Ok, I am finally getting to the final batch of the Secret Santa reviews. Sorry it took me a bit longer than planned . . . the whole PMing back and forth to find out how you wanted your round two "coupon" redeemed dragged out longer than I had anticipated and ate up the gap of time I was planning to use. Since you know who I am now, there's not much point in doing them anonymously. :P
Anyway, typo first: You wrote "friends of him" instead of "friends of his" when mentioning Severus's friends.
I totally have to agree with Sirius about the postal service. Even though the owl post makes JKR's wizarding world unique, I've never been a big fan, personally. I know some people have birds that they dearly love, but I happen to find birds messy and disgusting. They often have little mites, and they poop everywhere. I don't want a bird flying over my breakfast, thank you very much.
I guess this sort of serves as a continuation of the previous chapter, where we are beginning to see Beth and Severus interact more. I like that you have allowed this to come about slowly, but now that it's chapter 11, we can see some progression. Obviously, the fact that they now have a shared secret for the time being also brings them together.
The owl mix-up was pretty obvious from the moment Beth saw an owl she thought was hers at first, and I'm always suspicious of coincidences. :P However, I'm not going to complain about it seeming unrealistic because you worked hard to make it all sound plausible rather than just expecting readers to swallow unexplained coincidence.
I liked that you had Lily try to warn Beth about Severus. That was a good touch.
That's all I have to say for the moment. On to the next chapter!
Author's Response: Oh, no apologies are necessary! I'm afraid that I'm actually a little behind in responding to reviews -- they piled on quite before I knew what to expect -- so I actually owe YOU an apology. I'm really glad you came back here at all! And I'll start out by thanking you, as always, for catching typos; no matter how many times I read over my old chapters, there always seem to be things I miss.
Using owls for the postage service has ALWAYS bugged me, for the exact reasons you point out -- when you get to thinking about it, it's so gross! I think that's probably why that bit's in there at all, really. A bit of the author leaking into the characters, as it were. (And now I'm just imagining everything that could be nasty that could happen as far as they're concerned... ugh.)
I definitely didn't want to rush Severus into any sort of romantic relationship, mostly because... that's really not him, you know? So I'm really glad that you seem to appreciate that. :) The owl mix-up was never intended to be anything less than a lead-in to something bigger, either, so your being suspicious of coincidences was probably a good thing in this case! I'm glad that it seemed realistic to you anyway, because that is something I definitely try and put in all my writing.
Thank you so much for such a nice review! ♥ And again, sorry it's taken so long to respond. Looking forward to responding to your other reviews, too!