|Review:||teh tarik says:|
Hellooo :D Saw the link to this on the forums and decided to swing by. Also, it's high time I start reading some of your works, starting with the one-shots.
Goodness, what a one-shot. James is perfect in this. His voice, his narration, his recklessness and anger and sense of panic and initial inability to accept the reality of the situation. And there's so many aspects of his life that you've covered in this fic - from his incredibly loyalty to Dumbledore and the Order and to his mates, the Marauders, his pranking nature (toilet seats as Portkeys...he's so annoying, him and Sirius :P ), that sense of boyishness and boyish humour about him, and of course, his incredible love for Lily and Harry.
I think you portrayed the Jily relationship extremely well; there are just so many of these stories, and some are great but others have me convinced that if Jily had not been killed they'd have divorced within a few years...eheh. But you wrote an incredibly moving and utterly realistic relationship between the both of them, interlaced with moments of humour. Gosh, couldn't stop grinning at this bit:
Lils and I used to play this game when Harry would wake up crying in the middle of the night. We’d both pretend we were still asleep, even though each of us knew bloody well that the other was awake. It was just a contest of wills.
Wonderful. THIS. This is the sort of writing I want to see when I'm reading Jily, and most fics seem to be missing this level of realistic detail. I loved all of James' little anecdotes of his life, his little memories - they were funny, heartwarming, poignant and ultimately tragic because of the abrupt end to his life. Sigh.
And through James' narration, you've characterised the other Marauders really well. You can tell that he really loves his mates, so much so that he cannot initially believe that Peter betrayed them, and even after Lily convinces him, he still can't comprehend why. He's reckless and brave and bloke-y and all, but there's also that sense of naivete to his character which I really like. It's a nice subtle characterisation detail. And Remus and Sirius were done excellently, too, at least through James' eyes. Was that Occam's razor you were referring to...? That sounds incredibly like Remus, so sensible and logical.
And Lily. Love Lily here as well. She's much more level-headed and less impetuous, even if she is a sobbing mess.
OK, I got pretty excited at seeing how you portrayed the afterlife as white foggy purgatory because I'm doing something similar (swear I didn't copy you :P ) for Other Side of Glass, of which you reviewed the first chapter. It's a pretty depressing sort of place, your afterlife, and I love the idea of it being a waiting room. It depresses me that other people are going to pop into their waiting room - Sirius, Remus etc. And of course, THE IRONY that James and Lily think Harry is going to be cared for by Frank and Alice. If only Lily knew what will happen to them. And I'm sure she will know soon. And she'll probably be not too happy that Petunia and Vernon are Harry's guardians...
Ultimately, though, you end your story on a lovely moment of hope. It's a bittersweet ending, and it's done perfectly. Poignant and heartbreaking but without being overly sentimental or too syrupy. Ahh...those two are going to be OK :D
Well, I've really enjoyed your story! I think this is a lovely and extremely well-written piece, which gives us so much insight into James and Lily's relationship, and their lives in general. Great work :)
Author's Response: Hi, there! I'm pleased as can be that you found this, my little experiment with James/Lily afterlife angst.
I have to give all credit for Jami for my head canon where James and Lily are concerned. That said, I'm pleased that you liked the way I wrote James. I tried really hard to find a balance between the cheeky, mischievous teenager that he once was and the loving, devoted father that he became.
I don't think any portrayal of a marriage -- especially two very strong personalities like James and Lily -- is being realistic without a good mix of highs and lows. There was bound to be some conflict between these two, but there was also a very strong interdependence that helped to bind them together. Detail, at least for me, is what sells good stories to the reader. Those little things that people can connect with on a nuts-and-bolts level.
I debated with myself a lot over how to write James's reaction to Peter's betrayal. Nothing sounded right, until it dawned on me that James wouldn't even think of the possibility until somebody else pointed it out to him. Nothing in his ten years of friendship with Peter ever suggested that something like this might happen or, if it did, I'm confident that James completely overlooked it. He just doesn't think of friends that way.
I went through a couple of iterations of what to do with the depiction of their afterlife. One idea I had was to put them in an ethereal version of the Forbidden Forest. Then, when Harry summons them with the Stone, he just sort of "appears" in their world the same as they appear in his. That didn't work, though, from the point of view of the Stone making the dead unhappy because it took them away from where they belonged. So this is what I settled on in the end. As far as your story, well, great minds think alike! ;)
It was heart-breaking to me to realize that, at this particular moment in their (after)lives, James and Lily probably were convinced that Harry would grow up among their best friends, loved and cared for.
I'm really glad that you enjoyed the story. Writing it also gave me an idea for a different one-shot, set in the corporeal world. Maybe I can cobble that one together soon. Thanks for reading and reviewing!