Terri, I liked your story. It was great reading, and you did an amazing work with it seeing that it was a last-minute plot badger. Best I liked these two paragraphs:
Remus reached down to pull Sirius up. The two men embraced briefly. As James stood, he also embraced Remus as Sirius went over to Peter to do the same. James then turned to Peter to continue the tradition the four boys had started the day of their first official mission for the Order of the Phoenix.
They each embraced each other and never once said goodbye. It was understood that during each mission any one of them could be killed. They vowed to never say goodbye as that would indicate they expected to not see each other again. Instead, the embrace said it all.
It’s wonderful how you show that the Marauders never said goodbye to each other and that they only hug. Words can sometimes be very powerful, especially when magic is involved, and that a “goodbye” could mean an expectation to not see each other again is a wonderful picture you’ve brought in there. Also, I like a lot how you included Peter into the scene. I’m not much of a fan of him and tend to forget about him in the Marauders’ plot badgers I have running myself, but he was part of their group and he must have had something that brought the other three to make him their friend. You showed well that their friendship was quite deep, and never, having not read chapter three where Sirius thought if Remus could be the traitor, had I thought they were at the point already where Peter was already spying for Voldemort. Nothing in the story indicated anything of that sort, and that’s what surprised me in chapter three. Well done.
Also, I liked the moment when Lily said she’s expecting a child, and all are dumbfounded for a moment. With James then hurrying over to her and literally “throwing” Sirius off the couch was a nice and somewhat funny moment in a story that portrays anxiety – anxiety to lose someone forever, anxiety of Lily to wait for the safe return of her friends.
And speaking of Lily’s anxiety: She was worried to death every time James went out to do business for the Order. And the moment Sirius told her about the curses-being-repelled-from-the-cloak-incident – just let me say it was nice to see Lily being calm and yet upset at the same time. But I think she would be more upset than you have portrayed it.
See, Lily loved James and was about to have his child. They were at war. All she cared about was that James should come back home, alive. And just because of this I believe she would have reacted much angrier when Sirius told her about the curses and the cloak. The way you wrote it she said some threatening words, then stormed out of the kitchen, slammed a door and sat on her bed, tears in her eyes. We know from OotP and DH that Lily can have quite a temperament when being angry, and I don’t believe that any person who has a temperament like Lily wouldn’t shout or start cursing (with words, not wands ;) ). You could have written this part with much more emotions of Lily directly in front of the men. Right, she’s an adult now and will surely have matured, but we see it with Mrs Weasley, too; she has a similar temperament to Lily’s in my opinion and she can get very upset and loud if something happened she can’t cope with easily. The passage how you wrote it is good, but I’d have liked to see more of the “explosion” Sirius feared. Upon those words I expected a violent volcanic eruption to speak in pictures, but all I saw in the end was an acrid tower of smoke coming from the volcano.
What I had to double read in this passage, too, was Remus’ appearance. According to your descriptions in chapter one, he had a lot of blood running down his face. But then he simply walked into the kitchen. Even though Dumbledore and Lily had treated him for an hour, I think having nobody ask him how he’s doing or feeling is a bit odd. You just go on with Remus asking who dared to lie to Lily, and that’s a bit abrupt in my opinion.
I couldn’t help but notice some minor grammar mistakes, too:
In the last sentence I believe you forgot an „and“ – The three men pulled Remus to his feet and Disapparated.
There should be a comma after “Snape” since the following part of the sentence is part of the dialogue and cannot stand alone. – One of the two of them could have been Snape,” Peter answered her honestly.
In this sentence I think you forgot a “what”, although the sentence would make sense without it. But when reading it in combination with the sentence after, it makes no real sense anymore, at least not to me. – I know what you are thinking.
A few sentences further down you misspelled a word: With a glance towards Dumbledore, Sirius continued, …
And this part looks odd to me:
“I am only going to say this once,” she stopped talking and stood up, looking at each of them in turn, her gaze even resting on Remus who had just entered the kitchen.
In my opinion this sentence is not entirely correct when looking at the dialogue. You start with personal speech of Lily, but then you continue with “she stopped talking”. It’s a really abrupt brake within the sentence, underlined by the usage of the comma. The second part doesn’t contain a word that indicates that Lily had said, told, reported, asked etc. Sure, you have “stopped talking” in the second part, but it doesn’t really connect to the words she had actually spoken. You see what I mean? Had you for example written “I am only going to say this once,” she warned and stood up…, then the comma would be justified. But since you used “stopped talking”, it’s opening a second sentence that has not really much to do with the actual speech of Lily. I’d therefore rather see you make it to two separate sentences: “I am only going to say this once.” She stopped talking and…
I’m stopping my review here. I’ve read chapter three also, but at the moment I think this review has got long enough and I don’t want to scare you away with my thoughts. And it’s the longest review I’ve written so far… However, know that I would very much like to read other chapters to this story, because I think if you’re going to include how Dumbledore got hold of James’ cloak, it’s going to be an even better story than it already is, albeit I missed some things in the passages I commented above.
And finally congratulations on getting the story up before the deadline closed and good luck with the competition. I’m crossing my fingers for my fellow Hufflepuff and awesome beta.
Author's Response: Bine, What can I say about this review. Wow comes to mind first. I went through and fixed the typos. Thank you for spotting them. I also added a line when Remus comes into the kitchen. What you said makes perfect sense. Someone would have asked if he was okay. I also added a bit in chapter three to explain why Lily didn't explode in the kitchen. I knew why in my head and forgot as I usually do the reader isn't in my head. Thank you for questioning her reaction. Thank you so much for this review. It means a lot to me you took the time to give such a through review. Terri
By all means, continue! Story's interesting, can't wait for more!
Author's Response: Thank you for your review. I am currently working on a couple plot bunnies to continue this story. Terri
Lovely start, Terri! I can't wait to read more!
Author's Response: Eve, Thank you. I am submitting the second chapter today. So, more soon. Terri