Reading Reviews for Off the Rails
  
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Review #26, by LavenderBlue ten

18th May 2014:
Brigid & James' friendship is such a beautiful thing. Brigid is the best, period, even though she forgoes James' advice and greets Carlotta with a severely snarky remark. I was holding my breath during their meeting. I really wanted the two to like each other, and now I've got my wish granted. :)

It's so fascinating reading the comments from James' fam & friends, over and over again, about the dangers of dating a Muggle and the Statute of Secrecy, blah, blah, especially when I'm in the midst of KYD, with purebloods warning each other off from Muggleborns and halfbloods in much the same way. It's funny how that door swings both ways, isn't it? Because as much as I'm sure most of James' acquaintances don't mean to be xenophobic, they really are. Then again, we're all a little xenophobic, aren't we?

Wow, Ryan. What a class act. Lol. I love how Rose really does take after her mother, though. Clearly SOMEONE at a table of drunken magicfolk in a Muggle setting ought to be a little worried, and Rosie is just the person for the job.

Awe. Team Carlotta and James to the rescue, thwarting Brigid from getting low over what a bleepity bleep Freddie is being, as usual. I really like that they're both well aware of how to look out for her. I also find it highly adorable that the Fam goes to Hugo's games.

This line: "I'm not at all big-headed, I'm just confident in my ability." Hahaha. Love it. It's so James. And it's quite a bit Harry, too, m'thinks. :)

Kreacher cameo! I like how you worked him into the story (as if you didn't already have to seamlessly work in every Potter-Weasley ever!). It's little touches like this that endear the story to me even more and make James' world that much more real. Wuv wuv.

AND OMG. I KNEW IT HAD TO HAPPEN. Everyonnne warning James that he'd break the Statute of Secrecy, and sure enough, he has. EEP. What shall transpire?!?!

Fantastic chapter!

Author's Response: Oh, Brigid. The voice of reason in hers and James' friendship - because he has none whatsoever. She and Carlotta have the capability to get on very well - magic not withstanding that is.

It was actually really uncomfortable to write these conversations with James' family, when they were all trying to stop him seeing Carlotta. Because while I knew they didn't mean to be xenophobic, it really doesn't sound good - "stay away from the Muggle". Yeah, friendly. But they have their reasons, and at least James understands that. Even if he doesn't LISTEN.

One thing Harry and James do share is that ability to value their strengths and weaknesses without getting arrogant about those strengths. Although James isn't always this good at self-assessment, the poor guy...

Oh Kreacher, he's been such a darling to write into this, bless him. He'll pop up again!

...it happened. OF COURSE. Thanks for reviewing! :)


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Review #27, by LavenderBlue nine

18th May 2014:
It has been TOO LONG. I'm so excited to have snagged some free time for a healthy dose of OTR. Yummy. :)

Dawr. It bothers Jamsies that he hasn't seen Carlotta in over a week. It bothers him that he has to turn down plans. Why is that James? Why, oh why? >:] Also, it cracks me up every time Cordelia makes a rando appearance like in this scene. I want me a pygmy puff something fierce.

More father/son tension. :( Makes me saddd. But I'm looking forward to unraveling just why their relationship is so tense over the course of the story. Meanwhile, Lily is being an overachiever. Merp. I think Ginny gives her some good advice, and she really should ease off the gas. I was the most psychotically Type A kid when I was younger, and sometimes I wish someone had told me I didn't need to work QUITE so hard at every subject ever.

Now I'm thinking about all the ways that Muggle Studies could go wrong... o.o

Haha, I love that all three Potter kids have the ultimate trump card when their parents try ragging on them for breaking the rules. "Yeah, well you broke into the Ministry!" Bam. Shut down.

THAT ENDING THOUGH. Here I was, thinking, "Yeahh, James better pick out his own present for Grandma Weasley, because she'll be able to sniff out an insincere one from a mile away..." But no. No, it's not Grandma Weasley at all; it's the grandparents he never knew. D: The hand holding. The burning of the presents. The lilies on Lily's grave. Ugh, my heart. That was such a beautiful vignette. And I'm going to have to keep reading immediately, because now I'm in a very sad place.

Author's Response: Hello again! Lovely to see you back for more. :)

Seriously, if you're ever looking for cheap humour in a post-Wheezes fic? Throw a pygmy puff into it. An ENDLESS source of amusement. And, yes, I'd also love a pygmy puff of my own. If only.

The Harry/James ... yeah, that's a slow burner. Certainly there are reasons for the tenseness. And Lily... well, in some ways yes, she's an overachiever, but again SHE has her reasons for wanting to do so well. The girl has a hard life at times, poor thing.

HA, yeah, I would imagine it would be hard for Harry and Ginny - and Ron and Hermione - to discipline their kids given all the school rules and laws they've broken over time. Although those were mostly in the name of stopping Voldemort, I suppose...

Guh, Lily's birthday. ALL OF THE EMOTIONS. Thanks for reviewing. :)


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Review #28, by Spyci epilogue

18th May 2014:
I'm so happy right now I don't think you understand

Author's Response: Aha, that makes me happy! :) Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #29, by Chazzie epilogue

18th May 2014:
That was amazing. Really. I started this yesterday and have just finished. It was so realistic and funny, and the characters all had flaws, aswell as their good points. I love Carla, and her cooking skills, but fish and pumpkin? Well let's just say we played truth or Dare at Hallowe'en. Never again. I loved that James managed to get through the bad times to rise up and get his life back on track. Teaching the kids to fly had me wondering if he would take the job instead of his parents. We didn't have a lot about Albus, but he seems to have his life planned out. Lily was every bit the person I imagine her to be, and the Squib thing works out really well. And she is either really sweet or really feisty! Kit and Maddie were pretty cool too, and I'm glad Lily has such amazing friends to help her out. Mrs A was fantastic - 'I just wish she'd stop drinking wine through that snorkel.' was my favourite quote of the story. Brie was my favourite character because she tried so hard to please others and is a great friend, with exclusion to the Ingrid Incident. Freddie was an idiot, but I could understand why. Poor him and Roxy. I really hope Audrey can find a cure for Parky, because Parkinson's at 20 is horrible. Teddy! He was so sweet, but I think Dora took the prize. She was adorable. (Sorry, I can't help my terribleness at jokes :P )
The Quiddich games you described really brought me into the action, which was amazing. I loved your descriptions because they were so detailed that I could picture it all I'm my head. James' perseverance in getting Carla to see the magical buildings around her was really admirable.
I can't belive how long this review is, I think it could be most I've ever written in a review. So I'm really sorry. I can't wait to read the sequel!
Chazzie

Author's Response: Wow, thank you so much for reading this fic so quickly! I'm truly in awe. Your advice on fish and pumpkin is noted, I'll stay well away!

You're right actually; Albus doesn't really feature all that much, does he? Hopefully he'll have more of a role in the sequel. You're right though, he does have things planned out, much more so than James. He's generally a lot more comfortable in his own skin. Lily's one of my favourites so I'm glad you liked her, especially the Squib thing. Maddie ... well, she writes herself, snorkels and all.

As for Brie ... oh Brie. I put her through the ringer, didn't I? But she got her happy ending, bless her. I'm glad she's your favourite, she deserves the love.

Thank you ever so much for this review, it was so lovely! Please don't apologise for the length, I love knowing what people think about my characters and writing. :) Thanks again, and I hope to see you at the sequel!


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Review #30, by misswow234 seven

16th May 2014:
God I love this so much! Not only is the plot captivating and interesting but the writing is wonderful as well!

Author's Response: Thank you so much, I'm really glad you're enjoying it so far! Hope you continue to read, thanks for reviewing :)

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Review #31, by a rollerball epilogue

15th May 2014:
awsome story, cant wait for the sequel

Author's Response: Thank you, I'm so glad you've enjoyed the fic! Hopefully the sequel will pop up in the next month or so. Thanks for all your reviews. :)

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Review #32, by LoonyLovegood11 epilogue

15th May 2014:
I knew he was going to take that job. Haha *happy dances*
Congratulation on finishing this story. It has been over all a joy to read (we're going to ignore how much pain you put me through at some points)
Best of luck with the sequel, I will be keeping a look out for it.

Author's Response: Haha, there were quite a few clues about James' job in the end, weren't there? :) Sorry for the pain I've put you through! If it's any consolation, it hurt me just as much to write the sad bits. I'm so glad you've enjoyed this fic! Thanks for reviewing, and I hope to see you at the sequel :)

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Review #33, by Slide epilogue

14th May 2014:
OH MY GOD this is the end. Ooh, time-skip. Ooh, James and Freddie. Ooh - WEDDING? OH MY GOD WEDDING. WHOSE.

It's so vague. I swear I could give a thoroughly coherent assessment of this setup, and the people, and how adorable that it's another Weasley wedding in a marquee out in the back garden of the Burrow and that's very sweet but WHICH ONE OF THEM IS GETTING MARRIED.

...I wonder what sort of qualification/cultural role 'old wizards who conduct weddings' have in magical society. I mean, obviously it's not religious; is it just a Job People Go Into or is there some sort of tradition of a community elder or the like? Wait. Now is not the tme for this kind of rumination.

Okay, Carla's shown up - too soon, yes, no - RIGHT! Not the bride. Yeah, you would mess with us at the last minute, wouldn't you? You're cruel.

YAY BRIGID AND FREDDIE ARE GETTING MARRIED.

I'm sorry, you wanted this to be a coherent review? You have picked the wrong circumstances in which to set your epilogue if that's the case, bucko. Oh, of course it begins with a wedding and ends in a wedding; I was too distracted by my sheer, uncertain squeeing terror to be able to analyse that properly. But a nice case of beginnings, a nice opportunity to nod at how much James has changed over the course of the story. D'aww, and Carla noticed how happy it made him, and that it made him so happy for his friends makes ME happy.

But he's not changed that much, because marriage is still pitting him into blind terror. That's my boy! Nooo not Cordelia. She had so much to live for! The final tragedy to remind us of the frailty of life amidst all this happiness and new beginnings!

Derailed Derailed Derailed. *hops up and down*

Okay. Right. Phew. Post-story analysis and overview and stuff. FIRST, your James is a sweetheart, and the James Potter to end all James Potters for me. I've adored him and adored following his story. I think what I've enjoyed the most is that you set him up as the typical arrogant playboy, learning the error of his ways and growing up, but most of all he was ALREADY a lot older and more mature than the first glimpse implied. The story wasn't just about seeing him change, it was also about peeling back the layers.

The James Potter we thought we knew was neither the James Potter he became NOR the James Potter he was in the first place. A play-boy, but with reasons for his apprehension - and nevertheless a devoutly loyal friend, the furthest thing from selfish. A Quidditch player star keen to succeed, but who hated the fame - and on the pitch was where he was his most sensible, level-headed, and mature. And these presented both beautiful contrasts in him but also the beautiful conflicts for him to resolve.

That, and the side characters. Carlotta's a darling, though for me my adoration does fall all the more on Brigid, Lily, and Maddie. Two original characters who just dominated every scene they were in - one with raucous hilarity, the other just by being such a solid friend and solid character as to stand out. And Lily - the best, most original take on Lily, and yet one which somehow fits so perfectly. Honourable mention in the end to your Audrey, too. The coolest aunt.

Three moments stand out for me in the story. The Lily twist, the one which was set up all along and so OBVIOUS when it came out, but which I never saw coming. The first proper conversation with Harry, which I had been so keen for, to finally discover what James' daddy issues were - and I remember you put it when he was at its lowest, where something I'd been hankering for just made me SAD, because it hurt him so much! And, of course, the Carlotta revelation, the one we knew was coming in some way, shape, or form, and yet anticipating it didn't make it any less satisfying, any less heartbreaking.

I got into your writing (aside from returning the favour on the reviews) because I was ALL ABOUT the war-time angst of Frozen, and mostly checked out Rails Because It Was There. But there are reasons I can get snobby about Next Gen dramas; they need to feel like logical continuations of characters and the magical world, not just high school hijinks with Next Gen names slapped on, and this does everything a genuine continuation of the Potter world should do.

I'm hyper-excited for Derailed, but if nothing else this is a superbly well-rounded and finished story, and if they rode off into the sunset at this point, I would have no regrets.

Good story, bro.

Author's Response: ...I don't even know how I'm supposed to respond to this review. It's like having two reviews in one - the wonderful incoherent mess and then the good wording bit. It makes me oh so happy.

THE WEDDING SWITCH. Oh, there was much evil cackling as I wrote this. OF COURSE James and Carlotta aren't getting married. And yes, we both start and end with a wedding because I am clearly Very Good at doing symbolism things. I think it's a nice way to see how James has changed over the course of the fic though, bless him.

Yes, Cordelia's fate is evidently a reminder of the frailty of life. Or just demonstrating that James still isn't quite capable of looking after a pygmy puff. But he's getting there. :)

James. Oh, James. I always knew he was going to be a deeper person than who we thought we knew at the beginning, but he honestly surpassed my expectations in every way. Initial plans for Rails were different to how things turned out - because Carlotta was meant to have a bigger part to play, she was meant to be the person who grounded him. But in the end I had to change it, because James saved himself. And I'm glad that happened because I think it makes for a far better story than "girl saves guy". He's been so lovely to write, and I know I'm going to miss being in his head for Derailed.

I do hope Carlotta wins even more of your adoration come Derailed, but even so I can see why Brigid, Lily and Maddie get the love. The Lily twist was so satisfying to write, and it gives the opportunity for all manner of wizarding/Muggle contrasts which I never get sick of exploring. Much more of THAT to come in Derailed.

Oh, that Harry moment. It absolutely broke me, having to post that chapter, when I knew you were so keen for the Daddy issues but the conversation that came wasn't quite the one you were hoping for... that was James' lowest point by far, and it was nice to be able to write the HAPPY father/son conversation a few chapters' later.

Derailed WILL happen. I won't be able to live with myself if I don't get that plot written. Trust me, I'm as excited as you are for this.

I was so surprised when I saw your first Rails reviews. I saw your username and thought "ooh, she's come for Frozen" - and then I looked again and got VERY excited. It's been so lovely to have your reviews and support while I've been writing, because I know your thoughts on Next Gens and it's very satisfying to know this is a fic you've genuinely been able to enjoy. And the reviews have all been so helpful, especially when I've had worries about a particular chapter. THANK YOU.

Good review bro.


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Review #34, by whykay epilogue

14th May 2014:
I hope Carlotta is cured - but how? Waiting for the sequel!

Author's Response: Hmm... well, the sequel will answer that one for you. :) I hope to start posting it within the next month, keep an eye out! Thanks for reviewing :)

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Review #35, by Jones epilogue

13th May 2014:
Eeeep! Loved it, adored it. Such a well written ending. Can't wait for the sequel :)

Author's Response: Thank you, I'm so glad you've enjoyed the fic! Hopefully I'll start posting the sequel in the next month or so. Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #36, by a rollerball sixty-three

7th May 2014:
amazing chapter, i can completely understand why he would of done it. cant wait for the next one!

Author's Response: I'm so glad you understood, I was worried people might not like it! Thanks for reviewing :)

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Review #37, by miluv sixty-three

5th May 2014:
AWH THIS IS SO PERFECT IM CRYING WOW THIS IS GREAT IM SO PROUD OF JAMES HES DEVELOPED AND GROWN SO MUCH AND JUST WOW ILY OK

Author's Response: Thank you so much! I'm really glad you liked this - and I'm proud of James too. :) Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #38, by Penelope Inkwell sixty-three

5th May 2014:
Someone, now, unleash the ninjas!

Just kidding. I actually sort of saw this coming. i wasnít certain, but that loose plot thread about the Hogwarts position had been bugging me. For a while, I was like, ďNo, surely not.Ē But then I began to wonder.

That said, it still surprised me a little bit. Like they say, Jamesí Quidditch career is on top of the world. I was actually kind of sad.

BUT,

You somehow won me over. I donít quite know how you did it. I was like, ďIf he does this, Iím not gonna like it...Ē, and then I was like, ďHe has done this, and I do not like it...Ē. I had determined that this was not the way I would have wanted things to go.

And somehow you went and changed my mind. All in one chapter! I donít even know where it happened, exactly, but the way you set it up is brilliant. James really *does* hate the media circus. It *will* only get worse, which wonít be healthy for him. He *has* sort of reached the top of what he can accomplish there, and, while itís sad to think of the Falcons without him, given how loyal they all are to each other. It still works. And Roxy finally gets her chance. And this job does seem like itíll fit James. Oh, and of course now he wonít be pushed to have a job that requires him to leave the country, so that he can be there for Carlotta.

And itís...itís really sweet. *sniffle*

Plus, I know that Harry turned out to be an Auror, and he wanted that, and thatís great. But there was always a part of me whoíd hoped heíd have gone back and taught D.A.D.A. And this is the next best thing. Harry was always an excellent teacher for Dumbledoreís Army, and it makes sense that that ability, and the passion to pursue it, would have been passed down to his son, right along with his (and Ginnyís) love for Quidditch.

All to say, youíve thoroughly convinced a recalcitrant reader, which is quite an impressive writerly achievement, in my book. Good twist, good chapter. :D

--Penny

Author's Response: Trust me, I found it sad to write this. Because James could play for England for years! Most people would do anything for that opportunity. But it IS the right thing for him to do. Had he not won the World Cup, he might well have stuck it out for another chance, but when you're a World Cup winner at 21, that's surely going to make you rethink things.

And also, as you mention, he can be around more for Carlotta. That was originally going to be one of the main reasons for James retiring - that he could spend more time with her, and she wouldn't have to feel like she was holding him back - but then I tweaked things slightly. It still would be there in the back of James' mind though.

I think my favourite part of OotP is the DA. I love every single DA session in the book, and I almost wish the film had included MORE of it. So yes, I agree with you that I would have loved to see Harry teach. So it's nice that James can do that (spoiler alert - you might JUST be right with your oh-so-educated guess).

I am, naturally, chuffed to have managed to have changed your mind on this, even within the space of the chapter. Like I said, I always knew this was going to happen, and I knew that there may be people who won't necessarily agree with it, which is totally fine. But all the same it's good to know that I've managed to convince you. :) Thanks for the lovely review!


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Review #39, by Penelope Inkwell sixty-two

4th May 2014:
I need to go back and make sure I left a review on that epic match, which I very much enjoyed. But for now Iíll just say how much I liked this chapter. It was a nice, sort of winding down bit, but it just made me so happy, after all that James has been through, for him to have this moment of triumph. But what I love even more is that winning is less important to him that his family being happy, and happy for him. I think itís very realistic. Sometimes something is so big, and the nerves are so vast, that win or lose, you really DO mostly feel relief, no matter how great the achievement. Itís a side of the story that doesnít get told often, but I found it very relatable.

This was so cute:
-ďDonít get your hopes up. I donít think youíre going to become ĎJames Potterís fatherí any time soon.Ē He pulled a face.

-ďA guy can dream, canít he?Ē

I suppose it just seemed very much like something Harry *would* wish--that heíd happily give over the glory to his children. I also sort of see a good bit of Harry in James, looking back. Like, the problematic relationship that James has with fame. He enjoys it sometimes, but at the same time finds it unfulfilling on its own, and often problematic, besides.

And Ryan and Della! Hooray! I always had hope for them. Now if Brie and Fred can just get things sorted...

Very sweet chapter. Warm fuzzies all around!

--Penny

Author's Response: Ah, I did like writing this chapter, although it was a bit tricky making sure it didn't just read as me ticking all the boxes. Luckily the situation meant everyone and his dog would want to talk to James. And it was also lovely to write a totally contented James, free from the pressure of Quidditch or his family or anything else like that. This is the first instance all story that he's been totally at ease with everything at the same time. :)

I do think Harry would long to be overshadowed by his kids' own successes. He never has been one for attention, has he? You're right, he and James definitely share that same view on fame. It's one of the reasons why, now their issues have been dealt with, there's such a good understanding between them.

Thanks for reviewing! :)


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Review #40, by TidalDragon one

4th May 2014:
Howdy! Dropping by to complete my quest to read and review all the Golden Paw nominees. I tried my best to read all the stories in their entirety, but I'll confess to you that with the deadline looming I knew reading all 63+ chapters of this story was not possible. I'm sorry about that. Especially after reading such a strong start!

What I enjoyed about this story most was the characterizations. You embraced the womanizing James (II) trope, but I think it succeeds for you here because rather than making it oblique, you confront it head on and with gusto. You also created a nice little world within which the characters live at present, complete with career background on James (II) and a nice OC in Brigid. While James (II)'s career is a bit typical, you step outside of that nicely by creating Brigid, a best friend and atypical career-holder - sports agent (which would surely be necessary given the immense global popularity of Quidditch and the many various professional leagues for it).

I also enjoyed the bickering dynamic between James (II) and Lily. Rather than portraying her as the shrinking violet she sometimes becomes, you made her much more like Ginny, which to me felt more realistic.

All in all I thought you word choice, dialogue, and descriptions were all strong points as well, as you balanced the dialogue, descriptions, and action effectively (despite a minimum of inner thought!) to create an immersive experience for the reader.

Excellently done! Good luck in the voting!

Author's Response: Wow, thank you so much for popping along to read! I thought the mammoth length of this thing would put people off checking it out for the Paws, so it was lovely to see this review! :)

Thank you for the comments on the characterisation! It's something I try hard to do well on, and certainly to me these are all real people in my mind. It's funny, when I started writing this about three or so years ago I don't think I realised just how much of a cliche it was to make James a Quidditch player! Clearly I hadn't read enough Next Gens. But it's good to know it works here, as a lot of this fic's focus is on how he deals with all that comes with being a Quidditch player. As for Lily ... well, she steals pretty much any scene she's in. I have a few characters with that talent.

Thanks very much for the lovely review, and I hope you continue to read and enjoy! :)


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Review #41, by Your FAN sixty-three

4th May 2014:
another wonderful chapter. Well Done!!

for me it was the most emotional chapter yet in this story..

I know that this meant to be a bit sad but a happy one.. or celebratory one.. BUT MY EYES KEPT PRODUCING TEARS!!

i stopped bothering myself to wipe my face before finishing reading the chapter..

Again THANK YOU for this wonderful chapter and ultimately this awesome STORY!!

Author's Response: You're right; this is an emotional chapter, and I got a bit teary when writing it so don't worry! James is doing what's right for him, and he does WANT to do it, but of course there's that element of sadness that he's leaving the Falcons. Although as Sinead says, he'll always be a Falcon. Thank you for the review! :)

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Review #42, by Spyci sixty-three

4th May 2014:
PLEASE TELL ME HES GOING TO TEACH QUIDDITCH AT HOGWARTS.

Author's Response: YOU'LL FIND OUT IN THE EPILOGUE. Thanks for reading and reviewing! :)

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Review #43, by ohmymerlin sixty-three

4th May 2014:
WHAT.

NO DON'T RETIRE, JAMES! I HATE when athletes who are at their prime end their career once they've gotten everything. I totally understand their reasons why they would do it, but I just think they should just keep going and still have fun! D':

I totally understand why James is retiring but I think he could keep going. He's got so much potential!

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Also, the chapter summary nearly made me vomit from nervousness. I was so worried and although I knew it wouldn't be a break up I was so worried and I was thinking the absolute worst but I THINK THIS IS WORSE D':

(Just to let you know, I still think you're a fantabulous writer I just don't necessarily agree with this little part but it's your story so I'll just deal because I really do love this story so so so so so much ♥)

But is James going to take the job at Hogwarts?!

To go slightly off topic again, HE BURNT FIONA WHAT?!?!?! THAT'S TERRIBLE! JAMES, THAT BABY HAS BEEN WITH YOU THE WHOLE TIME HOW COULD YOU DO THAT TO LIL FIONA?! D':

I thought it was a nice notion but hoW COULD HE DO THAT

I dunno, I kind of relate brooms to cars and if anyone told me to do that to my car I would absolutely sob and never do that so I can never really fathom doing something like that :p

Okay, back on track. He's either going to take that job at Hogwarts or he's going to set up something like teaching young kids Quidditch (maybe ones with cancer, other sicknesses etc.) and I really want to know what he's going to do!

AND AW CARLOTTA IS MOVING IN WITH HIM! BLESS!

And they totally love each other they need to start admitting it soon otherwise they'll never admit it!

And as if Carlotta would know when Quality Quidditch Supplies would close on a Sunday! Silly James! :p

Anyway, this was a really brilliant chapter (even though I don't agree with James' choices) and I can't believe how close we are to the end! D':

Thankfully there will be a sequel though! *takes a deep sigh of relief*

Definite 10/10

- Kayla :)

Author's Response: I knew people would either like this or ... not like it. For what it's worth, I'm a massive sport fan and I hate it when people retire before their time. Because regardless of their reasoning, I sit there going "but you have so much ahead of you, what would possess you to give it up now?" Maybe I'll react differently now, having written this. :)

I think a part of what makes this hard to accept - and what makes it such a big thing for James to do - is that, as you say, he has so much potential. He could play for another twenty years, he could play in countless more World Cups. But for him, he's already achieved what he set out to achieve. Yes, he could win more trophies, but they won't top his first World Cup. He can equal what he's already done, but he can never top that (aside from sheer quantity of medals) and without that drive he has nowhere to go. Also, he feels as though he's not giving anything up or leaving anything behind.

At the end of the day, he chose this career because he thought that was all that was available to him. Now he's learned that the attention and pressure that comes with being a Quidditch player doesn't suit him. If he hadn't won the World Cup, he probably wouldn't have done this so soon, but now he has there's no reason for him to soldier on. Especially now he's found something else he can do. (No spoilers here ... but you're on the right track. SURPRISE.)

And I'll freely admit, I was CRUEL with the summary. In fact, that part of this chapter has been written for YEARS, with the sole aim of making it the chapter summary. I'm not sorry.

Ah yes, Fiona. That bit did make me sad. This is his broom, it's seen him all the way through his professional career... but it's about him bringing this period of his life to an end, and also it's his way of giving something back to James and Lily. :)

You'll learn what James does next in the epilogue. And I wouldn't hold your breath, declarations of love between him and Carlotta won't be coming any time soon. ;)

Yes, the sequel! I really adore James and Carlotta's living situation in Derailed, and so I hope you do too, and that in time you'll come to like what he does next! I totally understand why you're sad that he's retired, and actually it's lovely to know you feel that way because it means you care about James and so I've done my job. :) Thank you for reviewing!


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Review #44, by oldershouldknowbetter sixty-three

4th May 2014:
Don't be sorry, this is perfect.

At the risk of spoilers (though who hasn't guessed by now), I wondered how he would be able to continue his professional career once he became the new Quidditch/flying coach of Hogwarts.

And it is just such a perfect fit with the character you have built up for him. He went off the rails once but the likely hood is that he may very well do so again. Never as badly as he did the first time because the utter insecurity he possessed is now gone. He's made peace with his father and being his father's son.

And he can never do anything better than he has now - at best it can only stay the same. He's done it all, the league win, playing for his country, the world cup win. He absolutely cannot top it. You have brought his character to such a point that the young, very-selfish boy of the beginning of the story has matured (so believably) into a competent adult. He has had a moment of clarity and knows he has to leave it behind. The media will always be a threat to him and may even cause him to slip off the rails once more.

It is truly a great chapter, one of your best. I didn't see the retirement coming, but I think we all saw what is to come after, and the retirement is probably the best way to achieve it.

The character progression of James throughout this story has been wonderful and so well done. You've taken him from the height of his career down to the depths of despair and back up again to even greater heights. And we have believed it every step of the way.

The reactions of everyone to his news were just spot on. He's so happy to pass on the torch to Roxanne especially if she has the potential to be even greater than himself; because that's one thing he's never been, precious. Having his dads reaction confirm his decision was perfect.

Thanks so much for just so much story - 63 chapters! - it has been an amazing journey.

Author's Response: Firstly, thank you SO much. I never once thought this wasn't right for James, but I did worry that other people might not like it. So for you to say that it's perfect means so so much. :)

You're right; a lot of James' insecurities have gone. But he's still this person who despises attention on him for the wrong reasons, and because of that he's become someone who shies away from the attention regardless of what reason it's for. If he hadn't won the World Cup, he'd carry on. But this is a combination of him achieving everything he set out to do, being tired of having to deal with the attention, and learning that he can realise his passion of playing Quidditch and helping others elsewhere, away from the professional arena (your guess might just be right).

I've surprised MYSELF to see how far James has come throughout this fic, and it's lovely to know you've enjoyed following his progress as much as I've enjoyed writing it. THANK YOU for such a wonderful review, and I hope you stick around for the epilogue and the sequel to follow. :)


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Review #45, by Court sixty-three

3rd May 2014:
Well, I'm glad that James is finding new direction in his life. I figure he's going to be the new teachers at Hogwarts? I wonder if he'll have to live at the castle or in Hogsmeade as that may be weird for his relationship with Carlotta. It's nice she's seeming to fit in so fine with everybody and I wonder if her not having magic will become an issue ever? And I'm glad that Freddie really apologized and is trying to work things out. Can't wait for more!

Author's Response: Direction is something James always lacked before, so yes, it's good that he's finally reassessing his life and realising he can take a different path to the one he always thought he had to take. His new job will be revealed in the epilogue. Thanks for reviewing. :)

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Review #46, by HorseMad99 sixty-three

3rd May 2014:
I can't believe after all the sad/not so great things that have happened the burning of fiona is what makes me almost cry. Poor Fiona, anyway this chapter was really good and I'm glad that James is happy and realised it rather than moping about the fact that he has fulfilled his dream and what now etc. but anyway it was a very good chapter.
Beth :)

Author's Response: I got a little bit emotional when he burned Fiona too! :( For James, it's about bringing a period of his life to an end, and also giving something back to James and Lily. I'm glad he's happy too. :) Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #47, by whykay sixty-three

3rd May 2014:
Great way to finish! :) It really is a great idea.

Author's Response: I'm glad you liked it! Thanks for reviewing :)

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Review #48, by Slide sixty-three

3rd May 2014:
D'aww, baking. It's pretty adorable and also delicious. And I love watching the products of the Weasely family having such a fixation with food. Molly would have made sure they were fed well. They will be accustomed to feasts!

I see James may have a little ennui after what could be considered the 'peak' of his career. I doubt it will be (he could Captain England to the World Cup, after all!) but he'd be forgiven for coming down into something of a slump. Ah, good, he has a plan.

I see. Actually, this makes sense. Considering he HAS, yes, like I just said... 'peaked'. Arguably. But moving on to something DIFFERENT (I'm assuming the Hogwarts teacher) seems apt. And like something that would make him happy! I'm not sure why this didn't occur to me sooner. I thought, "No way will he quit," but now he's quitting it makes sense!

That's actually very sad that the attention is killing his love of the game. Not outright, but I imagine a lot of players DO, while loving the game, enjoy some of the attention. It's only natural to enjoy the adulation on some level. But by now James DOESN'T really, with the lifetime of all the fuss. What a shame. At least he's "happy".

*flails at Brie* She really is a sweetheart. And has sorted out Freddie. Or, more importantly, he sorted himself out, with help, and all is going well! *snerk* The Dangerous L Word.

"After all, we had all the time in the world to talk." *twitches* I have a creeping Bad Feeling. Oh God, she's moving in, they're too happy. Something bad's going to -

HE BURNED HIS BROOM WHAT IS GOING ON. NO. NOT FIONA. HE'S GONE MAD. THIS IS THE WORST.

Good chapter, bro.

Author's Response: I like to think that as time goes on, James becomes a better cook himself, especially when it comes to cake matters. We'll see whether or not this happens. And I'm pretty certain that one of the requirements of being a Weasley is to like food. Four square meals indeed.

We've already discussed this, but as I said before I'm RIDICULOUSLY relieved that this makes sense. Because it's been hinted at for a while, and the general consensus has been "but I don't think he will, and I don't want him to". But I always knew this was going to happen. James isn't good at being a public figure. And yes, as we will see in Derailed he'll be happy.

Freddie pulled through in the end, bless him. I adored the James/Brigid chat, they haven't had enough cute friendly moments. This must be rectified!

Oh, you and your Bad Feelings! You're supposed to say "oh that's cute, this is James saying they're going to be able to spend lots of time with each other etc. etc.", NOT "ONE OF THEM WILL DIE" level stuff. Tsk tsk. Cheers for the review!


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Review #49, by greenphantomme sixty-two

26th April 2014:
Wow! This story is something else I have to say. The amount of work you've put in is phenomenal and it's brilliant to read. I absolutely love the characters and the Quidditch. Love it, love it, love it!

Author's Response: Thank you so much! It's lovely to get feedback about the Quidditch because it's a huge part of the fic and apart I struggle with at times. I'm glad to know you're enjoying it! Thanks for reviewing :)

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Review #50, by Hannah thirty-five

25th April 2014:
I love your story. It's just so uh lord there's no appropriate adjectives to describe. I've seen it floating around for a while but the whole muggle thing put me off I remember thinking "well that can't end well" and scrolling on. But I am so glad I took a chance because I love this. Love all of it. But I love this chapter the most (so far) it's just brilliantly written and oh god these feels it's perf. Well done! :)

Author's Response: Thank you so much! This chapter in particular was lovely to write, I hated it when James and Harry didn't get on! And it was nice to finally be able to pull James out of his lull. :) Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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