Hiya Cali! Apologies for the lateness of this review, but I am here finally! :)
This will be a conglomeration review of the first two chapters, with a focus on plot and characterization as you requested in your areas of concern. So I love a good Jily (as I'm sure you know) and this is no different! One thing I think you've done differently with characterizing them right away is actually making James rather studious -- he knows what he's doing on his exams, and he's not afraid to talk about his academic knowledge when he's got it, which is a nice departure from how we usually get him as a character. His thoughtfulness also comes through post-canon rudeness and bullying of his fellow students when thinking about his actions and the repercussions they have. And then you have Lily Evans, studious and proud as well, but in a different way to James. She's working through her feelings towards both Severus and his turn to the Dark Arts and James with his incessant bullying and tormenting of his peers for fun and because he's bored. She's also just trying to do her best, which is something I can appreciate greatly.
You've honestly done a great job with both of these characters in chapter one, and chapter two just brought even more lovely backstory. Not only do we get to see the home lives of Lily and James/Sirius, we get their OWL results (nice job, boys!) and see how Lily tends to spend her holidays. What a lovely friendship she's got with Alice, by the way (I'm assuming this is soon-to-be-Longbottom Alice, if I'm not mistaken?) as it's sometimes hard to write friendships that don't seem well-developed in fic. Even though Alice is three years older than Lily, they still have a good back-and-forth and the bond is evident in how you've written their interactions, so great job! Lily's regret and pain over her actions at the end of fifth year that you recount for Alice's benefit are expressed in a manner different to how you did it previously, so I commend you on that achievement because sometimes it feels like you're spinning your wheels when retelling events from a different perspective.
And what a way to end the chapter too, with a cliffhanger ready for the jump! Overall, I think these first two chapters were wonderful and you've set up your characterizations and the plot in a neat, orderly manner that will no doubt be ruffled by James Potter. :P Fantastic job so far, I can't wait to see where you go with this! Feel free to stop by my review thread anytime :)
here for ctf.
So I thought this was a really good beginning! I didn't think it was a problem that you use some of the events that we already know about to flesh out the beginning of your story. it's quite an important moment for Lily/James dyemic. I'm very impressed that you wrote from James' POV, I think as a female writer it's quite difficult to write from the opposite gender and getting it to sound natural? I thought you did a really good job though as I found James' inner monologue to be really good, I love how he does get a bit rambly but thoughts kinda flow from what think to another as must which is really how the mind works. It wasn't cluttered though.
I thought you set up such a nice moment between them, you've created such a great chemistry between these two characters which is so fun in that scene that they are studying together. I thought this might be a split POV chapter but it sticked with only one but I would love to get Lily's take on that scene because I thought it was very sweet through the dialogue you used that. I really enjoyed that scene because it showed there is a spark between the two and I can't wait to see more of that.
I feel very sorry for James in the last scene so I guess Lily didn't quite feel the same way as James about their night studying as he did. I loved how you showed this sweet nervous side to James which contrasted against the James in Snape's worst memory. I think that worked really well at layering his character up. Lily's words were ice cold, she is basically saying that she wishes he was dead. I think it's interesting because you've now got to build that relationship back up and I can't wait to see how you do it. This chapter was written to such a high standard. Well done.
- Abbi xo
Hi! I am here from the forum request (finally).
Hi! I’m here for April 2019 CFT.
You have done a marvelous job in this first chapter of taking a familiar story and putting a fresh spin on it. I love all the little details you put in: that the anti-cheating quills are scratchy, that Sirius keeps a ‘must date before leaving school’ list, that the ceiling in the Great Hall during the O.W.L. exam shows a beautiful, blue sky, perfect for flying in.
I also enjoyed how you portrayed James; his wishing that flying were a subject, his interest in Lily even though he knows she doesn’t like him, the fact that he’s better at Transfiguration than she is. While I’m on the subject of Transfiguration, I wanted to say that all the details about that were awesome. I loved the idea that you can’t transfigure certain things into certain other things because of their make-up. It’s so cool to see the thought you put into this.
So, onto Snape’s worst memory. I loved the description of James playing with the Snitch as though he were a giant playing with a tiny person. It shows us James’s tendency to want to feel like a big man on campus, I think. I also liked that the girls were splashing by the lake. For some reason that detail stuck with me.
You did a good job showing us enough of what we already knew of the memory, without rehashing it to death. I was relieved that McGonnagall showed up before James actually took Snape’s pants off. I had always wondered where the heck the teachers were while all the bullying was going on. I love how she dealt with the situation—she’s totally in control. I was also amused by James getting kitchen duty for detention.
It’s interesting that you have James overhearing the end of Snape’s and Lily’s friendship. I am glad that Snape doesn’t realize it, as it would have been the ultimate humiliation for him and I think it was wise to spare him that. But I do like how this is a turning point for James. He feels sort of sorry for Snape and he feels very sorry for hurting Lily—although he still doesn’t want to take responsibility. I like that Lily reaches out to James for comfort. But I like even more that the next day she rips into James. Because she’s right, if it hadn’t been for what happened that day, then she might still have been friends with Snape, at least for a while longer. I’m glad that you showed that Lily really did care for Snape and that you didn’t just paint Snape as a bad guy. And I like how Lily lets James have it about his bullying behavior. Hopefully this will be the push he needs to improve—because you’ve shown us that he isn’t just a cardboard bully either.
Anyway, I enjoyed this first chapter. FYI, I love Severus Snape (as you can tell from my AP) and I’m glad that you gave us a well-rounded picture of Lily, James, and Severus in this chapter. Nice work!
ok i'm here for your sort of requested review and i'm gonna start with the bottom
it totally threw me - why has lily suddenly made such a 180 in her opinion of james?
that said, it's an absolutely amazing hook. i love the balance between things we've witnessed in canon (although i know this is going to diverge away from that, i still love that you give the reader some familiarity!) and new scenes like james and lily studying together. that scene was so cute! but then the tables turn so quickly in the morning after the exam -- aghhh it's so frustrating, but i love it. i love angst so much. this was an amazing start!
- love, em
I'm back again for your request! ;)
Wow! This was an intense chapter! Things are really changing now and it's heartbreaking... I particularly loved the conversation with Theo (at first I thought of Nott and I was confused... wouldn't he be an aspiring Death Eater himself? You caught me off guard with the McKinnon bit, but I loved it!)
I feel like James has grown so much in just the small space of this chapter, being shown that things (and people) are more complex than what he perceives and that he's giving too much importance to things that matter little. Well, maybe not grown, yet, but he's been given a heavy push in the right direction, at least. And I'm wondering how this will change him in the near future.
Anyway, I felt so much for all the characters here. Lily, who is still so heartbroken over Snape (who is awful, btw). Theo, with all the family drama going on (can I hug him? Just quickly?) James, having to face the ugliness of the world and his own prejudices. There is so much going on here, so much complexity and so much pain and you did a wonderful job at portraying it all.
I'm sorry if this review is a bit short, I'm sure I'm forgetting so many aspects that I should mention but I'm still taking it all in. This is probably my favourite chapter so far, you really did a wonderful job with it!
Please, feel free to come back to my thread anytime! <3 <3 <3
Lots of love,
Hi, Cali! Here with your requested review! And sorry for the lateness...
This chapter was so good! Although, I have to admit, a bit too long? At least for my tastes? But I do realize that this work as a whole... I just prefer a bit shorter chapters, but that's just my personal preference, so ignore me. :P
I loved Mary's POV. She's so funny and sassy and observant, she's just a great narrator! :) Also, I have to say it, I adore Peter! And I'm not even sorry! Well, I adore all my boys, let's be honest! ;) (And that description of Remus' eyes? Oh, Merlin! I would gladly spend a hour or two just staring at his eyes... sorry, I'm being silly, I know... I just love that werewolf and you make him even more fascinating...)
But what I really love about the Marauders (I love that their name is a secret, but that they use the M as a signature... I'm sure I told you already) is the undying loyalty they have towards each other, like the way they all shared the blame for the prank... (which btw makes me sad about Peter... but let's not get there right now...) I just love their friendship so much!
And of course, Lily being her haughty, judging self... she should really step off her pedestal at times... although, I agree with her that pranking the first years the way the Marauders do is kind of cruel... the poor children are still trying to get accustomed to the new environment and they receive that welcome... it must be a bit traumatic, poor things... but I suppose we all know that the Marauders weren't saints...
The battle of brains in McGonagall's classroom! That was a sight to behold! (Side note: once again I love my little Petey, and his suggestion of having the students asking questions for once... he's adorable, isn't he?) Anyway, I love how you write the James and Lily and their rivalry, it's just so good. Roll your eyes all you want, they belong together. They are one of those couples, you know the one. They quarrel and bicker and fight all the time, then they'll kiss and realise they've been in love all this time and of course they'll grow up and get married and have lots of babies. This sums up Jily so perfectly! Very well worded, Mary! And great analysis, too! (Although they won't get the chance to have lots of babies... and I've managed to make myself sad again...)
Then the switch of POVs. I still think Lily is being a bit immature about the whole thing... not that James is a champion of maturity, but, you know...
I'm not sure if I like Professor Dumas too much... he seems a bit the Lockhart type, if you know what I mean? And I'm wondering what game is McGonagall playing by forcing James and Lily to work together... Is she doing it on purpose? Maybe she's just hoping that they'll learn to appreciate each other more and that would smooth down their constant war? Not that James needs to learn to appreciate Lily any more than he already does... anyway, this is going to be interesting. (Other side note: I love that James' prrotest was about Quidditch! So typical James! Ahahah!)
The very end... What exactly happened between Mary and Mulciber? We know from canon that he did something bad to her, that he attacked her with dark magic or something... but here it sounds like they were in some kind of relationship, too? Is this something I should have known and I forgot? And if not, is this something that will come up again later? I have to say, I love how close all the girls are, they all seem to have a really sweet relationship among each other and it's lovely to see! :)
I'm sure there's a lot more I should comment on, but I can't think about it right now... anyway, I really enjoyed this chapter. You have a really lovely writing style, with such a good balance between dialogue and description and your characterization is spot on and so well done!
I'll do one more chapter now, see you again in a bit! ;)
Lots of love,
Hi. I came back grabbing a chance from the forum review activity.
I saw much progress in this chapter. Lily tried apologizing to James, who didn't let it go so easily. I suspect he has much Slytherin in his characteristic, he had planned it from the start! He was adept at playing the mind game. How they kissed, the process, I enjoyed like seeing the scene from the movie. Throwing a stone to his girl's window, it's romantic for Lily, on the contrary, it's funny for Petunia and Dursley who threw the wrong window.
Each description of Lily's mind movement is beautifully written. The evening sunset, how she was getting attracted to James including his "amalgam eyes".
I thought it very interesting you put the episode about James's father who had a dream to become an Auror and collected the files about the old case.
And you wrote the other interesting spots here and there, running competence between James and Sirius and the duel training with Peter and Remus.
I feel for Lily's father who got annoyed by Petunia. She was written as a very jealous girl. I guess she would not be saved from the angst, sadly as long as Lily lived.
Many twists and turns! Wow, you must have put so much energy into this chapter. Another great chapter!
@Magical Menagerie 3, Team Wolpertinger
Thanks again for your kind review. I'm glad you enjoyed the chapter and the characters interactions with each other. It's nice to see Lily and James's interactions in my story appreciated like this. Thank you again xx
This whole chapter was full of fluff and fun and I loved it. I felt you write Lily's nerves about apologising to James really well. It was clear she was uncomfortable and I liked that it took her ages to actually get it out. It was a nice touch that they went to the book shop together too. It did make me laugh when people were gawping at them - they're feelings for each other are evident to the entire student body and their mothers!
At first I was surprised he didn't accept her apology, but then he turned up outside her room in the middle of the night like some romantic movie. Then they nearly kissed...and it was a dream. That was so mean!! Though clearly Lily has feelings for him. Very interesting!
I liked the boys' duelling game, it was very well written and a lot of fun. I always struggle to write battle scenes and this was done so well! I loved reading about how each of their styles are so different and how they find it quite hard to battle sometimes because they know each other so well.
As if James is being manipulative with not accepting Lily's apology, what's he like?! I really enjoyed this chapter, great job!
Tasha - For Menagerie and RvG - Team Red
Thanks for coming back! I loved that you enjoyed this chapter. It was written and re-written so many times that it was completely warped from the initial plot I had for it. In the end I liked this version the best so I ran with it. I'm glad you are enjoying the chemistry between Lily and James... it's still building though.
Well, yes, James was being wicked which is so like him so I allowed him his fun this chapter and let Lily believe he was being an arse.
Thanks again. I'm glad you liked the duelling scene which was pretty hard to write and had to be re-written several times. I almost gave up on it but it seemed such a perfect addition to this chapter that I couldn't just leave it out.
Thank you so much for enjoying this chapter! Makes me feel wonderful!
Thank you for the lovely review!
If you happen to read more do please let me know how you liked it
Tasha here for Magical Menagerie round two and RvG January Team Red!
A Jily and Marauders that I've never read... sign me up immediately!
This was a nice long chapter, those are my favourite. I liked the change in POV and the letters, it broke the narrative up well and it was always clear who's head we were in. The ‘mudblood' moment was brilliantly written. I loved that you used Legilimency here, which was such a unique way of portraying both their characters. It also goes to prove that Severus really is "up to his eyeballs in the dark arts" as Sirius actually tells Harry. Also, as IF you do that to your best friend, it's so completely invasive and rude, especially because he had to know he'd dislike what he saw there.
I'm glad Lily feels bad for yelling at James after their exam. She was clearly hurt and angry and I really hope she does apologise. Teenagers have such a tough life don't they? Bless them.
Still loving this! Xxx
Wow its incredible how much information you can recall just like that! I'd forgotten what Sirius had said to Harry when Harry talked to them after seeing the memory in the pensive. But yeah that does fit pretty well with what we already know about Snape. Glad that you like this different approach to the 'Mudblood' moment.
Thank you so much for reviewing! Hope you keep reading xx
Tasha here for Magical Menagerie round two and RvG January Team Red!
A Jily I've never read... sign me up immediately! I liked James' internal ramblings in the exams and that he loved to get Lily annoyed. Even though it's clear he wants to spend time with her and have her pay him attention, it seems like he really doesn't register that actually talking to her might work. Teenage boys, eh?
I liked that Lily invited James to study with her, he'd make a great teacher, even I started to understand the principals of Transfiguration. I thought the ending to the chapter was really sad, James clearly thought they were friends until Lily got angry again. I thought she had several valid points, especially with the Gryffindor comment, but that last line really got me. I feel a bit sorry for both of them here, Lily because she has lost her best friend and James because Lily finds it easier to blame him than to really look at the real reason behind their split.
This is a really great story so far and I'm excited to see where you take this one! Xxx
Thank you so much for your lovely review! I'm glad you like Jily and that makes this review that much more special! James and Lily are twisted and still at that age where when you read about them you feel like bashing them over the head with a frying pan for being so dense about their feelings towards each other. At least they do to me. There will be a lot of twists and turns for this pair in my head before they inevitably end up together. This is just the start :)
But I'm beyond thrilled you liked it!
Thanks again. xx
This chapter gave me the answer I had a question to in the previous chapter, like a penny dropped. Lily's regret was caused by her own response towards two boys, Severus and James. Your descriptions captured both characters very well. You wrote Snape and Potter the best of all I've ever read in the fanfiction world. I feel for Lily. It's not fair at all, Snape's using Legilimense upon her. She was so defenseless against being read her mind. Even she couldn't understand what was happening, how she felt towards James. What was clear, she knew Severus did a bad choice, joining the evil Slytherin fellows, which irritated him more, 'cause he couldn't stop joining them, the circle was the only way (he belived) to show his ability and he was satisfied with the fact that he could do something for the Greater good.
The spot, the scene of Potter manor is comforting after reading Lily's with Petunia.
James was lucky, born in a Pure-Blood family, his parents loved him and he grew up to be a healthy good guy. I like the way how you described his parents and smiled at the scene, how his house-elf surprised Sirius.
And again Lily's feeling towards James, I remember her memory about his eyes. I wonder how beautiful his eyes smiling at her while Snape did Legilimense upon her.
And the last scene, I am so hooked expecting what is coming. Lily has to apologize him soon.
@ Magical Menagerie 2, Team Griffin
Hey, thanks again for reviewing another chapter!
I'm glad this one had more answers to offer you. I'm also glad you liked the characters. Since its a character-driven piece I try very hard to see through their eyes to see what they may notice about a person or the surroundings. You are too kind! But I'm thrilled you liked James and Snape :) :)
Yes I think it's safe to say Severus is more than a little lost. His actions definitely have consequences and he probably lived his life believing no matter what Lily will stand with him. He probably never thought she would go against him.
James is definitely privileged and loved. He has everything anyone his age could ever want. I tried to incorporate how content he is to be the sole heir to a pure-blood home and fortune. He lives without worry as his life is decidedly comfortable. He's in a position none of his friends are and yet I wanted to show he was still brought up to be courteous and kind in contrast to Dudley and Draco.
I'm glad you are interested to keep going! :) Keeping readers interested is something I feel like I lack in!
Thanks so much! xx
I have to say, I haven't read a Jily, or even a marauders fic in a minute, but I feel as though you're might just be the one to get me back into the Era. I'm so glad that I stumbled across this little gem 😊
Considering what we already known about James Potter, I thought you did a really good job with his characterisation here. I thought it was totally believable that he would be bored during his O.W.L exams, and it was very well conveyed through his daydreaming and looking around the room at everyone.
Plus, the way he spoke to Peter? Damn. I can totally see where Peter could potentially come to resent James if he's consistently spoken down to like that by his so-called-friends. I actually feel a bit sorry for him; which is rare as I don't generally like Peter Pettigrew on principle.
And Lily in the end there? Oomph, she went in for James and laid out some hard truths regarding how he treats people, that's for sure. I have to say I completely agree with where she is coming from though.
But thanks for the amazing read, I can't wait to read on.
Hey there Rhi!
Wow. Thank you for the lovely review! I'm glad this story has possibly nudged you to read more Marauders' era fiction! I've always been partial to this era. <3
Thanks for liking James, I find him a notoriously difficult character to get right and I did try very hard make his voice seem real. So thanks again for liking James Potter.
James and Peter have a very peculiar friendship, hopefully, you will see in the future chapters. James is more exasperated here that anything though he can sometimes be callous, the idiot.
Thanks for reading and reviewing xx
Hello! I'm here for the Magical Menagerie event.
Let's get started, shall we?
I love a good canon marauders fic. Starting with Snape's worst memory was an interesting choice, with both pros and cons. (Bear with me, I promise I like your story!) On the downside, reading the parts that were very directly out of the books was not particularly compelling simply because, no matter how well written they are, I don't get anything new. It's the nature of the beast, not your fault. BUT, very much on the positive side, it also means starting right at the crux of these tangled relationships, a moment when Lily feels particularly lost. The scene itself was not new, but it paves the way for a lot of high-tension stuff to come, and I am now very excited to see where things go from here!
One choice you made that I have never seen before and find suuuper interesting is for Lily to blame James for her friendship with Snape ending. I think she's wrong, but I see her logic. Lily is so often written as having aturity far beyond her years, and this response feels very approrpriate and natural for a girl her age. Plus, it makes me interested in her character in a different way. I want to see her grow past this, to understand that Snape's behavior was inexcusable regardless of his own hurt feelings. (As was James' behavior, but not as severely.)
You've definitely caught my interest to see where your marauders go from here. I want to get to know your versions of these characters better!
Well done! :)
Thanks for the review! I do understand what you mean by pros and cons. It's a risk but I did want from the chance to start somewhere other than Kings Cross station where almost every Marauder's story I've read has begun. So I thought why not ground the reader to something familiar and build from there. I do have some difficulty grasping the reader's attention beyond the first chapter and as you said this could be the problem. I've tried to minimise the stuff borrowed from the books and give a fresh perspective to it. But I guess it doesn't appeal to everyone.
I've always believed Snape and Lily to have had a complex relationship and for Snape to be constantly pushing the borders of what one would call 'normal' in a friendship. Lily is still young when we start off here and its more a knee-jerk reaction to blame James rather than actually blaming him with reason. For now at least.
Thanks again for reading and reviewing.
Hey, so first of all, oh-my-gosh I love that you write long chapters! Like, at least 5000 words. It makes me so happy. A) because I like reading long chapters; and B) all my chapters for my current novel are longer-ish, and looking on the horizon of planning them, they are looking like they are going to be long chapters too. And I had a mini panic moment when I realized that my fourth chapter was going to be probably around 6000 words long. But then I see that you're chapters are long, and it just warms my heart. Yup.
Anyway... sorry for that ramble. I thought this was a good start to a story. James is so incredibly arrogant … I love it <3 Like, how he thought to tutor Lily in Trans because he’s better than her in it. Not “Oh, I can help her.” But straight up because it was the only subject he could possibly beat her at. Like… wow. But I love it <3 I love James’ arrogance and cockiness, and how he matures and grows up.
I’m real curious as to what it was that Snape gave Lily. It really changed her behavior towards James. It was going good, and I was like, whispering, “Good for you, James!” but then there was such a change the next day! But, props to you for making that conflict to contrast their behaviors. I’m looking forward to seeing things progress.
Also, Jilly fics are usually from Lily’s perspective. I think James’ perspective is more difficult to write. But that could also be ‘cuz I’m not a dude, and yeah. So good job in that regard!
I look forward to reading more :)
Written for Gryffindor’s GvR Competition
Thanks for stopping by to give some love for my fic! I really appreciate it!
I love long chapters and lengthy descriptions that really paint a picture. I'm not a particularly fast reader, I take my time and I love prose that's extensively descriptive because it immerses the reader in their world. So I guess that's why I tend to write long chapters. It's great to see that long chapters dont scare you away.
James is James you know. I've always thought of him as a little arrogant and eager to show-off but of course, these are fifteen-year-old boys we're talking about, it's natural I suppose. And yes, he'll mature in due time. Lily is inherently good in my head which is why she rationalises that she shouldn't be angry with James but she cant help be emotional when Snape strikes back. That's Snape, Lily is his blind spot and he's volatile around him.
Thanks for liking the story so far. Do let me know if you read more!
Thank you so much. So so sorry this response is incredibly late! I'm extremely pressed for time!
Thanks a million! xx
Okay, Cali! I'm here with one last review for your request (I would read more, but I'm so behind with my requests right now... but feel free to come back anytime!)
Oh, my Merlin! These two are going to drive me crazy! They are both so proud and stubborn... but that's the reason they are so perfect together, you know? :P
Also, I love how it was the other Marauders' influence that prompted James to never give up on Lily. I've never thought that might be the case (I've always imagined them ridiculing him for his obsession) but now that you mention it I love the idea. :D
Also, talking about the Marauders... I had no idea their group name was supposed to be kept secret... and of course Peter would be so bad at keeping secrets... did I mention that I love his characterization? (Sorry, I have a particular love for Peter, I think I might have told you already... anyway, I really appreciate how you are handling his character... and everyone else, too...)
All of James' thoughts about how the girls "transformed" in third year were so great! Ah, teenage hormones... I found that bit very entertaining. :P
Oh, and that prank! I've loved it so much! It's so hard to come up with a good Marauder prank, but you absolutely nailed it! So great!
I'm still not totally sure what happened between Quinn and Sirius? Like... the feeling I got is that they got too involved in each other and got kind of scared or something? I have to say, I like the way you wrote their relationship. That's how I've always imagined Sirius to be in regards to romance. The relationship he has here with Quinn is just the same as I've always wrote him with Marlene. I know, a bit cliched, but still...
As always, I feel like I'm missing the point with my review... (I have to confess, I read half of this chapter this morning, then my computer went a bit crazy, so I kind of forgot the details... and also I've been doing other things in between writing this review, so I'm kind of distracted, I'm so sorry...) Anyway, this was another lovely chapter! I love your writing and I love how the story is developing! Great job, my dear! :)
Lots of love,
Thank you once again for the lovely reviews! I love them so much!
I love that you are a Peter fan! You are like a rare precious gem! While I love Jily and I hate that they had to die because of what Peter did I don't believe Peter was always evil. I think sometimes good people lose their way. And I definitely think back then the four were a very tight-knit group and Peter would have walked through fire for the others.
I thought of the guys wanting to conceal their names because of a conversation between Lupin and Snape in POA where they discover the map and Lupin pretends its probably a zonko's product. if they were popular in school by their collective name Snape would've blamed the map completely on Lupin right? I was just working with that theory and it's just my take on it.
Quinn and Sirius, ahh yes the famous Sirius/OC troupe that I've written myself. I wanted them broken up because Sirius dating a friend of Lily's is a Jily classic and I wanted to turn it on its tail. Sirius and Quinn are not exactly a love/hate relationship. They are -as cliche as it is- complicated, both together and apart. Let's leave it at that.
Glad you loved the prank! Took nearly a year to think of it haha no joke! You're right. Pranks are hard!
Thank you Thank you Thank you so so so very much! I'm incredibly sorry these replies have taken me forever to write! Know that I read and loved your reviews as always and I hope you'll consider reading more! THANK YOU!
Love, Cali xoxoxoxo
First of all, I just realized that I completely ignored your questions in your request (I always do that...) So... yes, I would probably prefer shorter chapters (actually, that was more true for the previous one, this one didn't feel as long? I have no idea of the word count, I should check). But I'm a lazy reader, and even if the chapters are a bit long, the writing is engaging so it's not really a struggle. :) And it's definitely interesting to read, so no worries about people losing interest. ;)
Also, I already told you before but I love your characterization and I think each character has a very distinct and recognizable voice, so no worries about that, either. :D Basically, I think you are a great writer and that you are crafting a great story! ;)
But now onto this chapter! :P
Okay, so... I love adolescent girls being... adolescent girls! :P I really enjoyed Mary, Edith and Cait and their comments about the Marauders... and btw, I bet they would be a sight to behold. :P I also really enjoyed the short introduction about their characters. It was just a small paragraph for each of them, but it really helped capturing their personalities. I think it was a really nice tool. :)
When Quinn talked about the breakup I was wondering who he was... but I kind of feel like you already mentioned her and Sirius in previous chapters? So I should have known but I forgot? Because I'm almost sure you did... and I'm sorry... :( Also, now I'm curious... what happened between them? I guess that's going to come up again (also because I expect Lily to confront Quinn about this very soon, especially after her encounter with James...
I really enjoy Lily's inner monologue. I love that you are making her sort of flawed. I also really enjoyed how insecure she is, but at the same time how high of an opinion she has of herself. Or pretends to have, I'm not sure. Anyway, she's so much fun to read.
I love that James is kind of the opposite. His thoughts are always so earnest, it's kind of endearing. You are making me love him more and more. <3 I think it's funny how he was enjoying so much the attention he and his friends got as soon as they stepped onto the platform. And once again, I just love the dynamics among the four friends, you can just tell how close they all are and how well they know each other.
The scene with James and Lily at the end was just so good! They are so hilarious together! I just love how James unnerves her, he just knows how to push her buttons and I bet he finds it entertaining... and of course she's so very attracted by him at this point, even if she's never going to admit it (not yet, at least...) I love all her thoughts about his eyes... :P
I also think it's very interesting what she said when he asked her why she felt the need to apologize then, that she meant what she said that time, while it usually wasn't the case when she insulted him in general... it makes a lot of sense, too... I wonder how James felt in hearing that... anyway, I liked her honesty in that moment and I think it was an interesting thing to show.
So, this was another great chapter. Maybe a bit more frivolous than the rest of the story so far, but I suppose it's good to have a break from all the angst anyway? And it was all very believable, too, so that's actually nice. :)
I will probably review one more chapter tomorrow.
Lots of love,
Thank you so so much for reading this one! I know I know! they go on forever! Thank you for telling me the interest isn't lost because I often wonder about that a lot!
Thank you for liking the characters and their individual voices. I feel sometimes Lily's friends have a tendency to blend together or blend into the background and I didn't want that to happen here and it was indeed tough to pull off. Therefore I'm incredibly thrilled that you liked them and their voices.
Lily is quite fun to write and I like giving her a subtle flawed nature instead of putting her on a pedestal which hardly seems fair. She's a teenager after all. Insecurities and crushes that make no sense are all part of the territory. For James, he's got a bit of Peter Pan syndrome in my head and he's barely growing up and will do so at alarming rates brought on by sudden moments of wait for it... drama! Of course, there's drama.
I like writing the James Lily dynamic but for me its hard to get it right without losing balance on one end. Its a difficult like to tread. And yes I thought the angst would push people off the edge so I decided on a lighter tone for this one but still keeping it grounded without too much fluff.
Thank you always for your lovely words and thank you for loving Jily so much <3<3
Oh, my god, James, you are so sneaky! (Okay, not sure that's the right adjective, but I'm sure you know what I mean...)
Anyway, I'm here for your request, and I'm so deeply sorry that it took me so long... :(
I can't believe he voluntarily didn't accept Lily's apology because he didn't want her to just move on and consequently stop thinking about him... but I guess it's working... that's so subtle! But if it helps getting them together I'm not going to complain. :P
I loved the beginning, Lily worrying about how she looked in her dress... ahahah! She doesn't already have a crush, not at all... :P I just absolutely loved all her thoughts, the way she just couldn't bring herself to apologize till the very last minute... and James was just so lovely! How are those two so adorable? Just hurry up and get together! (Erm, sorry... I know that's not how it works and that I should be patient... anyway, the way you described James through Lily's eyes was just so wonderful!)
When James refused the apology I was so sad. But I sort of understood his point of view? (Which honestly made me even more shocked when I realized he did it on purpose...)
It also made me very sad the scene with Petunia. I was kind of surprised, because in my head she never really liked Marge, but that's just my personal feeling and not really important... I felt so bad for Lily, but also for Petunia herself, because her parents were actually a bit unfair to her. I mean, she's awful in the way she talks to Lily, but I feel like her parents did have a special consideration for Lily that they didn't have for her and that they were way too harsh on her instead and that can't be right. They should consider her feelings, too... but I'm judging without enough contest, probably.
And the dream!!! Oh, my Merlin! I really thought that was actually happening and I was way too excited about it... even if it was kind of strange that James would just turn up at Lily's house in the heart of the night like that... but anyway, I'm a bit upset with you for tricking me like that! (Kidding, I'm not upset at you. I loved it all!)
Okay... so... James' section... I feel like I've blabbered too much about Lily's and now I'm kind of missing the words for James'... I mean, that was just great, too! I especially appreciated that you showed us all four Marauders together and their strong friendship. It's the thing I love the most about them!
Also, the scene of the duel was so well written! You have such great descriptions and I've also absolutely loved how you listed all the strenghts and weaknesses of each one of them, I really appreciated it a lot.
The dialogue among them in the last scene was just so great, too. Actually, I've absolutely loved your style throughtout the chapter. It just flows so well and I could picture everything so well in my head and I just love your characterization of everyone and all the dialogue is so natural and the voices so right... You are just so good, really!
(I don't think I reviewed James' section at all, but I guess my complains at the beginning said it all already?)
I will review more after dinner, for now great job and thank you for reminding me of this story!
Lots of love,
Oh God, it's taken me forever to get back to these reviews! I"m so incredibly sorry!!! I've had a whirlwind year last year with too many life-altering events and too many exams! Glad to be done with it. I missed writing so much and I barely had time to write the new chapter and it took FOREVER!!! I'm so so sorry it's taken this long for me to reply back.
Your reviews as always make me smile ear-to-ear! They are so bubbly and full of happiness and I absolutely adore them. Thank you really! Your words are an instant mood-fixer. I think sneaky suits James perfectly though I tend to think of him devious in this particular context but really aren't they the same thing?
I'm glad you liked Lily's inner monologue, I'm always worried about POVs being confused as this is a deeply character driven story. I love your enthusiasm to get Lily and James together and trust me I'm resisting the incomprehensible urge to chuck everything and have them make out randomly. Let's face it that would never have worked.
I think James meant what he said to Lily when he refused the apology but probably decided it would be a bonus that Lily would be so mad she wouldn't stop thinking about this for the rest of the summer. Haha.
I agree with you that Petunia probably didn't like Marge but I think she definitely tried to cosy up to her as someone who was very close to her boyfriend. Also if it did appear that Marge and Petunia got along it would have been the perfect opportunity for Petunia to run it in Lily's face.
Hahaha yes the dream, that was mean of me! I concede! Sorry!
Thank you! Thank you for so much love and praise! I cannot thank you enough! I'm truly humbled and I'm grinning crazy big! THANK YOU! This means the world to me!
Quodpot Review: Match 1
After a wait that was entirely too long, I’m finally here with your requested review! (And I’m doubling it up with Quodpot for the House Cup, because I was in the mood to kill two birds with one stone.)
I really like how you used that Legilimency moment to examine Lily and Snape’s relationship over the years - it provided a lot of depth and nuance to the situation that I think is really important. Like, yes, the “Mudblood” line is a big deal, but it’s always been obvious to me that there was build-up to that moment - it was more like the last straw than an isolated incident. And also… how creepy do you gotta be to use Legilimency on your friend?? That’s so freaking invasive, ugh.
I’m also really glad that Lily feels bad about the way she treated James - like, yes, he’s a bit annoying (what teenage boy isn’t, let’s be real), but her attack last chapter definitely came out of nowhere. And yeah, she was upset, so she definitely has justification for it, but I’m glad she’s going to apologize to him for it. And I adore your depiction of Alice as Lily’s mentor-of-sorts slash big-sister-that-Petunia-never-was.
Just as a note, I’d recommend going through the chapter and fixing some of the spacing - the archive can be kind of glitchy with the way it handles spacing between paragraphs (especially if you copied it over directly from HPFF), and there’s a lot of times where there’s no gap between paragraphs and it makes it a little harder to read.
Lovely chapter - feel free to come back and request the next one, as I’m already excited to see how this next interaction between James and Lily goes!!
Thank you so much for your kind review! The spacing issue is driving me insane. It's throwing the narration completely off but thank for pointing it out I'll try my best to fix it.
James and Lily certainly do have their drama and I do see them going back and forth between friends and foes before settling into a relationship. They have a lot of likeable traits but they also have a lot of opinions that drive the other up the wall and I'm trying to explore that with this story. I hope it comes through.
And yes, I love Alice as Lily's mentor/big sister headcanon.
Thank you so much!
Oh... that'll be interesting.
Great chapter! James is finally learning, and I like the dynamic between him and Quinn, who is officially one of the most voraciously stubborn characters I have ever seen, wow. Looking forward to Quidditch tryouts, and I'm glad you didn't try and sugarcoat the truth about trying out the sport. It'll be interesting to see how you do it, and I liked the addition of Evane Griffiths.
Characterization is as on-point as always, particularly with Snape's cursing of James; I don't know if this is what you were going for, but the fact such a nasty curse was leveled at James is representative about how the stakes are starting to rise for the junior Death Eaters, as well as Snape's bitterness, since it would make sense in his hatred of James, who he'd blame for losing Lily.
Can't wait for the next!
Ahh, the last one *sob* Again I'm so terribly sorry I took this long to reply to reply to your lovely reviews! They've really raised my spirits when I've needed it! Thank you so very much. I've had a crazy year these past six-seven months but I hope I can write more frequently this year.
Quinn is my knight, so to speak, she's equal parts calculating and strategist and also brazen and volatile. She's a loose cannon sometimes. If she were a chess piece, she'd be a knight. I have no idea how she and Lily became friends or stayed friends for that matter, but I'm having fun exploring that. She and James have a completely different dynamic. Evane too needs more exploring and I will get her more "screen-time" later on.
Quidditch has always been one of my favourite things to write about, I enjoyed it a lot in my first fiction and I loved reading the parts with matches in POA.
Severus in my head had a personality and the skill to orchestrate such a thing and enough hatred for James to actually go through with it. Yes, I suppose these kinds of events would be like auditions for the eventual death-eaters.
Thanks so much for reading this story and liking it and critiquing it so well! I hope the next one does not disappoint!
THANK YOU SO MUCH!
Well, that was... explosive. Certainly the tipping point, I think, for James, after all of it, to do some serious re-examination of himself, with Theodore McKinnon (A relation, I presume to Marlene McKinnon? That will be interesting to see play out) and his father, as well as Lily and Snape. As for Lily, she'll have her own growing up to deal with, considering the encroaching war and Snape.
I think, though, besides the clear epiphanies abounding in this chapter, it'll be interesting to see how the fact that pretty much all of Slytherin House is being forced into the brainwashing, as you called it (Which, great job mentioning it; possibly the Imperius at work somewhere?), is handled. The lightheartedness of the last chapters, it seems, will not last. *Sobs*
Great build-up to the confrontation, and I'm excited to see how you take the characters and the plot (Which, I'm curious: will there be an overarching event, a la the canon books, or is it just a coming-of-age deal?) from here!
I'll be here for the next chapter, that's for sure! Fantastic story!
Mmm yes, James is going through a tough time :) What can I say? the plot needs it. Ahh Theodore... well yes, and no... You'll see. Hopefully, soon! Theodore is James's childhood friend who has grown apart from him. It's sort of a setting to show not all Slytherins are the same and being typecast can cause friction in relationships that really needn't have suffered. Lily identifies this point early on with Severus and tried to have him included in her circle of friends except she actually chose the wrong Slytherin to prove a point. Anyway, I think all wars have an effect on shaping young minds and how they think, either you believe in the cause, you're forced to align with the cause or you are against it and retaliate to it. That's the kind of set up for future chapters I wanted to show here.
I will, however, try to keep the lightheartedness alive! Promise.
I'm not quite sure of the final steps of the story if I want to go past their school years and into the war, if I want to do that in a sequel etc. For now, it's a coming of age with a sense of romance and the background of a brewing war.
THANK YOU SO MUCH as always for the lovely words, the praise the constructive criticism and the encouragement!
So, great chapter - love the friendship between Mary and Lily most of all about this chapter, especially establishing Lily's 'base', so to speak outside of James and his own friends. Also, the snark in this chapter is fantastic, and does a great job of establishing Mary's personality as distinct from Lily and especially James. And I liked the conversation about Snape's Legilimency, and the allusion to just what Mulciber did to Mary McDonald (Very interesting take there).
Quick things about the very beginning about Mary's POV during the Herbology class - she was addressing the audience during her introspective monologue, with the "don't look at me", etc, so unless it was unintentional, you should more clearly establish she was talking/thinking to herself, as it's pretty confusing and breaks the tone you seem to be trying to get.
Also, when you have her mention how no one knows what the "M" stands for, you have her call them the Marauders three lines later. Unless you switch to third-person omniscient for a bit there (Which looks entirely plausible, and in which case you'll have to clarify the switch), you'll have to watch for typos like that. WE all know what it stands for, but MARY does not, as established by you right before that.
Great job overall, and I"m looking forward to the next (And last, *sniff*) chapter!
P.S Poor Bobby... :D (Was that a callback to Neville I saw?)
Hey again! Thank you so much again for reading. liking Mary's voice and identifying a difference in her and Lily. That's the tricky part about first-person writing and I'm thrilled you see a difference in them. I get your point I have been a little distracted and allowing their voice in my head to translate on to the page. I am in the process of editing it all, and I'm trying to do it effectively with the little time I have, I will try to get them all done soon. Thanks for catching the changes and the typos! I can't believe I missed that!
THANK YOU SO MUCH! You've been fantastic with these reviews! I love them all.
Someone get Lily a James-to-English translator, stat. Or possibly an emergency surgery for James to remove the foot from his mouth.
Seriously, I love the fact that you're taking it slowly with them, but still keeping things going. They aren't in twu luv yet - though I think James would disagree with me - and are still working on building a friendship after years of...well, whatever you feel like calling it. It's a natural build, and you're incorporating outside influences in a natural way, like with Lily's friends, Marauders' pranking, and, presumably, more eventual ties to the Voldemort and the war. It's an excellent way to create a slice-of-life with everyone, and I'm excited for what's next.
Here's my usual reminder about grammar, tenses and formatting, (Sorry, I can be a bit nasty about it), but I want to note that you do actually break the fourth-wall at one point during James's POV, when he says "Don't blame me, Padfoot came up with it..." Unless it's crack or Deadpool, you don't want a character to say something like that in their thought process.
Characterization is on-point as usual - James is learning it's an awkward process, revising Lily's opinion of him after so long, and you're handling it perfectly - and I'm interested to see how the main plot will go!
Looking forward to the next chapter!
James-to-English dictionary! I had a good laugh at that one! Thank you so much for enjoying their interaction thus far, it's about to twist and turn quite a bit! I think James is a little -how can I say this delicately- naive when it comes to love and Lily is on the opposite end of the spectrum being all too practical about it. At least that's how they are in my head. I hope that translates!
I think there was probably a few people who saw the Lily-James relationship coming a mile away and probably some who encouraged it too. And there were probably more people who thought they had no business being together. I hope to integrate a lot of these people into the story.
Thanks again for picking up on the grammar faux pas, I completely understand and as funny as it is in my head it's not write to have characters speak to you from your reading. Thank you so so much again for all the love. I'm so sorry it's literally taken forever for me to get back to these reviews! I do hope though you know just how much I love and appreciate these!
Vengeful Lily Evans is the best Lily Evans, of course. And while I've never seen your take on her, I do agree with it here, and find it to be consistent. While she doesn't get angry at every little thing, she will - and has - viciously protect her friends and family. Great job with introducing her friends - very interested in where Quinn Jones is going to go - and you caught the awkwardness in the miscommunications perfectly.
Best part had to be James covering for Sirius with Lauren; I love how you're writing the Marauders' dynamics, and especially as you integrate them into the story.
As far as improvements, just makes sure to keep an eye on switching between past and present tense. There are several instances in the beginning of this story where you slip, and it's really very jarring in terms of the voice of the narrator.
Also, I haven't mentioned this so far, but should: thank you for not making Peter Pettigrew an Obvious Bad Guy, but clearly someone who could wind up best friends with James Potter and Sirius Black. It's an overused trope to make him obvious Death Eater material, and seeing him as a somewhat sympathetic character is refreshing.
Excited for the next chapter!
Terribly late I know! I'm so so sorry. It's been mayhem in the real world! I love when people who are generally nice have their limits crossed and go off! It's spectacular! I would love to see Lily do that at some point though I'm not sure how to introduce it to her yet. For now she's who she is. I don't really think of Lily as a predecessor to Hermione with the same sort of traits. I think while they certainly have their similarities they are different characters. I wanted to write Lily with a short fuse and some interesting vocabulary. We'll see how it goes.
Quinn is one a kind. She is tough and the coming chapters will show more of her character and I'm excited about it. Though writing and finding time for it scares me! :(
Tenses yes. thanks for letting me know. Sometimes I'm oblivious to it sometimes I pick it up. When its a voice I'm using to tell the story it's hard to stay rooted in the past for me when this character keeps speaking about events as if she/he's sitting in front of me. But thank you, it was a great help and I've since started revising most chapters and changing the tenses.
Thank you so much again for your kind words and advice! I appreciate it SO MUCH! Thank you!
James is a lovesick dork. And Lily is far up a river in Egypt. It makes my heart happy.
Also, the bit with Vernon Dursley is possibly one of the funniest bits I've ever read, and should be a more common headcanon. I can totally see Lily getting in the way there.
Well, I think this is the best chapter I've read so far. You do a great job with Sirius in this chapter, particularly with the Muggle knowledge, something he'd take pride in because of his family, which Lily wouldn't know about.
Just make sure to be careful with some of your turns of phrase. James, in chapter 1, wouldn't call Lily "Young Ms. Evans" in his head, seeing as they're the same age, unless it was to be cheeky out loud. Also, when you say James "reaches mechanically" in Flourish & Blotts, it's a bit of a strange turn of phrase, as there's nothing to suggest he would move in such a manner, emotionally or physically.
You do a a better job with Petunia here, mentioning Lily's "freakish" friends, how she isn't "normal", and the POV switches remain very organic, and flow with the story well. Characterization is really proving to be a strong point with this story, and you take these characters in their younger versions from what we know, and keep them engaging and new, while still very recognizable. You pirate a few phrases from the books in places that work very well, and it's generally marvelous.
Keep writing the good write!
Hey again! Thank you very much for more love! xx
I loved writing Vernon into the story like this which was a complete spur-of-the-moment idea which just struck me while writing. I sometimes feel Petunia and Vernon dont get mentioned at all in Marauder fics and just wanted to add them here.
I haven't done Sirius's PoV and quite honestly I'm dreading it. I don't want him to sound exactly like James because in my head they have very distinctive storylines and personalities. It just so happens that these personalities get along extremely well. I consider him a bigger challenge than getting James right. Hopefully, it will work out.
Thanks to your input I've gone back and fixed a few mistakes or odd wordings here and there. Thanks for that. I'm always incredibly glad to hear that the character POVs feel somewhat authentic! It's honestly such a joy to hear that from a reviewer! SO THANK YOU SO MUCH!
McGonagall hanging Sirius and James over OWLs... *Walks off snickering into the distance*
Well, you certainly matched the first chapter, if not exceeded it. First things first, the POV switch seemed to work just fine, but be careful when writing our actual characters 'thoughts' versus the normal narration, as the line can get pretty blurry. Your description of Lily and Snape's relationship through the years is excellent, and you don't skimp on how complicated it was. I like the shared traits you gave them, but also how you described the very human choices Snape made that drove the two of them apart. Also, and I don't know if you intended this, but during the interaction before the legilimens, (Which I've never seen before, but wasn't expecting! I'm hoping to see that explored further, because, wow...) you could see the bitterness in Snape making the grumpy berk we all know in the original books, especially with his "research" line, I got chills.
As for grammar and formatting, just keep being careful with that. There were only two mistakes within the entire chapter I found (I think you dropped a line between the last two memories of Lily's, and you missed an apostrophe when Petunia screeched on the owl), but the rhythm you keep in your writing, which is incredibly high-quality, is such that it's just really jarring whenever there's something you missed. Characterizations continue to be on-point - Petunia was hilarious, but be careful to prevent her from becoming a caricature, especially when you do such a nice job else where - and the distinct voices between Lily and James are both there, and I'm loving it.
Keep the great work!
So so sorry for my terrible lateness! I'm extremely stressed out thanks to my exams and work and trying to find time to study! Insane! ANYWAY! I love all your reviews and I loved hearing about what you liked about each chapter, it truly motivates me to write more. The last chapter took about two and a half months to plan alone! I kept cutting out things and adding new pieces and the last draft was barely recognizable from the idea I had in my head.
I truly appreciate you picking up the slight changes in pace, confusions between thoughts versus narration. I really do try to catch as many of it as I can before it goes into the queue. Its hard, I might have mentioned, to work without a Beta. Since I'm quite inconsistent with how I write and since I have to juggle it between work and exams and everything else its hard to hand in something regularly. Thank you so much for all your suggestions they really help so much!
The Snape and Lily relationship for me has been tricky to write. I certainly do like Severus's character because he had a lot of depth to him. But trying to build a friendship between Severus who had very little respect for muggle-borns with the exception of Lily and Lily who in my head stood up against injustice and was a muggle-born herself it quite difficult. So I love love love that you thought it came out well! You don't know how much that means to me! THANK YOU!
Thank you so so much for all your suggestions! I will patch up the odd grammar mistakes and try and minimise the grammar errors in the future.
Thanks a million!
- Cali xx