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Review:800 words of heaven says:
Hi! Here with your requested review!

So, again, you've opened with some nice description. I think you do this really well! I don't feel overwhelmed, but I can still imagine the scene. I think what makes the experience so special, as well, is that there's enough description so we know what you want us to see, but also room for us to embellish it the way we want. It's quite the collaborative effort!

I don't know if this is just me, but I felt an almost instant connection with Regulus. I didn't have that with Lily. This isn't a bad thing, of course, as it can be quite nice to get to know a character slowly. But was that intentional? Are we supposed to feel more for Regulus, or is that just me?

We can already see that Lily is sympathetic. I'm wondering if you were trying to put that bit in the Prisoner of Azkaban film, where Remus is telling Harry about Lily, into context? If you are, I think it was really well done! Subtle, yet obvious, at the same time (I realise that makes like, zero sense)!

Sirius' behaviour with the bags threw me. I agreed with Lily, that he should've been polite. At the very least, I thought he might have been nice just to spite his mother. I guess this is going to be a different kind of Sirius than to what I usually see. I'm looking forward to it!

Concerning Lily's view of the Marauders, I think it's more realistic than some I've seen. She doesn't hate all of them on principle; she's friends with Remus, and seems to understand Peter's tendencies when it comes to James and Sirius. I think this reflects well on Lily - she's not so biased and blinded by her hate for James that she ignores everyone with whom he's associated.

The scene between James and Lily was really cute, I think. James seemed to be behaving himself, which I think is really nice. We know he's an idiot when they were in fifth year, and a perfect gentleman by seventh year, but the change to have occurred on the cusp of seventh year doesn't make sense. I think it's nice that you've started to show that James is beginning to change. I thought the way Lily handled the situation was very mature - and other thing that reflects well for her character. She didn't fly into a screaming rage, nor was she as cold as ice. She was feeling bemused by the entire situation, and that showed.

Finally! I thought Lily had no friends! Their entrance was late, that was all! We don't really get to know them, yet, but I hope that changes in later chapters!

And our first meeting with Severus! Yay! I don't like Snape, like, at all, but I felt kind of sorry for him. I think he is sorry for calling Lily a mudblood, but he isn't really willing to do anything about it. I wonder where this might lead...

As far as interest goes, I think this was a good chapter. I liked the first chapter more, but that just may be the novelty of Regulus. It might also be because I connected with Regulus more than I did with Lily, which I think I mentioned before. But I think that's just me! It was still quite an enjoyable read!

I hope it's a Regulus chapter next!

Author's Response: Hi, thanks for coming back for round two!

I used to struggle a lot with being too heavy on the imagery, so I'm glad you feel like the amount was just right here, and that you had room to fill in the gaps if you chose to do so.

It wasn't intentional, no, but I've heard that from a lot of people. I think it maybe has to do with the fact that Lily is written a lot more than Regulus, and so maybe you have your own ideas about what she should be like, or maybe you're just enjoying getting to know him better because he has more obvious flaws. It's interesting to theorize about!

Remus's comments about Lily in that moment basically define how I view her. Her tendency to care for those who need to be cared for will crop up again and again in this story, so I'm very glad you feel like it's a good direction.

My Marauders are a bit different from a lot of other Marauders I've seen around the archive. I take a lot of material from canon, obviously, but I also try to make them my own--so James won't always be immature, and Sirius won't always make bad decisions, and the friendship will be an important foundation. I couldn't come up with any reason why Lily would be so short-sighted as to turn her nose up at James's friends if they're nice enough people. She and Remus are especially close.

I really don't ship James/Lily, but I like writing them in this story. It was crucial for me to avoid that cliche of them always yelling at each other. I like to stick more to that slight tension that's always there between them. Like you mentioned, this is the time when James is finally starting to grow up and realize that being a bully isn't going to win Lily's heart. Lily, in turn, is confused by this change, partially because it makes him more alluring.

You'll get to know Celestine and Ellery more. They aren't major characters, but yeah, Lily has to have some girlfriends!

I'm a Snape/Lily shipper--although I tried to balance it with lots of James/Lily in this story--and so I'll work hard to get you to feel some sympathy for Severus. At the same time, though, I'm challenging myself throughout this story to portray him at his worst moments, just because I have a tendency to fall on the pity side with him. Please do let me know if you feel like it's not balanced enough or if he seems unrealistic.

The next chapter is more Regulus-focused, yes. The first few chapters kind of alternate, but eventually Lily and Regulus cross paths, which is where the "real" plot takes off :)

Thanks for this wonderful review!

-Amanda


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