I honestly don't even know where to start here, Rachel. :3 I've always tried to review in some semblance of a chronological order throughout the chapters, but in this one I just have the overwhelming desire to skip straight to my favourite bits - but I know that if I do, my review will be all mashed up and make no sense at all. Gah.
So, let's start with Sirius (and the poor mice!) - the excitement you write him with was literally seeping from the archives through my computer screen and into me; I was constantly fidgeting as I read the chapter, eager to discover what happens next! (Although that could have been down to the chocolate chip cookies that I was eating as I read this chapter.) He was so hyperactive, and so fun to read, and so Sirius. Have I already mentioned how brilliant you are at characterization? I also loved Sirius' reaction when Beth & co asked why his pocket was squeaking! XD Poor mice, though; they must've been so frightened! And yes - even with seventeen cats, I still empathize with mice and rodents and whatnot - minus a certain rat, though - and during the summers, I'm always rescuing snakes from one of my cats and trying to release them safely. :( Seriously, if Socks had his way, his belly would have more snakes in it than the whole of Slytherin house - although judging by the size of him (he looks like Rolly from 101 Dalmatians) I wouldn't be surprised if that was true. :3 Anyway! Back to the chapter - I must not go off on tangents!
Ah! Beth's keeping her parents' divorce secret because she wants to share it with Severus! That is just so adorable and keeps prodding at my Snabeth feels! ♥
"Picking up her fork once more, Beth cast a furtive look up at the high table, where Dumbledore was chatting pleasantly with Professor Flitwick. Upon turning in her seat, however, his gaze flickered over to her for the briefest of moments. She was sure he winked at her over his goblet." < This sounds like it was Dumbledore turning in his seat, but the sentence includes an "her". I'm confused - I'm honestly not sure whether it's a typo or my tiredness is making me stupid. :3
Your characterization of Dumbledore is just perfect. The way he accepts their decision to join the Order, because they're all of age - I wonder if he deliberately allowed Sirius to "overhear" him and McGonagall to assess whether they'd be interested in joining instead of asking them outright? - and how he constantly talks in riddles that only Remus seems to understand. :P
The only thing I'm sad about is that there's no Severus in this chapter. I hope that's not a premonition of what's to come... :( but otherwise, Rachel, this instalment of In The Black is as super as always. ♥Author's Response: Excited!Sirius makes yet another appearance! I know I just mentioned this in another response to you, but it really does make my wee heart sing to write him as a sort of manchild in this book. He gets a bit more mature, a bit less whimsical (though not entirely so) later on, but then I get to read these reviews and reminisce on how fun he was and it's a good time had by all. :)
I think Beth's keeping a secret to share with Sev is probably a pretty natural thing -- she's just had one blabbed, and after all, she's a girl with her eyes on a classmate. Or maybe I'm just justifying something ludicrous. :P But you buy it, at any rate, and I'll be darned if this isn't my story to do with as I please! (I should not answer reviews immediately upon waking up.)
Ah, yes, that sentence is a bit clumsy -- I've just fixed it, and hopefully it makes a bit more sense now. ;) But that's why I need reviewers like you! I am glad that you like Dumbledore's characterization, though, because I was pretty scared to write him when I realized that he was going to have to make more than one appearance throughout the course of this plot. He's one of the most distinct canon voices (along with Bellatrix and Voldemort, I've come to find), and to hear you think it's spot on is really immensely supportive. ♥
Trust me, Severus isn't going anywhere anytime soon! :P Thank you very much for your review!! Report Review
Everything in that author's note, I completely agree with. (Although I feel sorry for those poor mice!) And now we'll start from the beginning, shall we?
Severus' thoughts about Beth!! EEEP. I'm so excited to see what's in store for Snabeth! ♥ "Beth seemed a bit less sure of herself, a bit more confused, and Severus had the odd notion to protect her as a result of this." < Okay, Beth might not appreciate it, but NOM. Are we seeing Severus finally starting to consider Beth a friend, or maybe even more? I do think we are, and yet I don't want to admit it to myself, because we have twenty-two chapters still to go and those will be horrendous from the viewpoints of my Snabeth feels, who now have iciles on them from being constantly put in the freezer! :P
I know that you've bent a little canon detail to make Snabeth fit into canon, but it seems odd to me that the Gryffindors were having a Potions class without the Slytherins. Unless you meant that by "they", Severus was including himself in that? I don't know - I just think maybe you could make that sentence a little clearer. :3
Oh, Lily. *shakes head* Trying to get Severus to stay away from Beth is just going to do the opposite - and didn't I just say this in the last chapter's review too? And accusing Severus of spying! Rachel, stop tearing me between two of my favourite characters because seriously, you write them so well that I'm reminded of why I love them, and I can't pick which side to support.
Your description of Sirius made reading this chapter like watching a movie for me, if you know what I mean? Seriously - Siriusly? - I could actually see Ben Barnes creeping around Hogwarts, his pocket full of mice. Mice. That's one of the reasons why I love Sirius, despite his flaws - he seems to go from seventeen-year-old boy to thirteen again, and you write him so well that you remind me of how much I love him. XD
And Dumbledore!! :D Dumbledore, who gets lost in his own castle! Haha, that was a nice touch - and even in 1992, he still does get lost; no wonder the Marauders created a map - but I digress. Sirius and Dumbledore's conversation was just so funnily (is that a word?) awkward, and ooh! We finally start joining the Order! XD
My fingers are starting to hurt from typing so much, so I'm off to finish those other seven reviews before they fall off my hands. ;) Can I just say though, that you are so ridiculously talented that even I'm feeling sorry for those poor white mice in Sirius' pocket as he ran back to Gryffindor Tower! (I hope that Sirius compensates them with some cheese from the kitchens - although knowing him, it'll probably be cheesy socks instead!)Author's Response: We just might be seeing emergence of emotions from Sev! :3 I can't give anything away, of course, but... Girl, you'd best let your emotions thaw once in a while or they'll get freezer-burned! (Wow. I have taken that simile to a whole new nerdy level.)
I know I just told you this, too, but I'll say it again -- I think up until this point Lily was a /tiny/ bit jealous of the attention she noticed Sev was starting to pay to Beth. Not to mention she knows from James that Beth likes him, too. And after this I sort of imagine that she sort of sees what's barely beginning to manifest between the pair of them, and she doesn't interfere quite like this again. Does that make any sense at all? I'm still typing from my phone, and I fear these responses are rather shoddy as a result. :P
Sirius's little mice prank is one of my favorite depictions of him in ITB! I'm glad you liked it, too. :3 (Although random fact -- I kind of have my own views of how all my characters look, but if I picked a celebrity for Sirius, it would actually be Gotye. I know! But look at a picture and see what I mean!) He very much is a manchild in this story more than either of the other two, and it made this book so much fun. And I loved Dumbledore in this part, too; his line in CoS about getting lost is one of my favorites of his!
I honestly cannot tell you what your compliments mean to me, though. It just... it is so, so wonderful to hear that even one person thinks I have talent. It truly is the nicest thing anyone could ever say to me. ♥ Kate, you are seriously amazing for doing this for me! Thank you endlessly for your reviews!! Report Review
Expect nine more reviews (not including this one) before my hands stop being capable of writing sense in my reviews and just type asdfghjkl in every single sentence. ;) (I'll finish the rest tomorrow - promise. ♥)
Now, to the chapter! Aww, Beth thinking of Severus! The Snabeth feels - you don't mind if I call them that, do you? - are creeping in at a point where Severus is nowhere near that point of the chapter. That, my friend, is love. ;D
James, James, James... Beth is a saint to forgive him so easily; I know I wouldn't trust him again that quickly, and he'd have do a lot more grovelling. :3 But I digress. And Lily, oh Lily, what have you done? Telling a girl not to date a boy is just going to make her want to date him even more, because he's just going to be more appealing. Lily's little plan is back-firing on her, I think! :P
MY SNABETH FEELS, MY SNABETH FEELS. Even the Bridger owl wants them to get together! Severus was so lovely to give the letter to Beth, and to take her someplace quiet so that she wouldn't disoover her parents' divorce in public. ♥ And they have a conversation that lasts for more than five minutes? *swoons* I'm really worried now though - I know you by now, which means that for all these Snabeth feels I'm getting, there's some major heartbreak ahead - if there isn't, I'll eat the Sorting Hat. :3
And I can handle the sparse snippets - I think - but I generally judge by chapters how far the development is going. That said, your chapters are usually 1,000-2,000 words more than mine, so technically we're up to chapter 22 by now, but I'm trying to not think about that. ;)
I just have one question: in the earlier chapters of this story, Mrs Bridger called Beth Bethany, so I'm slightly confused as to why she's calling her Beth now - unless she thinks that using a term of endearment will make the news of the divorce easier for Beth? :3 ♥Author's Response: I start out this response by saying forgive me if anything looks weird! :P I'm trying to respond to this from my phone, and it's quite a bit harder than anticipated...
I don't mind you calling the ship Snabeth! It'll take some time for my eyes to get used to (Sarah and I coined Sneth and that's how we always refer to it), but I'm not picky! I'm with you, though; I don't think I'd forgive James so easily either. But you know, I think she really feels she need a sort of ally as far as Severus is concerned, and she's not totally wrong. As for Lily, well... this is a very minor point that comes to no fruition, but in my head, she's a bit jealous of Severus possibly moving on. And as you say, that's just going to backfire on her!
Yeah... There's probably always going to be something a bit depressing in stories I write. It's my modus operandi! I hope you won't be too upset with the course of events, of course. I think one of the most important things to take away from this chapter is something you've seemed to, though, and that's that Sev ISN'T totally heartless. Which is inexplicably how some people attempt to portray him. But that's sort of off topic, I suppose -- my opinions on that man can fill (and basically have filled) several books!
Beth's real name is Bethany, but her mom wouldn't call her that all the time, much like someone named Kate might get called Katherine by a parent if they were mad. You know? But anyway. :D Thanks so much for such really sweet reviews -- I'm still so excited you're enjoying the story so much! ♥ Report Review
*runs off to apologize to the neighbour for frightening her with my screams of "JAMES ALEXANDER POTTER, HOW COULD YOU?!"* :3 (She was in the garden and I was sitting next to the window, which I had forgotten was open. Whoops.)
I seriously can't believe James right now - I know he's a teenage boy and prone to be stupid, but I was just falling in love with the mature James and plotting how I could steal him from Lily - don't tell her I said that! ;) - when he did something like that. Having been in Beth's position more than once, I can totally empathize with her. And Remus was right - James shouldn't have told any of them, especially Sirius. Merlin, what was he thinking?
On a much more positive note, I especially liked the way you made Lily a part of the group - it's nice for Beth to have another girl to talk to, and it's fun to see Lily's personality develop from when we saw her in her fifth year in canon. Her interest and new perspective on Quidditch just because her boyfriend was playing was so uplifting! XD
And the Snabeth feels that I'm having right now are asdfghjkl!! *jaw drops* Severus and Beth had their first proper conversation! Severus and Beth had their first proper conversation! You can tell how excited I am there. ;) I seem to be identifying with Beth more and more as this story progresses, to be completely honest with you. "She almost forgot, in her buoyancy, that she was mad at her friends – giddiness was rapidly replacing any ill feelings she was harboring. She didn’t mind at all." < That basically just describes me right now. ♥Author's Response: That first paragraph made me laugh SO much, I hope you know -- even reading it again a week later, I'm still laughing! :D Your poor neighbor... but if she's ever read a piece of fan fiction in her life, then she'll understand, I'm sure.
Aaand this is one of those times I mentioned where James regresses right back into his somewhat less mature self. :P I've been in a position before where it's been blabbed that I like someone, too, so I totally emphasize with her here. To be fair, Sirius was a brat about it, but I think the point is that James definitely WASN'T thinking! Boys. What are we going to do with them?
I'm glad you like Lily here, though! Incorporating her in was a bit tricky, because I don't see her as automatically becoming one of them -- especially with all her past animosity towards James. Beth did need a bit of female friendship, I suppose. ;)
First proper conversation indeed! Took them long enough, yeah? Ah, perhaps they're just sticking to the old adage and taking it slow... but only time will tell! :D Thank you so much for yet another amazing review. I really can't tell you how much it means to me to have these. ♥ Report Review
*sigh* So through this chapter I was thinking that I would eventually have some kind of respite from the last chapter with a nice, calm-ish one, albeit uncertainty-filled, and then you go and write that ending! GAH.
Sirius' characterization is done perfectly down to a tee. That kind of behaviour is what I think that JKR would have written had she written Marauders era, or even the flashbacks of the consequental aftermath of James saving Severus' life. (Yes, I just compared you to JKR! :P)
Oh, and I caught another typo - here you go: "Beth’s inside felt..." should have another S at the end of inside. ;)
I really liked that moment between James and Beth, where she tells James about her attraction towards Severus. His reaction just shows how much his maturity has developed since the end of fifth year - unfortunately, Sirius hasn't quite gotten the concept of maturity yet - so it's lovely to see this characterization of James. He acts like he's Beth's big brother too (which is absolutely adorable, might I add), so I've worked out that if he's older than her, Beth's birthday is anywhere between March 28th and August 31st inclusive. And now I'm wondering if you've actually mentioned when Beth's birthday is yet... I have too many Snape/Beth feels to form some kind of comphrensive sentence in my mind - this review is currently being written by my hands, who are forming every word by themselves. (Apparently my hands have brains inside them!) They also thank you for yet another breath-taking chapter.
Memo to self: find thesaurus lurking underneath impossible pile of books and DVDs. I'm running out of compliments to describe you. :3
Anyway. Back to the chapter! The scene with Beth and Lily was lovely, although I was almost certain that the first Quidditch match was between Gryffindor and Slytherin in November, but of course you've changed it to fit your plot. XD
And here I come again to my Snape/Beth feels. I know a good angsty story is always fun to write - but it's not fun when you leave cliffhangers like that! D: Then again, I'm being hypocritical here, so feel free to disregard that last paragraph!
Onwards to chapter 10... I will finish reading this story tonight or tomorrow at the latest, I promise. :3
PS: Why does it feel so long since chapter one? So much has happened, and yet it's only nine chapters and we're somewhere in the beginning of December? *sigh* This should be a warning about this story... but then again, I've never stopped reading a story I liked in the middle of the story. XDAuthor's Response: Ahaha! Sorry to not be able to give you a breather! ♥ Although I am BEYOND flattered that you compared me to JKR in any respect -- seriously, that was such a lovely thing to say. :) Sirius's characterization is one that is very firm in my head, and is for some reason not like a lot of other people's, if other fic can be compared to it.
James is definitely supposed to be a bit more mature than Sirius -- at least in my head! -- but fully mature is something I feel neither of them can fully achieve, unfortunately. Partial maturity, yes, but never all the way. :D The funny thing about James is that he is a sort of older brother figure to Beth, but he is actually younger than her. Her birthday's in the middle of February. :) I don't think I mention it in the first book... no, well. I think it gets mentioned around February, so not before, so you had no way of knowing!
I did change the Quidditch match schedule, yeah. I mean... sometimes it just works better, stuff like that. :P Oh well. And please don't feel as though you're on a deadline to read this story, of course! It's not going anywhere, and you've been so lovely, I don't want to make you feel as though you're being pressured or what have you.
♥ You are seriously too kind. I don't even know how to keep thanking you for all of these incredibly nice reviews!! You're awesome! Report Review
I'm back! I know I disappeared there for a little while, but I needed sleep and food. ;)
I loved this chapter! I liked how you kept Beth out of the situation by having her too emotional to transform into her Animagi form - that sounds really plausible, and explains how it was James, and only James, who saved Severus' life.
I also liked the way you wrote Severus in this - angry, and irritated at James, and mistrustful of the Marauders, thinking that it's all one big prank to them. And as for Sirius, he's one of my favourite characters - but I am under no illusions as to how flawed he is - and even I was fully approving of James shoving Sirius, and shouting at him so loudly he could wake up the whole castle. :3
Oh, Beth. My heart was breaking as I read about Beth's emotional washing machine-esque feelings; the adrenaline has gone now that the danger is over, and all those feelings just hitting her square and bowling her over. Ahhh. I just wanted to hug her!
Oh, and I especially like that little bit of humour you added with James kicking the Fat Lady and her indignance. It's the little things like that that stop a chapter from getting too dark, I think. XD
Oh, and I caught a typo: "The sentence caused Severus distinctly uncomfortable and out of place" - it should be "caused Severus to feel distinctly uncomfortable". ;)
But otherwise, yet another truly amazing chapter. ♥Author's Response: Sleep and food always come before fan fiction. :D No apologies necessary, Kate dear!
I don't know where I hit upon the idea of Animagi being affected by emotions -- probably along the lines of Tonks in the sixth book, with her emotions about Lupin -- but I'm glad you liked it and found it plausible!
I think this chapter is one of my favorite Severus-being-Severus chapters. And reading back over that sentence, it really makes no sense, but -- no, I'm changing that. I really liked writing the emotions of everyone here, Severus and James and Beth and even Sirius, because for some reason it was just one of those magical times where everything CLICKED and I felt like I got it right, you know? (Ew. I sound so conceited when I say that. I promise I don't mean to!) Sirius needs to be put in his place every now and then, and James wouldn't always have been behind him 100%, without a doubt -- and it goes the other way, too. And then Beth kind of just has a meltdown there. :P She probably needed your hugs quite badly.
Thanks for catching that typo! ♥ Looking at this, you'd think I hadn't edited at all. Whoops! And thank you, too, for yet another great review. :) Report Review
Interesting chapter, really gets ya thinkin.
ExcitedAuthor's Response: I'm glad that you enjoyed it! And that you're taking all this time to review -- really, that means a lot to me. More than I can put into words!
Thank you very much! Report Review
This books really got me wondering how it's gonna go between beth and snape!Author's Response: I've got lots in store for the two of them! Well, that's probably no surprise, since it took three books to tell it all. :D
Looking forward to hearing your opinions -- and thank you very, very much for the review! ♥ Report Review
I have to say, I still really enjoy your writing style. Excellent chapter, can't wait to read the rest!Author's Response: Oh my goodness -- how awesome to see you over this way, too! You were such a great reviewer for Break Out, and I really hope you like this story, too.
Thank you for the compliment on my writing style! :) And for the review in general -- you've made my whole day! Report Review
THE ENDING! THE ENDING! What an horribly awesome cliffhanger!! XD But I digress. I will review these chapters in some semblance of order so that I don't forget anything. ;)
The beginning was refreshing to read- instead of having so much drama, we're with Beth and her musings, which allows my heart to stop beating nineteen to the dozen. :P I especially like how you've had Beth edit Peter's essay, while at the same time suggesting that he should be outside. It's something that a true friend would do, and I love how Peter is so clueless and does things like crumble his essays. You can really see from his character why James and Lily eventually trust Peter to be their Secret Keeper- he's sort of too weak and non-threatening to be maliciously dangerous, if that made sense? :3
I was suspicious of what Sirius was doing when he came in with his "essay", so it was intriguing when he came bounding into the room with news that the Order actually exists. His excitement was so fun to read, and the ways that you've individualized each character is evident here, with all their different reactions and the varying ways that they handle Sirius' suggestion of joining up. It doesn't explain the mysterious "essay" though, as Sirius' behaviour indicates that he just overheard them and as soon as he was able to leave, instantly told his friends. So I'm thinking that A) you're going to explain this unidentified parchment soon or B) I haven't picked up on the reason. I think staring at a laptop screen for too long is frying my brain. :3
The scenes about their transformations were written well; you included little tidbits of personal information while moving the story along, which was great. I'm however slightly confused as to why Remus was allowed to go to the Shrieking Shack with his friends, as we've seen in the books that Pomfrey accompanied him. Also- and this might be more from reading too many Marauder fics as opposed to book canon- I was always under the impresion that the Marauders were with Remus in the Shrieking Shack when he was transformed, and not sitting some distance away. But maybe that's just me.
And now to that cliffhanger! I know that it's canon, and I know that Severus survives, and I know that I love Sirius, but that was such a cruel prank that the latter played. And now Severus is potentially walking to his doom, and the consequences are going to be pretty heartbreaking for Remus... *sobs* ♥
I have way too many Rachel feels! XDAuthor's Response: I think the beginning of this chapter was as drama-free as it was because I knew what was coming at the end of it. ;) I'd sort of forgotten about this cliffhanger! They actually get less dramatic as the story progresses further, no worries. But as for the beginning, having Beth edit Peter's essay seemed like a believable thing for her to do, and it actually allowed me to set up the rest of the chapter quite well.
Fact: People should always be suspicious of Sirius, because in my mind, he is always up to something. :D (He's always perpetually bouncy, in fact, which is another point you've noticed!) You've probably figured it out by now, but you're not /really/ supposed to know the exact contents of the essay, but it has to do with the end of the next chapter, and what he was plotting all along. They're plans, essentially.
I loved writing Animagus transformation here, and I'm a bit sad the five's Animagi forms weren't more integral to the plots of the second and third books (although there are rather distinct reasons for their absence, which I hope you'll see when you get there).
Don't cry! ♥ Everything will be all right in the end. I promise. :) Thank you, once again, for a lovely review! Report Review
OOOH! We have Severus' POV! I am insanely excited about this, as he's such a mystery and it's so lovely to see a different perspective! Not that I don't like Beth- in fact, I love her- but she has no clue of Severus' thoughts and feelings, so it's great to see him!
Severus' thoughts about Beth and Lily really intrigued me; I love how all of his preconceptions about have Beth have been challenged by her, and how Severus' feelings for Lily are evident even though he's trying to fight them. Awww. My feels right now are asdfghjkl. :3
The scenes with Madam Pince added some humour in contrast to Severus' misery, which was appreciated. It was also interesting to see Severus' relationship with his fellow Slytherins and how much he dislikes them at times, but nevertheless calls them his friends. I just wanted to hug him and introduce him to the concept of real friendship tbqh. :(
That almost-collision with Beth was just so cute! And that awkward conversation must have been so emotionally torturous for Beth! Those seemingly hours before Severus answered with "it's fine" would have undoubtedly been a nightmare for her- but oh the relief she'd have felt when he actually said those words! Rollercoaster, much?
And then Lily and James; oh, Rachel. You're threatening my love for James/Lily here. On one hand I'm squeeing unbelievably at them sitting by the lake having fun, but on the other hand I hate them because their relationship and it's public-ness is interfering with Severus and Beth getting together. *sobs*
It's also becoming more evident how parallel Severus and Beth are. They've both loved a forbidden someone for years, they have issues with their parents, they can't 100% open up to the people who are supposed to be their closest friends. Call them kindred spirits, call them soulmates- whatever word is tacked onto their relationship, one thing is certain: they are meant for each other. ♥
And that little review box needs feeding? Well, with all those horribly long reviews I've been putting in it, you'll probably have to put it on a diet by the time I've finished reading In The Black! ;)Author's Response: Severus's point of view indeed! I didn't set out to write this book from so many perspectives (especially since my first book only had one), but I really liked writing in this style. And it worked well to tell the story, too!
At this point, too, things are fairly canon in that Sev still has a thing for Lily. But that awkward collision in the corridor is... I won't say the first step toward his seeing her differently, but as readers we know that something's probably eventually going to go down between the pair of them. ;) I'm so glad that you like the Lily/James aspect of it, too -- I think I've said it before in another response, but I grew to like writing the pair of them so much in the course of this story!
I love that you pointed out the parallels between the two of them, too. They fade a bit more into the background as the plot progresses, but especially in the beginning there are a LOT of similarities between them. You'll see more, too, I do believe. And they both really could have gone either way, side-wise, in looking at their history.
You're giving my review box stomach pains. Happy ones, of course! ♥ Thank you for this review!! Report Review
I think I may have lost the ability to breathe.
Severus was trying to trick Beth!! The guy is a genius, but he hasn't yet learned how to lie, it seems. :P I LOVE how his lip curled slightly when Beth told him off- he appreciates how smart she is! There's so many Snape/Beth feels right there!! XD
I love how Sirius just walks into the common room stuck in his own world, and how he irritates the others. Poor Remus and his head! *sobs* And how cute is Mary McDonald?!
My cheeks were hurting from all the grinning they were doing as I read the interactions in the common room. As soon as Lily walked in and dragged Mary off, I knew something must have happened between James and Lily, and only a few sentences later I was proved correct! It was so cute how James was trying to let the fact that Lily had said yes sink in; and how hilarious that the boys hadn't figured it out! Although I have to ask- if Beth socializes with the boys the majority of the time, how does she know the habits of girls? :3
BAHAHAHAHA at Mary's hand in her porridge! *cough* That wasn't what I'd have done if I was her. *cough* ;) Aww though at Beth's reaction to Severus wanting to speak to Lily. And even more awws at her cluenessless about the whole Severus/Lily incident- although why wasn't she with the boys at the time? I ask simply out of curiousity. :3
The Snape/Beth feels won't go away- I tried to take a break from this story, hoping to get on with writing the vast amounts of fanfiction on my to-do list, and all I want to do is come back to read this story. *hides* And I'm only up to chapter five when I normally read stories of this length in four hours or less because of all those lengthy reviews I keep writing. For some reason, I have this overwhelming compulsion to rave about your wonderfulness. (Which is caused by said wonderfulness. It's a catch-22 here, methinks.)
So, yeah. I'm apparently insane to be reviewing this entire story in one go, it seems. :P And I just remembered that it's Severus' birthday- he shares it with my mum, so I can't imagine how I've forgotten it- so happy birthday, Severus! :PAuthor's Response: Severus was indeed tricking Beth! He is a master bluffer, and it means something, I think (though I could be reading too much into my own writing, which does happen) that she's able to figure out that he is. Granted, he falters a bit... but it's something to think about!
I've heard from a couple of people that Mary's actions are somewhat similar to what their own might have been! :D Poor girl -- written solely for bits like that, I'm afraid, in this book. I'm very glad for your reviews, too, make no mistake! Sneth feels do tend to crop up now and again. :3 You definitely don't need to review the whole thing, I hope you know. The fact you're reading at all is tremendous to me, and reviews are simply unnecessary but no less appreciated as icing on the cake!
The first real James/Lily moment of the story appears, and I'm not surprised you knew something was up. :) And I seem to have led you astray as to Beth's social skills, I see! Of course she's not clueless as to girls interact, being one of them herself -- as I'm sure you've found when you hang out with boys, even if you do so more than other girls. I know that when I hang out with my guy friends, I often have to interpret females for them! Sometimes, Kate, I suggest not thinking too hard about this story (which is, after all, a piece of fan fiction, and a fairly quickly-written one, at that!) and just enjoying it for what it is. There are doubtless countless things in this story to pick apart, as I know, seeing as you've picked up on quite a few of them. But this was never written to be a great novel, to be sure, and I had a lot of fun writing it, inconsistencies and all. Concentrate less on all the technical details and nitty-gritty, and just let the lovely Sneth feels (or lack of them, at times) run the story. There are small holes here, and I won't deny it, but it's a much better experience for all involved if you try not to overanalyze them and just go with certain things, I promise.
Happy birthday to Sev and your mum. :P Thanks for such an in-depth review, Kate! Report Review
ASDFGHJKL I don't even know what to say first; this is just so perfect. Nutella on toast is amazing btw! So are Nutella sandwiches... oh, and Nutella on Rich Tea biscuits. Seriously, you have to try those. ♥ (And chips (the kind you eat with fish) dipped into Nutella are amazing. I swear, it really is- I converted about six of my friends to eating that and they all love it!)
Anyway, I'm supposed to be reviewing this chapter, not Nutella. ;) I love your descriptions of Beth and the Marauders- I know that I've said this before, but you make them so relatable. Beth's tiredness, James forgetting that he's Head Boy, Sirius and Peter discussing Sarah Wright, Remus' face being the picture of disapproval... we all know people like them, and the way you characterize them is just perfection itself.
My James/Lily feels are running rampant right now! I just love the way that you're making their relationship develop slowly; I'm an avid reader of Marauders fics and I've seen too many authors make them fall in love overnight- how is that realistic/relatable? On the same point, you're also doing a fantastic job of avoiding the cliche of the fifth Marauderette, so I take my (virtual) hat off to you! XD
You've also perfected Rosier, and I love the Marauders' reactions to calling Sirius a dog. I know a lot of people are paranoid about keeping secrets as they keep being suspicious of everyone's motives, especially as Severus has started to stir things up. I only wish someone had remembered that Sirius is the dog star, which might be the reason for Rosier's insult. Remus is a wonderful voice of sanity there. :P (I like Severus' jealousy of James, btw!)
The discussion at the lunch was so interesting; the part about the peas flying was such a nice touch- I can't count the number of times I've done that- and then Beth's comment at dinner! "That would be nice!" Oh, Bethy, you're digging yourself a grave right there. :3
THAT CLIFFHANGER. TOO MANY FEELS ASDFGHJKL!! :3 I'm so terrified now on Beth's behalf; and I'm curious as to what Severus knows. I don't think it's Remus' lycanthropy, because Severus finds that out when Sirius pranks him, so... maybe he's figured out Beth's crush on him? Or maybe he thinks he knows something, but has completely missed the mark? Hmm.
And now I'm depressed because I want to know what happens but I have to go and have some dinner. *sigh* Your writing skills are so exceptional to drag me so deeply into this rollercoaster of a fanfiction! ♥Author's Response: Nutella on anything is amazing, I swear! Even Nutella by itself, of course. (Although I confess I don't know what Rich Tea biscuits are...) I would say chips in Nutella sounds gross, but down here a lot of people dip fries into chocolate milkshakes and it's SO GOOD. So I get where you're coming from!
Still over the moon that you're liking my Marauders characterization so much, of course. ♥ It's become a bit hazardous, because now it's very hard to read any other Marauder stories without comparing their characterizations to my own. :D Beth being cliche was something I was EXTREMELY worried about, too, so I'm happy you're finding that that's not an issue!
I think if people had connected that Sirius was the dog star, things might have gotten more interesting more quickly. :P And I really liked writing the Slytherins in this book, too! They naturally show up a bit less in ITR and BE, but they were rather fun.
That cliffhanger is probably the nastiest I've ever written -- and of course you know the end result now, but I'm still quite proud of it! It freaked a lot of people out. :P
Dinner always beats fan fiction. ♥ Thank you so much for saying such lovely things about this story, and for reviewing in the first place! That's so amazing! Report Review
I'm back! (And procrastinating on writing, whoops.) I did have all of this written in the early hours of this morning, but then I accidentally deleted the entire review. *sigh* Oh, and brownies are always a good form of bribery. ;)
Back to the actual review now- Peter Pettigrew, I do not like you at all. I'm suspicious of his motives to have two Marauders with Remus, instead of four. And only he would think it acceptable to bring up such a subject in the Great Hall! *headslaps Peter* "Do you want Beth to eat you?" was probably one of the most hilarious lines that I've ever read- I LOVED it!
I also love Beth's reaction when she realizes that Severus is staring at her and her friends. I like how she doesn't instantly assume that he's staring at her specifically and swoons over that, but is concerned for Remus and their secret. It's so good to read a crush that doesn't involve major judgement impairment, if that made sense? ♥
I really how Sirius imparts the information about the Order- making it all mysterious and not quite real, as Beth feels, but I am slightly confused as to how Beth knows what the Order is called given that Sirius doesn't mention it. *hides*
I also like the way that she thinks Dumbledore is incapable of running a secret organization against Voldemort- it really highlights how she doesn't have a position of responsibility and therefore has no concept of the amount of sheer paperwork that Hogwarts must generate. Although being the genius that you are, you probably wrote that so that Beth was thinking that Dumbledore has so much paperwork-related stuff to do that he probably doesn't have time to run an organization in addition to a school... :3
Severus SPEAKS! And there I was thinking that he was going to remain mute throughout the story... ;) I love how Beth remained loyal to Remus, even though it was so awkward for her considering that it was her first conversation with her crush of six years!
I really love how you've written Lily- she isn't majorly featured in the story, but nor is she mysteriously absent. It's so good that you can tell that James likes her- suddenly getting enthusiasm for his Head Boy duties when she turns up- but it doesn't completely rule his life.
I only have a couple of questions for clarification- #1. Why are Lily and James shepherding first-years to Gryffindor Tower when that's normally the duties of the fifth-year Prefects? and #2. Why would Sirius be calling Severus by his first name while questioning Beth, considering how much they hate each other?
Overall though, this is another amazing chapter- as always! You're too talented!! *munches happily on brownie while moving on to chapter four*Author's Response: Ooh, that always stinks, doesn't it? Losing reviews is never fun. I'm doubly appreciative of your writing it all out for me again! (And darn you... now I want brownies!)
Poor Peter -- loads of people were suspicious of him at that part, and quite honestly, I didn't mean for them to be! Though I can't blame you for being wary, of course, knowing what he becomes.
I think Beth is kind of thinking at this point that she's liked Sev for so long that nothing will ever come of it, you know? But Severus does speak for the first time in this chapter! ♥ I did tell you we were getting there!
Ah, you caught another slip-up of mine. Many thanks! Working in all the stuff about the Order and keeping it as canon as possible was a bit trickier than I'd imagined, and especially in these earlier parts of the entire plot. But of course Beth wouldn't know the name of it. :P I think that's something that got left in after I rewrote the paragraph previously, while writing the chapter. You're an astute reader -- I love that!
I never got the impression that Lily ruled James's life, and I'm glad you didn't either; honestly, sometimes I wonder where cliches originate, and who thinks they're a good idea in the first place. :P As for your questions -- well, there's no specifically good reason for Lily and James to be shepherding first-years, but somehow I never got the impression it was only fifth-year prefects who did that. Of course, it's been ages since I read the books, and I'm sure I'm off-base. Ah, well! And I did change Severus's name to Snape when it came from Sirius's mouth. I've actually been really conscious of that, but I do mess up on occasion! Good eye!
You're much too kind. ♥ I am still so, so happy that you left me all these reviews, and in such a short time span, too. You're fantastic, Kate!! :3 Report Review
Because I forgot to mention it in the last review, and I'd just clicked Submit when I remembered that I wanted to say that I love the way you included Peter as a proper part of the Marauders. It really irks me when authors portray him as evil in seventh year, or just make him fade into the backgroud, so I am ridiculously, lunatically happy that you didn't do this. XD
I'm liking Amelia Bridger from what we see from her, and when I say that I mean I like her as a character and the way she behaves and her strained relationship with Beth affecting the latter- and am I even making sense here? *hides*
They were putting plastic wrap on the mens' toilets?! Bahahahaha! That actually reminds me of when I used to put clingfilm on toilet seats with my best friend as a kid. :P (Ironically enough, her name was Bethany!) Which goes back to what I already said in my last review: you're making them so relatable and making it so realistic that I can actually visualize myself there, hiding under James' Invisibility Cloak and watching them! XD I like how Sirius dropped Beth's trunk on Remus' foot- that sounds like something that Sirius would do! (Was it because he'd noticed a newly-blonde Marlene McKinnon walking past?)
*dies of laughter at the story about Petronilla Lowenstein and Remus* Okay, I feel sorry for Petronilla because who wants a boyfriend half a foot shorter than her?- but I feel sorry for Remus more. (I'll freely admit that I'm biased.)
I apologize for the nit-picking, but I spotted a typo: "His gaze was direction above..." should be directed.
Severus! Severus! Severus! I'm so glad we see him at last; it feels like so long has passed and yet so little time has passed at all. Sirius' behaviour was horrible and yet so accurate in terms of his character! I like how Beth hated how he was behaving, but didn't want to jump to Severus' defence instantly knowing how her friends would react. And that ending where she deliberates whether she should run after Severus or stay with her friends was just so perfect and gave me so many Severus/Beth feels! :3
You are too awesome, Rachel. ♥Author's Response: I'm glad you appreciate Peter! His character was something I set out to write very intentionally at the onset: Like you, it sort of bothers me when people write him off as no good in his school years. There had to be good qualities about him, or James and Sirius and Remus wouldn't have been his friends; you can see that from how they treat Snape in the fifth book. But anyway, don't want to be preaching to the choir! :P
Beth's mum is deliciously horrid, and if there had been more room to write her into the books, I would have. She does crop up a few other times, though! And of course, I'm still so happy you're liking the Marauders. Characterization is pretty big for me, as far as writing goes, and I do put a lot into it; reviews like yours are what makes me KNOW it's worth it, you know? (It's not a far-off guess to surmise Sirius dropped Remus's trunk from staring at Marlene's hair! Probably is what happened, actually.)
Never feel as though you have to apologize for spotting errors! I always want to make my work as clean and polished as possible, and I don't always spot typos myself. So thank you for doing it for me!
A wild Snape appears at last! He is a main character in this story, I promise. :P But then again, you've already read, what, eleven chapters beyond this? (Woah!) So I'm sure you knew that! ♥ Ah, Kate. These reviews made my entire week. Thank you very, very much, as always!! Report Review
I've been meaning to read this (and ITR, too) but because I have this irritating compulsion to read completed works in one go, I'm sitting here at three o'clock in the morning with several hours of free time and a vat of coffee!
I love Beth Bridger already! (Side note: for some reason, I'm thinking that the name "Bridger" signifies the "bridge" made between Gryffindor and Slytherin with the Snape/Beth ship but maybe I'm just overanalyzing.) The way you introduce her is really original, fun to read and incredibly relatable- lampposts and getting lost are a major feature of my life! :P
You've also done an excellent job of providing backstory without elaborating excessively and making the story tedious. The way you describe Beth's parents leave more details about her family to the reader's imagination while still explaining her family history. (Can I just steal your writing skills, please?)
I also completely adore the way you've written the Marauders, especially Sirius!
“There’s only two things to do this year. I plan to not get expelled, first of all. And we’ve had a lot of practice at dodging punishment, anyway, so that’s no big deal. Then I’m on to solving the mystery of why girls think so bloody much.”
The way you've characterized all four boys so successfully just blows me right away. ♥
I only have a small nitpicking to make: if the chapter is set before Beth's seventh year, then it would be six years that Beth has had her crush on Severus for, and not seven. ;) Honestly though, other than that, I can't find any flaws in your writing. I can see how In The Black is so popular!
Second chapter, here I come! (Oh, and the rating system should have 20/10 so that I can rate you appropriately. :3)Author's Response: -takes deep breath- I am finally starting to answer all of your lovely, lovely reviews, Kate! And fair warning, they are probably going to be horrible, because I'm horrible at responses in general and for ones as lovely as yours, I'll be downright rubbish. I will try! :D
I'm so glad you like Beth! (Although I admit that there's no analysis behind her name -- it popped into my head and I liked it. :P) She gets a lot of traits from me, I'm afraid, like not watching where she's walking. Writing first chapters, especially about original characters, is always tough, and I'm just beyond pleased that you found it convincing and imaginative.
Sirius is one of my FAVORITE parts of writing these books, hands-down. ♥ He gets a lot of his characterization from Toujours Padfoot, I think, because she's very brilliant at writing Sirius. I'm so happy you like my Marauders! I've grown unhealthily attached to them; we'll see what happens when I reach the end of all three books. I tell you, right now... I don't want to know.
I welcome your nitpicking! It's been just over a year and a half since I started writing ITB, and it's never gone a major edit overhaul -- 98% of what you see was what I wrote at the onset. As such, little details and typos are bound to be plentiful. :D I'm going to correct them all as soon as I respond to their respective reviews.
You are too kind. I'm all goopy right now from your lovely compliments. Honestly, just thank you so, so much for this review, and I can't wait to respond to all your other ones, too! ♥ Absolutely thrilled you're enjoying the story thus far! Report Review
Severus's feelings were great. I feel sorry for him right now! :( Poor Severus... he loves Lily so much.
Anyway, I loved to read from Severus's PoV and I hope this story has at least one chapter written from James's/ Sirius's/ Remus's Pov!
Ashwini =]Author's Response: I'm (oddly) glad you feel sorry for Severus! That was my intent, anyway, in writing this chapter -- as well as grounding the story into canon as much as possible. I've tried to write as realistic an explanation as possible for why Severus would move away from Lily for any girl, and I really hope you'll come to see just what that is in the chapters to come!
I can remember even now making the decision to write from Snape's point of view, and being so worried about it. :P But I couldn't have written the story with doing that here and again! And you're DEFINITELY going to see chapters from James's and Sirius's points of view, although they may come a bit later. (Sirius gets half a chapter not too long after this, I'm pretty sure, and James gets a snippet in chapter 10.) In later chapters, and moving into ITR, you'll get James, Sirius, Dumbledore, and Peter. :)
Anyway. I've rambled long enough! :D Thank you, as always, for leaving such lovely reviews. I'm super excited you're still reading and enjoying In The Black! ♥ Report Review
Ok. So Severus doesn't actually know anything. I must say the end of the last chapter was a cliffhanger. ;) I almost believed that Severus knows everything.
I'm happy for James and Lily and sorry for Snape! Well, actually, I think this story takes place in the realm of canon so I assume Snape still loves Lily. If so, I feel very very bad for him.
So, Mary likes Sirius? and just one little question- what about the marauders map? What about Beth? Is she included in it?
I'm actually addicted to this! :)Author's Response: The end of the previous chapter was a cliffhanger indeed! ;) A bit of a cruel one, really, and almost a cop-out, since I knew from the start that he was bluffing and just needed a way to create more tension. Ah, well!
Snape does still love Lily, you're right. Well... he does here. I think you'll see what I mean as you progress further into the story! But James/Lily is very much a ship here, and it won't ever be different. I really came to love writing the two of them over the course of this plot, and now James is actually one of my favorites to write. It makes it that much harder, too, knowing how things end for them.
Your questions about the Marauder's Map will be answered later -- I promise! Beth is included in it, of course, since in this story she's very much a part of their group. As for Mary, she's a bit infatuated with Sirius, although it's not a huge thing. :D
Thank you so much for continuing to drop by this story and leave such wonderfully complimentary reviews! ♥ It truly brightens my day every time you do! You're awesome, Ashwini! Report Review
Don't expect me to say much about this chapter, though it was wonderful! The end is so awesome that I'm glad this story is already completed. *runs to read the next chapter*.
Ashwini =]Author's Response: I'm glad you enjoyed the chapter all the same! And saying a bunch isn't necessary, of course; I'm just happy you're reading and reviewing at all.
I love reading completed fic solely for the reason you never have to wait for a new update after a particularly nasty cliffhanger. :P Isn't that grand? Thank you so much for being so enthusiastic about this story! ♥ Hoping to see you back very soon! Report Review
Another wonderful chapter! =] I'm glad Snape finally talked to Beth, not to mention that he was trying to get information about Remus's transformation. I loved dear Beth in this one to and I actually liked Severus for the first time in my life. I mean, I like him better that I used to after reading Deathly Hallows, but this story made me believe he wasn't what I think he was. :)
I liked James, Lily, Peter, Sirius, everyone. Oh and I'm glad you mentioned the Order! I assume Beth's going to be a part of it! ;)
Hey, and just one thing- why Beth doesn't have any nickname??
AshwiniAuthor's Response: The plot had to move forward, so this is where Severus starts to appear more often, in shifts and pauses! :P I'm so pleased you enjoyed him here, too; I don't see him as a hero, but I adore his character, and I'd love for this story to give people other ways of looking at him. He wasn't perfect, but he was brave, and it's that trait almost above all others that makes me respect him so much. He truly is the bravest character in the books, in my opinion.
I have such fun writing the Marauders, too! Beth does get a nickname; it doesn't get mentioned until later chapters, but it's definitely there. :D She's called Talons!
Thank you, again, for taking the time to review this for me -- and I'm sorry about the wait in responses on your other reviews, too. I'm trying to go through now and respond to some of the shorter ones, so I have the strength to tackle longer ones later. I'm working on it! ♥ Hoping to see you back very soon! Report Review
I find it interesting how you are slowly incorporating Lily into the circle of friends. Obviously, shifts like that do happen in real life, but in writing it sometimes doesn't come across as natural (though I can't say that it always feels natural in real life :P ).
That was kind of a weird thing going on there with James, though, when he came out of the locker room and was looking at the ground. And what was up with Sirius's reaction? (In case it wasn't obvious, this review I am typing as I read. I don't always do that, but sometimes I do.) Am I missing something here?
Haha, James is such a show-off.
Uh-oh. Sirius knows Beth likes Severus? I smell some major drama ahead. I expect this is going to cause some awkwardness and hurt feelings among the circle of friends I was just praising a moment ago. On the other hand, it could eventually have the effect of drawing Beth and Severus closer together, like if she goes to hide in the library while he is there too, for example.
Hm, I'm actually not too fond of POV switches in the middle of a chapter like that, but I'm going to give you a pass because I was burning with curiosity to know if and how James had told Beth's secret. Also, you're still writing him in a compelling way. Are you going to write from other characters' points of view as well?
Hah! So Beth and Severus did talk! It was a natural progression, but I wasn't expecting it in this chapter quite yet. Then again, this is already the 10th chapter, so it makes sense to move things along a bit. Yeah, it was super awkward as those two always have been so far, but at least the mutual suspicion and distrust seem to be receding a little bit.Author's Response: I think incorporating Lily into the little group was one of the harder things about writing this first book. :P She never really seems to be great friends with any of the boys in canon, and yet three-ish years later she's agreed to name Sirius as Harry's godfather, and /something/ had to happen in between. Sometimes canon has more holes than Swiss cheese.
As for the bit you mentioned being confusing -- Sirius and James acting funny -- James told Sirius earlier that day about Beth's crush on Severus, and he was feeling pretty guilty for it as soon as he saw she was waiting to wish him luck, etc. As for Sirius, he thought she'd been talking to Severus, and was going to take the mickey out of her if she had been, so was a bit surprised she was talking to James instead. Sorry -- reading back over that, I can definitely see how you found that a bit odd!
I actually think this is the only time I switch POVs in the middle and don't keep to the one I switched to. Huh. It's always fun when someone goes back and starts reviewing one of my slightly older stories -- it's like getting to relive it myself all over again! Fair warning, though, Beth and Severus truly are only going to get more awkward as the plot progresses. (I really seem incapable of writing romance without a whole bunch of miscommunication and awkwardness. Woe.)
Thank you so much (again!) for all of your reviews! I'm really glad that you were willing to read all of this for me, and would love to see you back again soon. You're awesome! I hope you had a very merry holiday season! ♥ Report Review
Hm, very interesting chapter! I know I mentioned in my very first review that I rarely seek out Marauder stories. Therefore, I have not read a very large number of them and do not have a vast number of stories to compare this one with. However, I do have to say that I am enjoying James a lot in this story, and I almost never like him. You are doing a good job with characterization. All the characters seem realistic. They seem ordinary. I can relate to each of them in some way or another. They all have some sort of flaw (maybe I should call them immaturities), but it just comes out as a part of their personalities, rather than a "LOOK AT ME, I'M BAD AT POTIONS AND I DON'T TRUST PEOPLE SO I'M NOT A MARY SUE" sort of thing.
Anyway, it was a good talk that James and Beth had. The way you write James reminds me a bit of Harry in some ways, sort of like a nosier and less moody version of him.
You used this chapter to mop up quite a bit of time and move things along, much as JKR does in her books (and as lots of authors do).
I find I don't really have a whole lot to say about it, I guess. Like I said, I really enjoyed the conversation between Beth and James. James was a lot more understanding than I expected him to be, but you explained it well, drawing the parallel with his crush on Lily.
So. Beth and Severus have encountered one another in the hallway again. It's almost like they're back at square one. :PAuthor's Response: I heard that from someone else, actually, that they like James in this story more than in other stories they've read. And I'm so glad! I've actually come to like him a lot more myself, as it was necessary to include him here, and writing the James/Lily bits of this plotline's become one of my favorite parts. It always throws me for a loop a bit when I think I'm writing about Harry's parents, though. :P And I LOVE what you said about the flaws in my characters, too, because that is exactly what I've been striving for in writing them since day one. You've made me feel more at ease about it, more sure of what I'm doing, then anyone else yet has. :)
I see James as definitely being a lot like his son, and even sometimes try and channel Harry when writing James. After all, if people say that Harry's a lot like his parents, then shouldn't we write them that way?
I'm glad you enjoyed the conversation he had with Beth, and that I explained his understanding nature well, too. These are all things I love hearing, and I'm so happy that you've thought to say them at all! Thank you very much for yet another thought-out and extremely lovely review! Report Review
Well, of course, I already knew what the overall outcome was going to be here, but it was still fun to read. You certainly managed to imbue it with plenty of tension and excitement. It was definitely gripping, even with a known outcome. Also, I thought they way Severus reacted, as well as the interaction between him, Beth, and James seemed realistic in terms of their characterizations.
I found one sentence that didn't quite make sense. Maybe there is a missing word or two? "The sentence caused Severus distinctly uncomfortable and out of place . . . "
I especially enjoyed the scene at the end, when James confronted Sirius. I thought that was very well written. I was slightly surprised that he didn't mention anything about Remus. After all, I'm pretty sure Remus would feel terrible if he killed or hurt someone, so Sirius's actions very nearly caused great hurt to one of his closest friends as well as someone he doesn't really care about. At the same time, going too much into that might have cluttered the message, and James did focus in on the important point: Sirius did something stupid and thoughtless that nearly resulted in tragedy.
So now Severus knows all about the secret. That changes things, doesn't it? I also wonder what this means for Beth and Severus. This was probably my favorite chapter yet, and I'm interested to see how the changes are going to play out.Author's Response: I'm glad you thought that it was still fun to read! :) I took the liberty of changing a few things, I'm afraid -- in reality, I'm pretty sure this event happened earlier in canon than I placed it here. But I couldn't resist writing this bit, and anyway, ITB's a bit of an AU already!
I'm seriously so glad you're reading this; you're catching a lot of the little typos I've missed in my many edits of these chapters. Thank you so much! ♥
James's confrontation scene is actually my favorite in this whole chapter, and I think that's because they're such good friends the rest of the time, it's almost scary to see them like this here. You know? But friends, even best friends, do fight, and I'm sure James and Sirius had their share of quarrels. I get where you're coming from on the whole Remus front, but I think he was just so single-track about how stupid Sirius was that Remus wasn't at the front of his mind, if that makes any sense.
Severus knowing about the secret does indeed change things! I'm pleased to hear that this was your favorite chapter thus far, and to know that it IS getting more interesting as you go. :P I'm a bit behind on responses, I know, but I really do appreciate your leaving all these reviews for me! Report Review
Haha, yes, here we do hear from Beth! Also, I totally relate to her basically feeling, "Whyyy did I say that???" I feel like that all the time. I swear, I have a chronic case of foot-in-mouth syndrome. I'm a little surprised that she had no inkling as to why Severus might want to speak to Lily, though. She never noticed they were friends before? Then again, it is only from Severus's POV that we have even heard that they were friends. Considering his awkward social tendencies, they very well may never have interacted much in public (especially lately, obviously), so it may not have been apparent to anyone not paying close attention. By all this I mean that Severus may have placed great importance on their conversations and interactions, especially when compared to less meaningful interactions/conversations with others, but to outsiders looking in, it may not have seemed all that exceptional. I hope I'm making sense here. :P
I spotted a typo regarding Peter's homework: "trample by a herd of centaurs" instead of "trampled."
James is teaching Lily about Quidditch so she can watch him better? That arrogant little so-and-so. Sorry, that just puts me off, at least the way it was described.
Well, there I was assuming Sirius was just up to no good, maybe already setting in motion something nasty to do with Severus. Guess I was wrong about that one, though. To me, when Sirius revealed he had overheard news about the secret society, that was the most interesting part of the chapter.
Sirius clearly is extremely excited. James almost seemed as if he'd been waiting for this news, or that it wasn't unexpected. No obvious excitement, but less reservation than expressed by the others. Remus, as always, was the voice of reason; Beth, the cautious one. Peter? Well, there was hardly a peep from Peter after his initial skepticism.
I hadn't considered that Beth would be able to press the Whomping Willow's knot in her Animagus form, but of course it makes sense. Perhaps it is a good thing to have more than one person in the group who is able to do that. I really enjoyed reading the descriptions of how Beth and James were enjoying their Animagus forms.
Oh no. And there I was thinking Sirius hadn't been up to no good. :( Guess I was wrong about that one.Author's Response: Beth has a lot of moments in the course of this book (and the next two, really) where she has a bit of foot-in-mouth syndrome, and I'm afraid to say that's heavily drawn from my own life. :P I'm so bad at that! As for her noticing that Lily was friends with Severus, I was always very much under the impression that it was a more private sort of friendship, theirs. Add into that the fact that before this year, Severus never really talked to Beth, and I don't think it's too far-fetched for Beth to have thought they were anything more than acquaintances.
Ah, another typo! Thank you so much -- this story's been completed for about a year now, and still there are things to fix.
Sirius is almost always up to no good, unfortuantely. :( But I think you see (saw?) where this is going! He's an easily excitable man, and that's one of the things I love writing most about him: I see him as being so bouncy and energetic, and it always adds more fun into even the more serious scenes, no pun intended.
I seriously can't tell you how happy these reviews are making me! This is truly one of the best presents. ♥ I'm so flattered. Looking forward to responding to more from you soon! Report Review
Oh my goodness! A chapter from Severus's point of view? I wasn't expecting that! I had just started to assume that all the chapters would be from Beth's POV, but it does make sense to switch it up from time to time. Plenty of books do that.
I know I've said in a previous review that Snape has never been a favorite character of mine, that I've never liked him much, but that I do understand why he's fascinating. I don't think that opinion of mine will ever change. However, even though I do not like him, I do sometimes like reading about him, if he is portrayed sensitively and realistically as he is here. As unpleasant and selfish as he may have been, it is not so difficult to feel sympathy toward him.
It's especially true at this point in his life, when he's basically just a confused, awkward teenager. Most of us can probably relate to feeling that way, so the sympathy comes to the surface quite readily, even if we may disapprove of him (not that he's exactly done anything so far in this story to disapprove of, other than being nosy).
What I really was building up to saying was this: I think you did a good job of portraying how Severus felt about Lily and James, as well as showing his overall social awkwardness. He's developing as an interesting character in his own right in this story.
A very minor criticism (or maybe I should say observation): A paragraph describing Severus taking the book off the shelf and finding a chair used the word "retreated" three times, which seemed repetitive.
As do most people, I have a few pet peeves when it comes to fanfiction (actually, fiction in general). One of these is the plot device of the collision or near-collision to bring two characters together in an encounter, often leading up to romance later in the story. It's just so easy to overdo this situation and turn it into something stupid and ridiculous where the characters fall into the ground and gaze into each other's eyes and . . . gag me.
However, I cannot completely dismiss the scenario, because in real life, we do sometimes nearly collide with people coming around corners or out doors and so forth. So it's not entirely unrealistic. If not overdone, it can work out all right. I think you did pull it off well here, although I will probably always cast a suspicious and critical eye over such scenarios. :P There was no sudden rush of romantic feelings, no accidental groping as a result of falling to the floor, etc. There was a brief awkward and embarrassed conversation, which fits the already-established pattern and serves to further the plot, as Beth and Severus must continue to interact if this is to go anywhere.
I think I've probably rambled enough about that, so I'll go on to the next chapter. I have to say, I am actually looking forward to the next chapter from Severus's POV, but for now I'm wondering if we'll hear Beth's take on the near collision.Author's Response: Yes! I wrote an entire novel from one point of view, further down on the page, and expected this whole book to be written from Beth's view as well. But it worked better to have Severus tell this bit, and now, of course, I know I couldn't have ever told this story without his input. There are a lot of people who tell this story, now: Beth, Severus, James, Sirius, Dumbledore, and Peter all get their shots, in this book or the next one.
I hear you there about Snape, though, and I think it's interesting: I love him BECAUSE he's so fascinating, while you think he's the latter in spite of not meeting the former. He walks a careful, fine line between good and evil, and sometimes sets one foot on one side or the other, which only serves to conflict him further. I'm so happy you think that I got his views right, and especially those of Lily and James. Early in this story, at least, it's crucial to get that right; one of my main goals for this was providing him with a realistic alternate love interest, while at the same time explaining the Lily factor.
And thank you for catching that typo! ;) I've corrected it now. As for the near-collision, I can't remember now why I thought it was a good idea to include it (and, more likely than not, it was TRULY needed), and I'm happy you seem to think I've pulled it off. Trust me, there really aren't going to be any surges of romantic affection here at all. Not my style! And ugh, accidental groping... can't even imagine that happening. I think you'll come to agree with me!
I think the next chapter from Severus's point of view is number 12, so I'm excited for you to get there! :3 Thank you so, so much for these Christmas reviews, and I'm glad to hear you're enjoying the story thus far! ♥ Report Review
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