6 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Debra20 

30th March 2013:
Ohai Susan! I felt inspired by your review responses today to come back and finish this story. Turn the last two pages of this intense adventure :)

Being so focused on Lily and Moody, I have never taken the time to REALLY look at the other characters from the story and understand what they must have been going through with Lily's condition. In a way Ginny, Harry and Neville are as much a part of this story as the two main characters. They are the characters that have taken the back seat but are as alive as Lily and Moody. It's actually really hard to be able to put yourself in their shoes and truly feel what they feel. I mean, you can empathize but it's not the same as living what they live. Ginny's constant worry for Lily. Harry's defeated self. Neville's own scars. It must be really hard for them to watch helplessly as their loved one struggles with ghosts of the past and shadows of the present and know that thee is not much they can do to help her. Change is in her own hands. It's her decision that determines how she will live her future, which brings me the last part of the chapter...

Is it okai if I say that I am utterly confused? Time travel really boggles my mind and I can't wrap my rational thoughts around it to be able to make sense of it. HOW was it possible for Lily to create this time cycle and meet her (past? future?) self? How is time altered in that way? But what I have realized this chapter is that one doesn't need to understand something to feel something. And if it's one thing this this chapter (and story by extension) doesn't lack is feels!

When you have the time, go back to the part in the story where you're talking about Lily finding the ring and putting it on. There's a tiny mistake there that by no means alters the story, but I noticed it while reading: "I wait, twisting the finger round and round my finger until, my eyes widening" - it's a minor mistake, but this was the only CC I could possibly offer you haha

I said I wanted to start giving more CC but I end up writing gushing novel length reviews again! But I seriously can't find anything to suggest to improve the story. The characters are as human as you could possibly make them (Lily so much that she just makes me want to slap her and shake her, maybe that way she will react haha...I want her to be happy!! I don't want her to mop after Moody for forever), the plot is mind blowing in it's complexion (the tip of my hat to you for making a time travel story work!) and the style flows perfectly. It almost feels like a poem written with a lot more words than a standard poem.

My burning question now is: what was her decision? What did she decide to do??? Ahh the cliffhangers! You like cliffhangers, don't you?

Author's Response: I'm finally catching up with your reviews! My apologies for taking so long. It's been a great experience to watch your progress through this story, and even better to see how much you've enjoyed it. ^_^

What you've said about the three adults is very important - I've wanted to highlight the way that they show their worry, but it never quite registers for Lily. If anything, she's annoyed by it and that's a problem - it's one of the ways of showing how disconnected she is from her world. These people have always been there for her and take extra time to help her, yet they can't make an impact, which demonstrates just how far gone she is, especially by this point in the story. One could compare her conversation with Ginny in the first chapter with her conversations here, none of which are ever completed. We never see what happens with Healer Patil or what Harry discovers at the Ministry - none of that matters to Lily. It was strange to write from the perspective of a character who is so out of place and alienated from the people who love her. It's painful to watch her because, by this point, there isn't any going back - there's no way to help her.

I hadn't quite thought of the story in this way, though. I wrote these chapters when watching two of my friends struggle with their own problems, and it was hard to be in that position of powerlessness. The adults in Ginny's life are divided between belief and uncertainty, and it reflects in their actions toward her - the support that Parvati, Harry, and Neville offer is in contrast with Ginny's more aggressive desire to pull Lily from this depression. I wish I could have written more about Ginny in this story - I still have an unfinished scene from the end of this chapter where Ginny confronts Lily, eventually letting her go. But it doesn't fit as well with the ambiguity that I want for the conclusion.

Okay, about the time travel... I find it just as confusing. It means that no matter what, Lily /has/ to go back in time - it's what Doctor Who (and probably also Doc Brown) would call a "fixed point". Once she enters the attic and discovers the trunks, she's already connecting herself with her future, especially when she examines the wedding ring. I've relied a lot on fate here, where she's driven to the cottage and then up into the attic. She was always meant to do those things because her history with Moody has already occurred. It's the mind-bending paradox of travelling into the past, the exact same problem that happens with Harry and Hermione in PoA - did Sirius actually die, or was he always saved? The movie does this really well by showing how Buckbeak's death never happened - the executioner's axe hit a pumpkin instead. Writing time travel to the past can easily drive someone crazy because it means having to rethink how one understands time - I've read Yeats's "Second Coming" enough to see time as a gyre, looping on its course. Coming at a time travel story with the belief that time is linear just would not work.

I've fixed up that mistake with the ring, thank you. :)

I do love cliffhangers - they're so useful in hooking readers along and also in giving me time to think about how to best deliver a conclusion that best satisfies the reader. :D I hope that the ending I chose works for you... *crosses fingers*

Thank you so much for reading and reviewing this story! Your novel-length reviews are lots of fun to read and respond to. ^_^

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Review #2, by BellaCamille 

14th August 2012:
This is an amazing story. I never thought that it was Lily. And to be honest, I never quite understood the woman in the portrait bit. I love that it's Lily's future self. It just makes so much sense to me. It's so fitting. But now I get it and it fits perfectly and it's just... perfect.

Author's Response: I'm actually glad that it wasn't obvious who the woman in the portrait was - I wanted to make her ambiguous and horrifying throughout, a clue that just doesn't make sense until you know the truth.

Thank you again for reading and reviewing! It means a lot to hear that you've enjoying this story this much! :D

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Review #3, by Lillylover22 

12th May 2012:
I like the way you have writtn this. 10/10 : )

Author's Response: Thank you! It's wonderful of you to say that! ^_^

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Review #4, by recklessly_sweet 

21st April 2012:
wow dang you sure know how to spin a story
i am still slightly confused but only a litter
cant wait for hte update

Author's Response: Thank you very much! The story has definitely spun out of control on me, but the end will hopefully explain things and put everything to rights. :D I'm glad that you're enjoying this story!

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Review #5, by GubraithianFire 

21st April 2012:
So, um, hi. Remember me?

I just... I don't understand anything and it's glorious but also really, really weird and brilliant and ugh. Susan, you are a genius, and I say this all the time, but you really are. I mean, okay, my head is spinning and my brain is broken and my heart is racing and this... what even. I wish I could be more articulate or at least use more actual words, but I swear, my heart is breaking and there are so many implications to everything Lily does and now will ever do, and the weight of that is making me shudder, so what Lily is going through I can't even begin to begin to imagine. I remember feeling like this at the end of chapter 10 (which I reread in preparation and died upon said reread), but this is just so, so much worse, because Lily is alive and dead and not-dead (I think there's a difference, but I'm probably wrong so ahem)? I... is this the real life/is this just fantasy, I don't know what to say. Time travel has never really been my cup of tea because I simply don't have the mental capacity to plot it out or comprehend it, and this cements all my intense, intense fears of it/admiration for it and I don't even know what I'm saying right now but holy crap Susan you are a genius and we all bow down to you.

-possibly redundant but extremely necessary/deserved bow down-

Author's Response: Gubby! *glomps* I didn't think you had time to read, but you've read mine all the same and that's fantastic! (Well, not for your studying. :P) But really, thank you so much for taking the time to read this story - I can't express how much it means that you like it. ^_^

Heart breaking and head spinning was just what I was going for when writing this story, a drive that's only increased as the story has come along. It's been an incredible experience writing a story like this where plot and character are well-balanced, not to mention a story as intense as this one. Traumatic comes to mind to describe this story, and having the first person narration makes Lily's trauma the reader's - I didn't think about that when starting out, but it makes the story so much more than a regular time travel romance. I dreamed of it working out this way, but never thought it would actually /happen/.

You're the only one so far who has still asked whether this is real or fantasy - I wrote the story with both as strong possibilities. Lily could have dreamed the whole time travel experience (getting the details from books and things she's heard, I suppose), and continues dreaming, coming back into reality before dipping back into the dream again. She questions it, too, but overall, it's easier for her to see the "dream" as real. It's less open-ended in the epilogue, but in the final scene of the ending, I purposely exaggerated the descriptions and colours so that it felt dream-like, as though she'd just lost herself to the dream (another possibility I played with had her dying, hence all of the water imagery, while another has Lily and Moody as Alice's parents). Lily definitely is existing in a liminal space between life and death - whether it be that half-life in which the Longbottom's life (particularly Alice) or the place where Dumbledore and Voldemort exist after death. At the same time, it all may have actually happened.

It's much easier to take credit for the complexities of this story now that I've finished writing, but at the time, I didn't think through the whole thing - some arose to fill plot holes, others to develop character, and still others because they sounded cool. But together, they made something insane, didn't they? It was interesting to explore time travel in this way, and while it's scary that it only intensified your fear of it, it's fantastic that it was also able to increase your admiration of it. Time travel deserves more serious attention - it shouldn't just be used for convenience, but as something highly problematic.

*bows down to Gubby* Thank you so much for your support while I wrote this story. You may not think it much, but it really did help me get through this... mess. I've finally written something that I'm proud of, and I couldn't have done it alone. ^_^

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Review #6, by justonemorefic 

20th April 2012:
REVIEW 100~~ (I think, if no one takes it first)

The image of dream!Moody was bone-shudderingly perfect. It was like slow decay, haunting but human. Poor Lucy ;A;

Ooh, I like how you related this with Neville and his mum. And I love his parting words: “You gave him what he deserved, Lily. An honourable end.” It's so kindred.

OH OH NOW WE'RE UNRAVELING THINGS. I took a moment to think about what must be running through Lily's head. I mean, to be unsure if your fate has already happened, if the bulk of your life was already in the past as this strange portrait woman.

OMG THE GRAVE. OMG FUTURE LILY. My brain is breaking. But like omg omg this explains so much. And just the whole idea of it, I will die only to be born again. I will die only to find him again. I will be there at the beginning and at the end. And she has to make this decision or else the past would not have happened at all. It's so tragic -- especially seeing this future Lily and what she becomes (a bit forever haunted) -- but so fitting and fateful at the same time.

&hearts AHHH~ can't wait for the final chapter

Author's Response: Yes, you got review 100! (imagine these words spoken by a game show host and they'll sound more impressive :P) Your reviews are always exciting to receive, and you're so fast at giving them too! Thank you! ^_^

I'm really glad that you liked the dream!Moody - that scene was way too much fun to write, but I wasn't at all sure if it fit with the rest of the story. It's not filler, but rather the author's muse running away on her, and you've shown how it fits the way that Lily's haunted by time and decay - all starting with that attic and the old things, abandoned to rot there. I didn't mean it to work like that. or did I, unconsciously. *shifty eyes* ;)

One cannot resist a scene with Neville! And sad Neville is a heartbreaking character. He's a lot like Lily, but she's never recognized it, mostly because he keeps the tragedy of his life hidden away. When he sees her in that same state, he has to show her that it's not the end of the world, that there's always something to live for, that everything she's done has been important.

How does this whole time loop thing work? I can't figure it out, but just made it up to sound logical at the very least. Lily does change something when she takes time into her own hands and appears at Moody's death - the portrait drives her to it, perhaps because the portrait!Lily didn't find the strength to do it. That's what I had in my head, at least. I don't know if it's possible to change time within a loop, but I like to think that, every time, something happens differently. Certain events have to occur, but how they do so doesn't have to be carved in stone.

I'm really pleased to hear that the graveyard scene worked, that it helped make things make more sense. My original plan left a lot up to the reader's imagination, failing to explain just how the notes worked and who was behind Lily's journey in time, but this way, the controller arrives, only to be Lily herself, on the path to death. The young Lily /has/ to see her future self in order to make the choice, but at the same time, it means that she'll forever know her fate, her death. It makes for a very tragic happy ending.

Thank you so much for reading and reviewing! Your reviews have been a huge inspiration to me. ^_^

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