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Review: Whimsical Diva says:
The last few paragraphs were sublime. It's just so refreshing to read fully fleshed out and well-rounded characters. Real people, in other words.

The story rang very true with some of my experiences. Not that I ever really was like James - au contraire I was perhaps a bit square - but a lot of the interactions between various characters resonated eerily well. I might've mentioned this before, but what was especially delightful about the writing was that it was peppered with wonderful nuances which more efficiently nailed a character in a single sentence than countless lines of dialogue or exposition would have ever managed to. The prose seems effortless and different sections segued seamlessly without too many bells and whistles, much to my envy because I've never managed to pull it off, lol.

I wouldn't be too worried about characters transforming way too quickly, to be fair. There were times when I felt had the story not been so "James Vs the rest", had the disparity between the two (James and 'the rest') not been so divorced, had he not been the only one to have made a total hash of things while the rest had managed to hack it, and had everyone not been so unanimously forgiving, the ending would've seemed a little less perfect. Only it's bit rich of me to say that, because I love happy endings. :) Also, sometimes the Weasleys did seem appear slightly homogenised; but there are so many of them that trying to flesh out every single Weasley cousin is like being on a hiding to nothing. And anyway, the writing more than countervails these things, so I've got no business being pernickety.

Congratulations on finishing the story. I remember being a little sceptical when I started reading this, fearing I might find the protagonist utterly unsympathetic, or even worse, too sympathetic. But the story managed to walk the tightrope between these two extremes and never quite tipped off balance. The fic is like a much needed breath of fresh air when the textbook "Nextgen" fanfic has in the space of almost four years devolved into threadbare and repetitive tripe. This is right up there with some of the best coming-of-age stories I've read.

Author's Response: I'm not going to lie, I absolutely adore the end of this story. I was writing and writing this chapter and it just wouldn't end, then those last few parts came out of nowhere and I read it back and for the first time ever with my writing thought 'wow...yeah, that's right'. I was really worried about that dreaded last line but I'm really happy with it.

Oh wow, really? I think one of the best things anyone can ever hope to hear from a reader is that it rings true/is somewhat realistic for them.

I think I've definitely been told that before. I think I've got a bit of a knack for those single lines that say a lot...most of the time I don't even realise I've done it until I read back or even until someone points it out.

The wonder of the last 10 or so chapters of this story (from the Lily+Al chapter on) is that they basically wrote themseleves. I absolutely flew through them and read them back to find they weren't in need of a great deal of work - a few tweaks here and there but nothing I couldn't rectify. Chapters 5-8, however, were really tough, and getting my head around writing in a sort of omniscient voice, and with some proper canon characters thrown in really did make me worry.

Oh, happy endings ♥ I wish I could have gone on for more with this, fleshed out his changes a little greater but I wanted to finish it as soon as I could. I set myself a date to work to and this was what it became, and I couldn't bring myself to delete any of it.

Weasley cousin, aunts, uncles, parents, grandparents - honestly, this story has so many characters that my head just about exploded trying to resolve each strand of their relationships with James. Stupid big family...

I was worried writing it for those exact reasons. I never wanted him to be hated but at the same time, didn't want him to overcome all his problems and become adored because even at this ending, he's not perfect. He might yet fall back into old habits but I'd hope Ella and Rose and all the others would stand by him.

Thank you so, so much. Your reviews mean the world. They're honest and detailed and hugely inspiring. I'm really glad I didn't disappoint with this and that you enjoyed it.

Thank you :)


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