Reading Reviews for Off the Rails
445 Reviews Found

Review #1, by miluv sixty-one

14th April 2014:

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Review #2, by ohmymerlin sixty-one

10th April 2014:
Oh my god when I was reading this I was actually cheering and gasping and swearing at the dirty moves and I was so nervous for James; you just wrote it fantastically and the way he was agonising over playing against Ryan was just brilliant I just fkbvfbvbkfknv fnx


I'm so happy James won, after the year he'd had he completely deserved it! ♥

Anyway, this was an amazing chapter and I can't wait to read more! I can't believe how close the end is though, ahhh!


- Kayla :)

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Review #3, by a rollerball sixty-one

9th April 2014:
amazing chapter, please update soon :)

Author's Response: Thanks for reading and reviewing! :)

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Review #4, by Slide sixty-one

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Right. The match. *rolls up sleeves*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And Ha! at the serendipity of broken brooms.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I admire your stadium metaphor.

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


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Review #5, by JT4HP sixty-one

6th April 2014:

Such a great match. Such great writing. I love Jimmy.

You rock.

Author's Response: Thank you! I struggled to write this match, so it's reassuring to know you enjoyed it! I love Jimmy too. :) Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #6, by Your FAN sixty-one

6th April 2014:
An Amazing Game from an amazing writer!!!

Author's Response: Thanks! I struggled writing this match so it's good to know it was enjoyed! Thanks for reviewing :)

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Review #7, by chocolateteacups sixty-one

6th April 2014:
That, as usual, was spectacular - but this chapter brought it to whole new levels. The way you described the game, the relationships and all the feelings going on - it's a lot to juggle in one chapter but you managed it flawlessly.
And I'm so happy! James won! (Technically, all of England won, but whatever). Urgh it was so good.
And Nana Molly - I almost cried with what she said, that was so sweet, and I do love how you've placed importance on James and Lily (I) throughout the story.
Also, I have loved how throughout this story you have described the flow of the quidditch games - your writing has got bigger and better as the games have, it blows my mind.
This chapter lived up to all expectations and then also blew my mind, just urgh. It was amazing!

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Review #8, by EMAW thirty-four

1st April 2014:
So I've read this story thru 2 or 3 times at least, really need to get around to your other stuff as well. Professional Quidditch stories are my weakness and I just love this one.

So I have one dream/question...What is Hugo's future? Hugo hasn't seemed to be around much, but he does obviously play quidditch. My dream? Hugo signs with the Cannons in some sort of Off the Rails spin-off or just within any main sequels your apt to do just to throw a bone to his poor father. It would be "off the rails" as it gets to sign with the Cannons and maybe add an interesting twist(though with what this one is setting up you already have plenty of those)considering the Falcons seemingly general dislike of the Cannons and of course his poor father's love of the Cannons. A resurgent Cannons led by rookie Hugo Weasely would be the bee's knees for me as I consider myself somewhat a suffering Cannons fan as well.

Thanks for the story and I can't wait to see how it finishes out and if you have anything in store for a sequel.

Author's Response: Two or three times? Wow, thank you! I have to confess...the Weasley cousins are rather underdeveloped in terms of what they do, and Hugo in particular is one cousin who I don't have much planned for! I love your plan for him, who wouldn't want a resurgent Cannons? I'll have to plan his future out a bit more, hopefully you might get your wish. :) I do have a sequel on store, more info on that to come at the end of this fic! Thank you for reviewing :)

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Review #9, by priyam sixty

31st March 2014:
I love your writing..i finished this story in just three days..didnt even stop to review even though i should have..i hadnt read a fanfic this well-writen and this capitavating in a long time. I loved all the charecters in this story and how you flourished each and every one of them..overall its a great story..keep writing on.

Author's Response: I'm always in such awe when people read this fix in such a short space of time, that's incredible! I'm really glad you enjoyed it, thank you for reviewing! :)

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Review #10, by LavenderBlue eight

29th March 2014:
Carlotta makes me increasingly happier. She knows how to hold her own with James, but more importantly, she knows how to hold her own with LILY. o.o Impressive work, girl. She just never misses a beat, does she?

Lily rocks it. I'm so proud of her and her deviant ways. She's a girl who knows the worth of a good reputation--which is to abuse it to your advantage and stay another night in town for a girl's night out. Team Lily Trouble Potter all the way. James is such the typical older brother, feeling the need to intervene at the scent of an impending smack down. Silly James. I'm sure Lily could've held her own. Maybe. Ahem.

James/Carlotta/Lily banter is adorable. Carla always seems to get 'em with the promise and/or deliverance of food, doesn't she? The grilling session was a bit nerve-wracking, though. Not that Carlotta intentionally meant to grill Lily, but from the reader's I-know-something-you-don't-know perspective, it's tense to think that Lily could slip up and blow the whole "I BE MUGGLE" facade. And of course, a break in the consistency would just make James look like a liar, not a wizard. I like that you're showing, more and more, just how tough a game James is playing, trying to date a Muggle. I agree with Lily on this one: it does seem a bit unfair to both James and Carlotta. But-but I like Carlotta! I DON'T CARE, IT'S WORTH IT.

Sigh. This tension between James and Papa Potter make me sad almost as much as James and Lily interactions make me happy. Why such animosity? Why such distance? I am staying tuned for more clues on why things are so snappity between the two.

Lolz, Ryan you goon. He WOULD ruin the perfect cover. If you're going to misbehave, Ryan, at least lean how to cover your tracks like a pro. Gosh.

Clearly, Lily is the the team's good luck charm. I mean, an abysmal practice the day before, and then she shows up on the sidelines and BAM! Excellent round of training. My highly scientific theory says that Lily made all the difference, and she therefore ought to be toted around to all the team's games. End of theory.

Fun, fun, fun read. Your dialogue is always such a treat: snap, wit, and plot progression. What more could a gal ask for? Looking forward to more!

Author's Response: I think Carlotta has to be able to hold her own with Lily if she wants to stick around! Her sass makes her one of my favourite characters to write, if not THE favourite. Along with Lily of course.

Harry/James ISSUES to be explored in detail! You may have to wait a bit. (Or rather, as it's already posted, read on a bit.)

Thanks for the comment on the dialogue! I think it's my strongest element of my writing - my description rather lacks in comparison at times! Thanks for the lovely review :)

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Review #11, by Tuesday sixty

27th March 2014:
It's me again, but I was suffering from withdrawal and realised that I just NEEDED to come back to this story.
I absolutely adore the way you write Quidditch, I feel like I'm really in on the action and everything just seems so REAL.
The characters are what really make this story though. They have all these quirks and layers to their personalities that make them so much more alive. You have such a way with words and know exactly what to put in to make it seem like I could just bump into any one of these people in the street. Off the Rails is really a work of art and I can't possibly ever get enough of it.
Tuesday xx

Author's Response: Ah, thanks for coming back! :) I'm glad you like the Quidditch because it's something I'm really proud of in this fic, it's been tough at times but the feedback has been lovely. :)

All these characters are totally real, fully fleshed people in my head. It's the way I approach a fic; a plot is all well and good, but it needs characters to drive it. I'm glad you love them as much as I do. :) Thanks so much for the lovely review!

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Review #12, by HogwartsAlum sixty

25th March 2014:
Okay so I just read this in 2 days, and am upset that it isn't finished, haha. I am only joking, But I have a question. Why did you change the name of the Wigtown quidditch team from the wanderers to the warriors. not that it matters was just thrown off a bit. I will probably read frozen while I wait for the next chapter, thank you for what you have written so far.

Author's Response: Two days? Epic! Thanks for reading! :) Sorry it's not finished yet, but fear not; I have completed it and the last few chapters are in the editing process so you shouldn't have too long to wait.

Oh, the Wigtown thing. I'm impressed you've noticed, I think you're only about the second person who's pointed it out! Basically I got confused and called them by the wrong team name for a good half of the fic. I should correct it, but it'll be a long old slog so I haven't got round to it yet. Thanks for mentioning it though!

Wow, I would be pretty much the happiest person alive if you were to check out Frozen. I love Rails, but Frozen will always hold a special place in my heart. :) Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #13, by cocopops sixty

25th March 2014:
I've been reading this story all day yesterday and finished it today and I must say this has become one of my favorites!! I LOVE the way you write, and when James was going through his rough patch
I even got teary eyed just because I've been in a similar situation and could relate to the hopelessness he was feeling. Can't wait until the next chapter and I hope you won't just finish the story off with the World Cup!! I want to know what is going to happen between Ryan and Della, Maddie and Cato, Lily and Robbie perhaps??, and most definitely Freddie and Brigid! I'm still not sold with the whole James and Carlotta relationship, not because I don't like her, it's just that I'm afraid it will affect James Quidditch career in a negative way, like the fact that he isn't going to Australia even if he kinda fancied that idea at one point.
Still, I LOVE this story!!

Author's Response: Wow, I'm impressed you read this so quickly, that's some slog! It's a huge relief to know you empathised with James when he was going through his lull, because I knew it would be the kind of thing which people might not be able to understand. It's one of the reasons why I tried so hard to make him likeable, so people would stay on his side. It's a very rough place to be in, and a delicate thing to write.

Most of your questions will be answered - but not in Rails. This fic will pretty much finish once the World Cup is done. Immediate plot lines are tied up, but the wider question of 'what happens after that' will be answered by the sequel I have planned, which will hopefully emerge shortly after Rails is complete. :)

I'm intrigued that you're not 100% sold on James/Carlotta - in a way it makes me happy, is that weird? I guess nobody else has really given me that perspective on things before! Certainly James has changed over the course of the fic, and his hopes and dreams are changing as a result. His decision not to go abroad is partly because of her, but not in a detrimental sense. He feels that in his current position, spending time with her is more important to him than having a jolly abroad for a few months. Their relationship in particular comes under scrutiny in the sequel, so I hope you warm to then together in time. :)

Thanks for your thoughts and your review!

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Review #14, by missclaire17 sixty

24th March 2014:
I've been absent for SO long from this site (I've missed it) but school and life wasn't relenting its tight grasp from me.

It's almost nice to see James's slip of his tongue because subconsciously, I suppose that he has become more comfortable with his skills and how well he plays. His humbleness is still intact but the fact that he can embrace that he's better than McLaggen is a really nice development.

Another nice thing is the relationship between Harry and James. I love that they have everything fixed and that they have a working relationship now! It makes me tear up.

I actually haven't looked at any of the new information released by JKR regarding the HP world (I'm guessing she's releasing it on Pottermore) because I haven't been on Pottermore and literally have been away from the HP fandom for so long *SIGH* Irregardless, everything in the last 60 chapters have been absolutely AMAZING! :)

I will definitely pop by the Meet the Author page! It's been so long... *wow*

Author's Response: Hi, it's lovely to see you back! Life - and school life in particular - can be a bummer, huh?

James has come a long way, even in recent chapters. You're right; he IS learning to believe in himself more, and it's about time too!

Bah, the Harry/James conversations make me so happy every time. It's such a shame, that they missed out on all those years of father/son happiness. I am a cruel author.

Yep, the info's been released on Pottermore. Nothing all that major, just, you know, a completely different group stage set up. GUH. At the end of the day I'm not all that cut up about it - there's not much I can do about it anyway - it's just frustrating that she only told us all this after I'd finished writing Rails. I could've done with it at the start! Although it would be a different looking fic entirely. So perhaps it's for the best. :)

Woo, MTA questions! I look forward to them. :) Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #15, by Slide sixty

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good chapter, bro! Roll on the final!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Review #16, by nott theodore sixty

24th March 2014:
Chapter Sixty! And I'm caught up, and this story is going to be finished soon and then I'll be sad! But it'll be okay because I know there's going to be a sequel :D

Ah, the fact that England are going to play Ireland has made this final a hundred times tougher, I think. Not only are there split loyalties (I feel really sorry for Bridget right now) but the players have come up against each other so many times and have so much history that the match is going to be really difficult, and I think it's impossible at the moment to call it. It's going to be close, and with the Bagmans and the Lynches it's going to be dirty, probably. I can't work out what's going to happen, but I'm really excited for the match and to find out how everything in this story is going to wrap up!

Oh, poor Maddie. She always gets the worst luck, doesn't she? Of course she'd start liking someone only for him to move to Australia!

I know that I've said this in tons of reviews, but the level of detail and thought that you put into this story is both really impressive and commendable. It's like you really take this world and make it your own. The fact that people think that Lily's just walked into a top job is so true and likely to happen in the real world - I imagine it's going to be difficult for her and there could even be rumours around about it, knowing the way people gossip. And I liked the information about the way that they're adapting their flat to incorporate some magical elements as well, but still having to keep it Muggle friendly. There are clearly a lot of difficulties that come with Lily being a Squib and it's brilliant that you're never afraid to tackle that sort of thing.

Yay, James is playing! Well, I was pretty sure he would but I've said before that I can never really be sure of anything in this story, so you know :P

Aw, I love Harry/James bonding time. They're so cute now that the two of them are getting on well again and actually making an effort to spend the time with each other. It's so sweet of Harry to bring the tickets along and let James give them to someone else, even though I'm sure both him and Ginny would have loved to watch their son playing in the World Cup final from the top box - they give that opportunity to someone else, and I just want to hug them for it.

Don't worry about the Quidditch information! I haven't read it yet (mainly because I'm stuck on a certain part of it and I can't find all the things :P) but I don't think it'll affect my view of this story at all - you write so well it can become my head canon!

I'm so excited for the match and to find out what's going to happen!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Yay, sequel excitement!

Really split loyalties, indeed. Not to mention the cross-team friendships! This will be touched on some more in the next chapter, when I eventually post it. :) Dirty tactics? I couldn't possibly say...

Yup, poor Maddie! At least Cato's only in Australia for a short time. The more pressing issue is that he's magical, and she's fully Muggle. More on that in Derailed.

You know, the thing with Lily's job is a funny one - initially, I had a rough idea that Carlotta's brother Antonio (remember him?) was going to be one of the people working in the PM's office, and so I was in his head for a good five minutes or so when I decided this. And I went - "he's going to be REALLY miffed that Lily's come along out of nowhere to be one of his top advisors!" As it is, there's no real reason to have him there, so that's not going to happen now. If anything, the more removed Carlotta's family can be from James's, the better. But jealous colleagues still remain.

Of course James is playing. ;) That would be the height of cruelty from me! Although I suppose I did put him through the ringer before ... eh, point taken!

Harry/James makes me squee every time. They're so cute! Boo for being stuck on Pottermore! I've been stuck a few times, I have to resort to using the wonders of the internet to work out what I haven't found. It's so frustrating at times! I don't mind about the information conflicting with what I've written - it's just so typical that she tells us about it all at the END of my 60+ chapter epic! Bah. What can you do? Thanks for all the reviews! :)

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Review #17, by nott theodore fifty-nine

24th March 2014:

I meant to say this in the last review, but I really want to shake Cleo's hand for getting McLaggen with a Bludger. He definitely had that one coming, and it seems like I'm not the only one who thinks the same!

It was brilliant to see that James felt like he was becoming more of an equal amongst his England teammates in this chapter, because they're all facing something new together and none of them have ever played under this much pressure with this much at stake before. He's easing into his position in the team and adapting more to the demands and requirements that makes, and it's good to see. I definitely don't think he could have handled any of this a few months ago, if he'd carried on as he was before he got dropped from the team.

I think it's a good decision not to write all the matches out all the time. There's a lot of Quidditch in this story and there's only a certain amount of ways that you can write a Quidditch match, I think, so skirting around the edges of some of them and letting us know the outcome instead can make it more interesting.

I'm so glad England won! And James was Player of the Match in the World Cup semi-final - that's a serious achievement for him! After that I doubt that Demelza will be dropping him from the team again to play McLaggen, even if he has recovered from his injury. I loved seeing Josh Wadcock coming back in after recovering, and the way that all of the team were congratulating each other.

Aw, Della likes Ryan! That's so cute, and I love the fact she did her best to get what she wanted and asked the Thunderers to sign them all together. Go get him, girl! I'd love to read about their time in Australia, if you get any time to write about it!

Slughorn's appearance was just perfect, you captured his character so well in this. I feel like this story wouldn't have been complete if he hadn't appeared, now, especially with the world cup going on and both Harry and James being there together. And that part gave me so much to think about! I love James's loyalty to the Falcons but the fact that he hasn't signed the contract yet... is he going to end up teaching? Will the Potters do it together? Hmm...

And England are playing Ireland in the final! Clearly I am more talented than Trelawney :P *pats self on back* Now I have no idea who's going to win, and it's going to be hard with teammates and friends playing against each other, but I'm looking forward to it!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Haha, I suddenly remembered Cleo vowing to knock McLaggen out a couple of chapters ago and thought "that's going to happen..."

James' new-found confidence is odd, isn't it? It's not "I feel like I'm good enough to perform on this stage", it's "everyone else is feeling just as lost as me". But you're right; it's more a case that he doesn't feel alone, or that he's the weak one in the team compared to the others. Bless him. :)

I had a large battle with myself over whether to write this match. I always INTENDED to - because how can you skip a semi-final of all things? But I was stuck on it for weeks because I didn't know how to write it, and eventually I made the call to pass over it. We've had enough Quidditch over the last 60 chapters, I don't think this feels like a huge omission. Plus, there's now the final to come. :)

Yep, Della likes Ryan! Because I'm a sucker for a cutesy romance sideplot. :P I'm hoping I can write something about their time in Australia, it's on my list of things I could write about if ever I find the time amidst Derailed. No promises, but I'm not ruling it out. :)

SLUGHORN. You know, initially I didn't plan to insert him into this chapter. But my beta reader was forever throwing him into her chapters and saying how fun he was to write, and eventually I decided I wanted in on the action! Luckily, I was able to find a way of putting him in without it seeming forced; it DOES seem only right for him to be swarming around at a World Cup. And in the end James was able to have a conversation which is fairly important. :)

Haha, yes, you should study Divination! Thanks for reviewing :)

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Review #18, by nott theodore fifty-eight

24th March 2014:

Okay, I'm going to try and stop saying this was a great chapter in each of my reviews, because each chapter of this story is always great, so you know, it feels a bit redundant. And your story reminds me I am not eloquent :P

Carla's so perceptive when it comes to James, and she's much quicker than him I think. But I love the way that without ever making a big deal of it, you're showing how much more they're coming to mean to each other, how much closer they're becoming and the way that they're getting to know each other a lot better than previously. Their relationship is slowly growing and developing but it's not in a dramatic way, just natural, and it's really nice to read about.

Ha, I love Carlotta's sass. It was brilliant to see it make another appearance here and her put James in his place, telling him that he'll be lucky if she takes up his offer of visiting him abroad :P

Ah, it was nice to return to Ryan as well and be reminded of his feelings for Della. I can tell that you're getting towards the end of this story because all the plot lines seem to be wrapped up and it's great to see them all coming together. Look at James giving relationship advice ♥ I feel oddly proud of him, it's like he's getting all grown up and sensible. Ryan's offer with the Thunderers is great, although I can understand the fact it's with Della making it trickier to decide. He's right to wait till after the World Cup, I think, because that could just cause more stress and pressure. (Gasp! What if England and Ireland end up facing each other in the final?! *flails*)

George and Angelina have their priorities right, both wanting to get to go to the World Cup final. *nods*

Aw, Brigid and Freddie! ♥ I'm so glad that they're at least talking about this again and discussing the fact they have to sort something out. Freddie wanting her help with a CV was so sweet, and I love the way that they trust James not to listen but of course he eavesdrops anyway :P I get the feeling that Brie won't give up, much like James, but I'm not sure everything will work out quite as well for them as it has so far for James and Carlotta...

Sian :)

Author's Response: Haha, don't worry, I no speak good in reviews or responses either, so it's fine. I'M GLAD YOU LIKED THE CHAPTER.

Carlotta IS perceptive; it's one of the reasons why she's good for James. He doesn't always see things clearly, and he needs her to keep him stable. I absolutely ADORE her sass too. I wrote a squee-inducing James/Carla scene for chapter 62, and she just OOZES sassiness in it.

Ha, yeah, this is the bit where I go "ooh, I need to do something with that plot thread I weaved in x chapters ago". I knew the Ryan/Della would take a while to come to anything, so it's been quietly there in the background waiting for its moment. And this is it! James is being very grown up with his advice giving isn't he?

*gasp* England v Ireland potential indeed!

The Brie/Freddie resolution is the one I'm most excited for. Freddie's kind of beginning his own learning curve, much like the one James has been on but a few months behind. He's beginning to realise he needs to take control of his own life. James OBVIOUSLY eavesdrops. And they both know it. Naw I love my little trio. Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #19, by nott theodore fifty-seven

24th March 2014:
Hi! I'm loving the chance to catch up on this story!

I loved the opening section of this chapter so much. I kind of want to quote my favourite parts back to you but then I think that would end up with me quoting a lot of the story back to you and exceeding the character limit on this review, so I'll just say that I had a smile on my face through all of that section and it made me feel all warm and happy to see all of James's family and friends and girlfriend gathering round him to support him through the difficult times. I can understand them being afraid that he'd lapse again, but I think that he knows he has that support network now and I'm hoping that it won't happen again. They're all so great and I think that the opening scene showed that James is a really lucky guy to have so many people in his life who care about him and are willing to put themselves out to help make sure he's okay.

You're amazing at including threads of humour through this story in events that can actually be quite serious. I loved the part about Lily, Roxanne and Ryan attempting to bake the cake, and Carlotta being happy she'd already made one. And the part about Cordelia made me laugh as well :P

It's nice to see that Brigid is kind of getting on with things and being happy again, even though she's still unhappy about the situation with Fred. She's not letting it get her down too much though, and that's the important thing, I think.

It was good to see that Germany lost to Peru, in a way - it makes it more realistic because not all of the characters we know can win all the time, and it's important to show that in the story. It helped remind us that it's an all or nothing competition, too, and James and England could quite easily lose.

Demelza's scare tactics definitely worked, from the sounds of it! I love how you've taken someone who was a minor character in the books and given her a career like this in the story, and the fact that we know her name and her association with Quidditch makes it more believable too.

England got to the semi-finals! There's a lot more pressure piling on James now and I hope he can manage to deal with it. I'm really rooting for England to win the World Cup but I feel like that might be a bit too easy...

Sian :)

Author's Response: I really enjoyed writing the first bit of this chapter! It's nice to be able to throw the whole family in every now and again. They can be daunting at times given the sheer number of them, but this seemed like an appropriate time to remind ourselves of them. I'm probably a bit cruel towards Cordelia - who, lest we forget, is a living creature not just a ball of animated fur - but I'm sure she enjoys being thrown around. At least, I hope she does.

I've known the Quidditch results for aaages now, probably before I really developed Della as a character. So Germany were always going to lose to Peru. I did feel bad, but at the same time, as you say, it makes for a more realistic story. Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #20, by nott theodore fifty-six

24th March 2014:
Hello again!

Ah, this was such a good chapter to come back to (although thankfully not after as long a break as last time!). I felt really sorry for Stefan having to play a three day match! I liked how you included the little facts that someone like James would know, the statistics about how long it has been since someone played a match this long in professional Quidditch and stuff. I'm still amazed by how thoroughly you've planned and written about the game and the Quidditch world from what we've been given so far, and I feel like everything you write about it seems realistic and believable - I could take it as canon quite easily. At least Stefan caught the Snitch in the end, even if his team couldn't win the match in the end!

I didn't think that James would be going outside of Europe during the summer for his Quidditch, not with everything the way it is at the moment with his family and Carlotta. I'm not sure if he'll even go outside of Britain, to be honest, although if he does, I think it would be cool for him to go to Spain and then he could learn some Spanish :P

The plotline about who is going to be the next Quidditch teacher at Hogwarts is really interesting. I can't work out what you're going to do with that one, not at all, but I feel like you've got something really good hidden up your sleeve. Maybe McLaggen will give up and go there? (Although I wouldn't wish that on the pupils). I can't really see James going, because it would be hard for Carlotta to be with him - would she even be able to see the castle or live there if they got to that point? But he might take it. Hmm, I don't know, and I can't work it out!

The excitement of all the characters about seeing the Quidditch World Cup final is getting me really excited about it. I hope that England do get through to the final and win! It would be great for James to play there, and I loved Carlotta's faith in his playing abilities. Either way, it'll be a pretty spectacular occasion, I think.

And yes! James got the spot on the team instead of McLaggen! That made me grin so much when I read it, because even though I thought it was going to happen I couldn't be sure and you have a habit of twisting the plot and surprising me :P He was so angry but I loved the fact that some of the others weren't all that surprised, and had thought that McLaggen was the one having to prove himself rather than James. I feel like James really deserves this, and he's changed and improved so much from a couple of months ago when he got called up and dropped from the squad for his behaviour. This James is much nicer to read about!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Ah yes, the three day match. I was cruel to Stefan. But we haven't had enough stupidly long matches in this fic! And James is definitely a Quidditch nerd. It's funny, that's the kind of detail that I didn't even think twice about putting in. Maybe it's because I'm writing in first person, from the perspective of someone who's Quidditch mad? James is proceeding to turn me into a Quidditch nut. Although, as discussed, I'm now sick to the back teeth of it. :P

James should totally learn Spanish, shouldn't he? Then he and Carlotta can jabber away to their hearts' content. :)

HA. Yes, Jeremiah McLaggen is going to be the new Quidditch teacher. Can you IMAGINE how awful he'd be? Rest assured, that is NOT going to happen. What IS going to happen? Well, you'll just have to wait and see!

The James of now is almost unrecognisable from the James of the beginning of the fic, or the James that had the breakdown. It's bewildering even for ME, and I always knew this was going to happen. He's much nicer this way, isn't he? Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #21, by LavenderBlue seven

23rd March 2014:
Hello! It's been far too long since I've had me some time with James & Co. Excited to read MOAR.

Dawr. Quidditch player cuties. It's like, the Fellowship of the League. Okay, that's stupid, but I really just mean to convey that I liked seeing fellow players and getting glimpses into their lives. Again, here, I have to say how much I admire your attention to detail. James' Quidditch life is both detailed and realistic, but it never bogs the story down.

SHORTENED SEASON. WOT. No fair. D: Stupid board, voting for a chopped up season. Rawr. Though poor Ron, with a nephew in a rival team to his beloved Cannons. "Betrayal" indeed. Haha. That sounds like exactly the sort of over-blown silliness Ron would use to guilt his poor nephew.

Carlotta cooked again! She's quite the talent. I'm glad that someone, at least, is making good use of Mama Potter's grocery replenishments. Though James seems like he might be a little weirded out by it? Hmm...

Hahaha, Ginny knows James so well. I think her concern that he'll be a broke, drunken hobo at the Hinky is totally justified. It seems like he needs Quidditch to keep him focused. LILY'S GOT AN INTERVIEW. Whoo, go Lily! What an illustrious position she's up for, too.

Ugh, Mommy & Son time just needs to stop being so adorable. I seriously love their interactions. Carlotta meets Lily next chapter? YEAH. Looking forward to it! :)

Author's Response: FELLOWSHIP OF THE LEAGUE. Dead. It's funny, I don't really think twice about the amount of Quidditch detail I put into this. I guess it's because I'm writing from the perspective of a character who loves the sport, so he's going to have this knowledge and passion for it. So when I write him, it just comes naturally. It's lovely to know that it comes across and yet isn't suffocating. And yes, I imagine Ron would consider his nephew (and godson, lest we forget) a complete traitor for not picking the Cannons. EVEN THOUGH THEY'RE RUBBISH.

I think I'd be a bit weirded out if I were James and I came home to find some hook-up cooking in my house. But she means well, bless her.

Ha, yes, Ginny knows just what James is like. He does lack focus and drive outside of Quidditch, and this will be touched on more as we go along. :) Thanks for reviewing!

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Review #22, by Penelope Inkwell sixty

22nd March 2014:
Yay! New chapter.

Arggghle. Iím dying to know whatís going to happen in this final match! I need to know! This is worse than my family during the deciding games for conference championships (college football, I mean).

Poor Brigid, she really is stuck. And I feel bad for Maddie, too. Ainít it always the truth? You finally meet a guy whoís attractive and charming and with whom you share common interests, and he moves to Australia to play wizarding sky hockey.

...Not a common problem? Really? Oh, well sorry, Maddie. You lead an interesting life, at least.

You really do think through the details, donít you? I like what you said about Lilyís job. That would totally happen in the real world--some girl comes straight out of school--high school, no less!--and lands a job like that? Yeah, Iím sure she has made some enemies.

If you ever consider doing a spin off, I would *love* to hear more about Lilyís story. She might actually be my favorite character, and the story youíve given her is so fascinating.

Also, while Iím putting in requests, can I ask for some more Carlotta/James screentime? I love the Quidditch elements in this story, and youíve imagined them so richly, but it would be great to see a bit more of them together. I feel like our time with them has diminished in the last few chapters, and I know itís because you have a lot of Quidditch-plot stuff to get in, which is obviously super important, and there is much more to life than romance, of course. But still. Itíd be nice to see some more interaction between those two crazies. Theyíre adorable.

I love that, even after all Jamesí issues with fame, heís actually still a pretty humble guy. He doesnít just expect to get anything. I think thatís one of the things that makes him a really likable character--heís grown up with every advantage, yet still doesnít expect the world to serve him. And I like that.

I hope that Cato or Clea do run into Uncle Ludo. Whereís he been hiding out for goblins this long, anyway? That was a really cute detail!

And Harry and James, having a healthy father-son relationship. My heart!

As a side question, and you may have mentioned this, but I canít recall, does the English team use the colors of the Union Jack, or the red and white of St. Georgeís cross, since theyíre playing against other countries that are part of the U.K.?

Enjoying this story, as always, and eagerly awaiting the WORLD QUIDDITCH CUP FINALS!!! Go England!

Thanks for the new chapter :D


Author's Response: Aha, this review just about made my day. Wizarding sky hockey! Yep, that's about right. :)

ANYWAY. Your excitement about the final is, I won't lie, PETRIFYING. Because it means there's a strong chance what I've written will fall short of expectations. WAH. I hope you enjoy it when it's posted! :)

Maddie. Maddie Maddie Maddie. It's a rough hand she's been dealt, isn't it? Still, she's a strong girl, she'll cope with it. Her life is, indeed, an interesting one.

I LOVE your Lily request, because I do in fact HAVE a spin-off fic in mind, from the time she finds out she's a Squib, up to just short of Rails probably. I can't promise anything, in terms of either when it might turn up or in what form (I was initially thinking novella-length but it might just be short-story now) but it's certainly in existence in some form. :) But then I have lots of spin-off ideas which will hopefully materialise over time. So requests are always welcome! No firm promises, but the ambition is there. :)

Ah yes, more James/Carlotta. They get a fair bit of screentime in the last few chapters, once the Final is over with, so hopefully that will appease your cravings. It's difficult in a sense because their arc in Rails is done with now, so there's little to write about aside from them being adorable - but then I do like writing them when they're being adorable. :) Lots more juicy James/Carlotta to come in the sequel though!

The thing with James is I imagine he - and Al and Lily - WOULDN'T actually have grown up with all that many advantages. At least, not pre-Hogwarts at any rate. Harry and Ginny would certainly have tried to keep them grounded. And I think James would at first have been quite cocky at recieving the attention at school, but the novelty certainly wore off soon, when he realised people only cared about his dad, not him. Poor James. So yes, he's humble, because he doesn't WANT the advantages. And that's his saving grace really; even when he was an obnoxious so-and-so, he was still LIKEABLE. Which I'm glad about, obviously. :)

Oh, the Harry/James makes me melt every time. Love 'em.

I'm guessing you're thinking about Great Britain in the Olympics, when all the home nations compete together. Actually, that's pretty much the only time that happens. In basically any other sport, they compete separately, and England compete in the red and white. Mainly white, as Wales of course have red. So that's the colours England wear here. And that will be mentioned in the next chapter. :)

Thanks for the lovely review!

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Review #23, by slytherinchica08 twenty-two

21st March 2014:
Another great chapter! I really liked the look into Carlas family and how they interact with her. It was very interesting to see and it made me feel extremely bad for her. On the one hand her dad is extremely nice but then he isn't very supportive of her wanting to pursue a career in food. Then there is her mom who just seems completely disapproving of like anything and everything. At least Carla doesn't seem to be too bothered by it. I thought it was really sweet to have the opening of the story be with his mom and Freddie. It set it up really well and was kind of an awe type moment. I couldn't help but smile throughout this whole chapter. It was all really cute and just a fun read. I very much enjoyed it! Great Job!


Author's Response: Ah, Carlotta's family. I'll confess, this scene happened because I wanted them to be introduced before the sequel, and from James' perspective (the sequel isn't actually his fic). But they were a scream to write, especially her mother. And I just melt every time I write a James/Ginny scene. She is the BOMB. Thanks again for all your reviews! It's lovely to be receiving such in-depth thoughts on chapters I haven't read in a while. :)

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Review #24, by slytherinchica08 twenty-one

21st March 2014:
Oh such a sweet chapter! I feel bad for Lily, having a crush on her friends brother and then constantly being told to ask him to prom. Its a very tricky situation to be in because she actually does want to be with him but of course Maddie would only be thinking in terms of a date for prom but Lily wants it to be something more. I do hope the best for her. She deserves it after all she has had to go through. And Al is just dumb coming and saying that rant about the Malfoy's while Carla is there with James. But I'm glad that in general she took the news really well and wasn't too upset with James for not sharing the information sooner. Also I can't wait to see James meeting her parents that should make for a rather interesting time! I very much enjoyed this chapter! Great Job!


Author's Response: Ah, poor Lily and her heart. More to come on that in time. At least she has good friends to help her out. :)

Al does come charging in here rather like a bull in a china shop, doesn't he? In his defence, he's not thinking straight, plus he has every reason to assume Carlotta already knows about the Malfoys and whatnot. She took the news she was told well ... but what about what she wasn't told? Thanks for reviewing :)

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Review #25, by slytherinchica08 twenty

20th March 2014:
Another well done chapter! I'm always so shocked when it comes time for them to go visit Harry's parents at their graves for their birthdays. I think its a very sobering idea and sets a different tone for the story as well. It really makes me thankful for what I do have and sad for James in what he is missing. "But every time that any of my cousins spent time with their other grandparents, it hit me that I didn't have that option, save sitting in front of a patch of ground with a tombstone sticking out of it." This bit in particular stood out to me and made my heart ache for him. I'm just completely in awe of this story and so much in love with it. I love that while its got enough James/Carla to keep me satisfied its also not the only focus in this story. Its very much about James and who he is and how he has changed just over the course of time since meeting Carla. It's all about his development as a person and how Carla has managed to change him in ways that aren't quite noticeable when you just look at the chapter in question but when you look at where he is at now compared to the very beginning of the story it is very noticeable and you almost wonder how it has managed to sneak past you this whole time. You've got a very realistic portrayal of a person here and their journey and I'm just so much in love with this. You do a wonderful job of giving me enough description to help me picture exactly what is going through here and really make me feel like I'm a part of the story and that I am there during this whole thing. Its a wonderful experience and I'm just very much in love with this story! Great Job!


Author's Response: I do think it would be a big thing for James, Al and Lily that one set of grandparents is dead, especially given the manner in which they died all those years ago. Sad as they were, I liked writing these scenes because it's nice in a rather morbid way to reflect on things. The sentence you quote is one of my particular favourites in this chapter.

The main focus of this fic isn't James' love life, or his career; it's James himself. The whole fic centres around his journey, and everything that goes on in his life is just as important as the next thing. So, while his relationship with Carlotta is a big thing in this fic, it's not the only focus. Aside from anything else, I didn't want to write a fic where a girl comes waltzing in and is James' soul-mate and fixes everything for him. So I'm glad you like that! Thanks for the lovely review :)

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