Hey, I don't know if you still remember me but if the name 'Izzy' rings any sort of bell to you...it's me! :)
I haven't reviewed any sort of fanfiction for months now and I thought it'd be a good idea to do one today. So, naturally, the first author name that pops in my head is yours and when I saw that this was a James/Lily fic I was so in. This review is going to be a bit lame because I don't know what to say anymore but I promise I'll try my best.
My favourite part of the whole thing was when James started counting to ten. He had such soul-crushing hope there (that's how I saw it anyway) that he was just in a dream because he couldn't be without his Lily and Harry. I almost teared up as he finally began to process everything; that he was dead and he could do nothing but sit there and hope for the very best that his family weren't dead.
And he was so so worried about Lily. He wanted Lily to live so much, to be there with Harry because he couldn't be. But then bam, Lily's there too, right next to him and my heart just broke. (Just take all my feels, please. I do not need nor want them anymore.) You would think that I'd be used to this by now since we all knew their fates before reading this story but still...I can't help it but be sad every time I read about their deaths, especially when their stories as well written as this.
Hmm...despite the seriousness and gravity of the situation though I really love the fact that James's humour was still there, and I found some sort of comfort in that. His little 'competition' with Lily, waiting for the other person to break and run to the crying Harry in other room. That made me smile but then the bit after that, how he'd give up a lifetime of sleep and everything else to hold Harry in his arms just killed me.
James's characterisation here was just perfect. (I'm sure that statement is debatable but meh.) I thought he wasn't too mature about his responsibilities and everything else because that would've just made the story a tad too somber, but he wasn't completely childlike either to the point that it would've taken the seriousness off the story. In short, he was completely well-balanced character. And I love how you gave light to his fatherly instincts as I read a lot of James/Lily stories where Lily often seems to be the only one that cared for baby Harry, but we all know that's not the case.
Speaking of Lily, she was the opposite of James. Calm. More rationalised. And she seemed to accept their passing faster than James did. I want to see so badly what went through her head during this time. She figured out everything pretty quickly about Peter being the traitor and reasoned herself out with James. One thing that bothered me though was when she said that Dumbledore will most likely bring Harry to Alice and Frank where he would be loved just as much as Neville was. I pretty much wanted to go into a foetal position upon reading that line. Ugh.
And the ending is just wow. I really can't express myself enough without overusing the words 'amazing', 'love' and 'wow' about just how fantastic this story is. Just ugh, can I borrow your talent next time we have a story to write?
So that's that. My lame review. Sorry if it was too...uhm...messy? I just really typed in the things that came to mind so apologies if they were a bit confusing. And if you do happen to remember me; I'm still around and I'll be back sooner than later to review some more of you goodies (I hope anyway!).
Author's Response: Izzy! Like I'm ever going to forget you. No way! I always love seeing one of my all-time favorite reviewers pop in. Honestly, after the way I stomped all over your feels in CoB, I'm kind of surprised you keep coming back. I must be doing something right. :)
The scene where James is counting to ten was tough to write. The thing is, I could see myself doing the same thing in an unimaginably horrible scenario. A lot of the things James does before Lily appears are like that, but the part where he's still in denial was probably the worst. It would have to be nearly impossible at first to accept something so awful. :(
In my mind, I felt like James was horribly torn when Lily appears. In one way, his worst fears have been realized. Voldemort not only managed to kill him, but Lily and presumably Harry as well. In another way, he has to take a measure of comfort in the fact that he and Lily are once again together. And for somebody like James, that pleasure he finds in her company would have to come with a huge measure of guilt. He's a complicated guy.
To me, humor was the only thing keeping James sane. If he couldn't have his moments of dry humor, there really wasn't much of James Potter left. I know my wife and I have had that competition on more than one occasion, but the thought of not even being able to give one of my boys a hug again absolutely kills me.
Well, I guess nobody ever knows whether they've got James's character "perfect", since we don't have a whole lot to go on. I just let my head canon from Jami's story flow and that's always how I get to my James. When I write him, I always make an effort to keep in mind how young he and Lily were when they died. So many people write them as though they were already in their thirties when Harry was born, at least in terms of their thoughts and mannerisms. I do feel like parenthood and the war aged them a bit beyond their years, but you need to keep a good dose of immaturity in there, especially for James.
In my mind, Lily was emotionally exhausted by the time she and James find one another. She'd already cried all the tears she had to cry and she'd reached that shell-shocked stage of a traumatic experience that's easy to mistake for calm. Her mind was simply falling back on default behaviors at that point: being the steady, rational one. She just didn't have any emotions left in the tank, so to speak.
The bit about James and Lily believing that Harry would to go live with the Longbottoms killed me, as well. It's such a rational thing to believe, though, with Neville and Harry being exactly the same age and Alice and Frank being in the Order with James and Lily. Breaks my heart to think of the hellish years Harry spent with the Dursleys when he could have grown up loved and happy.
OK, so for the record, your review was not lame or short or messy. I enjoyed it thoroughly, as I always do when you're able to make the time. I cherish all of them! It is absolutely wonderful to know that you're still around, and I hope school and life are going really well for you! Thanks so much for the wonderful review.