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Review:Toujours Padfoot says:

Here comes the little black cloud that rains down on happy moments. I will give you an umbrella but I fear it still won't protect you from my feels. I have many feels. Let me count them for you.

THEY ARE GOING TO DIE. James was standing there staring at the sunset and like the horrible pessimist reader that I am, I was lamenting, "YOUR SUNSETS ARE NUMBERED. YOU WILL NOT SEE MANY MORE OF THESE." Harry's adorableness and calling James 'Da' and his little striped sleepsuit and gumming his hippogriff while soaking himself and everyone around him with slobber - it's all so numbered. I find myself really focusing on the elements of their house and life that make everything feel like someone lives there, that it's their home and this is their family. Like Harry's toys. He didn't get to take any of these toys with him, and after he was removed from the wreckage they were all just left behind to rot. No comforting toys to remind him of his parents, no mementos of them, no blankets or stuffed dragons to carry the scent of home. Restless though James might be, he doesn't fully realize that in retrospect, he would probably consider this some sort of heaven.

I knew that Lily wasn't going to be gung-ho about James's idea, but I'm glad that she's going to let him scheme. It's not just for Beth's benefit that he does this - it's for his own, since he's so bored - and I think she must know this. He needs to take his mind off of his own life for a minute; Beth provides the perfect distraction. (And here comes the black raincloud again to wallow in the fact that James is going to try to help Beth so that she can try to have a happily ever after when James's happily ever after is TOTALLY COMING TO AN END SOON.)

On one hand, chapters about the Potters make me miserable because all I do is moan about their impending doom; but on the other hand it's something I really need to see for a sense of closure. We didn't get to see Harry hugging his parents in the series. We don't have those memories, and for Harry's sake we sort of need to experience them. And I like seeing that even if it's a part of his life he won't be able to remember, for a moment in time Harry was utterly happy and completely cared for and very much loved by his parents like any other child. For just a little over a year, Harry was almost ordinary. I want to just freeze the three of them in this bubble so that Harry can keep them forever.


Also another thing I want to add is that I was especially impressed by mannerisms, body language, and how vivid this chapter was - especially while Lily and James were discussing Beth and Snape. I saw every single second of what was occurring, and it sank in very deeply because of their expressions, their unspoken words, their behavior. Like Lily dumping her tea in the sink, her exasperated look while the corners of her mouth tilted, and James running his hand through his hair over and over as though unable to control it. It was like his anxiety, manifested physically. Really, really good writing.

Author's Response: For want of using a stronger word, DARN YOU, because now I have that song about rain clouds from Winnie-the-Pooh stuck in my head. Oh, this is just going to be there all day. You have a bad habit of doing that to me. EVERYBODY LOOK AT YOUR HANDS ~

I have to laugh at you, focusing on James and Lily and their impending deaths -- although I've got it coming, I suppose, because if you're a rain cloud of pessimism, that would probably make me the whole darn thunderstorm. And yet I'm glad you're focusing on these normal moments, with Harry just an average one-year-old with no one yet having a clue what sort of a boy he's got to grow up to be. Normalcy is always understated until it's not there anymore.

I can't see that Lily would fully enthuse any idea that involved Severus, but I think it says something about her love for James that she's willing to help him help Beth, if that makes any sense at all. And Severus is the man who showed her the wizarding world, even if he later broke all friendship ties by calling her a Mudblood (although I'm now wondering why it affected Lily /so/ profoundly -- wouldn't it have been more offensive to someone growing up knowing it was a bad word?). James needs the prospect of a project to keep him happy, or he's going to go stir-crazy, cooped up in Godric's Hollow, seeing the same people day in and day out.

(Had to go back and jot something down for the chapter I'm working on. STOP BEING SO INSPIRING PLZ.)

Writing the Marauders is a very lovely sort of pain; it's filling in all the gaps we only hear about in the canon stories, even though those gaps are often like small needles to the heart. The First Wizarding War was basically a horrific time, and when you look at it that way, it's no wonder that Snape and Sirius and Lupin and so many others turned out the way they did. They are massive products of their environment; these men weren't all that old when they were thrust into the center of war. James and Lily died just as life for the pair of them was really getting started, after all. And so even though we have all these deaths and rumors and secrets, we need to endure them for the sake of friendships and bravery and hugs for a boy who's soon to become an orphan.

I think I write too much body language sometimes! But I can /see/ it -- I know who's tucking their hair back and who's crossing their arms, and the position of her mouth, and I just really want you to see it, too. ♥ It means loads to me that you do notice and appreciate it. You are too good to me.


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