Penny! I'm alive! :D
And apologising humbly for the lack of reviews T_T (Even now, I'm reviewing 5 days later than I said I would XD) But hey, I'm here to make a decent review and hopefully the other chapters to make up for it ;)
So this chapter... it's a real heart wrencher. A lot of drama - well not major drama, but plenty of little drama to really make you feel a bit for the characters :( I felt really sad whilst reading this, just to let you know *sniff*
Kay, first off... (I think I say that every time) James is so whipped! That conversation certainly made me snicker a little. Especially with the sentance when they did loads of impressions *laughs* and then he went and proved their point! Ah, James. I hope I don't ever get like that :P
Ahaha, I thought Lily would be past the stage of underestimating James by now xD But haha, she sure seemed shocked by the way into Hogsmeade. And James almost being right about Dearborn. I wish all teachers wouldn't tell you off like that and instead have a conversation xD Hmm... I wonder why James is always eager to impress him? Maybe because he knows his parents - or he just wants someone to know that he's good at DADA. Who knows? (Well, I'm sure you do, :), so feel free to correct me if I'm wrong).
Poor Lily :( I feel the same about leaving and things like that - I can't imagine leaving where I am now and being thrust out to do something different. It would be so weird :'(
I really like the original ideas you thought of about graduation. Did it take long to come up with all the little details? Like the boats (skipping on a bit), I thought they were a beautiful touch. With them staying the same size an' all to signify all the changes they've been through. Made me want to cry! And leaving the same way they came in - that was also a nice added extra :)
Back to where I was... the feast. Very individual. I've read about balls, parties, fireworks and all sorts but its nice to have a little send off - but one that means a lot in the heart. Fab ;) And Sirius and Remus' little jibes make me laugh.
Ugh... Mary's such a... a... she gets a whole paragraph to herself because of what she's become! Her whole natures changed from the little "sweet" girl that she used to be, now all obsessed with being a stupid hit wizard. It's rubbish! And not something you should change for. Although I can kinda relate - my friends change a lot - some for reasons I think are stupid but they are obviously quite important to said girl. Yeah. Still, she could be a bit nicer to Lily :/
The Marauders HAD to be the ones to fall out, didnt they ;P This whole ending is so sweet - next thing, GO ANNA!! You rule, girl, and Lily should never haver doubted you :) This whole ending is sweet, and I really feel like it's all gonna turn out for the best.
Really a fab chap, and looking at the time (down here in ol' britannia in case you're not here already XD) it's unlikely I'll get another one in tonight. But one will get in!! :D
Thanks for your patience and another Fab Chap! (I've missed reading this great story :'D)
Author's Response: Hi Nick! Sorry I took a few days to reply to this. :/ I saw your review very soon after you'd posted it, but I've just been so consumed with trying to get the first chapter of the sequel ready that I put off responding...very terrible of me, since I would never want you to get the impression that I didn't appreciate the review IMMENSELY! :D
I honestly didn't expect anyone to be really moved by what I'd written in this chapter--I certainly wasn't intending to get a really emotional response. But I'm so pleased that others, and now you, have said that it really affected them! It's nice to unexpectedly get something right. :P
Bahaha, well, I suppose James is mildly whipped. I guess you can't blame him too much, considering that he's like Lily for so long. I imagine he'd be pretty eager not to mess it up! :P And it's early days in their relationship, so perhaps he'll get more of a spine as things go along... ;)
I think Lily is past underestimating James, but not quite to the point where she can live with everything he does. I think he still kind of boggles her with his disregard for authority or rules. But I do think she has a bit of a rebellious streak to her--even though she might not be as comfortable expressing it as James is, I expect she gets at least a bit of a thrill out of that kind of thing. :P
I wish I'd done a better job of including Dearborn in this story, now that I'm looking back on it. I think I didn't really cement his role as well as I could have, which is probably what leads to the confusion over why James is so interested in impressing him. What I intended to get across (and I don't think I did) was just that Dearborn is the type of person who engenders respect--he's got that ineffable coolness to him (in an old guy way, haha) that makes people want him to like them. Part of James' curiosity is the link with his parents, certainly, and his suspicions about the Order (though of course he doesn't know that's what it is yet), and part of it is also James' anti-Dark Arts passion, which Dearborn shares. So, I guess you pulled several of those things out--maybe I didn't do TOO badly! :P
I actually got the boats idea from JKR herself! :) In an interview, she was asked about writing a Hogwarts graduation, and really the only concrete thing she mentioned was having the boats take the seventh-years back, for the symbolism. I didn't want to go over the top with the graduation, as I know in Britain it's not a huge deal. I thought a private feast, where the teachers weren't as separate from the new graduates, was just enough without being too "American" or whatever. :P I'm really glad you liked it!
Ahh, yes, Mary. I really, really enjoyed bringing her to this point, because I imagined it for a long time before getting to finally write it. :) I'm very glad that you feel that she's changed a lot--no, it's not for the better (and for the record, someone like her would drive me INSANE in real life), but I do like knowing that I've developed the characters in some way. And it is pretty amusing to me to see people now cheering on Anna, since she didn't start out as a very appealing character. :P
I liked that you managed to work the chapter title into your review there. ;) And oh, yay, it was a Fab Chap!!! It's been too long since I've heard those words. :)
But really, take your time with the reviews, as I always say. I feel like a broken record. :P The story's going to be here for a very long time, and there's certainly no rush on reviewing.
Thank you so so so much!