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Review #51, by SlideOff the Rails: thirty-three

3rd January 2013:
And from the first sentence I am all excitement! Apprehensive excitement. This is perfect, I must doff my figurative hat to you, because I have been chomping at the bit for Harry/James stuff and now you deliver it when my instinctive reaction is, "Oh, no, not NOW" because James is so delicate I can only feel SORRY for him. So you give me what I want, and now I don't want it!! It's THAT good!

And disappointed Ginny. Oh dear. And Harry is within his rights to be this angry, and James is within HIS rights to be this angry, and even if it's horrid and unfair all round it's really the only way it would go. ...I should have guessed, really, that it wasn't merely LUCK which got James out of being arrested. OMG Harry PAID HIM OFF? No wonder he's hitting the roof. Wow. Wow. Harry must HATE to have to do that. James has 'made' him use his wealth and connections to keep him out of trouble, which Harry has to HATE doing, and yet...

Oh, this is so good.

And Harry confirms much of what I had assumed. But GINNY. Wow. I need more words than 'wow', but it's a good one. They are so awesome in their thoroughly messed up way. And Ginny's editor is something I can't possibly name with these ratings on these reviews. And also perhaps not very bright. Hmm, WAS it Albus who told Harry? Not 100% on that.

And James is rocketing from 'understandable crazy' to 'jerk crazy' by, again, invoking the "my life is so hard compared to Lily's", and this is going to end badly and - Oh. Well, that was an understatement. Yeah, um. James. Bad James. No wonder Harry's storming off. You lost all moral high ground there -

Wait, wait, wait, you're ANGRY WITH GINNY THERE? No. Oh, no, James. You keep on finding lower and lower to sink and I still love you but this is crossing one hell of a line. If Brigid can't break through, if Lily can't break through, if his parents can't break through, I really don't know who can. Because I assume Carla won't just swan in through the door and make everything okay, unless more is going on behind the scenes, but I don't think it IS.

THIS IS DELICIOUS. OM NOM ANGST.

Author's Response: You can't ask me for something and then complain when I give it to you! But yes, this is entirely the wrong time for Harry to visit James, but Harry is a bit clueless and I like making things difficult for James, so this is what you get.

Yes, Harry has used his name and connections to get James off scot-free. He's stooped to the very same level that he despises other people operating on, has done the one thing he hates the most, just to help his son. And James seems ungrateful for it. Of course, Harry can't understand how James could have let this happen when he had everything he ever wanted. And James, in his current state, feels victimised by this attitude of his father's.

Ginny's editor is indeed an idiot. But then, he's a Prophet employee; what do you expect? And Albus was the one who told Harry about Kreacher. Again, he cares about James in his own way, but right now that won't endear Albus to James at all.

All of James' life, Ginny has been the one person who's supported him the most, and so the thought that she's siding with Harry, of all people, against him, hurts a lot. In reality, she was scared of James at that moment. All very sad. But she does want to help. He just won't let her.

ANGST indeed! Thanks for reviewing :)


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Review #52, by SlideOff the Rails: thirty-two

3rd January 2013:
I'm here! I'm here! It's okay.

*sniffle* Poor James. I still want more of the Daddy issues, but it's all SAD. You got yourself into this, but you're still such a SILLY boy, James, you really do need help.

Oh, God, it's Brigid. Of course it is. I mean, of course there's work, but she would of course GO there. And would support and help him, but no wonder he can't face the outside world. Suspension. Eeshk. Not a huge surprise.

And Audray rocks, as always. And suspended from the England Squad, which... is not a huge surprise. Wow, his life really is going to hell in a handbasket. Not at all a surprise, considering he's going to be lucky if he's not arrested (which would have probably already happened), but these sorts of things can hardly stand.

*wibble* Yeah. Lily's right. Pretty much all around. It's horrid, and he's ruined his dreams for a good few years, but it's all he can really do to start turning his life around. And I have a horrid feeling he won't do it.

Great stuff, as always.

Author's Response: You want Daddy issues? BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR.

Brigid wants to help James now. But he doesn't want to be helped by her! He is a frustrating one. Suspended, from club and country. It was going to come to this, in the end. He's been lucky in that things COULD be worse for him; he could have charges hanging over his head! Nevertheless, he still needs to fix things. And he's not very good at that. Thanks for reviewing!


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Review #53, by SlideEducating Albus: Educating Albus

3rd January 2013:
Starting off with the most adorable callback: that knitted jumper from Mrs Weasley. I find it impossible to believe Molly didn't know the significance of what she was doing, or at least didn't have a good guess, and that makes it such an awesomely heartwarming thing.

Organising Christmas for a family as big as the Weasley-Potter brood does sound next to impossible, mind. So, is it Rose or Hugo who's got a birthday on Christmas or Boxing Day?

Hee, little James being so JAMES already. "He's fine, I'm hungry". You little tyke. And good, it's about time Harry explains the Severus name! Because! Well, we've talked about this. *sips coffee and kicks back for Harry-logic*

"You named me after a DEATH EATER?" A very, very, very good question, Al. Okay, yes, Snape making the deal with Voldemort meant that Lily got to CHOOSE to sacrifice herself but... but... Okay, I have Snape-related problems. This is explained as well as it can be, I just can't get past my own "Snape is still a BAD MAN" hangups. It's very apt for Harry to look at it this way, mind!

And, yes, naming Albus after Dumbledore is a good choice, and it's good that Al knows the good and bad about Dumbledore too! But take Dumbledore as the footsteps (hopefully slightly less manipulative footsteps) to follow. Not Snape.

Hee, so glad to see this Scorpius is a little pain in the rear, too. Draco was a bad man to name his son 'Scorpius Hyperion'.

This was a very sweet little piece. My own Snape-related hangups aside, it does lovely work in tying together the family, Harry and Albus, in giving us a slightly more genuine 'stroppy kid' perspective onto figure we met in the epilogue, and in, as the title, goes, Educating Albus.

I just don't like Snape. ;)

Author's Response: I love the Weasley jumpers, which is why James remembers all of his in Rails! Molly TOTALLY knew what she was doing, at least in that she knew that Harry wasn't going to get any presents from family and wanted him to have one. It's one of so many reasons why I love the Weasley family so much!

Whose birthday is Christmas time? It's, ahem, it's Rose's. Clearly. I didn't forget to check out birthdays before deciding that Hermione going into labour would be an entertaining Christmas time diversion, no, not me!

James at this age was an utter joy to write! Even if he does seem utterly uncaring.

We have, indeed, talked about this Snape issue. It can't be easy for Albus to be named after him! I think Harry would be keen to put as positive a spin as possible on Snape, while still emphasising that what he did was BAD. Because more than anything else, he kind of owes it to his kid to give him a nice(ish) account of the guy he named his son after. It still strikes me as odd that he named Albus like he did! I mean, Dumbledore, fair enough, but at least make it the poor kid's middle name! Or name him Brian or something. But I figured I'd give it a go rationalising why Harry did what he did.

Scorpius is a total pain in the rear. It's okay, Al gets his own back in time with Bulbadox Powder.

I'm glad you liked this, especially given your Snape hate! I wasn't sure that I was going to post it here at first, but figured I may as well. It was nice to write about a Potter family who actually TALK to each other, which has become a bit of a novel concept in Rails. Thanks for reading and reviewing! :)


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Review #54, by SlideOff the Rails: thirty-one

7th December 2012:
Yay! Rose! Round X of People take Chunks out of James. I'll bring the big foam hand, though I don't know who I'm cheering on here. Drama? I am intrigued by the friendship of Albus and Rose. I guess they're the same age but I'm always curious about these particular friendships which spring up across a huge family - why THESE two people out of ALL the Weasley options? Living together after school and so forth. But, I'm sure all in good time. Less speculation, back to the words.

And, Rose is starting out comparing James badly to Albus. *facepalm* Bad, Rose, Bad. Unhelpful!

Hee, Albus pranking Scorpius. Good to know he's not completely above it all. And... well, Rose is right, James was horrid to his brother, and Albus does deserve an apology, but I can only question Rose for going around to tell James off for insulting Albus when Albus came to HIM.

And James is about to throw away all of that moral high ground. I still love James but he is starting to move away from Understandable Explosion into "clip around the ear territory". Don't get me wrong, as a reader this is still delicious to me, but right now he's even moved from "I have reasons to be upset with these people and now I'm angry it's all coming out" to "I will use any words at my disposal to hurt them so they go away". It's a subtle but important difference and I think it's the last step before the Point of No Return. Though there may be more steps. STILL he needs help.

Also not okay with him throwing things at her! I don't know why that's line-crossy. I guess a paperweight could hurt? Ha.

Aww, Freddie. It's nice that James has some support. I mean, he needs to be held accountable but equally he'll go nuts if nobody's on his side, ever. Aaand he's bringing him alcohol, way to enable - ooh, smart boy, Freddie, now trying to coax him around. Yeah, I'm warming to Freddie a lot. Helpful, smart, and thoughtful, in a very Bromance sort of way.

Oh JAMES. It was such a good idea. No wonder he's fit to burst but that Point of No Return? He's really on the threshold of it. If this is treated as serious and possibly criminal, I wouldn't be surprised if Daddy gets involved.

Off the Rails indeed!

Author's Response: I guess in this case, my Albus and Rose are such close friends because they were in the same year and house at school. They're not the only ones though; take James and Freddie for a start! Depends on proximity I guess; which family members they're more exposed to while growing up. They live together because Albus needed to stumble across Scorpius somehow. There is creative reasoning behind this one. ;)

Meet Rose. Ron and Hermione Weasley's daughter. Therefore not the most tactful of people, and with a bit too much moral righteousness. Unhelpful indeed! And her actions are questionable, and definitely not required at this stage. James is straying into very dangerous territory here; he's gotten to the point where he's picking faults with absolutely everyone, regardless of whether they deserve it or not. Only going to end badly! Object-throwing is VERY bad, especially paperweights! Definitely line-crossy. Wanting to inflict physical injury is a little bit more serious than throwing insults around, don't you think?

Albus pranking Scorpius. His actions, like Rose's, are explained through parentage. His mother is Ginny Potter. ;)

Freddie does nothing wrong here. In fact at the moment he's probably the only person who's going about this in the right way. He's far more aware than he appears - with James at any rate. Unfortunately, what seems like an okay idea goes very wrong, for reasons beyond his control. On the threshold indeed. Daddy involvement? Coming up!

See what I did with that there story title? ;) Cheers for reviewing!


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Review #55, by SlideOff the Rails: thirty

7th December 2012:
I... see your logic, James, in getting a woman's attention. Now excuse me while I hide in this nuclear bunker. Though now I want to see more of Louis. He sounds like fun! And that headline does NOT. Criminal charges, James! Bad idea! Daddy will be displeased. Which is good because I want to see me more of them daddy issues. Less good for James, obviously.

Oh, no, don't get angry. Because while Brigid might be being harsh, she is technically right. Relationships are a two-way thing but James had a responsibility to Carla the moment he got her involved in the wizarding world - and not just a responsibility to her, a responsibility to WIZARDING SOCIETY. I mean, that sucks big-time for a small-time fling of a relationship, but it is reality, and just because she walked out 'more' doesn't mean that he can just swan off. You silly boy, James, though I do love you.

Okay, now you're being harsh to Brigid, for whom I can only feel sorry. Though, ooh, new issues. Delicious issues. Aaand... even if James has a point, he loses this one for me for being way too harsh. Of course, this is all still delicious because I'm kind of nuts like that. Brigid is totally right to walk out on him while he's like this; even if it's a two-way street (ha!) between them, he won't acknowledge it or change it in this state.

And now your Mum is aaangry...! You have made Kreacher, tending to Lily, adorable. I don't know if that's something wrong with you or something wrong with me but the idea is still ADORABLE. Just hope that Kreacher doesn't tell Harry, okay, James? I imagine he would frown upon this.

Ooh, Albus! We haven't seen much of Rails Albus. *settles down with more coffee* Drinking during the day, James? Tsk. Bad habit. Especially if it's WHISKY. Oh, Albus. Someone DOES need to knock some sense into James but I get the impression you, very much your father's son, the responsible one, is not going to be the one who'll be able to do it right now. James is going to be too busy with peripheral resentment to throw at you. And... yep, James says pretty much what I expected! Always satisfying. Even if it's unhealthy.

Ooh. 'Repugnant'. Spent time with your aunt, Albus? It's a good word. Well, it's a horrid word to make James feel horrid and so I suppose it's fit for purpose! I would like to see more of Albus. The insights so far are interesting and I'm sure he's got his own issues being his father's son (and the crack about never getting girls screams for more information). Good stuff!

Author's Response: Louis is, indeed, bags of fun! He was clearly always planned this way, haha.

Daddy issues are imminent! Along with criminal charge chat. All bad for James, but it's worth a little sacrifice on his part to give us some good entertainment, eh?

James is perpetually angry these days, of COURSE he's going to argue his case here. He does indeed have a huge responsibility, which is the exact reason why Brigid said it would be a bad idea in the first place. Her fear wasn't misplaced! New issues. My FAVOURITE issue of the story, if I do say so myself. Very excited for THAT one to unfold. TWO-WAY STREET, it always comes down to it being a two-way street! Brigid is right but insensitive; James is right in some ways, wrong in others, and VERY badly wounded emotionally. It's not a good recipe for a healthy discussion.

Yes, the Kreacher thing. I had a feeling you would have a thought on this! House elves in Railsverse have not made the gains which they have in Ignite, sadly. However there are still Good House Elf Owners and Bad House Elf Owners, and while Harry falls into the first category, James' use of Kreacher here falls more into the second. This issue gets more of an airing in a couple of chapters' time and there WILL be more focus on house elves in general as we go on, which will hopefully please you. :)

I also had a feeling you'd like some more Albus! Not that James is nice to him AT ALL. And he lives with Rose, hardly a surprise he's throwing words like "repugnant" around ;) He, too, will have more screen time; he definitely does have his own issues, the poor thing! Although they're clearly nowhere near as bad as James' and he actually DEALS with any insecurities which he may have. The girl comment is just a VERY low blow from James, who has girls fawning over him all the time and likes it very much thank you, to his nerdy younger brother who clearly doesn't get any attention from females because he never has drunken pulls like his big bro. The ultimate barometer on success with women! Thanks for reviewing :)


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Review #56, by SlideOff the Rails: twenty-nine

11th November 2012:
Uh oh, it's crackpot theory time (remember how well those work out?). Well, the most obvious theory is: Carla's been Obliviated. That's why she doesn't react to him. The next question is: Who's done this? I reckon Harry - not even vindictively, but trying to tie up loose ends after his son. After all, if Carla knows about magic, but they're not together any more, this could lead to James getting into SERIOUS trouble (especially since Harry doesn't know Carla and has no reason to trust her to keep her mouth shut). I reckon Ginny found out, and that's why she cancelled the breakfast - specifically to try to make James and Harry talk. Though if that's the case it's not her BEST plan ever, but I imagine the Potter men are being stubborn.

*removes tin foil hat* So, ASIDE from all that conspiracy theorising - great chapter! It continues to do the great stuff of making me feel really sorry for James for having wound up in this situation, and yet wanting to smack him upside the head for being a bit of a berk about it still. Family are nagging family (love Audrey still), but it's not cool of him to still be convinced Brigid is the only one who needs to apologise. But it's a lovely, realistic sort of reaction from a proud guy like him.

Still, something's got to give, soon enough. It's like tension's being poured into a bottle right now and eventually that bottle's going to explode - with women, with family, with Carla. God I'm still chomping at the bit when it comes to these daddy issues, there's DEFINITELY still more here!

Good chapter!

Author's Response: ...I love your conspiracy theories! On this one, I will put you out of your misery and tell you that you are incorrect. Carlotta just didn't want to talk to James. But ... dang, that's a good idea! That would be an amazing plot! And then James would be angry with his family FOREVER, and he'd try to get with Carlotta again, and he'd have to tell her about magic again ... that's better than what I've got planned! Oh, that would be an AWESOME story. BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD.

I jest, I jest. I LOVE what I have planned. But rest assured, nobody's gone addling with Carlotta's memory. Glad that you're feeling both sympathetic and frustrated about James' plight; I certainly don't want people to start hating him, but at the same time he has brought much of this on himself. He's not going to admit to any fault regarding Brigid, because that's just the way he is, unfortunately. And something HAS got to give. There are developments in the next chapter, and even bigger ones in the one after that. It's all very exciting! Unless you're James. Thanks for reviewing!


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Review #57, by SlideOff the Rails: twenty-eight

9th November 2012:
I think this might be my favourite chapter, despite being maybe the shortest. In some ways it works well *because* it's so short. But as everything comes to a head and as the fights break out, this does exactly what I want to see from these situations: Nobody's 100% right, and nobody's 100% wrong. There is a possibility that Allegra's drawn to James a wee bit because of his status not because of his personality, so James' frustration when he remembers that is not unreasonable - but he's still treating her horribly and the girl will deserve an apology. Brigid IS his agent and helping him protect himself from and manage the media is her job; it was remiss of her to not have a warning for him of what might get thrown at him before his big interview - but he was still bang out of order in how he reacted, blowing it out of all proportion. And he might be being a bit hard on Freddie but Freddie's being an Oblivious Bloke, it happens.

So, unsurprisingly, in a chapter where your characters emotionally maul one another and tensions finally hit critical mass and explode everywhere, I'm happy! This is the kind of stuff I love, the pay-off of these conflicts, and so I'm as pleased as punch with this chapter.

And guffawed like a lunatic at the end.

Author's Response: I LOVE that you love this chapter, because I honestly didn't think it was up to much. What's THERE is good, but I kind of ground to a halt and was struggling and couldn't go anywhere else with it, so I figured I'd throw it up and have a fresh start on a new chapter. So VERY GLAD that you like! But yes, things are beginning to Go Wrong for James.

Allegra honestly and genuinely likes him for who he is underneath, and couldn't give a fig about the status, that's why she was concerned in the last chapter about the possibility of him hitting on her while seeing another girl. So her remark here wasn't meant to upset him at all, but unfortunately it just triggered everything off, and so her own anger in turn was justified because she's been unfairly thought of as "one of those women". Poor girl.

Brigid. Oh, Brigid. There's a lot of lingering issues between these two which haven't really come to the fore yet, but they're beginning to do so now, because her mishap has made James angry, and he's going to start digging it all up. She should have warned him, but she doesn't deserve the anger coming her way now. Much more to come on that front.

Freddie is Oblivious a lot of the time, but he does have his rare insightful moments. He will come to the fore in a few chapters' time (I hope!), though of course he does get a good bit of advice in here.

And James duly ignores it, like the fool he is.

Much, much more conflict to come, and I hope it meets your expectations! Thanks for reviewing :)


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Review #58, by SlideOff the Rails: twenty-seven

29th October 2012:
Aw yeahh. Chapter chapter chapter. *bounces in eagerly* Oh GOOD, acknowledgement that Ginny rocks despite not playing internationally. Not that your Ginny has been anything but awesome, but though Ginny isn't a favourite of mine I get so over-protective of her due to fandom hate! Also for some reason I'm tipping my hat at correct use of possessive apostrophes on "writer's childrens'". You'd be surprised how easy it is to please me sometimes. BUT. Important stuff.

Hah. Sorry. Before important stuff, giggling at the author's rose-tinted glasses impression that Harry was a good student academically.

Oh yes. Daddy issues. Let's dig in. Wait, Carla's issues first. Okay, yes, if nothing else - history of persecution and social issues aside, not that they're easily pushed to one side, James has no real leg to stand on with how his family's fame should have guaranteed his romances would fall into the stage of public attention. Which DOES affect Carla, and she's well within her rights to be irked he didn't warn her. And that she'd find out and, hey, yes, lying isn't cool. She's angry but she's right to be, and she's right on the money with her accusations. Let's see how James copes.

Eeeshk. Okay, aside from his justifiable frustration at not being his own man, Not Cool for him to act as if Lily's better off than him. I mean, she's happy, she has a life, that's good - but it's not what she would have chosen, and I can only imagine the horror and heartbreak she went through, and how she has to compartmentalise her ENTIRE LIFE, being neither a full member of the Wizarding World and incapable of being a full member of the Muggle world - so, yeah, no love for that one, James. Even if it's just on this one issue, and I know he's irked and I'll forgive him soon enough, bad James. No biscuit.

Okay, that forgiveness was quick. Had to suck for an eleven year-old, and all the more love for Brigid and Ryan. And being hand-waved to good grades, Yowch. And all that - okay. Good reasons to be bitter, James. But, oh dear. I would imagine that Harry's more awkward and incapable, and likely gave Lily more attention because she needed reassurance, and Al the attention because he actually COULD help him with Auror stuff, whereas James has likely done fine by himself, to Harry's eyes, so he left him to it and now there's a rift fuelled by James' bitterness and Harry doesn't know how to fit it. That's my guess, anyway, which still makes Harry a bit of a pillock, just a believable pillock.

Oh - oh dear. 'Stupid fling.' Oh, oh dear, duck and cover. Yeahh, that wasn't going to go any differently after that point. Both of them being stressed and stupid and that's what happens under such circumstances. They're both wrong and they're both wronged and that's how it works. I'm not too worried, though; they wouldn't be the first people to say bad things in the heat of the moment and then move past it. Go forth, James! Go forth and celebrate and drown your sorrows!

Oh, look, it's a disaster on leggy legs. Fantabulous chapter.

Author's Response: Yes, we love Ginny! Although I'll admit, I used to hate Harry/Ginny. I love them now though - naturally, or I'd have split them up! ;)

BLEURGH apostrophes let's move on.

Oh, I reckon that the wizarding world would COMPLETELY fabricate Harry's academic history. Besides, he defeated Voldemort so he MUST have been a top student, right? Heck, back in the day Skeeter seemed to think he was top of the class. Before she decided she hated him, that is. Possibly the most frustrating thing for poor James; feeling as though he's overshadowed by an academic success that Harry never actually HAD.

Yup, Carla definitely has a MASSIVE point here. She's being gossiped about in the paper; she had a right to know about Harry and the connotations that his fame has. Course, James genuinely didn't know that she was being speculated over, but he should have realised that there was a very strong chance that this would be the case. Alas, he doesn't often think things through properly.

James ... is messed up. As you can now see. Underneath his exterior he's very insecure and resentful. In his eyes, Lily DOES have it better, because his issue is the attention he gets and the comparisons to Harry - and she gets none of it. And he sees that she's happy and coping with things, and so doesn't think about just how hard it IS for her, being a Squib. So it's an understandable feeling for him to have. As for the speculation on Harry's perspective ... you are partly right. Keep that all in mind. We'll get his side of things eventually. You may not think of him as quite so much of a pillock. :)

...disaster indeed. Thanks for reviewing!


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Review #59, by SlideOff the Rails: twenty-six

26th October 2012:
This beginning made me think about time zones, which got complicated and my head hurt. So that's bad. The rest, however, is very good. Ha, James doing that betting we sports fans do of "I hope we don't come up against X team" and then you realise there are LOTS of teams like that and, some day, you'll have to beat one of them. Of COURSE he's in the team. Well, it's the plot, innit? Good for James.

D'aww Ginny. Mum of the century in this, it's great to see. And channelling her mother a little bit which is extra sweet. OOH DADDY ISSUES. Go on, James, talk to Harry. Give me the low-down. The sitch. Gimme.

I still love the levels of detail in the Quidditch 'politics' and intricacies. Makes it all feel alive, you know? But then you know I like adding detail to those bits of the wizarding world, figuring out how they might work. And roll on the media fuss! James might be used to it in theory but now he'll be famous in his own right and so that's likely to get more nasty.

...very nasty, very quickly. Well, I can see why he got prickly but he's going to have to learn to live with that kind of hard questioning from the press, and harder! Tsh, James, making life difficult.

Oh dear. She knows. That one was always going to bite you in the rear some day. Today's the day, Jimmy-boy! Delicious chapter.

Author's Response: Time zones made YOUR head hurt? Try being the one WRITING that bit! I kept forgetting countries and having to go back and add them in, it was a nightmare!

James made the team. SURPRISE! Didn't expect THAT, did you? ;) It is, indeed, the plot. How successful he is though, time will tell :)

We do have a mutual appreciation for fleshing out previously-vague aspects of the wizarding world. Of course, here it would be a complete failure of a Quidditch fic if I didn't! But it's all part of the fun. Glad you like it all :)

James doesn't deal well with press, and unwanted attention. As you can see. He wants to make a name for himself on his own terms, for purely Quidditch reasons, so he really doesn't react well when people are interested in other stuff. Something that he will have to learn to overcome, and fast. Thanks for reviewing :)


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Review #60, by SlideOff the Rails: twenty-five

26th October 2012:
Failed to review this chapter after reading it? Moi? Nooo. No. Not meee. Okay, maybe me. Good stuff, again. You know me and the Quidditch scenes; love 'em. Obviously all chapters are James chapters but this is a really GOOD James chapter, it's very much About Him and presents him in his best light. I do love James. Him rising to the occasion after all the horrendous tension is both heartening and adorable. And Daddy issues! Must know! Must know! *claws at screen*

Stefan better make it on his team now. Not just because he's a sweetheart, but also because James will feel awful if he misses out because of him. And it would be a bit of a silly thing for Stefan to do, sweet as it might be! Hrrm. Cato going to this dance. This must be happening for a Bigger Dramatic Reason. I have Suspicions.

Author's Response: Oh, you and your forgetfulness! Yeah, this is definitely the point at which the pressure on James threatens to cripple him. Luckily, here he has the strength of mind to overcome it, though he wasn't far off a complete melt down! Daddy issues. Well, you know them now; that's what happens when it takes me a week to reply!

Stefan's act wasn't necessarily a silly one - take James' performance out of the equation and it's quite easy to reason that Stefan did what he did because he felt that the Falcons didn't have a big enough points barrier; that they could score more goals and get a better points difference. In effect, he backed himself to still be the one to catch the Snitch even if he missed his first chance. That's what makes him such a good Seeker, and is why there was never any doubt in him making his squad :) But yes, James would have been a bit of a wreck if that had backfired! Cato going to the dance HAS REASONS. You will like. I hope. But you will have to wait for that :) Thanks for reviewing!


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Review #61, by SlideFrozen: Illuminated

22nd October 2012:
I held off on reviewing until I knew I could sit down, with a coffee, and properly concentrate! So, here we go. Oooh, cells. Ooh, who on Earth could - I'm betting Sirius, then. I had assumed a bigger time skip, interesting. But it makes sense, since Sirius is probably Major Character #4 and now one of the last 2 alive. Gah, poor Sirius. I mean, poor Araminta, too, but right now, poor, poor Sirius.

Oh, OUCH. Ouch. and yet - necessary. To preserve canon - we cannot forget that people did not believe Sirius, mostly because the people alive were not in a position to do so; Araminta WAS and that would have been a hole (that, and nobody's a fan of the lone believer in Sirius running around for 15 years not being listened to). Dramatically, for just this story, it was necessary; there aren't just No Consequences for betrayal and spying, and though it would have been interesting to see what Araminta would have done had she survived, it would have been a whole new story - her story.

I must also extend kudos for doing it sharply, suddenly, cruelly. Because that's how such murders would be? Or even, casualties in a war. It Happens. This is not the epic tale of heroism of Harry, this is the story of the people on the ground, and the First War was notably bloodier than the Second. It's cruel. It's horrid. It's apt.

Hats off to you, for this final decision, for this final chapter, and for the whole story! It's been a thoroughly entertaining ride. I shall miss my Minty-G and Giddy-P. ;)

Author's Response: I'm intrigued that you imagined a bigger time skip. I never wanted to say too much because I feared that if I let slip that the time skip was to an important date, you'd guess that it was Halloween and the Potters' deaths. It's about a month between this chapter and the last.

For a long time, Araminta was meant to survive this story. I felt that killing her was the easy way out; that her surviving would be more cruel, and the more rewarding ending. But this was before she grew to like Sirius. And the moment that she DID decide that she liked him, as opposed to hating him on principle, she had to die, because there was no way that she would accept his betrayal without talking to him about it - and finding out his innocence. In the interests of canon, she then had to die because I'm not interested in a 'nutter who believes he's innocent for 15 years' story either, and besides, she would have cropped up in OotP if not earlier had she lived. It would be too OOC for her not to. So, she effectively signed her own death sentence. And, of course, it ends everything neatly with no need for further explanation or elaboration. Which, sadly, is another, purely creative, reason for Arieda's death previously.

So, Araminta leaves this world - possibly fitting, that it's inflicted by Bellatrix's wand in the end. Sharply because, as you say, that's reality. Unlike Snape, Bellatrix wouldn't have given time for an epitaph.

Thank you hugely for all your reviews! They began just as I was trying to sum up the motivation to finish this as my NaNo project, and I can't express the amount that your words inspired and encouraged me to carry on, so thank you so so much for that! I'm glad you enjoyed the final resolution, and indeed the story as a whole, as I certainly enjoyed writing it! Thanks for reviewing :)


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Review #62, by SlideFrozen: Oh, Maker

16th October 2012:
I made the most undignified noise in the world when she brought out Fabian's watch. Most excellent, and also most excellent as to why it was Fabian's and not Gideon's! Pocketwatches. Aren't pocketwatches AWESOME for this kind of thing? I think they are.

Good for Araminta. She's grieving, she's struggling, but she's going to persevere. I don't think you've put a foot wrong with either this chapter or the last; it's been sudden, it's been horrid, then it's been bittersweet in all the right ways. This is entirely the right place to leave it; it's shutting the door on Gideon's life, and it's not only making it clear that the door's not shut one Araminta's - but right now, what's BEYOND that door is an unknown. Which is terrifying and heartbreaking and hopeful all at once.

GOOD STUFF.

Author's Response: YES, I do get a lot of satisfaction out of how the watch thing unfolds. Hence my satisfaction when you observed that Fabian's watch got mentioned in an earlier chapter and about how it went to Harry in the end. I don't know why I decided to pick Gideon over Fabian to write about - perhaps I just prefer the name - but this tied in so neatly in the end.

I'm glad these chapters have worked. Obviously killing a main character is something that has to be done justice and I certainly didn't want to crash and burn at the end! I'm excited for you to read the last chapter now because I absolutely LOVE it. Thanks for reviewing :)


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Review #63, by SlideFrozen: Born to Die

15th October 2012:
Oh, wow. I didn't realise This Would Be It. I knew we were approaching the end, of course, and that the end demanded Gideon's death, but... but...! That worked, really, for some reason I didn't think it was going to happen THIS chapter - I think because it came so hot on the heels of Arieda's death, so I was still reeling from that AND assumed there'd be more space between, more time to chew on the deaths, but of course it's horrendous and realistic for them to come on the trot so bravo, bravo!

Oh, Bellatrix. Of course she killed them, and that makes that Molly will have her in just over fifteen years all the more satisfying. She will save her daughter and avenge her brothers.

This does drive home what we should have really always known: this story is Araminta's more than Gideon's. I mean, they share it, and Gideon was the torch-bearer for the POV originally, but it's more how he introduced us to her. That and we always knew he'd die - the HOW is an important question, but the huge question mark's over her. I'm boundlessly curious to see how her story will end. So many questions but I'm sure they'll get answered!

So! Good stuff! OF COURSE!

Author's Response: Yeah, I was always sitting here quite smugly in the knowledge that people would expect him to die with perhaps one chapter to go, but not with two to go. Surprise! There's no respite for poor old Araminta.

We know from canon that it took five people including Dolohov to kill Gideon and Fabian. From then on it was vague, and it was very much my own decision that Bellatrix was one of them. It does give Molly that extra bit of motivation for killing her - and, of course, who else was going to be behind the death of the man Araminta loved than Bellatrix? Life is cruel to Minty-G.

It's funny, that this story ended up being Araminta's, because it was always meant to be Gideon's. Araminta was never even meant to have a narrative voice. In the end this was Gideon's story up until Marlene died and Araminta confessed. The moment the barriers were down, it was her story. And hopefully her story will meet a fitting end, and all questions will be answered. Thanks for reviewing :)


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Review #64, by SlideOff the Rails: twenty-four

5th October 2012:
Bad memory, hmm? A bad memory because she's DYING? Wait, wait, now I'm cooking up crazy conspiracy theories like maybe she knows she's dying, somehow learnt about magic, and is trying to use James to get access to a cure and doesn't REALLY care about him! Muwahahaha! No, I don't think that's actually going on.

Okay, you're right, Kit's growing on me and grew a lot on me this chapter. Poor boy; you can tell he's been friends with girls lots if he knows so automatically to apply tea and chocolate to a crisis. Is there nothing these staples of Britishness cannot solve? AWW poor Lily. She's breaking my heart! Of course she'd have issues of intimacy after everything backfiring, and it's made all the more heartening because she's been such a trooper about being a Squib, so when she's really letting it get to her, you know it's really bad. Even if this is more about being whittled down overall than this individual incident.

For a 'fluff' chapter (and I love my fluff chapters) this one is particularly adorable. Everyone's on top form for characterisation, James is sweet, Lily is endearing, Kit is coming into his own a bit more (as he's been easily overshadowed by Lily and Maddie in the past) and Maddie remains Maddie and I, of course, wish to see more.

Good stuff!

Author's Response: I love your conspiracy theories over what might happen, haha. Keep thinking ;)

Yeah, this was definitely Kit's moment to shine; he's more in touch with his emotions and generally more well-rounded than Maddie is, so this is where he really has a part to play in Lily's life and, indeed, the story. Very glad to know you've grown to like him! Poor Lily, yes; she does try to keep a brave face on things but this has worn her down a lot. She copes remarkably well with being a Squib ... but it's never going to be easy for her, not while the Statute of Secrecy exists. Glad you like, thanks for reviewing!


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Review #65, by SlideFrozen: Toy Soldiers

2nd October 2012:
Oh yeah, we were somewhere GOOD, weren't we? *settles down with popcorn* Oh, hey, it's time for another totally adorable James Potter and TWO YEARS?? No wonder they've got a kid. You need something to DO in that time.

The plan is risky, but hey, what's a war without a little risk? I suppose strategically it does make sense - even if it backfires and they lose Gideon, Araminta's safer than ever. Playing the cold strategist game, a spy like Araminta's more valuable than even an excellent fighter like Gideon - and playing it less cold, you know, the plan might even WORK! Crazy.

But at the same time Araminta's fear is normal - and even so's the guilt. This isn't quite as martyrish; if he dies now, he does die for her. By choice or whatever, he'd still be dying for her and that'd be a LOT to take in. Of course, him coming back alive is considerably better!! Heh. Only normal to take some satisfaction from Bellatrix taking the brunt of Voldemort's anger. Nothing wrong with that!

...

...I am going to throw things at you. BIG SPIKY THINGS. I should have seen this coming, really. Anyone that supportive and emotionally integral wasn't going to have a great survival rating. BUT STILL. NINJAS.

Author's Response: This is one of my favourite chapters. It DOES end sadly, but I liked the bit with the Potters, just because I love writing them in general. And I do seem to have an obsession with James Potters, don't I! Haha. The timescale as to when the Potters went into hiding is sketchy, but I went for a couple of months after Lily fell pregnant, given that her child was one of the potentials in terms of the prophecy, and apparently they went into hiding not long after their safety became compromised. But it is indeed a long, long time!

Strategically, this plan makes sense. Not that it was based on strategy at all, more Gideon's rashness and over-protectiveness towards his Minty. There is a huge risk that they might lose Gideon; he's one of the Order's best fighters, and it would be a huge boost to the Death Eaters. But it does enforce the thought in Voldemort's mind that Araminta is still his woman, which is of course its aim, and so in that sense it becomes a success the minute the Death Eaters prove that her information was right.

Araminta does have HUGE problems with guilt. It's possibly for the best that Gideon survived - except, she now has another death to blame on herself. I put her through A Lot.

Please don't throw things! It had to happen, at the end of the day Arieda was a muggleborn with a sister who was prominent in the Order, and so she had the potential to become just as prominent. And Bellatrix was angry and wanted her revenge. Arieda would certainly have had a role to play during the fight at Gideon's flat, so she was, sadly, the obvious target for the Death Eaters. And so she dies. :( Thanks for reviewing, and keep those ninjas well away!


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Review #66, by SlideOff the Rails: twenty-three

2nd October 2012:
Ah-ha! I briefly forgot who Demelza Robins is, but context is everything. I'm with you now. Thought some hitherto unheard-of ex-girlfriend or something but nope, Quidditch. Serious business! Aw, that's cool/sweet that James WANTS hard games to showcase himself. You go, James, you're awesome.

I want a t-shirt with that 'Keep calm' variation. Or a mug. I'm not picky! Hee! Cordelia's always cute. I never know whether to judge it animal cruelty or if she's just a particularly cogent tribble. I'll stick with tribble. Oh, wait, less on cute fluffy things, more on James' success! Good for him. Ha! Of course Carla, being NORMAL, would be wowed by Hogwarts. MAGIC CASTLE. 'Playing keepie-uppie with my pygmy puff' sounds like an euphemism, which I suppose would make James' point better. And BLESS James for his loyalty. I seem to be in a mood to gush over James today.

Whee! McGonagall the Awesome! I see she's still headmistress, that's cool. McGonagall is Eternal. Or should be. I like the idea she still had a good innings post-Dumbledore as she did so much for the school even when technically just Deputy. Though I think Maggie Smith ages McGonagall in our heads; isn't she described as dark haired in PS? I mean, I know wizarding ageing is weird but I think the movies make us imagine her as a bit more wizened than she is. But I digress.

Hee, setting a Weasley kid on Trelawney. Sounds about right for McG. I was going to say this chapter is full of grinnings but there's trouble afoot. James might be being fatalistic in terms of the WHYs, but something's up. Something wicked this way comes. Good stuff!

Author's Response: Yes, Demelza Robins is a JK character from HBP who played Quidditch and is now Head Honcho in the England camp. So definitely one to impress. And James is sensible enough to realise that landslide victories against walkover teams are not going to advance his England prospects as much as tight games against tougher sides.

Go for a mug, everyone needs mugs! I do like throwing (figuratively AND literally) Cordelia into things at certain moments; her existence isn't JUST for pure amusement, though obviously that's a good side-effect. I wouldn't think of it as animal cruelty, especially if she likes it! Which I'm sure she does. Definitely a tribble though.

That Hogwarts mention went in when Carlotta was meant to be visiting Hogwarts. That was the initial draft for the next chapter, and was where James was going to bump into McG. But it was going hidiously, and I decided that it wouldn't add to the story, and might possibly seem TOO unrealistic, so I dropped it and shoehorned the McG conversation in here. But the bit with Carlotta looking through the photographs didn't need to come out, so I left it in to serve as a reminder that this entire world is bewildering to her.

I had that EXACT same thought about the euphemism! Good to know I'm not the only one who's easily amused.

McG is still Headmistress because I just ASSUMED that she would be, and didn't really think to myself "might she be getting on a bit now?" until a few weeks ago. But I don't think she's that old; if she was in her seventies in the books, she must be in her early hundreds now, which isn't necessarily over the hill in wizarding terms. So she is still there for now. And subtly encouraging mischief when the target is a worthy one!

Something Wicked may well be coming! Enjoy the calm while it lasts ;) Thanks for reviewing!


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Review #67, by SlideFrozen: The Power of Love

24th September 2012:
One can only imagine how hard the life of a double-agent is. Though I think perhaps Araminta's being unnecessarily martyrish to hide how tough it is from Gideon. He might be fragile and... Gideon-like, but I have faith that he'd buck up and be able to help! D'aww, bless, Arieda notices first. *waves little flag* Okay, so Arieda says pretty much what I was thinking. You go, girl!

Uh oh, another notch on the martyr score. You can't blame yourself for everything, Araminta. For many reasons but also because that'll drive you crazy. And now we test how well she can put Arieda's advice into practice. Results are in: Not so well. Though I can well understand lashing out as a defence technique; let's hope Gideon puts his experience to good use and takes it on the chin. S'not about you, Giddy-P. Be smart.

...that was not what I meant. GUYS. GUYS. HEY. THIS IS NOT A GOOD PLAN. ...guys?

Author's Response: There was definitely the risk, after Araminta's secret was out, that I could underplay just how hard she found it being a spy. Hopefully I managed to get the balance right and not overplay it either. This is the first time after her and Gideon have sorted things out, so to speak, that it really begins to trouble her, and she's gotten so used to not being able to tell him anything that it's almost as though it doesn't even cross her mind that she COULD. That, and she really doesn't like the feeling that she's burdening others. It's not necessarily that she's being deliberately martryish, more that she genuinely thinks her problems aren't worth troubling him further with.

Arieda, of course, notices first. Because she is a BABE. You wave your flag, girl! And yeah, Gideon would be able to buck himself up and help her out - because he's a Gryff, and that's what Gryffs do best.

...Course, he also does sacrificing himself for others very well. Which isn't always a good thing! This plan is clearly, TOTALLY, fool-proof.

Thanks for reviewing!


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Review #68, by SlideFrozen: I Believe In You

12th September 2012:
Squee, House fun! Oh, you'll be a Slytherin, Minty-Gamp, and you'll like it. Ha, I can only imagine that Gideon's a little put out that you don't think you can conjure up a happy enough memory to produce a patronus, but is this a Chekhov's Gun I see being put up on the wall? There'll be a patronus before this story is out, mark my words!

Ahh, Dumbles' office. A place of much wonderment and oddity. I was briefly surprised that he'd let anyone in unattended, but then we're dealing with adults of the Order, not his students! Yay, Sorting Hat! Yes, I imagine Sorting an adult would be very different to Sorting an 11 year-old (don't get me started on Dumbledore's bloody "I think we Sort too soon", as if Snape was done some injustice by being Sorted into Slytherin at a young age BUT I DIGRESS), so it's interesting the Hat's considering both now and then. Yess, embrace the Slytherin-ness, Minty-G. It's good for you. It doesn't make you evil by default, trust me. If you were a classic Gryffindor you'd probably be one dead spy. Slyths approve!

I was a bit bewildered by her going to pieces over the Hat, but it makes perfect sense, really, considering the tension she's under and layers of self-doubt and self-identity which have to prevail over a defector and a spy. Especially if we consider how ingrained into the wizarding collective subconscious the Houses are as a definition of one's personality and values... mmm, yes. I could meander a lot on the philosophy of this chapter but I'll spare you all the armchair psychology of a fictional culture and other people's characters!

Except, Giddy, you really are the most Gryffindory-Gryffindor who ever Gryff'd. At least until your nephew becomes a Hero. Good chapter!

Author's Response: House fun indeed! I had much fun writing this chapter - all of about two years ago, in fact. Another reason why I loved Anguisverse so much when I started reading it, with all of its House dynamics and analysis. I expect that Gideon was indeed VERY put out when Araminta said she doubted she could cast a Patronus - in fact, I had that very same thought myself when I wrote it! Poor thing, I am horrible to him.

At first, Dumbledore was meant to be in his office the entire time. But his presence just felt AWKWARD, so I had to ditch him. In the end it's not beyond the realms of possibility that he would let adults into his office without him, especially when a) it's Gideon and b) there is someone intrigued in being 'Sorted', so to speak, and that strikes me as the kind of thing that Dumbledore would think of as Very Important.

You know, it's possible that Dumbledore's comment about people being Sorted too soon wasn't meant as a slur towards Slytherins, but more that Snape HIMSELF wasn't helped by being in Slytherin, and that actually he'd have been much better off in a different House, because he wouldn't have been surrounded by so many future Death Eaters? But then, I can't see where else he WOULD have gone, because, as we have also discussed, Snape wasn't courageous for courage's sake but just because he wanted Lily for himself, so really he was acting in his own self-interest the entire time which is much more of a Slytherin trait.

And Minty-G would DEFINITELY have been a Slytherin at 11. She has developed more Gryffindor traits over the past few months though, but she is by no means a fully-fledged Gryff thank you. And she is certainly VERY insecure right now, and is just looking for people to trust her. The Sorting Hat doesn't identify her as being loyal, and it just pushes her over the edge. Writing this chapter - all that time ago - has made me very Hufflepuff-sympathetic though! And don't worry, I enjoy your character-trait-related musings! But yes, possibly not HERE. Haha :)

Gideon is the ULTIMATE Gryffindor. Right down to the part where he, you know, DIES. Tragic stuff. Thanks for reviewing!


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Review #69, by SlideOff the Rails: twenty-two

6th September 2012:
Freddie's right, James. Whipped. Ah, Rose, bending the rules so. Your parents would approve (Ron openly, Hermione quietly). I confess to wanting to see more of your Rose and Albus, they seem cool. But obviously I know the pain of not wanting to focus on too many of the extended Weasley brood! Good to see James isn't really fussing too much over Cato and Brigid; it rarely does go down well to have a "make sure you treat her well" conversation. If they needed that conversation it's TOO LATE and tends to just aggravate others. Typical James for it to, ultimately, stem from a bit of jealousy at another ladies' man in the field. Ah yes, Leggy Allegra. I don't think your James and my Scorpius should meet. It would be unfortunate. But I can't deny your James will probably wind up influencing the depiction of my James, when it comes to it. Oop, good judgement, James, ditching the girl who gets that drunk, that quickly. Alcoholic or not it's not a good idea and not fun to be around!

Ah, meeting the family. Either goes very well or very poorly. I'm sure James is possible of charming them; on the other hand this can backfire HORRIBLY on occasion. You don't want to give the parents the impression you're a suave manipulator charming their daughter! Lucky dodge, James, on the football, just as well nobody asked you what team you play for. He could have been caught out PRETTY badly then, but I imagine Carla's clever enough to have not told her family he plays football if THEY actually knew much about football. I see the mother and brother are going to be the problem, though I cannot but agree with her on the subject of screw-top wine. It's a TRAVESTY. I am warming to Ms Martinez. Cultured and a little bit superior, I love her.

Well done, James. You survived it. Now just hope they didn't like you SO MUCH they want to see you again. Good chapter!

Author's Response: James is UTTERLY whipped. Rose is a menace. I can try to throw her and Al in more to please the masses, and actually they DO have a bit of a role in the next Arc, but in general they're secondary characters. Heck, Lily was meant to be a secondary character, but the fact that she's a Squib just seems to push her into the picture ALL THE TIME. That, and I love writing Maddie.

My James and your Scorpius would get on RIDICULOUSLY well. Especially if alcohol and leggy girls were involved. Possibly TOO well. Yes, they should never meet. And I would thoroughly love if my James was to influence yours. :)

James is very good with people in general, so meeting the parents isn't a massive issue for him - HE can pull off the charm perfectly, it just requires them to like him. And they do, to a certain extent. Carlotta's mother is one of my faves, she DOES seem a bit stuck-up but it's just what she's like. And I was definitely projecting with the screw-top wine issue, to me a wine bottle has to have a cork! Cheers for the review :)


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Review #70, by SlideFrozen: I Run to You

4th September 2012:
Yay more Lady Antebellum songs! Did Gideon really think he could hide things from Arieda? Silly boy. I want to give them both hugs - oh noes, Arieda, don't get involved with Sirius. I know you say you're just friends but it's DOOMED. DOOMED. Like the Bones family. Poor, poor Bones family - I was gutted when Amelia died, she was a cool lady. Heh, I like that "he saved my life a couple of times". An off-hand comment about a HUGE thing, but in wars, it happens a lot. It like "He bought me a drink this one time". I love playing with that stuff, how life-altering horrendous things become commonplace.

Minty-G, you are entirely forbidden from saying things like "the curiosity won't kill me". Bad idea. Though I kind of want to know, too... ooh, the killing stuff. *gets popcorn* ...okay, I don't want this popcorn any more. COLD. Super-cold. She didn't have a choice. Someone else would have killed the girl. She was already dead. But still. Horrific.

Oop. Forget popcorn, it's reading glasses time. Yeah, shock to the system like that's always going to make you cling to people. Let's just hope this isn't precipitating anything which wouldn't happen anyway - a catalyst, rather than a Bad Idea brought on from stress. Gideon's sensible to be careful, but at least he's not doing any Idiotic Decision Making For Her thing. But yes! Good, and well done, and well addressed. Neither beleaguering the point nor shying away, as we have discussed, these scenes are tough to write. Good stuff!

Author's Response: More Lady Antebellum indeed! I could possibly have written most if not all of this fic with Lady Antebellum songs but that would have been very monotonous. I do use them twice though BECAUSE I CAN.

Arieda is totally, totally head-over-heels in love with Fabian, she's not going to start fooling around with Sirius any time soon. And the Boneses have, sadly, copped it.

It would indeed be very interesting if the curiosity DID kill Araminta. I can safely say that it WON'T, though throwing phrases involving death around when you're in a war probably isn't appropriate. THE KILLING STUFF. It is, indeed, cold. But hopefully realistic. Poor Minty G has had a tormented life, and she barely even realises it most of the time. Tragic.

Sexy-times would definitely have happened anyway AT SOME POINT, but it may have taken a bit longer for her to be at ease with it all. Back when I was a little less sure about it all, I reasoned to myself that in that state of mind, Araminta would probably be MORE likely to want to overcome the pain that Travers caused, because she wouldn't want to be held back by him, especially now he's dead and after she's been tortured by the guy whose fault it all is. SO she sought comfort from her Giddy. Who was very mature and sensible about it all. Very glad you approve, as it was an utter headache. THANKS FOR REVIEWING.


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Review #71, by SlideOff the Rails: twenty

4th September 2012:
Oops. I totally did miss a chapter. Ah, I see it's a Quidditch chapter, which is why I didn't quite notice (also my gross inattentiveness) but whee, Quidditch! Ha, James, you never know when you've got it good? Though I imagine it would be frustrating to dedicate time to a match he wouldn't play. Hee, Transylvania - and you've got one of my little pet loves, the cross-over between the political make-up of the wizarding world versus the Muggle world and how the former doesn't always keep up with the latter - ASSYRIA. You're killing me. And bless him. I do love James, I love how passionate and stroppy and silly (and not without good reason) he can be, but I do love that he has a level head underneath and I love how it comes out more over Quidditch than anything else.

And bless him for looking after Brigid, and bless him for his concern for her being very wisely affected by his respect for his own nose. Not to mention that I'm sure Brigid can take care of herself. I just hope she's doing it for her own sake, not to make Freddie jealous. It's a BAD PLAN.

D'aww, the funeral. Of course his namesake would love some Wheezes. Of course the Potters are sensible and pragmatic in ensuring their kids know the truth about what's happened and why. And grief like that's a funny thing - in the weird way, not the ha-ha way. You didn't need to belabour the point, especially not after the visit to Lily's grave, but it's a nice, important touch.

On to MORE REVIEWS!

Author's Response: Haha, yeah, this is one of those chapters that you wouldn't automatically MISS because nothing massive happens in it. But, you know, grave visits and all that. :) I got so much amusement from the whole Transylvania/Assyria thing! I love the way that the wizarding world totally hasn't kept up with Muggle politics. Carlotta would find it TOTALLY bewildering. James is ONLY sensible when it comes to Quidditch. And people judging others unfairly. ;) He is also a ridiculously loyal/over-protective friend, delete as approps. And thinks too much about his own appearance. BUT boys will be boys! Brigid's theory is definitely that this date will either help her move on, or give Freddie a much needed kick up the backside, so it's a win-win situation for her. In THEORY.

I've always struggled with working out what the Potters would have told their kids, and - more importantly - WHEN. The whole Harry/Al chat about Slytherin and namesakes in the epilogue suggested that they didn't know everything at that point, but I think that they would have known what they needed to know by the time they went to school, and certainly they would have known the full story by this point. This grave bit was hard to write because obviously it doesn't need to be as long as the first one was, but it still needed a decent mention. I like how it turned out in the end. :) Thanks for reviewing!


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Review #72, by SlideOff the Rails: twenty-one

29th August 2012:
You can't pretend it's not serious when parent-meeting is occurring, James! YAY Albus. Bring on the Albus. Hee, Scorose. Hee, outraged Albus. It's kind of cute the way he's a bit of a mini-Harry (though is sounding a little more like his Uncle Ron in his outrage). Oh, ironic turn of events, James. I do love it when he shows he has a brain, that his laid-back-ness isn't just thoughtlessness, he really just IS a decent guy to everyone.

Exposition!James time! Or perhaps bad exposition. Oh dear, there's no way this is going to go well. He left it a little bit too long before telling her about this, and it doesn't help that he's only telling her because he has to. And this is the bit where he CAN be very thoughtless, I suppose! Bless him. Not sure it's a good idea to say there's nothing else, either. Maybe say that there's a lot of history and it's a long STORY... oh dear, James. Oh dear, oh dear...

Woot, Lily and Maddie time. Oh, and there's Kit, too, he'll do. Probably more than 'do', teaching James about football sounds entertaining. And poor Lily, likely having a thing for someone but not daring to do anything about it due to the Muggle/non-Muggle divide (James is not the man to set a good example with such a thing). But James is right, still! She's got good friends. Could be a lot worse. Very sweet chapter.

Author's Response: The thing with the parent-meeting is that it's purely for Carlotta to get her own back on James for throwing her at his ENTIRE family at his Quidditch matches. To them, it's not serious - or at least, they're trying to hide from the fact that it suggests something more serious than either of them want. But however they look at it, it IS hard to escape the fact that whatever they have between them is far more complicated and serious than they initially aimed for.

Albus is usually reasonably rational, but here he is most definitely NOT. He, sadly, can be prejudiced when it comes to the Malfoys. And this is the Scorose relevance, I hope you enjoyed it. :) James can be thoughtless, but he is also, as you say, a genuinely open-minded, DECENT bloke. And this is an issue that is close to his heart.

Yeah, James is a total idiot here. He finally has to reveal the dark history of his world ... and still doesn't do it all properly. NOT GOOD. He's not necessarily thoughtless, he has his reasons for keeping quiet, but he doesn't consider the problems that could be caused by not telling her everything. Either way, he's digging himself into an even bigger hole here.

Kit will DO? I'm hoping that in a few chapters' time you will love him as much as you do Lily and Maddie; he's not QUITE had his time to shine yet but it will come. I could possibly have written more of the football conversation but I don't know it in enough depth to do so; the offside rule comment was about as far as I was willing to go! Unlike Maddie teaching James about rugby, where I went to town. Lily is indeed in a pretty sucky situation, only made worse by her oaf of a brother breaking the Statute here, there and everywhere. He's doing the right thing in not trying to talk to her about the issue, because in the wrong circumstances his misdeeds would loom pretty heavily over them both. So all he can do is stand back and let her do what she thinks is right ... which is to suffer in silence. Poor thing. She does, indeed, have good friends to make things easier, clueless as Maddie is. Thanks for reviewing!


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Review #73, by SlideFrozen: Saviour

29th August 2012:
I'd say "poor James", and I'm sure it's hard to be left behind, but good grief, man, don't complain at the people about to go off and risk their lives! Look at baby Harry. There, that's better. Heh, of course Voldemort has standing positions for his hierarchy. I never have observed before how this stroy makes for some fun and sensible insights into how the organisation of Death Eaters works, but it does, and they're believable and compelling and really add to the atmosphere of the kind of life Minty-G lives.

Ha, sensible Moody. No plan survives contact with the enemy. I almost feel sorry for Avery, whipping-boy of the Death Eaters. Ohhh, tense. Good, good tension. AWW Bella cares. Okay, she doesn't, but I like this display that Bellatrix is (perhaps for now, before she goes truly crazy) professional enough to know that Araminta needs protecting as an asset, regardless of personal dislike. Okay, or, trying to get a liability out of the way but that's still CUNNING. Plenty of people would write Bellatrix as just being happy to get Araminta killed. I really like that little bit. Okay, I take back my harsh words from the beginning, James Potter is, again, a sweetheart. And I am inordinately pleased at Arieda getting her first takedown.

Trust Gideon to get an excuse to take his shirt off. Trust him to be all charming and provocative while gushing blood. Always a pleasure when they recapture some of the banter from before. And, of course, what woman could resist? I do like that it's frantic, desperate sort of embrace, considering he nearly died and she panicked about it and that's going to have a lot of bubbling emotions rather than being something suave and perfect.

B'AWWW I'm all gushy now. Issues are real and not ignored. Gideon is appropriately outraged then appropriately adorable. Healing takes time and is all FLUFFY. *flails* Yeah, I'm out of coherent words on this one. A particularly outstanding chapter.

Author's Response: The trouble is, it's easy for James to moan about not fighting when he's around people who ARE, because that's where he'd like to be too! And actually, I expect that most, if not all, of the people actually fighting would much rather be doing that than be in James' position, so I doubt too many of them were too irritated at the whole thing.

In GoF the Death Eaters seemed to have particular spots in which to stand around him, so I nabbed that idea and decided that it occured regardless of the situation. It's partly to make it more realistic and canon-compliant, and partly to poke fun at Voldie-boy. Because it's utterly ridiculous. BUT it does prevent people from unfortunate Apparitions on top of other people, so it has its practicalities.

I think there are numerous ways to look at Bellatrix's attitude here. It might be that she recognises Araminta's importance; alternatively, it's that she doesn't want her to duel well and steal her glory, or it's an act that might bump Bellatrix higher up on Voldemort's list of favourites! I DO think that it would be too easy, especially at this stage, to have Bellatrix not recognise Araminta's values AT ALL purely because of a mutual dislike. So she sends her away. For a mixture of all of the above reasons. She's no idiot.

James is definitely my favourite Marauder, and he's not featured enough yet. Any excuse to shoehorn him in, and I'm there :) And he is a bit of a babe in this chapter! It's not the last we see of him, but he doesn't have much more of a role - then again, neither does anyone else any more, we're getting to the end of Giddy and Minty's story...

The Gideon/Araminta moment was ridiculously cheesy and corny but I DON'T CARE I LOVED IT ANYWAY. It's good to know that you did too! They'd both gotten to the point where they'd admitted to themselves how they felt, but didn't want to be the first to take the plunge and admit it to the other, so it was always going to take something like this - the worry that one of them wouldn't survive - to egg them on a bit. Hence the frantic desperation. And then, of course, Araminta's ISSUES come up. And Gideon is an utter babe. Seriously, I'd like my own Gideon having written this chapter, he is a little bit amazing when he's in the right mood. This was possibly my favourite chapter so far to write - actually, I'd say my favourite of ALL, though I am pleased with those that follow too. This one had THE Giddy/Minty moment in it; it can't really be topped! Thanks for reviewing :)


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Review #74, by SlideOff the Rails: nineteen

20th August 2012:
Aha. Manly talks time. James could do with one, he spends most of his time with Freddie dealing with Freddie's issues or with a girl present. Ha, James Potter NEVER rings first. It's good to see James talking with a mate, and one who's going to be blunt in that way what men are with him. This ISN'T an average relationship of his, and everyone else has been so busy fussing over that she's a Muggle that they've not REALLY addressed that it IS becoming more serious. Good on Teddy. Okay, now he is bringing it up, but certainly PROPERLY, in way to make James think (instead of berating him about it).

Hmm. Concerning that the conclusion of 'stick with her' is the sensible, practical one, not the emotional one. I mean, clearly it IS affection that's driving him too, but that's a worrying prospect for if the affection dries up. What IS he going to do? Just hope she stays quiet? Mm, Teddy has the right of it. I like Teddy, he's - OH NO he just said "what could go wrong." Doomed. Doomed!

Good on James for taking being Reserve so well. He's right and he's being mature about this - I do quite love the juxtaposition of how he's considerably more sensible professionally than personally, we can see these qualities DO exist within him. Oh, you are FIBBING, Carla. Fibbing, fibbing, fibbing!

Heh. Judicious planning to sit next to Hermione. That sounds like a double-edged sword but equally, food! I do like the Quidditch stuff, I know you worry about it sometimes but *I* think it's fun and interesting. And hee on Maddie drawing the comparisons between Quidditch and Hockey. Good lateral thinking. Love Maddie. AND NOW I LOVE HER EVEN MORE. That's loyalty. Ah-ha, more daddy issues no, wait, Carla, push, I want to hear more! Curses.

Phew! Mammoth chapter here. But a good 'un.

Author's Response: The trouble with James and Freddie's friendship, is that neither of them seek out a friend who they can talk to about things, because neither of them are the type of person to talk about their issues. They're both fairly easy-going guys, who like to have a laugh. So when James DOES need to talk, he can't really go to Freddie - and vice versa. Hence why James needs Teddy in this instance.

This has indeed become much more of a relationship than James' previous, but the trouble is that BECAUSE Carlotta is a Muggle, the automatic thought is that the reason why it's different is because of this. And nobody is thinking any further than that; James certainly isn't! So nobody's thinking about the emotional side of things here.

Clearly nothing can go wrong! ;)

James is partly okay with being reserve because he didn't want to play in the marathon match in the end! And of course, Roxanne is first and foremost his cousin, so he wants her to stay with the Falcons and recognises that he occasionally needs to be the one on the sidelines for her to play. He IS more sensible when it comes to Quidditch, partly because he has goals and knows what he needs to do to achieve them. He has little other responsabilities, and so is much more carefree outside his professional life. TOO carefree at times...

I like the Quidditch stuff, and it needs to be in place, because it's just as important as the Carlotta storyline. I did worry that it might have been too much, but I think it's fine. People seem to be enjoying it! So it's not a problem, and it will stay!

Maddie IS indeed a total babe. She does have the odd flaw, but in general she's a bit fab, and in danger of taking over this fic. Or at least she was until I decided she could have her own, haha.

DADDY ISSUES GALORE. Sorry, Carla isn't pushing for more :)

This chapter ended up bigger than I thought it would be. But I didn't want to split it up, so it all went up in one go. The next one is a bit shorter though. Thanks for reviewing, glad you liked :)


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Review #75, by SlideFrozen: Devotion

20th August 2012:
Oh, Rosier's dead that's OH NO THEY HAVE A TRAVERS. NOT GOOD. Interesting use of the extended powers thing - that Moody absolutely used the Killing Curse, didn't just go "Screw safety, I'm not holding back" which happened to lead to his death. It's logical and I have a hard time feeling bad about it, but always interesting and oh no no no not Gideon doing the interrogation. Bad. Bad idea. At least it's the brother-in-law, not the husband (I know he's dead, but that's not a good confrontation).

Hee! Crouch disapproval. Hee! Inbreeding cracks. Oh dear. Gideon's kind of crazy in here, being so blase. I kind of LOVE IT. I'd like to think she'd approve of him using it to wind a Death Eater up.

Oh dear. Araminta, if Voldemort's summoning you, I recommend you adjust your priority list to not have 'dinner' at the top of it. Perhaps 'survival'. Ha! Poor Avery. Whipping boy for Death Eaters. Hmm. I worry about that Voldemort unusually called a meeting. Yes, it's an opportunity. But I call TRAP.

Author's Response: Yup, they have Travers! I don't know if Moody DID die because he wouldn't use the killing curse; more that he was sitting on a broom and Voldemort shot a killing curse at him, which is pretty hard to avoid! But, yes, in this instance he recognised that it was a case of 'kill or be killed', and it's surely better to have Rosier dead than out on the streets still with Moody dead instead?

I loved writing Giddy in this! He's actually in a good place right now; he's sorted things out with Araminta, and they're catching Death Eaters which gives him a sense of job satisfaction. So he's back to his old self, even if only for a moment.

Never get on the wrong side of a hungry Minty G! :) Thanks for reviewing!


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