My beautiful, wonderful, phenomenally talented PIC! I bestow upon you my first Speed-Dating review! ;)
So, after more or less memorizing my version of events from compulsive editing, to now getting the chance to reread yours, I just have to say that it is crazy ridiculous how many things we managed to integrate into both stories to make them connect! Seriously, there are so many parallels drawn throughout literally the entire story, from the itinerary of the date to Lily's final dialogue to Remus' "All good things..." to even our very structure (the titles, the chapter names, the Law quotes at the top, the similar ending quotes at the bottom); I mean, how did we even do this in 72 hours? It's all a blur, I tell you; a blur! :-p Really, though, I can't believe we pulled it off and, honestly, I couldn't possibly imagine having had a more collaborative partner than you. Regardless of the final results as far as the competition goes, I'm really proud of us. TANIFER! *hugs*
Okay, got the collaborative gushing out of my system! Now away from 'Us' and onto 'You'! :-D
This entire first half of the story, with the fantastical dream date, is just such a perfect reflection of the ever-optimistic James Potter! He's always been so certain that one day he would win the affections of one Lily Evans, and even though most of their relationship before this moment seemed to be a series of hostile exchanges, he's still just so sure that the date will have no set-backs! She's gonna laugh at all his corny jokes, share seventeen pastries with him, blush and fawn over his every action, and be completely smitten from start to finish! Because he's James Potter. And if James Potter is sure of one thing, it's that Lily Evans can absolutely not continue to resist him now that he's been given this chance. The exaggerated fantasy is just so spot on; this is exactly what he would imagine their date to be like. hehehe
Madame Puddifoot's just cracks me up. "The tiny tea shop was filled with mostly empty tables surrounded by sophisticated, high-backed chairs. A fireplace crackled at one end of the room, while the opposite side housed a large display of various cakes and tarts. James couldn't help but breathe a sigh of contentment at the smell of freshly baked pastries that wafted through the air." - HA. Oh, James, you poor, naive fool. I just adore the way you set the cafe up - it actually sounds like a really nice spot here! Too bad it's totally untrue, but whatever. ;) And omg, the pastry scene... I can't... I can't even... it's so... so perfectly cheesy! In the greatest way imaginable! Just all of it: the corny dialogue, the hysterical bouts of laughter - and can we please discuss the waddling?! LOL
"To you, Miss Evans, and to ridiculous teenagers everywhere." - Dawww, I really love this toast, actually. ^.^
What I adore about this story is that even though the first half is so ridiculous and over-the-top and fantastical and silly, we still get to see how talented of a writer you are. I think this really shines through during the scene with Mr. Wiseacre. He's such a character and it's hard to believe you just created him out of thin air in no time at all! I mean, he made such an impression right off the cuff! I wish I could have written him in my story being this way instead of forgetting who James even was, cause he's so much fun! :-p He's just so charming and kind, but with a little pinch of feisty! This line here is great: "Though he showed all signs of being a tired old man, when he looked up at them, his eyes sparkled with youth." - Perfect.
And, of course, I can't talk about that scene without bringing up the incredible snow/season globe. Have I mentioned how happy I am that you ended up as my partner? Because I may have suggested snow globe, but you're the one who brought it to life; who made it magical. It was the perfect gift. Your description here is so lovely. :)
Hahaha The whole carriage scene, oh man. He's such a cheese-ball in the most delightful way! The dialogue here is my favorite! LOL Too good.
AND NOW TO MY FAVORITE PART! THE BIG REVEAL! *squee* :-D
I am so, so happy that you suggested we make the Yhprum's Law story a fake! I mean, seriously, I can't even imagine having done it any differently now that it's finished! It allowed for that hilarious ending of yours and for our stories to have even more compatibility and synchronicity! Brilliant, I tell you. And speaking of, can we talk about the difference between this ending in its rough draft form to what it is now? Ah! I can't even tell you how excited I am that you were able to rearrange the story to fit all of those hilarious observations and one-liners in! That was so clever of you and it made a great impact; it really solidified just how ridiculous the first half of the story is; how over the top and bright and bubbly and cheerful and far too perfect it all was to be real! hahaha And the switch to Sirius was just seamless! My only regret is that I wish I could have just once experienced this story without the knowledge of the twist ending! hehehe Oh well. :-p
The ending was also an excellent showcase of the Marauder dynamic, which was such a bonus on top of everything else! I loved getting that glimpse into their friendship; it felt very authentic. And the way you ended it is the perfect combination of wrapping up your story with a pretty little bow, while still leading effortlessly into mine - in which I tear said bow apart and torture it through the use of painful humiliation. hehehe
I don't know what else to say! It's just really, really great, PIC. I feel like the luckiest girl at the ball, having been paired with you. ;) I had just an absolute blast working with you and I wouldn't take back those three days on nothing but coffee, five hours of sleep, and desperate panic for anything in the world.
You simply rock,
P.S. (huh) to you as well, ya brat. :-p
Author's Response: Holy cow! I've written one-shots shorter than your review! (I ran your review through a word count and confirmed this, btw :P) Thank you so much for this. It's so overwhelmingly kind. I feel loved :*
I'm with you on the entire experience being a bit of a blur. On one hand, it seems like it was such a struggle, trying to get everything written on time, editing down the word counts, making sure details meshed. But on the other hand, something about it seemed really effortless, and I think that's because I had a really great partner :) I'm really proud of us, too. TANIFER!
I really enjoyed writing this chapter. It was fun to step a bit out of reality and write everything just a little over the top. I usually try to be so careful with my characterizations, and I kind of agonize over whether or not I am 'ruining' characters, so it was a bit refreshing to not have to do that so much in this chapter. James and Lily were a bit out of character because that's how James imagined them to be, and he was far more concerned with perfection than reality.
I also really loved the bit with Madam Puddifoots. Although, I was a touch sad at first that I didn't get to write the ridiculousness that is the canon version of this tea shop, I really grew to love this scene. It's certainly one of the most over the top parts (what with the pastries and the giggling) but it was super fun to write. I also really enjoy that toast. :)
I don't really write original characters, because I don't think I'm really that good at it, but I'm glad you enjoyed Mr. Wiseacre. He was fun.
Thank you for being so sweet about the snow globe, but I still insist that you wrote it better. ;) (Side note, I /really/ want one of those snow globes. I bet Lily does too...ouch, too soon? ;))
It's probably good that there was a word limit to this challege, because I /really/ want to write the scene where Lily and James are riding in the carriage. It would be full of sentimental drivel that I (shamelessly) adore, but is completely ridiculous. Oh! Kind of like the twirly scene when they exit the carriage :P Love that I got to include something that ridiculous.
Thanks, PIC, I'm really glad the expectation vs. reality idea worked out. I really like it, too, and think it worked out really well.
You'd better like the ending, since you totally inspired this version! After you had done all of your magnificent beta-ing, you mentioned that if I had extra words (hahahahaha) I should include some segments of the Marauder's mocking James for his story. It was something that had crossed my mind previously, but when you said it, it all clicked into place, that was /exactly/ the ending this needed. James was far too angsty in the other versions.
I love your bow analogy. That fits perfectly! Poor, poor, James :(
I think we're going to have to agree to disagree, because /I/ was the luckiest girl at the ball. Thank you again for being the best PIC I could have imagined, and for making this experience (that I was a bit wary of and reluctant to fully jump into) so utterly amazing. And thank you for this awesome novel of a review. I think that it's proof that I was, in fact, luckier than you :P.