Hello hunny. I've been meaning to read this for such a long time but uni has been unforgiving on my poor time so I've never really gotten to it until now. Plus I have heard SO much about it that I always knew it deserved to be read without rush, with a mug of hot chocolate beside and all the time in the world. So here I am at last with the first of (hopefully) many reviews!
First thing that hit me while reading was the fact that you chose a pretty well known cliche on the forums to set the basis of your story on: Beth is the renown and more often than not hated fifth Marauder. What do I say to that? KUDOS! I've always thought that cliches are only cliches if you handle them poorly and keep on repeating the same pattern of mistakes everyone makes when writing them off. Since I know beforehand that your 'cliche' will be a well handled cliche, I applaud your courage to go ahead with it. I believe it takes a lot of "Gryffindor" traits to write a cliche despite so many people being against it. I applaud you even more that you pulled it off neatly!
OK - characters. First on my list is Beth. This is the first and only chapter I've read until now so a fair warning that my opinion is limited and my 'guessing' might be way off. Beth comes off as a normal, likeable girl with normal flaws. Nothing too over the top (I find that exaggerating flaws turn me away from a story pretty quickly - especially when they are dramatically acted) but enough to put in place the first layer of her personality. What piked my curiosity was her relationship with her family and if that will have an influence on her future development. After I read that passage she warmed up to me a whole lot more because I could relate to her. Having come from a similar background myself I know how easy it is to feel out of place everywhere, even in your own home, and how you crave for a place to belong and for people to call you "one of us". Beth is off for a great start!
The Marauders: James is of course very much as the James I've always imagined. You've described him pretty well at some point "less like the whirlwind tornado James so often resembled". I always thought he was like a bubbly boy, always agitated, always all over the place, as if he was always on a sugar high. I also always thought him as being the fairest of all of them. So no surprise him, other than the pleasant one that you got him so right!
Sirius is the boy with two very different personalities: the hot-blooded, impulsive, rash and unthinking side and the other more calm, icy and contemptuous one. He is the fierce friend, the most loyal companion who loves you with a passion and is willing to go through ice and fire for you but he can also be the silent, cold stone if you cross him. I'm excited to see more about your take on him because he seemed very well portrayed until this point.
Remus and Peter didn't have that huge of an appearance in this chapter but they felt in character too. Remus with his more 'one step back from everyone else/cautious' attitude, buried in his books and Peter the timid, the ever longing boy who wants to belong somewhere as well. Remus has always appeared as the wisest of all, as the perfect balance between them all. Can't wait to see more of them as well!
I'm terribly sorry for the long rambling. I bet nothing of my review really helped you haha. So to sum it up I am just going to say this: I am greatly enjoying the story so far. I am dying to see how the dynamics of their relationship will change after the boys find out about Beth's crush...I can already picture their reaction and it hurts :(
Have a lovely day! (oh and I should ask this...is it okai for me to call you by your name? I find it a lot easier to communicate to someone by using their name but I thought I'd better check first ;) )
Author's Response: Hi! Okay -- I am SUPER late in responding to your reviews, and I know you said it's okay, but I still feel really bad. ♥ I just want you to know that I honestly really do appreciate your reviews so much, and I'm thrilled to pieces to know that you're already enjoying the story thus far!
I had no idea before starting to write this story how cliche it was, and then, of course, found out later. So I'm so pleased to hear that you and others have found it to be done well, which I am so grateful for! Beth is a character who's grown extremely close to my heart in the writing of these novels, and I'm really, really going to miss writing her story once it's all said and done. I tried very hard to make her as normal as possible, without trying to make it SEEM like I was trying, you know? (I made that mistake with another OC of mine!) She gets a lot of her quirks from me, and that is, I think, why they seem realistic a lot of the time: Because, in essence, they are real. :)
It was a surprise to me how fun it was to write the Marauders in this story, but now, in the middle of writing the third book, they're still as enjoyable as ever. :D There are sides I didn't see to them before writing them down, and I think writing the Marauders has given me a new appreciation for both the characters and the era. Sirius's characterization, as a side note, was heavily inspired by Toujours Padfoot's portrayal of him in her novel 'Curious Happenings at Number Twelve,' which is highly recommended!
But anyway. ♥ I'm so excited for you to get deeper into the story, and to hear your opinions on the plot I've set out. And I promise you -- Severus does make appearances! :P I apologize likewise for how long and rambling this response has turned out to be, too; I really shouldn't be responding to reviews this late. I'm pleased as punch, of course, to hear how much you're enjoying the story, and thank you so much for taking the time to leave me this review!! ♥
(And of course you can call me by my real name! It is easier to communicate with, and it's much more friendly, I think. No worries!)