Two in one day. I'm on a roll!
Can I just say how much I love it when I see authors try something new? It doesn't always work (and by the way, this TOTALLY works), but I think it's important to experiment with style, even if only to find out you're really most comfortable writing they way you did before. And I totally get the excess feelings and needing to put them into words. I'm still not quite over Krum and Rose :P
Obviously this is very unique in its style, with a sort of ethereal feel to it, but I was really happy to see that you didn't take it so far as to make it a metaphor, wrapped in a simile, masquerading as an allegory. It's probably more personal taste than anything, but I like how this wasn't poetic just to be poetic. There is something lyrical and rhythmic about the writing but without feeling self-indulgent.
I'm not sure what, if anyone or anything, you picture as the narrator here, and I like that you've left that open. For me, it almost felt like a very old Harry, perhaps sitting in a rocking chair in front of a fire, telling his great-grandchildren about those who came before. Not necessarily literally this scenario, but that's the vibe I got. The words are intimate and loving, but truthful... just like how someone these characters meant something to might speak (and I'm guessing maybe just a touch of yourself in there too). Using "you" outside of second person, or even with second-person POV, can be jarring, but I liked it here. Again, it built the intimacy and made me feel like I was being told a story by someone who really knows what they are talking about.
Each of the sections had some wonderful lines, but my favorites were whenever you addressed the darker side of the characters. It's hard to relate to people who are perfect, but people who make mistakes and try to overcome them are the ones I'm always the most interested in. Worrying about not being perfect isn't enough. You have to actually struggle against something dark and internal to really hit on that emotional investment. Here are just a few of my favorites:
-- It was either take a life, or give his own. And he wasn't willing to leave his Lily a widow, not just yet.
-- But if you were to ask him what his most memorable times here on earth were... he probably wouldn't even mention the wolf that growled at is back.
-- He'd tell you that he was terrified of the times when he could barely remember what James and Lily looked like when they laughed...
Really, this was a very unusual and touching one-shot. It's so clear from this and BTF that you have such a handle on these characters. Great job, Jami! Not that I expected anything less, of course :)
Author's Response: I'm a review responding kick today!
First I have to say that I almost felt like I was cheating for being paired up with you. I'd end up reading After We Fall no matter what, because I'm already getting antsy not having a story to be obsessed with like I was Over The Edge. Secondly, I don't care that I feel like I'm cheating because I've been *really* curious to know what you'd think about this piece. I almost requested it right when I posted it, but I felt like with all the chapters I was piling on you for Before They Fall I should resist :P. So seeing us paired together made my day :P
I was thinking so much about losing all these guys at the end, and I got so sad. Haha. If you ever want to dump your excess Krum Rose feelings, feel free to fill up my PM box ;). It's so weird not waiting for another chapter of OTE.
This -- a metaphor, wrapped in a simile, masquerading as an allegory.
Look at me, reviewing your review, but I loved what you said ^. Haha. I'm finally becoming comfortable with realizing that I just don't enjoy writing millions of long winded similes all coated with description. And you've gone a long way into helping me realize that a writer not enjoying that doesn't make them any less good. Thank you for that ♥
I kind of pictured a different narrator for each part. Which is why i never wanted to tie it down to one. I know some people won't love that there isn't an exact narrator, but I'm happy that you like that I chose to leave it this way. For Lily's part, I imagined a much older lily, one that would have gotten the chance to age, talking to a much younger. Then James's, it was a group of elderly women in a cafe talking about him. Remus's was basically just himself in ghost form, floating alongside watching his life go by. Sirius's didn't have an image, and neither did Peter's. I think I got too emotional by that point to really think about anything other than what I wanted to say. I'm such a big baby :P
I'm so happy that you enjoyed this and liked my weird little style experiment. I felt really weird putting a piece up that I was so unsure about, but at the same time I was proud of myself for putting all these feelings I had into a story. And knowing that you think this experiment worked out makes me just want to hug you ♥
Thank you again for all of your amazing reviews ♥ I'm going to head over and drop AoC off at TGS, and I can't wait to get back to After They Fall. Though I'm going to have to remind myself that rose and krum will NOT be turning up somewhere in it :P.