Overall, I really enjoyed this piece... I'm at a bit of a loss for words so I'll just sort of go through it.
I really like the opening line, by itself. It sets up the whole scene, and the later contrast wonderfully. The opening vignette was lovely, I liked the use of "bride", "groom" and "best man" that started off. It was still obvious who they were, but it gave the image a bit of a disconnected feel that fits with the ending. I wish that had been continued more strongly throughout, though I suppose that would get pretty redundant.
I think you've portrayed the connection nicely between Sirius and James: it fits them, it makes sense. I love their interaction, it's very comfortable and at ease, almost adult but still childish which fits perfectly. I do have to say I cringed when Sirius called James "lad"...that seemed out of place, out of character, out of style...but otherwise that whole thing was amazing.
My favorite lines were from to"...as they used to do as children..." to "‘Those days’ have become sacrosanct." (I thought it might be too much to put the whole thing here). They're very...World War I, for lack of a better term.
The transitions at the end are well done, they just seem to melt together nicely.
Overall I liked the style of the piece, the idea behind it, the language...everything. It was just very well done.
Author's Response: Thank you very much! I had hoped to keep it all in those semi-detached descriptions, but when I tried it, I found it repetitive and confusing, so I just switched back to using their names. I explain it away as having Sirius actually become more involved in the memory as it continues, one last touch of his former joy before it's snatched away. But Sirius never associates himself with the memory, he doesn't recognise himself as the best man, but he remembers James and Lily until the end.
In all of my writing, it's pretty apparent that I adore the friendship between James and Sirius, I think it's the most important one in the book. They're such old friends who have really moulded each other's personalities, they knew each other when they were kids and I think that stayed with them until they each died.
The lad was supposed to be ironic, Sirius' little joke when they were talking about how he was an adult now. I suppose I;m a bit obsessed with that idea too -f such young people taking up a cause and enetring into such incredibly grown up situations like war and marriage.
And I understand exactly what you mean, I think I may have written this when we were doing Siegfriend Sassoon and Wilfred Owen in history class as World I poets, there must have been something about their longing for the innocence and peace of La Belle Epoque.
Thank you for reading and leaving such a wonderful review. I'm glad that you enjoyed it.