|Review:||nott theodore says:|
James is such a real character that it's really hard not to like him, even after seeing the terrible way he behaved to all his family and friends and the reporters. I think it's great that you can see such an obvious change in him from the very beginning of the story - quidditch used to be the main focus of everything in his life, while everything else was a pleasant distraction. Now he has multiple things that are important to him, and that's made him even more likeable as a character.
I love the idea of Harry and Ginny taking bets on whether Carlotta would be there with James. It's something I can definitely imagine them doing - in fact, I can imagine the whole family running sweepstakes on it. It's great to see that James not only shares this ritual with his mother, but his father and girlfriend now too.
Another thing I enjoyed was the way we got to see more of his family here - even Uncle Charlie, who knows James is settling down, no matter how much James tries to deny it. The bit where Freddie introduced Carla to Ingrid and Mark was a nice touch, too. Even if Brigid doesn't forgive him and they don't end up together, I can see them starting to at least communicate properly in the near future.
The build-up to the match was so tense. James feeling nervous and freely admitting to it - no matter how good you are, when your game has such an important result at the end of it, there's no way you're not going to be nervous - and then Alfie having to pull out of captaining at the last minute, leaving Della to take over. No wonder, with all that pressure on her, that she turned into a nervous wreck and had some sort of breakdown!
The match itself was intense and really well written. I liked the fact that while we knew they were planning to take out one of the Lynch brothers, you left out the details about how it would be achieved, so there was still something new for us to read as we saw that plan played out. Della's decision not to take out their seeker was the right one, I think; they wouldn't have seemed very sporting to 'kick the man while he's down', so to speak. Not many people can manage to write quidditch as excitingly as you, and I'm really pleased that the Falcons won the league!
Another great chapter and I'll look forward to the next update! I'm guessing the Weasley dinner (which Carla has to go to) and maybe Lily's dance are next?
Author's Response: There was definitely a positive effort to make James as likeable as possible before his little breakdown, so that people wouldn't completely hate him even while he was being so horrible to his family. He's probably the most developed character I've ever created for a fanfic; I have a fully formed image of him in my head, more so than possibly any other character including those from canon, and he's definitely my personal favourite. So it's really nice to know that other people share my love for him, and it's also reassuring to know that his character is coming across in my writing. :)
The breakfast ritual serves to show how James' priorities and relationships have changed over the course of the fic; it's a literary metaphor, if you will. And that's enough pretentiousness for the day! I get far too much amusement out of writing a post-war Harry/Ginny, because I think they'd be ridiculously laid-back and playful. Of COURSE they place bets on their kids :)
Alfie pulling out was done purely for the opportunity it provided to stick a bit of Ryan/Della development in. James' nerves can sometimes be hard to write, so I'm glad you enjoyed that. And the match itself was a nightmare to write! I left out the detail of the Falcons' game plan before because I didn't HAVE one, their tactics came from nowhere and so when I sat down to write the match, I first of all had to figure out how the heck they were going to actually go about doing it. It was proving hard until I remembered I had a third dimension to play with! And the Falcons were always going to win, weren't they? ;)
Next chapter is in the queue - the Weasley gathering is included, and Carlotta is of course there - but it doesn't quite get to Lily's school dance! That's the chapter after. :) Thanks for reviewing!