8 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Debra20 

19th March 2013:
Before I make any sense of this review, allow me to gloat a bit. YES YES YES! It was Lily. It was LILY! I suspected it all along. You my lovely Susan, are a master of leaving enough hints to keep your theory going but not enough to be certain of it at any point. I haven't been this confused about something I thought I knew/felt in a long time. I guess your preference for mystery stories has paid off :D I am SO happy that I got it right...right? Because this is what I understood at the end of the chapter. That the woman in the mirror was indeed Lily from some other past, other dimension tainted with her decision to stay by Moody's side. You know what? No, I'm not going back to being confused again haha Lily is the woman in the miror! She's got to be her...

Okai so hopefully now I'll make more sense lol. I'm sorry it took me so long to come back and finish the story, but I promise now I won't leave before it's done. Reading this chapter reminded me why I loved it so much. I never realized I missed reading it, missed the puzzle I needed to complete. I loved the story so much that I guess deep down in my unconscious I didn't want it to end. So I took longer than allowed to finish it. But it's that moment, so here I am!

This chapter made me think so much about my own profession as a psychologist. Even if in the end I decided to work with adolescents on more palpable and provable problems, I have considered going the therapy road for a very long time. This chapter, or rather, the theme of the chapter (believability...what's the limit between fantasy and reality) brought back so many memories of my own questions, doubts that I felt like I was a younger version of myself for 10 minutes (I read a chapter this long in about 10 minutes; yes, I am a slow reader!). As a potential therapist, I have always wondered what my reaction would be if a client came to me with a story like Lily's, something so out there and improbable that you could hardly believe it to be true. Would believe the client or cling to what my training drilled in my brain since the beginning, that only what's proven stands as true? This is one of those questions that a straight answer couldn't possibly cover all the implications, intricacies of the answer. I think that I'd believe the client, which could prove detrimental for the treatment, but I couldn't see any other way. I have been brought up to second guess what reality really means (because in the end, what IS reality? isn't it subjective to everyone's own interpretation of the world?) and I was also always surrounded by religious members of my family. Needless to say that I am a religious person as well and that means believing in something that can't objectively be proven either. In light of that, how could I possibly have the audacity to doubt what someone else tells me?

Ok - enough philosophies. I get so carried away with these kind of subjects, it's not even funny haha. With all of that said, I felt a lot for both Lily and Harry this chapter. Especially Harry. We've been present at Lily's sufferings throughout the whole story, but this is the first real glimpse we have on how the family deals with her situation. It pained me to see that he hadn't recovered from the war. Not truly at least. In some way I imagine that's understandable and pretty probable. To live what Harry lived and still keep your sanity, well...I'd call that an accomplishment in itself.

OH, I am so eager to see what comes next. I need to know what will Lily do now! So I'm going to end this monstrously long review and get on with the next chapter lol

Author's Response: It may be ridiculously long, but it's the kind of reaction I was hoping this chapter would garner. I hadn't planned for the story to make this sudden turn, but after the previous chapter, I felt that it was necessary to explore the effect of the journey on Lily's mind. She was already weakened by depression, then to suffer that trauma at Moody's death... it proves too much. This is reflected in the narrative, which is why it's somewhat confused - Lily is not only uncertain, but doing her best to conceal things from her audience. She saw the portrait's face in the previous chapter, but she doesn't actually tell us (or rather Healer Patil) what it looks like. Then there is the more significant gap in Lily's story - what happens after the fire. It was very interesting to write a character who had forgotten part of her own story, and she never gets it back, but rather pieces it together based on the evidence. It's fascinating to do this with fiction and navigate the boundaries of storytelling. :D

The thing to do is not overthink things. :P The difference between the portrait and Lily is slight, primarily based on their age difference - the portrait has seen what happens after the story ends, and has no ideals or illusions left. The mirror was actually supposed to act as a replacement for the portrait - if Lily had seen the portrait, it would have been like looking into a mirror in the future (have you tried those aging programs? If so, it's rather like that).

I really like what you've said about looking at the story from the perspective of a therapist. There's nothing to disprove Lily's story - in fact, there's evidence to support it - yet it's also impossible. To Lily it's more real than the world she's returned to. There's that annoying saying about "losing one's grip on reality", but you've nailed it in asking what actually is reality? Everything depends on the individual and their interpretation of the world. To force Lily to believe that it was all a dream would be more detrimental than allowing her to continue with her "delusions".

Since you've already finished reading, I can mention here that the story can be interpreted in two ways: either the time travel was real or it was not. Because it's told entirely from Lily's point of view, it always appears as though it's real, but there are clues that point to the other interpretation, which inevitably leads to Lily's death by drowning. It depends on how the reader wants the story to end - happily with Lily reuniting with Alastor, or tragically with her madness, followed by suicide (where the final scene of the conclusion, filled with water imagery, is the vision she has as she dies).

It really is a crazy story. I was hardly able to keep myself sane while writing it! It's fantastic that you've enjoyed how this chapter turned out because it was one that particularly worried me - I wasn't sure how readers would respond to the change in tense and its effect on Lily's frame of mind. Thank you so much for reading and reviewing this story! I'm proud of it, and hearing any compliments make my ears pink. ^_^

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Review #2, by BellaCamille 

14th August 2012:
Ah! The ending to this chapter is absolutely perfect. And I really like the father-daughter relationship you portray here. I could really feel their relationship, even through all the stuff Lily was going through.

Author's Response: Thank you so much! Harry is a challenge for me to write because his characterization is so more set in place, if that makes sense, yet I do like writing him in next-generation era stories. He does connect with Lily here - she respects him greatly for his work and the things he's gone through. He understands her and her experience, and it goes a long way to helping her heal.

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Review #3, by Lillylover22 

12th May 2012:
She is his wife. 10/10 : )

Author's Response: But is it a good or bad thing? :P *evil author*

Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #4, by recklessly_sweet 

18th April 2012:
i am so cunfused
but it is the confusion that spurs me on
nothing makes sense
all is a riddle
please update soon to put me out of my misery

Author's Response: Oh dear, I'm sorry that you're confused! Hopefully the final few chapters will help make sense of things. It's wonderful though that, even with your confusion, you're still driven to continue reading. :D Thank you very much for reading and reviewing!

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Review #5, by Arithmancy_Wiz 

6th April 2012:
Pardon in advance if this isn't completely coherent. This is a lot of story to take in in the span of an hour (though I mean that in the most positive way possible). I did a quick read through of the first eight chapters just so I would know what was going on, and then a careful read of chapters nine and ten. You said on the forums you're looking for input on how to structure the end of the story, so I'll try and tailor my feedback with that in mind.

First, I have to say, this story is kind of amazing. And not just amazing as far as fanfiction goes, but really and truly amazing. I've paid for dozens of books not half as interesting and intriguing as this is. It's this odd and wonderful mix of Bronte meets Doctor Who. Lily is all at once the brave heroine Jane, the conflicted, less than whole Rochester, and the crazy, doomed wife Bertha.

Focusing in on chapter nine, this was an incredibly moving chapter. When the chapter opened, I was actually thinking it seemed like a good place to end the story. Lily had traveled Moody's life and now the crazy women in the portrait was going to "wrap things up" by explaining to Lily and the audience what the cabinet was and why she could control it. Then, of course, the story took a left turn (at least for me. I'm sure there were more hints in previous chapters but I may have missed them in my haste). Lily was now off to fill a noble destiny: to be with Moody when he died. How sad and lovely and poetic. Again, I'm thinking, good place to end. Tack on a prologue and you're set to go.

Then I get to chapter ten. Once again I'm thinking, we are ready for a wrap up. Lily will reflect on how she is a better person for knowing Moody, even briefly, and the story ends on a somber but introspective and hopeful note as Lily thinks on how she - handicapped as she is - can do great things. Just like Moody, with his missing leg and one good eye. But of course, another left turn. Lily IS the crazy women in the portrait and now must find her back to Moody to be his wife.

Wow, what a ride.

Based on all this, I'm trying to think of helpful suggestions on structuring the ending. I think, after two false (though highly effective) starts, the story does now feel like it's ready to end. The further away we get from the time travel, the more it diminishes that part of the story. I think the next chapter should be THE big one. Where Lily finds out how to be master of the cabinet and everything she has to do to reach the life she wants to live. I think you mentioned there were two more chapters left and you weren't sure where to divide them...? Not knowing, of course, what you've written/plan to write, if I was sketching this on paper, I'd say the next chapter ends with Lily reaching the point of full understanding - where she comes to terms with who she is, how to get back in time, and what leaving the present will mean for her current life. The last chapter would then be the final physical steps that get her into Moody's arms. It would be perfectly poetic if somehow both their injuries played into it...It's something that makes them different from others but similar to each other and it would be fitting to see that physically bring them together in the end. But that's just an aside really.

I think you hit the nail on the head as far as the "moral of the story" in chapter nine with these two lines:

For what was a person but their time? The times they failed. The times they succeeded. All action, all feeling, was based on time.

The same attic, the same cabinet, but not the same Lily Potter. No. She was gone forever.

To me, however you structure the ending, it should totally tie back into this. Lily does not start this story a happy person. Obviously, a big part of that is because she feels less than whole. As a reader, I want her as a character to see beyond that. To see that the bad parts of her life have made her who she is, have led her to this point - to Moody. Only by becoming MORE disfigured, by traveling further down a bad road, can she find her "time" of happiness. Moody loves everything Lily will become. She must learn to love everything she is right now.

I have NO idea if any of this is helpful or was in any way what you were looking for. I've never done this kind of review before and I may be so off base on how you plan to end the story that none of the above is of any use to you. Should that be the case, then just take away that this is an AMAZING piece and you've got a new reader who is anxious to see how you bring it all to a close.

Author's Response: Thank you very much for coming to read and review this story - it was a great surprise and honour to have a staff member take the time out to help me finish off this story. Like I mentioned in the comment, you discussed ideas that I'd been thinking over myself, but I wasn't sure whether they would work - it was fantastic to get a second opinion and it's made me feel a lot more confident that I can actually finish this story and do so successfully. :)

Oh my gosh, you've got it in a nutshell! The story is very much Doctor Who and Jane Eyre put together, just as Lily is a strange combination of the courageous Jane, mad Bertha, and maimed Rochester. I didn't mean at first for her to be all three, merely a combination of Jane and Bertha (both the love-object and the despised, monstrous wife, which is why they're forbidden from seeing one another until Lily possesses all the necessary knowledge), but throughout the story she is physically marked, damaged in body and mind - and those marks are eerily similar to those of Rochester's with the leg and now the scars. Creepy. These unintentional things are great to find, though - I'm glad when readers find them out! :D

It is getting close to the wrap up. It's strange how many ways this story could end - like you mentioned how the portrait could just explain things and bam, there's the end. Then there's these chapters back in her own time - again, the story could just stop there. But I do want to try and give a happy ending of sorts, one that follows through the romantic aspects of this story. I hope that I'm not dragging it along by doing so, yet it's funny because I keep thinking that I'm wrapping things up too quickly. XD Ending this story is hard, not because I don't know what to do, but because I've enjoyed writing it too much.

Thank you SO MUCH for your suggestions for the final two chapters. It made a big difference to get another opinion and visualize the conclusion from an alternate point of view. I made the next chapter end a little vaguely, though it's pretty obvious what she's going to do - there are parts of the story that I just don't want to explicitly relate (does she say goodbye to her parents? does she pack before she goes? does she just leave immediately? that sort of thing), all of which is left up to the reader's imagination.

What your review inspired me to do was make the explanation of the time travel more important - somehow, Lily has to find out how all of this was possible. There had to be someone behind her journey, and that question needed to be answered... yet in my original plan, I didn't include it. The other major thing was the necessity of having Lily think over her future - what does she want to do, how can she do it, and will she choose to live out her future in the past? I thought a lot about this after reading your review, and it added a lot of meat to the next chapter, really fleshing out Lily's character and her intentions in a way that wouldn't have otherwise happened.

YES! That would be a perfect way of tying the story together! I was planning on remarking on the similarities of their injuries - he returns from the war with the magic eye, and therefore both of their faces are scarred (ideally, in a mirror image, but I have to recheck my details). It will help unite them at the end. What I didn't think about was that Lily should use that to see beyond her own disfigurement and even find the beauty in it. That's perfect! ^_^

This was extremely helpful! I'm writing the last chapter now and I've come back to this review for reference a few times - it puts the pieces more firmly together in my mind. I will finish this story! It'll be awesome! And I'll owe a lot of it to you. Thank you!

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Review #6, by Sakurasou 

19th March 2012:

I just read this whole story in one go and my mind is blown. You characterisations, atmosphere, descriptions, not to mention the actual plot are all so powerful. I really like how Lily moves from one time to another so quickly, everything is happening so fast that it just draws me in more and more (even though inside I'm dying for them to have to have more time together, for their sake).

But onto this chapter specifically- the end. What! My mind is going crazy with speculation, was she the wife all along? It makes sense and yet... it would be so devastating that she died :( This chapter was amazing (like the rest). Harry was spot on, I usually have trouble imagining him as a parent but it seemed so natural here. It seemed right that he believed her.

Sorry if that was all very jumbled, my brain is frazzled from awesomeness. But I really love this story, and I can't wait (read: I am desperate) to read the next chapter.

x SakuraSou

Author's Response: Whoa, this is quite a review! Thank you so much for it, and for taking the time to read the whole story through. It means a lot that you've enjoyed it this much, more than I can possibly express. ^_^

The quick pacing of this story is something I tend to forget about, and others have told me the same thing, that it feels longer than it actually is. Most of the story happens in a ridiculously short period of time, but the style of Lily's narration draws time out - she wants those moments to have lasted longer, but that's impossible because time is relentless and cruel. Time makes a wonderful villain for a story, doesn't it? :P

The problem of knowing about her own death is something that Lily will have to deal with - that is, if she makes the final choice to go back in time again. She still has the option at this point to remain, but either way, she's not going to be happy forever. What I wanted to do was show the negative side of the time travel romance, particularly if the travel is backwards - the protagonist will have to face the knowledge of her own death taking place before she is even born. I don't want to gloss over the negative aspects of time travel.

Thank you so much! I'm very glad that you've enjoyed the story and its plot and characters. Hopefully I'll finish that next chapter soon! :D

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Review #7, by Snapdragons 

28th February 2012:
Wait wait wait wait what? I don't even - I don't - yeah, okay, I'm coming back to the ending. All right. Rest of the chapter now.

It feels sort of strange now, being back in the present with Harry and Ginny and everyone - not bad, just strange. It makes you feel sorry for Lily, how disorienting it must be to be skipping through time like that only to end up where she started once more.

I liked that Healer Patil did believe her, because she did know him, and, as you said, She could not after all the things she has known and seen. I also liked how you brought up the point that a lot of people forgot the war effort that happened at Hogwarts and the sacrifices that had to be made there, too.

Harry's reaction was also right, I thought - I felt as though if anyone was to believe, it would be Harry. It was the perfect balance of the Harry the father and the Harry that knew Mad Eye - I don't know, I just felt like it really worked well.

But basically what really struck me was the end. THAT END AH. Her face. The mirror. Moody's wife. I am immediately going to go back and read the beginning all over again - clues. They've been there the whole time. Sort of. Kind of? I don't even know what's going on really but - Lily and the woman in the portrait are somehow connected/the same. Is that why she wouldn't show her face at the beginning? The worst time? I don't even know. It's almost there, almost - but I can't quite get it completely.

This chapter brings it full circle and really illustrates what a commendable author you are - it's delicately told, masterfully so, with these gorgeous phrases and details stuck in there and it's honestly such a delight to read. Once I step in the world, it's like I never want to leave. eep. I will now commence bothering you for updates.

I'm not sure how coherent these reviews were as a whole - but I thought it was only fair that I reviewed as I read, so you'll have to put up with it! :) I truly loved this and am so so so glad I caught up. ♥

Author's Response: Your reviews are definitely coherent! Not to mention amazing and inspiring. :D I love this review-as-you-read style because I can follow along really easily and it also makes the review feel far more immediate. There's no putting up with anything with a review as wonderful as yours. ^_^

Oooh, I'm very glad that you used "disorienting" in relation to Lily, not only because it's spot on correct, but it's also the feeling I wanted to create for the reader, entering into a dream-like narrative that follows Lily's confused thoughts. She's lived through decades all in a single night, and it has a horrible effect on her, and she was already weak to begin with, so the results are very sad.

It's also great to hear that Harry's characterization worked out. He's always a challenge, though I can manage him as an adult, but in this story, he means so much to Lily, even more now that he's one of the few ways she can have a connection to Moody.

Haha, that ending! The clues are there - not all of them, but enough are there, hidden throughout the story. The trick with the first chapters is that Lily can tell them in retrospect - she tells the story already knowing about the scars, the portrait, and their meaning, but she withholds that information. It's the one thing she doesn't want to tell anyone because they would be too upset. The portrait doesn't tell either because of the rules of time travel - the present Lily can't know until she's ready. She has to come to that conclusion herself, otherwise it would threaten history (isn't that always the way with time travel? :P). It's not completely settled yet, though - it's still an assumption, still possibly a coincidence, but then again, I still have two chapters to go! ;)

Oh wow, thank you for your compliments! They're wonderful and I can't thank you enough for them, this review, for reading and loving it. ^_^

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Review #8, by justonemorefic 

1st February 2012:
WHOA. WHOA. /WHOA./ HOW. WHAT. /HOW./ If this post-time travel Lily goes back in time and became the girl in the portrait -- some time post-WWII? And maybe she died around 1971, and that explains why it was the worst possible time for Lily to have arrived post-mourning, and why the portrait hid itself -- it was her own funeral? And why Moody responded the way he did about his 'wife' OH MY GOD IT FITS. 'That you are...' her? Oh dear, I need the next chapter before my speculation explodes my brain D:

I love the different reactions to Lily's experience. Harry responded exactly how I wanted him to. I can see how conflicted he is, especially as someone who's gone through so much himself. On one hand, he'd like Lily's experience to be true, to know she'd been in such a close friend's life. But on the other hand, as a father, I can't imagine how jarring it must be.

There's also something so appropriate about Lily's new 'madness' both in appearance and emotionally that I think is fitting should she go back in time and see Moody again. Like a time-travel 'An Affair to Remember', except I've never actually seen that, so I'm probably wrong. But that's what I thought of. Now I sound silly.

And and and I'm also rereading other details about the plants and the trunks, and eee I can appreciate everything so differently now. My mind is /boggled/. I will squeeze the next update out of you if it almost kills you (only almost; going the full way sort of defeats the purpose).

Author's Response: I like your speculation. Very much. I'm glad to hear that it all fits, actually, because I've been trying to carry various clues throughout the story, but with the length and the time between chapters sometimes, I'm afraid I'm missing things.

Will the next chapter help your speculations? Not sure at all - I'll wait and see your reaction to it (I've already planned it, but just have to figure out where to start it).

The reactions are the most interesting part of this chapter for me, I guess because Lily is out of it most of the time and the way that others react to her state becomes crucial - really the only signs we have as to what's going on. And throughout, hanging over everyone's head (even Harry's) is the question of whether any of Lily's story is real. That bit of doubt throws things into confusion.

Writing this Harry was frighteningly enjoyable, and I don't really like him overall - but he's perfect for understanding what Lily's going through, having travelled in time himself, not to mention having been dead at one point. I'm glad to hear that he turned out as you expected and has a sort of complexity about him - although he makes a small appearance, I wanted it to have weight to it, especially since Lily talks about her father so often - he means a lot to her.

:O A time travel version of An Affair to Remember! That's so true! I think I've seen that movie too many times and it's gone to my head. That wouldn't at all surprise me. XD Now that I think of it. oh dear. You're not silly at all - it's a movie I have a weakness for, so I'm not surprised that there are similarities to it in this story.

Okay, so I must update soon. I get the idea. :P And I'll try my best to do so. Thanks so much for reading and reviewing, so quickly too! :D

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