Yay James Quidditch history. I know this is a framework but the background pleases me. Typical James that he thinks these achievements aren't a big deal; no wonder he has so many inferiority issues. It's kind of down-to-earth of him - he gets tense but he just tries his best, so he doesn't see how GOOD his best is. But this is still something different.
Interfering housemate, go! They have a sacred duty as gatekeepers. And part of that sacred duty is knowing when to ignore instructions. But not give away too much. BECAUSE SHE'S DYING. Totally it. Heh, this one's a good gatekeeper. I approve of her.
And now we go. Carla's cautious, she should be. But she wants him to know the truth already, because him KNOWING isn't the worst part, the worst part is telling. Yes, James - honesty is the best policy right now, because if nothing else, you've got nothing to lose. Can't end worse than it is right now. I think. Interestingly, she's wrong, I think - I think James knows he doesn't need her to stop him from screwing up because he fixed HIMSELF. Which is a glorious thing and such a glorious thing about this story, it's not "girl saves damaged guy from himself", damaged guy saves himself and goes after the girl.
Less commentary on the next bit. Because it's a sorely important issue being addressed, something a lot more real than we usually put in our fanfiction - even if we go serious, we tend to go very high fantasy serious (how many of us deal with the actual fallout of war, for instance, even if the subject matter in itself is deathly serious). I think it's best letting your prose speak for itself in this, and to say I think you're tackling this with every inch of appropriate dignity and care.
But, now. She's lashing out to drive him off, of course, because that makes it easier. I can see why; James might be sincere but has he thought through everything this means? It's a tall order for anyone, and while it would be easy to say "TRUE LOVE CONQUERS ALL", the real world is a lot nastier and tougher than that. He's only just found out. Still, I trust him to do right. And, he's kind of right. Leave for now, because SHE needs to think this through as well as he does.
Okay, Gatekeeper Felicity is smart, sensible, and READING MY MIND.
So! There it is, the big Real Reveal of this, and there's the movie which you said would spoil everything. I've not actually seen it. And though people saw the broad gist coming, we didn't see the ACTUAL truth coming, and it's one of those things which, even if you know roughly what's bearing down on you, that doesn't lessen the impact when it hits. It's not so much a twist as an added layer, and the added layer is good and it is deep. I am only keen to see where we go from here. Of course, the question will come up on what magic can do for the situation, because that must be addressed.
We Shall See. But good stuff, truly. Most excellent tackling of serious issues, and so fie on anyone who says you can't do serious proper things with fanfic! Fie on them, I say! I doff my hat to you on this one.
Author's Response: Glad you liked the background, I certainly enjoyed writing it! I know pretty much everything of James' life, so it's nice to throw things in every now and again, just to flesh his character out. And yes, once more he undervalues his own achievements, the poor kid.
Interfering housemate indeed! Felicity's role ended up as rather a bigger one than I'd intended - in that I hadn't intended to write her into this chapter at all! But I felt that her perspective on things was needed, for James' sake more than anything else, so in she went.
Aand Carlotta does, indeed, have A Bad Illness, as you'd suspected for a long while. Her wanting him to know the truth is partly the fear of doing the Telling, and is partly because if he already knew then it meant he didn't care about it. Her main fears about the whole situation are the effect she might have on his life, and that he wouldn't want anything to do with her once he knew. And so there was a part of her that was hoping that he would have learned about the illness already and that he was still keen in spite of it, even if did then try to get rid of him.
I'm glad you liked their discussion. It was definitely one of the hardest parts of this story to write, given its importance. Obviously Carlotta, as much as she wants to be with James, can't bear to put him through such a terrible ordeal - because of course that's what she sees it as. And yet James can't bear to let her go. So we have a conflict of interests. She wins the battle - because she's right, he DOESN'T know what he's getting himself into and he really needs to have some idea of what's going on before he commits - but he's adamant that he'll win the war.
I didn't necessarily expect you to have seen the movie, but all the same it was best to just keep everything quiet in the event that you'd somehow stumble across the plot and thus work out what was going on. I'm actually glad that this didn't seem like a twist because I didn't want it to seem like a left-field issue. It did give me a sense of satisfaction to see (read?) everybody speculating over What Was Wrong! Well, now you know. :) There IS the possibility that magic might help; that question gets a part answer in the next chapter but it will be a continuing issue right through into the sequel.
Very glad you enjoyed, thanks very much for the review! :)