Reading Reviews for Evolution
266 Reviews Found

Review #1, by writeyourheartout Ain't No Sunshine

30th August 2015:

Hi Kevin! ^.^ Been meaning to stop by your page - or, more specifically, this story - for... about forever, now, so... a big WOOHOO for finally making it! :-D

Warnig: I'm quite sleep-deprived and so apologies in advance if any of this is incoherent or... uber rambly. Whoops.

Ah, what a great start! I can already tell you that this is the type of James/Lily fic I can sincerely get behind. The slow build is just about my favorite of all the things ever, so I'm very excited. ^.^

I love your choice to make James's crush on Lily a new, developing occurrence. I see most people call their relationship a love-at-first-site type thing from Jame's POV, when I've just never felt that that's how it would have happened (and also I think I remember reading that James honestly didn't start liking Lily until fifth year). And the way it came about... Perfection. I love that him asking her out began as a joke - especially because in one of my plot-ideas for them, I play around with Lily taking so long to relent because she actually believes for a long time that... it sincerely all is, in fact, a joke. (But that's a totally other subject and let's definitely focus on you! Don't let me go off on ramble-tangents! :-p) Then, of course, there's The Incident! I can't tell you how much I approve of this decision to have that be the turning point for James; the thing that causes him to see her differently and just totally spin his world around. Fantastic.

What's up with his dad, though?? I'm super curious! I can't imagine that little conversation and the mention of him just sitting there in his study was just a random thing to discuss! It must mean something, and I am already dying to know. I have some predictions... mostly of the "his dad's going to die soon no!" variety... but we shall see... ;)

Can I also just take a moment to say how much I like the name Tinka for a House-Elf? ♥

For the time being, James felt as if the clouds were a heavy lid, keeping his energy bottled up still longer and somehow magnifying the weight of the frustrations that had characterized the end of his recently-concluded fifth year. - This line is awesome. I love the metaphor and the way it's described and how it put a real visual to how we first meet your version of James.

You also do a great job of helping us understand who your James is and catching us up on what's been going on in his life recently without being one of those authors who just writes, "Hi, I'm Whoever, and these are all the things I am and am not." You work in all that information in a fluid way that is never tell-y. It makes sense how we get introduced to these facts about his past couple months! It's such a hard thing to accomplish, in my experience, without just sounding like a boring list of facts, so serious kudos to you. (Teach me your ways.)

The ending is great. It's got me so excited to see how this changes things for him and Lily, how he's going to go about dealing with this new factor, and how she's going to deal with his changes, too. Also, this starts at the beginning of summer, so I'm intrigued to see if they end up running into each other over the holidays! Most James/Lily fics tend to take place at school (which makes sense, of course), so I'm really interested to see how this one moves forward from here!

(Also, yes, I know it will eventually move to school-times; I just meant for perhaps the next few chapters or something. :-p)

Really excellent job! Hoping to not take forever before I get to chapter two! :-D


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Review #2, by nott theodore Pale Sunshine

28th August 2015:

This chapter was really interesting; I liked the way that it provided a real contrast with the previous chapter, showing the differences between Lily's summer now that she's single and James's summer with Katie. Then again, with the way that Lily and Lionel's relationship was going, I'm not sure that it'd have occupied her much through the holidays anyway, unless she forced him to meet up with her.

I could definitely sympathise with Lily at the beginning of this chapter, when she felt so bored and had nothing to do. I've been the person before whose friends are all away, and even though it's easy to find indoor things to occupy yourself with, it's not always what you want to do over summer - and if you don't get on with your sibling and can't do anything with them, either, it's got to be even harder. I think you captured the sense of boredom and frustration that Lily was feeling here really well. It definitely contrasted sharply with James's summer so far and his excitement and happiness at seeing Katie and getting to spend time with her.

Even though it was just a short scene, I also really enjoyed the interaction between Lily and her mother. We've only seen a little of her parents so far, but the way that you wrote the dialogue made it clear that Lily still has a good relationship with her parents, even if she's away from home for most of the year and she and Petunia don't get on.

It was really sweet of Remus to reach out to Lily so early on in the summer because he thought that she'd be as bored as him - it definitely seems like the sort of thing that he'd think to do, and I like the way that you're developing the friendship between the two of them through this story. Their interactions seem to be becoming more frequent in these chapters and it's great to see that.

It was definitely interesting to see the characterisation of Lily here in the second half of this chapter - you definitely did a great job of focusing on some of the aspects of her personality that I know you've wanted to bring out. Friends are probably the best placed people to really show another what they're like (if that makes sense) - Remus letting on that he thinks Lily wouldn't take not being Head Girl very well, and that she's quite judgemental and hot-headed, could be a bit of a wake-up call for Lily. I definitely get the sense that she expects to get the Head Girl job, even if she claims that she wouldn't mind. Her arrogance is definitely coming into play more as this story goes on, and it's definitely interesting to see the differences between her attitude and James's.

I'm looking forward to seeing the chapter about Sirius, too - now that he's not at home, I'm intrigued to find out about his summer!

Sian :)

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Review #3, by nott theodore Summer in Stroud

28th August 2015:
Hi again, Kevin! Gah, there's not long left at all now and I've been so busy that I'm really behind on these reviews, but I'm going to keep trying to leave them whenever I can snatch a couple of minutes!

This was an interesting start to the summer holidays for the characters - I feel like you've chosen it to really cement the fact that James and Katie are happy together and that they're excited to be together, but at the same time I can't help feeling like something is going to go wrong at some point - I know that they're not going to end up together, of course, but I do kind of suspect that things are going to go badly wrong here, even if I can't tell how or why right now...

Roger's character made me laugh a bit. I think you captured him really well; we've only seen a little glimpse of him so far in this story, really, when he came across as quite strict for not wanting to let Katie date James, but seeing him here made me warm to him a lot. He's so protective of his daughter - which a lot of fathers are, especially if their daughter is an only child - and despite the fact that he seems to be a kind and caring sort of person, he's definitely enjoying the power he has in being James's girlfriend's dad, and someone that he has to please. It was really amusing to read about the 'interview' of sorts that Roger put James through, and to see how James reacted to it all. I think that James did quite well, to be honest, but Roger definitely showed him that he wouldn't put up with people messing his daughter around, and James's reputation has to go against him there, it would seem.

In spite of loving James/Lily and all the moments of the two of them that you've included so far, I did enjoy the scene with James and Katie together on the hill a lot. It's sweet to see James relaxing more into a relationship that's more long-term than any he's had before, and I do like the two of them together. Katie seems to doubt a lot of what James says, though, even this far into their relationship - I can't tell if she doesn't believe that he's being honest with her, or if she doesn't want to believe it. And then with the ominous tone at the end of the chapter (or at least, what I imagine to be ominous), I'm curious to see how the rest of the summer will play out for them!

Sian :)

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Review #4, by nott theodore The Quidditch Cup

22nd August 2015:
Hallo! (Yes, I've been leaving you so many reviews lately that I'm starting to run out of greetings...)

Woo, the end of sixth year! It's a massive achievement to make it this far in their story, particularly when I consider how many chapters you've managed to write to get here (which, you know, may be the planned length of Jigsaw, which makes me feel kind of insignificant right now) and how many are left. Anyway, I'm far too late, but congratulations on making it this far already!

I really enjoyed the opening of the chapter. I've been keen to see the follow-up from the date in Hogsmeade with Sirius and Renee, and it was so interesting to read those scenes. I liked the way that Sirius kept teasing her and taunting her about her talents on a broom - which was very in character with what we've seen of him so far in this story - and yet at the same time he did slow down enough to help her, so that she wasn't just stuck there. I think that my favourite part was their interactions and dialogue; Renee does do a really good job of getting Sirius to open up about things that most people wouldn't be able to, especially girls he doesn't really know, and I liked the way they joke around together. I'm not sure if I can see anything happening between the two of them in the future (yet?), but it is nice to think that Sirius has someone else he can consider a kind of friend, who'll listen to him, if he wants.

The Quidditch Cup was intense! Obviously, I was rooting for Gryffindor (it would be blasphemous if I didn't, wouldn't it?) but you had me really worried there that Slytherin were going to clinch it! It definitely still had the feel of the match and I don't think there was a problem with the commentary being used to narrate it more than the normal narrative; I think it makes the story more varied and interesting, as a matter of fact.

The Lily and James interaction is making me smile a lot - they're definitely starting to se each other more as equals, and even if Lily still gets annoyed by him (not always justifiably, either), I can see the relationship between them growing more cordial and less conflicting. I think it's great that you're showing James's good qualities in lots of little ways that Lily might start picking up on - like the crown that Sirius had charmed on his head, which he clearly didn't want there, but which previously Lily would probably have thought as a sign of his arrogance. All of those little opportunities and details are going to help set things up for Lily and James getting together in the future, I'm sure.

I really enjoyed this, and I'll be back soon - I'm looking forward to seeing what you've got in store for us over summer, but for now it's 3am so I have to have a nap at least before I manage any more of these!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Howdy! And I have been leaving so few for you (so far) :(

I enjoyed writing the scene between Sirius and Renee, though it was tough ultimately because I wanted to walk back the romantic possibility. I haven't done enough with that dynamic subsequently, but you reminding me of it actually has given me the breakthrough I needed in Chapter 47! And it will inject some controversy as well... Thank you!

I'm glad you're liking the growing cordiality between Lily and James. It will be quite important that they maintain it going forward though summer can wreak a lot of changes and forgetfulness... :p Still you're correct about Lily ULTIMATELY noticing and I'm interested to see what you think of it in the end. I'm so glad that you've noticed the "little ways" strategy too, because most people comment on the larger strokes and obvious incidents and some on some level, I've wondered if that was working and its encouraging to know that it did!

Seriously, thank you so much for all these reviews! They have been AMAZING and though I will endeavor to repay you, I don't know how I ever will. YOU ARE THE BEST, SIAN! THE BEST!

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Review #5, by nott theodore Sixth Year Slump

22nd August 2015:

This was a really great chapter! I think that you managed to focus on a couple of themes and ideas that have been appearing so far in the story but not yet prominent, and also bring together several little plot points into a bigger story, so that it's obvious why there was a need for them.

Since I saw Lily rejecting James's advice, thinking that she was being clever because he was trying to trick her and get her a bad grade in Transfiguration, I've wondered what the outcome would be. I mean, with Lily, there had to be consequences with that - and for her to achieve such a 'bad' (comparatively) grade, it must be really frustrating and annoying, though it did kind of serve her right since she underestimated James. I can see why him staying behind to congratulate her - which is actually a really sweet thought - would rub salt in the wound, though. I wonder if he'll ever find out what it was that caused her to act so angrily towards him after the class.

After that first incident, it was really easy to see the build-up in this chapter and to sense that something big was coming. The scene in the Great Hall, where Lily draws her wand on James, was really interesting. James has changed so much this year, but he's still not the sort of person to take an attack like that lying down - even if it is Lily - and I think he's started to realise more of his own flaws than Lily has so far. It'll be interesting to see her become a little more introspective and make some discoveries, too.

Then, after the wands drawn in the Great Hall, we finally get to the duel that they have to take part in for DADA. I really liked the way that you described all the build-up in that scene, and the fact that you managed to cover the other duels so briefly and yet well, so that we had an idea of how much it had taken them to get there.

The duel itself was fascinating to read; I'm impressed with all the different moves and spells you thought of them using, and the writing made me feel like I was there watching it first hand. It was sneaky of James to change the clock, but he was right to do it - they were so evenly matched in terms of talent, but I think James does seem to be the better dueller as he knows how to get under her skin and not to react predictably. Even though she wasn't ready for it, I'm kind of glad that James won, and through hard work and talent. She can't argue anymore that he doesn't deserve his place, and I think it'll be interesting to see her noticing that more in the future.

The Lily and James interaction at the end of this chapter was cute to read about. I really liked the way that James was chivalrous about it, rather than crowing over the fact that he won when she was clearly upset and disappointed - he's definitely a lot more mature than he was even at the start of the year. It was interesting to see him revealing the fact that she was easy to understand and push into certain moves when she duelled, because I can imagine them working on that in the future together. And the fact that he'd have her as his fifth - over Katie - I think speaks volumes for the future, even if neither of them know it yet.

Sian :)

Author's Response: Aha! Another greeting in another tongue!

Yes, finally Lily got a deserved comeuppance that again SHOULD have been a wake-up call. Again, she's not quite there yet though, and thus she becomes quite frustrated. Where better to direct that than at the most constant thorn in her side?

And then of course later, it must be said, James doesn't quite cover himself in glory. I think this is probably the biggest relapse I've painted into the story so far on his part because he makes the choice to wind her up. Her reaction is obviously extraordinary, but James deserves his share of the blame for goading, trying to get away with something while Katie's not around. It's a little glimpse of his previous self for sure.

My biggest worry with the duel that came later was that the magic they threw down wasn't believable - what do you think? Too much power for their ages? Too skilled?

In the end though, I definitely wanted to walk back the conflagration of emotions to something positive and in so doing to create a moment of uncharacteristic closeness. It's in this moment that Lily actually starts to truly accept that there are things that James is sincerely better at than she is and that part of it is actually from WORK. Just like she works on her own skills. It's a little first taste for her before a huge moment that I haven't yet written - her discovery that James is an unregistered animagus. She'll have lots of thoughts on that, as I'm sure you can imagine, but one will certainly be wondering how she could've ever been so sure in her belief that he didn't work hard too.

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Review #6, by nott theodore Growing Pains

22nd August 2015:

I've been really interested to see what you'd do with this potential date that Sirius had to go on as an apology - whether you'd focus on it a lot or not - and so it was great to get to this chapter and see it playing out! I also really enjoyed seeing more of Sirius as a character in a different light; when it's not been about the Marauders pulling pranks, we've not seen much of them outside of James and Katie being around, so it was great to see some more development of Sirius in this chapter.

I liked the opening to the chapter and the way you built up the suspense about who Sirius was going to go on a date with - we were reading on to find out just like he wanted to. Honestly, I was surprised about Renee, but I didn't have any other candidates in mind for the date, and I think the intention was to surprise us anyway, so you succeeded there!

As far as Renee's concerned, I also really liked getting to see more of her in this chapter. We don't know much about her aside from her being Katie's best friend, and that she reads Witch Weekly - there hasn't been a lot of interaction in the story with her or much development of her character. I think that really left you with a lot of possibilities about how to shape her character and I liked the Renee that I saw here, shy at first but then refusing to be intimidated by Sirius, and going on the date so that she could find out more about him. She's definitely different to other girls he's dated before - I'm not sure if it'll go anywhere, but it was good to see them on a date together.

Sirius was also well written in this chapter, I think. His reactions for me were very believable - reluctance that he's on the date in the first place, and then at the same time a consciousness that he has to try and be nice and polite because of the deal he made with Katie. I think what I liked most was his reticence about being drawn out at all by Renee, or talking to anyone who wasn't one of his three friends - that really helped to show which topics he struggled on, and the fact that so few people could get close to him.

It made me laugh to see James and Katie sneaking off again and again so that they could have time alone and so that Renee could get more time to probe Sirius. I think my favourite part of this chapter was the ending; the fact that Sirius tried to get his own back on Renee after her comments, and instead of putting her down, she rises to the challenge - I really liked that exchange, and I'm interested to see the flying lesson!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Sirius is, I would say, the king of walls and though the chapter was supposed to be amusing too, that was what it was really directed at. Renee, as you obviously saw, is a little more sophisticated than I've led you to believe so far. The "shyness" on her part was honestly a bit calculated to see if it could get Sirius talking (him being a talker and all and her thinking perhaps he'd prefer volunteering things to silence), but quickly realizing that wasn't going to play out, she became herself. Sharp and unwilling to be brushed off like Sirius brushes off so many (especially girls).

Hopefully you'll remember those thorny topics in the future when we see Sirius again - I'll be interested to know what you think about how he reacts to those topics in that situation.

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Review #7, by nott theodore Three Funerals

22nd August 2015:
Hi Kevin! Okay, attempts at being quick and short really need to take hold, unfortunately, as it's past 2am here (these review races keep coming at terrible times for me, unfortunately) and I really wanted to get a couple of reviews done before I head to bed. Hopefully you don't mind, since you're taking part in the challenge as well!

I really liked the way that you structured this chapter - the title, Three Funerals, was so ominous from the start and it also drew a really interesting parallel with the earlier chapter we've read entitled Three Broom Closets. The differences are so striking because there's a really sharp contrast between the connotations of the two, so while the structure is similar, focusing on three different scenes, it also really emphasises how much of a hold the war is taking on their world, and the fact that things are getting darker and more dangerous.

The first and third scene were so ambiguous and kind of removed, and I really enjoyed reading them and working out what was happening. The first was so interesting to me because I don't think I've ever seen a Catholic priest presiding over a magical funeral before. It was a really intriguing idea, and I liked the way that you used religion and crossed it over with the magical world, and also wrote the funeral in a way that was very familiar to me (and some other readers, I expect). We didn't know whose funeral it was, but in a way, we didn't need to.

The third scene was really interesting too, because it was much darker (the first scene kind of hovers around the darkness, while the final scene shows it quite clearly), and emphasised again the severity of the war. I felt really sorry for Samuel, and the way that he was treated - for no apparent reason, of course, other than that the Death Eaters don't agree with him, and it's practice for one of their ranks. Am I right in thinking it was Bellatrix this time?

The second scene was an original take on the idea of a funeral - the end of a relationship, burying it all in the past - and it contrasted really well with the others. I have to be honest and say that I'm not surprised Lily and Lionel are over now, since they didn't seem compatible, really, but I did feel sorry for him when she broke up with him. I'm glad that Lily had the guts to do it, rather than letting it drag on, and I did find Lionel's reaction believable - he's kind of seemed a bit oblivious throughout their relationship, so it makes sense that he wouldn't see this coming and be more upset than he might have been.

This was really interesting, and I'm enjoying this story a lot, Kevin! Moving on!

Sian :)

Author's Response: I'm glad you didn't mind the resurfacing of the structure from Three Broom Closets. I was a bit hesitant, though I liked the contrast, with recycling it so quickly.

One of the things I wanted to do with that first scene (in addition to bring the war's growing impact into still sharper relief with the implication that the death toll is rising) is the differences, but connections between the magical and muggle world in the fight. I wanted it to be a first-generation half-blood funeral because: (1) it united muggles and wizardkind against a force that claims us all - death and (2) Harry's a half-blood.
With the third, as you rightly say, it demonstrates further how we're getting to the first scene these days, and what little it takes. You are absolutely right in thinking it was Bellatrix this time.

I'm glad you liked mixing the break-up in as a funeral of sorts as well. Indeed, this one wasn't ever intended to come as much of a surprise given the previous chapters. I want to go back and give it and the previous spats a bit more nuance and depth, but I thought it was fitting Lily would end it because of personality and because Lionel never would - and also because I wanted it to end like it had proceeded at every turn aside from when Lionel asked Lily out - at Lily's instigation.

Glad you're enjoying it! I'm enjoying trying to keep up with your incredible reviewing pace!

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Review #8, by Unicorn_Charm Hogwarts Bound

21st August 2015:
Hey Kevin! Here for our swap! :)

I seriously love how authentic you make this story feel. The characters are different than the "norms" we see in fic, yet still have characteristics we all seem to agree on. They're all very three dimensional. It's excellent writing.

Lily seems a little lost without Severus. The whole bit with her needing a new Potions partner for the first time ever really made me sad. I think I'm remembering correctly and you're not so much a Severus Snape fan, but the whole ordeal always makes me feel so bad for them both. She seems like she's doing alright though. She'll be fine. I kind of have a feeling that James and/or Sirius might just be in Potions with her.

Your characterization of James is one of the best I've ever read. I don't know if I've told you that in the other reviews on this story, but if I have, there is absolutely no harm in me telling you again. I'll probably tell you with every review I leave on this story. :p

I like how you have him keeping his true (developing) feelings for Lily a secret from his friends. It's totally different than any Marauders fic I've read before and just adds to the beautiful uniqueness of your story.

The part with him staring at Lily was just fantastic. The way he completely zoned out and basically checked out every inch of her. If that doesn't scream sixteen year old boy, I don't know what does haha. Brilliantly done.

Ugh and I LOVE the relationship between the guys! Kevin! You write the Marauders SO well! Please tell me your secret, man! The Marauders are my jam, so I am so, so excited to see more of your take on them. I am in love with Remus already. (I'm on a bit of a "I love Remus" kick right now. I bounce between them all from time to time :p)

The resolution for the new school year, I love it. I always tried and normally failed. And Peter being such an eager beaver I thought was so cute! And I appreciate that you had Sirius' about Quidditch and not immediately about girls. :) I'm dying to see what kind of prank Peter tries to pull off.

Oh James. I must agree with and think he's setting his standard a bit high there - thinking that he'll be the top of the class, but I'm interested in seeing where that goes.

This was another solid chapter of a really great story. I'm really mad at myself that I haven't been back to read it in a while. I definitely have to get back to this. It's just so, so good! I'm renaming you Kevin, King of Everything Marauder. :D Fantastic work!! ♥

Thanks for the swap!!

xoxo Meg

Author's Response: Howdy Meg! Thanks for stopping by again!

You DO remember correctly about me and Snape! Not his biggest fan is perhaps putting it mildly... :p

But I'm really glad that you like the characterizations (and James in particular). I know some people have actually been a little put off by how he checks out Lily, but for me, I thought it was pretty true to life. I remember myself at that age, trying to be clever about it in front of friends too, but love it or hate it, I think it's absolutely what that age guy does.

I'm also glad that you like the dynamic between the Marauders. I'll admit that it's something that, as the story develops, I want to go back and edit because it doesn't probably get enough play. Fortunately the areas where it doesn't (because I started this story after a 5-6 year layoff from fiction of any kind) have plenty of word-space left!

As for James's goal, it is ambitious, though not entirely crazy according to my head canon, because in my head canon part of the warring between James and Lily (on Lily's part anyway) also had to do with the fact that they're 1-2. Lily was agitated that James causes trouble, prioritizes Quidditch and generally isn't incredibly studious, but still is right there with her.

Thank YOU for the swap! And your incredibly kind words!

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Review #9, by nott theodore Security

21st August 2015:
Hola! Okay, this one is actually going to be much shorter (if it's not, shout at me?) because the chapter was shorter anyway and it's also nearly 3am and I'm struggling to keep my eyes open :P

Also, I meant to say this a couple of chapters ago, but woo! I'm over halfway through the novel now which I don't think is that shabby an achievement considering the time I've had and the length of it :D maybe I'll even catch up with the whole thing and then I can pester you with everyone else for updates...

Anyway. The actual chapter and its review! Okay, first as a Brit-pick (if you want it) - across the pond, the past participle of 'drag' is 'dragged' and not 'drug'.

I'm glad that James and Sirius made up. The two of them fighting doesn't seem right, somehow - they're such close friends and always have to look out for each other, and I always imagine them more as a double act than Ron, who felt like he was in Harry's shadow. So it was great to see that they'd got over their argument pretty quickly, and that they're going to go on as normal again. I'm intrigued about Sirius being set up on a date as a sort of punishment, though...

While I remember it, I was wondering if I missed the fall out of Snape being shut in the broom cupboard by Remus and Peter? If I haven't missed it then I would maybe suggest including a line or two somewhere on any consequences of it - I can't imagine that it would just go by unnoticed by anyone else?

Aw, James and Katie are cute, I have to admit it, as much as my James/Lily heart loathes to admit it. Seeing them here actually made me kind of sad that they're going to end up breaking up soon because they seen to fit really well. I loved how nervous Katie was over the ever-awkward conversation about their relationship, and James had been thinking just the same as her about it. I'm curious because of that what's actually going to go wrong between them as they seen quite solid here...

Okay,now I have to finish this and sleep before I drop the phone on my face. I'll be back soon to read and review some more!

Sian :)

Author's Response: I will never shout at you to review shorter. :p I have no standing. You tell me you are going to leave a "short" review and I feel a little embarrassed because it's like my standard length...

Haha. Thanks for that. And FTR it's actually dragged here too, but sometimes I lapse into my southern roots where things ain't all formal like that. :p Believe it or not, I used to say "I'm fixin' to [blank]" - I'll let you puzzle over what that means. ;)

I totally agree with you on James and Sirius being more of a duo. They really do regard each other as brothers and so that helps them put things in the past.

As far as the broom closet fall out with Snape, I intended the lack thereof to be another part of the revenge. Just as it couldn't be proven that Snape was involved in the attack, the idea was that the identity of his attackers couldn't be proven either and thus there was no punishment. MUHAHAHA.

As for James/Katie, I may or may not have fallen a little bit too in love with them myself. The confirmation that Harry/Ginny really is my OTP and cannot quite be tied by James/Lily. But I'll keep you in the dark as to how and why they end. Spoiling that wouldn't do at all...

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Review #10, by nott theodore Sunset

21st August 2015:
Hi Kevin! I'm attempting shorter (and hopefully quicker) reviews because I've still got a long way to go if I'm going to make it anywhere near 150 this month, and I have a ton of other stuff to do too, so I want to keep going with the story.

Peter's prank was great! I think you did a fantastic job of thinking up a prank that he would he able to pull on his own without the help of the other Marauders, like you said, something that was worth all the time and planning he put into it but at the same time something that wasn't so difficult he needed help to pull it off. I'm kind of oddly pleased for and proud of him, reading about the prank that he pulled, even though I don't normally like him that much as a character. The prank was creative though (kudos to you because I'm sure I could never think of them) and I really liked the way that we couldn't tell what the prank was going to be either as we read his preparations, so we were unprepared and more impressed for that, just like his friends were. It was great to see them congratulating him!

The second scene - thank you so much for that. I know that it hasn't been intentional and it's something you're aware of, but it was good to see the girls talking about something that wasn't boys and their appearance here, no matter how brief it was (and to answer your question from an earlier review response, I think you could very easily insert/extend scenes with more varied topics of conversation between the girls, since they don't appear as often anyway. Conversation always changes and flows so that would be fine - I'd be happy to help if you think it would be worth anything, too!). Anyway, I really liked seeing Lily more flawed here and her arrogance about the position at the top of the class, followed by her misgivings over her relationship with Lionel. I don't have high hopes for then to be honest...

The final scene was really enjoyable! I liked seeing some more Lily and James interaction (of course!) and I think it highlighted the differences in James this year for Lily. Or it would have done., if she'd been prepared to accept them... I get the feeling she isn't going to do very well on that essay!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Well, part of my mission with this fic (God, I have too many missions for it don't i?) is to also make people UNDERSTAND Peter. Not just understand him though, but also understand by the end why he turns. I'm glad you enjoyed the prank though, especially because like I said, they're not exactly my strong suit.

Yes...the stereotypes and terrible gender framing (at least in that aspect) have come to this chapter to begin dying. It shows how difficult it can be sometimes when you're writing without thinking, especially after trying to get yourself back into the mind of a high school aged folks, battles still have to be fought against subconscious socialization. Inserting the types of things you've mentioned is actually one of the most major aspects of the edits I intend to do (along with clearing up some of what I view anyway as inconsistencies).

Yes...Lily definitely has her arrogance. It's one of the things I've always found amusing in my head canon for them, that while James embraces his, but learns to tone it done to where it becomes simply confidence, Lily's journey is partly about accepting that she's (albeit less harmfully to others) possessed a similar level of arrogance. And as you know she WILL get bit this time, though it's not quite the wake-up call (yet) that it really should be. What I'd be intrigued to hear from you as you carry on is whether I've walked the line well enough of having Lily learn that about herself without diminishing her.

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Review #11, by nott theodore Confrontations

21st August 2015:
Hi Kevin! Back again, but as I'm on my phone it's only going to be a short review, unfortunately!

The title of this chapter was quite transparent, but I enjoyed the way that we got to see a different side to some of the characters here by watching them argue and fight with people close to them, especially because the truth about people's feeling often comes out in anger.

I have to admit that I'm a little bit glad that the first scene tool place and that Sirius was finally forced to think about his behaviour and that he kind of got what he deserved, to be honest. I think he's gone too long taking what girls want for granted and not treating them properly because of that, and it was only a matter of time before something happened to make th st change, I think. Shannon has always been portrayed as quite silly so far in this story so it was really nice to see her in a different light, unafraid to stand up to Sirius over what she wanted from their 'relationship'. He was angry, but he was so rude and I was kind of glad to see him being brought down a peg or do

Then to follow on from that, Sirius goes and has an argument with James and insults Katie in the process - he really isn't having a good day. I liked the way that James tried to tread around the issue and point out it wasn't unlikely for that to happen, given the way that Sirius treated girls, and that he stood up for Katie. It was also really interesting to see Sirius letting out his anger and thoughts about his best friend in the argument. Sirius seems a lot more immature than James and his best friend has changed a lot thus year, so it's natural that would be something he thinks.

The final confrontation was really interesting. Lily clearly wants very different things from a relationship that Lionel does, and in spite of his admission (which I found really interesting, and it's nice to find a story where guys are more reticent than girls at times) and the way they seemed to resolve it, I can't see the new behaviour continuing for much longer and I do think that Lily and Lionel won't stay together for much more of the year.

Sian :)

Author's Response: Oh Sirius DEFINITELY got what he deserved. Fully the point. And he definitely compounded things by having a go at James as well - something I think he is prone to when cornered. Poor James was caught in the crossfire between Katie and Sirius, making it tough on him to decide who to side with, but I think he certainly made the right choice.

As far as Shannon's characterization goes, her previous portrayal is actually part of the reason I wanted her to be the person to call Sirius out. Far too often such people (male and female) are taken advantage of by others and a lot of times they aren't portrayed as fighting - just crying about it later. But I wanted to turn that on its head a bit and show that just because someone seems superficial they have personal pride and thoughts and feelings that deserve to be valued as well.

As far as Lily, I know a lot of people are quite puzzled by her being so forward about the physical side of the relationship. And while part of that is to emphasize (as you previously noted) that girls and women enjoy that side of relationships as well, the other part traces actually to some of what's been alluded to with her prior relationship. In this vein, Lionel's comment that everyone has a past will prove telling because while Lily is a strong, independent person, she's had her conceptions about what a serious relationship is skewed by her own past. And when people learn of that past they may be a little surprised, but hopefully intrigued by it and how it should give what seems weird now some context.

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Review #12, by nott theodore Three Broom Closets

20th August 2015:
Hi Kevin! Back again (sneaking these in during the early hours of the morning when everyone else in in bed in a desperate attempt to meet my goal, especially because I keep missing review races) for another chapter!

I have to admit that when I saw the title of this chapter I wasn't entirely confident - it sounded like a lot of broom cupboards in one chapter, at least for the purposes that they're usually considered for in fanfiction. It's a bit of a trope at times I think but I did enjoy this chapter and I really liked the way that you wrote it and the content!

The structure for this pleasantly surprised me by how well it worked and built up to the end of the chapter. It certainly allowed you to focus on various different issues through the three different perspectives, and though switching around point of view so often - certainly within one chapter - can be a little much, it flowed fine here because you're using it with characters we're already familiar with and know about, plus the scenes continued previous events.

I liked James's frustration with the fact that he wasn't able to do anything about the attack Snape committed on the first years because there was no evidence - it makes sense to me that he'd want to get his own back in a way. I think that he definitely was sensible to avoid doing it himself, after the conversation with McGonagall, and that showed how loyal his friends are too him as well. In answer to one of your earlier questions (in a review response), I kind of feel like an occasion like this would have been an ideal opportunity to show James struggling at times with his change if you wanted to; something this far along could frustrate Katie, especially if he has to cancel plans for punishment, and add a different dynamic to their relationship. I'm not saying it needs it here but I think if you wanted to show James struggling at times (which might be a little more realistic, even on just a few occasions, because everybody slips up now and then) there are easy ways to insert that. Anyway, to cut a long story short, I liked that section and the revenge that Remus and Peter carried out on Snape.

The second scene made me feel quite sorry for Lily. I'm still really curious about the previous relationship that she's hinted at having had, but I have to admit that it does seem like she and Lionel may not be a great match. He is so polite and almost...disinterested in her and she clearly wants the more physical side to the relationship as well. I suspect it won't be long before things end between the two of them.

The third scene was great to finish on and it really served to emphasise what the differences are between James and Lily's respective relationships. It was pretty awkward for Lily to walk in on them but I liked how protective James was towards Katie (very much in his nature) and that Lily was so good about it.

Sian :)

Author's Response: Ahh, but Sian, your initial misgivings re: the trope-iness of it was exactly why I titled it what I did! I definitely wanted people to have certain expectations about what might go on in this chapter, only to have it go in a very different direction, with the only snogging being the very brief bit between Lily and Lionel and then Lily's third-party view, since ultimately the act itself was more a sideshow here. ;)

You raise a good point in re: injecting obstacles to his growth and that's definitely a course I considered, especially since missing time with her on account of detentions is something Katie specifically (if sweetly) warned James about. Fitting it in is the big issue, but I do think it's something I'll look back on. Truthfully, I'd have done it already, but I'm not a jokester really and so coming up with quality pranks is a tall order for me.

Since you've read on at this point, I'll only say re: the final paragraphs that the contrast was certainly a big part of the point of those scenes, along with James's protectiveness and Lily's reasonableness about the situation (not her strong suit when rules are broken).

Now I must move swiftly to all these other wonderful reviews you've left! I've fallen behind!

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Review #13, by nott theodore The Prince's Pain

18th August 2015:
Hi Kevin! Ugh, sorry for taking another break from this story - real life keeps getting in the way of things in a not-so-fun manner, but now I'm on holiday (though with an essay still to write, oops, and a best friend to entertain when she's not sleeping :P) so I have a little time! This is a phone review though so once again it's likely to be shorter... (Or as short as my reviews ever get, at least!)

The opening section of this chapter was great - and yay, I was right! I'm doing a little celebratory dance about that fact right now, hehe. Snape and his friends were behind the attack all along and they were the ones responsible for threatening the first years. To me that makes a lot more sense than any Death Eaters attacking the school, partly because of the reasons that you've already mentioned here, like the level of magic they were using and then the fact that it's still an incredibly safe place - or supposed to be. I also really liked the way that you highlighted the differences between the magic that Snape and his friends were using. Snape is a lot more advanced than the other two, creating his own spells, and while it seems like James might have held Avery and Mulciber off alone, Snape was a match for him - he gains a level of respect later on that only a talented wizard could in the company of Death Eaters, I think.

You captured McGonagall really well here; to me she's always one of the most difficult characters to write, but you did a great job of her dialogue in particular. It was frustrating for James that she wouldn't believe him (or at least didn't want to) that Snape was behind the attack but needed proof. It drew some interesting parallels with scenes from the books.

The second section featuring Snape was also really interesting. I like the way that you've chosen to characterise him and have picked out some of the personality traits that we see later on in his actions here. His love for Lily doesn't seem too intense here; we know he must have loved her (in a way, at least, but there's not time to go into that) to have done what he did later on and I can imagine that after their fight, this Potions class would have been one of the only times he could indulge his feelings properly without being distracted by his friends. It was definitely interesting to see his perspective again - he doesn't seem to have felt any better after his planned attack and I'm a little curious about whether he'll also try and take revenge on Lionel too now...

Sian :)

Author's Response: Always with the apologies! :p Seriously, there is no need - I hope you and your friend had loads of fun since I remember you saying it had been quite awhile with you being abroad and all.

You were definitely correct! Though it will become clearer as the story goes on, while Voldemort and the Death Eaters are actually QUITE interested in Hogwarts, they are more interested in conquering it in a different way. Now that I think about it, the whole strategy actually just gets laid out for you in a later chapter...oops.

I definitely wanted to make out in this story that Snape is very talented. Sometimes his emotions affect his ability around certain people, but I've always considered that if Lily and James are 1-2 (which I just think they were, it's my head canon and adds an extra layer to their early feuding) Snape is right there with them. We can say what we want about his morality and choices (I feel like you and I are probably on the same page there), but he's definitely supremely skilled.

I'm glad you liked McGonagall - and you're right she IS difficult. I spend so much time thinking about Dumbledore and how hard he is (and I definitely need to edit some of his scenes because they're just...bleh), but McGonagall is very unique in that she's strict, while being just and even-handed, but she's also got this quality that lurks beneath the surface mostly, sometimes coming out in a knowing look or slight smile or other small thing that shows more going on. I enjoy it. And though I didn't think about it too closely at the time to be honest, I guess it actually does parallel pretty well with Harry's concerns about Draco.

As for Snape, with him I tried to take into account HIS perception of his feelings for her. I think we're on the same page about his "love" as well. But what I wanted to show through it at the same time was the way that he perverts the situation, in particular the attack by he and his friends, so that he doesn't have to take responsibility for jeopardizing her safety. It's so easy for him to blame someone else. I think we've all been there, but I see an inability to be accountable to himself about his beliefs, choices, and path is so central to his character and wanted to show how it even tainted his "love" for Lily.

Thanks all the spectacular reviews!

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Review #14, by alicia and anne Ain't No Sunshine

18th August 2015:
I can totally relate to the weather in this first chapter, because it is the weather that I am faced with right now. :(

I love how he treats Tinka, he's so nice and lovely :D

I love how much he's thinking about his friends and Lily, it's such a fantastic way to give background information on what's happened and a way to set up the story.

Awww so James originally only was asking her out because it annoyed her, and now he has feelings for her. I love that this is what happened!

I love this first chapter! It's such a great start and I can't wait to read more! I am so excited!

Author's Response: Thanks so much for the incredibly positive words! It's always interesting because I end up having so many thoughts about how I want to go back and edit - not necessarily the first two chapters - but some in between of there and where I am now that these reviews always make me feel good.

As for the asking out, I've always been of the mind that James was really SO into Lily that he would ask her out incessantly like that. I just don't think it's "him" and I'm glad you thought that was okay too.

Hope to see you around again!

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Review #15, by nott theodore An Unexpected Partnership

16th August 2015:
Hi again, Kevin!

Ah yay, I really enjoyed this chapter! I mean, obviously I love Lily and James together, so I have been really eager to get to see them interacting more, but I know that they are both in relationships and it'll still take quite a while before we see the two of them together as a couple. Still, I really enjoyed getting to see the two of them interacting more directly here.

This chapter was really well set up and put together - you thought out the scenes so well beforehand and the two sections really complemented each other, with James and Lily duelling each other and trying to win in the first half and then in the second half being forced to join forces and duel together against an unknown enemy.

I really liked the duelling scene in the first half of the chapter - I think that the teacher was right and that the pairings need to be changed around so that people are challenged more and become more prepared to match what they don't know, especially if they're going to end up in a duel in real life - they're not likely to know their opponent well enough to be able to predict the different moves. It was a great idea to pair Lily and James against each other here, as they've both been mentioned for their skill and talent, so it was always going to be a tough duel.

I loved the way that you wrote the duelling scene - you did a really great job of communicating the way that they were having to think on their feet and try and match each other. In a way, I'm actually really glad that James won the duel, because he was so chivalrous about it at the end, but also because it might have reminded Lily that she can't assume she'll be the best all the time. I'm really intrigued about the spell modification that Sirius and James apparently often use which managed to get through her Shield Charm! And I think it's great that this scene has proven that James is definitely making progress with his efforts to show Lily he's just as good as her - even if that's not his motivation any more.

Lily definitely came out as a more flawed character in this chapter, which was great to see - she's arrogant in a way without realising it, I think; not naturally, but she's become so accustomed to being at the top of the class that she doesn't think other people can match her, which can be a dangerous assumption and I think that James will help keep her on her toes now.

The apology was well written, too - I liked the way that James was so magnanimous about it and his introspection this year has definitely made a lot of difference, while Lily found it difficult to acknowledge that he had actually changed and he might not be as bad as she thought he was. I'm looking forward to seeing them interact more in future chapters!

The transition to seeing them duel together against the people attacking the first years was great - it really highlighted that, in spite of all their differences, the two of them are on the same side when it comes to this war. I wasn't sure who it was attacking the first years but I'm wondering if Snape and the others were involved?

Sian :)

Author's Response: I'm glad you liked the set-up! It was one of many reasons that Lily HAD to duel James in DADA (others of which you also picked up very nicely).

With James, in this case his chivalry is actually genuine and honestly not a product of his quest for growth. He's big on honor (Gryffindor :p) of course, but he also does (and really always has) have a lot of respect for Lily's talent, including her ability as a duelist. Though he's certainly confident in his ability to deconstruct her and in his superiority over her in this regard, he knows she's a force in her own right.

Part of the POINT of this chapter was also admittedly to plant the seed that unlike many authors seem to characterize her (which I think owes to them taking canon commentary on her completely at face value), Lily is NOT perfect and the story isn't all about James being "good enough" for her. Suffice it to say it's going to take her awhile, but she's going to eventually recognize the flaw that manifests here because you're absolutely right. While James's struggles with his arrogance are more obvious because they're more open and he's more typically full of obvious bravado, I would argue Lily is actually equally arrogant, but because she isn't confronted with inferiority often, and bragging doesn't come naturally to her nobody much notices it. But here it's underscored by her being an incredibly sore loser.

As far as the spell goes, Osorio basically lays out that it IS a stunning spell. But because I've ALWAYS been incredibly dissatisfied with how easy blocking spells seems to be, I decided to add a wrinkle both the offensive and defensive side of magic. It'll be explained in a later chapter, I promise, but it's pretty straightforward truth be told.

And attack the first years? Snape and Co.? Never... ;)

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Review #16, by nott theodore Three Months

16th August 2015:
Hi again, Kevin!

I really liked the way that you started to introduce the conflict in this chapter - at three months, I think it's safe to say that the honeymoon period would start to wear off a bit and they would have at least one fight, even if it's over pretty quickly and they'll hopefully move on from there. Still, it's more realistic to show that they do fight than give James a perfect relationship with Katie, especially because I know you're going to have to break this one down because Lily and James will end up together.

I think it was a great idea to include scenes with James and Katie apart before we saw them together and the ensuing fight. It definitely helped to build up the reasons that they might have to fight over something and also let us find out more about them as people, too.

It made sense to me to have Sirius checking on James to work out whether he was serious or not about this relationship with Katie - James doesn't seem to have talked to Sirius much about it, and maybe at only three months in, it's a bit soon for him to be sharing those sorts of thoughts and feelings - particularly as Sirius has come across as quite immature regarding girls so far in this story - but it would be a concern for his best friend. I'm kind of intrigued to know what exactly has been difficult for James to get past the three month mark, but the fact that Sirius has picked up on it and isn't sure about James making it past it with Katie is interesting. It's good to see that James wants it to work with Katie though and he isn't feeling scared about carrying it on past three months.

I really liked the glimpse into Katie that we saw here. She's really hard-working but she does clearly struggle with some classes, and she isn't as naturally talented as James or Lily at things like that. That made me think several things - that I'm worried if she does get caught by Snape and the others, because I don't see her being able to defend herself very effectively, and that can't be good. I also wonder how long she can realistically continue feeling like she's James's inferior as far as talents go, even if he has no desire to make her feel like that, because that's not a healthy grounding for a relationship. From what we know, that's one of the reasons that Lily and James would probably be much better matched, as they're competing for the spot at the top of the class.

I was glad that Lily helped Katie, even if they don't know each other very well. It's good for Katie to have someone else there who's willing and able to help her, and it shows another aspect of Lily's kindness. I like the fact that Katie doesn't want to rely on James for everything, though, and wants to do things on her own.

The fight between them was well written and realistic, too - I definitely believed their reasons for it and the way that they argued about different things. I'm glad they seem to have resolved it for now, but I'm intrigued about how long they'll continue together for. Now I'm off to read some of the Lily and James interaction! :D

Sian :)

Author's Response: Haha, it was rather short-lived wasn't it? A by-product of me trying to avoid unnecessary levels of drama between two ultimately reasonable people who are quite happy with each other and needing to have Katie show she's not afraid to assert herself.

As far as James goes, he's actually quite unconcerned (see the conversation with Remus) about sharing this sort of stuff with his closest friends, it's more so that he's well aware of Sirius's attitude toward relationships and so doesn't bring it up with him. Before you put him through the wringer though, Sirius is legitimately interested and for James's well-being rather than his own motivations. I know I mentioned you'll find out more about that past relationship of Lily's in the last response and I can say you'll find out more about this "reputation" of James's as well. Though I think I mentioned this element in an earlier response, it probably won't be what you expect it to given the way people have discussed it so far.

And Katie is SUPER hard-working - part of why she takes such umbrage at her father's commentary about seeing James - and though she's more talented than she gives herself credit for, she's just not on James, Lily, Remus, Sirius, Snape's, or other top students' levels. I wouldn't take Snape's dismissal of her as inept though as 100 percent accurate though. He's vengeful in that moment and we know how that can distort the accuracy of our perceptions. The key with her is that she is determined to be independent, both for herself and in her relationship with James (even though she actively caters to James to a degree). That's a big part of why she accepts Lily's help though. First, she does know she needs it ultimately. But second, she sees Lily as another strong, independent witch and respects that and so doesn't feel as uncomfortable around her.

See you next chapter!

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Review #17, by nott theodore New Year's Eve

16th August 2015:
Hi again, Kevin!

After the last chapter and its intensity and darkness, I have to say that this one came as something of a relief, to be honest! It was much nicer to see Lily and her family celebrating New Year's Eve, and then running into Lionel by accident and maybe getting the chance to settle a few things between the two of them before they go back to school.

Haha, just the thought of being outside in Blackpool on New Year's Eve is enough to make me feel cold right now, sat in Spain :P It's definitely an unusual choice for New Year's Eve as a family, although the town didn't have the same reputation it does now, luckily. The only things that I'd say about the setting is that you could potentially have included a little more description to bring it alive even more (though if you haven't been there, I understand that might be difficult). Blackpool Tower is a pretty famous landmark to anyone who's visited the town and it's right by Central Pier, so I'd have expected some mentions of that, maybe, and the tramlines and the Christmas lights decorating the city. None of these are massively important details, but if you wanted to edit then something you might want to consider including?

With all of that out of the way (sorry :P), I really enjoyed seeing Lily with her family, and I think you did a really good job of showcasing the tensions that exist, particularly between her and Petunia, and the fact that their parents don't seem to know how to extract the venom from their relationship and are just trying their best to keep things calm for the four of them. It can't be an easy situation to be in as a parent, although I can't help thinking that if they'd been a little more firm with Petunia that they might have stopped the tensions getting as bad as they have done, at least. But you characterised Petunia really well - I can imagine her being that bratty, even as a young woman, and not thinking Lily should have anything unless she has it first.

The conversation with Lionel was sweet - it's good to see them together again and it's kind of unusual that Lily seems a lot more forward than he is, to be honest. He also seemed very self-conscious around her and was very aware that she'd been in a longer relationship already (which I don't remember reading about yet? But I could have missed it, sorry!) and I wonder how that will impact their relationship, too. I'm really looking forward to seeing what the two of them are like together when they're back at school!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Hooray the return of happiness, right?

Let me just say thank you SO much for all of this discussion about the realism of the setting. I was admittedly fairly lazy about the section - I just wanted the family to go somewhere not CRAZY far from an area where Cokeworth could be, but that had a pier :p and stumbled across Blackpool's Central Pier. I didn't figure it could be THAT frightening based solely off the fact that it had a Premier League team as recently as 2010-11, but that's what I get for basing things off of sports :p Is it really such a dark place? I'll definitely go back in and add the tower though - COOL INFO!

Lily's parents are definitely quite responsible for the Lily-Petunia dynamic. Though obviously Petunia should be more mature and deal with things better, the Evanses were actually fairly permissive parents and unpretentious, being of rather humble background. In my headcanon, Lily got her work ethic from her father, who with her mother staying home to raise them, worked himself to the bone to earn promotion from a floor-level job associated with manufacturing to achieve a middle-management role. They want their daughters to have everything they didn't though, hence the permissiveness and spoiling where they can (which mostly fell to Petunia because, well, the squeaky wheel gets the oil...).

As for Lionel, Lily is definitely the more forward one. You'll get some insight into why that is later, though you have to read it against his actions to get the real truth. Ultimately he's just SO concerned about being "proper" that he is exceedingly restrained. And I promise there's a distinct reason that Lionel is so aware of Lily's previous relationship. ;) I'm glad you caught it because I've kind of tucked it in very lightly a couple of places so it would be easy to miss, but will actually turn out to be somewhat important, albeit moreso for her relationship with James than with Lionel.

Get excited!

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Review #18, by nott theodore Winter's Chill

16th August 2015:
Hi again, Kevin!

Wow, this chapter was... chilling. I can't really think of any other words for it right now, to be honest, but I imagine that was what you were aiming to achieve when you wrote this chapter. The title fits so perfectly, as well, and yet at the beginning it doesn't reveal anything at all about what is actually going to happen in this chapter.

I think it worked really well, especially considering this isn't what I was expecting to read, to have this chapter from the perspective of characters entirely unrelated to the protagonists of the novel - at least, unrelated as far as we know. For a moment at the start, I did wonder if it was Snape and his friends when you mentioned that there were three figures there, but I quickly realised that this was far more serious and deathly than (I hope) what they're planning on doing. Still, it shows all to clearly the sort of thing that Snape and the others are aspiring to join in with when they leave school and become Death Eaters, which was really effective.

So many aspects of this were so chilling and horrible to read, but had such an impact at the same time. The Death Eaters were so cold and callous and removed from the humanity of the situation - I can't imagine how they walked into that house, and saw sleeping children and defenceless Muggles, and took pleasure in hurting them and killing them. I mean, it's exactly what we know the Death Eaters are capable of achieving, but you portrayed that really well here - it was so stark and blunt, in a way. I'm wondering who the Death Eaters in this were, whether the witch mentioned was Bellatrix, perhaps. I wonder if we'll find that out later on, along with the identities of the family who've been killed.

I think you did do a very good job of addressing the darkness that is growing outside Hogwarts and is going to start creeping into the characters' lives more and more. One of the things that I found really interesting here was the fact that they didn't put the Dark Mark up above the house - if you have the group not yet anywhere near its full power, it makes a lot of sense but also explains why there hasn't been as much consciousness of it shown so far in the story.

Sian :)

Author's Response: YES! Dun dun DUN! The war IS happening, so I figured it needed to manifest, especially given the role it will play later in the fic in a number of respects, and so I felt that things needed to be laid out and laid out in a raw, brutal way - and of course take readers by surprise.

I can answer two of your questions though! First, this witch was not 'Trix. She will make later appearances though. ;) And re: the Dark Mark, I was actually very torn on this because I don't think it's every made explicitly clear the extent to which muggles can SEE magic. Obviously they can see the results thereof, but can they see the Dark Mark? I want to believe they can, so since the POV character wanted to pawn this thing off as a muggle crime gone bad, he decided no Dark Mark. Also, I've always imagined it being limited to prominent or "prestige" attacks, rather than everybody just throwing the Dark Mark around every time they kill someone "in the name of the Dark Lord."

As far as their power goes though, I'm admittedly walking a fine line. I get the idea from the limited description of their first rise in canon that a lot more time was spent recruiting and indoctrinating and infiltrating the first time around before really becoming a public force. And so I've (admittedly conveniently) decided that since the Ministry had not yet fallen in 1981, that 1977-78 would be a realistic time for them to actually begin killing with frequency, triggering what would be described as "the war" whereas before it was more kind of hushed-tones, "crazy extremist" type talk going on.

So that's that stuff. You have made me think hard about it again now though! Thank you! Now onward and upward to my next response!

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Review #19, by nott theodore Family Fireworks

15th August 2015:
Hi again!

This was a really great chapter! I enjoyed the different glimpses that we got of the main characters and the beginning of their Christmas holidays, especially with the contrasts and juxtapositions that the different scenes here showed us about their home and family life. It's so interesting to see you build up each character's background a little more and find out more about them.

I felt quite sorry for Lily at the start of this chapter - her relationship with Petunia is really ruining the times that she gets to spend at home, which is such a shame, since she doesn't get to see her parents very often and her family doesn't live in the same world that she mostly inhabits now. I thought you showed that frustration really well and I loved seeing a glimpse of Lily's thoughts about Vernon, too.

Having said that, despite feeling sorry for Lily in her first scene, what happened to Sirius was far worse! He definitely goaded his parents and pushed them, but there are so many things wrong with the relationships in that family, not least of which that his father would turn his wand on his own son because he thought that he wasn't representing the family the way that he should be! I think a lot of Marauders era stories miss out the scenes when Sirius is forced to leave home, and it was great that you included them - the dialogue in particular was great there. I felt so sorry for Sirius, though - nobody at his age should have to endure that, just because they don't share the same opinions as their parents!

The second scene at Lily's house was such a sharp contrast, too - as infuriating as her home situation is, I can't believe that it would ever be dangerous for her - at least, not because of her family. Still, I can completely understand her frustrations with Vernon - there are too many things that I want to say about him and his thoughts and behaviour which I don't have the time for, but ugh sums it up pretty well, I think.

The gift that Lionel sent Lily was so cool and thoughtful! He seemed so humble in his letter, and in person too - if James tried to catch Lily's attention in the past, and his arrogance has annoyed her, it's almost like she's going in the opposite direction. Still, it was brave of him to acknowledge that he hadn't treated her the way she should have been treated before the end of term, and ask her if she would forgive him and they could try again. I'm intrigued to see the way that their relationship might go after Christmas, but for now, I can just say that the present he sent her is perfect and I want it, please? ♥

The scene with James and his frustrations felt understandable - I liked the way that you described his reasoning for not telling his parents about Katie, and yet still being stubborn and frustrated about the fact he wasn't going to be able to see her before Christmas Eve (or later than that as he might find out). Then Sirius's arrival was another really sharp contrast to the boredom James was experiencing - I'm so glad that the Potters are there and that Sirius knows he can go to James, so that he's not left alone and he has somewhere to go after what happened at home!

Katie's family was really interesting, too - I loved getting a glimpse into her home life. You wrote her parents so well, too; the dialogue and dynamics between them were captured perfectly and I could help but be amused at their reactions to Katie hiding something. I can understand her dad being worried about James, especially if he has a reputation and her grades aren't always what they expect, but it's kind of unfair to just forbid her from seeing him. I wonder how that will pan out - whether her parents' attitudes could influence their relationship in the end.

I'm looking forward to seeing what happens during the rest of the holidays!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Hello! You are spoiling me with all these reviews, but I love every one!

Since time at Hogwarts doesn't give a whole lot of avenue to explore family dynamics, I definitely wanted to take the opportunity to do so over the holiday.

Honestly, I almost felt bad doing what I did to Lily, barely getting home and then getting Vernon-ed :( I had a feeling you'd have a lot of thoughts about the delightful Mr. Dursley, but then, that's kind of the point. And my hope was that it both accurately reflected the future roles of Vernon and Petunia from canon, reinforced the toxicity in the Lily-Petunia dynamic - especially with the position she puts Lily in with her remarks, knowing her sister isn't typically going to lash out and will be forced to "roll with it" despite hating the way she's been described.

As for Sirius...yeah, he had the roughest start to his holiday of the folks covered, no question. I knew I wanted him to leave in this chapter, and not ignore that departure, or the Potters taking him in. The original was more severe actually, but I had to edit it due to the ToS. Interestingly (and I hope this came across), I've never been on board with the idea that Sirius was routinely physically abused, but I think there would have been such a flashpoint eventually and would be what triggered his exit.

As for Katie - yes, you got the first glimpse of the strict, traditional upbringing I was referring to in an earlier response. In her case it really comes from a place of love with her father, but he's a tough cookie. Just wait until he and James meet ;)

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Review #20, by nott theodore Progress

15th August 2015:

There definitely is some progress being made in this chapter - I'm glad that we got to see more of Lily here, and her date with Lionel, as well as the Marauders. It felt like a good time to see them all again in this story and see what they were doing at this point in time.

The opening scene was interesting - I do like getting to see the conversations and dynamics between Lily and her friends, and the way that they help each other and tease each other about different things. I think you capture the dialogue and their friendships well in this story - I just wish that we got to see a little more of them, and that perhaps there were a few more conversations between the girls that didn't focus on boys or clothes, because we do talk about other things :P

The date with Lionel contrasted very sharply with the date that Katie and James went on - to me, it kind of shows that, in the long run, Katie and James seem like a much more compatible couple that Lily and Lionel. I mean, first dates are always awkward (except, apparently, James and Katie's), so you captured that aspect of it very well. But there were some awkward pauses and a struggle for conversation that maybe might cause problems for Lily and Lionel in the future. Writing that out has reminded me that even their name as a couple sounds kind of cute and maybe the sort of couple that people would expect to stay together because they seem 'perfect'. Obviously there's a long way to go if they do have a proper relationship, but I'm intrigued to see where you take them. At the moment they seem to have some different views on things, and although Lionel is a nice guy, I'm not really sure he and Lily are right for each other.

The switch to the Marauders was written well, too - I think you managed to cover a longer period of time in this chapter than usual, but it still flowed really well and didn't feel forced or confusing, which large jumps in time often can, I think.

I really enjoyed the scene with the Marauders planning their prank! It does seem like something that is in James's nature as a bit of fun and I really liked the fact that, even though he hadn't intended to get so caught up in it, Sirius's idea for a prank really captured his imagination and James helped by suggesting things that would make it even more elaborate and amusing. I think it did work not to show the actual prank since it had all been discussed earlier on - perhaps you could have included a reference to how the Slytherins looked, covered in coal dust or something though, to add a bit more to the comic effect of it.

It really was a great opportunity to show that James is maturing, and also that Katie is starting to mean a lot to him - that showed when Sirius realised he was going to tell the truth, which is obviously something he hasn't done with any girlfriends before. Katie's reaction was great - the fact that she accepted it and finds their pranks funny, and doesn't expect James to change who he is (at least as far as pranking is concerned) for their relationship makes me think they could go a long way.

I had a couple of Brit-picks for this chapter, but rather than putting them all here in this review, I'll let you ask me if you want them pointed out in the future/for this chapter!

I really enjoyed this one, Kevin - and now I'm almost a third of the way through, which is certainly progress!

Sian :)

Author's Response: You're so polite! The beginning half of the story is supposed to be slightly skewed toward James, but really gets a bit too skewed and I don't think includes the Marauders or Lily-independent-of-James-or-conversations-about-him enough. But I'm glad you're glad they're back!

Blarg. I will tell you up front that one of my MOST CRUCIAL edits to the first half/sixty percent of the story (seriously, this is number one on my list of things to fix) is the characterization of female-female relationships. I am very much aware of the awful stereotypical nature of their conversational subject matter. As I was writing it, it tended to happen because at a lot of points I wanted friends' reactions to certain things, which in a story that's ultimately, even if not entirely, about a romantic relationship, tended to center on an opposite-sex character or appearance. Though editing won't come for awhile, I'm in a bit of a quandary about how would be most effective and would welcome your guidance. Do you think it would be best to leave the existing scenes and supplement what's there with more content that speaks to other issues or to replace some of them with scenes directed at other events/topics? My instinct is the former, but for some reason I'm just not sure about it. I feel like it could really drag out the story because I'd need more swaps and transitions, etc. that would have to be injected along with it to make it natural.

As for Lily and Lionel, obviously we know they aren't fated to work out, though it's for a different reason than you might first expect. I can say he actually does learn from the awkwardness of the first date and (hopefully) becomes in a lot of ways the type of guy that you would think Lily would find to be, as you said, perfect. But she doesn't, and though Lily primarily focuses on one manifestation of the real problem in the moment, upon later reflection she accepts that the real issue was deeper than the seemingly superficial (if, I still think realistic) problem that ends them.

Certainly though they're intended as a sharp contrast to James/Katie, which will only be underscored shortly.

With James, I also have to ask because this is something I've worried considerably over for edits - do you think the change is coming TOO easily for James? I feel like it is, and he needs to have some backsliding injected at points. But I'd be interested in another take.

And bring on the Brit-picks!

Thank you so much for all of this! You are seriously incredible!

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Review #21, by nott theodore Special Appointment

15th August 2015:
Hi again, Kevin!

It was great to see more of a focus on Lily again in this chapter - it feels like it's been a little while since we saw her at all, before James and Katie started going out, really, so I enjoyed seeing her again and finding out what was going on with her life while James was getting close to Katie.

I felt kind of sorry for Lily here, because it did seem a lot like the others in her class were turning up more to be tutored by her than studying together, and even then they turn up late, which is kind of rude when Lily's doing them a favour. It did showcase what a fantastic student she was, though, and the kindness that she'll offer to help other people with their Potions work too. And then Lionel actually apologising marked him out as someone different to the others before he decided to ask her out.

I did notice a couple of typos (I think!):
'Lionel on the other hand, despite being the latest of the three' - I think this should be 'of the four'?
'he had been as even more pleasant to talk to than he was to look at - you can delete the 'even' or the 'as' here

I was a bit surprised that Lionel was asking her out, but the last view we had of the two of them together was from James at the start of the year when he noticed them as partners in Potions, so it's perfectly plausible that they've got along well in their classes and Lionel's started to like her. I'm glad that Lily said yes - I'm looking forward to seeing what their date in Hogsmeade is like!

The later scene with the girls was written well, too - I think you captured their reactions to Lily's news well, and also the way that they'd have taken Katie's problem about James, although Lily's bias certainly comes out there. I had one CC for that scene, which is something I've already referred to in past reviews (and understand your reasons for from your responses) but a bit different here - when Alana says 'Sirius Black is chasing her skirt', it doesn't fit properly for me. I can understand teenage boys using the word 'skirt' to refer to a girl and what they want from her, to an extent, but I've never heard a girl use that word in reference to another (in this context at least). It's just something minor but maybe something to consider (up to you, of course!)?

It was nice to see Katie brought into the group a little by Marlene and Alana here, though - it'll be interesting to see if it happens more often and potential tensions arise between Lily and Katie in the future, or if they become friends. I really enjoyed this chapter!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Well, I'm glad you got to see SOME of Lily's kindness. It's a part of her I don't feel I show well enough throughout the fic honestly (edits...meh), which is especially problematic given how central we're told it is to her identity (though I HAVE felt that it's probably a LITTLE exaggerated given that she died young and such comments are almost always directed to Harry). But in keeping with that, unfortunately people do try and take advantage and she is not immune.

As for the "chasing her skirt" line, that's very interesting. I'll have a think on it. Perhaps it's a cultural difference, but I know I've heard plenty of girls/women use the phrase about others, especially in closer company so it seemed natural to me.

That said, when you notice things that are culturally inaccurate (including language, figures of speech, etc.) I'd absolutely love to have them so I can improve that aspect of the story. I always feel like other people are so much better at nailing that!

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Review #22, by nott theodore The Prince's Plot

13th August 2015:
Hi again, Kevin!

This was a much shorter chapter, you're right, but it was really interesting to switch the focus entirely and concentrate on Snape for this chapter, and his plans. I think it was better having an individual chapter for this because it would have been quite a switch to something we've not seen before, and it also served to increase the tension a lot more in the story, since there's a whole chapter in which we see his plans for revenge and nothing else.

Before I go on to the rest of the review, I did spot one mistake here that I thought I'd point out:
'Muggles who looked down on he and his family' - it should be Muggles who looked down on him
Also, I remember noticing in the last chapter that one of the characters talked about Katie's 'mom' rather than mum and thought I might as well point it out!

I think you captured Snape really well here; I am honestly not a big fan of him and so I don't read about him that often, but I did like your portrayal and the way that you decided to characterise him. I thought it was great to see the way that you explored the reasoning behind the way that he was planning on acting - the thirst for revenge and the anger that was driving him forward. I also really liked the fact that you came up with a reason - if he needed another - for him to hate James Potter so much. Right now, even before a relationship with Lily seems likely, James is still the one he sees as having taken Lily from him by provoking him to call her Mudblood. Of course, he's not examining his own behaviour and prejudices because of that, but it was good to see the way he thought of the incident.

I really liked the dynamics that you created here with Snape and Avery and Mulciber. I think a lot of stories only cast him as someone who's more of a follower, who is on the sidelines, and while that's true in a way - especially because of his heritage and the fact that he couldn't boast parents close to Voldemort - he was also a very talented and capable wizard, and I think that would have been enough for his friends to want his respect and to keep on side with him. The exploration that he did during his sixth year to invent new spells seems really creepy and worrying - and we know the results that some of those spells can have - but what's even more worrying is the way that he's planning to use them.

I'm worried for Katie, I have to say it. I can only hope that Snape is underestimating her abilities in certain classes, particularly DADA, but it's so unfair that he'd choose her as a target for getting back at James, when she's done absolutely nothing wrong whatsoever, and hasn't even got parentage that he'd be bothered by. It shows how underhand and malicious Snape can be and I can only hope that Katie's okay, and so are the others. I feel like this could easily be a new reason to cause conflict between James and Katie, though.

Sian :)

Author's Response: I'm glad you liked the perspective shift! Snape actually has what I hope is quite an interesting arc throughout the fic which (along with other chapters) helps provide perspective on the deepening of the war in addition to basically laying out my headcanon for Snape.

Personally, I've always found it rather ludicrous that Snape would be some feeble follower given his obvious magical talent, motivations, and his particular aptitude for the dark arts. There is little question I think that Snape is marginalized, however I've always viewed that marginalization as being more in the vein of: (1) not having any friendships outside his house other than Lily (which obviously ends) and (2) not having TRUE friendships in his own house either. Instead, I see Snape as someone who was able to use his skills to earn respect and to intimidate his way into a position of leadership. No one much likes or respects him outside of that, but in that arena, he is very important and influential.

Of course, critical to Snape is his complex, a big part of which (at this point) involves his hatred for James. And because he has had so much pain in his home life, and has felt let down so many times, another part is a developed inability to acknowledge that he has created some of his own problems. So who better to project them on than his enemy?

You'll have to read on to see what happens with his schemes, but the most important thing for me in this chapter was his character, so I'm glad you found it believable and realistic, even if very dark.

Thanks for such wonderful words and feedback again! I don't know how you do it!

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Review #23, by nott theodore The Price of Popularity

13th August 2015:
Hi again, Kevin!

I really enjoyed this chapter! It's nice to get to see more of James and Katie together, and even a little bit of Katie on her own, as that does help us to get to know her as a character a lot more. I'd probably like to see even more of her in this story, on her own or with her friends - just maybe in some situations that don't revolve around James, if that makes sense? - to get a better handle on her character and Katie as an individual. I understand that she's going to be mostly seen with James, though, and that a lot of her character and development will probably connected to him because of the role she plays in this story.

The beginning of their relationship was really sweet and not overdone, and I enjoyed reading about it. It's obvious that James really does like her, and that she likes him, and it's cute to see them getting closer and becoming a couple. James was actually really sweet about it all at the beginning, too, the way that he wanted to show her that she meant something to him - I can understand how that would be hard to resist when you already like someone!

I did feel sorry for Katie, though, in this chapter. It can't be nice having so many people talk about you so falsely, simply because they're jealous about the fact that James has chosen her. Girls can definitely be malicious and horrible like that, and I felt sorry for Katie being exposed to that situation so early on in their relationship; it's a sign of how things are going to continue, though, I guess. I am a bit curious about James's 'playboy' reputation though, because I haven't really seen much of that so far in this story - I know that James admitted he had that reputation and other people seem to take it as a given, but I've not seen much about it, and I'm wondering to what extent it's true and what it actually means, if that makes sense. He's only 16/17 here, after all...

I liked seeing a bit of fire in Katie, though, in the way that she wanted to hex the people who were saying mean things about her - I think that fits better with the sort of girl that James would be attracted to, from what we know of him, than someone who doesn't want to fight her own battles and just reacts by crying.

The conversation between James and Katie was well-written, too. I liked the fact that she didn't want to have her boyfriend fighting her battles for her and that she wanted to stay independent, but he wanted to help her and he cared about her feelings and what was upsetting her. I do get the feeling that maybe some of these issues could become something that cause more conflict between them later on in the relationship, since we know that they'll break up.

Oh, and before I forget, I liked the way that you introduced James going out with the other Marauders to spend time with Remus on the full moon without making it obvious that's what was happening!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Hello again!

Alas, Katie will almost exclusively feature with James or in relation to James going forward (at least pre-edits, that may change).

But as far as James goes, I can shed a LITTLE light without being too spoiler-y since I don't think it proves to be some huge deal later. James has pretty swiftly acquired a reputation for going through girlfriends very quickly. The reason this reputation has only been alluded to rather than substantiated is because the only element of truth to them is that prior to Katie he hasn't dated anyone for longer than three months. The Hogwarts rumor mill has assumed, based on that, his persona, and his close friendship with Sirius, that he too takes a "love-them-and-leave-them" attitude. However, what is later revealed is that the reason the relationships end so quickly actually has nothing to do with his taking advantage of his exes and rather his taking them for granted. Indeed, you'll find out later (so much later I haven't written it yet :p) that some of the people who talk worst about James and his so-called reputation are actually people who didn't want it to be known that they dumped him for being inattentive. Because James has had no prior reason to explore real commitment, he largely hasn't cared about it to this point other than occasional grumbling to his friends because he feels unable to dispel the myth.

I'm glad you saw and liked the fire in Katie. She's definitely supposed to be a spirited individual - which you're absolutely right about being James's type - at least now that he's starting to concern himself with people he genuinely is interested in, rather than just superficial connections that quickly fade for the reasons described above.

Hmm. That was a long diatribe...I'm glad you enjoyed the chapter though! :p

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Review #24, by nott theodore One Day in November

11th August 2015:
Hola! Okay last review before I go to sleep so this will have to be a shorter one because I feel like I'm getting a little incoherent right now, but this will also take my review count to 1290 which is such a nice round number and only 10 from 1300 (:D) so I have to write this now!

Opening the chapter focusing on Katie and her preparations for the day in Hogsmeade was actually really effective. There was a little scene in the last chapter too which focused on her before James arrived but I think that opening this chapter with Katie when James wasn't there - even if she was preparing to go on a date with him - marked her out as someone who is going to be an important character in the story. This isn't just about James and Lily any longer but Katie has become a part of the story too.

Another thing that the opening scene did was make me like Katie and warm to her a lot more than I have so far in this story. Maybe part of it had been because I love James/Lily together, but because we haven't seen that much of the real Katie, in a situation where both the reader and James can get to know her better, it's been difficult to like her completely. Here, in the opening and the rest of this chapter, I really grew to like her and I love the fact she wouldn't let her friends dress her up on a date for James Potter because that's not the sort of person she wants to be or be with.

The date was really sweet and well-written; I am so glad that they didn't have to go on a double date with Sirius and Shannon because they honestly seem like the sort of couple who would bore me out of my mind and who wouldn't have let James and Katie get to know each other the way they did.

I really liked the fact that James was so sweet and thoughtful on the date - he's choosing to show a side of himself to Katie that I suspect he doesn't show to many people, and I think part of that is because of the way he's tried to change this year which has allowed him to be that person with her.

After seeing them together here, I definitely feel like they're a better match than I did before - there's a lot in common and it was interesting to have the comparisons between their families as well, for the ways that may affect things in the future. The kiss at the end was cute ♥ I'm looking forward to seeing more of the two of them together and maybe Lily's reaction too, or the way she spent her day!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Oh yes...for better or worse, Katie is DEFINITELY a part of the story. I say better, though for some reason most people just REALLY don't like her. Personally I believe it's because she's presented as an actual viable alternative to Lily, but that's neither here nor there...

I'm glad you enjoyed seeing more of her though - and you're absolutely correct that despite that upbringing I mentioned earlier, and despite the fact that she'll ultimately prove "softer" around James, one thing she ABSOLUTELY is is her own person.

Re: the date and other elements, one thing I think people will hopefully realize about the story in retrospect is that Katie is actually more than a character in her own right ultimately. I won't spoil it for you, but I'm interested to see when/if you get there (no rush), what you think her other purpose was ;)

Shannon though...she'll surprise you later I think. She's not present often that's for sure, but keep an eye out for her again.

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Review #25, by nott theodore Aftermath

11th August 2015:
Hi Kevin! I know I said I was taking a break but since I missed the last review race sleeping and didn't review at all yesterday, I had to do a little to catch up again today! Plus you answered all of the last things so quickly and I wanted to write more to see your response (although you also make me feel incredibly guilty about the sheer amount of reviews I have piled up to answer...) (Also this is a phone review so bear with me on the shortness, sorry!)

I loved your prank ideas! It was really inventive to have notes going to all the people in the school in the shape of little animals - like Fred and George, even though their pranks caused havoc, you can't help but admire the thought and planning that they put into them! And having compliments on each of the notes - even to the Slytherins! - was a great touch, because all they could really get in trouble for was disrupting the school rather than targetting a specific group or being mean to anyone.

I thought you did a great job writing the scene with McGonagall too! You captured her character well and I don't think she's particularly easy to write, but I liked the fact that she knew that threatening their chance to go to Hogsmeade would be more likely to make the boys behave than detentions. She's one savvy woman. And they sent her a cat shaped note too! That was an awesome idea!

I really liked Lily's reaction to the note that James sent her. She's still biased and doesn't know what to think when he's being sincere but I think she is slowly going to begin to notice that he really is changing for the better - but by the time she notices, James might not be available anymore. I also liked the way you used that scene to showcase what a great student Lily is, and how hard she works and how seriously she takes it. If anything can push James to be a better student, then a sense of competition with her over grades will probably do the trick.

Now I'm also really curious what Katie's note said! It's clear that she likes him and I'm glad that, as we find out later, James isn't just pursuing her because he's fed up of waiting for Lily or because he's trying to make her jealous or something. I'd feel sorry for her if that was the case but as it is I'm interested in getting to know more about her as a person.

The scene at the end with Remus was great.I think he's the only one of the group who could talk to James about something like that and although I'm glad he defended himself, it's good to know that Remus will talk to his friend if he thinks he's doing something for the wrong reasons. That's a valuable friend to have - sometimes more valuable than one who'll stand by any decisions you make, at times.

I'm looking forward to the next chapters!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Unbelievable Sian! Sleeping? WHAT?! :p In all seriousness though, I am just super-excited to see you back because your reviews have all be SO helpful, especially as I am nearing the final half/third (who knows?) of the story and starting to think about edits!

I'm not AT ALL a jokester, so prank ideas are unfortunately VERY hard for me to come up with. And for the Marauders these were even harder because James is trying to walk the line of still pranking, but "being good" and so they have to be "nice" pranks and so that's where I ended up. I'm glad you liked them though! The only other review I got on them was basically like "Sirius is right, they are lame." Haha.

McGonagall and Dumbledore. Those two are seriously vexing, but I'm glad you thought I got her right. I'm still not sure on her dialogue (and I think I actually discovered an internal inconsistency in it recently), but the main thing I wanted to convey was how even though she knows she has to discipline them, a part of her is appreciates the Marauders (James and Sirius in particular).

As for Katie's note, I'm sorry to say it's never revealed what James says, so it's open to your interpretation ;) With Lily, you've already picked up an insight. While she will not push James to be more studious per se (he'll do it for his significant other, but he really doesn't regard himself as the studious type), but she will show him the value of different ways of thinking, which I have viewed as a big part of the conflict between James and Lily. Though it's easy for them to both focus on the surface - rule-follower and rule-breaker - later they discover it's more of a thought-process issue (at least in some respects) and come to appreciate each other's advantages in that regard.

And Remus, in keeping with his more mature characterization, will definitely be back. While Sirius and James will have conflict (because as James grows, they can less and less be each other's ill-advised "yes man"), Remus and James will get a little closer as James begins to appreciate the balance Remus strikes more (and seeks his counsel) - though it won't be without more challenges like this.

Thanks for the thoughtful review!

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