Rolling review time baby! Happy Valentines Day! (a month and a day late...)
I really enjoyed this chapter. There are so many clever ideas, so much Hogwartsyness, and the relationships are so expertly played. It doesn’t matter to me that it’s not a big, dramatic chapter. You need these moments to remind us how much they all have to lose. The development of Lily planning for her future, and not knowing whether it’s even feasible with war on the horizon, is important.
You’ve done a really good job of showing how very intelligent Lily is. I can see why we later hear that she was beloved by her teachers - particularly the relationship with Slughorn you portray. It’s also so refreshing to see intelligence portrayed not just as living in the library, head in a book, but exploring, experimenting, explaining... It’s lovely. Your Lily would make a brilliant teacher - she explains potions to Remus and Peter so beautifully.
The past relationship you allude to between Snape and Lily feels so realistic. I love that you can sense Lily’s pain is still present, but that it is a friendship that is set firmly in the past. And yet, she learned from it.
Professor Genov is so cool. And the potions and magic you’ve come up with seem so canony to me. That Water Egg thing seems like something JKR would come up with. It’s brilliant.
I had such a strong image of the gang all working away at their desks, and it actually really made me miss school! Just being with your friends every day, noticing blossoming romances and helping each other out with work. I love Lily’s observation of Belle and Sirius working seamlessly together. They complement each other so well, it’s like a dance. “The odd kind of intimacy behind it made Lily want to throw her arms around them both and hug them until her heart calmed down. ” - Lily or you? And me? And the other readers? :P
I uh... am not going to say a single word about Sirius’s stirring stick. That said, James’s line about Lily’s knickers made me laugh so much.
Oh my God, my heart leapt into my throat when Lily asked James to go with her! I was so excited! And then I was really mad at him for saying no, because I totally didn’t get why he’d done that at first! Haha! Poor Lily. I love Remus leaping in to try and save the moment - the poor young guy must feel so guilty.
They really are a band of brothers, aren’t they? They just care about each other so much, and they all show it in their own ways. Peter is the peacekeeper (sighhh), Remus is the moral compass, James is the glue that holds them all together, and Sirius is the one who makes them laugh when they really don’t feel like laughing.
I love the characterization of Frank. It seems that being a late bloomer is hereditary, bless him and Neville. I’m slightly confused by the illegal potion they brewed - what was that? I love love love the memory of the first time they transformed and went to the Shack. The idea that Remus was frightened and upset makes so much sense and is soo interesting. Can I request a one-shot? Heehee.
Oh, it was like a blow to the stomach when Lily had to let down James’s suddenly raised hopes! And Rukin of all people! I mean, I know he’s doing it on purpose, but even if he weren’t a Death Eater... it’s like Hermione and Krum all over again! But... before. Not ‘again’. Ha. Timey wimey...
Not the owl! That just brought back so many Hedwig feelings. Poor Harry. All he had for company for so long was that owl. But yay for Hagrid! Who basically stepped out of canon, by the way ;)
James’s concern for his parents was so touching and I guess is quite important, moving and preparing us towards the inevitable.
I loved how Sirius just followed James. It reminded me of the way Ron inevitably follows Harry whenever he’s summoned to a teacher’s office. It’s that “Hey, I’ve got your back” nature of brotherhood.
And a cliffhanger! Petunia’s good at providing them, am I right? I didn’t realise I was sort of plagiarising you... :P
Okay, wrapping up...
“He did want to go with Lily so badly... to get to pull her aside when no one was looking and hold her just a little too close.” - gah. Tears in my eyes.
‘Custodiant Tempus’ is quite a literal translation of ‘keep time’ - it really means ‘keep hold of/guard time’. But I can’t find a better translation, except maybe ‘Tempus Numerare’.
James’s use of ‘gits’ isn’t quite right. It’s one of those silly tricky things that only sounds right or wrong to a Brit. The word ‘guys’ or ‘idiots’ would work better.
““Alice rip the pants right off Frank.” ” - is this a phrase? It looks naughty.
I love this chapter so much. I’m really looking forward to the next one. This review has taken me ALL DAY to write because kittens.
xAuthor's Response: Happy Valentines! Maybe we should make our own? This can be Happy Friendshiptines Day! hahahah!
I really think that Lily would have made a good teacher too. She would have made a good healer, or a good mum that actually got to see her babies grow up... and... and... wah ;(
I have such a hard time not leaving Snape totally out of this all. It wouldn't be realistic, because he was such a large part of Lily's life, but in no way do I think she's regretting that it ended. Like you said, there's still pain because of what they used to mean to each other, but he chose who he is and she's who she is. There's no way of having a friendship when one person supports another who wants you dead. Silly Snape.
The potions lesson was so much fun for me! I had a hard time trying to make up names that fit in but weren't over the top, and ugh SARAH WHY CAN'T I GO TO HOGWARTS!
This chapter made me miss school SO MUCH! haha! They're all doing their thing and helping each other out. Then they'll talk about what they did then go to dinner and then hang out and UGH I WANT TO GO TO HOGWARTS. I don't know why you won't let me, Sarah! Just kidding, I know if we could, we'd both go :P
Hahahh I'm not sure if Lily wanted to hug them or I wanted to hug them :P. I should have written a "Jami" in this story.
You. Keep it hushed about the stirring stick :P
You - in the paragraph where you stated what they all are to each other, just completely summed up why what eventually happens, happens. Obviously I won't go into detail about my versions of it on here, but they all need what the other brings to stay who they are. They need Remus around to keep their moral compass pointing them in the right direction. To help them all remember to calm down and thing. They need Sirius to make them laugh and keep everything okay, no matter how it gets. And they need to see his dark moods and help those bouts play out so they can help their friend, they need their peacekeeper that supports ALL of them no matter what they're doing, and they need their glue. If one of those things gets shaky, they all get shaky. Oh gosh. I'm going to start crying or something. Why do I have to love them all so much?? WHY?
Moving on *tear*
Why do your Britishisms have to be so stinking complicated, huh? :P I should have watched more British TV, haha!
That part isn't a phrase, but it was playing into the whole, who wears the pants in a relationship saying. Is that not a saying over there? Uh oh. I'm going to hide now and study my British flash cards. JK. I don't have those. I should, though :P
ALREK is naughty and he does not belong here. You send him back, yeah? ;)
Sarah I LOVE your reviews. Thank you so much for multitasking with your crazy kittens and writing me this amazing one. And for not letting them type it. Because as much as I love kitten paws, I don't think their reviews would be extremely coherent :X
WUB ♥ Report Review
This is an incredibly good piece of writing. Let’s start with that, shall we? It’s inventive, emotive, intense and provocative. And the actual technique is excellent too, from your vocabulary and deployment of words to the dialogue and the imagery.
I love that you’ve taken a group of characters about whom a certain fandom collective opinion has formed, and done something completely new and interesting with them. The characterizations and relationships you’ve come up with here are the main attraction to me. I simultaneously dislike, care about, and pity all three of the main characters! How did you do that?
Lily’s fragility is at once alluring and irritating. I actually have a friend like Lily, who is so very beautiful and seems most of the time to be oblivious to the things that she does that infuriates and attracts people, but sometimes you have to wonder if she’s actually doing it on purpose. I don’t know if that’s where you were going with Lily, but I felt like I understood some of Rose’s frustration - it’s hard to be the dependable one all the time.
Is it wrong that I disliked Rose almost as much as I was rooting for her? I just want her to buck up, look around and see that there are other people out there, and to leave Lily and Scorpius to either get on or implode. She seems to spend so much energy and time being angry and feeling resentful... that ‘chip on the shoulder’ element really reminded me of Ron by the way, particularly in that the person she envies so much is the child of the people Ron envied. I just want her to move on and be happy! Ron did, when he grew up a bit. I hope his daughter would too, but she does have that dogged determination of her mother’s.
She’s accomplished so much, but she’s almost hanging every hope on something that will never happen. I guess that’s just the awful and intoxicating nature of unrequited love. I enjoyed how her love/obsession is characterized by note-taking and observation. It seems she’s like her mother in more ways than her determination and intelligence. She’s so methodical. It made me imagine Snape doing the same to Lily, actually... I really pity her being asked to keep a secret for the person she is growing to hate, about the person she loves.
And Scorpius. I feel sorry for him more than I dislike him, actually. I think he has no idea of what he’s doing to Rose and to her relationship with Lily (actually, she’s oblivious too... or is she?). The ‘mudblood’ thing was really inspired - he’s not this enlightened NextGen wunderkind - and it makes me wonder if Rose is a bit short-sighted. If anything, she seems more irritated and disgusted by Lily’s reaction than Scorpius using that word. That said, I’m somewhat disappointed in Draco Malfoy for not teaching his son better. I guess the leopard doesn’t
change his spots...
I loved the canonesque touches in this- seeing Rita Skeeter sneaking around, Quidditch teams, OWLS and NEWTS, the real ‘Hogwartsy’ feel of the story. Lovely.
There are so many wonderful lines in this! You are truly so talented. I wish I had your way with words! One of my favourite lines is actually near the beginning. “Hatred. I wonder how it looks on me. Can my almost-sister see the ocean draining from my blue irises, sinking into my bloodstream and turning the fluid there to ice? Perhaps my skin has faded to an elderly white, looking dead and ugly next to hers.” - Wow. You are GOOD.
I could definitely see Atonement's influence in this story having read your AN - I wonder if Rose is a somewhat unreliable narrator like Briony. I enjoyed this so much, and I really need to come back to your page and keep reading. You’re clearly a gem I’ve been missing out on!
Athene xoAuthor's Response: Hi Athene! Thanks again for the swap :)
I don't read a lot of next gen, but I do know that people seem very wrapped up in the Rose/Scorpius love story and in their characterizations of Rose, Scorpius, and Lily. I really wanted to turn all of that on its head and go in a really dark, twisted direction with this. I noticed that you made lots of comments about one member of the trio not knowing what the other two were thinking much of the time, and I think that's accurate. Sometimes I don't think anyone really knows.
Yeah, I wanted Lily to be this classically beautiful girl, somewhat oblivious to the effect she has on others. It's complicated because Rose wants to hate her and has reason to do so, given her jealousy, but it's hard to hate someone who's a genuinely kind person.
It's definitely okay to have divided feelings about Rose. I think it's easy to get tired of her ranting about Lily and Scorpius when their relationship is really none of her business and she could probably be happier if she'd just focus on her own promising life. At the same time, I think people can identify with being the ugly duckling and wishing they could spend a day in someone else's shoes, especially if that person doesn't seem to appreciate their blessed life at times. As for her meticulousness, I really wanted it to be like Hermione, but in a very dark way. Instead of focusing purely on her studies, she's developed an unhealthy obsession for a boy.
As for Scorpius, I think the jury's still out. I don't know that he's totally ignorant of his influence over women, even if he doesn't specifically know about Rose's infatuation with him. At the same time, he seems so wrapped up in himself and whatever he has going on with Lily that maybe he is sort of innocent. I definitely like that this piece made you think!
I love that bit of description, so I'm glad you did, too :) You're very sweet to have said so many nice things, and I could definitely say the same stuff back to you. Thanks so much for your wonderful review!
-Amanda Report Review
I'm becoming quite the fan of your writing. You seem to have many strings to your bow, as you seem to move effortlessly between genres and believable characters. This was yet another enjoyable story... I hope you're going to continue it - I want to see Terry get his comeuppance! You've promised us three acts!
I always think it's a great idea when somebody takes a minor character and gets to be all inventive with them, rather than creating an entirely OC story. We don't know much about Terry other than the fact that he's an intelligent, gifted wizard (which certainly comes across here in his arrogance!) and I find your depiction of him unexpected and interesting!
The way that we see this story through his eyes although he's not a very likeable character is a brave and very readable move on your part - a somewhat unsympathetic protagonist is part of some of the best stories, like The Great Gatsby, Gone With The Wind, even Atonement... so it was cool to come across something similar here!
You do a particularly good job of bringing out the worst in Terry not just in his thoughts and actions but in the juxtaposition of the two scenes - one, where an endearing old man is spouting praise for Terry and handing over his life's work as Terry admires his school crush, the other depicting Terry's utter disrespect for the same old man and his disdain for Daphne as soon as he has what he wants. Ooh, that was good though - the italicised parts seemed so romantic throughout, particularly next to his memories of her eyes and hair at school, that when he suddenly became all nasty I was shocked! I thought this was the start of a love story... It may still be, but it wasn't the start I thought I was reading! This line makes me wonder if he was getting some sort of revenge: "was she acting haughtier and more spiteful than usual?" Intriguing!
His sense of humour appears to be so warped, I wonder what's happened to him. Is he just bored, or does he get a kick out of using and embarrassing people? Barnabus seems to have found Terry's tenaciousness very useful over the years, so why does he not see that Terry's clearly manipulated everyone, including him? It makes me wonder how much of Terry's two-facedness (it's a word!) is intentional and how much just comes naturally to him. He certainly doesn't think twice about dividing people into important/not-important. I thought for a minute that he might have been better off in Slytherin, he's so decisive and cut-throat. But then I thought, perhaps he's just too clever for his own good... the arrogance that could come from such intelligence made me think of a line in the books where he's talking to Hermione and says "How come you're not in Ravenclaw? With brains like yours?". There's a certain presumptuousness there that you've depicted here too! Gosh, you've really interested me in this guy!
Your writing style is really enjoyable to read. The dialogue is well-balanced and realistic, and your descriptive writing is excellent - you don't overdo it, but you don't leave it out altogether. The italicised bits are very well-written too, with a very heady atmosphere and a noticeable shift in your characterisation of Terry. I want Daphne to get her own back.
Finally, I really enjoyed the details that rooted this story in the world we know. Cuffe's diplomatic regret over The Prophet's behaviour during the war feels realistic and is a great juicy behind-the-scenes tidbit. The school fascination with Daphne's hair and eyes is another lovely touch, perfectly underlined with the mention of Padma who -with only a brief mention- reminds me of her twin. That gossipy sort of nature. I enjoyed that, although it made me miss Hogwarts! It was cool to have a glimpse into Ravenclaw life.
I honestly have no CC for you. Even without the note at the beginning, I'd have been able to follow the format, and I spotted no spelling or grammar errors. Sorry for the burbly review!
Athene xoAuthor's Response: Your reviews are so wonderful!! You keep making my day!
My favorite stories usually involve minor characters who are brought to life, so I thought I'd try my hand at it. It was actually a very difficult chapter for me to write, because I hate people like Terry. But I suppose that'll make it even more fun when I get to give him his, as you put it, comeuppance.
Thank you so much for the feedback! It means a lot! :)
Faux Report Review
Wow. So, I usually avoid 'zombie' stories (I don't know why!) but I've enjoyed your writing before and that banner really caught my eye, so I thought I'd give it a go - and I'm so glad I did.
This chapter drew me in and fascinated me from the start, and you kept building more and more details and more nuanced relationships and characterization.
I really think you made a great choice by setting this story after after the initial terror, so that Rose, Scorpius and Albus are survivors and living in this strange world and situation where all they have is themselves and each other. The casual mentions of times past and people who are now dead are so alluring and tragic - particularly as they're all people we know of.
The fact that Rose can think of something so awful as the fact that Molly is now dead, that the Malfoys hanged themselves, that the woman outside might still be alive and terrified with such numb acceptance is so very sad, but what choice does she have? As you point out, you can't spend your whole life thinking about the dead. You'd go mad.
Rose seems hard at first, but she seems to have had to grow a thick skin. I feel so sorry for her. It's my idea of hell, not knowing what's happened to the people you love and living in an awful world and not being able to do anything about it. The hope she holds onto is perhaps the saddest part of this whole thing. These lines are amongst (a few) that made my eyes go all prickly:
"She couldn't wait to get to Hogwarts. Maybe Hugo would be there, waiting for her with a big grin. She could give him the toy car. Maybe her whole family would be there, and Teddy, too. They could stay in the castle forever and Rose could read all the books in the library." ~ This reminds us that she is just a normal young girl, in an awful situation. The way you go from that wonderful hopeful though to the terrifying dream creates a really striking juxtaposition. I don't blame Rose for crying.
It's such an interesting insight to Rose's mind that an object that brought back such a sweet memory of Hugo and overwhelmed her with grief has become a sort of totem for her. Speaking of Hugo, you've characterized him really beautifully, so tenderly, and with few words - maybe because we see him through the eyes of a big sister.
The relationship between Rose and Scorpius is such an interesting angle to take in this already multifaceted story. It seems that he has become literally the last man on earth... and even if their relationship worked before the apocalypse, spending your lives together like some end-of-days Adam and Eve (with added Albus) is a lot of pressure on a young couple who may not have stayed together anyway. I'm so interested to see what happens! Poor Rose must be so confused.
I enjoyed reading this so much. It's unlike anything I've ever read, and it's so very well written - I've mainly been yakking about your characterization, but your use of language and dialogue are utterly brilliant. I loved this. Adding to favourites!
-Athene xoAuthor's Response: Ahh, I love your reviews! :) I was totally out of my element when writing this (I usually won't even read horror/dark) and I think it's really helped me to grow as a writer.
Thank you so much for stopping by! :) Report Review
So, this was really sweet! Your characterisation of Fleur is really thoughtful, and it makes perfect sense. I've never thought of her as being an outsider, but it really works. She's the most beautiful, the 'champion', the foreigner... and actually she's treated with disdain by a lot of people, and with fascination, as you so interestingly point out, from the boys.
I always wondered how she and Bill could come to be together, apart from the fact that hey, they're both gorgeous. But this story is a really believable explanation - she sees in Bill something refreshing, something 'cool' (that Harry notices the first time he meets Bill!), and then there's that inexplicable, irresistible attraction.
You do a really good job of writing that sort of gut feeling, this is The One, I-need-to-be-with-him, strange thing that sometimes happens. The way Bill's presence makes Fleur react differently to how acts around anyone else is interesting, as she's often described as arrogant or haughty and that doesn't seem like something any Weasley would find attractive. So maybe he's a good influence on her - I think he helps her relax and let down her defences, and that's certainly the way your writing makes it seem.
It does seem very Fleur-y to decide to just move to England because she'd found what she wanted. She's very headstrong, and that really comes across here, even when she gets nervous around Bill!
Your exploration of her relationship with Cedric was really interesting. I love the way she seems to like polite, friendly boys who are possibly not interested! I'd definitely be interested in reading more about her time at Hogwarts.
I liked the way Harry kept popping up throughout the story like a weird little cupid! And Fleur's frustration at the British press made me laugh - how very topical! Although, it is the French who publish naughty photos of our royals *shakes head*
I liked the bits in French, too. Nice to see!
The only thing I thought odd was the fact that Fleur's English is actually very good. I know you don't want her to be stumbling all over her words as you don't want the dialogue to get clunky, but I think her words roll a little too easily off her tongue. Maybe she could pause or stumble over a word if you wanted her language to be an issue she and Bill would talk about, and he could help her? Or, if it's in fact a ruse so that she could spend time with Bill, make that clear! (although this Fleur doesn't feel manipulative like that at all to me!)
This story was really sweet and enjoyable, with an interesting glimpse into Fleur's life at that particular butterfly-inducing, heart-beaty time.
Also, Visenya did you a really beautiful banner for this! It really caught my eye.Author's Response: Hi Sarah, thank you so much for stopping by, and leaving me such a long and lovely review!
IÃ¢Â€Â™m glad that you liked FleurÃ¢Â€Â™s characterisation, as I always thought that she would be a bit of an outsider, due to her being the Ã¢Â€Â˜championÃ¢Â€Â™, as most people envy the person who holds that position, so I thought it would fit, and yes I always thought it was horrible how the boys viewed her.
IÃ¢Â€Â™m glad that you liked how Bill and Fleur came to be, as I thought Bill may have helped calm down FleurÃ¢Â€Â™s girliness, perhaps made her into the strong character we come to see at the end of HBP :)
Yes I thought it would be funny to make her interested in the one person whoÃ¢Â€Â™s not interested in her, as it shows that even though she was one of the most beautiful people around, she still canÃ¢Â€Â™t get everything, and that not everyone would fall in love with her, so she shouldnÃ¢Â€Â™t be envied so much.
Haha I didnÃ¢Â€Â™t think of Harry playing cupid, now I just have images of him running around with a bow and arrow! Yes our press donÃ¢Â€Â™t have a great reputation right now, but I completely forgot about how naughty the French were! How dare they be mean to Kate :O
I know it may sound strange, but it was hard to make her English bad. I looked in the books, but that was after he helped her, so of course she would be good then, but I will definitely go back, and add in the stumbling. I donÃ¢Â€Â™t think Fleur would be manipulative sheÃ¢Â€Â™s too lovely!
IÃ¢Â€Â™m really glad that you liked the story, and yes Visenya did do a wonderful banner!
*cheerleader voice* READY? OKAY!
So, this first part of this chapter is so excellent. I won’t repeat myself again with falling down at your feet at how well you write the tension and drama of any scene involving a Death Eater, particularly Bellatrix. Just look down. See your feet? I’ve fallen down at them. You’re awesome.
I really enjoyed seeing things through Regulus’s eyes. His nerves and his determination and his fear - he feels very young to me. Once again, but on the other side of the good/bad divide, you’ve managed to remind the reader (subtly, no numbers involved) that these are very young people embroiled in this war.
The fact that Regulus doesn’t want to hurt Sirius was so touching and is such thoughtful characterization. He’s actually such an interesting character and if anyone can see the tragedy in a character (‘good’ or ‘bad’) it’s you. I’d be intrigued to see you write him more. I didn’t think I’d find another Death Eater you wrote as fascinatingly as Bella (who, by the way, is terrifying here. No wonder Regulus is shaking in his boots), but I find Regulus oddly alluring. He’s interesting. You’re clever.
Oh! I had to stop and laugh when I saw Bellatrix kill that rat. At first my only thought was ‘ugh, psycho’. But then I was like, wait. Did someone just kill a rat in the Shrieking Shack? Did Jami just foreshadow what should have been many years later? Dude! If you didn’t mean to do that, I want to let you know you’re a secret genius. If you did mean to do that, you’re a not-secret genius.
Urrrgh, ALREK. Can I just step into your story and kill him and bury him in a hole? I don’t want him anywhere near our Marauders and the girls! No! Icky!
And I like your explanation of why they would want to recruit people like James. That’s all.
Onto Belle’s part of the chapter. You’ve done an excellent job of taking a length story and telling it in a way that’s both interesting in itself, but doesn’t let you forget the person telling it, or who she’s telling it to.
I noticed from your AN that you edited Belle’s accent and although I didn’t see it before, I think you’ve got it well-balanced here. Just enough to remind us of her accent, that she’s ‘alone’ (except she’s not) in this country, but not so much that it makes lengthy speech hard to read or appreciate.
You handle a really difficult topic really sensitively whilst showing us just enough of Belle’s ordeal to know that she’s had a dreadful time and is still in pain about it all. And your depiction of Lily and Alice’s patient kindness is so lovely - they’re like the salve to her wounds. Oh, Jami. She’s so similar to Sirius, and neither of them realises it. They’ve both been rejected/left their families and are making their own way in the world, doing their best to seem strong and unworried by the world - but they’re both scarred. And they’ve both somehow found themselves a new family - and I don’t just mean Sirius and the Potters. Those girls sitting, listening to Belle, are her family, and throughout the chapters you’ve shown that so well. I just want her to realise that she and Sirius are the same and that he’d never judge her and then I want them to elope to Antigua and leave the war behind and live happily ever after, okay? Thanks.
Beautiful chapter, my dear. ♥Author's Response: Sarahhh ♥ do you have any idea how excited I was to see this? Probably not. I should have skyped my excited face to you :P
Aww don't fall at me feet! My heels cost more than my car payment! We don't want drool on those, now do we? Hehehe jk jk. Your compliments never cease to make me feel like a million bucks (or pounds). I just want to hug you and squish you until your head pops or something. Then I wouldn't have you anymore and I'd be sad :(.
I actually had way more fun writing Regulus in this chapter than I thought I would. He's someone I would really consider writing more of. Not a ton more in Before They Fall, because he doesn't have too many places in here, but maybe on his own as a one shot.
I can't get over how much I LOVE YOU for spotting my sneaky rat killing.
Maybe I should put Alrek in a really long timeout for being such a naughty teenager?
I really had a hard time doing Belle's part. I couldn't figure out if I wanted to do some sort of flashback thing, but then realized that wouldn't leave me enough to really tell all about what happened. I didn't want her just *telling* the girls about it though, so yeah. We ended up with my weird flash back narration ordeal stuff.
Her and Sirius really are so much alike. She didn't have the kind of support system he had at such a young age, though. He had already found the Potters and his friends, but poor Belle didn't get her 'Marauders' until much later ;(.
Elope to Antigua you say? Hmm... well... shall we take this AU? :P
Thank you so much for this gorgeous review, my amazing Sarah ♥ Report Review
I saw the name ‘Andromeda’, the beautiful banner, and I had to click! I love stories about Andromeda as I find her to be a fascinating character, with such a tragic untold story.
This was a little different from what I expected! Twins?! It makes me wonder if this is an AU story, or something will happen to the brother that erases him from history before we ever meet the Blacks.
You do a really good job of setting the scene of the Black house - rich and comfortable, yet really oppressive. A place where a man can tell his wife who just gave birth to twins to ‘hush’!
I love that Bellatrix (I presume she’s the two year old) is already a nightmare.
It’s interesting to see how Cygnus has to think of how the birth of his children can work to his advantage - with parents like these, did the girls ever really stand a chance?
I’m looking forward to seeing where this story goes and how Andromeda breaks out from that family and environment.
Athene xo Report Review
Well, I never thought I’d come across a story in which Nearly Headless Nick gives his valued opinion on Alanis Morrisette and Snily. But I’m glad I did, because this was great.
I actually read the whole thing with John Cleese’s voice in my head, which is never a bad thing - that’s how well you got Nick’s pompous, friendly, slightly ridiculous way of speaking in this.
You’ve done a really good job of filling this whole story with jokes and references without making it look like a list of jokes and references.
I liked the bitterness about Shakespeare - do I recognise a Shakespeare in Love reference there?
Actually, old Nick’s pretty bitter about a lot of things! Not that I blame him - he’s not had much luck. And then to be cut out of most of the films! Well, I’m with him on that. Utterly unforgiveable.
The boxing match between NHN and Professor Binns is a hilarious idea - I imagine a lot of circling, fist twirling and ‘have at thee!’-ing.
I had a good laugh at Nick’s opinion on popular fanfic ships and tropes. But you’ve still managed to make him sound very proud of those who fought for Hogwarts in the battle. Even if he really is just trying to shill his book.
I noticed one or two typos but they were minor and didn’t detract from the story as a whole.
This was one of my favourite lines: “ The Fat Friar, while a nice enough man, is simply too obese to be of much use to us.” Oh, and the usual dig at Voldemort’s lack of nose - really, that never gets old! Love it.
You. You’re funny.
Athene xoAuthor's Response: Thank you so much for such a great review!
John Cleese's portrayal definitely factored into the mental image I had of Nick, and I was really trying to capture the proud and pompous tone I imagined him having.
That's pretty much exactly how I pictured the boxing match too:)
For some reason, i imagine Nick has a really high standard of what he expected ghosts to live up to, and that the other Hogwarts ghosts likely feel far short of that standard.
Thanks again, glad you enjoyed it! Report Review
Oh my God. You are awesome. Seriously... I can’t believe you wrote something so amazing so quickly! Haha!
Each section of this story is fascinating, leaving me wanting to read on. The first section blew me away. There are so many questions raised, and the action is so horrific and frightening, with amazing use of imagery. I could picture the whole scene in my head - or at least, what I knew of it, because I only know as much as Scorpius does at that point. The imagery of the green light of the Avada Kedavra spell reflected in the baby’s eyes is just stunning. The line about reaching to stop the body from falling is just inspired; tragic, and realistic. The brain can’t take it in that there’s no point.
The next section really begins to characterise these people, and you do such an interesting job with it! The chip on Rose’s shoulder is so very like her father’s, although she’s much more outspoken (a legacy of Hermione’s, I would imagine). It’s interesting that in this case, it’s Rose who gets on the train with certain expectations of a relationship (one of enmity), in contrast to Draco getting on the train all those years ago and trying to befriend Harry because of who he is.
I always love Sorting Hat stories, and you’ve done a really excellent, canon-esque job of portraying that nerve wracking moment here. I absolutely love Malfoy accidentally going to the wrong table (I want to hug him), and I also love your idea of the Sorting Hat wanting to teach Rose a lesson.
In the next section, the characterization of a bold, brassy Rose and a somewhat timid Scorpius really begins to endear itself to me. She seems like a bit of a bully, actually... although I remember what it is to be that age and not realise just how scary you’re coming across. Scorpius with an inhaler and glasses! I want to hug him even more now. He reminds me of Mikey Way back in the day. The dialogue in this section is particularly fantastic. You made me laugh in a story that starts in the midst of terror!
And then there’s another shift in tone, time and space. You really kept me on my toes with this story! To go from a budding teenage relationship to this insane, unhappy young man in the cellar with unbelievable imagery... it all feels so acidic and exhausting. What a fascinating idea though - the life of a Squib, untended by his family. Poor young man. Although I do lose my sympathy for him somewhat later on.
The next section is another one that’s strong in imagery but sensitive in feeling. I like the idea that just because Scorpius and Rose got together at school, it doesn’t mean they stayed together throughout! Scorpius seems to have grown in confidence, and Rose seems to have turned her outspokenness to a more worthy cause. Honestly, she’s so Hermione’s daughter (“ It hadn’t made her popular, but it had made her proud. She’d accomplished something.”) and I love it. Although she seems to have continued her bad habit of wanting to ‘show the world’.
I love the next bit. Scorpius really is growing up and overtaking Rose. I feel like he’s showing her she doesn’t always have to have the upper hand, with his patience and his hard work, and his surreptitiously becoming rather good looking and cool. You’ve also written what I believe to be the most romantic thing I’ve ever read about an asthma inhaler.
And then section VII is when it all starts to come together for me. Oh my God, the imagery here is just stunning. I want to pick out a few favourite lines, but it’s just too hard. Oh, this one made me read it again a few times: “ You can feel the heat of the spells, liquefying your hair as they fly right over.”
It’s so horrifying! It’s so awful. It’s incredibly well-written. I really love that you’ve taken an integral part of the Potter (murder of parents, killing spell rebounding etc) and done it in your very own way, with time-travel, paradoxes, Squibs, Rose and Scorpius. The way you describe the protego shield is sublimely beautiful and actually made me put my hand to my own chest.
“ The last thing you see is a man who looks just like you, but bizarrely distorted, like a funhouse mirror. “Please,” you gasp, lungs seizing. “Please. Not Benjamin.”” - You are INCREDIBLE.
The section where Scorpius and Rose finally get together is so lovely. I really love that Scorpius is the one who finally takes charge, and catches this independent, scary, probably vulnerable on the inside (why else have a chip on your shoulder? And the moment where she heads off down the wrong corridor, wrong-footed by Scorpius is so endearing) woman off her guard. It’s such a romantic, realistic relationship moment amongst a really dark and twisted story.
The spell-firing gun is a stroke of genius. Benjamin... oh Benjamin. This story is so tragic. It was him! He made himself an orphan, and he made himself a Squib... and then my thoughts get all muddled up in the continuum and I’m not sure what happened first. And nor is he, I guess. He’s created an eternal loop, surely. Ugh. So although he wanted to die, or to never have existed, he has instead ensured that he will in fact live forever, making the same awful mistake over and over again. But if he hadn’t made it... he wouldn’t be... oh, my head.
His sense of disappointment is so sad. But I feel sadder for Rose and Scorpius, whose life flashed before his and our eyes. All of that hope and love and feeling, gone. And why? For no good reason.
The final section makes me wonder who the useless adoptive parents were - do we know them? Does it matter? They’re just going to be useless again.
Basically, this story is absolutely amazing. I asked for Scorose, I said to go with whatever genre... and you’ve just blown me away. Thank you so much for writing it. I’ve written a lot of words in this rambly review, but really - I’m speechless.Author's Response: Eeep. Hi, Sarah! Sorry it's taken me ages to respond to this review. I get ridiculously nervous when I see long reviews and dither around for weeks before answering them.
First off: I am SO glad you liked this! When you said Scorpius/Rose my mind automatically went to witty banter fluff, since that's the typical ScoRose fare on the archives, but I wanted to do something different with them. Instead of living happily ever after, they die in a split-second with no time to register what is going on, murdered by their own son.
Bold, brassy Rose is indeed a bit of a bully. I based her somewhat off of my younger self. Young Toujours Padfoot was extremely abrasive without realizing it.
I've always been curious about how Squibs would deal with being so incredibly shortchanged. I imagine it would be difficult not to pity yourself when you're swarmed by magical people on a constant basis. To not be able to do anything the same way others do - doing it all the slow Muggle way, enduring teases because of it - it would be a nightmare. It would have been so much more humane to grow up in the Muggle world instead. But Benjamin doesn't make the best of his situation. He definitely lets all of his bitter feelings fester until he turns into a monster of sorts.
"You've also written what I believe to be the most romantic thing I've ever read about an asthma inhaler." - I can't tell you how hard that made me laugh.
The parallels to Lily, James, and Harry were important to me because it's like it happened all over again, but in an extremely warped way. This time it was the father protecting the child instead of the mother, which I did honestly because Lily gets so much more credit than James does when it comes to saving Harry. I mean, he died for BOTH of them just to give them a head-start up the stairs. But people only ever talk about how Lily died for Harry. So I wanted to give fathers their due here.
And then it turns out that it's all his own fault! What an absolutely awful fate. He was the orphaned Squib because he killed his own parents, and the younger Benjamin never got a chance. I hardly know how to explain which came first - young Benjamin or old Benjamin - because the nature of time-travel is so confusing. I think of it as a glitch in time, and now he has to play out the eternal loop of miserable Squib life and miserable death at his own hand.
There are so many people who are killed while they're not paying attention, while they're not looking, and that's what inspired this. Scorpius and Rose were both half-asleep. They weren't lucid enough to know what was going on, and had no time for last words to each other or to form a plan of sorts. It was an attack out of nowhere, in the middle of the night. The randomness of it, and the finality, really intrigued me from a writer's standpoint.
Thank you for your lovely review!! And thank you, once again, for entering my challenge. :) Report Review
Ahh, so she was Miss Potter from the start. I thought ‘Potter’ might have been her married name. Not Harry’s grandmother then!
I really enjoyed this chapter. You’ve really done an amazing job of rooting it in a certain place and time. Your historical context is really spot-on, which is again something I don’t think I’ve seen much on HPFF. All the rumours and beliefs surrounding the origins and transmission of the pox feel so realistic, I guess as they’re very much something we’ve seen throughout British history, from the plague to the Spanish ‘flu (which I noticed you mention here - I guess it might have killed magical people too...) The suspicion that the French may be passing it on to the UK on purpose made me giggle, and it’s another recognisable British reflex! The apothecary’s bigoted view was reminiscent to me of the belief in the 80’s that only gay men could spread AIDS.
It’s also clear that you’ve got a personal, family history really clearly mapped out for these Potters and I absolutely love it. I’m always fascinated by family dynamics, and you’ve got lots of juicy hints and relationships going on here. Caterina reminds me a bit or Ariana Dumbledore, frail and sort of ethereal and being taken care of by older siblings. This line particularly struck me: “ Their father had steadily deteriorated in worth as a father since their motherʼs death. ”
Your development of Diana’s character feels natural and unforced whilst being really interesting - particularly the fact that she has visions! She seems to carry a large burden on her shoulders.
I really hope you carry on with this story, it’s really, really good so far.
Athene xoAuthor's Response: Yep! She's a relative of Harry's, but a fairly distant one - James's father was her cousin. They were not close in age and barely knew each other. I liked the idea of trying to build up something more about Harry's family, though.
I'm glad you liked the historical context! I love history, and I've always been really interested in medicine (especially epidemics), so I've done a fair amount of research into the subject - I'm really glad it came through!
I'm so sorry it took me so long to respond to this. I really appreciate the review, and I'll definitely be continuing the story when I have the space to breathe. Report Review
This story called out to me from your Author’s Page - what an interesting idea for a story! I’m presuming that Diana is Harry’s grandmother. It’s a good name for a witch, they often have goddess-y names.
This prologue is short but sweet, and it introduces so many ideas and questions and your language brings up really vivid imagery. Who else did Diana lose? What has she been doing to try and help? I love it when I have questions when reading a story (particularly if they’re answered later on). It all reminds me of the Spanish Flu after the first World War, in the way it spread quickly across Europe and killed mostly young people.
It’s so sad that at 10 years old (80 years before the story opens - such a long time to live with that sort of sadness) she already knows the ravages of the disease.
You introduce an interesting dynamic in the relationship with the father - Diana seems to have gone through a period of blaming him for the death of the sister.
My only criticism is that the line “My brother Charlus whispers to me, when our father is otherwise occupied, that he is bitter and angry and terrified of losing our mother. ” is a little ambiguous - I thought at first that Charlus was bitter and angry.
This is a really promising start to an interesting story - I haven’t come across anything else like it on HPFF!
Athene xoAuthor's Response: Spanish Flu is one of the most interesting epidemics in history, I think - that and smallpox always call out to me, so when I mapped out my idea of the Potter family tree, I definitely used both of those and dragon pox as common causes of death.
I'm really glad you enjoyed this, and thanks for your suggestion re: that line - I'll definitely go through and change it.
Thank you so much for such a lovely and helpful review! Report Review
I really enjoyed this. It fiddled with my mind, which is always fun. At first I thought you were drawing a contrast between the father in the song who takes his son somewhere nice and gives him good memories whilst simultaneously preparing him for the struggles ahead, and Lucius, who really just offers his son up as a sacrificial lamb and doesn’t truly prepare him for the dreadful things he has to do.
And then at the end I realised (I think I have this right) that Draco’s actually talking/writing to Scorpius and it all fell into place so perfectly. Just like the dad in the song, he’s trying to arm his boy and tell him that he has to face the world and make hard choices.
Your characterization of Draco and the recounting of his history is really nice. Unlike many other writers you don’t gloss over the fact that Malfoy was definitely attracted to the power and allure of Dark magic and Voldemort. The bit about how proud he is of his violent, havoc-wreaking father really feels true to JKR’s Malfoy. And I love that you don’t turn him into some tragic hero. In fact the whole thing really fits in with the lyric “I’m just a man, I’m not a hero,” and I think you do a great job of showing that Draco is full of humanity and regret.
I really enjoyed this - it totally wasn’t what I was expecting!
(Also, we’ve discussed this before, but ♥ ♥ MCR! ♥ ♥ )
Athene xoAuthor's Response: Hi Athene! So glad you read my MCR one shot! Its always nice to hear from a fellow fan. Yes, you are correct. It was written as a letter to Scorpius but I was told those weren't allowed on the archive so I had to rewrite the ending a bit.
So glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for the review!
~Celtic~ Report Review
Oooh! That's a nice little cliffhanger you've got there. I realise you haven't updated this story in a while, but that banner grabbed my attention and then I clicked through and found myself wanting to know more as I read.
It's not often I read a story opening from Voldemort's point of view, particularly as he stalks the halls of his very own Ministry! Feeling rather self-satisfied, too.
I love the idea of Hermione leading the resistance! And the thought of Bellatrix hunting for her ... *shudder*
The bit about the 'mudbloods' begging for their wands back was chilling!
One thing I think this chapter could do with is a lot more description and imagery. You've done a good job of setting the scene in terms of politics, and of telling us what Voldemort's thinking, but what is he doing? What does he see? What does he remember? Bellatrix comes to see him - how does she look? - and so on!
Other than that, I enjoyed this little chapter and hope you plan to one day continue this promising story.
Athene xo Report Review
This was so fun! I love ‘missing moment’ stories, and I really enjoy a glimpse at what was happening during the war outside of Harry’s sphere.
This story is short, fast-paced, and packs a lot in, but you do an excellent job with the characterization. I don’t think I’ve read many things from Neville’s point of view but you did a good job of portraying him.
I particularly liked the way you made his trademark fearfulness perfectly reasonable. The part about his fear of breaking rules and of getting caught really attracted my attention - I can’t help but draw a comparison with Harry who is, according to Snape, a notorious rule breaker. Does it make one braver or better than the other? I think not. In fact, I’m inclined to think along Dumbledore’s lines, that it takes a real sort of courage to be afraid of doing something but doing it anyway because you know it to be right. Typing that, I’m a little confused as to whether that was Dumbledore or my dad... oh well, the point still stands!
Your depiction of Luna is great - you do an excellent job of conveying a canon-based image of her. She’s dreamy, far-off, and yet also really very intelligent and rather kickass. The way Ginny and Neville react to her, as if they think she’s a bit nuts and yet trust and respect her, really reminds me of the way JKR wrote Harry’s opinion of her as he gets to know her.
Ginny is so much fun here. Intense and a little scary, but with a heart of gold and good intentions.
I do have a couple of CC’s for you:
* A few lines come out somewhat ‘clunkily’, and could do with being refined. The flow of this story is really important as it’s action-packed, so when I found myself tripping over a couple of odd phrases I felt the flow was interrupted slightly. Things like “ rather too well known voice”, which might benefit from being something like “horribly familiar”; “ A flow of renewed hope flooded his body.” which sounds off, with the two ‘fl’ words in close proximity (maybe “renewed hope flooded his body”); and “ Shaking her head to shake the images away”, which sounds a little odd with the repeated ‘shake’.
* The main character seems to shift from Neville to Ginny in the final lines, and that’s a little confusing. We start with Neville’s thoughts and feelings, and end with Ginny’s, with no obvious changeover anywhere.
*There are a few spelling and grammatical errors, but they’re minor and definitely didn’t detract from the piece as a whole.
Other than those little things, I thought this story was really well-written and imagined. You’re particularly strong on characterization, particularly considering the restricted wordcount! I’d definitely like to read more of your work.
Oh, and that line about Snape’s password being ‘Dumbledore’ was such a lovely touch (if a risky one on his part!), and it made me so sad - particularly Neville’s reaction to it. Poor Snape. He went through so much alone. (And I normally have little pity for the man, so well done!)
Athene xo Report Review
Well, wasn’t this just adorable?!
I feel like you really managed to capture a dynamic I feel to be quite important in Ron and Hermione’s relationship.
Hermione is often seen as the more capable of the two, in almost every way (except Quidditch). But in this one-shot you show us what Ron’s really good at - firstly, looking at a problem in a completely different way from other people, and secondly, relaxing! It’s an art Hermione might never quite master, but with Ron by her side she can learn some of it. They’re like ying and yang - she shows her love with organisation, he shows his with relaxation.
I really enjoyed the hurdles of being a pureblood/muggle-born wedding that you included in this. It helped to draw a contrast with Bill and Fleur’s wedding, which seemed to come together so perfectly (even if Molly was going nuts). I do feel sorry for Hermione; I think I’d be going crazy in that situation! Luckily I have a laidback boyfriend like Ron, who does things at his own pace (which probably drives Hermione as nuts as it does me) and reminds me to breathe.
Ron’s line about the garden at The Burrow, “it calms you, relaxes you, it's perfect” was absolutely perfect, because the way you wrote the first section, and Hermione slumping to the floor, just made me feel that it was her haven even before Ron said it!
I also adored the line about Molly and the catering! So perfectly characterized.
You really thought things through with Ron’s solutions to Hermione’s problems (got to love him pulling strings at the Ministry!), and that’s an attention to detail I enjoy in a story.
I only have one piece of criticism. The line, “We'll put a tent up and chairs for the guests, like Bill and Fleur” was a bit ambiguous and it confused me. I thought at first you meant guests like Bill and Fleur... it might be a bit clearer if you made it “like at Bill and Fleur’s wedding”.
Other than that, this story is really enjoyable - a lovely, thoughtful little story with lots of very good characterization. Report Review
Well, this was unexpected and utterly stunning.
The images you create are just so peaceful, gentle, and beautiful - yet full of loss.
Every word seems natural and yet you must have chosen them so carefully, because they fit so well together and create such a specific atmosphere.
I recently wrote a story which depicts all that was dark and ugly in Snape and Lily’s relationship (and I definitely exaggerated those aspects, haha!) so it was so very lovely to read such a touching, sweet, beautiful and sad piece about the same relationship.
I actually saw it all in my head as I was reading it, like a beautiful hand painted animation.
Even though we don’t actually see much of them, your characterization of them both is so good. I can sense Severus’s regret, and his constant yearning for something that was out of his reach. Lily’s gentle brightness, and her elusiveness. I think you’ve brought Lily back to how I saw her before I started reading fanfiction, if that makes sense. Enigmatic, kind and beautiful, and always out of reach.
The whole thing reminded me of Christopher Nolan’s Inception. The way Severus has this sort of dreamworld that he and Lily built together, that he can visit and miss her, and look for her.
10/10. Bravo. Seriously. Also, that banner is beautiful.Author's Response: Thank you so much for the amazing review! You totally made a day I thought was about 900% past done and oh my goodness thank you!
I think about this story a lot because it's probably the one-shot that took the longest to write and I think of as the hardest story to sit through because it's got that mix of the glassy poetry and flow and then the turbulent emotions that sit underneath the actions and thoughts, even if underneath all of that is the sweet part of Snape and Lily's relationship?
And I am beyond flattered that my story comes anywhere close to Inception - I wrote this before seeing the film, and my mind actually went to this story when I watched Inception, so getting the connection absolutely thrilled me!
Thank you so much for the review! Report Review
Well, I normally don’t read OC stories, but as I helped name this young man I thought I’d give it a go - and I really enjoyed it! I’ll be honest with you, I was a little concerned from the story and chapter summaries that Audrey would be a bit of a Mary-Sue, but as I read the chapter it became apparent that she’s a beautiful, popular young lady, who is obviously utter perfection in the eyes of our narrator. That doesn’t, in itself, make her a Mary-Sue. You also have little touches like her ‘unrestrained laugh’ and her ‘mad food orgies’ that really made me see that she’s an interesting character. I also normally don’t enjoy stories written in the present tense - but you do it so well and make it seem unforced, that I really enjoyed it.
I’m so sorry; this review is beginning to look like Mr Darcy’s first proposal. “These are all the things I generally abhor. But I like them when you do them. Marry me?”
I laughed out loud a few times whilst reading this. Alec’s sense of frustration, his powers of observation and his brilliant sarcasm, all made for quite hilarious reading. Normally if a story makes me laugh, I’ll pick out the lines that did it, but I can’t do that here because it was basically the whole chapter. I particularly enjoyed his fantasy about beating the floo powder out of Sirius. And the image of Slughorn nibbling on his piece of bacon at the start of the class, baahaha.
I love, love, love the little nods to canon. Amos Diggory as a teen was great. and Black and his friends wouldn’t happen to be working on a certain map, would they? And Stebbins and Fawcett... I’ve seen those names paired together before. Which makes me wonder will they get together - or will we have to wait another generation for a Fawcett and a Stebbins to be romantically linked?!
Your portrayal of unrequited, moody, teenage love is great. This line made me smile: “I’d rather sit alone than be bored to death by the other Ravenclaws. The truth is that I am crazy. I’m crazy about Audrey, and I can’t be bothered with other people.” He would really do much better if he talked to other people, but that’s hard to see when you’re head over heels in love! Haha.
It was so funny and interesting for me to read a story where my beloved Sirius is essentially the bad guy - and yet, you haven’t done anything to change his characterization from the way JKR portrayed him as a teen. It’s really quite cool to see somebody other than Snape with a low opinion of Sirius and his friends.
Oh, Sirius’s friends! I love your characterization of Lily! And I really, really enjoyed Alec’s supposition that Remus had let James wear the Head Boy badge for a joke. You’ve done a brilliant job of subtly painting in the characters and relationships we already know.
Hmm. This review got a bit rambly. Sorry. I really enjoyed this chapter, basically, and am looking forward to seeing where you go with the story - wherever that may be!Author's Response: Thank you so much for stopping by!
I want to give a fuller idea of Audrey in coming chapters. I see her as a sort of insensitive girl who wants to have fun and explore, and doesn't think about much else. But from Alec's point of view, she's perfect.
I have trouble writing witty banter, so I wanted to try to convey some humor through Alec's actual thoughts. :)
Thanks again for your review, it made my day!! Report Review
Ooh, now that first line! It’s so good, because it instantly made me ask, ‘so, who is this? A visitor or a prisoner?’. And in fact, that question remains unanswered for longer than I thought, because it’s possible that it could have been her father in Azkaban. I do love a bit of intrigue, so the first couple of lines really pulled me in straight away.
Personally, I found this story so tragic. She may have felt a moment of wanting to kill him - fury and fear do that, it’s animal and instinctive - but I really think she didn’t mean to. She just wanted him to be away from her, to not be drunk any more, to stop hurting her emotionally (I don’t know how much anything physical is implied here, and really the emotional exhaustion of dealing with an alcoholic loved one is torture enough).
It's also tragic, I think, in terms of her father's life. You mention his schoolbooks, which made me think of a young man at Hogwarts, with his whole life ahead of him. And the drink takes over, and it absolutely does not turn out the way I'm sure he expected. That's sad, even if he was a bad father.
The imagery in this was fantastic, and you took so few words to conjure this scene in my mind. Well done! You also brought all of the senses into this emotional piece of writing, so even though we’re going through something traumatic with Georgia, we’re also aware of the sights and sounds and smells of the world around her. And the sea spray, too. I liked that image. The bottle tapping up the banister was eerier and more menacing than anything more explicit.
Your use of language is really excellent. ‘Ragged yell’ was a really interesting turn of phrase, I found it innovative.
And now, Georgia’s anger has nowhere else to turn. No wonder she’s furious. He’s really ruined her life, once and for all.
The one bit of CC I have is that I was a little confused at first, about who the main character was. I always forget to look at the character listings, so didn’t realise this was an OC to begin with. The fact that her name was initially given to us as ‘Georgie’ made me wonder if this was a male character, and if it was in fact meant to be George Weasley! I realised quickly that it wasn’t, of course.
Other than that, this story is really brilliant. I can’t say I enjoyed it, as it’s not that sort of story, but it’s an excellent and emotive piece, which really struck a chord with me.
You should definitely have a go at writing more dark/horror - I think you have an untapped talent! Report Review
I was looking at your Author’s Page, and this story grabbed me straight away. I’m fascinated by Andromeda - she has this incredibly romantic and tragic story, but she really just lurks in the background of the books, disapproving of Harry and fearing for her family. I must say, I love the title. A little stroke of wordplay genius there.
I was slightly worried when I first started reading, because there are a lot of colours mentioned in the first few lines, and it almost seemed overdone - but then it actually set the scene so beautifully in my mind that I realised you’ve used the colours to great effect, and they’re the main part of your imagery here. They make us focus on Andromeda’s face and her goal (the red door) rather than any other surroundings.
The final line of your first paragraph is what really drew me in. You’ve set up this image of a young woman who sounds almost like the White Witch of Narnia, quite glamorous and beautiful - who promptly curls up in a ball and cries. I really think you’ve done a great job throughout this chapter of giving us just enough to make us want more. You’re making me ask questions, and I’ve said it reviews before, I love stories that make me ask questions! (Particularly if they’re eventually answered!)
Poor Andromeda. Without knowing exactly what’s happened, I still feel sorry for her. That sense of having to get on with life, even when it all seems to be falling apart, can be really isolating. The line about dark thoughts as vultures was inspired!
I really like the casual way you involve magic in this. Many stories use magic only when it’s necessary for the plot, but that’s not true to JKR or to the world we’re writing about - it’s really a part of their everyday life. The little ball of light actually reminded me of Hermione. So, there I am, feeling sorry for Andromeda, having fuzzy feelings about magic and Hermione etc, and BAM. Intruder in the garden. Glass shatters. Moonlight. Scary - and nicely done.
This chapter ended so abruptly (I’ll admit to not looking at the word count!) and it surprised me, but in a good way. I want to know what’s going to happen! Is Andromeda in danger? Who’s on the lawn? See? More questions! I hope you’ll add to this story in the future. Report Review
Why did I read this? *sobs* I would be annoyed at reading something so sad, but I can’t be, because it was also so excellent.
Your characterization of Molly is wonderful. She’s exhausted, but always has a little energy left. She’s frightened, but isn’t going to show it. She loves her family more than anything, and it’s so cruel that she’s had to lose them over and over. Kids growing up, husbands growing old, a twenty year old son dying. And I love her eye for the little details or for the silly - the way she wonders about Mrs Skower’s bleach, and Pygmy Puffs, and recalls her love of children seems very realistic to me, not just in terms of the way you cling onto the details when something huge is happening, but also in her own maternal, absent-minded endearing sort of Mollyness.
Has anything I’ve said so far made any sense?! I’m sorry, I just love this story. Even if I don’t love what’s happening, haha!
The imagery was very real to me, and very gentle and beautiful. The moment where Molly lays her hand on Arthur at the beginning was lovely and so sad. You really captured the strangeness of a silent, empty Burrow, too.
The canon details are great, and exactly the sort of thing I love. It really makes me believe that this is our Molly, and our Arthur. And just the few lines you give us about the other characters feel really perfect too, like Hermione’s stress about early pregnancy and Ginny becoming the knowledgeable one (actually, it made me think of my own WIP set at the same time as that memory).
There’s so much death and loss in here that it could be overwhelming, but you’ve tempered it with new life (pregnant women everywhere!), a lifetime of memories that Molly’s taking care of for Arthur, and the promise of thinking about something tomorrow if you can’t deal with it today. And the love that she has for that man, and his sweetness, seem to be enduring. And now I’m sad again.
To round up, this fic is tender, sad, beautifully written and wonderfully characterized. Well done :)
Athene xoAuthor's Response: Hey Athene! Thanks for coming by :)
Ahh, I love Molly. I love her mix of no-nonsense practicality and deep, enduring love for her family. I blame her mothering, in part, for keeping the Order together despite all that they went through. It was very important to me to get her right, and I was a little surprised by how difficult that was, by how complex she really is. She's a masterpiece in canon and I can only hope to approximate that in my own rendition.
It's so great that the imagery worked and you really noticed the warmth and humor missing from a typical afternoon at the Burrow. I couldn't eradicate it totally--that would be heartless--so I tried to hint at it again in the end with the smile exchanged between husband and wife. But yes, this is not the happy family household we know so well.
Along the same lines, yes--pregnant women everywhere! Even after Arthur passes away, even when it is Molly's turn to be buried, the Weasley family is eternal. It's fortunate that there are so many children to carry on the legacy of love and happiness and keep the sunlight shining into the windows of that house.
Thanks so much for your wonderful review :)
-Amanda Report Review
Here from review tag! And oh my goodness... this is stunning. It’s so atmospheric and your choice of language is fascinating and intricate and scratchy and nasty and tragic.
It’s so physical. Incredibly so. And I love the way you root (aha) her pregnancy in the ground and the dirt and the insects that she finds herself craving.
There are so many strong images, I don’t even know where to start. Tom’s dilated pupils as he kisses Merope in his potion-poisoned state, the patches of threadbare scalp that are one of the prices Merope pays to keep him that way. shudder ... this is so dark! And haunting. And creepy. I’ve also entered Caoty’s challenge and it seems we both went the way of sick, twisted, unhealthy obsession/love.
Riddle Jr. is a brooding, frightening presence even in the womb. And it’s interesting that Riddle Sr isn’t just some handsome rich kid - she only really recognises him when he’s disgusted by her.
And just as you make me begin to really be disgusted by her too, you make me pity her as she can’t make Tom understand, and her father was awful and somehow her self-esteem and the neglect she’s suffered becomes bound up with her pregnancy and manifests as pica. The poor, poor girl. And what’s it all for? She has no idea that she’s bringing something evil into the world. The image of her sucking at her dirt-stained fingers is incredible. Seriously, I can see her.
The line about selling hair reminded me of Les Miserables... The difference between Merope and Fantine though, is that Merope is already a mess.
Ughhh. I pity her so much. That dream seems to have given her hope, but it’s sad too because the reason she now wants to pay attention to and nurture her child is because she thinks it’s a way to have some form of Tom in her life, not because she cares for herself or can love a child properly. And why should she? She was never loved until she got potion into Tom. Sorry, I’m rambling. I just LOVE this fic so much. I love anything that makes me ask questions and think about the characters.
Uh, what else? Burke is so icky. There is really only one thing of beauty in Merope’s life, isn’t there?
I’m a student midwife and the thought of coming across a lady in Merope’s state is making me shudder! Malnourished, pica, and am I seeing pre-eclampsia? And I love the apparating moment - in my Hermione WIP, I’ve decided pregnant women can’t apparate because it’s just too risky.
That parseltongue moment was awesome.
The ending is so sad, but also not... she’s finally free, and has experienced a moment of pure love. It’s a cool thought that Voldemort himself had a moment of being loved purely for what he was, not what he could do or how he could persuade...
Anyway. Ramble over. Loved this.
Athene xoAuthor's Response: Hello Athene :DDD
Gah! What a lovely review! I'm always so overwhelmed and a little speechless every time a reviewer comes along and leaves so much praise. THANK YOU SO MUCH. Seriously. Thanks for making my day /month/year/forever.
Aah the challenge! Yes, this is the first time I've written in this genre. And man was it difficult for me trying to be ahem...dark. :P Hence the copious amounts of imagery. Probably a little too much in some areas! Ooh, yes I've heard of your story for the challenge! I've got to swing by and check it out one of these days. Heard it's about a creepy Snape; caoty will love that one!
One of my main concerns while writing this story was that I wasn't writing Merope with empathy, that perhaps I was focusing a little too much on atmosphere and things like that. That's usually why I don't do so well writing horror fic; it's like there's a barrier between me and the characters I'm writing, and I assume sometimes that the reader will not be able to appreciate or empathise with the characters. So it's such a wonderful thing to hear that you feel for Merope a bit.
I've yet to watch Les Mis :) Everyone's raving about it on the forums - so maybe one of these days...
Ooh, you're a student midwife? You would know about different kinds of pregnancies (I mean the good and the less pleasant ones) more than me! I was describing pica, and yeah, there's something like pre-eclampsia there, or oedema or "pitting" - as I heard it's called. Hope I got most of these things right!
OK anyway asjkdhalksjhf THANKS SO MUCH ONCE AGAIN. For your absolutely review! Your words and compliments mean so much ♥
You know what? I really love seeing Lily doing her Head Girl duties. It wasn’t all falling-in-love and being-awesome. I really like the bit later on when she’s proud of the work she did setting up the Hogsmeade trip. She actually has responsibilities - I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but you do a really good job of actually rooting these 17/18 year olds into their school career, rather than fully-formed adults who happen to be at Hogwarts. And just to remind us of that... you’ve got the contrast between the Head Girl doing her clerical duties and the Head Boy sending Howlers into the girls’ dorms. Naughty, silly, funny James. And the whole Marauding gang, such naughty boys. They do think they’re hilarious don’t they? So do I, to be fair, but if I were woken by fireworks or Howlers, I wouldn’t be laughing. God, it’s like having two sets of Weasley twins in one House!
Urgh, Violet. I did an eye-roll with Lily. That said, I like having Violet around, it’s nice to have someone to instinctively dislike who isn’t necessarily a baddie.
I love love love the little moments like Lily understanding James’s train of thought, and James being pleased that she gets him, and stealing her cup of tea... Sigh. He is SO loveable.
JAMI! Alice is the one with the photographic memory?!?! Were you trying to make me feel like something kicked me in the stomach?! Wah. You just sneakily reminded me that this will all end happily for almost nobody. In fact, nobody. NOBODY WILL BE HAPPY AND NEITHER WILL I.
I love the Frank/Alice thing helping to edge Lily ever closer to her feelings for James. I guess the fear Alice had of losing Frank has given them an extra boost of I-love-you-don’t-you-go-anywhere.
My dear, can I just say how proud I am that my birthday chapter is the first fic I have ever read to mention tampons?! Hahaha. Gotta love Belle. Having just heard about the Marauders being all cocky and naughty etc, thinking they’re big and clever - and then the mention of female issues is enough to terrify even Sirius Black and send them packing. And poor Madam Pomfrey. But someone’s got to do it! Haha.
Is it me, or is William Potter secretly Cupid? He keeps bringing people together ;) I really enjoyed (even though it’s sad, and she’s obviously struggling) reading more about Belle. You handle her sadness and her conflicted feelings so delicately, just as gently as Lily and Alice do. ‘And what ‘appens if I would ‘ave kissed him? Zen I would start to trust ‘im.”’ - this is so. sad.
Oh, Alrek. Alrek the mysterious. I love that his presence is bringing up all these questions in Lily’s mind about her and James. I know how she feels - people thought I was with Jack long before I actually was (and I did want to be, but it wasn’t the right time)... I totally sympathise with her confusion and vague sense of insecurity about the relationship. It’s sweet that Belle and Lily seem to need each other so much, and both know there are things they aren’t telling each other, but are being patient with each other.
But ugh, I want Alrek to go AWAY! What Eleanor said... it’s just weird. Something’s so wrong. But then I’m used to danger lurking in the halls of Hogwarts - our young Lily and friends aren’t.
The way you’ve written about Lily’s grief throughout this story is so sensitive and real. The way you can suddenly be blindsided by something as innocent as a cardigan - but the fact that she’s now at a point where she can embrace what that item means to her rather than collapse at the pain of it. And later when she forgets all of it and says about the cat allergy, I can almost feel my stomach dropping with hers as she realises. Oh I love McGonagall. It feels true to me that she’d try to help a student with grief in that way.
I kind of want to hug Peter. Why aren’t you just letting me hate him? (I’m glad you’re not).
That exchange between Belle and Violet, and then Belle talking to Lily afterwards just reinforced for me that Belle and Sirius are such a great match. They’re like each other’s counterparts - fearless, fiercely loyal, somewhat arrogant... not forgiving and forgetting!
Oh the irony of James sending people not allowed to Hogwarts back to their common rooms. I laughed at first, because it’s kind of ironic - but then I got sad because he and Lily should have been around to sign little Harry’s permission form. Sigh. This is the problem with Marauders era ;) I’ll ask again - fancy a late switch to an AU? :P
My heart MELTED when James quietly told her she was beautiful. Oh my GOD. You’re making me feel like a lovesick teen again!
I love love love the scene in the pub. So many little things and details going on that are just juicy and fun. Acorn is an adorable name. And I love that Frank has a toad - is that maybe why Neville is so protective of Trevor? I love the reversal, of Neville losing Trevor and Acorn sort of just popping up in Frank’s life. And then Belle loving dogs and Sirius flirting without her knowing...and James’s owl getting all excited about Lily.
The massive shift in tone, with the confrontation between Abigail and Alana is handled really well, and I love seeing Lily going from angry and authoritative to kind and discreet. Poor Belle. (shhh)
Before I get into the SQUEE over the last part, I want to say you write the relationships between the boys just as well as you do the ones between the girls. The tiny details of Remus and Frank being sensible, Sirius being encouraging, James doing something extravagant (and ‘told you’)... perfection, missy.
Okay, here it is. SQUEE! Butterscotch! A pet kitten! A gift from James Potter! So many warm fuzzy shippy feels. On a side note, my neighbours have a cat called Butterscotch - she gets called Butty! Haha.
Loved this, as always. Another massive review. Sorry! ♥Author's Response: I'm really going to try and do this response justice. Also!! for some reason you can't copy responses from pages (or word) without them getting that funny coding. It doesn't make sense, since you can copy reviews from there and the coding fixes itself. What I do now is copy the review into a document and respond to it in the box while reading the document one. Haha sorry, I just remembered you mentioned not knowing why your response had all the weird A symbol thingies :P
I have way too much fun writing Lily's head girl stuff. School stuff in general, I think. there's a chapter a few down, called Build Up, and it focuses mainly on all classes. Haha. For a while, it was jokingly titled 'Chapter in which Jami Pretends she Attends Hogwarts' :P
I was about to go on one of my rants about how important you know it is to me to show that these are just *children* that choose to embark on such a heroic but terrifying journey. But then I realized ranting to you would do not good because you've heard very rant I have :P
James really is loveable, isn't he?? Maybe we should group hug him. And Lily. And everyone. yeah?? It makes me so happy that you like him as a character though ♥ I always worry about doing them all justice.
I won't be happy when this ends either :(. Can we be mad together? And and and you won't make fun of me when I cry??? ;(.Stupid fictional characters getting me entirely too attached.
Hahahahahahah well Sarah, on your birthday chapter I couldn't give you anything less than one that involved such a lovely tool, now could I ;). We still use that on my dad. Sometimes I'll call my parents hours, and he'll answer and we'll chat, then I want to talk to my mom and he just try to annoy me. 'What do you want to talk to her about? What can't you just talk to me?' then he'll say that he's getting her, and pretend to be her and do a girl voice and try and trick me. So usually I end up saying that I need to talk to her about my cramps :P works every time. Men aren't nearly as tough as they think.
It took me a minute to figure out who William was bringing together until I remember DUH the article they were reading ;). You know old people... never happy unless us youngsters have a ring on our finger and a baby on the way ;)
I'm so happy you liked how I handled Belle's sadness. She still scares me. Haha
I'm going to be emailing me to tell you the story of how you and jack got together as soon as I finish this response, btw.
Making sure that it's never forgotten what Lily went through is super important to me. She is doing a million times better, but the girl still lost her parents. It isn't something she's just going to be over. Ugh you say all these things and make me feel so happy and I just want to hug you. How do you possibly pick up on so much?? I'm giving you the worlds most perceptive reader in the world award. Fo sho. :P
The scene in the pub was super hard for me to write how I wanted. I kept feeling like I was makings things so confusing and everything kept getting tangled and it was just so frustrating. I'm really happy you liked how it turned out, because some serious rewriting went into that one a few times :P
Poor Belle :(. Good job shhhing. ;). Is it weird reading this already knowing most of what happens? Haha
Butterscotch!!! Yay! Hahahaha butty is so funny. James and Sirius rename butterscotch a few chapters down, too ;P
Sarah I can't even tell you how awesome your reviews make me feel. Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and just turning me into an insane ball of feels. I'm sending you the biggest hugs in the world. Do you feel them?!
♥ Report Review
CC first - So, a few more typos here and there (and some lowercase ‘Muggles’), but as I said before you can always mention in a PM if you want me to point them out :P They’re so minor and they don’t detract from your marvellous storytelling. I did pick up one a couple of things I could point out here though: Edgar’s line about “My aunts home, mother’s sister, yes. She was extremely close to my mum” seems a bit clunky. If you leave out ‘mother’s sister’, we still get ‘aunt’ and ‘close to my mum’, and can surmise from that how she was most likely related to them. It just seems a little unnatural in terms of speech. The other thing that threw me slightly is the description of McG’s house. It’s in London, so the only way it would ever be called a ‘cottage’ is if it were a ‘mews cottage’, which is a converted stables, usually in a posh area of the city. Cottages are more often to be found in a small town, village, or isolated countryside environment. Honestly though, I think that’s a nuance only a picky British person like me would notice really.
Now onto the FEELS - Ah, this chapter! The James-and-Lily-ness of it all! They’re so lovely - you’re so skilled. Please may you one day write me a romance that I know won’t end in utter tragedy? Thanks.
This first section is so interesting; it’s very cool to see the Order coming together, trying to get started and recruit some youngsters. I really like your characterisation of Minerva McGonagall as a very gentle, caring person - because that’s what she is, behind the strict rule-enforcement and respect for the hierarchy of students and teachers! Her solicitude towards Edgar is particularly touching. Her pride in her students is evident throughout JKR’s work, but it’s very nice to see you explicitly explore it here as she listens to Dorcas and asks about Sirius.
It’s really cool to see how sincerely Dumbledore et al are considering the futures of their young students. Minerva’s reaction reminds me of Molly Weasley - quite maternally wanting to keep her young chicks safe for just a little longer. Honestly, Jami, you’re very skilled at taking small details about characters I think I know well, and making me believe that this character you’re writing is exactly as JKR intended them to be.
Although he may be quieter about it than Minerva, Dumbledore knows each and every one of these kids, and he rarely misses a trick - his line about James and Lily made me laugh. I do have to question the morality of listing the possible attributes these young students could bring to an army without their being aware of it at all. I mean, I know it’s a secret Order, but I do sympathise with Minerva too -they’re kids! They’re going through enough already! But that’s just part of the legend that Harry finds out is Dumbledore, I guess.
Then, moving onto the next section. You go from a serious conversation about scary things, to our young hero wandering around feeling quite worried and stressed, and wanting to be alone. You show us that although he doesn’t know about the Order’s conversations, he wouldn’t necessarily be frightened or unhappy to hear that they’ve been having them. I think the feeling I get from James is that he’s feeling a bit useless - he doesn’t know what to do with himself, as there’s no action he can really take yet. But he also doesn’t want to have to take action, because although he knows they have to, he doesn’t want things to get worse. He’s really reminding me of Harry, who is always as stoic as his parents (sounds weird calling them back when they’re still teens here!) about the need for things to get worse before they can start getting better.
Okay, now I’m going to get into the heart-warming happy stuff! It’s really a mark of how meant-to-be they are, that even though James thinks he wants to be alone, being with Lily seems to actually be the answer he didn’t know he was looking for. And the natural way that they seem to be able to touch one another and be together - I wonder if the danger of the outside world is already beginning to show them that life’s too short to play silly games, and that they just need to be real with each other. That said, they are still young people on the verge of falling for each other, and I love the nerves and second-guessing you still show us in James’s thoughts. Oh, and his naughty thoughts about her bottom. I love it - you’re not letting us forget that he doesn’t just love her, he really fancies her too! I genuinely laughed out loud, and for quite a while, at the line:
“That didn’t mean friends couldn’t hold hands. Not that he was planning on skipping down the halls holding Peter’s hand or anything..”
- and then it turned all sweet again with the next bit:
“ but that was different. Peter’s hands weren’t soft and small like Lily’s.”
And then you make me laugh my socks off again, with the line about getting ‘excited’. Why did my mind say ‘Sirius’ immediately?!
Just when I thought you couldn’t make me love William Potter any more... It’s all about the girl. Seriously, I love him so much! And he’s entirely your own invention, so thank you for creating him. I want more! More Potterses!
I really appreciate that you portray Sirius here as not only selfless, but also emotionally intelligent and able to analyse himself sincerely. He’s a highly intelligent man, that’s a fact in canon, and it really annoys me when other fics portray him as a brainless pretty boy. And then, of course, you end with him being the reckless, cheeky man we also know. You have to admire Sirius’s devotion to the Jily ship. I do wonder what Lily’s reaction to all this conversation is - perhaps you could include a line just to say if she’s blushing, or frowning, or not even listening?
Um, I’ve rambled. Great chapter. SUCH gorgeous James and Lily feels. Lovely McGonagall. I liked seeing Slughorn, he’s kind of adorable. And you’re awesome.Author's Response: I'm here to try and respond to this last amazing review! (insert cry face here).
I hate that I feel like I'm putting SO MUCH into showing how real their love was, only in the end to end it all ;(. But at the same time, it's so nice to put it out there that these were two people who were HEAD OVER HEELS IN LOVE. It wasn't a war, it wasn't Lily's split from Severus, it wasn't just convenience that brought them together. It's the fact that these two people belong together. And I just need-- umm.. want-- everyone to understand that! hahah.
I'm sort of trying to show more of Dumbledore's... harsher side in this. We see him wanting to protect Harry. He doesn't tell him enough because he doesn't want him to know. But he still uses him as a tool. Well, we both have talked about this old man so I'm preaching to the choir with you. We'll always keep loving him. But anyway, I think that maybe he wanted to protect Harry because he couldn't protect his parents. Maybe he regrets starting James and Lily so young, thinking that he could have done more, and that impacts what he tells and doesn't tell Harry.
Okay. Moving on to topics because I'm rambling.
Sirius has so many faces (which you found exploring his awesomeness with YOUR awesomeness) and it's just not fair when people give him the pretty boy jerkness. He was taken in by another family. He was given a chance at having people that love him. Your telling me he's going to honor those people by making a jerk out of himself and just parading girl around? No. No people that turn my Sirius into this jerk of a play boy. No.
Okay. Seriously, I don't know why you're getting me all riled up. This is your fault.
I LOVE YOU AND YOUR AMAZING REVIEWS.
More than that, I love that you point things out that hardly anyone else notices ♥
This chapter made me so nostalgic! Somehow, the tone of it reminded me of being at Hogwarts with Harry. I think perhaps it was the group of friends trying to puzzle out what’s going on outside the school walls... And Alastor (not yet Mad-Eye!) Moody, too!
The Christmas dream/memory was so very beautiful. You managed to give it that dreamy quality, like I was watching it from the snow, rather than inside Lily’s head (which is where I spend most of my time in BTF). It’s such a poignant way to start the chapter, because it reminds us of course that Lily can sympathise with Amelia Bones all too well. The relationship between her and Petunia is beautifully played out here, and we can see that petunia’s envy and jealousy are causing her to push Lily away, trying to protect herself from losing her sister. I love that Petunia can’t get her head around the fact that Lily can’t do magic outside of school - it sets us up for her never correcting Vernon’s terror that Harry will do magic on them. Adrianna and Shane are such lovely parents. It’s wonderful that you give Lily that warm, spiritual moment to retreat to in her mind. Seeing Adrianna made me sad. So many mothers taken from their children too soon. I hate that Lily had to follow in her footsteps. I also thought, how messed up is Petunia that she tells Harry that the Potters died in a car crash, after that’s how her parents died? I guess it could be the first thing she thought of - but still. Messed up. (Do you see how your characters are becoming canon in my head?!)
I enjoyed the prefects meeting, it was cool to see James and Lily at work. Angry Frank was a sight to see. This bit was really impressive: “We don’t want to believe that it’s this close to us, I get it. But it is. And I hope to God that when Amelia comes back to school, you aren’t so damn insensitive as to ask her how she knows it was the Death Eaters that killed her parents in front of her.” ” Lily’s thoughts about the difference between ‘knowing’ and ‘seeing’ were really striking too. And then “wanting to end the meeting with something else besides murder.” ...God, these poor kids. It’s so awful. You’re SO GOOD!
I love that your Lily isn’t a saint. She’s a good person, who works hard and strives to be the best she can, but that doesn’t make her a Mary-Sue! Haha. She thinks that she’s probably a little bit selfish, and feels bad at James’s surprise at her offering to carry the bag, and it just makes her all the more endearing. Your description as Alice being like a butterfly is so lovely. She’s a gentle spirit, but as we see, there are things that do make her very, very angry.
I enjoyed Lily’s thoughts on the Lestranges. “ Lily had shuddered at the idea of husband and wife each being as soulless as the other” - sure makes you glad they didn’t have children!
Sirius’s excitement about Moody’s presence is so endearing. He’s just a boy! An ambitious young man with heroes he looks up to.
And what a hero! Moody is great! You’ve done such an excellent job of making him feel just like the Moody we know. This is probably part of the reason why I felt so nostalgic reading this chapter. Lily’s first encounter with his odd appearance and blunt speech remind me of how Harry and Ron were oddly fascinated by him, too (which reminds me of James and Sirius... oh suddenly too many feels.)
I tried to pick my favourite Moody line, but they’re all so perfectly him. Why did I not know that you, my dearest darlingest Jami, are so good at writing Alastor Moody?! You’re having so much fun with showing us things we just accept as The Way They Are in the books, before they were that way. I'm not making sense... Say, the Patronus-talking magic. That. And here, Mad-Eye’s eye. I LOVE THAT SO MUCH! Okay, so the line about him not being used to the eye yet may be one of my favourites. I also love how he seems able to see straight through (figuratively, not literally, for once!) the Death Eaters and Voldemort. He can see just how awful Voldemort is, and how little he truly cares for his pandering followers. He also seems to ‘see’, very quickly, some sort of potential in Alice and Frank. Maybe he recognises something of a kindred spirit in them? We know he respected the Longbottoms greatly.
The Potters (senior) are such loving, cool parents. I love the way you’ve written William - I really love him! He reminds me a little bit of my dad... A gentle man (at home - who, at work, probably kicks butt). And I love the advice he gives about Sirius becoming an Auror (he really does see him as a son, doesn’t he?). He kind of reminds me of Arthur Weasley, the way he’s willing to tell James stuff that may be too ‘grown up’ for him, but he knows it’s important and may just keep him safer.
A lot of dark, scary stuff is happening, but the final line of this chapter gave me such a pang of nostalgia and made me laugh out loud. Little stroke of genius, there, Miss JC.
Sigh. I love this story.Author's Response: Anddd take TWO!
I am going to make sure that by the end of this, you have no idea what is actual Marauders canon and what is all head canon. Mwahahaa.
Hehe I had fun with Moody. I usually feel shaky about writing anyone that isn't one of my main 8. (Eight, really?! LilyJamesSiriusRemusPeterBelleAliceFrank. Yep, it's eight. They need to tone their group down. Way too many of them). ANYWAY. Anyone who isn't my main 8 I get nervous about. But Moody was one of the few that felt very good. He's such a passionate character. And he sees a kind of self control in Frank when Frank DOESN'T curse Rosier. Then he sees steel inside Alice when she does. Very skillfully, I may add. We all know Sirius doesn't have the control he'd need to work as an Auror when the office is being infiltrated. It would have been like Harry trying to work at the Ministry when they were all eating out of Lucius's pockets. But they still need Aurors... ones that can act like they're going along with it all, but who aren't. I'm not making sense anymore, am I? Okay... I'm going to move on now, haha.
That's exactly why I thought of them dying in the car crash. (A car crash! Kill Lily and James Potter! Oh god. I'm going to cry.) Because Petunia had already deluded herself into thinking the world was against her, so why not pretend like every ounce of blood she had was destroyed with that wreck? I really think these two would have made up if Lily wouldn't have died. They would have worked through their stuff. Petunia will Never, never forgive the fact that Magic killed her sister. She can't stand feeling guilty about how everything was left, so she casts her blame on the thing that's constantly around to remind her of the guilt she's trying to bury. Little innocent baby Harry. You know, maybe Petunia and Snape should get together.
I am keeping William and Olivia for as long as possible. Stupid JKR, taking them too. (forgive me JKR. FORGIVE ME).
I don't even know how to tell you how much I love you and your amazing reviews. But really, I do. Times a million. I was heading back from an at home eval when I realized I had all had all these new reviews and I saw 'ATHENE GOODSTRENGTH' and I pulled over in a gas station to read them. hahaha. Ohhh I love you ♥ Report Review
Surprise, miss lady! I’ve been slacking as a reviewer, and I’ve really missed just reading BTF ... so here I am. I’ve been writing these in Word and saving them over the past couple of days so that I could just go BOOM and surprise you. There will be more in the next few days, until I get caught up! YAY! (I’ve been enjoying reviewing it all so much, by the way.)
So, I did pick up on a couple of misspellings and oddly placed words, but I figure if you want to know about them, you can just ask me in a PM. No use in wasting valuable words here ;) My only concern is with the section where Dumbledore explains what happened to the Bones family - it seems a little forced, like he’s actually explaining it to the reader... do you know what I mean? I can see that you’ve led up to this shocking moment and you don’t want to stretch the reveal out too much, but perhaps there’s a way you could spread the information out a little further?
ANYWAY... I love this chapter! It’s dark, tense and upsetting, but it’s also so warm and tender. I think that’s probably because you show how friends (and lovers!) can come together under difficult circumstances. I also really love the teachers involvement in the events and mood of the chapter, because it’s very easy for people to write Marauders as adults who happen to be at Hogwarts- whereas yours are very much still at school with all the freedom and responsibility that brings.
Creepy Fawkes is creepy! I love it. The idea that he seems more like a flame being a bird rather than the other way around, is one of your little genius moments. Beautiful. It also shows how Lily thinks differently about the world around her - all is not set in stone, and there are two sides to everything.
The juxtaposition of “his beady eyes could stare into hers with entirely too much awareness” with “Lily found herself unable to meet Professor Dumbledores’s eyes” is very nice indeed. (although 'Dumbledores's' needs looking at!) I feel like Dumbledore is very much like Fawkes - a phenomenon, an incredible thing, but also liable to make you feel rather uncomfortable and also not quite all he seems. Your Dumbledore is great, by the way - you and Dan did brilliant work characterizing him! I love his fascination, and pride, at the boys discovering how to make a Patronus talk. And I want his desk, it sounds so beautiful...
You do a really nice job of building up the tension. I feel like I’m Lily, thinking “what’s happened? What’s happened? Just tell us, Dumblepops!”. And then when he does say, it’s like her mind stumbles and can’t keep up with what’s just happened. I love that there was a world before the First War, when it was shocking and incomprehensible that people would actually murder innocent people because of who they were associated with (more innocent people), that they could be so influential and powerful as to evade the law.
The moment when James gets Lily to look at him, and time just stands still for a second, I feel like everyone in the room should be holding their breath at that moment as it’s clear that oh my God, there’s something special here. Melty melty melty.
You’re very clever at coming up with ways for magic to work, but you know that, right? I love this Patronus stuff. And I love your explanation in the AN, that “This was intentional. I think it's important to show that things, even magic, evolve. ”. Oh, you.
♥ Frank and Alice ♥ - they’re adorable. I really like the way they’re what James and Lily could be, that they’ve found true love but are just a little further along the path than James and Lily. In the same way that their future sons have a sort of duality.
I just love the entire James, Sirius and Lily section. You handle the dynamic between the three of them so well. James’s line about the favourite son was perfect. Oh, Sirius. And I love the idea that Lily’s a mother before she ever has a child, “And maybe we’ll have to acknowledge that when Lily yells at us to grow up, it’s for a good reason.” Lily seems to be more like Harry than James - this chapter had a few moments that highlighted that. Firstly I thought of it when she says ““Professor, if they were spotted, if they could be identified, why haven’t they been arrested?” Lily hadn’t meant for her voice to sound so edgy, but it made no sense to her.” That’s such a Harryesque reflex! And then this bit made me laugh: “She had expected James to stay angry for much longer. But why? When had he ever remained angry for long? The very few times she had forced herself to apologize to James Potter, he’d accepted it easily and forgotten whatever incident sparked the apology.” - So Harry doesn’t get his long-held anger gene from his father! I think he may well get that stubbornness from one Lily Evans. Oh JAMI. Why couldn’t they have lived to bring him up?! :’(
Okay, quickly onto Bellatrix. THAT GIRL BE CRAYCRAY. But she’s so scary, too! I mean, she’s unhinged and obsessive and actually angry and upset that she didn’t manage to kill any babies. I mean, WOMAN! What on earth did your parents do to you!? This scene was great - so atmospheric, such a shift in tone from the scene at Hogwarts, and another tantalising and horrifying glimpse at the other side of the coin.
BRAVO, lady. I loved this. (And yes, this review is comparatively short compared to my usual tomes - I'm working on not rambling, but I PROMISE I haven't used your magic formula.)Author's Response: Okay. I'm going to try. I'm here and I realy am going to try to reply to this without turning into jelly.
Well, now you made me want to go back and play with the Dumbledore explanation to make it feel smoother. Playing with Dumbledore is scary! But I totally agree, I've always felt that way about the section, but was hoping it was only because I'd read it so many times. Maybe you've given me the motivation I need to rework it..
I was so sure someone would tell me that there was no way the Marauders came up with the Patronus talking. I have my argument all ready to defend them, but so far I haven't had to use it. hehe. It was so fun to imagine Dumbledore stuck in the serious situation, but at the same time, really wanting to play with this talking Patronus thing because... let's face it, the man is a sucker for neat magic.
I really want to show that, like you said, there was a world before all this. It wasn't like the Marauders went into Hogwarts knowing they'd be part of the order. Or that Voldemort just popped up one day all murder and crazy. I think things would have gone slow. Painfully slow. A disappearance here, one there. But not so much, so you could almost convince yourself that it would never happen to you. But now... when the death eaters and Voldemort are making themselves more public then ever, making a sickening sort of statement, it's so much more real but still almost unbelievable. Because (like you said) who would ever do that?!
THAT'S HOW I FEEL ABOUT THAT JAMES LILY MOMENT. Like right there... that very second.. they should all realize that they're witnessing something so pure and special, and I just wanted them to break into applause at the end. Stupid characters never doing what I want. Okay. I'm getting all James and Lily feelsy. I haven't been feeling like writing the last few days, but now I can't wait to work on the next chapter.
YOU HAVE SUPER MOTIVATION POWERS.
They should have lived to bring him up, Sarah :(. they should have :(. I never really think about purposefully making them seem like they could be the parents of Harry Potter, but then when you point things out I'm going, 'oh you're so right. Harry totally must get his stubbornness from Lily.' And I don't think either her or James are very good at just sitting and watching, so he must get his 'must act now' attitude from both of them. But but. Oh gosh. harry should have had brothers :(. And sister. Lily should have been as stressed out mother with one baby crying, a toddler climbing the counter, and having to be at James's parents for Sunday brunch with Olivia and William and PeterSiriusRemusBelle (tear).
See. Now i just want to cry. Haha.
Bellatrix is too much fun to write. She's just so... in the words of Ron, 'She really needs to get her priorities straight.' (A reviewer said that about her before, and it totally stuck. haha). She's a very, very unhealthy woman.
Sarah. this review is as far from short as possible. LONG. very LONG. hahaha. Don't worry, even if you want to use a tiny bit of my magic formula, I'll forgive you ;).
♥ LOVE YOU SO MUCH.
Terms of Service
categories & genres
short story collection