Reading Reviews for In The Black
627 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Cannons The Confrontation

22nd November 2014:
Haha I loved this chapter! I remember reading this one because I read your author notes and realised just how annoying it would be if I would have had to wait for a new chapter to be uploaded!

I think that Remus is quickly becoming one of my favourites. He is so calm and gives the group the balance that they all need. I really found it amusing though when he raised an eyebrow at Beth over his book when she had her little outburst.

Snape is slowly starting to figure it all out, they really do need to be more careful!

I love the tension that Beth is feeling trying not to let her feelings slip and James is noticing the hints I am sure!

The ending was perfect as well!

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Review #2, by Cannons Unforeseen Suspicions

22nd November 2014:
Back again!

I have decided that what I really do like most about your writing is the connection from the previous chapter, you always have those first few lines which drags you back in to Beth's world! (I've worded that dreadfully, but hopefully you know what I mean!)

Haha, they are such a team aren't they, it's great how they always have each others backs. One second they are all in there own worlds, Beth watching Lily smiling at James etc and then Peter speaks and the reaction is instant! I really found that funny! The image of Beth eating Peter!

I can't remember if there is any darker reason why Peter doesn't want everyone at the transformations, but my instinct is telling me there isn't. I will read on though, because I feel like that is important for some reason!

As we know what happens to Peter, the line where he looks a little scared has even more meaning, especially as he isn't even in any immediate danger! I like how you're building his character though. You've said he's a worrier, not the most tactful and not as brave as the others.

Snape's line here 'I've been watching you for years' - not creepy at all!

I liked the interaction between the two off them and especially the way you have written Snape. He seems to be obsessed with the Marauders and if cannon is anything to go by, it's not worth him finding out what is going on between them!

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Review #3, by Cannons Gossip and Guilt

21st November 2014:
I stopped reading half way through the second book when RL got in the way, but I finally have the time to start this series again and give it all the reviews it deserves. :D

There was something so familiar when I started reading the first two chapters again and it was a lovely feeling. I love Beth and how you write the marauders.

I don't really have anything intelligent to say in this review because it is so late but I will be back very soon.

Author's Response: Hey! It's so nice to hear from you again, especially since (forgive me!) I've stopped writing fan fiction in the past year to concentrate on writing original fiction that I'm working on submitting to literary agents. Long story short, it's really wonderful to know that you still think of, and are willing to re-read, this novel. I was thinking about Snape and Beth just yesterday myself!

Thank you so much for coming back for Sneth round two. ♥ It really means so much to me that you did! I hope you continue to enjoy the story, and I'd love to hear from you again!

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Review #4, by MuNition The Malleable Future

30th June 2014:
Oh come on, I'm loving this story, but if you show the Gryffindors any more love while glossing over their faults (match to marauder: jock, thug, spineless, coward. It didn't even take you ten seconds and we both know you got it right) while doing the exact opposite to Slytherins I might seriously consider myself done here. A good dichotomy is fun, but it flattens out the characters.

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Review #5, by MuNition The Order Assignments

30th June 2014:
I suppose this is *very* early Order days, because otherwise, the way to allocate soldiers is never done completely pre-training for everyone. As to Beth fitting (or not) into her role, you do not know that until after training and a few fights, so I'm tentatively siding with Dumbledore's judgment here.

I've known some extremely competent soldiers by my side that you would have never guessed in a million years that this would be what they'd be doing.

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Review #6, by MuNition The Row

30th June 2014:
I think this is the tragic point of Snape's tale. At this point in his life, he believes that being a second class citizen would be an improvement over what both magical and muggle worlds offer him. The sad thing?

He's probably right. Hogwarts won't get you a muggle job... and the magical world has proven as uninviting as the muggle one for him. I think that this is the part that people miss - Severus Snape is not an idiot, and he knows full-well that trusting any form of human kindness is wrong.

A point of interest that I stumbled upon that most people under 40 and from outside the UK don't know (I sure didn't) was just how prominent the class system was in the UK pre-80s. Middle class people just did *not* have working class (or god forbid, lower class) associations over the age of 18. Petunia's attitude towards Snape was absolutely normal - even rather benign.

An example of this is the word "soccer", which is hated in the UK. It was the word for the game of football used *exclusively* by the upper class (expensive schools, etc), and as such, forced upon the BBC to the annoyance of fans (football is and was a working class sport). In certain schools, I know for a fact that up to 1985, the punishment for playing "soccer" was a caning.

Oh yeah, the UK didn't illegalize corporal punishment at schools until nearly 1990, so for people saying that a father beating his child was rare in the lower class 60s/70s in England's working class, the exceptions were rarer. JKR actually acknowledges this (Arthur Weasley's scars from punishments at Hogwarts) and basically all but outright states that Severus Snape was probably beaten at home.

Though you did, as JKR, what I think is the smart choice by leaving it out of writing. I am loving this, though the amount of estrogen in this story is starting to get a bit stifling (though thankfully devoid of endless lists of clothing and perfumes), will read it through to the end. I will take a break from it eventually. I think.

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Review #7, by MuNition The Confrontation

30th June 2014:
Loving it so far, though it's already quite radically AU - Lily couldn't help but find Snape's post OWL humiliation funny (yes, prior to the M-word being uttered), the Werewolf incident happened during 6th year - the animagi remained unrevealed, and this is probably the reason James got his Head Boy badge despite his disciplinary record (and it would have been revoked, probably, if said animagi abilities were public, invalidating the "willing to risk his life" thing)... As everyone *knows* (aka Sirius tried to smooth over said inconvenient truth and Remus told Harry that) James finally stopped hexing people for fun in the 7th year.

OK, now that I've got the serial complaining streak thing out of the way, I really like this. Snape is my favorite character, followed by Sirius and Luna (alas, she is around three years from being a picnic and some spilled wine for her parents in this story). The fact that you can spell automatically makes this story a win in my column :)

Well written so far, enjoyable and somewhat neutral... a solid opener all around. And it's a trilogy! YAY HAPPY GOOD TIMES OF PLENTIFUL READING! You will have to imagine the start of my beer belly jiggling to an exuberant happy dance now. Sorry about that.

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Review #8, 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 #9, 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 #10, 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 #11, 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 #12, 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 #13, 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 #14, 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 #15, 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 #16, 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 #17, 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 #18, 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 #19, 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 #20, 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 #21, 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 #22, 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 #23, 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 #24, 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 #25, 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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