Hi! I’m here for April 2019 CTF.
I am highly amused that Lily and Sirius are in the middle of a battle in a public park, and still manage to both look cool and notice the state of each other’s clothing. Sirius’s remark about how it’s a shame that Lily’s coolest trousers were ruined by a curse took me by surprise and made me laugh. But, I think it shows us how young—and optimistic—these two characters are. They haven’t been in enough battles yet to know how to hyper-focus I suppose. And they haven’t seen enough people get hurt or injured.
And then, Sirius is mortally wounded by that pesky Sectumsempra curse. The ensuing action is disorienting and desperate as Lily attempts to care for Sirius, knowing that he might die. You captured the dire nature of the situation very well and it was a huge relief when reinforcements arrive.
I loved your characterization of Alice, even though we only see her briefly. Something about her calm, competent nature struck me as very appealing. I wonder if Neville would have been that way from the beginning if he had not effectively lost his parents before he could remember them.
I’m glad that the Healer basically ordered Lily to stay put and not to go back to the battle. I can’t imagine her doing anything other than getting herself—and maybe someone else—killed if she had gone back in her traumatized state.
here for ctf.
I kinda wasn't expecting this from Lily's POV but I love what you've done with this chapter. I thought it was really effective how you explored Lily's previous experiences of War in the opening for this chapter in contrast to this very real situation that she is now in something that she never really imagined before. I really love the bit when she was reminded of her childhood through that burning wood of the tree. I just like that little detail and the nostalgic feeling it has.
I love Sirius in this so much, how he goes to help Lily and his little comment about her trousers! I love that you've given up such a fun sense of humour even in this difficult time. I thought that injury to Sirius was beautifully played. The moment when Remus notices that Sirius is hurt. Lily's confusion and how scared she is comes across so clearly and it packs an emotional punch.
I love the contrast and humour that Sirius brings to this scene with his joke about Lily wanting to steal Remus from him and her playing along with it to keep the mood light. I feel like it's very Sirius thing to do to make jokes in time of need. I think we know that Sirius always enjoyed the thrill of battle but being hurt is something different to I did enjoy how you could bring that balance into this scene. it did wonders for characterisation between the characters too.
I wasn't sure where the ending of this chapter was going because I wasn't sure if it was going to be AU and I was seriously wondering if you were planning to kill off Sirius. It didn't seem likely but the writing felt that intense that I thought it was a possibility! I was so glad when Alice and Moody arrived to help them out. I wanted to say that I'm aware it's joint effort between the two of you. I thought it flowed really well and I can't really tell which bits are written by who honestly. it read well and felt really smooth throughout. well done!
- Abbi xx
Hey Kayla! Here for our swap!
You and Emma are such a dynamic duo, a shining example of one of the many benefits of a writing community such as HPFT.
The opening of this piece is harrowing in is descriptions of war. These images of trenches, air raids, etc. are familiar to me--not because I experienced them but because I, too, had learned about these wars wihle in school. But then your description of the First War, the one Lily has signed up to fight in... also harrowing. The more I contemplate the events of these wars in the HP-verse, the more I come to understand their complexities, their destructive natures--not only in outward forms of violence (which is more of what I imagined when I was a kid reading the books for the first time) but the systemic injustices, the mind games, the trickery. You do such an incredible job capturing this in the opening bits, and you show just how high the stakes are.
And then Lily's reflection of just exactly who the Death Eaters are... that is a chilling part of this story. It's so easy to get swept up in speculation because you want to see justice and there's a sense of betrayal (re: Severus) and resentment (re: Lily's dehumanization). It takes a lot of mental strength to bring yourself back to the present, especially in this battle, where, as Lily joltingly realizes, she DOES know at least one Death Eater, her former childhoos friend...
Poor Sirius! And Remus! And Lily! This is NOT good, totally not good, and I am fearing for Sirius's life here. At this point, people have to fulfill roles, and for Remus to keep fighting and not to stay at his boyfriend's side takes so much strength... especially now that they are all literally in survival mode. I love how you capture the uncertainties in everyone before they settle on a decision: Remus with continuing to fight after giving Lily instructions, Lily in trying to save Sirius's life through her patchy knowledge and experience of Healing, even Sirius's joke to try to lighten the mood...
It's a relief when Alice and Moody show up, and Alice, depsite being in the thick of a battle, is so gentle and reassuring with Lily (while maintaining her fierce Auror self). This is exactly who I envision Alice to be!
The end of this chapter... gah, way to leave a cliffhanger! There's some relief, some hope that Sirius is going to be okay, but he's been hit with a nasty spell, and even though they're away from the battle, the fight isn't over yet...
What a great opening chapter. I will definitely be back to finish it! :)