|Review:||Violet Gryfindor says:|
This was a great one-shot, Amanda! I loved being able to see Lily in this situation because it's what gets left out of most Marauder stories, perhaps because it's too realistic, or too everyday, yet it's a significant event for many reasons. It probably has to do with my pet peeve that people don't portray Lily and James's relationship realistically enough, right down to the fact that they were eighteen when they married and only nineteen when they had a baby - I was really glad to see that Lily was questioning these things and panicking at the thought of having a child, not only so young, but during a war. For someone as conscientious as Lily, all of these things pose a serious problem - she goes through with it in the end, but those moments of hesitation and fear, however brief, make her so human. You also make her a wonderful thinker, haunted by past and future alike, hungry for a return to her childhood and reaching for the hope offered by her son (the phrase "little selfish hope" was brilliant - she wants the child for herself, perhaps as a chance to relive her own childhood vicariously or to become to him what her mother was to her).
Another interesting aspect of this story was the clash between Muggle and magical, which is always an important element of Lily's characterization. She embraces the magical world, but like Hermione, she can't entirely abandon the world of her childhood - instead, she lives in between. So you end up with instances like this one, where she's tested herself magically, yet still needs the reassurance of a Muggle test. I don't think it's so much that she distrusts her ability with potions, but rather it's important to remember that she's only been part of the magical world for eight years - even though she knew of her magic before she came to Hogwarts, I doubt that she would have had many interactions with it beyond Snape. So she goes to the Muggle doctor because it's still the world she knows best.
There are many other things I could add about your characterization of Lily, but then I'd be rambling on forever. What you've done here is fantastic! The writing is likewise, though that's not at all a surprise - you write Lily's inner musings wonderfully, setting them in contrast with the clinical setting of tests, small details and measurements, and a careful order of things. Amazing work!
Author's Response: Hey Susan :)
You know, I usually don't find pregnancy stories interesting, but I sort of fell in love with the idea of Lily's vulnerability during this time. She's got so much pressure--the literal pressure of expecting a child, learning how to be a wife, trying to watch her back when so many people want to destroy her for learning to do magic. I feel like we as a fandom get so caught up in the idea of James and Lily as a perfect couple with their perfect child and it just washes away who she really was, at least for me. I really craved wanting to know the girl who was praised by so many for her many beautiful qualities and really good heart, but more than that, I wanted to see if there was more under the surface of that heart. I think "conscientious" is the perfect word to describe her, which is why I decided at the last minute to allow her to consider the possibility of not letting a child be born during wartime. In fact, the "selfish hope" line was a total afterthought, so it's great that you felt it was well-placed there!
Yeah, I really wanted to emphasize that Lily is still relatively new to the magical world and didn't grow up with this casual exposure to magic and spellwork like her friends did. I thought she might seek some comfort in familiar surroundings during this tumultuous and scary time, and really, that's part of the theme of holding onto herself here, too.
Thanks so much for your really sweet review! It's great that you think I pulled this off!