This chapter was perfect; James MUST REDEEM HIMSELF!!
I think that he should leave, become a businessman in France, and in three years Lilly should wake up with 500 galeons in her bank account. Then, he will reveal to his family that he has a daughter and wife, both of whom are beautiful and really nice- that is the reason for him stealing the money, you see.
Ohhh and maybe he actually had twin children, but one dies and that prompts him to reappreciate his extended family once more? I don't know...
Also, just casually moving to France. I wish I were you, because France is awesome :) Report Review
I like this new side to James. I think it just shows how much he HAS changed by the respect he shows Ella and how he acts when he's around her. He could have easily pinned the blame for what happened on his family but he didn't and that was such a step forward. I'm strangely proud!
And they kissed! I like that it wasn't some crazy lust-filled thing which they acted on in the heat of the moment. I feel like this one was a rational decision rather than something that could have been a mistake.
xxAuthor's Response: DRAMZ ALL OVER ♥
Yes :D Multiple reasons for Ella. She's my favourite OC ever. So easy and useful as a character. She brings out the best in him (which is why I so desperately want to write a sequel to this about their relationship).
Exactly. She ain't no [non-12+ word]. He liiikes her.
THANK YOU, MY LOVELY
xx Report Review
What a beautiful ending! I've just read this story all in one go and I had to review to let you know how much I enjoyed it.
The summary caught my eye and I was quickly dragged into the story within the first few chapters. I desperately wanted to know what James had done to his family that was so terrible. I wasn't expecting it to be what it was but it fit all the pieces of the story really well. I thought the way you shared that information over several chapters to find out the whole story was great and it gave me time to think about how it affected the family and what a big impact it had.
One of the things I liked most about this story was your style of writing. There was such finesse in your descriptions. They were short and simple but gave all the information I needed to know. You didn't overdo it with long paragraphs; it was perfect. I might re-read the story just for the descriptive writing. :P
I liked your portrayal of James a lot. He wasn't just some kid who got fed up of his family and the fame; there was a lot more to him. I felt that his character was a bit stilted around chapters 5 or 6, but I understood you had writer's block. The flow of the story was much better afterwards and I just kept reading until the end, not wanting to stop.
There was a lot of depth in James' thoughts and actions, and that, along with the visual descriptions, really made your story great. I felt that you got underneath his character, digging down to the roots of him to explain his actions, and I started to see James as a real person with depth and emotions and love.
I hated him when I found out what he had done to his family, and I could understand the betrayal and hatred that his family felt towards him. After finishing this story, I tried to think about how I might have reacted if I had been in Lily or Albus' position and I honestly have no idea, which is a little scary.
There was one point when I thought James' progression was perhaps going a bit fast but it didn't bother much and I thought the rest of the story was better. I really felt for James in the last chapter, especially when he spoke to Lily, and when he presented Dominique with the repaired present. I think I even had tears in my eyes!
Although the other characters, with the exception of Rose and Ella, had little screen time, their characters and personalities came across really well. The short narratives that you inserted between the dialogues helped with that a lot, as did James' memories about them as children and at school. It was a beautiful sentiment that Molly and Rose had faith in James that he could change and grown up but only if he really wanted to. Rose's behaviour and tolerance of him was admirable, as was her desire to help him, even if so that she didn't let her grandmother down.
As the only OC in the story, I was interested to see what part Ella would play in James' self improvement. When you mentioned in an author's note that you didn't intend for this to be a James/OC, I was glad because I didn't want a relationship between them to lessen the effect of the overall story. It didn't, I'm pleased to say, in fact I thought it showed further development in James' character that he didn't just use her as he would have previously.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story and it made me think a lot about human character and our limits. Hopefully, I'll be able to read more of your work soon! :)
-SophiaAuthor's Response: I can find no way to get this stunning review on one page to reply to. I don't think I've ever seen anything so long. Thank you so much!
I think I'm prouder of the summary than most of the story, actually. It's the only thing that didn't change whilst I was writing this and it came very naturally. Sadly it probably makes the story sound more exciting than it actually is, as do the first few chapters. It did change quite significantly once I got back into the swing of writing it. Originally what James did was going to be more serious but I thought I'd go for something a little less shocking!
I find it quite funny that you commented on my style in this. I started it with the intention writing in the style of my one-shots at the time but I don't think it really worked so it's quite interesting for me for you to mention it! The short but deceptively informative description appears to be a bit of a staple of mine :P It is something quite natural that I don't really notice when I write so it's nice for people to point it out as a positive.
I'm so glad that you think there's more to James than just a spoiled brat. He definitely has those elements in him but I have read stories before where he went off the rails just because of the fame. I wanted there to be something different to him, something a bit more human. You're completely right about him being a bit off in those two chapters. I'll go back and edit it at some point! The flow in the later chapters is definitely related to the fact that I wrote it very quickly and often 2-3 chapters a night which helps with the continuity.
I really did want to dig into him as a character as a way to prove to the reader, more than anything, that he was more than all those other takes on James as the prodigal son. I definitely wanted people to hate him and feel a lot of empathy for his family, especially before he starts to redeem himself. He doesn't start as a likeable character - anyone who thinks he did worries me! I'm not sure what I'd do either. My brother and I don't get on brilliantly anyway but I don't know what I'd do in Lily's position.
Again, you're spot on with the speed of the change in James. There is a slightly bigger time jump than there appears to be but it's not very obvious and honestly, I was just being lazy :P I wanted to get it over and done with rather than developing him properly! However, to know that the last chapter made you feel sympathy for him is wonderful. I may stick another chapter in one day to try and prolong the progression but I repeat, I'm lazy!
I am quite proud of the other characters, especially in the later chapters. Pretty much every Next Gen character gets their say, as well as a lot of Harry's generation, but I think my very firm idea of what each Next Gen character is like helps in situations like this. Molly and Rose are so important in this story and I do admire them a lot. I'm not sure I could have the faith they did in him.
Bringing Ella in was such a hard decision. I've got versions with and without her but I'm glad I put her in now. I really didn't want this to become a romance but I do love their relationship and what it brings to James' character.
Thank you so much, Sophia. I can't say it enough. This review is...wonderful and this story completely does not deserve it!
Thank you ♥ Report Review
Interesting perspective on the next gen. I like how the characters were portrayed, although they did change a bit too fast for it to be realistic.
Altogether, a fresh new story, and I liked it! :)Author's Response: They did...that was through laziness and a lack of effort on my part. There is a slightly bigger time jump than you might think but it's still very quick and that was just my desire to get this finished.
I'm glad that you liked it in spite of its fatal flaw though! Thanks for the review! Report Review
This was beautiful. Your characterisation of James is tremendous- heartbreaking, believable. But what I loved most is the fact that you've exposed the mechanics of the Potter-Weasley clan. How things work, who speaks to whom, and how reconciliation aren't instant and easy but worked at bit by bit, and negotiated. I loved this story, and thank you!Author's Response: Thank you so, so much. What a wonderful review. I loved writing this story and to know that people still read it a year after I finished it is lovely.
Thank you! Report Review
I love Bill! There I said it outloud, I have love for another Weasley! haha :-D
James and Ella are so cute together bless them.
I'm so happy that Rose is going to help James, although I wonder how they're going to start?Author's Response: Haha, I love Bill too. I think he'd be a really cool dad. James and Ella are awks and adorable and lovely. I want to be them!
Thank you so much for another stunning review! Report Review
I don't think Molly could ever turn her back on family, she's an awesome Grandma who see's the good in everyone!
I really do hope he does manage to change, and have a possible relationship with Ella :-D I think she'll be good for him!
I really want him to change and be as normal a person as he can be :-D
Another wonderful chapter.Author's Response: Never, ever, ever: I used Percy as reference for James and how she'd feel about that so I don't think there's any chance that she'd give up hope. Not for one minute.
Ella ♥ She was a complete accident in this story and yet I adore her now and can't imagine the story without her.
Thank you again! Report Review
It's good to see how Lily and Al feel and to hear some backstory about James. It's good to see that they still love him in some way, which should hopefully make it easier for them to start to forgive him and help him change, which I hope they do. After he's done a lot of grovelling and paying back first of course :-D
Can't wait to read more of this fantastic story! :-DAuthor's Response: This is probably my favourite chapter because of that, actually. I'd hope that it'd be the chapter where you get to understand a bit more and see some potential in the story.
Thank you so much for the review! So glad you're still enjoying it :D Report Review
I'm so happy that Louis managed to fix all the presents :-D
And Rose seems really sad and kinda fed up, but I'll put the fed upness to having James around. I wonder when the family will find out where he's been?
Can't wait to read more! So hooked on this story, how did you come up with the idea for it? It's wonderful and so original.Author's Response: Me too ♥ I love Louis.
I think that's probably it. I'd be fed up if I had James in that state with me!
I honestly can't remember how it came about. I know that stylistically I wanted something that was more similar to my one-shot style than my novel style but I gave up on that early on. I think it was the Peter Pan syndrome I wanted to explore and a more ... realistic take on disruption in a family. I don't think other stories really get that across enough.
Thank you so much for such lovely reviewsss ♥
xx Report Review
So Rose has taken him in because of Molly asking her too. I really hope she does help him become a better person, I wonder why he become so damaged in he first place?
Another wonderful chapter.Author's Response: Thank you so much. I'm so glad you're interested in this story so long after I finished it. I'm loving hearing your perspective now that I'm looking back from a point of view of knowing for definite what is to come.
I hope you like the rest of the story! Report Review
Oh my god! What has James done? He really wants to ruin everyone's lives but why? I still don't know if I can hate him though, I think he needs help, I really hope he gets some soon.
Wow just I'm so shocked at James that I have no more words apart from, this just got extremely interesting that he could hurt his best friend like that.
Amazing!Author's Response: Why, why, why indeed. He definitely needs some help and it will come, just keep reading!
Thank you so much! Report Review
I need to know more! How did he leave Al for dead? How much did he take from Lily and why did he think he'd get away from it?
So he's going back home, that is going to be very interesting to read.
Can't wait to read more!Author's Response: Suspense, suspense, suspense.
All will become clear, don't worry. It might just take a while :P
Thanks again! Report Review
You don't have to worry about James, he is totally staying in character. I still can't decide if I like him at all! haha I'm so torn between liking his bad boyness or hating him because of how he's family are reacting. I can't wait to see how everyone is going to take seeing him. Wouldn't it be great if he gatecrashed Dom's wedding? I wonder what did make him come back if it wasn't Dom inviting him?
The other characters are coming over brilliantly and I love how you show how each character is reacting to the news as it gets to them.Author's Response: Fab, thank you! I don't think he's the kind of bad boy you should be falling for, at all. He's not enigmatic or seductive enough. He's just a bit of a non-12+ word. Definitely not crush-worthy (yet...).
Ooh, interesting. You'll have to wait and see :P First person to suggest that, I think!
Thank you so much, again, for such a lovely review. Report Review
I love how you wrote Ron and Hermione, I think you wrote them brilliantly. I don't know whether I should like James or not? haha You've written him really well and shown that he doesn't really care about anyone elses feelings unless he gets something from them in return. He seems like such an enigma at the moment, and a bit like a child at times, and it's making him such a stand out character, the best I've seen him written. It's great to see that people aren't falling at his feet. I loved the exchange between Hermione and James at the beginning, she seems so Hermione it's great.
This story is just amazing!Author's Response: Thank you! I get so flappy when I have to write canon characters. I hate it so much. JKR was just too good!
That's exactly what I want. I'm not sure you should like him at this point either. I kind of worry for anyone that does. He's very immature, childish, clinging on to his past (hence the title). I didn't want him to be a hero. I want him to be a very sad, very flawed man who needs to grow up.
Thank you so, so much. Your reviews have been so lovely! Report Review
What could he have done to make Ginny and Harry kick him out like that? Where's he going to go? You've got me hooked on this and I can't wait to find out more! It's got to be something terrible for them to act like this! Although at least Molly is holding out hope for her grandson, maybe he'll stay there?Author's Response: What indeed. To be honest, I knew very little at this point too so it may be a bit confusing for a while. I'm so glad you're feeling the suspense though. I was really worried about not getting it across.
Thank you for the review! Report Review
Oh my that is a very powerful first chapter! Their reactions to James coming home is just so interesting. What on earth has he done? I can't wait to find out, and to see everyone's reactions to James.
Fantastic chapter!Author's Response: Thank you so much for the review! I'm glad it's drawn you in. I hope you enjoy reading! Report Review
Awww so much love for James/Ella.
He's a real sweetie when he wants to be, this just proves it. Now he's got his job back maybe he's got a chance of convincing some of his relatives to trust him again. I wonder if he's actually going to give Lily her money back... I know it won't help matters but it might be a start. Though I guess it wasn't really the point, it was the principle of it.
♥Author's Response: ♥
He iiis. He's so lovely. I love James. I also hate him at times but he's fit so you can't have too much hate.
Principles exactly. You shall have to wait and see!
Danke, my chérie!
xx Report Review
I still feel sorry for James. I know he was horrid or whatever, but being Harry's eldest can't have been easy - it's a lot of pressure for him. What Rose said, about them all feeling that way about their parents, is true, but I think he would have felt it the most, especially bearing such a resemblance. Poor bloke.
I don't know how the family are going to forgive him. Getting on Rose's good side is one thing, because I think she wanted to forgive him underneath it all, she just wanted an explanation, but the rest of the family probably don't want to hear it, they've made their minds up already. I hope that they can at least let him try and change and make it up to them.
MUCH LOVE (and this was my 600th review, just for you ♥ )
Marina xAuthor's Response: :(
I agree but I'm still not sure it warrants his past behaviour. He is trying though. Credit for that.
Naww, you're so lovely. Just wait and see. Not many chapters left to go now and it will all become clear. Do not fret your little woodlousey head.
THANK YOU OODLES ILY TIL THE WORLD ENDS AND EVEN AFTER ♥ Report Review
Oh that was so sad :( Poor James. I don't want to believe that his parents burnt all his things, that maybe they're stored somewhere else or something. I just want to hug him. He cried!!
Such a good chapter. The poor bloke :(Author's Response: I knooow :( :(
No comment to that second half...
Thank you lovely ♥
xx Report Review
I love James. Not because he's a great guy or anything, because he clearly has issues, but because he's a great character. He reminds me a tiny bit of my brother, mostly because my brother would be likely to mess up his life like James did and then come crawling back (except I doubt my brother would want to change...). Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that I find him realistic and easy to relate to.
Ella seems nice, another realistic character and I'm looking forward to seeing more of her.
LOVE YOU ♥Author's Response: Aww, thank you. I think my brother's a bit like him too - not so much anymore, actually, but definitely around the time I started writing this.
LOVE YOU TOO
xx Report Review
I loved the story...i've wanted to write one of these style of stories for a LONG time where one of the next gen couldnt handle the pressure of their last name but its hard to think of how to write it...I'm writting a fic (will prolly never put it on the site) about Harry doing a James and now that i've read your story im going to do a major rewrite of the first part of the story...i absolutely loved the story and thanks for writing itAuthor's Response: Aw, thank you so much. I'm glad this inspired you to do some rewriting. I'm a huge advocate of it :P
Thanks for the review! Report Review
I experienced most of this story through text-to-speech. It's autumn and beautiful where I live so listened to it on a long walk. I had to go back to the text to find this: "The first man in was nearly always the first taken out."
I love that part. Not sure why it stood out above the rest, but for me it did. I felt for both James and Teddy in that realization, but then I felt for the whole family, really, as they each processed their own bits in their own way. You presented very realistic family dynamics with the fic and some growth for everybody involved, I think. The characters and the emotions really shined.
Congrats on your nominations and thanks for a very lovely walk ;)
~ TyAuthor's Response: Hi Ty!
You're very brave for using text-to-speech (I tried it once and cringed so much I had to turn it off) but that sounds like such a lovely walk!
I really like that line myself. I tend to forget I write these things until someone points it out and I do remember writing that very vividly and reworking it a few times to fit it in. I felt the relationship between Teddy and James was really, really important, for Teddy especially.
Thank you so much. I'm really glad you liked it (and enjoyed your walk :P )
xx Report Review
I'm not even going to lie - I started tearing up as soon as James hugged Ginny, but the full out tears didn't start until the end. It must be a combination of knowing that this story - this beautiful, gorgeous, touching, and inspiring story - is done and that James has such a bright future to look forward to. I'm so happy that he got his life together and that things are on the way up. It's nothing less than he deserves.
This is stunning, Rachel, the entire thing. I still remember when you came to me with this idea and how much I loved it, and I'm just so unbelievably happy that you put your talent - your limitless talent - to use and spun this gorgeous story. It's quite beautiful. I don't know many other synonyms for pretty, but that's precisely what this is.
It's also rather perfect.
Stunning end to a perfect story. I love it! I love you! And at the moment, I sort of love everything.Author's Response: Aww -squishes-
Honestly, this story wouldn't have got off the ground if it wasn't for you and your neverending support. I mean, the title was all you and that title has got me some fantastic readers and better read counts than I could ever have imagined. I get so many compliments on it but I know it's all you.
Thank you so, so much, my lovely. It means the world to me that you liked it. I love you terribly and I'm so pleased that you're back here!
xx Report Review
THINGS ARE FINALLY FALLING INTO PLACE!
I'm a bit nervous with how things'll pan out in the last chapter, but I'm also really eager to get to said chapter, so I'm going to keep this short and simple by saying that this chapter was absolutely lovely, Ella is a precious gem, and Teddy isn't such a bad guy!
Molly is, of course, perfect. I want her as my nana!Author's Response: THEY ARE, THEY ARE, THEY ARE. They're so almost on the right track. Touching distance.
I'm so glad you're enjoying it, lovely. Eager is always good and I hope your nerves disappear and I didn't disappoint you. Teddy isn't a bad guy at all! He's lovely, just very disappointed in James :(
Who doesn't?? I love every type of Molly ♥
xx Report Review
Once again, this was amazing.
Writing any member of the Golden Trio is hard, yet you've managed to capture Hermione and Ron perfectly - especially Hermione.
It was lovely, Rachel. I'd say more, but I'm so anxious to get to the last two chapters that I don't think I can say anything new aside from: AMAZING! This is amazing. Lovely job, dear!Author's Response: It's so difficult. The scenes with Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny are definitely my least favourites in the story. They were so hard to write.
Hahaha, off you go then. I'm so happy you're enjoying it!
xx Report Review
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