Reading Reviews for In The Black
620 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Vivyan A Question

15th March 2014:
Bah I mean it's brilliant and gushy and lovey-dovey and wonderful but does anyone else think it's strange that a guy has ages to think over the possibility of marriage with a woman and to propose and the woman has barely any time to consider that fact?

Author's Response: Are you talking in general? Because a lot of women talk with their significant others about marriage before he pops the question! It's not as though she won't have ever thought about it before the proposal. ;)

That said, I'm glad you enjoyed the chapter! Thank you for taking the time to review, and I hope you continue on! ♥

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Review #2, by Cannons The Path

6th November 2013:

(I'm not always that dramatic)

You know when I said I was saving this and reading a chapter at a time? yeahh..? well I failed.. Read from chapter 11 to 34 since yesterday. I really should catch up on some sleep!

This was so well written, it's unbelievable. The biggest thing about this for me was how well planned it was ( or seemed to be) I think a lot of people would have maybe jumped right in to the plot and ship-y stuff way to early, but I loved how you took your time developing Beth to the reader and the rest of the Marauders, as well as Snape of course. I've really come to like Beth and think she really does fit perfectly in with the Marauders and has officially joined them in my head now. I was reading another Marauders era fic, and I was like 'HEY, where's Beth?' and then I remembered..


Anyways I think I'm going to bombard your MTA with questions now.

this was a seriously amazing story and am so happy that I have two more to go!

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Review #3, by Cannons Same Old Secret

18th October 2013:

I'm not here for any good reason other than to tell you how amazing this story is so far, I've only read a couple of chapters but I absolutely love your writing style, I can't explain it but it just seems so effortless and natural. Just knowing that there is a whole trilogy about Beth Bridger makes me smile! You just might hear from me in the future :)

Author's Response: This review just made my whole day. ♥ Especially at a time in my life where I'm in something of a writing slump! I'm so glad to hear from you, and even more glad to hear that you're enjoying Beth's story so far. Your compliment about my writing style is beyond appreciated.

Basically, what I'm trying to say -- thank you very, very, very much for this review! :) I look forward to hearing from you again!

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Review #4, by Rumpelstiltskin The Path

4th October 2013:
I cannot tell you the last time that I sat down and read a story so quickly (due to avid enthusiasm and only brief breaks?, but then this story came along! I really thought that my fiance was going to confiscate my computer!

This story has brought me endless entertainment! I loved it so very much and it left me wanting more, more, more! Luckily for me, there are still two more entire books to go!!

Thank you so much for writing it!


Author's Response: Thank YOU so much for being such a lovely and enthusiastic reviewer! I know those sorts of stories, the ones that make you want to keep reading at all costs, and I'm pleased and flattered beyond words that my story was one for you.

I can't wait to hear your opinion on books 2 and 3! The more I wrote of this story, the more I loved it, and if I can be so bold to say so, I think the books only improved as I wrote more. :) Your thoughts will be very highly valued!

Thank you again for such an awesome review!! ♥

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Review #5, by Rumpelstiltskin Just Words

2nd October 2013:
Regretfully, it is nearly time for work yet again, which means that I will have to pause my reading. I thought, though, that this would be the perfect opportunity to also pause and leave a review, as I am thoroughly enjoying myself!

I just adore this story. Between Beth's relationships with her friends and her long-neglected love interest, this story has had me engrossed from even the very first chapter! She fits into the canon fabulously and the relationships she has developed with her friends are very believable.

The chapter's flow perfectly from scene to scene, the point of view placed in Beth's perspective is sufficiently neat and well-focused, the plot is gripping and interesting, and the dialogue between characters is clear, urging me to say that this story is very well written! Also, the characters are very well-developed, especially Beth's. I just love Beth.

I am a die-hard Severus Snape fan, as well. His character seems to be perfectly in canon and I'm anxious to see a relationship develop between he and Beth!

I absolutely cannot wait until work is over so that I can read more of this beautiful fan fiction!


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Review #6, by maskedmuggle The Path

20th September 2013:

I realise this is one of your older stories but I really wanted to read this so I could read In the Red and consequently, Breaking Even. (I'm really big about reading stories in order, and I have to read preceding stories first!) I also really wanted to just read more stuff of yours in general because I know you're an awesome writer and I have shamefully only read your ScoRose novella and a few chapters here and there of one-shots or whatever! Ahem, anyway, to the actual point of this review.. I really enjoyed reading this novel! I've never read something like this before - a story about someone who actually has a crush on Snape of all people. So I found that it was definitely a super original idea for a story!

I thought that throughout, each chapter was developed really well and I loved how you weaved in the canon details that we know - making the map, Snape finding out about the animagus and Remus, the growing tension/conflict over blood purity.. it made it all seem more realistic and believable. I also thought Beth was an interesting character, and I really enjoyed how you characterised the rest of the Marauders!

There were 2 things I was a bit uncertain about with the story. Firstly, Beth's actual crush on Snape - I don't think you ever talked about exactly what Beth found attractive about Snape? (So sorry if I'm wrong lol). I feel like that missing element made it a little harder for me to believe in Beth's crush itself (as in.. was it his physical appearance.. or something about his character/the way he acts?). Okay, secondly, I was a little uncertain about the way they all 'join' the Order - it just seems a little unrealistic to me that all of them were only recruited by chance because of Sirius' eavesdropping? I can see why you did it though, and it is probably a good way to introduce the Order as part of them since I feel like the trilogy will go on beyond their Seventh Year at Hogwarts..

Anyway, I did really enjoy reading each chapter of this! I really liked how the "relationship" between Snape and Beth slowly developed and wasn't too rushed (I did feel like there were perhaps a few more-than-normal chance encounters between them though) :P I also really liked seeing parts of this from Snape's thoughts - as in, getting to hear what Snape felt about Beth and his thoughts about his 'friends'. All in all, you are definitely a talented writer, no doubt about that - I found myself so engaged in the story. I'll definitely be reading the sequel to this now! I can't wait to see what you'll do from now on.. especially how we all know in canon Snape is a double agent because he forever loved Lily.. and I'm really looking forward to how Snape and Beth will both turn out! Awesome story and really well written! :)

- Charlotte

Author's Response: Char! ♥ Oh, it's been ages. Absolute ages. And I would totally be the same way about reading stories in order -- and this one you really sort of need to, especially book 2 before book 3. So it makes perfect sense to me! I'm sorry this response is a bit delayed. I'm trying to keep on top of things!

I'm so happy you enjoyed this, too! There are a few (probably more than a few) failings, but this entire trilogy is so ingrained in my writer-ness that it's hard to do anything but love it. Hardly ANYBODY writes Snape/OCs, especially not when the love interests are at school, and most of my novels come from gaps in the market. ;) Weaving in canon and making it believable, even with the inclusion of Beth, was something that I was very conscious about, and it makes me so happy when readers mention and appreciate it. Really! And Marauders is now my favorite era to write, solely because of this. The boys are awesome, full stop.

Beth's crush on Snape really isn't as developed as I'd like it to be, and I'd probably do that differently now, but it's just sort of implied she's attracted to him on a physical level, mostly, since they've never really had a proper conversation. As for how they join the Order, it's so vague on how that comes about, and that was a big struggle in this first book. It's clearly not common knowledge, but how do a band of misfits find out about it and sign right up, you know? Sirius would be obnoxious enough to keep pressing the point after overhearing something, so that's why it came out like that. :) The trilogy does go up until late 1981, so the Order's a big part of books two and three.

The relationship between Beth and Sev is basically slower than molasses. Chance encounters or no, it'll take a while for ANYTHING to really happen!

I can't wait to hear your thoughts on ITR and BE. ♥ I'm so happy right now, reading over this review! And immensely flattered by your compliments. ♥ Thank you so much for reviewing!!

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Review #7, by Courtney Dark The Path

6th August 2013:
I could not imagine a better ending to book one! Seriously, everything was perfect, and there's really nothing more to say that that! (Sorry, this one is going to be another ludicrously short review, my eyes are drooping).

I actually really liked the 'girl moment' even though it was very short, because we haven't had many of those. And then the entrance of the guys was great - I kinda like the fact that Beth is staying over at Sirius's. I don't know why (and I could be completely off the mark here) but I've always sensed a little chemistry between the two of them, especially Sirius towards Beth. I'm wondering now if anything will happen in the next chapter, and how long they will be living together.

The section from Severus's point of view was perfect, and definitely sufficiently creepy - it actually gave me goosebumps! And those last few lines were amazing!

I'm looking forward to book two!

Author's Response: *squealing like a fangirl* THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. I'm always concerned about endings, and -- well, this was the ending to the first of three books, so there was sort of a lot resting on it. I'm very pleased with it myself, but I did want others to enjoy it, too! You poor thing, you and your sleepiness. I feel sort of bad you stayed up so late reading.

We really didn't get a lot of girl moments in this story -- and, of course, Beth's best friends are all boys, so it's understandable. There really aren't a lot of girl moments in the trilogy, period. I don't think Beth can relate as well to other females. ;) AND I JUST CAN'T TELL YOU ANYTHING ABOUT SIRIUS/BETH. Oh, man, I'm just rocking back and forth in my seat, thinking about what you don't know. I'm excited for you to read certain chapters -- that's all I can say!

Goosebumps?! Seriously? ♥ I can't tell you what that means to me! And, at the risk of sounding completely incoherent, because my brain is leaking out my ears: Thank you. Thank you /so much/ for loving this story so much, and for leaving reviews on every darn chapter, and for being so enthusiastic and wonderful and... ♥ Readers like you are why I'm still writing and posting stories. I love knowing that people enjoy what I do!

I can't wait to get to more of your ITR reviews! You're amazing!!

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Review #8, by Courtney Dark All Fall Down

6th August 2013:
I am going to make this review super quick because I really, really am looking forward to the last chapter!

Poor Beth:( Poor, poor Beth. And go James, for being such a caring, kind friend! He has matured so much over the course of this book, and I love him for that!

I loved that conversation between Severus and Beth. I mean, obviously I didn't love the result of it, but it was written so, so well!

Poor Severus:( That last scene was so in-character of him though, i actually sense him through the screen.



Author's Response: Oof. I feel like I've run a marathon. I'VE ANSWERED SO MANY REVIEWS TODAY. But I'm determined to make it through these last two reviews of yours before quitting! Then I get to answer a couple tomorrow before posting BE on Sunday, and things will seem brighter. As it is, I sort of feel like my fingers are going to fall off, but it's all in the name of being a fan fiction writer. Such is life!

Poor Beth indeed. :( She's definitely in a bad place right now, but it does make it that much better that she has someone like James to help her out right now. It definitely doesn't look good for the future she'd envisioned between Severus and herself, but at the same time, I do love her for sticking to what she knew to be right, instead of throwing everything away for some boy (even if that boy was the one she'd admired for years and years). I'm glad you thought it was written well! ♥ Thank you for reviewing, Courtney!

I've just misspelled your name about five times (as well as the word 'misspelled') so I can't even blame you. :D I think my brain's going to mush from answering all these reviews in one day. I was not thinking when I set this idea up.

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Review #9, by Courtney Dark Lost

6th August 2013:
To me it makes a lot of sense that Rosier, Wilkes and the other Slytherins wouldn't be all that great at making corporeal patronuses - after all, creating them requires you to think of something happy, most likely someone or something you really love, and they don't seem the type of blokes with a lot of love and compassion in their hearts!

It definitely surprised me when Severus's patronus was still a doe. Does he still have some unrealized feelings for Lily? Perhaps re-triggered when Beth told him she was marrying James? Hm...

Hehe, that house elf made me laugh! He kind of reminded me a little bit of Dobby!

Aw, poor Beth! Thins certainly aren't looking good! I think that she was perhaps the teeniest dramatic (or perhaps this was just her overthinking things as usual) but I know teenagers act this way all the time, and I still feel horrible for her - especially because she is definitely not a stereotypical teen.

On to the next chapter! I'm determined to finish book one tonight, even though it's already very late.


Author's Response: I read somewhere -- or heard somewhere, one of the two -- that Snape is actually the only Death Eater able to make a patronus, which is very interesting to me. I perhaps took liberties here, having them attempt it at all, but the idea of patronus magic and happiness levels is a fickle and tricky thing. Besides, didn't we already agree this was a bit AU? ;)

HANG ONTO THE IDEA OF SNAPE'S PATRONUS. That's one of the biggest bits of foreshadowing in this book, and while it isn't important in a world-shattering way, it does come up again in ITR. I can't remember if you hit that point in the book yet, but if you haven't... remember this! And if you have, well, now you know. :P

Finsby is a bit like Dobby -- well, Dobby was his inspiration. :3 More people should write house elves! (A fact I already told you, but am repeating for emphasis.) It was, I suppose, a bit of lightness before things got a touch more angsty at the end of the chapter, what with Beth seeing that Sev's patrous was still a doe, for Lily. She was very dramatic, of course, in typical teenage fashion, but poor girl, I can't help feeling sorry for her all the same.

You are very impressive, staying up so late reading fan fiction! I have no willpower, and generally choose sleep over reading late. :P Thank you for reviewing!

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Review #10, by Courtney Dark A Question

6th August 2013:
I ADORE FLUFF TOO! Admittedly I love all the angst and drama and mystery and action and adventure (all of which can be found in this story) but I bit of fluff is always nice here and there - I love 'Awww!"ing at the screen and making big puppy dog eyes and beaming happily like I've just engulfed a whole bar of berry biscuit chocolate.

Actually, I have just engulfed a whole bar of berry biscuit chocolate. CHOCOLATE + FLUFF = COURTNEY'S HAPPINESS! (And I just spelled my own name wrong twice.)

I really love the friendship between the four boys and Beth - it's just so...perfect. This story actually makes me wish I had more guy friends. And I'm so glad that Sirius was so supportive in this chapter.

Aw, James is so adorable when he is nervous. And I really, really loved his proposal to Lily - simple, but perfect!

Lovely chapter!

Author's Response: I'm much more of an angst/drama/mystery girl, in general. The sadder a story is, the better the chance I'll like it (which is why I'm so obsessed with Doctor Who and Supernatural -- they make me cry like nothing else)! But fluff is necessary sometimes to balance out the sadness, although I am sad to say that I have no idea what berry biscuit chocolate is, and therefore cannot compare the two.

Writing a purely platonic friendship between Beth and the four boys (and really among the four boys, too) was one of the BEST things about this story. ♥ It was so nice not to have to worry about any romantic relationship besides James/Lily and Severus/Beth. Well... okay, in ITR, there's... no, you'll just have to see. I CAN'T TELL YOU THINGS BUT I WANT TO.

James's proposal to Lily took a complete one-eighty from how I'd meant to have him do it! In my head it was a nice and simple little thing down by the lake, and all of a sudden he's heading towards the Quidditch pitch and I'm over here freaking out, trying to steer him back, but to no avail. And thus he proposes on the pitch. Alas, he has a mind of his own!

Thank you for reviewing!! ♥

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Review #11, by Courtney Dark Remus's Request

6th August 2013:
I know you've already written the whole thing, but I am really, really looking forward to reading the next book! I couldn't even predict what's going to happen, and I love that! And I was hoping to finish all three books before you actually finished updating the last, but unfortunately I don't think I'm that fast of a reader.

Anyway, onto this actual chapter!

WHY CAN I NOT JOIN THE ORDER AND NOT HAVE TO SIT PROPER EXAMS??!! It would take so much pressure off! Why can't I be a witch? Why can't I go to Hogwarts? *sulks in corner* Anyway, I really enjoyed the first section, with the sniffling fifth year!

I loved Remus' transformation section, as I always do! I could so picture Sirius transforming into that big black dog in my mind. And I totally agree with you - I find it so strange seeing these characters I know so well growing up! It's almost an unnerving experience, because I know that soon after they leave school, Lily and James will...


Anyway, great chapter!

Author's Response: You're blowing through these books so fast, I wouldn't be at all surprised if you caught up by the time I finished posting BE! We have just a little over seven weeks left in that one, after all -- I definitely think you're going to do it. :) And just in case I haven't told you enough, I seriously can't tell you how happy you've made me with all these reviews these past few weeks. It means more to me than I could ever hope to say, having someone enjoy a story of mine this much!

If you ever find a way to go to Hogwarts, I call coming with you! Is it possible to be homesick for a place you've never known? :( I have been to the park in Orlando twice... but it's just not the same. I just want to take magical classes and make friends and be Sorted and eat food and UGH.

This was the chapter where, while writing it, I got hit with an early pang of nostalgia for the characters as they were at this moment, and never would be again. Obviously I hadn't written the other two books at that point, but I knew the (general) plots and what would happen to each of them, and it made writing them as carefree students that much harder. Although you do never know how AU I'll go, if that gives you any consolation!

Thank you for this review, and for all the others -- honestly, I can't say it enough! ♥

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Review #12, by Courtney Dark The Malleable Future

6th August 2013:
Okay, first of all, it just struck me how right your description of Severus's character in your author's note really is! And that definitely showed in his point of view - which was super, super interesting to read. I can't believe he thinks Beth is coming around to his 'ways'! How could he possibly think that? Oh, Sev:(

Speaking of Sev, his friends are really horrible (which I know I've said before, but I feel the need to mention it again because it was so prominent in this chapter!) My favourite (wow, am I supposed to have a favourite?) would have top be Mulciber because he seems the, erm, nicest? Well, not nice but you know what I mean. Probably. Or maybe you don't, I never make much sense.

MY POINT IS that Severus's life is now starting to get quite dark with a whole lot of AGGHHNESS and GRNESS! And I love it!

Oh, and I'm glad Beth has decided not to write back to her parents and make her own decision. She is a grown woman, really, after all!

On to the next chapter!

Author's Response: Severus is, unfortunately, a bit self-minded... which certainly comes back to bite him at times, notably in thinking that he's converting Beth's thinking in blood supremacy issues. I think it's a very necessary part of writing him, because he was DEFINITELY selfish, but it certainly isn't a very nice part.

His life's going to get even darker, though -- that I can promise you! I know you've pretty much reached the beginning of that in ITR already, but that's something that'll continue to be proven true time and again.

Beth's a strong, independent woman who don't need no parents! Except it would probably really nice if hers seemed to care about her well-being, instead of their own... but, as you'll see in future chapters of ITR and BE, that definitely isn't the case. :( But I'm proud of her for sticking up to them when they do her wrong!

Thank you for your review!!

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Review #13, by Courtney Dark Quidditch Again

5th August 2013:
Oooh, another good chapter!

Quidditch matches can be very difficult to write - and even more difficult to write interestingly, but I think you did a really good job! I loved how there was still all this tension between the Slytherins and Gryffindors, James and Wilkes, even while they were in the air! It definitely made it a lot more interesting and exciting to read. And James's injury was nasty!

Oh, and I really don't like Wilkes - he seems pretty foul, to be honest! Tut tut, Severus, you need better friends! Oh, and the Slytherin Quidditch team doesn't tend to go for very smart players - they're definitely size rather than brains sort of people.


Author's Response: Quidditch is much more difficult to write now than it used to be, I think -- mostly because I've done it so many times at this point that it does all feel the same. I don't know how J.K. Rowling did it! But I'm glad you liked it! It does make me feel like I did something right. :) Switching between the players and the spectators did help, and of course there was all the blood purist drama to build on.

Wilkes is actually my favorite of Snape's friends, solely because he's a foul little git with a horrible habit of spitting when he talks. :D His characterization was one I liked so much, actually, that I carried it over into my AU James/Lily murder mystery! Severus totally needs better friends, you're absolutely right. Like a certain peregrine falcon we know...

Thank you (again) for reviewing! Tired of hearing me say it yet? No? Good. ♥

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Review #14, by Courtney Dark One Morning

5th August 2013:


Breath Courtney, breathe.


Is is weird that I am so, so excited about a Beth and Severus holding hands - not even kissing, just holding hands?


I am not going to be able to write a coherent review right now, so I'm just going to move onto the next chapter. I am literally shaking from excitement - I can barely type right now!


PS: That bit about apples really got me thinking, man! Next time I see someone eating an apple, I am going to be studying them hardcore!

Author's Response: Breathe, Courtney, breathe! ♥ Except not really, because I am all for anyone being breathless due to a fictional character. Lord knows it's happened to me enough in my (relatively short, in comparison) life. And YES, it's okay to be excited about Beth and Sev holding hands! Can you imagine how anxious I got, sitting on this chapter for a few months, with other people not knowing what was coming? Can you imagine how I feel now?! Oh, my friend, you have things in store for you...

I need either less sugar or less caffeine. I'm feeling jittery and excited. I'm mostly just really pumped at how hard you're shipping Beth and Severus right now, just because I ALWAYS get excited when other people ship my characters with other characters! That's like... top-tier status. I'm thrilled!

Fun fact: The beginning of this chapter came from another writing friend who, after listening to me complain about not knowing how to start it, told me to write about Beth watching someone eat an apple. The end.

I AM SO WEIRD. But thank you for reviewing me anyway! ♥

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Review #15, by Courtney Dark A Plan and a Patronus

5th August 2013:
Severus's point of view! I was extremely excited when I started reading this, as his point of view is extremely different from everyone else's and I find it super interesting finding out what is going on in his head.

It was a huge contrast, going from Beth's point of view last chapter, who was talking about making a difference by joining the Order of the Phoenix. And in this chapter, Severus is hoping to make a different, too - but by joining the Death Eater's *shudders* If anything, this chapter definitely showed me that Severus is a lot darker than Beth's perspective paints him to be - and I kinda like that, just because it's so fascinating.

Aw, James and Lily:) I'm really glad James has started opening up to Lily a bit more now - after all, he is planning on proposing to her! And I liked the fact that we got to see some of Lily's magical skill in this chapter.

Moving on to the next one!

Author's Response: Sarah once commented (actually, more than once) saying that there's a marked difference between the way Severus and Beth's chapters read, and I just think that's the neatest thing I never intended. :D He's VERY different from Beth, of course, but opposites do attract, as the saying goes. It's weird, too, in this book, because they're both on different tracks to different ends, and yet they're strangely similar. Even their reasons, minus the specific details, are similar: The betterment of the wizarding world. But the path Severus is on is, yes, much darker than Beth's, though that has its share of darkness as well.

We'll just call it even and say that things are going to get darker, period. Agreed? Agreed.

I always did wonder how Lily would have reacted to the news that her boyfriend/fiancé/husband could turn into a stag at will... so, well, that's where that scene came from. ;) Ah, back when things were nice and light. I feel like I'm looking through a photo album of life before everything went wrong. Does that make you feel good about what's coming in the story?

Wow. The more reviews I respond to, the weirder I get. Duly noted. Thank you for reviewing all the same! ♥

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Review #16, by Courtney Dark The Order Assignments

5th August 2013:
Wow, there was so much new information is this chapter! I certainly enjoyed it a lot.

I loved reading the Order of the Phoenix meeting section of this chapter - although I have to wonder why McGonagall is so disapproving about these students joining the order. Is she just worried for their safety? Or is there another reason? Or am I just over thinking things? Hmm...

Omg! I think I might, yet again, be over thinking things (I'm like Beth!) but the moment I read that James, Lily and Peter would be doing an assignment together I was like NO! PETER IS GOING TO BETRAY LILY AND JAMES IN THE NEAR FUTURE! DOES IT START WITH THIS MISSION? OR IS JUST A COINCIDENCE? So it is safe to say that I am now very concerned for Lily and James's safety.

I think it makes absolutely sense for Sirius and Beth to be the ones working with the Aurors - they both have very strong, fiery personalities and extremely strong beliefs - they know what they stand for, having come from pure-blood mania-ish families. And Beth's little conversation with Dumbledore was sweet:)

James is going to propose to Lily alread!!?? Oh my goodness, they both seem so young! I could not imagine getting married at eighteen. I hope the proposal goes well!

Great chapter!

Author's Response: I'm always worried about chapters like this -- infodump is a very real and serious problem -- but I'm glad you liked it! You did bring up a lot of points I can't answer right away, of course, like the one regarding the Order assignments between James and Lily and Peter. ;) But I know you'll get those answers in time, anyway!

At first I was worried about what people would think about Beth getting made one of the two to hunt Aurors (that is, before I realized it was my story and to heck with what people thought!), but I can't even imagine what would have happened now if I hadn't. You'll see why, of course -- you've already seen part of it -- but it helped her character growth tremendously. She's a nice antithesis to Sirius, too, who is definitely more reckless, and that's a large part of why she got assigned to missions with him in the first place: To help him toe the line.

James and Lily are young, but they married really young, period! Ah, who knows. J.K. must have had her reasons. Thank you for your review! ♥

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Review #17, by Courtney Dark Forgiving

4th August 2013:
I definitely feel Beth when she was talking about how she'd ignored so many of Severus' more unfortunate traits, because I have so been there, and totally understand what she is talking about!

Oh and by the way, I love how each of your chapters flows so nicely and how the transitions, which are often quite quick, feel really smooth and natural - I would never be able to pull that off the way you do! And Beth's internal monologue is always superb. I've said it before, but she is just so real, and I love her so much!

I'm actually quite surprised she decided to write a letter to her parents, because they really don't seem like very nice people. Then again, I guess everybody has a little part of them that wants their parents' approval.

Ooh, another meeting with Dumbledore! I'm really looking forward to the next chapter now, finding out what this meeting will involve!

Another awkward Beth and Severus conversation! I'm really glad they made up, and the way you wrote their conversation was perfect! I kind of felt like I'd stepped into Beth's shoes. It's amazing that you can get so much of her personality into the narrative, especially considering it's in third person, which I personally think (although this is probably just my amateur opinion) is a lot harder to write.

Nice work!

Author's Response: Oh, I have so been in Beth's position too -- the more I answer reviews on these books, the more I've come to realize exactly how much of myself I put into her. :D Whoops. Although my parents are much, much better than Beth's, which is a nice thing -- if I may say so myself, she's quite strong, breaking it off with them like she does, even if she continues to write to them. She does want them to be happy for her... but unfortunately, I'll tell you right now it's a slim hope.

I'm glad the chapters flow well together, too! It's a tricky thing sometimes, writing and posting in a chapter-by-chapter environment instead of writing a real book that the reader will get all at once. Got to keep people interested and knowledgeable, yeah? ;)

Third person is actually much, much preferred on my end to first person. I just finished a novel in first person (though it switches between two points of view) and it was HARD for me! Third is a bit slower-paced and more descriptive, which I like, but the word I'm searching for here is thank you. ♥ It really does mean a lot to me that you're able to empathize and react so well with the characters I've written!

Whew. I'm getting wordy again, and Mom's just summoned me for pie. And because Dean Winchester is my spirit animal, pie wins out over more typing. :D Thank you for yet another lovely review!

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Review #18, by Courtney Dark The Row

4th August 2013:
I loved this chapter too! It had so much drama and tension and made me want to scream with excitement.

Well, maybe that was a little over-dramatic. I don't generally scream when I get excited after all. But you get the idea!

Dumbledore's speech was absolutely perfect! Gah, it was just so Dumbledore. I could really picture him in my mind, standing in front of a sea of students and addressing them in that serene way of his. I also really hope that Lily and her friends get a bit more clued in as to what is going on soon!

I really, really, really enjoyed the fight between Severus and Beth. I'd add in some more reallys there, but that would probably be unnecessary. Anyway, I think that you have written the relationship between them perfectly - it is very realistic and I'm so glad that you haven't erased all of Severus' flaws and darkness and made him into this perfect boyfriend material sort of character. He's real and Beth is real and they both have very different opinions about the war, which definitely shone through in this chapter!

I'm really looking forward to finding out what happens next!

Author's Response: I'm glad to hear it! You'd think it'd get old... but nope. :D I don't think you can hear that someone enjoyed a story of yours enough, you know? Maybe that's also over-dramatic...

I loved getting to write all the little Dumbledore bits in this trilogy, mostly because it was a challenge; I think I'm sort of in the abnormal category of people in that I really, really don't like Dumbledore all that much. Too many lies, not enough truth -- but he can make a mean speech! ;)

The fight between Severus and Beth was actually one of my favorite things to write in this whole book, which sounds a little bonkers. I ADORE a good (verbal) fight scene, though! So much anger and angst and hurling words at each other. ♥ It's my cup of tea, both in reading and in writing. Physical fight scenes are another story, but I won't go there. But you know, couples fight, no matter how much there is between them. It's a fact of life!

Thank you for reviewing!

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Review #19, by Courtney Dark Sirius Versus Slytherin

3rd August 2013:
Sirius! Yay! I really do love him:) Although, then again not yay, considering he just got into a fight in the corridor with Avery and received two weeks of detention.

One of my favourite parts of this chapter was when Beth and Sirius were discussing their families and the whole pure-blood mania thing. It's only just occurred to me now that Beth and Sirius are actually very similar in many ways. And I'm really glad Sirius mentioned his family - from what we know of them, I think they'd be the kind of people that are hard to forget. And I also wonder if Regulus will play any part in this book/s? Will he and Sirius ever come face to face?

Why do people have to pick on Remus?! Remus is perfect and adorable! I just want to give him a hug! I really enjoyed the fight scene (mwahahaha). Sirius definitely has a bad temper, which is actually what makes him so interesting, in my opinion. And it is his temper that really connects him to his later, post-Azkaban self, for me.

Yet another great chapter!

Author's Response: Yay anyway! Sirius stood up for Remus (in a platonic way -- no Sirius/Remus shipping here!), and even if he did punch out a Slytherin and get detention, that's honorable enough for me to overlook it. :)

Beth and Sirius really are VERY similar, and that's on purpose -- she's unlike Snape in all the ways she's like Sirius, and vice versa. It makes for contentious points in her relationships to both of them, you can be sure, and I think that's a large reason why she and James are closest. She doesn't see as much of herself in him, and so it's easier to confide in him, if that makes any sense at all. (Regulus definitely does play a part, albeit a small one, in ITR -- but you've passed that point already, I know!)

Cringing so much now, because this part of the book was written way before the Pottermore version of Remus's story, and I've got a lot of it wrong. But hey -- this is partially AU anyway! Never mind the fact that if I'd had his canon, I would have stuck to it... One of the hazards of writing fan fiction, I suppose.

Thank you for reviewing!!

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Review #20, by Courtney Dark Opinions and Omens

3rd August 2013:
Another amazing chapter! I'm pretty sure I've said that every single chapter, but they're all just so good! And I'm really looking forward to the next one, what with that mention of Sirius...intriguing!

Aw, Sirius:) Being all deep and meaningful and thinking about his future! I actually love serious Sirius (mwahahaha) and I hope we get to see more of him in the future.

Aw, Remus :) Yep, that was two aws in a row - this is obviously a very aw-y chapter. When he realized that Beth had been hurt and that he was the one who had done it, my heart honestly broke for him. And then when he told Beth that she needed to go to the hospital wing, I actually started to panic - I thought of Bill being badly scarred by Fenrir Greyback and started to worry that Beth was going to have some signs of lycanthropy. But all is well! I think...

Oooh, the end of this chapter was great! I sense some foreshadowing, I think! I can't wait to find out more!


Author's Response: *cackles* Author's notes are either super exciting, or a pain in the butt. I'm sure you know the feeling! There are times when Sirius can settle down and be actually pretty mature, which probably surprises the heck out of his friends. He is definitely a huge, huge contender in the coming books, which is something you've already probably noticed in ITR. Much more of him to come!

I think one of the best things about my Marauders (a term I use to distinguish them from canon, where Beth sadly doesn't exist) is how protective and brotherly they all really are towards her. ♥ I probably shouldn't say that, since, well, I wrote them. But I'll say it anyway, and have a bit of a selfish moment. :) Rest assured that all is well where Beth's scratch is concerned!

I sort of suck at foreshadowing, but that was a definite attempt at it. Haha! Thank you for yet another awesome review!!

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Review #21, by Courtney Dark The Unexpected Visitor

3rd August 2013:
This chapter didn't seem long at all - for me it just flew by, probably a sign that I really, really enjoyed it. In fact, I'm tempted to say that it is my favourite chapter so far.

I love that you incorporate Remus's transformation into a werewolf each month, because many marauders writers (at least the ones I've read) tend to leave this out, and I just think Remus being a werewolf is a huge part of the marauders era! If I had a friend who was a werewolf, I certainly wouldn't be conveniently forgetting about it, anyway.

I love the way you wrote his transformation - it was very chilling. And when Beth got that injury as a bird, well I definitely saw the Gryffindor in her! If I was in her shoes, I would have been running for the hills.

Finally, more Severus! That was an AMAZING conversation! You couldn't have written it better and it was only the tinest bit awkward this time - they're getting more comfortable around each other, and I definitely see the chemistry!

And I loved Severus's point of view, too, even though it was very small.

This was an amazing chapter! I am really, really enjoying this story!

Author's Response: I LOVE when someone says that a chapter flew by for them. ♥ I know the feeling, and it's really awesome to think my writing spurred that reaction in someone else!

One of my goals, in writing the Marauders, was to keep all the little elements that made them... well, the Marauders. I've read a fair share of this era in my time, and one thing I notice across the board is that people leave out things like the map or Remus's transformations in favor of developing a thick, sometimes shoddy romantic storyline. (Sorry -- that's probably a bit harsh.) I'm so glad someone else seems to feel the same way! I loved writing about his transformation, and there's definitely enough drama in it not to need arguments between couples, or misunderstandings about who was snogging who, or anything like that.

MORE SEVERUS. *squee* I shouldn't be so excited about my own story, my own pairing... but I am! They definitely are slowly getting more comfortable around each other, this duo built on awkwardness and silences, and I had so much fun building up to these moments. And, of course, you know what comes after... but not everything, and there's definitely more in store for you!

I'm seriously just so, so floored that you enjoyed reading ITB so much. Seeing someone so dedicated to it is like getting to re-read it with a fresh pair of eyes, and that's an invaluable experience. I'm so grateful for your reviews!

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Review #22, by Courtney Dark Nifflers on the Loose

3rd August 2013:
I really, really enjoyed this chapter! It was definitely a very light and fluffy one - which is really good, because I always enjoy having a bit of fluff or mushiness or happiness (you get the idea) here and there throughout a story.

What I loved most about this chapter was that we got see more of Remus! His idea for a prank was genius, and there was definitely a Remus-ish feel about it, as opposed to a slightly more thoughtless prank Sirius might pull. You write Remus and his personality really well.

I also loved Filch in this chapter - well, not the character Filch, but the way you characterized him. It was very similar to the way JK Rowling seems to write him, so kudos for that!

Great chapter!

Author's Response: This chapter came solely from my belief that I needed to write at least one Marauder prank before it got too late. :P And, like you said, from the fact that there's a lot of angst in this book, and the story only gets steadily darker.

I can't remember where I heard the idea for this prank -- it definitely came from somewhere, much as I'd like to claim it for my own -- but when it popped into my head to use for the Marauders' own prank, I just rolled with it. And it was so much fun! More time to showcase Remus's brain, of course. ;) Writing Filch is something, like writing Sir Cadogan, I think more people should do, as well as Peeves. There are so many minor characters J.K. Rowling gave us with such distinctive characterizations -- Filch, Peeves, Sir Cadogan, the house elves, Hagrid -- that I don't understand why you wouldn't write them!

Thanks for reviewing! ♥

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Review #23, by Courtney Dark 9 Dustund Way

30th July 2013:
Woo! I loved this chapter?

Hmm, I'm really starting to notice that I suck at writing reviews...

Anyway, there was so many bits and pieces I loved about this chapter that I'm now struggling to remember them all.

I feel Sirius' pain about all the schoolwork, man! Take today, for example. I honestly spent about three hours sitting in front of my laptop trying to write a long and very boring essay and ended up writing fanfiction instead. Whoops. I think this is the reason I loved Beth's comment: Its pretty bad when you dont even attempt to butcher an introduction so much.

I really love your Sirius, by the way. He's quite different from many of the other Sirius's I have read, who all tend to be quite stuck-up and arrogant. And have way too many girlfriends. I love how eager he was for the meeting with Dumbledore!

Oh, Peter. Dont you guys think following a trail of sweets would be a bit obvious? I'm going to be honest, it sounds a bit like something I'd say but still: oh, Peter.

I've probably said it before (my memory is notoriously terrible) but I love your characterization of Dumbledore! I can just paint this perfect picture of him in my head.

Aw, James! Yeah, I have, said James a bit defensively. Because you know what? I love her. My favourite line of the whole chapter! But I am missing the Severus and Beth action (is it Snabeth? Sneth Beverus? Betherus?)

Great chapter!

Author's Response: If you think you suck at reviews, imagine how I feel about review responses! :) And yes, by the way -- Sirius's thoughts on schoolwork (which were written during a woeful year of my high school days) are very much inspired by real life. :P All I ever feel like doing, when I'm supposed to be doing homework, is writing or reading or watching TV. Isn't that always the way?

I'm so glad you enjoy Sirius! ♥ He is, as I said, largely inspired by (and written for) Sarah, which is why Sarah Wright appears in the story in the first place. I have such issues with the womanizing, rude, hottest-boy-on-the-face-of-the-planet characterization a lot of people seem to use, and I tried to draw on what we know from Sirius as an adult to influence his character as a teenager/young adult.

The ship name's come to be known as Sneth, yes! And all the other names just look weird to me now. :P Severus/Beth action is, understandably, a bit limited, especially in this early part of the trilogy, but I'm very excited for you to read certain moments that occur further down the story's road. As it were. :3

I FEEL LIKE A BROKEN RECORD. This is why I shouldn't let reviews sit so long! ♥ Thank you for all your wonderful comments and compliments!

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Review #24, by Courtney Dark A Few Truths

30th July 2013:

Hm-tra-la-la-la...what shall I write in this review? I really wish I could just write 'This was a great chapter! I love this story and I love your writing' but that feels so inadequate for such a brilliant piece of writing! So I'll push myself to the max and think of something creative to say.

I can't believe James gave Lily that ring! I mean, it was extremely cute and super adorable and all, and I just wanted to give him a big squeeze, but I do think it was probably a little bit soon - I wouldn't want poor James to get shot down! I mean, I know he doesn't (unless you're planning on completely and utterly AU'ing on me) but still...

As you can see I am feeling totally un-creative tonight, so I'm just going to toddle off to the next chapter.


Author's Response: Just for future reference, you can write nearly ANYTHING in a review and I'll giggle and grin and squeal like always. :D It doesn't take much to make me happy, and the fact that you've chosen to read my story at all is far more than enough! ♥ I'm just so, so pleased beyond belief any time someone likes something I've written. It's honestly the best feeling in the world.

I feel like James would be a sort of take-it-fast kind of guy, especially after how long he's been pursuing Lily. A lot of the marriages in the wizarding world seem to happen young, anyway, especially around wartime, which does lend a bit more credit to the theory. But then again, he could just be in a huge rush. Either opinion's very plausible! I can't tell you how things will end in the James/Lily story, though... that's something you'll have to find out for yourself in the third book. :)

I'm feeling un-creative in the extreme with all these responses, so trust me, you're not alone. I can't begin to do them justice, but thank you for your reviews anyway! ♥

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Review #25, by Courtney Dark Christmas Boys

28th July 2013:
Yet another awesome chapter!

I feel super cheesy writing this, but there was something so Christmas spirity about this chapter, if you know what I mean. I don't know why, and I don't really know how to describe it, but it just made me think: 'WHY CAN'T I ATTEND HOGWARTS AT CHRISTMAS? WHY CAN'T I ATTEND HOGWARTS, FULL STOP?" I'm still a bit cut up about the fact that I didn't receive my Hogwarts letter when I was eleven, to be honest.

James' gift to Beth made me laugh - only James would give Beth a gift that she didn't actually want, just so he could eat it all himself. Although I have to admit, it is kind of a smart move. Maybe I should try it out sometime...

Poor Beth, being stuck in the middle of her parents' tug of war. They are both being very unfair to her, I think - I know I would be super annoyed if my parents sent me letters like that at Christmas, or any time really! And the guys clearly have a bit more intuition that Beth gives them credit for.

Speaking of the boys, I really enjoyed seeing a lot more of Sirius in this chapter - I am tempted to say he's my favourite character in the marauders generation...except then I'll probably eat my words when something exciting happens in the next couple of chapters, so I'll keep my mouth shut.

Yay, we got to see a bit more of Severus in this chapter! Beth's conversation with him was very sweet, in a typically awkward, stilted sort of way.


Author's Response: That's not cheesy at all -- that's totally what I was going for! :) I get so sentimental when I think about Hogwarts sometimes, because it just sort of hurts that it's not real, you know? I want to go to classes and have Christmas and sit by the lake and watch Quidditch, and UGH. (Never mind the fact that I'm too old for Hogwarts now. I'll manage somehow!)

I'm sure I got that idea somewhere, giving someone a gift you know they'll hate, but it was too good not to. ;) I'm sure Beth got him back in her own way, though! It really was one of her better gifts, considering how her parents chose to fight through her on Christmas. Lovely people. They crop up in the later books, too, and each time they make me grit my teeth and tug at my hair. I HATE THEM. Which, of course, made them fun to write!

Sirius is totally and completely inspired by Toujours Padfoot and her portrayal of Sirius (her favorite character), especially in her novel Curious Happenings at Number Twelve. You should definitely give it a read! He's endearing and I love him very much, even if James is my Marauder of choice. ♥ (But, of course, Severus wins the overall prize from me!)

Fact: Beth and Severus are built on awkwardness. But I love them anyway! :) Thank you for reviewing!!

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