in you, although I think that sounds a little strange. :P I definitely don't think you need to be worried about Beth and Severus getting closer, though, although I won't say too much more on that front.
In my head, the owl really just got confused; I don't know why, but I think I was just under the impression that it wasn't too bright. Sort of like Errol, I guess! But it's true -- Beth and Severus are getting to know each other a bit better, and that's all that matters.
Thank you so much for another really lovely review! ♥ Report Review
Confession: I read this chapter straight after I finished my last review on ITB, and I got attacked by so many feels that it took days to recover. :')
I just had that eerie feeling about Beth being so worried about hers and Peter's small sizes that something bad was going to happen, and oh, I was literally on tenterhooks reading this, just desperate to know what was going to happen next and whether they would be okay.
I have to admit that that idea of Beth's (although technically yours) to lure Remus into the Shack by providing tempting prey was partly genius and partly insane - it's so realistic, and the kind of spur-on-the-moment idea you get when you're panicking and need a plan - any plan, and Beth's actions really reflected her feelings.
BUT I DON'T LIKE THAT SHE GOT HURT! I know, I know - it's all to keep the plot moving, and it resulted in those lovely Snabeth feels that I'll talk about in a minute - but seriously, I was addicted to the screen and I didn't even notice the cat knocking over my cup of coffee; it was just one of the most intense, action-packed moments ever. I couldn't believe it was only one third of the chapter; those werewolf scenes had feels worthy enough for an entire chapter. :3
Quick question: "It swung toward the frame, and she had one final glimpse of him lunging for her before it clicked, locking magically as they’d charmed it to do for such an occasion." < Wouldn't Dumbledore have been the one to cast that spell, considering that the Marauders were only Animagi since 5th year - I'm sure he wouldn't want the risk of Remus escaping, or of him attacking Pomfrey back in his earlier schooldays, when she escorted him to the Shack? :3
I said in my last review that I missed Severus, didn't I? How lovely that he appears in this chapter, then! XD And yes, these Snabeth scenes caused that major attack of feels! I was literally bouncing in my seat, going "Oooh! Severus knows peregrine falcon noises!". :P
I loved that Thestral moment! It was just so cute to have Beth being able to do/see something that Severus couldn't; it really reinforces the differences between Beth and Lily and how the Snabeth relationship is more equal as opposed to Snape/Lily.
Ermagherd, and he heals her. Her focus on his hands is just asdfghjkl... “I don’t think so. James said that he read somewhere that time I couldn’t do it, that was probably due to an extreme emotional reaction.” THE FEELS> THE FEELS. And Severus liked hearing that! *squees into oblivion* I mean, seriously, Beth and her awkward moments are just so relatable! The most embarrassing moment of my life involved my incapability to shut up, so yeah. I know I've said this before, but Beth is just like an extension of me, and probably 99% of the human population. Oh - "And as soon as the words had escaped her lips, Beth wished they were physical, still hanging in the air, so she could quickly grab them and stuff them back into her mouth." < that quote was just brilliant! You describe her feelings so well. :3
Again, I love your characterization of Severus. That moment when he told Beth that he needed to know how to heal wounds... I know you probably intended for it to mean he needed to know the counter-curse to Sectumsempra, but it just made me think of a younger Severus in his bedroom, covering up and/or healing his wounds so that Lily wouldn't notice, and I really just wanted to hug him so badly. (Even though he'd probably curse me if I tried.) :3 I love how you wrote him to tell Beth that he wouldn't use Sectumsempra against anyone who didn't truly deserve it - it was so much more believable and truer to his character than if you had made him say he'd never use it on real people.
I love how Snabeth were in their own little world while they were talking, and Peter was just... forgotten. :P Poor third wheel! I wonder if he'll report back their conversation to the other Marauders? We know he's hardly trustworthy, after all.
AND YOUR ENDING. "He grinned into his pillow, unable to help it. He could tell she hadn’t quite meant to let that slip. But the fact that it had made him strangely happy." EEE-EEE-EEE-EEP!! (Sorry about the dashes - the archive cuts short any letter typed more than three times in a row.) I just loved that ending... things are really looking up for Severus and Beth, and finally! They need to get together already! ♥
Another wonderful, amazing and super-fantastic chapter as always! XD
PS: I'll give you the other two reviews tonight - it's half past five in the morning here!
PPS: It's actually Catherine with a C. ;)Author's Response: Fair warning again -- for some reason I'm dead tired tonight, and still haven't set out to tackle writing of my own. I apologize heartily in advance for less than satisfactory review responses!
This is one of my very, very favorite chapters in this story (I can't pick, of course), and I'm so glad that you enjoyed it too! It seemed to be as suspenseful on your end as I hoped it would be on mine, and that's really all I can ask for. I don't know where the idea came from, but I just... I had /so/ much fun writing this chapter, and that's something I can clearly remember over a year after writing it. And I'm doubly grateful to you, I feel you should know -- I'm working on an OF right now that will involve werewolves, and knowing that someone things I can write a scene involving them is so, so encouraging to that end. ♥
Severus reappears! As I mentioned he would -- obviously I could never keep him away for too long, could I? I myself would miss him too much. This is also probably the shippiest chapter in the story thus far, which may account for why I liked it so much. Pay attention to the thestral, though; that does crop back up again in ITR. I did plan a few things in advance!
True story: The focusing on Severus's hands is entirely, fully, 100% me. I am such a sucker for guys with large, thin hands, and I don't even know where that comes from. It's such a weird thing to be attracted to! A lot of Beth does come from me, and I realize that more and more as new people read the story: Her awkwardness, her occasional shyness, her fixation on hands, her dislike of spiral staircases. I wrote more of myself into her than I consciously meant to, which isn't a bad thing. And it's probably why I'm so attached to her story now!
Severus. ♥ I just... there is a very good reason I wrote three novels centered around him, and it's because I love his character SO much. And giving him a love interest... it was a challenge, some people probably think it's not even plausible, but I wanted him to be happy. And now I'm having all these feels because I have only one half of a book left to write of this story, and I am getting SO off topic! -melts into a puddle of goo-
Your reviews. My responses to them don't even BEGIN to cover how wonderful they are. Truly! Thank you so, so, so much for leaving them for me. :3 ♥ Report Review
I think this is the last review for tonight. I'll continue later on.
I have one itsy bitsy nitpick (you may have noticed by now that sometimes I fixate on tiny things :P ). The note Dumbledore sent was addressed to Sirius, which surprised me a tiny bit considering that he had addressed him as Mr. Black in the previous chapter. The professors also seem to refer to students by their last names most of the time in the books, though there are some exceptions.
Anyway. I like how this chapter continues developing information that is relevant to the outside world, as well as to the lives of your characters post-Hogwarts. I know I've said similar stuff already, so I won't keep discussing it.
I wonder if Lily is going to be involved with it all soon as well?
Speaking of Lily, I'm actually glad that she wasn't present in this chapter. I know I remarked before that you were doing a good job of incorporating her into the circle of friends. However, I am also enjoying that she still sits with her own friends at the Gryffindor table sometimes, and that the Marauders + Beth still have their own little meetings and activities and such without her.
I think it was also a good call that Severus wasn't present either. Sure, the Snape/Beth romance angle has to be advanced somehow, but you had a couple of chapters that did quite a bit of that. Now you are turning the focus elsewhere and advancing something else for a little while. No doubt Severus will be back soon. :P Changing the focus around is a decent way to slow the story down, develop multiple angles, and build up to them all fitting together in different ways down the road.Author's Response: I have never noticed that Dumbledore addressed Sirius as 'Sirius' in that letter -- and I have no idea why I would have written something like that in the first place. :P Thank you for being astute enough to point it out!
When I started writing this, I was a bit worried about getting in enough of the information about the world outside of Hogwarts, the war and all that -- because it did affect the students, and it's not something I've seen in a lot of Marauder fic. So the fact that you're commenting on it and noticing its development is actually a relief on my end! :) And it's the same, I think, with Lily, the feeling of relief after seeing that your impression of her was kind of what I was wanting to get across. It's another common theme in Marauders stories that I sort of wanted to omit. There seem to be a lot of those, I've come to find in responding to reviews!
Severus will definitely be back soon, but he does need a break every once in a while, as it were. :P I'm looking forward to seeing your opinions of him when he next crops up! Thank you, as always, for your lovely Christmas reviews. I'm glad you took the time to read such a significant amount of this story for me! Report Review
Wow! Amazing chapter! This is the first time we've heard from Sirius, if I'm not mistaken. I really enjoyed that. As with James, Sirius is a character I usually don't greatly care for in fanfiction (let's face it: I usually only care for Remus, and not always). However, this was an interesting portrayal.
First of all, I liked to see that he was experiencing some consequences from his horrible, misguided prank. He's a bit alienated from his friends right now and feeling sorry for himself, and that seemed realistic. Also, sneaking about with mice in his pocket to set loose in the girls' bathroom . . . immature prank, which is typical but you didn't belabor it.
At the same time, it is obvious that he's trying to grow up a bit, despite his immaturity. Yeah, I'm sure Dumbledore just got "lost" and all. :P That seemed like the perfect Dumbledorish encounter, though! I was impressed by the scene and interaction between him and Sirius. Also, it served to advance the plot in the outside world. I'm glad that you are keeping sight of the bigger picture. Sometimes it is so easy to forget what is happening outside the walls of Hogwarts and focus only on the little details of the characters' lives.
I'm working a bit backward here, but I just wanted to talk about the Sirius POV section first. I also enjoyed the Snape POV section. I can't resist pointing out that he was involved in a near-collision for the second time in this story so far. :P However, the conversation he had with Lily was really interesting.
I remarked on the previous chapter that I liked Lily trying to warn Beth, and this seemed like a logical progression. I think the scene showed that Lily still has some positive feelings/memories toward Severus, even though she doesn't have illusions about him anymore, really. She's leaving the door open for him to do the "right thing," I guess.
I'm now starting to ramble around without really knowing what I'm saying anymore. At any rate, I found this to be an excellent chapter, definitely one of the best so far.Author's Response: I'm so glad that you enjoyed this! And yes, this is the first time that we see at least part of a chapter from Sirius's perspective. It's not the last, either; he ended up being a rather integral part of this story, more than I think I expected!
I thought it was important to show the sort of realism of the prank-pulling. When you think about it, you would be really pretty mad if one of your friends did the same thing, and so often in fan fiction things like this are blown over. I don't quite know where the idea for mice came from, of course. :P But he does want to be taken seriously, despite the fact that he has a penchant for the immature, and I think Dumbledore can see that in him. For all the times J.K. Rowling mentioned his eyes as being like x-rays, I figure he must have been able to see straight to the heart of people, and especially people like Sirius, who truly do wear their hearts on their sleeves.
And speaking of Dumbledore, it is absolutely fantastic that you thought that scene was, well, Dumbledore-ish! He is a bit tricky to write sometimes -- he has such a distinctive voice -- and reviews like yours make me think I'm getting it right. :)
I mentioned this, I think, in a response to another review on this chapter, but regarding Lily, I almost think that at this point she would have been jealous of Snape turning his attentions to someone else. You know? She's a smart girl; she couldn't have been totally oblivious to the fact that Severus paid some attention to her. If he was moving onto Beth, it really might make her feel... I don't know the word for it. Insecure? Envious? I hope I'm making sense.
I'm seriously so happy you enjoyed this chapter, Alo! Thank you, as always, for such wonderful reviews. ♥ I'm grateful for them!! Report Review
Ok, I am finally getting to the final batch of the Secret Santa reviews. Sorry it took me a bit longer than planned . . . the whole PMing back and forth to find out how you wanted your round two "coupon" redeemed dragged out longer than I had anticipated and ate up the gap of time I was planning to use. Since you know who I am now, there's not much point in doing them anonymously. :P
Anyway, typo first: You wrote "friends of him" instead of "friends of his" when mentioning Severus's friends.
I totally have to agree with Sirius about the postal service. Even though the owl post makes JKR's wizarding world unique, I've never been a big fan, personally. I know some people have birds that they dearly love, but I happen to find birds messy and disgusting. They often have little mites, and they poop everywhere. I don't want a bird flying over my breakfast, thank you very much.
I guess this sort of serves as a continuation of the previous chapter, where we are beginning to see Beth and Severus interact more. I like that you have allowed this to come about slowly, but now that it's chapter 11, we can see some progression. Obviously, the fact that they now have a shared secret for the time being also brings them together.
The owl mix-up was pretty obvious from the moment Beth saw an owl she thought was hers at first, and I'm always suspicious of coincidences. :P However, I'm not going to complain about it seeming unrealistic because you worked hard to make it all sound plausible rather than just expecting readers to swallow unexplained coincidence.
I liked that you had Lily try to warn Beth about Severus. That was a good touch.
That's all I have to say for the moment. On to the next chapter!Author's Response: Oh, no apologies are necessary! I'm afraid that I'm actually a little behind in responding to reviews -- they piled on quite before I knew what to expect -- so I actually owe YOU an apology. I'm really glad you came back here at all! And I'll start out by thanking you, as always, for catching typos; no matter how many times I read over my old chapters, there always seem to be things I miss.
Using owls for the postage service has ALWAYS bugged me, for the exact reasons you point out -- when you get to thinking about it, it's so gross! I think that's probably why that bit's in there at all, really. A bit of the author leaking into the characters, as it were. (And now I'm just imagining everything that could be nasty that could happen as far as they're concerned... ugh.)
I definitely didn't want to rush Severus into any sort of romantic relationship, mostly because... that's really not him, you know? So I'm really glad that you seem to appreciate that. :) The owl mix-up was never intended to be anything less than a lead-in to something bigger, either, so your being suspicious of coincidences was probably a good thing in this case! I'm glad that it seemed realistic to you anyway, because that is something I definitely try and put in all my writing.
Thank you so much for such a nice review! ♥ And again, sorry it's taken so long to respond. Looking forward to responding to your other reviews, too! Report Review
Oh no!! James told EVERYONE- Sirius, Peter, Remus and even Lily! Well, that was so much like James, but still I didn't like it. I hope Sirius won't make fun of poor Beth! =[
I know I'm leaving reviews like mad everyday, but I'm determined to read and review all the chapters of In the Black and In the Red before you start posting the third book. =]
Ashwini Author's Response: Yes... James was kind of a blabber mouth here. :( In my head, this is where his arrogant side comes out. I know it's not explicitly explained, but I've got events in my head set up so that I think he told Lily (when others were around) what he knew to impress her. Poor boy...
Gah, you are too incredible. I'm really enjoying your reviews, and it's so exciting that you not only want to finish but that you're already thinking about reading ITR, too! That seriously means so much to me. ♥ I can't believe I'm already getting ready to post the last chapter of that book -- and I'm almost halfway through writing the third! Where did time go?!
But anyway. :D Thank you so much for all your lowly reviews, really. I'm honored to have them! Report Review
It's good that Beth shared her secret with someone. The reason why Beth couldn't change form was very reasonable. It's like metamorphmaguses, isn't it? Like Tonks was unable to use her abilities?
Anyway, a nice chapter, as usual!
Ashwini =]Author's Response: I think Beth needed someone like James to listen to her -- I know I always feel better just talking to someone about things, if only to get them off my chest. Talking makes things make more sense, you know?
Yes! I did take the emotion-blocking idea from Metamorphmagi, and Tonks in book six. There are similar elements between that and Animagi, I think. I'm pleased that you're astute enough to catch onto that!
So, so glad you're still sticking around this story. ♥ Thank you for your review, Ashwini!! Report Review
Remus John Lupin, I love you. ♥ Seriously, you are a genius. How on earth did you think of that prank? It was just so hilarious, and so awesome, that I can't stop laughing! Remus should be the mastermind more often! ;) (That part about him getting last-minute nerves was completely in character for him, too.)
I caught two typos: “Not one. Four,” said Remus, and sure enough, he procured four more from seeming oblivion," - The first is, if Remus stole four goblets, and has one in his hand, he should have three more in his robes. ;) The second is "from seeming oblivion" and I don't know, but it just doesn't sit right with me. "seemingly from oblivion" flows better - for me, anyway. :P
FILCH! FILCH! His reaction to the prank was just so hysterical! *rolls around on floor laughing even more* And Peeves' reaction to being accused; he's innocent of the crime, but he's still happy to use it as an opportunity to wind Filch up further. They just play so well off of each other, I think! (Or maybe that's just your writing creating miracles!)
And aww. Poor Sirius! I think he's been thinking that he can prank members of the Order, having fun as he fights Voldemort - and Remus? James? It's not particularly clear who makes the comment about the ending of seven years, but whichever it was, it certainly sobered Sirius. I just wanted to hug the poor guy and tell him that it was all going to be okay. ♥ (Even though we know it won't be. *sobs*)
And do you hear that sound? That's the Sorting Hat breathing a sigh of relief that it won't be eaten - after all, my Snabeth feels are getting heartbroken (yes, the feels in my heart have hearts themselves) at the practically nothing that we've seen of Severus. I know that this is Beth's story, and I know that realistically, she can't see Severus on a daily basis and have long, in-depth conversations with him but I miss Severus.Author's Response: I actually got the idea for the prank from a story I heard once about a senior prank at a high school -- nowhere near me, but I found it highly amusing! I cannot take credit for it, unfortunately. It just seemed like there had been a serious lack of pranks for a Marauders-in-Hogwarts story, you know? (I actually messed up the numbers the first time around; that's why Remus pulled out four goblets, instead of three. Thanks for catching that year-old error!)
You know, not enough people write either Filch OR Peeves into their stories, in my opinion. :P And their playing off each other is so much fun to write, too! I'm glad you liked it.
And then, of course, there's that bit of a downer at the end of the chapter... the realization that yes, the boys have to grow up. I'm going to be interested in your take on the characters in the last chapter, and in ITR, because for some reason in my head they switched into adult mode unbelievably fast. In the span of about a week, between finishing the first and starting the second, it felt like I was writing totally different characters! And that sort of starts here, I think, with the official declaration to end pranks. Anyway, that's where I was going with that paragraph. :P
I promise Severus is returning to you before too long! ♥ Although it's making me extremely happy that you ship him and Beth so much, you know. I don't know if I've told you that before, but having someone jump on board a ship I essentially created is basically the best thing ever. Thank you so much for your review!! Report Review
It's always Sirius, isn't it? Sirius, the inspiration behind the Marauders' Map (as well as Peter), Sirius, the one who prods everyone to join the Order as well as Sirius who's incredibly impatient waiting for news of Dumbledore - which Harry is too! (Clever, clever Rachel!)
I really love how Sirius behaves - it's just so true to everything we know about him! (Even though I had to go and look up apathetic to figure out what it meant. :3) I loved how that little second-year reacted! It was just so sweet - and again, incredibly relatable. You could just tell that she was scared she'd do something stupid - like, I don't know, accidentally throw a frisbee at the Head Boy's head? *cough* Which I may or may not have done when I was 13... *cough* I feel really stupid though - when I first read Dumbledore's letter, I was like: "Why would there be sweets all over the castle floor? ...Oh. It's the password."
BAHAHAHA at the trick that Remus played! Again, incredibly relatable! I swear you can read their minds, and they're fictional characters. >.< And again, your characterization of Dumbledore is just too perfect asdfghjkl. (Are you secretly JKR in disguise?!) I have to admit to being just a little disappointed when I found out that 9 Dustund Way was an apartment.. I've been wondering what it was all the way through this story (I use the drop down bar to change chapters after accidentally skipping a chapter with the >> button, so I read all the chapter names before reading chapter 2) and I'd built up a picture in my head of somewhere grand, like Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place - possibly the Bridger home, and later on, potentially the Maycott house. Whoops. :3
The moment when James asked Dumbledore if Lily and her friends could join the Order was so sweet - how embarrassed he was, and his surprise at Dumbledore's omniscience - it was just so James. And his admission that he loved Lily just set off a whole load of James/Lily feels (I can't stand the Jily ship name; not sure why) and I was just aww aww aww aww like James was a baby kitten. *blushes*
I think that asterisk break in between James' admission and his friends' reactions might be a typo - it seems to be the same situation, so you don't really need it, although you might have added it for dramatic effect - I'm not too sure.
My James/Lily feels are dancing happily; and my Snabeth feels are gloomy that they only got two sentences in this whole chapter... there's proof of how brilliant you are at canon adherence even in a (slightly) AU fic. XDAuthor's Response: It always Sirius! I don't know exactly how he came to be such a key figure in this entire plot -- I don't think I meant for him to be, but at the same time, I have no regrets. :P I had a lot of fun writing how I saw him! His characterization's pretty distinct, but I'm glad you're enjoying it here all the same. :P He's just so... bubbly, and energetic, and yet at the same time he CAN be serious when the time calls for it. I've probably said all this before... No mind-reading here, unfortunately! :P
9 Dustund Way is basically the dingiest place in London -- well, not really, of course. You'll see it in books two and three, and actually several key plot points play out there! Nothing grand, though, and I rather think that after Dustund Way, Grimmauld Place would (almost) have been welcome headquarters.
I can't stand the Jily ship name, either; there are a lot of ship names I can't stand, come to think of it (with the exception of Sneth!), but there you go. I put the asterisk in there, though, to show a change in point of view; it's a little subtle, because the last section does end looking at James, but it's actually from Beth's point of view. The asterisk makes it switch to James's. Sorry for the confusion!
Definitely an AU fic, but trying to tie to canon as much as possible... if such a thing exists. :D Thank you for your review! ♥ Report Review
HANDS OFF MY SHIP, JAMES ALEXANDER POTTER. I don't like the way he noticed that Severus was looking at the five of them - or more specifically, Beth - and didn't tell her when he could've! You always make James do something like this just when I fall in love with him all over again, but oddly enough the rational side of me actually likes seeing James being human and making stupid choices. It's a small war between emotions and rationality that you've started up here! :P
And now we go back to the start. The reunion was lovely - James missing Lily (and his friends), and Peter's complaints about the consequences of procrastinating - silly boy - and Remus ignoring him - even sillier boy - but one little thing bugged me: you said that "Remus, who often grudgingly let the other four copy his work" - in past chapters, you've always mentioned that Beth is (almost) as studious as Remus, so why would she be copying his homework? :3
The reaction to the divorce was perfect Marauders - James' shiftiness, Sirius diverting the attention onto himself (he's quite the attention seeker, isn't he?) and the whole thing being outed, then discarded - no, that's the wrong word. I don't know... I mean, they know it's happening, and now it's over - oh, I'm probably not making sense here. (Can you tell that it's going to be one of those days?)
"I'd really like not to have to play the hero so soon." - That line really reminded me of Harry, and it's really evident here how similar James and Harry are, despite the vast difference between James' (increasingly former) prankster lifestyle and Harry's incredibly angsty life. :3 ♥
Beth's reaction towards the news that James wanted to marry Lily was priceless! And she's completely right - it would be so awkward for James if Lily said no. (Although I think if Lily had said no, then was told the meaning behind the ring, she'd be kind-hearted enough to return it.) It's going to be incredibly fun though to see how James proposes to Lily when she's already wearing the ring! XD
Silly James, teasing Beth about Severus. Didn't he, when he confronted her about her crush, admit that he understood she didn't want to be teased for it because he'd been through the same thing with Lily? Tsk. Boys - tell them something, and it'll go into one ear and out of the other. :P
But oooh! Lily's going to discover that her boyfriend can turn into a stag? (Highly appropriate for his stag night, actually - I wonder if Sirius will remember that antlers-in-a-human-head charm he used on a second year at Christmas for the aforemented stag night? :P)
It is a testament to how ridiculously talented you are as an author that a chapter that isn't my favourite (not due to your writing skills, but due to my ever-increasing Snabeth shipping) is still a chapter that I adore. I know that I can't shut up about how brilliant In The Black is, but that's because it is. ♥
(Side note: this chapter has sparked some hope in the Sorting Hat that it won't be eaten. *cries at threat to Snabeth feels*)Author's Response: Ironically, James is not the one who ends up messing with Sneth the most -- but I'm getting ahead of myself! I'm glad you like that that's human, though, because that's exactly why I wrote him to do all that sort-of mean stuff: He IS human, and humans do nothing if not make mistakes. I'm happy that you liked their little reunion, too! It's weird -- that scene is basically exactly what happened when I got back from my break from uni this year. Who knew?
I intentionally gave James a few lines here and there to connect him to his son. ;) Although you really can make the argument that James and Harry did have similar lives, insomuch as they were both constantly in trouble for something or another. True, Harry definitely had a bit more of a burden, but it's really pretty cool how much father reminded me of son sometimes. Oh, and yes -- he definitely told Beth he wouldn't tease her, which of course is precisely why he forgot about it and teased her here. Old habits die hard! Boys indeed. :P
Your compliments on this story are too much. ♥ The fact that you can enjoy such a filler-esque chapter so much -- still necessary to the plot, in my opinion, but perhaps not as action-packed as others -- really makes me so happy. Thank you for your review, as I thank you for all your others! Report Review
Oh, James. Oh, Sirius. You just made yourself very unpopular by kicking Mrs Norris. :( Somehow, though, it really does highlight Sirius' flawed personality - remember his little speech in OotP about your character being revealed by the way you treat those lesser than you? And Mrs Norris must be old to have been around in the Marauders era - although Filch might have named all of his cats Mrs Norris - maybe after some (unavailable) woman he loved? :3
James and Lily and a small, stout box?! I'm inclined to think that it's jewellery of some kind; perhaps a necklace? As you don't mention him getting down on a knee to give it to her and I've always thought of James as proposing on one knee in a kind of romantic setting. (Side note: I wonder if those bells Sirius got Beth can be charmed to play the Wedding March and throw confetti? Perhaps we'll see their reoccurence at a certain wedding?) Plus, they've only been dating for four months - although there is a war on, which might affect James' decisions. Hmm. I'll find out in the next chapter, hopefully!
Sirius and toilets? I'm half-prepared to bet that at least one of the toilets in question is located in a certain ghostly-occupied bathroom... ;) And those bells just made me laugh! Only Sirius would think of something like that!
I liked the little detail you added about Sirius' pile being neat, and as he's never neat it indicated he had been there for some time - I'm not sure why, but I know that I felt it was a nice description to include.
I got a little confused though at the fact that Beth has never had a Hogwarts Christmas. Wouldn't she have wanted to stay at school instead of going home to her parents arguing? Although you did mention in an earlier chapter that she always hoped it would have stopped every time she went home, so maybe I'm just nitpicking here? :3
I liked that anecdote about Walburga sending Sirius the crumbs from their fruitcake, and how Sirius was offended that she hadn't sent all the crumbs - although with the Blacks being all posh, they might just be skilled at eating their food without spilling crumbs. With the exception of Sirius, of course. :P
Beth's parents. Oh, the perils of adults acting like children. Her mother's letter was wonderfully atrocious - if mine ever sent me a letter like that, I'd be questioning her sanity - and that jewellery. Ugh. On that subject though, I noticed another typo: "None of the pieces of jewelry would have made their way onto her wrists at any time," - what about her neck and ears? ;) Also, in her father's letter, "your loving father" should be on one line, because signing off a letter with just "Your loving," sounds strangely odd.
I'm really curious as to what other presents that Beth got! I hope that you mention those in the next chapter because well, I'm a Gemini and that's a perfect excuse to be nosy. ;)
(Side note: When you mentioned Beth's hope that Sirius would liven up the Christmas feast, I suddenly got a picture in my head of him charming the Christmas turkey to suddenly stand up and dance across the table and, when people tried to catch it, it would run away singing "You can't catch me!" like in the children's story The Gingerbread Man! Your writing is so brilliant, it keeps inspiring me! :3)
Another typo: "Fat snowflakes were falling from the ceiling," should be fake, I believe. ;)
Severus is BAAACK!! XD And the way that Beth is so excited that he thought of her and her reaction to that, and the fact that Severus actually did spend time thinking about her and I'm fangirling about this moment and I've lost the ability to produce coherent speech much like Beth and - *hands take a deep breath* I digress.
HE TOUCHED HER! HE TOUCHED HER! Okay, so it was a friendly gesture but... he touched her. I love this. Mistletoe moment! - although I've already mentioned two reviews ago what would probably happen if there had been mistletoe. :3
Oh, and holly berry red is the shade my face is now after all that fangirling. How do you write them so tortorously perfectly?! ♥
(This is my new second-longest review ever. I'm going to run out of characters soon...)Author's Response: Ooh, and here I was mentally cheering the pair of them on for kicking her... Haha! Isn't that supposed to be everyone's dream? :P
There was so much Sirius in this chapter, more than I think I realized, but it became apparent to me in your review. I loved writing him in this story, and still love writing him in the third book. I'm really going to miss him when it's all done, I think. Sarah's characterization of him vastly inspired mine, of course -- she sees him in such a fun way, it was hard not too myself! And yet he does have a bit of a serious side, especially where things like his family are concerned. I think I have a thing for characters with two sides to their personalities... if he counts as one of those, of course.
Ah, and still no mistletoe! :P I think anyone hoping for oodles of romance in this story was probably sorely disappointed... but I just cannot see Severus being romantic, and especially not this early in a not-relationship. It was hard to make him romantic in any respect! I'm so happy you appreciate the ship, in any case. ♥ I tried so hard to write them realistically, while at the same time progressing forward, and your compliments to that end really are so encouraging.
Thank you so much for yet another great review! :3 ♥ Report Review
I was slightly worried at first, reading that first sentence - but when it turned out that Sirius was annoyed at his quill for blotching ink onto his parchment, it was a relief! Ironically, in my Marauders fic, ten-year-old Sirius is told off by his governess for "the blots of green ink smeared all over his homework", which had me gobsmacked. Great minds obviously think alike! ;) I agree with Peter too - it's obviously Sirius' bad handwriting that causes the splotches of ink on his parchment.
I love how everyone is so unreceptive to Sirius' idea of making a map at first, and then as he gets more excited that excitement infects the others! It's so true of Sirius' character - how he's easily bored, and how he literally bounces off of the walls when he's hyperactive like some sort of man-child! Characterization - spot on. Again. Seriously, don't you have any flaws?!
I love the idea of the charm that makes the whole castle end up on paper! *hands a whole plateful of brownies with Nutella on top to you for thinking of such a super concept* I only have one little nitpick - would the Ministry use a beginner's spell for all those Ministry-related buildings? Especially when you consider the size of the Ministry itself; wouldn't it be better to have the book be Intermediate? (And then you could explain that a) Remus is too smart for a beginner's guide or b) he has a secret passion for architecture or c) he was given both Beginner's and Intermediate as Christmas / birthday gifts, and the required spell is in the latter book? Just my opinion - feel free to ignore me; I'm probably overanalyzing.)
"I might kiss you." BAHAHAHA! I've always had a soft spot for Remus/Sirius, but most fics I've read didn't do them justice in my opinion - and I loved the way you hinted at that here, although I know it's not happening. (Yes, I opened up a new tab to see if there was a slash warning. :3) Sirius' ability to speak before he thinks is always a good source of amusement in this fic. XD
Typo: "which, as it was a spell, Beth rationed it probably did." That should be "rationalized that" instead of rationed. ;)
"I think we need to build you a statue." Ohmygod, yes! That would be awesome! Remus Lupin, immortalized in stone. Awwmyfeels. :3 (Can you tell how much I'm fangirling by the lack of my spaces in between words?)
NO. WHY SHUSH PETER?! They're signing their own death warrants there - I've always thought that Peter felt unwanted by his friends because when they were bored, they allowed him to be involved - like with the map idea - but when things get moving, he's forgotten or unimportant. In my view, that uncertainty of how exactly his friends felt about him and whether they would look out for him when it came to the crunch was part of the reason he betrayed James and Lily to Voldemort - he was looking out for himself and joining the side he thought would win, because he couldn't trust his friends. That's quite sad, to think about it. But I digress.
The ink alarm was a wonderful idea - and how perfect for Sirius to be the victim, considering his battle with ink at the beginning of the chapter! And the Critic's Curse was another fabulous idea, although it sounds more like a charm to me. ;) One question though: why would the other Marauders and Beth trust Sirius to write their nicknames on the Map, when he's already proved himself incapable of not blotting the parchment?
Those scenes with Sir Cadogan! *rolls around on floor laughing* How rude of Sirius to poke his painting! (Is it just me at three o'clock in the morning or was there some sexual innuendo in that sentence? :3) Your characterization of Sir Cadogan was perfection itself, and the fact that I'm singing your praises on the characterization of a portrait should be proof enough of that!
All of the hyperactivity of this chapter is affecting me, so I'm really excited at how they created the map - but I think it might have been better if it had lasted longer - say, over the Christmas holidays? That said, I'm completely aware of how sometimes the best things are done in minimal time - when I was fourteen, my best piece of homework done in Design & Technology class for the whole year was done in five minutes flat in the girls' toilets just before class. *blushes*
(Oh, and you know that longest-review-ever-written note I mentioned last chapter? It got knocked to second place - on this one, I have 1518 characters left. Uh oh.)Author's Response: How funny that we wrote Sirius so similarly! I think the thing you probably need to know about this chapter, from the onset, is that I TOTALLY forgot about including in the map until this point in the story, and literally wrote this chapter in a (very long) sitting. There are certainly things about it that aren't ideal. ;) And that's probably why it feels a bit rushed, too, but I don't know what my brain was thinking, excluding the map initially. Oops!
Writing Beth and the boys in this chapter, though, was inexplicably fun. ;) And even coming up with explanations for everything, however implausible or hurried or whatever... I like how it all turned out! It was just a lot of fun, one of those chapters where you love what you're writing and you can't wait to get it out onto paper/screen. You know?
Ah, you caught my small Remus/Sirius slip! As soon as I wrote that, I remember busting out laughing; I totally didn't set it up to be that way, but I so left it in there on purpose!
Sir Cadogan, though, he's probably my very favorite part of this chapter. ADORE him -- he needs to make his way into more fic! I'm so glad that you enjoyed him, and I tell you, I will probably include him again in future stories just because of how much fun he genuinely was to write.
Aargh, my responses just do not do your reviews justice, I swear. ♥ Thank you so much for leaving such lovely ones!! Report Review
First off, I know I promised to finish my reviews two days ago, but all week I've been staying up until 5, 6 and 7am to read ITB, and because we've got builders here I've been waking up at 8am all week, so for the past two days I've done nothing except sleep, eat and do things that don't require (a lot of) brain power in order to recover from the major overdose of feels combined with how addictive ITB is. ♥ Seriously, I've never stayed up so late (early?) so many nights in a row to read one story, so consider yourself honoured. ;) I will do my best to finish those reviews sometime soon, if only so I can find out what happens! XD
HAHA! I love how Remus docked points from Sirius for annoying him! (You don't mind if I borrow that for my Marauders fic? I'll credit you; promise! ♥) Beth's feelings about her parents are incredibly relatable though; although mine never married in the first place and split when I was one, I've seen friends' parents divorce and it's not nice at all. Also, this quote: "Somehow it felt good to channel all her misgivings about her life into the divorce, because that was a far easier thing than to blame herself for them." is incredibly relatable yet again - I tend to blame my laziness on anything except me, and that quote really sums up why In The Black has been so popular on the forums - it's just amazing how readers (well, me anyway) can identify with your characters and see them in us / ourselves in them.
I would LOVE to be at Hogwarts, even if only for the run-up to Christmas, and the Christmas holidays! And those garlands sound lovely - poor house-elves though; that's so much decorating to do! :3
JAMES' REACTION TO PETER'S QUESTION!! It made me laugh; visualizing Daniel Radcliffe's face in my mind looking horrified at the thought that he's supposed to get a gift for his girlfriend. And it really shows why they keep Peter around when he asks questions like that; if he hadn't, James would not be a very popular boyfriend on Christmas Day... and on that same topic, Beth is a saint! Seriously, if my best friend demanded that I sit outside in the snow for half an hour, I would at least expect some Honeydukes chocolate as a reward - preferably the bars that Remus likes which warm you up. (I'd definitely need it!) A few paragraphs later though, you mention that it's six o'clock in the morning and I'm trying to work out what kind of shop would be open for business at five thirty in the morning? >.<
SNABETH FEELS AGAIN. Aww, Beth and Severus had a conversation that lasts longer than five minutes? FINALLY! ♥ And Beth's feeling of being equal with Severus was just asdfghjkl. We've seen her feel so unconfident around him, fumbling through her sentences that it's so incredibly lovely to see her finally gaining confidence - and that ending just killed me with all of the Snabeth feels it had. The only thing missing from that scene was some mistletoe - because hey, watching/reading them be all awkward about the "expected" kiss would so be fun! Although Severus would probably spoil it by snagging it and saying he needed it for a potion or something, the silly boy. :3
(And this is the longest review I've ever written. Whoops!)Author's Response: I know I've told you before, but I'll say it again -- seriously, take your time! ♥ Goodness knows my schedule means I'm responding to these reviews a bit slower than I'd have otherwise liked, so you're way ahead of me. I'm just thrilled that you're enjoying this story so much!
My parents aren't divorced, either, and most of my friends with divorced parents don't talk about it too much, so I was kind of writing blind in that area. (It is an odd fear of mine, actually, that my parents will divorce... even though I really don't think they will! But that's off-topic, I suppose.) I would LOVE to see Hogwarts at Christmas! I think that if I could ever see it, just once -- pretend it's real, yeah? -- then I'd choose to go around Christmas. How gorgeous would it be, all decorated and snowed in?
One thing I keep meaning to specifically thank you for, as far as your reviews are concerned, is how often you bring up how realistic this story and its characters are to you. And I just want you to know how HUGE of a compliment I take that as. My number one priority, always, in any sort of writing, even fan fiction -- it's making things as real as possible with the restrictions like magic or whatever. Realism absolutely sells writing for me, and that's one of the reason I love dystopian novels, that hint of realism. But anyway, I'm absolutely /thrilled/ that you're able to relate so well to ITB thus far, and you should just know how highly I take comments like that. Honestly. I cannot express it properly into words how much that means to me. ♥
Oh my goodness -- I cannot even imagine being asked to do something like stand about in the snow because a friend forgot a Christmas present for their boyfriend or girlfriend. :D It takes a saint indeed! But then she got to talk to Severus, I suppose, so it was probably worth it for Beth. Although the mistletoe avenue will be exceptionally barren, I'm afraid, and probably will be for some time... You'll see what I mean in future chapters, I suppose! Look at me, being all horrifically vague...
This response was a total flop. I feel that way about all my responses to you, actually. :D But I seriously do appreciate your reviews so much, and I just hope you know that! Thank you!! ♥ Report Review
very interesting, I'm really getting pulled into this story. I loveee itAuthor's Response: I'm so glad you're still reading! :) I think the story does take a while to sort of pick up, and if I was writing it now, I do think I'd try and speed up the beginning -- but hearing you're enjoying it makes me feel awesome.
Thank you, once again, for such lovely reviews, and I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on future chapters, too! ♥ You're awesome! Report Review
Beth's emotions were the best part of this chapter. She couldn't transform into a falcon when she tried, Severus was almost dead, it was full moon and she couldn't believe Sirius did this. Poor Beth, no wonder she cried. :( That's obvious, wasn't it?
The awkward breakfast was nice. ;)
Ashwini Author's Response: I actually really like the emotions in this chapter -- they just felt very right and natural when I was writing it, which I can remember even now -- and it's great to hear that you liked them, too! She did kind of have a breakdown at the end, of course, but like you said, that's probably not that unexpected after everything she just went through. ;)
It's still making me so happy to see that you're continuing on with this story. It's so awesome that you're still reading! ♥ Thank you very much, Ashwini!! Report Review
Oh no, Sirius! So Beth was right, he was planning against Snape. I was waiting to know more about the full moons Beth spent with Remus, and this was awesome. :D the descriptions of the night are great and Beth was perfect, as always. :)
Just a question- I thought James was a seeker, not chaser. I think Rowling told us in the first book, didn't she?
Ashwini =]Author's Response: Sirius was indeed planning against Snape! The lout -- and this actually happens earlier, I think, in canon, from what people have surmised and interpreted from things J.K. Rowling has said. But I just couldn't resist putting it in here, because I've always really wanted to write this particular scene.
James actually is a Chaser! The filmmakers for the first movie showed that he was a Seeker, on the little plaque that Hermione shows the boys, but J.K. said in a later interview that he was a Chaser -- she never actually specified it in the books, and I think people just assumed for the film's purpose. And that's why books always trump movies! :3
Thank you very much for yet another lovely review, Ashwini! ♥ It's so great to see that you're continuing to enjoy the story, and I do hope you continue on, too! Report Review
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