My goodness, thank you for the lovely and thoughtful comment! I am so pleased that the undercurrents of need and worry and the pressure came through. I do think that, in life or death or critical situations, we are so often confronted with challenges to ideology and I am really happy that this worked.
I am thrilled that the characters rang true. I enjoyed thinking about each of them and where they were in their lives and their process. Arabella, with how little real information we have about her, was a fun challenge. I often write Marauders, so I am really happy you liked the portraits of them here.
I am really glad that the open ending worked. Thank you so, so much for this wonderful comment.