Reading Reviews for Waiting Room
27 Reviews Found

Review #26, by teh tarik Green Eyes Against Blinding White

27th February 2013:
Hellooo :D Saw the link to this on the forums and decided to swing by. Also, it's high time I start reading some of your works, starting with the one-shots.

Goodness, what a one-shot. James is perfect in this. His voice, his narration, his recklessness and anger and sense of panic and initial inability to accept the reality of the situation. And there's so many aspects of his life that you've covered in this fic - from his incredibly loyalty to Dumbledore and the Order and to his mates, the Marauders, his pranking nature (toilet seats as Portkeys...he's so annoying, him and Sirius :P ), that sense of boyishness and boyish humour about him, and of course, his incredible love for Lily and Harry.

I think you portrayed the Jily relationship extremely well; there are just so many of these stories, and some are great but others have me convinced that if Jily had not been killed they'd have divorced within a few years...eheh. But you wrote an incredibly moving and utterly realistic relationship between the both of them, interlaced with moments of humour. Gosh, couldn't stop grinning at this bit:

Lils and I used to play this game when Harry would wake up crying in the middle of the night. Weíd both pretend we were still asleep, even though each of us knew bloody well that the other was awake. It was just a contest of wills.

Wonderful. THIS. This is the sort of writing I want to see when I'm reading Jily, and most fics seem to be missing this level of realistic detail. I loved all of James' little anecdotes of his life, his little memories - they were funny, heartwarming, poignant and ultimately tragic because of the abrupt end to his life. Sigh.

And through James' narration, you've characterised the other Marauders really well. You can tell that he really loves his mates, so much so that he cannot initially believe that Peter betrayed them, and even after Lily convinces him, he still can't comprehend why. He's reckless and brave and bloke-y and all, but there's also that sense of naivete to his character which I really like. It's a nice subtle characterisation detail. And Remus and Sirius were done excellently, too, at least through James' eyes. Was that Occam's razor you were referring to...? That sounds incredibly like Remus, so sensible and logical.

And Lily. Love Lily here as well. She's much more level-headed and less impetuous, even if she is a sobbing mess.

OK, I got pretty excited at seeing how you portrayed the afterlife as white foggy purgatory because I'm doing something similar (swear I didn't copy you :P ) for Other Side of Glass, of which you reviewed the first chapter. It's a pretty depressing sort of place, your afterlife, and I love the idea of it being a waiting room. It depresses me that other people are going to pop into their waiting room - Sirius, Remus etc. And of course, THE IRONY that James and Lily think Harry is going to be cared for by Frank and Alice. If only Lily knew what will happen to them. And I'm sure she will know soon. And she'll probably be not too happy that Petunia and Vernon are Harry's guardians...

Ultimately, though, you end your story on a lovely moment of hope. It's a bittersweet ending, and it's done perfectly. Poignant and heartbreaking but without being overly sentimental or too syrupy. Ahh...those two are going to be OK :D

Well, I've really enjoyed your story! I think this is a lovely and extremely well-written piece, which gives us so much insight into James and Lily's relationship, and their lives in general. Great work :)


Author's Response: Hi, there! I'm pleased as can be that you found this, my little experiment with James/Lily afterlife angst.

I have to give all credit for Jami for my head canon where James and Lily are concerned. That said, I'm pleased that you liked the way I wrote James. I tried really hard to find a balance between the cheeky, mischievous teenager that he once was and the loving, devoted father that he became.

I don't think any portrayal of a marriage -- especially two very strong personalities like James and Lily -- is being realistic without a good mix of highs and lows. There was bound to be some conflict between these two, but there was also a very strong interdependence that helped to bind them together. Detail, at least for me, is what sells good stories to the reader. Those little things that people can connect with on a nuts-and-bolts level.

I debated with myself a lot over how to write James's reaction to Peter's betrayal. Nothing sounded right, until it dawned on me that James wouldn't even think of the possibility until somebody else pointed it out to him. Nothing in his ten years of friendship with Peter ever suggested that something like this might happen or, if it did, I'm confident that James completely overlooked it. He just doesn't think of friends that way.

I went through a couple of iterations of what to do with the depiction of their afterlife. One idea I had was to put them in an ethereal version of the Forbidden Forest. Then, when Harry summons them with the Stone, he just sort of "appears" in their world the same as they appear in his. That didn't work, though, from the point of view of the Stone making the dead unhappy because it took them away from where they belonged. So this is what I settled on in the end. As far as your story, well, great minds think alike! ;)

It was heart-breaking to me to realize that, at this particular moment in their (after)lives, James and Lily probably were convinced that Harry would grow up among their best friends, loved and cared for.

I'm really glad that you enjoyed the story. Writing it also gave me an idea for a different one-shot, set in the corporeal world. Maybe I can cobble that one together soon. Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #27, by patronus_charm Green Eyes Against Blinding White

26th February 2013:
I saw the words James and Lily and came running!

This was such a cool idea, I am currently sitting here, feeling very jealous that I didnít think of it beforehand! It was a really great idea to write about what happened to James after he died, as I always get so sad when we reach their death scene, as their life was just so short, and then it just ended, and it seems like it was such a waste, yet here you carried it on!

I really liked the whole dream like state James was in when he got there. The setting with all the white cloud and fog, perfectly fitted in with his confusion. I loved his thoughts of him trying to figure out where he was, you caught him so well, the way he showed his love for Harry and Lily, his pranking with Sirius (haggis of the month! Thatís so cool, and this is coming from a vegetarian!), and him just trying to figure out why heís there.

It was horrible when he realised that he had died, it just made me want to join him in curling up in a ball and crying! He seemed to be going through so much pain and anxiety wondering whether Lily and Harry were alive or not, and what was going on. It was horrible to see him in that state, but it was done really well, and if he was acting any other way, I would be concerned.

Then you could see him coming to terms with it but it was still horrible. The way he had come out top, and for him to come crashing down, reminds me of Pistorious (to quote recent news, and show HP is relatable to everything!). He really is passionate for all the people heís close to, I loved his comparison to Harry being like two quaffles, and him worrying over Sirius and what would happen to him, was very well done.

Then when Lily came it just got even more sad. I would have loved it if Harry grew up with Neville it would have been awesome. How wrong Lily was about that though, considering what happened to Frank and Alice, and where Harry ended up. She seemed so sure he would be alright, and I guess a motherís intuition was right, as he was ok in the end.

Lily seemed so rational when talking about how they ended up here, and James of course just couldnít deal with it. It must have been a horrible thing for him to go through though, thinking that someone was your friend for so long, and then to find out they caused you to die.

I felt for James and Lily, thinking they would have to wait ages for their friends, when in fact it was a much shorter time than they had expected it to be. I really want to know what happened to Frank and Alice know, and when they died.

This was an excellent one-shot, and Iím glad that I clicked on the link, as it allowed me to see James and Lily in a new perspective!


Author's Response: All caught up! Yay!

For some reason, I've had kind of a morbid fascination with afterlife scenes lately. Especially the variety where it takes the recently deceased a while to put the pieces together regarding the circumstances of their demise. James and Lily seemed like prime candidates for this treatment, since they left a lot of loose ends in the mortal world.

OK, so you're saying I shouldn't ever sign you up for Haggis of the Month? Just kidding, mostly. But I wanted to mix in a lot of things that helped James to take the edge off of his anxiety and grief because in my mind that's how he copes.

James was always portrayed as a spoiled, somewhat bratty and intensely competitive child. So even after he grew up a bit to court Lily, I still feel like some of those traits are lingering alongside his more noble characteristics. "Losing" at the moment that it mattered most in his life must have been very hard for him to accept.

Painful as it was to write, I honestly think that Lily and James would have expected Harry to be raised by the Longbottoms and surrounded by their old friends. They had no way of knowing why Harry survived and how that required, at least in Dumbledore's mind, that Harry live with his only remaining blood relatives. They also had no way of knowing the awful fates that awaited Sirius, Frank and Alice. It's all immensely sad.

I think it would have been incredibly difficult for James to accept the truth about Peter's betrayal. Peter had essentially been following James and Sirius around like a puppy for ten years by this point.

There is no canon information on how long Frank and Alice lived, at least as far as I know. Since they lived a very quiet life under constant medical care, it could have been a really long time.

I'm really glad that you enjoyed the story and the perspective I told it from. Like I said in the author's note, it was heavily influenced by Jami's story Before They Fall, so you might like that, too. Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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