Reading Reviews for Waiting Room
29 Reviews Found

Review #26, by Remus Green Eyes Against Blinding White

1st March 2013:
Hey Dan! :) So its the whole Slytherins v Gryffindor review contest so I took this an an opportunity to come review your new story.

I honestly feel like this is taking off from my own Lily/James fic, just pointing it out. XD

I really liked James's confusion about what happened. Its almost like he's in shock and his brain refuses to accept or even remember what happened. It seriously felt like he sort of went through a quick spell of the seven stages of grief. He doesn't dwell much in them either so it all blends in together seamlessly.

There were bits that made me laugh but for the most part I just felt sad for James! Specially the line:

This isn't me, watching James Potter crumble into a sobbing heap, surrounded by the hideous whiteness that threatens to drive him into madness.

What I imagined in my head was so depressing and sad I got teary eyed. I guess because I've never imagined James being so distraught about something that he ends up curling in a ball to cry. He's always been this happy-go-lucky guy who loves a good laugh. Not this shell of a man who feels like he's a huge failure for being killed by the most dangerous wizard.

I remember Lily once talking about the various stages a person goes through while grieving.

XD Yay, I wasn't imagining things. I was wondering if you had written James's emotions and reactions as the 7 stages on purpose or just by coincidence.

OMG the tears!! You seriously made me more than teary eyed when he remembers Harry's weight, wishing he could carry him once more. Ugh, Dan! Dagger to my feelings! I find it cute that he compares Harry's weight with something that's related to Quidditch.

Sirius and I were the ones who sneaked into the girlsí bathroom to turn the toilet seats into portkeys

Really?! Haha, I can't imagine...I mean. Poor girls! They there are...fixing to do their business and then BAM, they're somewhere else. Horrible. Hahahaha!

This also gave me the feeling that you poured some of your father instincts/thoughts into this. That you put yourself in James's position and wondered what you would do/say if you were in that situation.

Overall this was a fantastic fic, Dan. As always...! I'll be surprised if once day you don't write good quality stories. If that were to happen, I'll start to think that someone broke into your home and stole your computer or something along the lines.

Anyway, I suppose that's it! :D

Thanks for the lovely read! XD

See ya in Detox newest chapter!


Author's Response: Hi, there! Thanks for taking a moment to read and review my angsty little brain hiccup.

This one definitely bore a resemblance to yours. Between you and Jami, I've read a fair bit of Lily/James lately. It starts to get wheels spinning in your head.

James made it through a few of the stages. In the beginning, he's totally disoriented, which seems like a perfectly natural response to being killed.

I tried as best I could to mix a bit of levity into this without detracting from the overall tone. I didn't think this should be a funny story. They're dead, after all. But I couldn't stand the idea of dragging people's emotions over the coals for the entire piece, so I picked my spots.

So I didn't actually sit down and list out the 7 stages and try to construct the story around them, but they were definitely in the back of my mind as I wrote this.

Physical details, I think, are huge in a sad story. Something about juxtaposing strong emotions with pithy descriptions of little sounds and smells and sensations just does it for me. I'm glad you liked it.

Yeah, James and Sirius weren't the kindest or most mature when it came to devising their pranks. And Peter was the consummate follower. In a way, I guess his betrayal makes a little more sense if you think of it that way. James found Lily and his life was heading in a different direction. I could see how Peter felt sort of abandoned.

I'm really glad that you enjoyed it! Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Review #27, by Jchrissy Green Eyes Against Blinding White

28th February 2013:
Iím FINALLY here. Yay!

First of all, I have to say that I love your decision to write this in first person. I think that third would have felt way too detached, and you were really able to get across Jamesís confusion with this style.

The idea of being so submerged in the white, that you canít even tell if youíre moving or anything, is so creepy. Itís not like a calm, peaceful sort of white where you kind of just walk along. Itís like a terrifying sort of white that just wants to suffocate you. God, Iím getting claustrophobic just thinking about it!

It makes me so sad how James is thinking about something as innocent as their pranks on each other, trying to narrow down what could have happened. We all know, but we donít know when heíll figure it out. It leaves that clenching sort of feeling in your stomach. And then when he gets to Peter, heís getting so much closer but part of me still wants someone to jump out and be like, Gottchya! Itís the white out charm!

But it isnít ;(

The kind of hysteria that James goes into is so well done. He knows. He knows itís true. He knows whatís happening, but heís trying to so hard not to know, and gah. Itís just so painful :(

I think the one of the most painful parts about this one shot is Lilyís idea of where theyíll send Harry to live. Itís so sad thinking of how these two lives parallel each other, and that Harry never got to grow up with Neville like twins and be loved like someone elseís own son :(. See, now Iím going to get all teary. Lily talking about Harryís future was just such heart wrenching reminder of how many lives are destroyed.

I love Jamesís little moment of pride about his son defeating the Dark Lord! Haha! Take that, Quidditch dads. My kid just defeated the most powerful wizard!

I hate that they have to come to terms with their friend betrayed them :(. Theyíve already lost so much, and now youíre making me so angry at Peter. Dan! You canít do that! I need to keep getting along with Peter!

The transition into them starting to talk about things like where they at, and even Jamesís comment about the waiting room and getting to make Lily smile, even if itís a small one, was really perfect. And then the reality sort of comes crashing back when Lily asks what theyíre waiting for. I love that they try and talk that through, because we know they wouldnít be able to do anything but. And Jamesís little comment about hoping he waits a long time was very sweet. Heís got such a heart of gold ♥

This was such a touching one-shot, Dan. I love seeing James and Lily continue to work together and lean on each other even in death. I just hope this is the sort of waiting room where they canít see what Harry deals with for the next nearly two decades, because that would be so painful for them. And I love this sort of tie in to DE when he uses the resurrection stone. It feels like they were waiting for that. For Harry to need to need their strength. And it almost is a bit of a relief knowing that they wonít be waiting by themselves forever. As sad as it is, Sirius will eventually join them. And honestly, heíll probably be happier dead with them than Alice without.

Now Iím thinking about all my perfect beautiful Marauders and all the terrible things they have to face. Youíre trying to break my heart, arenít you Dan? ;(

Thank you so much for writing such an emotional piece about these two. And for the sweet mention of Before They Fall ♥ Iím very happy to take part in creating your head canon. Mwahaha ♥

Author's Response: Come, now, you know I would never break your heart! At least not on purpose. ;)

First person is a lot of fun with the right character. Tonks, for instance, was a blast. James was fun, too, because I think of him as somebody who always has a lot of funny things going on inside his head that never get verbalized because he doesn't want to get smacked.

So I had one version of their surroundings in my head where they were in some ethereal version of the Forbidden Forest. That way, when Harry used the Stone to summon them, it would have looked as though Harry "appeared" in their world the same as they "appeared" in his. But then I decided I didn't want to take this story all the way to that point, so I just decided on emptiness, instead. I think it works well with James's initial feelings of isolation and his profound relief when Lily arrives.

Honestly, I went back and forth on including the pranks. It seemed too light-hearted for something like this. But I did want to show a contrast between various parts of James's personality.

The part where Lily is thinking through what's going to happen to Harry was tough to write. The saddest thing, I think, is that knowing only what James and Lily know at this point in their (after)lives, it makes perfect sense that Harry would have gone to live with the Longbottoms and spent his life surrounded by their old friends. Sadly, it was not to be.

I hadn't really thought it all the way through, but I imagine that James and Lily stay in the waiting room until Harry summons them. At some point -- and I think time is a highly variable concept in this place -- Sirius joins them and updates them on Harry's life through age 15. Shortly before Harry summons them, Remus would have appeared, as well. After Harry drops the Stone... well, I don't know what would have happened then. Remus probably would have been looking forward to joining his wife. Sirius and James would be at least somewhat happy to be freed from the waiting room. Lily, I think, would have been sad. Even though she didn't belong in the world of the living, she would have made that sacrifice for Harry.

How could I not mention BTF here? Like I said, that's where all of my James/Lily head canon comes from nowadays.

Thank you so much for all of your lovely reviews!

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Review #28, 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 #29, 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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