I'm finally here for a long-due review. Speaking of which, apologies for the lateness -- revisions for upcoming exams and RL in general kept getting in the way.
Lily's section at the beginning was lovely and really hit the nail on the head in terms of characterisation (according to my vision of Lily, in any case). Her reaction to McGonagall, and the way she'd see her as a mother-like figure, made complete sense, and I like how you've made her slightly -- I'm trying to think of an acceptable term -- kissing up to the teachers? I don't know how to express this in a way that's 12+. But yes, basically I appreciate the fact that Lily isn't one hundred percent perfect.
I feel horrible for Karen Meriwether and the other Ravenclaw. Even though we all know how Marauder era stories are contextualised, it still made me really sad to be confronted with the war so soon.
I think it's the first time I read about James being so awkward, but it was a refreshing change from the smarmy being he can be. Poor guy. Lily's rejection was also done very well, without the dramatics that are often seen in other stories. I think what I like the most about this is the sense of normalcy you give the characters -- they're only teenagers, after all.
Ah, Slughorn! Your portrayal of the Hogwarts' staff is absolutely perfect. Forcing Lily and Regulus sounds like precisely the type of thing he would do. I think Lily isn't far off the mark when she says Slughorn would think they'd create a Potions genius.
Onto Regulus. The more I see him, the more I like him, but considering cannon, I think I'll continue to hold my judgement.
I'll be back soon for chapter 6 &hearts
Author's Response: Hi Val! Sorry this response is ridiculously delayed. I was traveling and moving apartments and... yeah. I'm going to head back over to Calendar Girls when I get a chance and finish up that last chapter, and then our swap will convert to Reason to Fight.
Yeah, I figured Lily would want to put on a good face for the teachers, even if she has some not-so-nice thoughts in private. The way I see it, a Muggleborn girl in a magical school would want to look competent and well-behaved in order to get to keep her place there and to do well in this new world of hers. She's definitely not perfect, though, as you observed.
This story is a little bit like Yellow in the sense that you are reminded that the people who are dying could be so young, maybe not even considered adults by legal standards. I'm sure Karen never thought twice about pursuing some career experience at the hospital, and yet it would be hard for those who heard of her death to go on as normal in their pursuit of school completion and their future careers.
Yeah, normalcy is what I strive for. The consistently hot-tempered Lily and prankster James really get on my nerves, and beyond that, they bore me. I don't see any reason to get emotionally involved with characters like that. Instead, I tried to make my characters relatable for myself and the readers.
I kind of love Slughorn. He's this one little humorous moment in an otherwise truly dark period in Slytherin history, and I like to think that Regulus can't help but think of his probable disappointment when he considers doing something for Voldemort.
Thanks for your lovely review, Val!