23 Reviews Found

Review #1, by dirtydeedsdonedirtcheap 

20th January 2015:
supporters of the Dark Lord’s in Easter Europe

^ pretty sure you mean Eastern unless the Death Eater's like to celebrate easter. With those little marshmallows that are shaped like bunnies, oh peeps! And they wear bonnets and...I'm going to stop myself there.

So the hint you gave us in the last chapter I was right sort of. I never think of miscarriage because I just don't like to think about it. I know too many people that have experienced that in real life so it was heart breaking to read her story here. I think because I guessed she was pregnant in the last chapter it didn't impact me as much like other scenes have, which is fine with me to be completely honest.

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Review #2, by Pretense Of Perfection 

4th June 2014:
Aw, poor Belle! Although, I sort of knew what her secret was for some reason. Probably because I keep over-identifying with her, and I have personal experience with some of this subject matter.

That being said, I think you did a pretty good job explaining her feelings and everything that happened. I think the side-effects of her miscarriage maybe could've been expanded upon a little bit more (as there are many, and they make you absolutely miserable), but overall I think you did an excellent job. I felt both sympathy and empathy toward her, as well as anger toward her family and ex-boyfriend.

Of course Lily and Alice are there for her, that's just the type of friends that they are, and it made me feel a little bit warm and fuzzy inside. I hope she tells Sirius soon!!

Oh, and I think this was from the last chapter, but I also absolutely knew that Alrek was a death eater. He was just too smooth and polite, and so interested in Lily he couldn't have been one of the good guys. I mean come on now.

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Review #3, by MissesWeasley123 

11th October 2013:
Jami! *hides* I've taken ages to get back to this.. But I haven't forgotten about it dear! I've just been super busy and stuff. I will try to finish this before there are massive amounts of chapters updated for ADD though.. *sigh* I know, I'm so slow.. but on the bright side,I'm a third done of this (if I did my math correctly.. no school today so not in the mood for calculations lol)

Can I please hug Belle? Please? She deserves it, so much. I just feel so bad for her. To have your own family not support you through that is painful, but she was forcefully fed that potion and that's just cruel and not fair at all. She should've gotten a choice. That was not fair. You made it so believable and didn't really glorify the whole concept of pregnancy. My heart is aching because I feel so bad and just disgusted at her family and that idiot Christophe.

I knew it. Alrek. UGH. The thing is, now that I know Alrek is a Death Eater, Lily and the Marauders don't. If he does something to them... I will forever hate him. Just.. stay away. It'll hurt even more as a reader, seeing him do mean stuff in the future, because I'd just be screaming at the characters, "Don't listen to him!" but..

They won't be able to hear me :(

Going back up a bit earlier in this chapter, the way you do Bella is scary. So scary. Because it's perfection the way you pull her off. Regulus' bit was very interesting also. I'm a bit proud of him, that even though he's a Death Eater, and Sirius hates his guts, Regulus doesn't want to hurt him. It makes me think of what they could have had... And that's just very sad :(

Anyways, a flawless chapter Jami. This has been my favourite so far.

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Review #4, by WeasleyTwins 

6th October 2013:
I could have sworn that I posted a review for this chapter! I might be senile well before my years! But anyway, hello my dear. I hope you're enjoying your time off - but come back soon, we all miss you!

I'm supposed to be planning lessons, so I can't leave a long review (maybe I should do my work when I'm supposed to :P). Okay, Alrek. I hate him. Can't stand him - if I could get my hands through the screen and around his proverbial neck, I'd strangle him and then beat the evil right out of his stupid skull. Good set-up, however. He's so sneaky. And Bellatrix, good gracious, you portray her perfectly. I love her. I mean, of course I don't because she's a terrible human being, but I love that you've got her spot-on and that she's so canon. She's sick and twisted.

And Belle's revelation! I knew it, I knew it! I just had this feeling it had to be something along the lines of love-pregnancy-loss of said pregnancy-leaving home, etc. You set it up so wonderfully. It's incredibly realistic. Things like this happen all the time in the real world and I think the connection from fanfiction to RL binds us tighter to the story. You're a genius, you know that?

But anyway, another fabulous chapter! I will finish this story in the next century, I swear! WUB YOU! ♥


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Review #5, by nott theodore 

12th August 2013:
I'm on a roll, Jami!!

Ha! I knew it! I knew it! Sneaky Alrek, sneaking around and spying on these lovely characters for Voldemort! I'm so pleased that my predictions for this are actually coming true, because believe me, that never happens. I'm giving myself a congratulatory pat on the back for this! ;)

In a strange way I really love the Death Eater scenes. They add so much depth to the story and let us see what else is happening but I kind of don't want to know what they're planning because it makes me all worried about our lovely Marauders! I'm so fascinated with your portrayal of Bellatrix; before I'd even started this story I'd heard things about her but I'm convinced that you have the best grasp on her character out of all the writers I've found on this site. It scares me a little, but I love reading about her so much!

Regulus was actually just as fascinating in this chapter, and I'm really pleased that we got a chance to see him again. His character interests me a lot; he was thrust into the Death Eaters at such a young age and seemed to have little choice in the matter, yet he still found the strength and had the intelligence to defy Voldemort and steal the Horcrux. Okay, that went off on a tangent a bit, but what I'm trying to say is that I really liked seeing Regulus here. He felt very young here, and that vulnerability was evident, and it helps to remind the reader how young all of these characters are. I thought it was really touching that he doesn't actually want to hurt Sirius - it contrasts really well with Bella, who doesn't care about anything but her precious Dark Lord.

Oh goodness, when Bella killed the rat! Is that some sort of poetic justice for what happened with Peter in the Shrieking Shack years later? It really highlighted how powerful Bella's magic is; of course she would be able to kill silently!

Alrek... ugh, he's just creepy! If the rumour that Regulus has heard is true then I'm really intrigued about his past, and how Voldemort knew to recruit him. The reasons for trying to recruit James seem completely plausible; if the Order are targeting young witches and wizards then there's no doubt that the Death Eaters would be too. But I can't help but worry about what this is going to mean for the Marauders and the girls...

There were a lot of revelations in this chapter - the title was perfect! I really enjoyed seeing Belle put off telling her story as much as she could (I may have done similar things in the past...) and the fact that we got some more explanation about Lily's feelings for James and yet it didn't seem like a filler at all. Her reasons really made sense to me and I love the closeness of the relationships here - I just want to give them all a hug!

Oh my goodness, Belle! I had tears in my eyes when she was telling the girls her story. I was right about that as well but I almost wish I hadn't been, because her story was so sad! I liked the fact that you actually made her tale realistic; it's so easy to romanticise teenage pregnancy and in all those situations I've witnessed it's never turned out perfectly happily. You didn't do that with Belle's story though and I'm really happy about that!

One of the things I loved about this section was the way you worked the narrative. It was different to Sirius' confession earlier on in the story which was told entirely in flashback. I enjoyed the fact that Belle's speech was included and it highlighted the fact that she is still alone (except for her friends, obviously!) in this country. Then as she made her way through the story it was gradually told more through the narrative; it showed that she was becoming more absorbed in her own story and as she did that so did I.

The story itself was just heartbreaking. You handled a really difficult topic very sensitively, and even though it was hard to read about I did enjoy finding out about it. The situation that she found herself in with Christophe was realistic - the infatuation and the fact that they'd known each other for so long. I couldn't imagine him being happy with the news as so many stories suggest, but what he did was truly horrible.

On top of what happened at Beauxbatons, her family were so horrible to her! I can't believe it but at the same time I can, since so many of the pureblood families seem to have considered honour and duty to the family name the most important thing, especially more important than the welfare of their children. I think I've softened a little towards her sister, knowing that she at least allowed her to stay with her, but I'm pleased that she managed to get away from her parents. She's like Sirius in so many ways - although she didn't find the support network he had when she left her family - and the two are just perfect for each other.

The miscarriage made me cry... it was just told in such a moving way, and I think it does fit with the story and Belle's character. I love the fact that we now know about her past and I feel so much closer to her. I hope that she does tell Sirius, and although I'm not sure how well he'll react at first, I think he will be able to accept it. The girls were so understanding of her and that was so consistent with the types of people that Lily and Alice are, and it was fantastic to see. I'm glad that she's finally found people who can be her family!

And to end this review on a slightly happier note, I loved the image of Lily and James being parents to the kitten!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Now I'm on a roll! I will have all your amazing reviews responded to! I'm sitting in the sun at my grandparents house right now drinking my coffee, and getting to respond to these has just made my morning as perfect as it can get ♥

I don't even know how to respond to your compliments on Bellatrix! She's one of those characters that I do feel like I have a pretty good hold on, and that doesn't happen often. Usually any character that isn't in my Marauders world is very difficult for me to try and get the hang of. I've probably given you my spiel of where I put Bellatrix's mentality, but if not, PM me and I'll gush on about it :P!

Regulus is still scary for me to put in a scene all on his own, but I think I'm getting a bit better at him. i think I have the urge to make him *too* young/too unsure, because he was so young! I think, besides Draco, he must be one of the youngest death eaters to be marked. I can't imagine what that would do to a 16/17 year old. But then I have to remember too that, even if he did good things, he couldn't have been really that good of a person.

Okay, sorry, now I've gone off on a tangent, haha!

I'm so, so excited that you liked Belle's story! And I totally agree. I've seen plenty of girls get pregnant way too young, and none of those have ever ended up in a happy/fairytale/parents get over it and boys turn into men and make great fathers/type of thing. Then when you take into account someone as wealthy and a family as proud as Christophe's, having him anything but angered by the inconvenience would have made no sense to me.

I love what you said about her and Sirius being alike! That's one thing I really wanted. I think Sirius could have fallen in love with someone 'pure' and 'innocent' but i don't think they'd ever really understand Sirius or be able to offer him the same sort of emotional compatibility that someone would who's been through a similar past, and someone who understands that blood isn't strong enough when family honor is at stake. It doesn't matter if you're the child of someone like the Leclairs or Blacks. You either conform to them, or you're no long a bleep on their radar.

Thank you SO MUCH for making me feel so excited, Sian! Your reviews mean so much to me, and I just can't believe how lucky I am to have such an awesome reader ♥

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Review #6, by Remus 

10th June 2013:

I finally have time to come and review this! *celebrates* I'm so far behind! :'( With my job, working out, cooking half the time on my days off and looking for a house...it makes it quite difficult to just sit down and relax while reading your favorite fanfics. However! I haven't forgotten about you, Jami!

Alright, let's get reviewing! :D

Argh! I knew Alrek was up to something! I just thought that he wanted to be with Lily or mess with James but man, this goes beyond what I expected! He's a very tricky person so I'm afraid of them actually pulling off the whole 'kidnapping James' deal. However, I really like the concept of Voldemort getting James as the poster boy for his campaign. It would make sense as to why he really wanted James. A handsome looking guy, with charisma and brilliant personality...of course people will follow him.

You just totally killed me with Belle's story! I mean, gah! I have no words for it! It was something I should've expected but at the same time it hit me like a bucket of cold water. You're making me afraid for poor Belle's future here. I mean...what's going to be her end? I have a feeling that she's not going to have a happy ending and I'm sort of upset about that, ma'am! I mean she might get together with Sirius in the end, but then he goes to jail and Lily and James die and Harry's sent away. GAH! Don't do this to me, Jami! :( :( :(

This was a great chapter, as always! I wish my review were longer but right now I'm sticking with short reviews, that way I can hit Dan's Detox next before taking the plunge to HPo4.

Until next time, Jami! :)


Author's Response: ROSIE! I know what you mean, RL can be such a pain. I've been so behind review, too. I've been gymming MWF evenings after work nstead of mornings, and I didn't realize how much time I really was losing. But still, waking up at 6 instead of 5 is so nice. And I'm so happy you haven't forgotten about me! *cuddles Rosie* hehe

I think that's the oddest part about introducing an OC into a Marauders story, cause people don't know where she'll end up! I mean, we all know what's going to happen to the group by the end. But Belle's future is still very much unknown *rubs hands together evil-like.* I'm so happy her story felt emotional to you. That's definitely what I wanted!

And Alrek! Mwahaha is all I have to say ;).

Aww Rosie it's been so awesome replying to one of your reviews again. You're so sweet to come buy even with your crazy schedule, and I hope it slows down soon so I can have more HPo4 ♥

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Review #7, by FallenTruths 

5th June 2013:
Hey Jami! I only have one more review to leave after this one and then I'll be all caught up with my reviews.

Chapter 12 -

First, some typos.

"they had both decided to focus on asking has what she was going to wear"

"care to tell us who you’re planing on saying gave you zat disgusting zing?"

"There are a few other ones to chose from"

It's really sweet of Lily's friends to wake up early with her to avoid her being alone. I love how close the whole group is with each other and how overall they're really trusting of the group. I really want to know why Belle transferred to Hogwarts and what she's hiding from her friends. It must be something pretty big if it's keeping her from being with Sirius. I suspect you'll be revealing everything soon enough though.

Alrek wanting to hang out with Lily even though it's clear she isn't interested in him is definitely throwing up a red flag. I can't see him infiltrating the group that easily, but it certainly looks like he’s going to try.

There were a lot of little details in this chapter I really enjoyed like Frank having a toad just like his future son and James squeezing Lily's knee under the table to comfort her. The butterscotch colored kitten is adorable as well. James telling Lily she looked beautiful was so nice! It's even better that he did it just for her and for no one else to hear.

Chapter 13 - Anything titled Revelations I know I will like because it means we'e finally going to find out some more information! It looks like we will be starting with the big reveal of Alrek in this chapter. First off, can I just say how creepy Bella is in this line, "she always did like watching people while they were at their most vulnerable."

I'm a bit confused why Voldemort is already targeting James to join him if the prophecy hasn't been heard by anyone yet. I know Alrek claimed it was his leadership ability and influence over others that James has, but it still seems odd to focus this much on one student. I'm relieved that Regulus doesn't ant to harm Sirius though. I've always felt like Regulus was better than the rest and got caught up in something he shouldn’t have. If he would have survived I think him and Snape could have gotten along well after Voldemort fell.

I totally called it that Belle's secret was that she was pregnant. After the scene in the Three Broomsticks with the girls getting into a fight about one of them being pregnant, I knew that had to come into play somewhere. You definitely don't put random scenes in your story for no reason. Getting to hear her back story was interesting and definitely explains a lot about her insecurities with Sirius and why she rushed out of the Three Broomsticks last chapter.


P.S. James and Lily parenting Botterscotch together is adorable!

Author's Response: Alli!

Now that you already know the Belle secret I can't say, oh you'll know soon :P! But I'm so happy you were already getting interested in finding out her story, and that you thought Alrek wanted to go with the group still was suspicious. I was hoping I didn't make him just seem too nice or something.

Awww yay I'm happy you like the James telling Lily she's beautiful! I really wanted to show it was a sincere comment and not a just for show kind of one like so much of the stuff he does :P

Ahhh haha that line is pretty creepy isn't it?! *Pet's Bellatrix* nice little evil girl.

Honestly, I was pretty clueless on why Voldemort would want to recruit them as well. But JKR put it out that Lily and James first defied Voldemort before they graduated Hogwarts. she just didn't give a good reason why he wanted to recruit them :P. I played around with the idea of Mr. Potter having attended school with Voldemort and making some sort of impression and in these later years Voldemort either wanting to get Mr. Potter back or something. but it ended up just being too messy and not making sense on why Voldemort wouldn't have gone after James's dad. And since the potters died of old age that couldn't have happened... haha sorry my brain is going off on tangents. But yeah, basically we know that they both defied him before they graduated, so a refusal to join him i some way seemed like the most logical sort of defy. And James being a good tool for Voldemort to gather more followers was the best I could come up with :P. Let's just pretend that Voldemort has an obsession with teenage boys :P

I agree with Regulus. I really want someone to write a longer story about him *hint hint*. I think he just wanted to make his family proud and didn't realize what he was really getting into. HAHA I never thought about him and snape being friends! Now I vote you write an AU about that :P!

Yes you totally called it! When we go shopping together I'll buy you a cookie :P. I'm happy too that you think all my scenes play some sort of purpose. I try to make them, but I don't know if anyone has ever noticed that.

Isn't it so cute having those to as sort of fake parents? Haha! I really wanted to go buy a kitten after writing this chapter!


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Review #8, by Courtney Dark 

29th April 2013:
It is such a nice feeling getting back to this chapter - I was away for a couple of days and even during that short amount of time, I found myself thinking back to this story, wondering what was going to happen next.

Anyway, bad Alrek! I must admit, I had a feeling in the pit of my stomach that there was something strange going on with his character - he was always so mysterious, and very suspicious when he agreed to go to Hogsmeade with that big group of Gryffindors. I'm just not sure I actually expected him to be a spy for Voldemort himself! However, I do love the fact that we get to see some things from different Death Eater's points of view (it was very interesting in this chapter) because it seems to give your story a whole other dynamic. And Bellatrix, as always, was fantastic.

I enjoyed Belle's revelation just as much - she is such a strong character, and I think her story really proved that. It also makes a lot of sense that she would be reluctant to start anything serious with Sirius after what happened to her - Christophe seems like a piece of work!

Anyway, I loved that Lily and Alice were so supportive of her - I really like reading their scenes together, as they seem like such good friends. I think they all balance each other our very well with their differences, but also have many similarities, too.

I really enjoyed this chapter!

Author's Response: Courtney! I'm so sorry I've been a little MIA for the past few days. Stupid work and being sick have killed me :(. Well, not literally :P

It makes me so warm and fuzzy that you were thinking about what was going to happen when you weren't able to read. Can I just steal you and keep you at my apartment to tell me nice things when I feel all blahy? Haha

Alrek! Naughty naughty Alrek. I'm so happy you had a bad feeling about him. I didn't want his association to come out of no where, but I also didn't want it to be totally expected. Bellatrix is too much fun to write, haha. She's such a good baddie.

I really enjoy writing the friends scenes. Both the girls and the Marauder's ones. I'm so excited that you finally know Belle's whole back story!!!

Thank you so much for another absolutely awesome review ♥

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Review #9, by patronus_charm 

15th March 2013:
Yes I was right! I loved having my assumptions proved correct, it’s such a satisfying feeling :D So Alrek is evil, and we get to see Regulus again, wow this chapter is already off to a very promising start! I liked learning more about why Alrek was there as it helped me understand him more, and just made him appear more part of the story. It was also nice to see that Regulus was rather intelligent, as he always seemed to be portrayed as rather dumb in fan fiction, and I never really got why.

I also liked how you tied in the fact about how important the Potters were Voldemort and his cause. I think a lot of people forget that Voldemort actually tried to recruit them as members, so it was nice to see hints at it here. I can’t wait to see how they attempt to recruit James and Lily, I have a feeling it’s going to be dramatic.

I liked how Lily revealed her feelings about James to the others, as they just seemed to be so true, and fit her situation so well. I can see that we’re inching closer and closer to them becoming a couple, and I can’t wait for it to happen. I have to say that I like that you didn’t throw them together straight away, but put a backstory behind it, and showed the transition from love to hate really well. It just makes their love story so much more believable.

Then there was Belle’s big reveal scene! The way the exiled her perfectly tied in with the image I had been building about her parents in my head. I imagined them to be almost aristocratic, so the fact that they shunned her for doing something wrong, was very fitting. I liked the build up to her relationship with Christophe, it was just so adorable, how they walked in the gardens, and they got the parents approval, and that they wanted to ‘live in sin’. It was nice to see how their young love had been rather rebellious.

It was interesting how Belle viewed sleeping with Christophe. We already gathered that there were feelings of discontent between them, due to her saying that she was infatuated with him. That implies to me, that it was not love, but more of a physical attraction, and it showed that she didn’t look back on her previous relationship that blissfully.

I thought it was great twist with Belle getting pregnant. Normally I hate story lines like that as they’re not realistic, but I felt this one was really well done, and you sensed their emotions really well, and you can just imagine what a horrible predicament they were in. I loved Christophe’s reaction, though it must have been horrible for Belle, it made it more realistic to see he wasn’t jumping for joy at the news.

Her parents sound horrible, not listening to Belle’s wishes, and trying to force her into a decision she didn’t even want. It fitted perfectly with the view I had of their family though. I felt proud of Belle escaping to be with her sister though. I thought it was fitting that she miscarried the baby, as it seemed to reflect the character Belle currently was, and any other possibility wouldn’t have worked so well.

I was tears like Lily at the end of her story. My admiration for Belle has gone through the roof. I just felt so proud of her, and all the things she had to battle through. She’s such a survivor the way she asked Dumbledore to let her in, and it was just like him to let her in anyway. She’s had such a troubled life, and I loved learning more about her, as it just connects you with her so much more and I just feel so sorry for her, as it must have been horrific to go through of all of that.

I think this was one of the best chapters so far, as it just had so much raw emotion, and all the big reveal scenes were excellent. You’re awesome Jami!

-Kiana :D

Author's Response: Yes you were right!!! Alrek is NOT a nice boy. Sadly, he stick around for a while yet. I agree with you; it doesn't make sense when Regulus is portrayed as dumb. The man got a a piece of Voldemort's soul right out from under his nose. That would take some serious intelligence!

I'm so happy you like the reasoning for why Voldemort would be interested in recruiting James and Lily. Like you said, we know that one of their defies involves him trying to get them on their sides and that it happens while they're still in Hogwarts. Do I think that Voldemort would have gone crazy to recruit them the same way he tried to kill Harry? No, but I definitely think he'd have put some serious effort into trying to get James, who most of Hogwarts idolizes, no his side.

I'm so happy you feel like Belle's story was well done! I can't stand the 'I get pregnant and everything works out beautifully,' teenage story line. Everyone that I know it's happened to, things don't end up happy and okay. They end up in a mess of custody battles and divorces. I did really want to show that not everything is okay for every teenager who gets pregnant. Belle went through a lot, but it ended her up in a very good place at least!

Awww it means so much to me that you felt admiration for Belle by the end of this! Since she is my OC I'm obviously attached to her, so it means so much to me that you like her ♥

Thank you so much for this amazing review! And you're on Easter Holiday next week, right?! Or is it the week after??

♥ Jami

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Review #10, by Athene Goodstrength 

11th March 2013:
*cheerleader voice* READY? OKAY!

So, this first part of this chapter is so excellent. I won’t repeat myself again with falling down at your feet at how well you write the tension and drama of any scene involving a Death Eater, particularly Bellatrix. Just look down. See your feet? I’ve fallen down at them. You’re awesome.

I really enjoyed seeing things through Regulus’s eyes. His nerves and his determination and his fear - he feels very young to me. Once again, but on the other side of the good/bad divide, you’ve managed to remind the reader (subtly, no numbers involved) that these are very young people embroiled in this war.

The fact that Regulus doesn’t want to hurt Sirius was so touching and is such thoughtful characterization. He’s actually such an interesting character and if anyone can see the tragedy in a character (‘good’ or ‘bad’) it’s you. I’d be intrigued to see you write him more. I didn’t think I’d find another Death Eater you wrote as fascinatingly as Bella (who, by the way, is terrifying here. No wonder Regulus is shaking in his boots), but I find Regulus oddly alluring. He’s interesting. You’re clever.

Oh! I had to stop and laugh when I saw Bellatrix kill that rat. At first my only thought was ‘ugh, psycho’. But then I was like, wait. Did someone just kill a rat in the Shrieking Shack? Did Jami just foreshadow what should have been many years later? Dude! If you didn’t mean to do that, I want to let you know you’re a secret genius. If you did mean to do that, you’re a not-secret genius.

Urrrgh, ALREK. Can I just step into your story and kill him and bury him in a hole? I don’t want him anywhere near our Marauders and the girls! No! Icky!

And I like your explanation of why they would want to recruit people like James. That’s all.

Onto Belle’s part of the chapter. You’ve done an excellent job of taking a length story and telling it in a way that’s both interesting in itself, but doesn’t let you forget the person telling it, or who she’s telling it to.

I noticed from your AN that you edited Belle’s accent and although I didn’t see it before, I think you’ve got it well-balanced here. Just enough to remind us of her accent, that she’s ‘alone’ (except she’s not) in this country, but not so much that it makes lengthy speech hard to read or appreciate.
You handle a really difficult topic really sensitively whilst showing us just enough of Belle’s ordeal to know that she’s had a dreadful time and is still in pain about it all. And your depiction of Lily and Alice’s patient kindness is so lovely - they’re like the salve to her wounds. Oh, Jami. She’s so similar to Sirius, and neither of them realises it. They’ve both been rejected/left their families and are making their own way in the world, doing their best to seem strong and unworried by the world - but they’re both scarred. And they’ve both somehow found themselves a new family - and I don’t just mean Sirius and the Potters. Those girls sitting, listening to Belle, are her family, and throughout the chapters you’ve shown that so well. I just want her to realise that she and Sirius are the same and that he’d never judge her and then I want them to elope to Antigua and leave the war behind and live happily ever after, okay? Thanks.

Beautiful chapter, my dear. ♥

Author's Response: Sarahhh ♥ do you have any idea how excited I was to see this? Probably not. I should have skyped my excited face to you :P

Aww don't fall at me feet! My heels cost more than my car payment! We don't want drool on those, now do we? Hehehe jk jk. Your compliments never cease to make me feel like a million bucks (or pounds). I just want to hug you and squish you until your head pops or something. Then I wouldn't have you anymore and I'd be sad :(.

I actually had way more fun writing Regulus in this chapter than I thought I would. He's someone I would really consider writing more of. Not a ton more in Before They Fall, because he doesn't have too many places in here, but maybe on his own as a one shot.

I can't get over how much I LOVE YOU for spotting my sneaky rat killing.

Maybe I should put Alrek in a really long timeout for being such a naughty teenager?

I really had a hard time doing Belle's part. I couldn't figure out if I wanted to do some sort of flashback thing, but then realized that wouldn't leave me enough to really tell all about what happened. I didn't want her just *telling* the girls about it though, so yeah. We ended up with my weird flash back narration ordeal stuff.

Her and Sirius really are so much alike. She didn't have the kind of support system he had at such a young age, though. He had already found the Potters and his friends, but poor Belle didn't get her 'Marauders' until much later ;(.

Elope to Antigua you say? Hmm... well... shall we take this AU? :P

Thank you so much for this gorgeous review, my amazing Sarah ♥

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Review #11, by Roots in Water 

13th February 2013:
SURPRISE! I thought I'd review the next chapter of Before They Fall, see if I can once again try and catch up...

Wow. This is such an emotionally packed chapter and I think that you did such a brilliant job with Belle's portrayal. I had been wondering about her past since the pregnancy scene in the last chapter, and her past explains her reaction perfectly. To have gone through such a horribly tragic event so young... (Not that it's not awful at any age but she was without the support of her friends and family). Wow.

One thing that I really liked about the manner in which you wrote Belle in this chapter was that you didn't try and create more drama from the events. Instead, you let them speak for themselves and that made them all the more powerful.

It seems that just about everything that could have gone wrong with her situation did and yet it fit in perfectly with her previous role. She was the "golden girl", I suppose, and she was paired with the "perfect guy". Of course it would have made sense for them to take their relationship to the next step once they were alone... That was what everyone around them was expecting and pressuring them to do (the weight of social expectations). But when something happened to shatter everyone's illusions of her living a charmed and beautiful life, they broke away from whatever chain had been tying them to her. They saved themselves and told themselves that they were lucky, that it would never happen like that with them. (Assuming a little here, of course). I'm only glad that her sister was there to help her, however minimally that she did. For a time I believed that her sister was raising her child while she attended school so that she could graduate and get a better job... But that wasn't meant to be. Oh my gosh. I'm sorry for repeating what you already know but you did it so WELL that I had to work through my thoughts on the matter bit by bit. I hope you don't mind. :)

As well, I liked how you had Belle almost trying to distract herself or prepare herself in the beginning by asking Lily that question about James. Not only did it allow us a chance to clearly see what Lily thought about the progression of her relationship with James but it also showed us (if her story didn't already make it clear) just how difficult it is for Belle to tell them her past. It was such a vulnerable chapter for Belle and you did really well with it.

I really hope that she'll reveal her past to Sirius soon. I'm of two minds about her actions on that front. One is that telling Alice and Lily will make it easier to tell Sirius because she'll have already bared her soul once... And the other is that it'll take her longer because- wait, no, nevermind. I definitely think it'll be easier for her to tell him now because she knows that she'll have the support of her friends no matter what.

Alrek is at last explained! Wow- I don't think that I would have seen that coming. All of his actions make sense now... But why would he have chosen to become closer to James by making friends with Lily? Surely by now he would have realized that it would only make the group irritated with him... Or wait- perhaps he (correctly) assumed that the Marauders would be so close as to make it near impossible for someone new to insert themselves in a position somewhat close to James.

As evil a cause as Voldemort's logic will be used for, it is interesting that he believes that everyone will follow James and the decisions of the group... While probably true, it didn't work to sway more people into defending against the Death Eaters.

But what's really interesting about their plan to get James alone is that it looks like it will be the first of three times where James and Lily defied Voldemort... I'm really excited to see that!

All in all, I think that you did a fantastic job with this chapter! The emotions were beautifully portrayed and the developments (especially on the Alrek front) were really fascinating. I look forward to reading the next chapter! Great work! :D

Author's Response: Hiii ♥ sorry for taking forever to get here :(.

No! I LOVE when you work through your thoughts like that. It makes me feel like I really got across what was in my head, if that makes sense. I think Belle's past story is such a tragic one for all the reasons you talked about. I especially liked your comments about the rest of the school sort of just feeling like they're happy it wasn't them, and they'd never be that stupid. She wasn't the perfect golden girl anymore. She finally feel, and they loved watching that sort of tragedy. And of course the willingly accepted Christophe's tale, because how much fun is it to think the perfect princess has been so low all along? Stupid mean girls :(. Now I'm feel all defensive of Belle and want to yell at them all :P

This chapter gave me so much grief. It was hard to try and get across the feelings of everything. A flashback like Sirius's wouldn't have worked, I needed her to be with her friends during it, and I was so nervous about doing the... glimpses into her past sort of thing. I'm just so happy that you think it was done well and it all felt emotional to you. I'm totally resisting the urge to hug my computer... but I really want to :P

With Alrek -- YES! Yes on your latter reasoning. Eventually, Alrek will go through step by step what it took to get here. And we'll learn that. But I'll tell you early because you already figured it out. He's obviously working with Regulus. When he and Regulus were first told that their assignment is to get as close to Potter as possible, Regulus decided to try and sort of watch from afar and find a weak link in one of the friends. We'll learn about all that later, but Alrek realized right away that he'd have to go a different route. He took his chance at getting closer to Lily during the party in chapter 4 with the idea that if he could get her liking him, he could find stuff out about them. He realized that wouldn't work the second she left with Sirius the next day, so he decided the other route. To be the guy that just needs some friends.

Okay. I'm totally going off on tangents. Like I said, we'll find out more of this later, so I'm now shutting myself up :P

I'm writing James's first defy right now! It's scary so far. Haha. I'm so happy you liked this chapter, and thank you for these amazing surprise reviews ♥

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Review #12, by ValWitch21 

7th February 2013:
There is no way I'm capable of leaving a proper, coherent review after this chapter.

Even more than torturing your characters, you really enjoy seeing your readers suffer and bawl over your writing, don't you? Admit it... *nods*


Author's Response: Hahahah well, I don't want readers to *suffer* but if you shed a tear or two, I won't complain ;).

I've been really excited to let Belle's story out, and I'm so happy you liked it ♥ see, now I'm getting repetitive!

♥ Jami

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Review #13, by manno_malfoy 

2nd February 2013:
So I knew I missed BTF but I hadn't realised how much until I started reading and got all caught up in the characters' chaos and all. Ah... I'm so behind again.

Your opening scene was award-deserving! You set up the mood perfectly and all the characters were perfect! And how you just had the whole Alerk 'revelation' thrown at us...? That was brilliant! Slightly mean, but brilliant and perfect and it got me so excited about what he's capable of doing to our lovely Marauders & Co. Then there was Bellatrix whom you know I love! For me, she was the highlight of this chapter! I loved how you utilised her to show the difference between those who have been serving dear old Voldy for a while --those who know what they're doing and deserve basking in self-glory-- and those who are still starting out but think they're brilliant and unique and whatnot. It was all just so dark and suspenseful and awesome!

And then there was the Belle part which you also set up for perfectly. Again, your gradual transition between dark and yellow/warm (that's what it looks/feels like in my head)... It felt so natural and didn't make the chapter feel chopped up. I also loved the little glimpses you've included between Belle's portions of her story. It really made me feel as though I was inside her head and there's this foggy string of images and sensations flickering in front of me. It just made the scene intimate and allowed for the progression of Belle's story without making it feel like a chunk out of some autobiography. So I liked that.

I have other entertaining chapters waiting for me! Can't wait to see what happens!

Author's Response: MANNO! I'VE MISSED YOU!!

Heheheh. Alrek was supposed to stay in the dark a bit longer, but then I figured it would be more fun for everyone to know that he's bad, except for the people that actually need to know in the story! Our poor Lily and James. I'm never giving them a break.

Bellatrix is too much fun to write. She comes in again relatively soon, and that one (the one a few chapters down the road from here) is so far my favorite scene I've written of hers.

I really struggled with how much 'flashback' sort of things and how much talking and ugh. I ended up pretty happy with the result, and knowing that you think it didn't feel choppy really makes me feel better about it ♥

I'm so happy you like this chapter. And you have no idea how excited I was to see you here ♥. I know you're so busy with your last year of school (yay!) well, until uni of course ;). So just knowing you're still reading is such an awesome feeling.

And, after you reviewed this I went to stalk your AP, and realized you have a new chapter up! Yay! I'm so excited to head over there!

Thanks again m'dear ♥

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Review #14, by Pixileanin 

31st January 2013:
Hello again. I just had to come back after the KITTEN chapter (yes, that's what I'm calling it. Hogsmeade, schmogsmeade! There was a KITTEN!) and see what's next. Don't you just hate it when some silly reader fixates on something so small and inconsequential (KITTEN!!) and can't seem to comment on all the other fabulous things in your chapter? (I just love KITTENS!!) I mean really, if Lily wasn't already sold on James, she'd have to be now. :P

Argh! Alrek is a bad, bad boy, I knew it! Again, Bellatrix is evil. She's crazy too, which makes it much, much worse. And she's haughty and seems to be enjoying herself entirely too much. All in perfect character, but spooky, nonetheless.

When your silly reason not to do something that you are probably going to end up doing anyway comes out so logical and well-thought out, who can argue with you? They'll either think you're being extremely pragmatic or that you've wound yourself up into so many excuses that it will take weeks to shovel through all the nonsense (insert stronger word here if you want) and they'll figure that it isn't worth the effort and you'll eventually come around.

Err, and now I lost the point to that, so we'll just move on. Belle's story is heartbreaking. The things she went through and how her family decided not to support her was just plain awful. I know it's a touching situation, but even high profile families have to have some kind of heart. Well, maybe not THIS particular family. Boo on them! And Christophe... boo on him too. That kind of situation plays out all too often, which is a shame. Shame on them all! It was extremely strong of Belle to try to do what she did without any support and against the wishes of her family, and then it all turned out so horrible in the end anyway. I'm sure her guilt about losing the baby (no matter how much it wasn't her fault, she'll still feel that way) will be a big burden for a long time.

Belle needs a KITTEN!!!

Ahem. Really, you had a lot of heavy stuff in this chapter. I think it came out really well and I'm so glad you gave Belle such supportive friends to help her along. I think I need some chocolate now, since I already have a kitten...

Author's Response: How could you NOT be sold on James, right?! IT'S A KITTEN. You have to be sold on yummy sweet caring men that give you kittens!!!

I think that Christophe is the worst part about the whole story. Young girls fall hard and fast... and even if she doesn't want to think that it crushed her, I'm sure it did. I bet that will cause some issues for her and Sirius... but what do I know, I just sit here and try to make those monsters behave ;).

Yes! She absolutely needs a kitten!!! Come on Sirius, get with it!

I'm so happy that you think the heavy stuff came out well ♥. Belle's character plays a really important part in all this, so it's important me that people do see what she's been through and understand that whatever else happens with her, it took a butt load of strength to even come here and start over.

And now I'm referring to her as if she's a real person.

I better stop myself now.

I love your reviews so much, just so you know ♥

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Review #15, by Arithmancy_Wiz 

27th January 2013:
I've got to say, I don't know why you were nervous about this chapter. You know I love your Bellatrix, so I was sold on this from the start. Everything after that was just going to be the cherry on top of this very evil sundae.

As you can already guess, I really loved the opening scene. It was fun to spend a few more minutes with the "others." Of course, we knew Alrek was up to something, but it was great to see it finally confirmed, and to see how deeply involved he is in what's going on. And I loved the references to both Snape and the use (or lack thereof) of the Vanishing Cabinets. You always think to include these little canon details that I wouldn't have noticed were missing, but really enrich the story with their inclusion. I mean, of course, the cabinets! They were all the rage during the first war. It makes sense he'd have asked about why they didn't use one.

You mentioned Voldemort's motivation for going after James and Lily, and I think you hit the nail on the head when you said we'll probably never really know for sure. And even if we did, it might not be all that logical. He clearly isn't the most rational villain every, or he wouldn't have allowed himself to be so singularly focused on Harry. But I do think you made a good argument for at least one reason he might have singled them out, especially while they are still so young and seemingly a non-threat. The best answer to me was what Bellatrix said on the matter: Enough about why. Your mission is not to analyze the Dark Lord's orders. I imagine more of the Death Eaters were focused on (a) establishing a society where they could assume their rightful place at the top, and (b) not winding up dead themselves. If Voldemort says a few teenagers need killed in the process, what's it to them, really?

Okay, enough about all that. On to the meat of the chapter!

First, I'll say up front, I VERY much liked the way you mixed the memories in with the dialogue. If you weren't going to go them same route as you did with Sirius's accident, it was really almost a must here. Otherwise, you would have been looking at an incredibly long monologue. Personally, I prefer this style to a full-on flashback. I don't "know" these other characters from Belle's past, so having them suddenly pop up in a flashback I think might have diminished the impact of what Belle was saying. It's not only about what happened to her that's important. It's this moment, opening up and sharing it with her friends that is part of the emotion of the scene, something you'd lose in a flash to the past. Using these sorts of lucid memories breaks up the actual talking, but it also gives the reader the sense that all of this is still very raw for Belle. She can still feel those moments, not just remember them. To me, at least, I didn't think they broke up the flow one little bit.

Gah! You're going to make me comment on the emotions, aren't you? Okay, fine. I'll give it a go, but no promises it will make any sense.

The most emotional part of her story for me really wasn't Belle's expulsion from the family, or even her losing the baby, but Christophe's denial that they'd ever been intimate. For me, that was the real knife through the heart. I don't know if that's just my personal take on the situation, but teenagers love hard sometimes, and I can imagine Belle "dealing" with the rest, even the rejection by her family. But that sort of disownment by him is gut wrenching. Of course, even if he'd stayed by her side, there wasn't going to be a happy ending here, but how does someone walk away from that sort of betrayal and ever trust again? It also felt like one of the most authentic reactions to the situation I've seen portrayed on this site in a long time. People seem to like to imagine that these young boys would step up to the task, do the right thing, when this probably a lot closer to the reality of it all.

Phew! Okay, I gave it a shot there, but once I get all the feels going, I know that's my cue to jet. Though I just realized, I didn't really offer you any CC. I guess I'll just have to double-nitpick next time to make up for it :P

Author's Response: Ahhh. What am I supposed to do? I just want to fail around all bubbly. That's all. I'm way past cloud nine. I have to go to the gym as soon as I finish responding to this, and this review may be enough to get me through without wanting to throw a weight at someone.

I'm copy and pasting your review into a pages document so I make sure to reply to everything.

This chapter is one of those that I just feel like has so much important stuff, and those ones always get me all anxious. I'm not sure what Bellatrix would think about being referred to as an evil Sunday... hahahaa

I wondered if the Vanishing Cabinet would seem too convenient for some people, but it just made sense to me. Like you said, they were all the rage in the first war. And the cabinet that Peeves dropped when distracting... Filch I think? was the vanishing one, which is why it was broken when Draco tried to use it. So we know it was around the school for a while... AND how sweet to think of Auntie Bellatrix slipping the idea to use the Vanishing Cabinet into Draco's mind. Anyway, I'm so happy you thought that it made sense.

With Voldemort -- Exactly! Instead of figuring out more way to try and really control the world and own the wizards and witches in it, and just keeping an eye on Harry, he focused all of his attention on killing him. Come on, Voldy, didn't anyone ever to tell you not to put all you eggs in one bucket? Or.. something like that :P

Ahh I'm so happy that all felt okay! I really wanted to get the rawness of it all with, like you said, the feelings of Alice and Lily and Belle all going through it together. Or talking about going through it. And I'm SO happy you said that about Christophe. You and Sirius may be thinking along the lines. Well, not in this chapter because he obviously don't know, but in chapter 17 :P.

I don't mind the good teenage pregnancy drama, but I do get sick of seeing these young male characters half freaking out, then just going along with it. A lot of boys, especially boys like Christophe who have been born into an privilege and have never been held accountable for their actions, have no reason to think they'd need to stand up for what they did. He knew his parents wouldn't want the shame and would believe him just as much as he knew the people in his school would sink their teeth into the story he made about Belle. I end up getting pretty emotional while writing that whole part out. I just felt so bad for her :(.

AND I LOVE making you comment on emotions! I'm going to have to do that more, aren't I? heheh jk. But like I mentioned, this chapter really did worry me so I'm extremely happy that you liked it. And if I could think of any better ways to say how happy and thankful I am for your amazing reviews, I would use those ;) .

AND my 'favorites list' just told me you updated :O! Today is my lucky day!!

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Review #16, by LovlyRita 

16th December 2012:
Aw snap! I'm back!

DUDE. I totes called Alrek out! What a jerk face. He needs to stay far away from the good side as he can! Oh and he's sent DIRECTLY from Voldemort?! Nasty piece of work, that one!

Oooh Bellatrix I just love her. she is so fabulous. I mean she's horrible, but she's fabulous. I love the way she grabbed regulus's chin and is like...I am more important than you, you listen to me, you are a pawn. And I also love that Regulus also has that kind of attitude over Snape. Maybe that's like a Black thing but they both seem to have that going for them. Regulus puts Snape in his place, Bellatrix puts Regulus in his place, and Bella obviously falls at the feet of the dark lord. Loves it.

Oh and Bellatrix and the rat! I had her kill a rat in my story too :D It seems she does not have much tolerance for rats hahaha.

So now I'm watching Belle, and I can't imagine how hard this must be for her to tell this secret. I say this, I haven't even read it yet, I just happen to already know the truth :P

Oh I ADORE your description of the flames here, especially the "devouring yellow" line, that produces great imagery, love love!

and now i've read it all the way to the end. What a heart breaking story for Belle :( It was just one thing after another, but when I read about the way Christophe had responded, the way he turned everyone against her, told his parents he had nothing to do with it, all of that...what a horrible thing. And thing about it is, that is all too common in the real world. It's so easy for men who just don't want to take responsibilities for their actions to finger point and call the woman any number of horrible names just because they can, because they aren't the ones that are going to go through the physical changes, and all that. It just makes me profoundly sad for Belle, because she doesn't deserve that. Any number of young girls could get stuck in the same situation, with the same general outcome. So that is just my little opinion on the state of the Maury-like issues in this country :P

I'm so glad that Lily and Alice reacted in that way, although let's be honest I don't think I could have seen them reacting in any other way because they are so kind and compassionate. And I'm glad that Belle kind of got her message out so that she can sleep easier at night and no one is hiding anything anymore. Except Alrek, but he's a non 12+ word so moving swiftly along...

As for the accent, I generally think that it was very well done, it flowed very well and I didn't have to think about it at all. I think it if it had been much heavier than that, I would have gotten a little distracted by it, but I think the way you have it done now is good. And can I just say that whenever I see a "z" in place of a "th" I don't think of HP or Fleur or anything, I think of the Baby Sitter's club books. I don't know if you ever read those, but Jessie took ballet in the books and she had a french ballet teacher that always put z's in front of the words so that's what I think of. Lame? Probably. But I embrace it :P

I thought this was a well done chapter with a lot of information that was organized in a well thought out fashion. Beautifully done! Although now I have to grieve at the fact that I am out of chapters to read and will continue to be out of chapters until the 29th of December. :( So you had better write Missy, 'cause I am in dire need of an update already and it's only been like 10 minutes!!! :P

Author's Response: If I actually thought you were going to be interested enough to keep reading I WOULDN'T have used you to ask about Belle's secret, hahaha. You sneaky validator woman! But YES ALREK IS NAUGHTY you were right. He's not a nice boy.. tsk tsk tsk.

Hahahah great minds think alike, right?? Especially in rat killing-ness :P

I so agree with you about how it could be anyone Belle's situation happens to. Hopefully not many parents are cruel enough to give an ultimatum the way Belle's did.. but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen :(.

Oh God. I didn't even know anyone else had heard of the Baby Sitter's club. I'm pretty sure there was another series by the same author that wrote older books, and my sister read those and I was jealous that I had to read the baby ones and then I opened my own baby sitters club and yeah. I'm stopping now. I'm so happy the accent worked. I swear, Belle is NEVER talking this much again. Girl needs a muzzle. :P

I'll write I'll write! YOU BETTER WRITE TOO. I'm so happy that we started reviewing for each other because because it just makes my heart all fluffy every time I see one of your reviews or a new chapter ♥

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Review #17, by The Marauder Girl  

15th December 2012:
I love this story, and I can't wait for the next chapters! Keep writing!

Author's Response: I'm so happy you like it! There will be a new chapter posted the second the that the Staff Holiday is over and we're allowed to post again:)

Thank you so much for stopping by ♥

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Review #18, by shadowycorner 

10th December 2012:
Well, I am now jumping happily because I finally was partly right in my predictions on a story. Yay. Alrek was just fishy from the beginning, it's like you can't really trust these Bulgarian dudes at all - Karkaroff etc. Oh right, Krum was alright. The first section was full of great suspense, I always like reading about these secret Hogwarts meetings, whether they're good or bad. It just shows further how deep and secret Hogwarts is, as a school. I especially liked Regulus in that part. I feel he'll have a bigger part in the story, or at least I hope so. :)

And now the Belle part...just so I get this off my chest, I understand you're trying to convey Belle's French accent with the 'z' much like Jo Rowling did, but it was kind of overwhelming. I don't think it should be at the beginning of every word that begins with 'th'. For example, words like then, this, the could be with the z, but think, thought, throwing up don't have to be, especially when you use the normal sound at the end of words like 'both'. It's not such a big problem, but it was a tad bit distracting since Belle had a long monologue going on. But I'm sure she improves her pronunciation now that she's in Scotland for a longer time. :)

Oh and poor girl, I suspected this exactly! Her voice carried the emotion really well, and I felt just like Lily and Alice, wanting to hug her and never let her go. She's obviously a very strong person for enduring that and still being able to smile. The worst part was that she really wanted to try and love the baby and raise it, against all odds, and even that was taken away from her. But everything happens for a reason, I guess, and at least she didn't end up with the horrible Christophe person and her pretentious family but travelled abroad to meet people that would change her life, so that's uplifting. :) (whenyoukindofignorethefacttheyalldieintheend)

I'm so glad these secrets are finally out, because now Belle can be happier and lighter, and accept Sirius more. :) It also strengthened the girls' friendship in a great way. Oh and Butterscotch! I demand that he appears in every chapter from now on; brought a grin to my face with the first mention of him.

This was a great chapter full of new information and character revelations (fitting title, by the way), but now you need to give me a new chapter fast and some Lily/James goodness!!

xoxo Liz

Author's Response: You were very right about Alrek!! Oh god I'm so glad you said something about the French accent. I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO. I agree it's very over whelming..it was SO difficult to write and keep it in the 'zs' I think I'll take your suggestion and take out most of the ones zat aren't ze and zey. Hehe :P. I was listening to French English videos on that one video site while I wrote it, and I think if anything that made me increase it. Yep. I'm losing some of those Z's.

Ahh I'm so happy you liked Belle's section where the story is concerned! Hahaha I know what you mean about it temporarily being uplifting. I'm still half a second away from saying, screw canon we're going AU :P. But, that would be bad. Rawr.

Butterscotch! I love him too, haha. I'm happy you gives you some warm feels ♥

You are such an awesome reviewer, and thank you for pointing out the distarcting-ness of the z's, it was the push I needed to go and take a few of those things out.

Thanks for the awesome review and I will try and finish the next chapter VERY SOON!

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Review #19, by caoty 

4th December 2012:
Because I got caught out by Review Tag again. Sorry.

Anyway. As soon as I saw 'Regulus' I knew I was going to really like this chapter, and lo and behold, I did.
I like your characterisation of him. He's got that adorably sad remains of love for Sirius, a pride in his status, all the things you'd expect in such an understatedly complex character - but then you've got this:
not one to appreciate his choices being questioned
Y'know, I'd never thought about him as being that kind of guy before, but it totally fits with the image of someone who sacrifices his own freedom to fit into his preordained status, and then decides to sacrifice his own life to turn traitor. Well done on that, then.

The Regulus-Bellatrix dynamic is also fun. You can see that they're both kind of contemptuous of the other, except they're not. It's very strange, and you've managed to show that with dialogue whose content is only marginally related to them as people. If that makes any sense at all.

Also, I totally guessed Alrek. And Belle too, hell yeah, although with Belle I was thinking either pregnancy or politics.

Speaking of Belle: the way you've handled this chapter compared to the one about the car accident is interesting. While that chapter was very action-packed - what with flashbacks and bad reactions and what-have-you - this chapter is just as intense, but it's a lot quieter. It reflects Sirius' and Belle's characterisations well - I like 'em both, but you can see that Belle is a lot more mature than Sirius is, and has been really shaped by her life experiences.

The actual story itself - yeah, Belle just skyrocketed in my estimation. She's so cool.

Anyway, erm, see ya round. And Lily and James as parents of Butterscotch is just so cute. And I think you spelt 'acquainted' as 'aquatainted' somewhere, btw. :P

Author's Response: Aww you didn't need to review! But I'm thrilled you did ;).

I knew you'd love that Regulus was in this! I actually thought of you when I started it! mwahaha. I'm happy you think I got him right, because he was a bit of a challenge.

Yes! You were right on with Alrek and Belle! Smart girl ;).

I am so happy that this chapter brought you closer to Belle. Quite intense! That's probably the best compliment I could have gotten on this chapter. I was worried her dialog would be distracting, so I'm happy that you were able to get into it!

I'm so happy Belle skyrocketed! I could just squeeze you. And. Write something soon please? OKAYGOOOD. ♥

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Review #20, by scribe112 

4th December 2012:
I love how well you portray Lilly's group of friends. I really like reading stories that make sure to include this because it's as if Jo just forgot to mention ANY friends that she may have had outside of the Marauders.

Author's Response: I'm so happy you like Lily's group of friends! Alice and Belle mean a lot to me ♥

And I know what you mean, Lily was a well liked, kind person. There's no way she'd have just Snape, then just the Marauders :P!

This review was such an awesome surprise, thank you so much for stopping by. ♥


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Review #21, by CambAngst 

2nd December 2012:
Hello, darling! Back for another lovely chapter of the story where I always sort of pretend that I don't know exactly how it's going to end. Seriously, I'm getting to the point where you could pull a completely AU ending where Voldemort dies of a burst appendix or something like that and James and Lily and all their friends live happily ever after and I would fully support that. Because I'm just that attached to these characters now. But that's my row to hoe, if you will. Let's focus on what's actually happened in this chapter.

In the first part of Regulus's section, before Bellatrix reveals herself, you filled in some very important bits and pieces about what The Other Side is up to. So Alrek is a bad guy. And not just any bad guy, some sort of super-fanatical bad guy from Eastern Europe whose family are all Death Eaters. Suddenly, I'm picturing him being like one of the mercenary bad guys in a Mel Gibson movie. You know, the kind of action flicks that Mel used to make before he completely went off his trolley and started offending everybody.

I liked the little mention of Snape. You hadn't really put him into much context so far, aside from his one clandestine conversation with Lily. I love the idea of him desiring the Dark Mark so badly that he even subjugates himself to an underclassman like Regulus. It sets the stage perfectly for things we know he will be doing in the future, like eavesdropping on Dumbledore and relaying the prophecy to Voldemort.

Ah, so Bellatrix was watching them all along. One thing I really love about the way that you portray the Death Eaters is this intense focus on hierarchy and pecking order. Just as Regulus enjoys flaunting his power over Snape, Bellatrix seems to take great pleasure in reminding Regulus that she's older and closer to the Dark Lord. The way she talks to him and Alrek immediately made me think of the scene in Malfoy Manor where he carefully orders his subordinates so that their proximity to him reflects their usefulness at the moment. The social structure is like a pack of hyenas, and everything Bella does helps to reinforce that.

I have a feeling that Alrek is going to work his way up the ladder quickly. He's obviously very eager and he's positioned himself very well. He seems to be able to make connections and formulate strategies that elude poor Regulus. It's interesting that I feel like I can already begin to see the seeds of Regulus's disaffection and ultimate betrayal of the Dark Lord in the way that he's being treated in this scene. He's already learning the hard lesson that his family heritage does little for him compared to Alrek, a relative outsider who is able to produce results.

Bella's thoughts on James and her plans for him were chilling. I do hope that she does not succeed in getting him alone.

Now, on to the deeper part of the chapter. My heart ached for poor Belle. For anyone who was still having difficulty buying in to her character, I think you closed the deal with this chapter. All of the difficulties she's been having and her reluctance to let herself get romantically involved with Sirius were explained in such a gripping way. I like that even though she's come to her friends prepared to tell them everything, she still prods Lily just a bit to try to put off her moment of reckoning. And Lily... well, Lily actually gives a completely honest and mostly sensible answer. How dare she? ;)

Belle's story is one of those timeless ones that I think most anyone can relate to. If it hasn't happened to you, chances are pretty good that you know somebody who's been through something similar. It all starts off so innocently, with her first real boyfriend being this charming, friendly, fun rich boy who she'd know for years. I liked the very traditional sort of ceremony and fanfare you built up around their relationship, with all of the parents watching over their courtship and their fellow students treating them like the royal couple of Beauxbatons. Very old-school Mediterranean culture.

I liked the way that you moved back and forth between Belle's recollections and her conversation with Lily and Alice. It wasn't confusing at all and it really helped me to place myself in her mindset. Recalling all of these things was clearly a very emotional journey for her. She obviously wouldn't have been able to make it through the entire story without the support of her friends. You did a tremendous job of conveying the very strong emotions that all three of them were feeling and the love they have for one another.

-- “Definitely not simple,” Lily added with a gentle smile.

-- “And controllable? We’d get looked at like nutters for even suggesting it.”

That little bit of humor was actually a great way to pace this scene just a bit and let the reader take a quick break before the heavy emotional stuff gets back into full swing.

Wow. Christophe is a complete bastard. While I'm sure he was scared and under all sorts of pressure from his family, his actions were simply inexcusable. You don't go into any details on what happens to him after Belle leaves, but I've decided that my own head canon is that he contracts syphilis and then gets run over by a bus. ;)

And the awful just keeps on coming. I can't imagine having your parents turn their backs on you at such a terrifying, vulnerable time in your life. This completely explains why Belle wound up where she did.

Belle's last admission of her feelings of guilt -- what I'd call survivor's guilt -- were the final piece of the puzzle for this terrific chapter. It closed the loop perfectly for me. Belle is finally happy, but at some level she isn't sure that she deserves to be. It's just the way I'd expect her to feel after what she went through and what she lost.

This was a huge chapter for character development, I thought. And to comment for just a moment on your author's note, the craziness is just part of the creative process. It was and always is a pleasure!

Author's Response: Don't be mad! I'm finally here! I hate replying to your reviews, then I have to wait until I get a whole new chapter up before I get to see another Dan review. BUT I also love replying to them because they give me warm fuzzies..sooo...

Don't even tempt me with the AU ending.

"Voldemort raised his wand to curse James, but before the spell could leave his lips a burst of lighting screamed through the night and hit the dark sorcerer directly on the head." Poof. Problem solved. James and Lily are alive, everyone knew Peter had changed to secret keeper, and all my preciouses are safe. Except one... but it was already too late for her ;(.

Gah, you know what a hard time I had with Belle in this, so knowing it turned out well just makes me probably happiest person on the planet. She's such a close character
to me and I wanted to do her story justice, and that wouldn't have happened without your insightful suggestions, thank you ♥

Funny story... Sirius is also VERY interested in what ever happened to Christophe as well, or at least he will be once Belle tells him :P.

I don't think Lily and Alice had expected anything of this sort when they finally convinced Belle to tell them. If they'd have had a good idea, they may have been able to emotionally prepare. But they didn't, so it was really almost as emotional as them for Belle. And they are all such awesome friends, I just want to squeeze them all. And Butterscotch :P.

Dan Dan Dan.. I really don't know how to thank you for enduring my craziness during this chapter. I just needed it to be right, and I probably would have put off writing it for weeks and weeks if I didn't have you to help me! Thank you so much ♥

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Review #22, by MissMdsty 

1st December 2012:
First of all, happy birthday! :D

Now, I guessed right about Belle (unfortunately). Regarding your AN, I couldn't tell you struggled. As soon as I was able to look pass your incredible patience for writting the French accent, I was simply drawn in, it's like it was playing in front of my very eyes. I was in tears by the half of it!

This was a lovely and heartbreaking chapter and you did it justice! Good job!

Author's Response: That's exactly what I wanted! The playing in front of your eyes!

I can tell you that Belle will NEVER speak this much again. NEVER. hahaha. It was tough, haha. I know I'll get some reviewers that were annoyed by it and thought it made it more difficult to read (I'm sure it does!) But I couldn't just ignore the fact that this girl is French. Even with English tutoring all her life, the accent she's lived in for 17 years would just go away.

I am so happy you enjoyed this ♥ thank you so much for the review. And for the happy birthday! It was an awesome one :). My sister flew in from the other side of the country and surprised me, which was amazing!

Thanks for stopping by, m'dear. And I'm happy we're learning to use twitter together ;).


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Review #23, by FredWeasleyIsMyKing 

1st December 2012:
I have been so excited waiting for you to post your new chapter and you didn't disappoint, you've really done a fab job!!

I loved the start, it had so many little things running through it. We finally learned Alrek is on the dark side *gasp* and trying to recruit James. I'm seriously on the edge of my seat with this one. I was thinking if he succeeds in getting James to Voldemort, is this going to be one of the three times that Lily and James escape Voldemort? I have always wanted more details on these 3 occasions and it's something that's always left to the imagination, which is good don't get me wrong but I am looking forward to your version (if I'm not totally wrong in my guessing here)

I also thought your portrayal of Bellatrix was spot on. She had the right level of craziness going on with her Voldmort obsession and clever speech. I do love her!!

I loved the little parts of the story you hinted at in this scene too, with Snape warning them not to use the Shreiking Shack on a full moon but not giving them full details etc. I thought you did it really smoothly and it kept making me smile when I recognised parts as I'm a bit sad like that. I really liked how Regulus showed some caring feelings towards his brother too. I never like to think of him as a bad guy, he helped Harry and the gang out after all...

And finally, Belle's story! Yay, I was right! I saw you were concerned about the whole thing in your AN but you really shouldn't worry. I think you handled the whole issue seriously well and kept Belle as a really strong character throughout. Like Lily says, she could have easily given everything up and gone back to being the perfect little daughter she was expected to be, twice, but both times she refused. I love her even more as a character now so I certainly hope that shows you what a good job you have done. I think she's probably my fav OC I've read on here. I really hope she gives in to Sirius though, I'm a sucker for romance and fluff!!

The only thing I missed in this chapter was my Lily and James fix! It can't be a critisim though, you had so much going on in this chapter that anything like that would have taken away the importance of the two characters you've focused on. I am looking forward to next time though!

A couple of typo's I think, just thought I'd point them out in case you go back and edit...

'Bellatrix stood frozen for another moment, here eyes and Regulus’s latched together, before facing Alrek.' - I think that should be 'her' not 'here'?

'so I'd already known a bit about 'im prior to our ze start of school' - i think you only need the 'our' or the 'ze' but I might be wrong on this one?

'became on of zose people again' i think 'on' should be 'one'??

Once again amazing job. I love this story so much and I'm eagerly awaiting the next chapter!!


Author's Response: Oh god you have no idea how much this review means to me! This chapter... I struggled with it A LOT. Telling the story through Belle's perspective, but not actually going to flashback mode (because then they'd all be speaking French!).. it was just super hard and I felt like I wasn't getting enough feeling in it. Like it was all too detached... so anyway your review literally made me sigh with relief.

YES! You are absolutely on track with what Alrek is doing and what it will mean in terms of the 3 times Lily and James defy Voldemort! You're such a perceptive reader!!

I'm really happy you could still pick up the hints of Regulus caring about his brother. Or maybe even not even caring that much, but the fact that he just isn't a cruel person. He's only 16, and dies at 19, he never had the chance to grow up and was raised to be a very arrogant child. Sirius had the strength to get out of all that and Regulus didn't, it doesn't make Regulus a monster. Anyway, again with you being awesome at picking up on things!!

Haha it's funny you say that about Lily and James because I *almost* had him showing up at the end with the rest of the guys and tryign to figure out what was going on, because a chapter that doesn't have the boys is NOT as fun to write as one with them, haha. But then I realized this was nearly 8,000 words and thought I should control myself ;). In regards to wondering if Belle will give Sirius a try... Sirius is very smitten with her, and when have we ever known Sirius to give up on something he really wants ;).

I don't even know how much I can say thank you for this review. I've been so stressed about this one and it's all such a sensitive topic and gahh. You're awesome, and this is going straight into the 'reviews that made your day' thread on the formus :)!

Thank you!!! ♥

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