Okay, the spacing is wide in this chapter. You can fix it easily if you go back and use the Simple Editor. Also, I noticed some more of the short scenes that bugged me a little in the last chapter--for instance, the Slytherin-focused scene.
I did notice a number of potential areas for improvement within this chapter. On the one hand, you could probably proofread each chapter once or twice more before posting it. I've noticed several little things that, while not really getting in the way of my enjoyment of the story, do make it look a little rough around the edges. For instance, I noticed one place where you have a quotation mark at the end of a sentence that isn't dialogue. Additionally, watch out for dialogue tags and proper capitalization and punctuation with dialogue. I also realized that you have a tendency to join up lines where different characters are the focus into the same paragraph. For example:
"I wouldn't have let you get out of the dormitory. Don't you know I've always got your back?" Jane laughed as they entered the Great Hall.
^This was really confusing for me initially because I knew Jane was the one who received the chocolates and Lily was the one who helped her out, but this sentence makes it sound like Jane is laughing as she says the line of dialogue. It's good practice (and proper style) to start a new paragraph, however brief, when a new character starts speaking or becomes the focus of the action.
The other area on which I think you could work would be character development and follow-through. Unless you take the time to think about how your character would logically react to a given situation, based on his or her prior behavior, your characterization can seem shallow and inconsistent. For instance, are you sure that Sirius would so quickly drop the subject of secret admirers after Jane's little slip of the tongue, or would he be more likely to push her a little more? Would Snape be willing to trust a girl who's been seen around with Sirius with one of his deepest and most painful secrets, or would he possibly insult her or just ignore her and get out of there fast? I would encourage you to seek out more feedback on this story from reviewers on the forums, because a lot of them "specialize" in characterization and could give you more feedback if you request it.
Okay, that's plenty of critique, so I want to make sure I mention what I did like about this chapter :) For one, I think you did a great job with Remus. He's appropriately studious and compassionate, and I like that Jane trusted him to talk to Peter. I also liked the interaction between Lily and James; he clearly still makes her uncomfortable, and it was nice to see him actually react to her dismissal of him rather than just laughing it off with his friends. In addition, I really liked getting a glimpse of the "other side" with Regulus, though I should note that Lestrange would probably be too old canon-wise to attend school as the same time as Regulus. (Obviously, I think Rosier is an okay fit.)
This is going along very nicely, and I'm looking forward to continuing on later. By the way, I've really appreciated getting your feedback through the swap, and I hope you've found mine helpful. I think that this long-term swap was a great idea!
Author's Response: Yeah, my grammar and punctuation is atrocious. I wasn't sure about that line. It just felt weird to write:
"I wouldn't have let you get out of the dormitory. Don't you know I've always got your back?"
Jane laughed as they entered the Great Hall.
âYes, Iâm glad I have you to knock me out in case I ever get into strife.â She grinned, patting Lilyâs back.
But you're right, it's very confusing.
With Sirius dropping the secret admirer thing, I just put it down to him assuming that Jane had made an ill-received joke. Severus however is a little more difficult to rationalize. While he sees her around with Sirius, he also sees her with Lily. Perhaps he thinks, even sub-consciously, that if he befriends Jane, she might convince Lily to give him another chance. I might rewrite that scene to make it a little more confronting rather than confiding.
I love Remus Lupin so much, he's always fun to write. And James is great too. There'll be plenty of both Remus and James/Lily coming up :)
Well according to the Harry Potter Wiki, Regulus was born in 1961, one year after the Marauders. And Rodolphus Lestrange was born sometime in the 1950's or 1960's. It's a bit of a stretch, but I decided to just make him born in late 1959 like Sirius. We need an antagonist, after all.
I'll get back to your story as soon as I get a minute :D Thanks so much for your help!