|Review:||nott theodore says:|
Hi! I'm here for the review tag from the forums :)
I've actually been meaning to come and read some of what you've written for a while, and when I saw that this was James and Lily I couldn't resist it. It was really beautiful, and yet at the same time it was kind of difficult to read, because you made the characters seem so real that I didn't want to have to see them suffering from that sort of pain.
Your description of being surrounded by white and not knowing where you are or even if you're moving is quite sinister, and I think it would terrify me if I was there. It really contrasts with everything that white normally represents, and it portrays how suffocated James feels.
I really liked the confusion that James begins in. The way that he goes through all sorts of ideas to try and figure out what has happened to him is very believable but also quite heart-breaking, because we know that he's suffered a huge loss. I loved the inclusion of the prank wars with Sirius, as I thought that little detail sets him up as the character that we see in OotP, and I think it's quite unrealistic that he would have completely changed from then.
The realisation of what has happened is painful (in the best way!) to read. You write it so well, especially the way that he's trying to convince himself that it isn't real, and he's going to wake up from a bad dream at any moment.
I had tears in my eyes when I read about the bargaining process of grief. It is so true of the emotions that you go through, and I can't imagine it being more true than when a parent has lost a child. James' sheer desperation to see his son and hold his son once more is so moving and utterly tragic.
One of the things I love about this story is your characterisation of James. A lot of stories present him as a joker in school, who then grows up to be completely noble and almost flawless. Reading this, it's clear that he is still a young man, and with that come all the flaws and the personality of someone so young. I think that makes it even more upsetting, because both he and Lily were cut off before they reached their prime, with their whole lives ahead of them.
I love Lily's character here. She contrasts really well with James because she appears much calmer and more accepting than him. Her maternal instincts have obviously helped to reassure her that Harry is still alive and isn't suffering, but she also seems much more logical than James; for example, when she has already worked out that Peter was the traitor. I completely believe James' reaction to this knowledge and then, even when he has accepted it, his inability to understand why it happened.
I really enjoy that James and Lily's relationship here is realistic, too, mainly because it's not perfect, which I think so many people have a tendency to make it.
One of the other things I love is the fact that both sides of James' personality come through in this story. As well as the more light-hearted side, we see his caring nature in the way he doesn't want to be joined by his friends for a very long time, and the fact that he's willing to wait for them. Something else that struck me was the way that he worried for the people he'd left behind, especially Harry, Sirius, and Remus. I thought the pride that he felt at knowing his son had defeated Voldemort was a really nice touch, and lightened the tone for a moment.
The thing that really touched me was Lily and James' optimism for Harry's future. Their belief that Harry will grow up like a twin with Neville is so sweet but our knowledge of what happened to Frank and Alice, and that Harry had to grow up with the Dursleys makes me really hope that they can't see what their son has to endure in the next seventeen years of his life.
I loved the connection with the Resurrection Stone at the end, and the acceptance that they're waiting there for their friends and will remain there until they can help Harry when he needs them most.
Actually, I can't praise this story enough. If you couldn't already tell from the rest of this review, it's incredibly moving and I absolutely love it!
nott theodore :)
Author's Response: Hi, there! Such a long, detailed, amazing review, I love it! Somewhat intimidating to respond to, however. ;)
More than anything, I'm glad that you were able to connect with James and feel a lot of the things that I wanted him to feel during this story. It was pretty horrible to imagine the sort of things that would go through his mind once the realization hit him. Because that was going to be so horrible, I wanted to ease him into it. That's why I take him through the process of figuring out what's happened. I wanted to build up the character a bit before I have to tear him down. :(
I really hate to make anyone cry, but I'm glad that the bargaining James goes through seemed realistic and made an impact. I can't even imagine the thought of never being able to hold one of my kids again, even though they're 5. It's so sad, it's horrible.
I don't think there's anything flawless about either Lily or James, although she probably comes off that way because we're seeing her through James's eyes. They were 21 years old when they died. Everyone I know has flaws at that age, and being young parents could tax the patience of even a saint.
While I was figuring out what I wanted to write about Harry's future, it dawned on me that there was no way on earth that James and Lily ever would have assumed that Harry would be sent to live with Petunia and Vernon. Frank and Alice seemed like an obvious choice because I really like the idea of all of them being part of the same circle of friends. It is horribly sad to think of how differently Harry's life turned out compared to what James and Lily would have wanted for him.
When I was first writing this, I was actually picturing them being in an ethereal version of the Forbidden Forest instead of the waiting room. Eventually, Sirius would arrive there and then Remus, as well. When Harry used the Resurrection Stone, he would have "appeared" in James and Lily's world just as they appear in his. But I got really uncomfortable with trying to manage the passage of time, so I went in a different direction.
I'm really, really glad that you enjoyed this. Thanks so much for such an awesome review!