Reading Reviews From Member: Slide
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Review #51, by SlideOff the Rails: 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 -


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 #52, by SlideOff the Rails: sixty-two

24th April 2014:
I grinned through the touching Weasley grandparents moments, and then was ridonkulously pleased at Louis showing up and goading James to drink more. Good Louis. Keep on being an awful influence. D'aww Brigid. I love her, too.

I feel for Vic. I think I can drink like I'm twenty, too. It's still lovely to see the Weasleys turning out like this for James - of course they do, and it's great to see the family behind him but also good to have these snippets of the MAHOOSIVE family (so many Weasleys. So. Many). Yesss, drinks in the World Cup. James is going to suffer in the morning.

Good that Freddie now has a path; nowt wrong with following in the family footsteps and now it's something he's BUILDING, not just helping out. Of course his parents are canny enough to figure that out for him, but it's troubled him for a while? Ryan's still a sweetheart, too. Except for them wanting bodily pain against the Lynches. Ahh well, it's only the Lynches.

A sweet moment between Harry and James. Ahh, James, legs. You know what you like. Good lad. Honest laughter at Carla's summary of what the rest of the team are up to.

Curses, a cliffhanger! This was a very sweet chapter. I see it getting a lot of the emotional ducks in a row.

Admittedly, I have a Bad Feeling About This but we'll see what goes on from here on out. :D

Good stuff!

Author's Response: Touching Weasley grandparent moment made me all gooey inside. Love them. Louis moment made me giggle. Told you he had another moment in this chapter. :)

I think I'm destined never to even have the drinking capacity of a 20 year old, unfortunately. It's a sad fact of life that I'll have to come to terms with at some point. Many many Weasleys, including a few (Teddy included) who I realised I'd rather neglected in recent chapters. I don't even feel as though I lose track of the Weasleys and yet I STILL forget some of James' key relatives.

It was nice to finally give Freddie something to feel good about. Shop manager is perfect for him, it's just a shame George and Angelina took so long to TELL him about it!

Harry/James moment made me squee. As they all do these days. The team is absolutely bladdered, as would you be if you'd just won the World Cup. ;)

This chapter was one of those "ticking off the boxes" chapters, and I now appreciate how hard it can be to write a chapter which ties up loose ends without it feeling like a methodical "and then this happened, and then that happened" sequence. But I think it worked out in the end. CLIFFHANGER, because I love them. I dislike your bad feeling! Don't worry, you'll like what happens in the end.

I hope.

Thanks for the review! :)

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Review #53, by SlideOff the Rails: sixty-one

8th April 2014:
I'm here. Let's rock and roll.

Ginny remains the best mother in the history of stuff. I love how she's stayed recognisably Ginny in this story while still, well, turning into Molly in her own way. I like to think that Freddie never confirmed one way or another about the family breakfast, just that Ginny got food on for him anyway, knowing he'd be there. Like a boss.

Oh, Ron. Never change. Never get caught by Hermione. It took me a moment to realise why Hugo wouldn't even notice the others weren't there, and then I remembered you mentioning his torrid romance with a Longbottom girl. Ha! And I love Louis. Perhaps most of all of the extended Weasley clan. Okay, that's a lie, but he's in the top five! I'm not sure I could write my own Louis now, I think yours would creep in too much as an influence.

The George and Percy box. Oh dear. That sounds like hell on wheels. At least Audrey would be there to keep the peace!

Mrph. Undignified noises in public places at Molly promising James she'll cheer for him. And aww, Albus, he's so right. This is a moment James will remember forever, one way or another, and he should at least RELISH it. Even if they lose, it'll be an experience.

Brigid! Good girl. Okay. I should be a little more coherent and probably not go through my reaction to everyone wishing James good luck but basically all the feels.

...what on Earth would the England mascots be?? I will laugh if you wrote mascots being banned because you couldn't think of it. Because I sure as hell can't think of any (magic. Bulldogs.).

Right. The match. *rolls up sleeves*

I thought it was really good. Admittedly I had to occasionally check back on my names for who was who in the Irish team, though I think that was only in confirming who was taken out by Cato's bludgers BUT I'm getting ahead of myself. You do a good job in establishing the build-up, especially by focusing on the microcosm of the situation that is Ryan and James. And then establishing the patter of the Chasers through a few set scenes before letting it carry on is fine, I didn't find that at all jarring.

I think making the Beaters exchange the main 'drama' of the match was good. The Lynches have been established in the past, we had the Bagmans' tricks against them last time they faced off; it made sense not just for them to be in the final, but for them to be the centrepoint of conflict. The only other option would have been things getting perhaps more fraught with James and Ryan, but that could have run the risk of being contrived.

And Ryan's a sweetheart, anyway, for helping stop Cato from beating the hell out of the Lynches. And Cato goes on to be a... agh, 12+. Bad Posterior. You know what I'm saying. :P Instantaneous takedown of two players at once is a nice trick (and we are of course not even sorry that Feargus broke his arm). That was the time I lost track of who was who, briefly, mind - I forgot Brianna was the Seeker and had to trawl back. I think that's the only time I lost the flow in this, and that's possibly my bad memory. Lots of names! Like I can judge!

The only change I would have suggested would have been adjusting the transition from 'game went on' to 'Seekers chase Snitch'. Perhaps some fraught Chaser-on-Chaser action (ha!) broken up by the Seekers flying straight THROUGH it to cause everyone to stop what they were doing and watching. But honestly, I'm only being so critique-ing because you were fussing over this match; I wouldn't have known you were struggling with it if you hadn't told me. It's a stonking good game and worthy of the final. If nothing else, the build-up made the atmosphere fine and the game played out well. I *like* that the match wasn't James Potter, Superstar - his most defining moments in the game are him being a great team player, working with the others and helping Cato and all that.

Way to go, Jess. That's the only time I've wanted to hop directly into someone else's POV for the story - for the match to come right down to Seeker vs Seeker and for her to win, basically winning the whole match, the whole World Cup, and she will likely be credited as The One Who Won It - that's got to be pretty amazing. Good on Michael for just handing her the cup to lift for the first time; that girl EARNED it. So, basically, I want more Jess now.

And I really like how it doesn't sink in at first! It wouldn't, by then they were very entrenched in the game just being like another game. Even if it did have the backdrop of size; my mental image really did have the background of this match being more like the Millennium Stadium, while the previous matches were more like... I don't know, Underhill Stadium. But I digress. It slowly sinking in, James getting the biggest cheer and it being PROBABLY for his name (as he did well, but it was a team effort and the players probably most deserving of individual cheers would be Jess and Cato) and still not CARING... Good boy. He's come far.

I'm not going to lie, I thought they would lose the match. I thought you were going to go all Rocky on us. But I'm PERFECTLY okay being wrong.

And Ha! at the serendipity of broken brooms.


Author's Response: Ginny's inherited Molly's nurturing nature, that's for sure. I can't HELP but write her that way, every time. But yes, still very much Ginny. And I think Freddie definitely turned up on a whim, and Ginny just KNEW he would.

Torrid Longbottom romance indeed! I didn't want to signpost that one because it's been mentioned before, albeit briefly, so I like that you picked that up. LOUIS, oh Louis. He steals the show EVERY TIME. He's in the next chapter, and you will love him there too. I should write him into more scenes, really...

Emotional family moments galore. They filled me with much squee to write. Especially the Molly moment.

I couldn't help but laugh at your mascot comment. Because you've absolutely hit the nail on the head, I spent a whole evening trying to find a cool mascot-worthy creature from England and when the best thing I could come up with was leprechauns riding crups around the pitch (cute imagery, but not really on the same level as Veela) I decided to cop out. So yes, you too may laugh.

I was a bit worried about throwing all the Irish names in because while they've been mentioned to differing extents before, it's been a while. Of course we know the Lynches, and the Chaser play let me throw their names in (and then I realised I'd given one of the Irish Chasers the same name as James' broom, I've never hated myself more) but that still leaves the Seeker and Keeper unaccounted for. I possibly could have made that clearer, I'll check that out in a mo.

As I was writing this match I thought "It's Bagmans v Lynches, this is NOT going to be a clean game". Like you say, it wouldn't have made sense, with all the bad blood between them. And it meant avoiding pitting James and Ryan against each other EVEN MORE, which I obviously didn't want to do, because that would just break my heart. Bad Posterior. I like. I worried for a moment about why you were calling Cato a 12+, THEN I REALISED. Not an insult but a compliment. And I breathed easy once more.

Ugh, I both like and hate that you've mentioned that transition, because that was the one I felt most uneasy about. In fact, that was my main concern about the whole match - that it was too clunky, and didn't quite flow. Cheers for the advice on that one, again I'll see if I can tweak it. But it's a massive relief to know the match was Final-worthy, because it was the most ridiculous pressure knowing people were so excited for this point and expected GOOD.

I admire your stadium metaphor.

I may well have had England lose the match - because let's face it, that's the biggest cliche I could have written and I hate doing that - but James HAD to win the Cup for him to do what he does next, so it would have totally ruined my future plans had he lost. He's NOT the superstar player though, because that really would have been horrendously cliched. That's why he got Player of the Match in the semi-final; I wanted him to shine, but it couldn't be in the Final.


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Review #54, by SlideOff the Rails: sixty

24th March 2014:
There was some sort of Quidditch World Cup lore I missed? Blast, I'm always missing JK's lore reveals (and then rampantly ignoring some of what she says, HO HUM).

Yay, Bagmans! Bagmen? Cleo and Cato, anyway. Hm. I know you have plans for Cato, so I anticipate something of a time jump before our next story unless it IS ADVENTURES IN AUSTRALIA which I'm not gonna lie, I'd be totally on board for. But it's sensible for them to split up, anyway - I can see Beaters developing that kind of co-dependent professional relationship which could go a bit Pete Tong if something happened to one of them.

Ha. Harry tells good stories, Ron tells ACCURATE stories.

Ah, James. You might have changed, but your past will still catch up with you on occasion. And I feel sorry for you. But it's also hi-LAR-ious. I'd also call him dim for not wondering if Ireland and England would clash, but I suppose if he did the maths anyway it would have only been possible for them to come head-to-head in the Final due to groupings, and no way was he going to contemplate England making it that far. Or, rather, worrying about the Final is, "God, will we get to the Final?" not, "Oh, God, will I have to play Ireland?" Poor Brigid. Her life is successful and yet so AWKWARD at times. I think she's doing the right thing by going to ground for a wee bit. There's no right answer.

Yay Maddie and Lily time! Maddie, you're so super-subtle, asking about travel plans (AS EVER I agree with you about magical transport. ASTONISHINGLY). Ooh-eer, letters to Cato, hmm? How old-fashioned and positively sweet of you. I demand to have more! James, start paying attention to your sister's housemate's love life more! EVen if that makes you a little weird! Dang POV characters.

Ooh, seeding stuff on Muggle STUFF. I do love the Muggle-Magical interactions as a notion, it's one part of the wizarding world I haven't played around with nor am I in a situation to do so, but it's INTERESTING. Stop encouraging the teapots, Maddie, though if you must, at least they're learning the classics.

Lily is once again in a pickle. I suppose there's not too much reason to tell friends she's had no reason to tell for all this time, but it's still an unpleasant obstacle. There really is no right answer, especially as the idea of, if it goes wrong, having to send in people to WIPE YOUR FRIENDS' MEMORIES is deeply unpleasant. On top of how you have to remember how they reacted really badly to that important thing about you, and can't act on it. At least Lily could avoid the guy who reacted poorly, and steer clear of him.

Of course James plays. I wonder if we'll hear more from McLaggen before the end? I doubt anything major but I wouldn't be surprised if he tries to pull something in a fit of pique-ish vengeance. It'll be interesting to see James vs Ryan! I somehow doubt it's going to be as much a game of the teams just containing each other and letting the Seekers handle it as they're making out.

D'aww, affection from Dad. And the complicated question of the Top Box seats. Harry is probably right. If nothing else, it could stick Brigid in an awkward spot to have her team win or lose without some backup either way!

Sixty chapters. Boom! I look forward to the remainder. It's been a rollicking ride.

Also I've been INSPIRED to do one of dem forum page things which I meant to do ages and it's thus your fault.

Good chapter, bro! Roll on the final!

Author's Response: Yes, much lore was released on Pottermore. Which totally tramples over most of what I've written. Never mind!

I do indeed have plans for Cato. They are not the Adventures in Australia, however that is one of the separate side-projects I have bubbling away in my mind. I doubt it will emerge as much more than a cutesy little short story, if anything, but I do have fun imagining how things go for him. The Plan is more exciting than that (I hope), and is part of the bigger picture within Derailed.

I knew you'd love the Maddie. Letters. Bless her. FUNNILY ENOUGH this is very much linked to my Cato project (or alternatively IS what I have planned for him) so if you get one, you get the other. And even if I don't get round to properly writing anything there will still be enough of them in Derailed to keep you satisfied. I hope.

One thing which throwing Squib!Lily and Carlotta into Rails has allowed me to do is go crazy on Muggle/Wizarding relations. It's fun! And unbelievably fascinating. There are so many different facets which never really crossed my mind until I undertook this fic. Yet again a promise that more of that is to come in Derailed. Stay tuned!

Let's face it, Lily's stuck between a rock and a hard place. This is yet ANOTHER side-project I can expand on if I find the time, but when Lily told Maddie and Kit she would have been petrified that they'd react badly. And Kit DID at first. So of course there's that worry of - will other people be okay with this or will they react badly? And the Obliviation came shortly afterwards, which of course put Lily off telling anyone anything EVER. But the more time that passes without Lily telling her other friends, the more hurt and angry they're likely to be if ever she DOES tell them. It's rotten.

Harry/James reduces me to a pile of mush EVERY TIME. I love them. Absolutely love 'em. Cheers for the review bro!

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Review #55, by SlideOff the Rails: fifty-nine

4th March 2014:
I had a review in progress while I read this for the first time. And then I closed the window. SLIDE IS SMART.

I like the touch of how James' inexperience is now no longer as big a deal, if only because the rest of England are as out of their depth as he is. More or less. I like seeing Michael do more - Demelza's good, but she comes across as rattled, despite expressing her belief in the team. Michael backing that up is good to see.

On the one hand, it would have been nice to see a semi-final game. On the other, I agree and appreciate that there are only so many times you can depict a Quidditch game, most of the tricks have been pulled out, and skipping the semi-final in order to keep more vim and vigour for the final is a perfectly sound idea. We have had a LOT of matches this story, and one could fuss about, 'Oh, maybe there should have been fewer matches earlier,' or the like, but A: I'm not sure that's true, and B: If only we could all edit the hell out of our serialised stories once they were done. Sigh. I think it was a good build-up to the gaining of confidence, bringing everything down to a more micro-level of James wigging, then getting his bearings, which was all we really needed to know. Adversity happened and was overcome.

I had the sense, while reading, that I'd lost track of Ireland and, oh my, what if the final winds up being England vs Ireland. My drama sense tingled most accurately.

Della is adorable. Good chapter! I promise a better review next time as I will not DESTROY my work before posting it.

Author's Response: So many times. SO MANY TIMES I have done this too, and lost a magnificent review in the making. And the thought of having to type it all out again is so painful that I run away from the chapter for about a week or more. Luckily, my most common mishap is pressing the back button, and if Chrome is being clever it saves my masterpiece for me. Shutting the window is just curtains though.

In all of James' worry that he's in new territory, he's forgotten that with every step they take through this competition, more and more of them are finding themselves in his situation. This is that moment of realisation - and actually, I imagine it's a comforting thought in one sense, that he's not the only one wading into the unknown. Demelza's in a similar position herself! Hence why she's more rattled - she's been charged with getting some serious results from an England team, and the closer they get to the end the more nervewracking it gets.

Oh yes, the semi-final debate. This chapter gave me a huge headache because the last thing I wanted to do was write another Quidditch match. I knew the Dreaded Final was looming, and the thought of having to write the semi-final out as well was putting me off getting this chapter done. So in the end, I made the call to skip it. Yes, it would have been nice to see, but on the whole I think I've spoiled you guys with matches, so hopefully this one's omission isn't too disappointing. The final will definitely have much more focus - it has a whole chapter to itself, naturally, and it's a whopper. I've written it. It probably needs a lot of editing. But the first few painful steps are done.

You called an Ireland v England final a chapter or so back, so you clearly hadn't completely lost track of them! Drama indeed. Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #56, by SlideOff the Rails: fifty-eight

30th January 2014:
Ha! Insightful Carla is insightful.

Curious about the whole Wizarding TV thing. I mean, it's not that outrageous considering the wizarding wireless exists, and it's bizarre how somehow magic can be LESS effective than technology (no mobile instantaneous communication devices, guys?), so I can see it happening eventually. I like to think it's a product of the war reducing the anti-Muggle backlash.

Yes international travel SHOULD be complex. Okay, so today I'm focusing on world building over characters and plot, APPARENTLY. Actually, scratch that, D'AWW Ryan and Della. Ryan. You are a sillyhead. A great big sillyhead. James gives good advice!

Oddly I think Ryan's not wrong to wait until after the World Cup. He's tense but he could wind up HEARTBROKEN, and so being professional is rather necessary.

Bwahaha, Cleo. And smart George and Angelina - everyone wants the final! I still want to see more of your Rose and Scorpius, unsurprisingly. Attagirl, being lured in by the Top Box.

Flee, James. FLEE the conversation. And - yes, eavesdrop, good boy. Laughed at the use of the Extendable Ear. Be dogged, Brigid. Then again, if he refuses to be loved, you can't force it! Give it a good try, your best shot, and then if he is intent on remaining a plonker, move on! Let us hope he does not remain a plonker, though.

Good stuff!

Author's Response: I should really be better at answering reviews.

The TV thing ... it's something I wasn't overly keen on doing, at first. I don't like stories where all of a sudden, Muggle stuff works in the wizarding world. But at the same time, the wizarding world clearly adapted wirelesses to work for them, so I don't see any reason why they couldn't eventually hop on the television bandwagon. They're not about to start producing films and whatnot though, it's just broadcasting news and Quidditch. And it probably wouldn't work at Hogwarts, because it's still a Muggle device, unlike with the wizarding wireless where they seem to have created their own version of a Muggle device.

Phones, of course, both landline and mobile, are still a completely Muggle device which witches and wizards are just becoming more willing to use as Muggle society infiltrates wizarding society more and more. And they CERTAINLY wouldn't work at Hogwarts.

I still like the thought of long-distance travel by Floo, with many pit-stops at pubs. Don't worry, I love hypothesising over this sort of stuff, so I am ALL OVER this kind of review.

Rose and Scorpius' storyline in Derailed ought to please you. Although I need to flesh things out a bit, the plot is still the bare bones. But that story is one of the main reasons I put them together, along with the scene earlier in this fic where Carlotta finds out about Muggle persecution. Maybe if you're lucky I'll feature them in a couple of chapters' time :)

Well James WOULD eavesdrop, wouldn't he? Freddie is being a bit of a plonker. Whether he remains so, is for me to know and you to find out ;) Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #57, by SlideOff the Rails: fifty-seven

18th January 2014:
James has the best friends, family, and girlfriend ever. Not that it's unreasonable for them to be afraid he'd have some sort of stress-induced relapse, or simply suffer from the stress from being centre-stage in a global sporting tournament.

Oh my God so many Weasleys. I wasn't writing Ignite when I started reviewing this. I didn't understand your pain. THERE'S SO MANY OF THEM. SO, SO MANY. Yay, Louis! I particularly like that Brigid is perking up even if the situation with Freddie isn't fixed - sure, he's a source of her upset, but she's capable of sorting her life out without her man! Good on her!

Even if it is just a distraction!

I like to think Cordelia's happy, too. I get like that when I chase the cat. I like to think it's a fun chase-game. If not, I'm regularly traumatising a small animal. So I will hope Cordelia is also happy.

Brigid. You're a smart girl and a good friend! And I do love the Bagmans.

I enjoyed the Germany-Peru match! Not filler at all; I think it's an important set-up of the stakes, and an interesting display of the different mentalities. James might be a professional player but this is absolutely a winner-takes-all endeavour, and expectations are vicious and there.

Demelza is putting the fear of God in them, I see. If ever there was a time, it's when you don't want them complacent, but not when the odds are so long that they might break from pressure. There's reason to be confident to off-set the nerves.

And, good stuff! We didn't need another blow-by-blow account of the match - we've had several and when we have at LEAST one more high-stakes game ahead of us (prediction: England will make it to the Final, and lose), we don't need Yet More Quidditch. I think the plot's moving along perfectly fine, to be honest; this one is a transition piece, but we're building up for our Epic Crescendo; the pieces need to be put in place!

I know how annoying such parts of the story are to write, and it's coming fine. Good stuff!

Author's Response: I do love writing the Weasleys, especially when they're being a cute, supportive family network. But YES, so many of them! Ha, love your soft spot for Louis.

I definitely agree with you re chasing cats. And I'd like to think Cordelia is happy too, or my main character is guilty of some serious animal cruelty, and I don't think I'm comfortable with that.

See, I liked writing the Germany-Peru match, mainly because I didn't actually have to write the match itself. This is the problem with James' matches; how often can I get away with NOT writing the match in detail? ARGH. Never write Quidditch.

I like your prediction there.

Cheers for the feedback, it really is reassuring to know things aren't floundering. I suppose it feels that way because my progress has been slow, which makes the fic feel slow. HOWEVER, I am reassured that things are okay. Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #58, by SlideOff the Rails: fifty-six

8th November 2013:

Yay, it's the multi-day match! This pleases me for silly, nerdy reasons. Oh, James, you sweetheart staying near to home. I'm so glad he's being sensible about it and doing it for good reasons, instead of feeling obligated or restrained - which would be fair! But he's not repressing, he's just being sensible.

Poor Stefan. :(

I wondered when the instructor job would pop back up again as a plot point. It's curious, I'm not sure what you're driving at for it. James won't leave the Falcons... I don't think!!! Oh, God, unless something horrid happens... Okay, this is the definition of pointless fussing. *reads on*

Well, let's hope England hosting this World Cup goes better than it did last time!

Of course James plays. McLaggen is an idiot. But this explosion should be good. And it doesn't disappoint. It's also good to see James' ambition and pride come in - he's so calm in how he handles his professional stuff these days, which is great growth, but the guy's allowed to be smug about slapping down a rival and proving himself!

Good stuff.

Author's Response: SO AM I.

Multi-day match time! This is where the whole substitution thing confused me - because why should there be subs NOW, and yet not when Lynch got wiped out? I guess I fell into that pitfall because JK did; when Harry had to drop out of matches half-way through, he couldn't be replaced, and yet there's also talk of subs taking over in long matches. Maybe that's the rule? Maybe the subs are there in the event of a long match, to replace EVERYONE, but you can't have one-off bench-style subs? Yeah, that's the line I'm taking on this one.

James knows he's young, and has more than enough time to go abroad if he wants to. The next World Cup won't be for another four years, he doesn't need to start thinking about developing his game RIGHT NOW. Although if I were him I'd be jetting off somewhere exotic thank you very much. Alas, this is one moment where I cannot project myself upon him.

Oh, the instructor job. Basically, James loses his arm in the next England match, and is told it can't be grown back and he can never play again ... ;) All jokes aside, I'm still ridiculously excited about my plan for that. You'll have to wait to see what happens! :)

Well England knocked Transylvania out in qualifying so things are already shaping up better for them than last time round. Was it Transylvania they lost to? Or Luxembourg? One of the Home Nations lost to Luxembourg but I can't for the life of me remember which way round it goes now. EITHER WAY things are already promising.

James plays. Happy days! Thanks for reviewing :)

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Review #59, by SlideOff the Rails: fifty-five

21st October 2013:
Oof, I read this while ILL and a review wasn't quite something I was capable of putting together coherently. So I return, and write!

Poor James. Can't win. He deals with it like a champ, of course, but it would be hard moving away from control, and of course it's different to how it is for the Falcons (not just because he's a Falcons regular), it's England in the World Cup!

Aw, he remembers Brigid's birthday on his own. Sweetheart. UGH writing characters giving presents. I hate it. I'm bad enough thinking up what I should give people, let alone what my fictional people should give one another. But he's a good friend, and it's nice to see him proving it more and more after his little breakdown.

And of course he reaches the conclusion we anticipated: that James is a better option than McLaggan. Which, while evident, is obviously JUICY because of all the DRAMA this is going to inevitably cause when he's the one signed up for the big matches. Of course James considers other options, being James, but it's clear this is going to go.

I can see why this chapter was tough - it's a transition piece, moving through events and matches which need to be addressed but not in minute detail, and how to sweep across them is tough. It's well-done, though, with the key or fun conversations with Maddie and Brigid to round them out, and honestly if I hadn't known you were beating it with a hammer I wouldn't have known; it feels like transition, yes, but effortless. So, good stuff!

Author's Response: Should probably answer these reviews. Actually, that's a lie, I should be REVISING, but I am gifted at finding all sorts of forms of procrastination. This is one of those.

Although I can't remember what I'm actually replying to. This is why such a chapter title format fails on all levels.

Bleurgh, PRESENTS. I don't know why I insert present exchanges into my fics, I struggle every time to work out what said present should be. THIS will be the last time. (She says...)

I love writing James when he's trying not to get his hopes up. Bless him. There will be drama of some sorts; certainly McLaggen won't be happy with this turn of events!

Ungh. Beating the whole of this sub-plot with a hammer right now. All of the woes! Thanks for reviewing all those eons ago :)

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Review #60, by SlideOff the Rails: fifty-four

7th October 2013:
Yay, Lily! Yay world exposition and magical history and geography! Happy day! Tobias agrees with Lily. Like, loads. History is important! Poor, silly Binns. I can't help but wonder if JK has either an aversion to history or had some terrible teachers she was lampooning.

Ooh, you mentioned dropping the name Thaddeus. It is a good name! And I approve of squibs being tutors - I mean, seriously, it does seem like a good line of work for them, especially if they have acclimatised somewhat to the Muggle way of life. There would indeed be pros to straddling both worlds.

Squib rights. I smell future plot.

Demelza's a smart cookie. And of course everyone but McLaggen has either humility or sense or both. Something horrid's going to happen to that guy but I suspect not yet.

Ha, poor James, can't rely on Brigid to organise his life when it comes to... Brigid. Freddie better do something nice. He'll either do something amazing or something awful (my predictions are great, yo). Poor, poor Brigid. I mean, poor Freddie, too, but my sympathy's with her. Maybe it's just being an emotional female which does it!

Hmm. It's all going well in Quidditch. I anticipate James won't play in the Canada game, but something's got to go wrong soon. Or wrong-ness must be dangled. HMM.

Good stuff, though!

Author's Response: I had far too much fun writing about Lily going off on one on history teachings. My nerdness coming out in full there. ;) YES, this is the Thaddeus mention! You have no idea how long I spent trying to work out who was called Thaddeus. Poor Stubbs. Certainly if you're going to try straddling both worlds as a Squib, a tutor is one of the best professions, though I'm not sure my Thaddeus is some kind of secret agent/personal trainer/epic spy figure on the side. But then if he was, we wouldn't know about it, would we?

Keep the Squib right plan in mind. Can't promise how important it will be in Derailed but it will appear in some context.

It's definitely not a bad thing for your sympathies to lie with Brigid! I've been very cruel to her, and yet she's soldiered on, bless her. Although now you're just reminding me that I have more Freddie/Brigid stuff to write. And more Quidditch too. BLEURGH. We'll just end things here, shall we? AND EVERYONE LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER. Cheers for the review :)

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Review #61, by SlideOff the Rails: fifty-three

27th September 2013:
Boo, last one. But yay, all caught up! What has it BEEN about this summer where we've all just fallen over?

It'd be interesting to properly see a several-day match. There'd be a whole slew of new tactics about it! And just all the love for James in all of this. He's such a good-natured soul, first about fitting into the team, then about getting the chance to play, and then with the kids! Such a softie.

And again we see now how good he is with other players coming around as Emily helps him out in-turn. It's nice, this, the touches on what makes a good sportsman in the bigger picture than just playing the game, and while we've seen James mostly be the big man with the Falcons, an old hand - despite his trip-ups - it's good to see him as the neonate with England, taken under the wing of others. And being James, he'll be smart and learn more than just Quidditch tips from them!

And he does well! Of course our James does well. But the real trials are to come!

Now I get to kick back and enjoy the chapters as they come. And they'd better be coming! I think we both owe each other ninjas at this rate. Good work!

Author's Response: To be fair, I anticipated things grinding to a halt this summer. I was barely in the COUNTRY, let alone in my own house. I thought I might have enough time to pop out a couple of chapters or leave a couple of reviews here and there but, alas, that didn't arise. Although it turns out I finished this chapter way back in April when I last wrote something, and it was just sitting there waiting to be posted, and I completely forgot about it. Still, at least it means I had something to throw up as soon as I could, because I'm a bit stuck on the next chapter. SIGH.

There is a 48-hour plus match coming up, but it doesn't involve James and it doesn't get a huge amount of tactical focus. That's where my whole substitution thing gets interesting/inconsistent. Cheers for the reviews, it's been good for me to refresh my memory on these latest chapters, particularly the Quidditchy ones, because it's given me some ideas on how to resolve my stuckness. Hopefully I should get the ball rolling again this week!

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Review #62, by SlideOff the Rails: fifty-two

27th September 2013:
I have no idea if fish goes with pumpkin or not. I think I've eaten pumpkin only once in my life. It was in a soup. With cheese. Served INSIDE the pumpkin. I know, right? It was delicious. Its preparation also had nothing to do with me!!

Makes lots of sense to use the actual extant Quidditch grounds. That said, also makes sense that most of the grounds wouldn't have the capacity for truly world-wide games. Not that they do in the real world but if you could magically make a temporary stand with the ginormous capacity...

Yay he's in! Of course he's in. But he's really earned it, and Demelza's right, he doesn't view it as something which belongs to him which means he'll value it more.

And yes, James, beat that McLaggan. I see the apple does not fall far from the tree...

Author's Response: I did search for fish/pumpkin recipes and I came across a couple! I wouldn't want to try it, though. I think I might have had pumpkin soup once before. Sounds life-changing with a cheesy interior! I may have to suggest that one to Carlotta.

James is in. He earned it fair and square. McLaggen is a carbon copy of his father, which shan't go unpunished. Cheers for reviewing!

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Review #63, by SlideOff the Rails: fifty-one

27th September 2013:
James has prospects! Squee. Go properly abroad, James, you'll know it's worth it. Yay, discourse on international travel! I agree, unsurprisingly, on it not being instantaneous to just travel the globe. The whole thing of Portkeys being controlled, monitored, regulated makes sense - and I like Floo-hopping! That adds a nice kind of feel to the travel, stopping off in a pub for a pint mid-trip. And then you spoil me with MORE lorecrafting, now with the relations with the Muggle world. Good stuff.

Loving the little details of moving out of Lily's school. But, of course, I'll be over here in a corner, waving my little flag for Maddie and Cato. James has inherited his father's powers of observation at times. And of course Lily knows better than to harangue James with his England chances!


Author's Response: Can you imagine? Someone embarks on a trip from Britain to, say, Russia, through the Floo network, stopping for a pint at each pub on the way, getting steadily drunker as they go on ... you know, that sounds like a very Dimitri thing to do...

The discussion about wizarding/Muggle relations and the Prime Minister is VERY much setting the scene for the sequel, so if you think that was spoiling you, you'll be in heaven when Derailed comes about. I HOPE.

No need for a Maddie/Cato corner ... what do you think my hypothetical Maddie spin-off would be about? ;) Cheers for review yo.

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Review #64, by SlideOff the Rails: fifty

27th September 2013:
And Freddie toys with James nerves, frayed like that tapestry attacked by angry kittens. Oh, good point from James about him not doing something big. I suppose I'd kind of anticipated it, as a reader - the high point of his comeback, the big, dramatic thing James did as a player to prove and redeem himself. And it didn't happen and that was never disappointing because it was always satisfyingly written (and, I suspect, will be coming), but it's kind of nice James has proven himself just by being solid, reliable Potter.

Poor Carla and her concern! I imagine health's a big general worry of hers but at the same time this is a weird, alien illness. It's only reasonable it'd make her wig a little bit.

Many laughs at poor Harry, the memories of Lockhart burned into his brain. That man would have an impact forever. Though I can see a bit why he might remember them, considering Lockhart's eventual fate! Which he didn't deserve, really, liar though he was. Oh, no, Harry finds it funny. Well. Lockhart IS a berk!

I have a Gabe in the corner looking smug as Harry defends true Seers.

Poor James. He's going to go grey by the time this decision's over. And I had NO idea ALL of those books were canon! I never bother with that. I just make mine up. Good canon-thumping, there!

Author's Response: Yeah, I didn't want James to waltz back into the team and be the star of the show in every match. Aside from being very unlikely, it's also very cliched. And besides, I figure demonstrating that you're a team player is more valuable than stealing the show ANYWAY.

Oh, the books. THE BOOKS. I basically combed the Lexicon for books mentioned in canon and threw them ALL in. And went to town with Harry/James banter while I was at it. I really do LOVE post-war Harry. Thanks for reviewing :)

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Review #65, by SlideOff the Rails: forty-nine

27th September 2013:
Oh yeah, the dance! Huzzah! All fair considerations from poor Kit about the extended people who find out about the magical world. So, parents and siblings and really close people know. But what about the further ones? It gets complicated! And Cato is an adorable big lug.

James feeling old at twenty-one. It happens to us all. *pats* Have a drink and you'll feel better. Harsh accusation at Maddie re: seating! But she has a point. And also it's her god-given right to sit between two handsome Quidditch players if she wants to! Oh, it's been months since I read a Maddie chapter. I love her again (get in there with Cato, my girl).

Girly awards - this is gonna get cruel. Lily's a darling, of course, in how she handles it. Who wouldn't laugh at egg on Rosalind's face? And I just snorted coffee at the image of Maddie wearing her prizes. This coffee is precious to me!!

*reads on. Reads about Maddie drinking wine through a snorkel. Puts down coffee*

And now I have ALL THE FEELS on James and Lily. I do love Lily and her little entourage, it's just such an awesome 'side' plot (I know you don't treat it as a side-plot, but it comes after Quidditch and Carla), and it breathes so naturally as a story and with such natural characters.

Oh noes, St Mungo's and Leggy Allegra strikes back. With... kindness. Weird striking there. But good on you, girl.

Hm. I did anticipate this. There was no way we'd set up a World Cup JUST for James to lose it, or rather, not with this pacing. If he was going to miss out, the World Cup would have happened during his breakdown so he witnessed what he missed. But with it up ahead...!

I smell an England sign-up.

Author's Response: A reminder that it's immensely difficult, being Lily, and having to judge where to draw the line when it comes to letting people know THE biggest secret it's possible to have. Not just a throwaway discussion, this will become relevant in the sequel too.

I project A LOT on James when it comes to feeling old. Mostly encouraged by seeing the uni newbies out EVERY night and wondering how their heads and livers can take it, and wistfully reminiscing about how I did the same three years ago. He's not old at all, of course he's not. But it's depressing when younger people seem to be able to handle far more alcohol!

Maddie basically took control when I was writing this chapter, and demanded all the attention. I hope no coffee was lost in the reading of this chapter.

Leggy Allegra isn't the type of person to fight fire with fire, she's a sweetie. And tells James what he needs to hear. I have big plans for her!

I am unlikely to insert a World Cup and not have my main character involved. Cheers for the review :)

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Review #66, by SlideOff the Rails: forty-eight

27th September 2013:
James. Describe the Burrow. While hungover. Easy peasy! Liking the little bits and pieces of lore elaboration in this chapter - Diagon Alley, the different wizarding settlements. You know I love all that. And the little details like the new clocks! Which makes lots of sense and is still all sad with the Fred stuff. Especially sad considering George/Angelina. They're lost too. Oh dear. I just upset myself.

The Falcons do deserve a bit of a finger-wagging for their tactics! But it's good they're not being wholly demonised either. Darn press! Hee, Teddy and little Dora wreaking havoc. And ESPECIALLY Teddy. Yay Louis! He's definitely one of my favourites. Troublemaker that he is.

Ooh, the draw! I was briefly dim and forgot why Spain mattered. Now, the drama, the drama. I foresee a - ah, yes. An England vs Spain match! But first, omg, James and Dora, too cute.

Hm. He's thinking about that teaching job at Hogwarts, isn't he. But in what form...?

Author's Response: Yeah, Carlotta handed James an ever so slightly tough task there. He definitely made the right decision in respectfully bowing down from the challenge. Writing about all the wizarding settlements was indeed good fun. Poor George and Angelina. :(

I like the scenes with the extended family, because sometimes I forget about people like Teddy - as I've bemoaned before. Louis is probably one of my favourites too, what with his butter-wouldn't-melt attitude. To think, I all but forgot him until James roped him in as a drinking buddy.

James is thinking about the teaching job. LIPS SEALED. Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #67, by SlideOff the Rails: forty-seven

27th September 2013:
I know I keep saying this. But I do love the little details about the Quidditch league and rules and so forth. All so realistic. But then I guess that stuff's been in my head with the recent talk of a winter footie World Cup in a few years. But yes. It makes the world REAL. Little things.

Ha at Ginny. Reasonable words when expressing your dislike. I bet you're lying for your son's sake. We all know you, Ginny. Fiery temper. :D And then she says she's not sorry he lamped a photographer. See! It's good of James to consider his drinking, but Ginny's probably right - it's a bad habit in how he uses alcohol. He clearly CAN control his drinking. Also, he's 21. Gee, like he's the first 21 year-old in the world to get verrry drunk lots. At least he's being responsible.

Ooh, there's a Scorpius. Provocative Rose. I'm glad old habits don't die hard with Harry, I always find it hard to believe it ever becomes sunshine and daisies with Draco and so there'd need to be a reason for them to be at least not awkward with Scorpius. And a Charlie! The eternal bachelor. Glad he's made a cameo.

Poor Brigid. Re: Freddie, re: Ingrid. She's a good sort, I always do feel sorry for her in these situations. She does get the short end of the stick. But perseveres! And then Freddie goes and is adorable. *facepalm*

And no Alfie. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Good on Sophie for stepping up to the plate. Perhaps for the best she got no notice, poor girl, now she just has to focus on doing the job instead of freaking out. And evidently is up to the task!

Oh HELL Della isn't. Did not see THAT coming. But then this was going to get the best of someone, these last minute changes. Oh, phew, Ryan saves the day. That was very sweet.

I'm pausing reading the beginning of the match to say this is SUPER tense. Like, woah. Good job building the tension. And then, hee! The Bagmans pull through, of course! And Della's right to make them play it properly from here, it IS a questionable tactic even in a world of magic medicine!

Mrfle. They win. Of course they win, but ALL THE FEELS.

Author's Response: League shortening and whatnot. Done accidentally, because I gave NO thought whatsoever towards an actual calendar and schedule when I started writing this fic, and by the time I DID it was too late to change it. That's probably the biggest thing I'd change if I had the opportunity, because in a lot of ways it's a pointless occurrence. BUT it does have a real-life comparison I suppose, THANK YOU FIFA for being so corrupt and useless.

Definitely not sunshine and daisies with Weasley/Malfoy relations. More teasers - that becomes relevant in Derailed as well. Aaaand Charlie, because I feel bad when I forget about him. Brigid ... I am cruel to her. Poor thing. One day, my plot threads will be nice to her. I think. Not promising anything.

The Alfie storyline is purely here to allow me to write that Ryan/Della moment. Utter self-indulgence I will admit, but then extra drama can never be a bad thing. Plus it reminds us that Ryan/Della is a relationship that is not happening yet. Those poor Murphy kids.

Glad to know you like the tension building, sometimes it's hard to gauge whether I'm going OTT or being too blase with it. And THEY WIN. Of course they do. Cheers for the review :)

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Review #68, by SlideOff the Rails: forty-six

27th September 2013:
Of course James plays! Not just dramatically, but I get the impression that, good as Roxanne is, he's still the more reliable regular for such a big game even despite his slump. He's been improving. He just doesn't SEE it, being James. And Roxanne agrees with me. Ha!

Oh God, the situation with Roxanne/Freddie's side of the family. It makes such horrible sense that George and Angelina would struggle to get over Fred's death but it's so horrendous it's been a shadow over their entire lives. Roxanne sums it up properly, in that it should be dealt with and then moved past. But war always leaves its scars. It makes me feel awful for Roxanne and Freddie, but also Brigid - as she's another 'innocent' caught in the crossfire of someone else's soul wounds. This really is the 'sins' of the fathers coming down on their children.

Ooh, and as I comment on taking out a player with a Bludger, it's elaborated on. I mean, of course it's legal, or else why put a Bludger in the game, but it makes sense it would be frowned on.

I love that Kreacher's been mostly reformed, nuts as he is. The House Elf situation is a horribly complicated one. And d'aww domesticity. Yes, it's cute, James. Get used to it.

Author's Response: Roxanne was right; James was ALWAYS going to play in this match. As in, the moment he walked into Sinead's office to beg for his place back, she whacked him straight into the line-up for the last three matches - hence why to her, the team announcement wasn't a big deal. Because it's an obvious choice; James is better than Roxanne. Sinead just chose not to tell him so as to keep him hanging. ;)

Roxanne is important here, in showing that Freddie ISN'T just being stupid. Well, he IS, but at least his fears stem from a valid issue. I've honestly never felt that George/Angelina could be properly healthy. I may have over-exacerbated it a bit here to give Freddie more of a story, but ... there's more to it than "they fell in love". Far more. Poor Freddie and Roxanne. And, yes, poor Brigid too.

Taking player out with Bludger is naughty. Until it's a Lynch. Then it's fine. But yes, the Bludgers are there for a reason, and the tactic isn't illegal, so if you can do it, why not? This is professional Quidditch, not just a bit of fun, and in the right circumstances, it's the right tactic.

Oh, the Carlotta/Kreacher scene. One of my favourites in Rails, I think. Reform has occurred, Kreacher remains his nut-job self. Partly because his nature has a reasonable amount of importance in Derailed. EXCITING. Thanks for reviewing :)

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Review #69, by SlideOff the Rails: forty-five

27th September 2013:
D'aww, happy morning times. And James, again, proving he can sensibly balance work and personal when he needs to. It's nice, he's always had the CAPACITY to, he just didn't always choose to use that capacity. Now he's buckling down to get his life in order, it's nice to see. And to see how, even though his England chances are scuppered, he's still growing professionally, involved in the planning and tactics.

It's interesting how the tactics, within Quidditch, can indeed revolve around incapacitating a player. It's something that never got hugely dealt with in the books - the substitutions available (the books implied none, which is a bit odd, though CLEARLY backup players existed as Harper took over from Malfoy in 6). An amusing intricacy of a wizarding world expanded upon.

Yay Cordelia cameo! And again, always interesting to see how the Trio consider the truth when it comes to how much they reveal post-war. I agree the Hallows wouldn't come out; I reckon the Horcruxes might if only to explain what Harry was up while on the run. But good on James for sharing the whole truth. And d'aww, of course he sorted those tickets.

Good stuff!

Author's Response: That was always the trouble with James - on the pitch he understood that he had to take responsibility for his actions ... he just never realised that that was the case OFF the pitch too. So his personal life went a bit awry. Now he has a REASON to buckle down, he's actually managing it quite well. So long as Carlotta sticks around to cook for him, because he still lacks those vital skills.

I'll be honest, I had NO idea how this match against the Bats would pan out until I sat down to write it, and then I made it all up on the spot. I knew the eventual League result, just not how it would happen. And I LOVED coming up with the game play. The substitution thing is one that seems very inconsistent in the books - and I'll admit now, becomes inconsistent here too, although I'm sure I can come up with some sort of explanation when the time comes!

Cordelia's presence in this story is simply for humour purposes. Well, and partly to show that James can't look after a thing. But mainly for amusement. My amusement, of course. The Horcrux thing was interesting to think about. I knew that Ron and Hermione wouldn't agree on what to do, but I actually think I had it the other way round at first - that Ron thought honesty was the best option, but Hermione thought it was too terrible a form of magic to teach the world about. In the end, I flipped it because Ron seemed more likely to want it kept quiet, while Hermione would be TOTALLY anti-censorship. I expect Harry would just explain his year on the run as "preparing to fight Voldemort" and hope nobody asked questions. Interesting things to consider though! Cheers for review yo.

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Review #70, by SlideOff the Rails: forty-four

27th September 2013:
After I start reviewing. The website dies on my. TYPICAL. Back nao.

I know I keep saying this but I love professional James. He has a job. He cares about it. He takes it seriously. None of this "fly by the seat of his pants" stuff which is connected with his stereotype. Yay Quidditch! And of course he doesn't quite get how good he is - how good the Weasley legacy plus his own legacy of Gryffindor playing is. Bless. And how good he is with people. I am being so pleasantly reminded of what a sweetheart James is.

And Ginny! Best! Mum! Ever! And good, being sensible, telling him it's okay to want to do better than Roxanne. 'cos it is! Haha, poor James, exposed to his parents giving displays of affection like PEOPLE. It's just not right.

Lovely symmetry with the James/Jacob talk and the Ryan/James talk. And I have this sneaking love for Klaus, being such a team player for a Seeker. And now, James, yes! Work hard, play hard!

Yes. When she says she hates you, kiss her. This is the solution to all your arguments. Actually, I shouldn't be sarcastic there. Good boy, James is saying all the right things. All so bittersweet. But for now, just sweet. Good stuff!

Author's Response: I loved writing this chapter. Professional!James is a joy to write, especially when he's being humble or helping someone else out. The Falcons are lucky, in that they have TWO Seekers who truly do play for the team. But then, any Seeker who just goes out to catch the Snitch the first moment (s)he sees it, without any regard to team tactics, is a Bad Seeker. Makes me think of Oliver Wood stalking Harry in what must have been PoA, to drum it into his head that he had to catch the Snitch at exactly the right moment. Poor Harry. Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #71, by SlideOff the Rails: forty-three

27th September 2013:
omg I have 11 chapters to review. Actually, this is great. ALL the reading to do. Muwahahaha. And I owe you, like, big-time. And then I realised sitting down with this fic again was like sitting down with an old friend or some comfortable slippers. It's just snuggly and right.

And so we start with my favourite father/son duo! And James is... making a stab at him about him also making decisions for someone else's own good. Well. Fair cop. But perhaps not your kindest move.

Also, weirdly, I love you for getting "another think coming" right. So many people make it "another thing coming". In fact, I used to. It's one of those things I had to train my brain out of so now I notice it ALL THE TIME (like its/it's and effect/affect). So much love for not making me point at the screen and sputter. Instead I... squee? Much better.

Yay, more Audrey! And yay, more magic theory advancement! I have weird preferences. Oh good. No miracle cures. Not that I thought you'd do all this setup only for a miracle cure, I have more faith in you than that, but you know what I mean! And many interesting and valid points about why Carla can't just swan between Muggle and Magical treatments.

And Ingrid! And - oh. I'd forgotten that about her boyfriend. Yipes. Ouch. You don't shy away from the realities of this situation, good and bad, which is, you know, good! It's not a situation to be treated likely, and I find it extra fascinating in that I'm fortunate enough to have never given it in-depth thought. So I appreciate it being handled respectfully but not shying away.

Awww James. You sweetheart. Good stuff! Onto the next! Muwahaha!

Author's Response: Ungh I don't think I can even remember what happens in these chapters enough to respond properly. This is what happens when I'm too lazy to come up with proper chapter titles. Still, refresh of my memory will probably do some good in jump-starting my inspiration, I'm woefully stuck on the current chapter.

James makes a stab at Harry because he doesn't understand the logic. He knows Harry;s story, but he didn't experience it himself. To him, it's OBVIOUS that Harry couldn't go it alone. Put him in Harry's situation, though, and he'd probably do exactly the same thing. But he's trying to play the supporting role, and so Carlotta's stance is frustrating for him.

"Another thing coming" is one of my BIGGEST grammatical peeves. Shame on you for getting it wrong! Glad you approve of its proper usage.

No miracle cures ... because then where would the James/Carlotta story go? No, that would be FAR too easy a resolution. As it is, that arc of the story will continue into Derailed. In fact, in a sense this is where that thread of this fic ends; from here on out it's James' Quidditch career that carries the story. Which means I actually need to start properly planning Derailed soon. OH GOD.

The conversation with Ingrid and her fellow was actually one of the first 'moments' planned for this fic, way back when the idea first sprung into my head. It was nice to finally write it, although it WAS difficult because I, obviously, have not been placed in this situation either. POOR INGRID. Cheers for the review :)

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Review #72, by SlideOff the Rails: forty-two

6th March 2013:
Yay James Quidditch history. I know this is a framework but the background pleases me. Typical James that he thinks these achievements aren't a big deal; no wonder he has so many inferiority issues. It's kind of down-to-earth of him - he gets tense but he just tries his best, so he doesn't see how GOOD his best is. But this is still something different.

Interfering housemate, go! They have a sacred duty as gatekeepers. And part of that sacred duty is knowing when to ignore instructions. But not give away too much. BECAUSE SHE'S DYING. Totally it. Heh, this one's a good gatekeeper. I approve of her.

And now we go. Carla's cautious, she should be. But she wants him to know the truth already, because him KNOWING isn't the worst part, the worst part is telling. Yes, James - honesty is the best policy right now, because if nothing else, you've got nothing to lose. Can't end worse than it is right now. I think. Interestingly, she's wrong, I think - I think James knows he doesn't need her to stop him from screwing up because he fixed HIMSELF. Which is a glorious thing and such a glorious thing about this story, it's not "girl saves damaged guy from himself", damaged guy saves himself and goes after the girl.

Less commentary on the next bit. Because it's a sorely important issue being addressed, something a lot more real than we usually put in our fanfiction - even if we go serious, we tend to go very high fantasy serious (how many of us deal with the actual fallout of war, for instance, even if the subject matter in itself is deathly serious). I think it's best letting your prose speak for itself in this, and to say I think you're tackling this with every inch of appropriate dignity and care.

But, now. She's lashing out to drive him off, of course, because that makes it easier. I can see why; James might be sincere but has he thought through everything this means? It's a tall order for anyone, and while it would be easy to say "TRUE LOVE CONQUERS ALL", the real world is a lot nastier and tougher than that. He's only just found out. Still, I trust him to do right. And, he's kind of right. Leave for now, because SHE needs to think this through as well as he does.

Okay, Gatekeeper Felicity is smart, sensible, and READING MY MIND.

So! There it is, the big Real Reveal of this, and there's the movie which you said would spoil everything. I've not actually seen it. And though people saw the broad gist coming, we didn't see the ACTUAL truth coming, and it's one of those things which, even if you know roughly what's bearing down on you, that doesn't lessen the impact when it hits. It's not so much a twist as an added layer, and the added layer is good and it is deep. I am only keen to see where we go from here. Of course, the question will come up on what magic can do for the situation, because that must be addressed.

We Shall See. But good stuff, truly. Most excellent tackling of serious issues, and so fie on anyone who says you can't do serious proper things with fanfic! Fie on them, I say! I doff my hat to you on this one.

Author's Response: Glad you liked the background, I certainly enjoyed writing it! I know pretty much everything of James' life, so it's nice to throw things in every now and again, just to flesh his character out. And yes, once more he undervalues his own achievements, the poor kid.

Interfering housemate indeed! Felicity's role ended up as rather a bigger one than I'd intended - in that I hadn't intended to write her into this chapter at all! But I felt that her perspective on things was needed, for James' sake more than anything else, so in she went.

Aand Carlotta does, indeed, have A Bad Illness, as you'd suspected for a long while. Her wanting him to know the truth is partly the fear of doing the Telling, and is partly because if he already knew then it meant he didn't care about it. Her main fears about the whole situation are the effect she might have on his life, and that he wouldn't want anything to do with her once he knew. And so there was a part of her that was hoping that he would have learned about the illness already and that he was still keen in spite of it, even if did then try to get rid of him.

I'm glad you liked their discussion. It was definitely one of the hardest parts of this story to write, given its importance. Obviously Carlotta, as much as she wants to be with James, can't bear to put him through such a terrible ordeal - because of course that's what she sees it as. And yet James can't bear to let her go. So we have a conflict of interests. She wins the battle - because she's right, he DOESN'T know what he's getting himself into and he really needs to have some idea of what's going on before he commits - but he's adamant that he'll win the war.

I didn't necessarily expect you to have seen the movie, but all the same it was best to just keep everything quiet in the event that you'd somehow stumble across the plot and thus work out what was going on. I'm actually glad that this didn't seem like a twist because I didn't want it to seem like a left-field issue. It did give me a sense of satisfaction to see (read?) everybody speculating over What Was Wrong! Well, now you know. :) There IS the possibility that magic might help; that question gets a part answer in the next chapter but it will be a continuing issue right through into the sequel.

Very glad you enjoyed, thanks very much for the review! :)

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Review #73, by SlideOff the Rails: forty-one

6th March 2013:
At least James is philosophical about the ire he's won from the Prophet. But it's only the Prophet. They're plonkers anyway. And at least he knows it, knowing they'll blame him for losing Ginny. Don't lose sleep over it, James! Heh, that's so typical him, to cancel his subscription by default rather than by intention.

But, bless him, again he's the voice of reason in the Freddie-Brigid situation. Poor guy, he's not in an easy spot, even if they're worse off. And Brigid is smart enough to see both sides even if she's also proud and occasionally insecure to blind herself to it.

Ha, typical man, Freddie, to tell her his issues and then seem to do nothing about it. Good on Brigid to not lap it up; he has problems and problems need WORK. She does also have a point about James - it isn't his place, so much, but he is a friend and so there are things he could have done. Being hands-off is sometimes about respecting people's business - but sometimes it's a handy excuse. Poor Brigid, anyway. Freddie has my sympathy but it's her I really feel for in this, mostly because she has no control over the situation and she's doing about the best she can, but she's STILL unhappy.

Yay Al is here. And it's time for Potter-brothers-insecurities, and of course Al is more sensible than James about this. But Al would have to be mental to be less sensible than James about this! It's also nice to remind us that Al and Lily have a very close and healthy relationship - because there's so much closeness with James and Lily and so much distance with James and Albus, it's easy to assume that Albus and Lily are also distant, because we don't see it. But they are still brothers, and brothers give each other advice! Sensible Al.

It's always cute to see the little domestic hints of Harry and Ginny's life together. Even if it'll always be skewed when seen through their son's perspective. I couldn't see Harry taking the teaching job either - he'd love it and he'd be good at it, but this is the man who became an Auror even after defeating Voldemort. He clearly doesn't have much of a 'retire on a farm' streak in him like most heroes. Interesting, he had the file all along. And, of course, there's a page missing (listing some HORRIBLE ILLNESS I'm sure). He's right to keep it hidden, I think, but also right to light a fire under James to make him talk with her. It's not an easy situation to be in but he's done well.

Nice chapter with Potter men fun! The fic's focused so much on James-Lily and James-Ginny so it's good to see some more of Al and Harry.

Author's Response: James has re-evaluated many, many things. Like how little he actually cares about what people think of him. He always disliked most of the Prophet's reporters though, so it's not too much of an evaluation. ;) Nevertheless, he won't be losing sleep over his public opinion ratings!

Brigid is smart. And knows what's good for her. But she also knows what she WANTS, and that's where her problem is - she wants someone who is making himself unattainable. James WAS an idiot by not getting involved sooner - because the hands-off approach only works for so long in this kind of situation. He's only a couple of years late. In some sense, Brigid has no control - but because Freddie is point-blank refusing to do anything, that almost puts the ball back in her court because if anything is going to happen here it has to be on her terms. It's not an ideal situation really. Good to see that all parties are understandable here. :)

This was possibly one of my favourite chapters to write so far, because of the Potter men! Much conversation has obviously been had about the joys of writing a post-Voldemort, carefree Harry, but I haven't had that opportunity yet because in James' eyes he wasn't that person. Sigh. But he is now! Albus, too, gets his moment with his bro. He is most definitely the more grounded, sensible brother, although I'm sure James would enjoy the task of loosening him up a little bit. Yep, he gets on very well with Lily - neither of them are nearly as messed up as James, so there's really nothing to get in the way of a healthy sibling relationship! And Harry. Definitely won't take the teaching job. Not until he's got a beard to rival Dumbledore's at any rate. He had the file - how else was he going to get in the way of the Obliviators? I love your determination that there's a horrible illness on the missing page. EVEN IF you've already read the next chapter by now. Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #74, by SlideOff the Rails: forty

6th March 2013:
I see everyone shoves James into the firing line. Such fair teammates! Their logic is sound but it also seems like they want to avoid Sinead's ire. Cunning. Yay more Quidditch lore! This pleases me perhaps more than it should. It's interesting and makes its own kind of sense while being as appropriately madcap as anything in the wizarding world should be.

Good we see some of James' tactical chops in this scene. I always like it when the silly bugger is granted a chance to show that he's no slouch professionally and there is a REASON why he is in the position he's in. Of course it's a Cannons match. And they will get pulverised. Ron has to enjoy losing by now, but good on him for remaining a true and loyal fan!

Yay it's Maddie! Even for a short cameo. A Cato-themed cameo, hee. Oop, drama on the horizon, at last a Freddie-Brigid talk, and a duh duh DUH ending. I look forward to it. Not much to say on this chapter but I enjoyed it. I like the little details of it.

Author's Response: Yup! Nobody's angry at James for basically running out on them for a month - but if someone has to enter the lion's den, they'll make sure it's him! ;) But also the more senior players can see that Sinead thinks a lot of James and will react well to his input. Additionally it will do HIM the world of good to be involved in that kind of situation; to be able to play on strengths which he perhaps doesn't realise he has. So it's a win-win! Glad you liked the Quidditchy stuff, it got too confusing at first so I had to simplify it a bit. I realise that things CAN be entirely bonkers and still fit in, such is the nature of Quidditch and the wizarding world as a whole - but things went too far. SO. This is what we have. Madness. But evidently enjoyable. :)

I really did feel for Ron when writing this scene. The poor Cannons! But it had to happen. And he is, indeed, loyal to a fault. But then, that's why we love him, isn't it?

I missed Maddie. It was an utter joy to throw her back into the mix. Just you wait; a few chapters down the line she should steal the show. Excited! Cato-themed cameo indeed, because the Bagman deserves a bit of loving. Glad you enjoyed, thanks for reviewing!

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Review #75, by SlideOff the Rails: thirty-nine

6th March 2013:
*looks mournful* Here! No excuses. *chirps up* Chapters!

James has probably been on a broom since he could work (or before, if his father's anything to go by); six weeks on the ground is no laughing matter. If we didn't know it was serious before, we sure do now!

But he's being grown up about it. He has screwed his England chances (barring some mishap, which I'm not ruling out - but under current circumstances he's not coming back) and so is focusing on the team. It's good, it's a show of his growth and humility. But I particularly like it because this isn't a NEW side of James; he's always taken his work seriously, and this is more that aspect of him rising to the forefront than a whole new leaf.

All right, maybe a new leaf if he's not drinking with Freddie! Brigid may need a job which introduces her to more men who, as James says, AREN'T her clients. I mean, good for her, but that's a disaster in the making. At least they're rich sportsmen. She could do worse! Speaking of... Freddie...

And James passes on some of his refound maturity. By yelling, but - well, passes on his wisdom of not sitting around feeling sorry for one's self. And Freddie shows JUST HOW DEEP his damage goes. Woah, poor guy. I feel for him, but he is not his parents. This sounds more like an excuse shielding his own insecurities than literally "I don't know how to love her"; perhaps "I don't know how to be loved", because being raised in a loveless marriage is likely to mess with your head in a multitude of ways - but regardless of Freddie's EXACT damage, it's still legitimate damage. Clearly Freddie does know what a loving relationship LOOKS like, but I guess this means he knows he wasn't born of one.

James still says all the right things. Much love for James, as ever. I must again gush over him; it's hard to write a story from such a narrow perspective (if you're me), but James remains a nuanced and likeable character even if he's being childish or unlikeable, and so it keeps us reading, for him. It might be lovely to see other characters through his eyes, but we're still mostly here for him, for how others relate TO him. That said, I think this is why Lily is such a stand-out character in the story, because she has her Own Dramatic Impetus in a way nobody but James does.

BUT I DIGRESS. It's good that, even 30 years later, the war's not gone. It shouldn't be and wouldn't be. The parents were all so YOUNG when it happened, and that makes it all the more likely their suffering would pass on, even a little, to their children. It makes you wonder how much damage binds people together, and how much that matters. Still. They do have each other, and that's the part that shines through the most, and matters most. Good little chapter.

Author's Response: Yep, currently James' imminent England prospects are looking pretty non-existent. He HAS matured some - the him of old would've found it much harder to tell himself to move on with things, and he took the news of his drop pretty badly in the first place, of course. But he's learning to re-evaluate his priorities. And he HAS always been incredibly loyal towards the Falcons, but this is him realising that the team is bigger than him right now. And he'll have more chances. He's still only young!

Oh, Freddie. He's messed up. He's incredibly insecure, of course he is! It's almost an inferiority complex - given who his best pal is and who his family are, it's not hard to see why doubts might creep in. In essence, he cares too much for Brigid and doesn't want to allow himself that chance to screw things up - so he instead screws up his entire friendship with her. Of course he's capable of being in a loving relationship, it's just the entire concept is alien to him and so it scares him off. James ... is in a bit of an unfamiliar situation here. But nevertheless, he does a good job at telling Freddie what he needs to hear! Whether it actually has the desired effect is of course another issue entirely.

It really is reassuring to know that James remains loveable and understandable no matter how idiotic he's being! Having a more limited perspective DOES make it harder to portray him well when he's being a bit of a douche, because there's no other perspective to freshen things up or even things out, so I'm glad as always to know that he remains in people's good books! (Totally unsure about apostrophe usage there. YOU HAVE MADE ME PARANOID.)

Yes, war scars still remain. But they'll all get by, eventually, in their own ways. James is making progress, and Freddie is learning that he too can become his own person. Thanks for reviewing!

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