Hi Chiara! I'm so glad to be back reading this story again, I've missed it (and you!) Hope you're enjoying your travelling/hufflepuff reunion. <3
Oh wow that scene in the beginning with Remus trying to basically cut off all ties of their friendship, was so hard to read. It makes me so sad to read about very close friendships falling apart because that is one of the worst things a person can go through, in my opinion. Aghhh I just want them to fix it, but how do they do that, after what's just happened? I know it will take time, but I hope you fix it. Pleaseee
The Invisibility Cloak! I'd forgotten Harry didn't have that. It struck me as a little odd that James gave it to Harry whom he hasn't actually known for that long, and doesn't have anything near that kind of value to give to Dorea. So I think it was kind of unfair... but I liked the balance it provided in how Harry sees James, because in this moment Harry can tell that his dad loves him, even though most of the time it's more complicated than that because of everything with Peter.
Omg, Harry having a birthday party is like the best thing I never knew I needed. As far as I remember, he never had any proper birthday parties in the books what with living at the Dursleys' house, so this was beautiful and all his friends were there and adghajkf. So perfect. And Lily is friends with the Weasleys! Of course they are but omg this was so sweet. Also Ginny and Dorea becoming BFF's. Adorable. Though lol I kind of wonder if this is going to have any impact on Ginny's crush on Harry. I can see that crush totally disappearing in this AU, like I imagine Ginny telling Dorea who's like "ew my brother is gross and annoying, you'd be better off with a crush on someone else" XD
I like how you rationalized Harry's deciding to be called Harry instead of Jimmy, and how what ultimately decides for him is the mixed feelings he has about being part of this new family and his relationship with his father. That makes a lot of sense - and I suspect this isn't an issue that's going to be resolved easily. And honestly I'm really glad you chose to portray their relationship in this way. It's not perfect by any means, but that's what makes it realistic. I think canon Harry often projected this idea that if he'd been raised by his parents then everything would have been good, like his vision in the Mirror of Erised was just this happy family, but that's not necessarily how it would have been.
I'd forgotten about the Elvis thing though and that cracked me up. :P
This was such a good chapter and I'm really eager to see where you take this story! It's definitely started to branch of from canon a fair bit by now, so it's all new territory and I'm excited!
The goodbye between Harry and his family was a little awkward, but that’s okay. I hope they didn’t feel hurt by it—I think they might’ve expected too much from the beginning, and so they might be more disappointed with how Harry didn’t immediately accept them.
And Harry finally found out about Neville! Eeeek. I feel so bad for him; it’s not his fault he was kidnapped, like he said, and so for Neville to feel resentful of Harry is a little unfair. Though, perhaps it’s more of that Neville wishes he could trade Harry’s life for his parents…which is terrible and a little scary, but not entirely difficult to understand. THERE ARE SO MANY COMPLICATED THINGS HAPPENING. I’m glad that Harry thought to reach out to Emmeline Vance, about both Peter and Neville, and I really hope he takes her letter into consideration (though I feel like he won’t haha).
I love your Hermione. I just wanted to say that. She’s so caring and thoughtful, and Harry and Ron literally owe like half of their academic career to her haha. She should stand up for herself and not bother doing their homework this year. :P
“He was too small for such a vast universe.” Aww, Harry. You poor childdd. I want to hug you and take care of you so badly; he’s still such a baby and he’s gone through so much. Though maybe smothering him with hugs is not the way to go. :P
I really enjoyed reading about him taking the exams! Especially Snape’s hahah. Imagine being grumpy that a student is passing your class, like, that’s some serious pettiness right there. I really enjoyed Harry’s little interlude with Hagrid, where he got a sneak peek to the hippogriffs! You know, I wonder why they’re called hippogriffs. (Oops, that was a dumb thought. I just googled it and “hippo” is the Greek prefix for “horse,” so now I understand haha. Did you know that hippopotamus means “river horse”??)
Anyway. I wonder what Harry’s letter grades for his exams were! Like was it an Acceptable, or Exceedings Expectations, or Outstanding? Or does it work differently when his exams are make-up exams? In any case, I’m proud of him!!
Wonderful chapter! (Though I say that about every chapter hehe.)
AHH, NEVILLE. AND DOBBY. <3
Hahaha I forgot how annoying Dobby was in the beginning of the Chamber of Secrets omg. He was cute, but quite the troublemaker, and I remember wanting more than anything for Harry to smack him (which I just thought again, except with Neville instead). I thought it was really cute, actually, how you showed Dobby in his own home, punishing himself by passing iron over his fingers (ouchhh). I guess the part that I thought was cute was when his own mother elf reprimanded him when he was a little elf hahaha. Can you imagine baby Dobby??? That would be the absolute cutest thing in the world.
Neville sounds like he’s been struggling at home, which makes me really, really sad. He’s obviously dealing with a lot of unpleasant emotions this summer, and has been feeling increasingly isolated from his friends (though, in part because he hasn’t opened the diary all summer, Neville you dummy). The diary was such an ingenious method of communication! If only he’d relied on that instead of waiting for his friends’ letters…which were being stolen by Dobby. Though I have a feeling Neville was in part looking for an excuse to be angry at his friends, because of how difficult the revelation was that his parents shouldn’t have died.
It was really funny when Augusta Longbottom came in, and actually saw Dobby. She was baffled by his presence, of course, but I love how the existence of a House Elf didn’t make her bat an eye, unlike the way it would have made the Dursleys completely lose their minds if they had witnessed Dobby in the Chamber of Secrets novel.
I HOPE THE FRIENDS RECONCILE AHHH. <3
Aww, is Harry still talking to Emmeline Vance? It makes sense, though, he went through a lot of changes in a very short period in his life—and while I (and everyone around him) obviously feel comfortable calling him Harry, it’s going to be difficult for him. I mean, imagine having your name changed. It’s basically your whole identity! If someone started calling me by a completely different name, I feel like I would forget a part of myself, to be honest, and I really hope that Harry doesn’t start feeling insecure about that.
Remus coming and paying his way out of the Potters’ lives is terrible omg. He did do wrongdoing first, and just because he apologized doesn’t mean that they have any reason to forgive him. He kept their son from them for months, for the sake of the man who kidnapped the child! BE REASONABLE, REMUS. (Though I thought it was funny when Lily scolded the kids for eavesdropping and said that they would talk about it later haha.)
JAMES GAVE HARRY THE INVISIBILITY CLOAK. Secretly, of course, because Lily can’t now about it. But awwww that’s the absolute cutest thing. It’s like this one thing that’s been so important in the first Harry Potter novel has finally been given in the second. (Which makes sense because why would Dumbledore have the Invisibility Cloak if James is alive?)
Can I just say how adorable it is that Sirius called Harry “Elvis”?? I think a nickname actually is really good for Harry, because here’s this entirely foreign name that stems from an inside joke between him and Sirius, and so he can be called this entirely unique name without feeling weird about it. Gosh I love that “Elvis” is short for “Elvendork” hahaha, Sirius is the best godfather in the world. And it was really lovely seeing Ron and Hermione again, too! <3
Oooooh I’m so excited to read this story! The summary made everything sound really ominous, especially the part where Neville is resentful of a role that was not originally intended for him and wonders if there’s a reason he’s been put into Slytherin… Does that mean he actually wants to follow his fellow Slytherin classmates (or, the majority of them) into some sketchy dark magic? In any case, I’m reallyyy curious to find out how this story goes! Especially since the fallout from the previous Jimmy seems to have spread into this one, already starting the year with negative outcomes and memories.
Anyway, time to read! :D
I LOVE THIS OPENING CHAPTER, CHIARA. I love how Harry needed Lily’s help to understand his Potions requirements for the exams (and also how in general the Potters decided to homeschool him so that he didn’t have to go to Hogwarts by himself)—it reminded me of all the times that I struggled with math homework and my dad had to help me. (I think I felt the same way about my dad teaching me math that Harry did about James teaching him Transfiguration haha, though perhaps not for the same reasons.) But I thought you captured a really good like foundation for this parent-child relationship between Lily and Harry, though Harry’s annoyance at constantly being compared to James is definitely reasonable and should probably be addressed at some point!
I loved the way Lily explained Potions!! And how she said that beginners should learn theory, as opposed to just following recipes. I wonder if she still has an old fondness for Snape; the way Harry compared them to Hermione and Ron makes me slightly nervous haha.
DOREA IS SO CUTE I LOVE HER SO MUCH. I love how she ran off to Florean Fortescue’s, and how she jumped around in Harry’s room to wake him up for her birthday, haha. And that she named Remus’s gift of a blue elephant “Blue”! And has another stuffed animal called “Pinkey”! How is she so cute?? (And so unoriginal, haha. <3)
Is Sirius like Harry’s therapist, in a way? He seems to open up to Sirius in a way he doesn’t with Lily and James. And I quite like that, actually—of all the people for Harry to talk to, Sirius would probably be the one to understand him most, also having grown up in an estranged-family situation.
Poor Remus! I feel so terrible omg. Of course James is furious though SO IT’S HARD, CHIARA WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS AHH. Dorea’s last line broke my heart: She looked into his eyes, and he noticed hers were glistening with tears. "I-I'm worried for Blue... she's not feeling well..." Awww baby. Please don’t cry. <3
I’m prepared for a lot of pain in this story. :P
Wonderful first chapter!
I’m back again :D
I loved seeing everyone interact through the diary! It’s immediately obvious who’s writing what, even without you pointing that out, so I loved your characterisation of the friends! Ron is just like I was for all my school holidays, it would have been a rare occasion to find me out of bed before noon :P And of course, Hermione immediately jumps into a lecture about what to expect from the exams – I’m also very fascinated by her analysis of Neville’s behaviour – since Harry and Neville haven’t really interacted much since the whole Peter situation, I can see how she would think that Neville’s avoiding them all because he blames Harry on some level. She doesn’t know why Neville’s being a stranger, obviously, but I wonder if, on some level, Neville does feel like that. I’d though his reaction in the last chapter – wanting to smash Jimmy’s teeth in – was a bit extreme, but if he does subconsciously blame the other boy for what happened to his parents, even without realising it himself, that’s a lot more understandable. But I can see why Harry, who has his own hoard of problems to deal with, wouldn’t be at all sympathetic about that, and would view it as a betrayal, so – I’ll say it again – I absolutely loved your characterisation of everyone in that scene!
I also really liked all of the interactions with all the adults! It must be so irritating for Harry to be constantly compared to James, and to have people refer to James as ‘his father’, when for him, that’s Peter. I must admit, I’m a bit annoyed with Emmeline for doing that in her letter, after Harry clearly referred to Peter as ‘Dad’. I get her reasoning, but I don’t really agree with her. And of course, Snape would be even more irritated with Harry now that he physically resembles James so much.
I’m excited to see what the new school year has in store, though I’m afraid Harry’s wishes for a better Defence teacher won’t come true, at least not if you’re following canon in this :P
Hello Chiara, I’m here for the House Cup Finale!
Oh, that first section is so painful to read. It’s so incredibly sad to see how Dobby punishes himself, and how he’s internalised all those awful expectations people have for house elves. What’s particularly distressing is how his thoughts and behaviours are a giant vicious circle: Dobby’s done something that he’s been taught requires punishment, but while he does so, he obviously resents the fact that it’s expected of him, which in itself is deemed ‘unacceptable behaviour’, so he’s just going to fall deeper and deeper into it, with no way out, and you’ve really brought that desperation and the internalised self-loathing he feels across so well. And of course, there’s no way the Malfoys are ever going to rectify that, given how horribly they treat him.
I also loved the way you wrote Neville in the second section! It’s very understandable that he would feel angry at his friends seemingly abandoning him, and I can see how that would be exacerbated by a birthday party surrounded by elderly relatives who not only have nothing in common with him, but also make him feel awful when all he wants is to spend that day with his friends. His grandmother, of course, is often shown to be overbearing and belittling towards Neville, and it’s heart-breaking to see that here, this seems to be the case for all of his relatives. The immense relief Neville feels when finding out his friends haven’t forgotten about him, but that Dobby’s been stealing his letters is also very real and palpable, and I especially loved his reaction at seeing proof that his friends still care about him, written in the diary.
An excellent chapter as always, Chiara, and I’ll be back very soon :P
Hey Chiara! Here for our swap (and the story, obviously).
I've realized something... this was the chapter that I didn't get to beta because RL got in the way. But Merlin's beard! What a chapter!
I know that I've told you that you've written canon characters well before. You recreate the characters in this AU in such an authentic way. I think that is a strength of yours. Just when I thought that you couldn't any better that this, here you write Dobby at the Malfoy's. From his inner monologue to his fumbling words around Lucius, I can really feel and hear Dobby's thoughts as if he were in the same room as me. Well done! And also... THE DIARY! Yikes! I'm so intrigued to see how you handle this. Will Ginny still be the recipent??
And now the famous scene between Dobby and the Boy Who Lived: what an ingenious reinterpretation from the original! Chiara!!! I love how you've pulled some of the text from the books but then gave it your own spin. Neville's anger, while understandable, is so unlike the Neville in canon... my theory is that this is the Horcrux's influence (after all, Neville is in Slytherin in this universe). Having him be so grumpy towards Dobby, and saying "hell" and "ass" and his rage, all fit this AU Neville so well! And once again, the way you have written Dobby is on point!
I'm so excited to see where this goes! (of course, I've read the next chapter as a beta, but beyond that!!) What tricks and magic do you have in store for us, Chiara?!
Abby!!! Hello, my love! <3
Yes, this is the chapter you didn't get to beta. Glad you could review, though! ;)
Aww, thanks! I'm so glad you like my characters! I loved writing Dobby at the Malfoys', it was such an interesting perspective to explore! And yes, the diary... will Ginny still get it? Uhm... maybe? :P
Slytherin Neville is so much fun to write! :P I'm glad you liked my revisiting of the scene between Dobby and the Boy-Who-Lived! And that both Neville and Dobby felt "in character"! :D
Ah, I'm so glad you are excited! And I'm excited to share the rest of this universe with you, too! <3 (Although writing is going slow recently, I've lost a bit of motivation... hopefully I'll get into it again soon!)
Thank you so much!!! <3
Hey Chiara, I’m – finally – here with the review you requested!
That first scene is achingly sad! I just want them all to get along and be friends again! But I liked how we got to see more of how the situation affects Lily. Even if Remus was James’ friend first, he and Lily clearly got along well, too, and are still important to each other, so Lily, too, is under a lot of strain.
I also loved the family bonding moments! The interaction at lunch between Lily and Harry was so cute, and I can see they’re getting along great. I also loved the little detail of Harry being ‘grateful to be her son’, even if he says it still feels weird to call her Mum or mother, it looks like they’ll get there! While Harry and James, of course, still struggle a great deal in their relationship, but I enjoyed their bonding moment, too! James handing over the invisibility cloak must hold a lot of significance for him, and I can’t wait what mischief Harry and the gang will get up to at Hogwarts!
I also love that you go into more detail about Harry’s state of confusion about his family and identity. I definitely think not wanting to have the same name as James is a very convincing reason for wanting to be called Harry, even if it must be weird to get used to a different name after 12 years of living with it. And then there’s his complicated relationship with James – I feel so sorry for Harry that he blames himself for making James angry, and that he feels he’s not good enough. No child – or anybody, really – should ever have to feel that way. But at least he’s still got his friends who can make him laugh (even if that’s only inadvertently)!
Hey, Julia! Welcome back! <3
Yeah, Lily is under a lot of strain, too... glad you liked to see her reactions, too! And yes, I know, I want them all to reconcile, too... but it will take some time... :(
Harry really likes Lily, although he's still feeling uncomfortable at seeing her as his mum. Glad you liked their bonding moment. With James is even more complex, but they will get there eventually! And yes, I think the gift of the Cloak was a big step for them both... and yes, mischief is definitely coming! :P
Poor Harry, everything is so difficult for him... but things will get better. And yes, it's really lucky that he has friends he can count on and that can make him laugh! <3
Thank you so much for the lovely review!!! <3 <3 <3
Chiara!!! I'm finally here with that request! (And also here with my standard apology for any typos I may have missed as I'm typing this on my phone.)
First of all I'm so glad that this story exists. I know you have such big plans with this series and I can't wait!
Second. Lily teaching Harry about potions is possibly the best thing ever that I didn't know I needed. Of course we know she was talented in the class, and Harry in the books was never particularly strong in it but a large part of that was probably due to Snape's teaching style of bullying and complete lack of encouragement. So it was really nice to see Harry learning it and realizing it's not that bad. And Lily being so patient and explaining the 'why' of everything. She really would be such a good potions teacher if that was what she wanted to do. Yes, Snape may know more, but I found my supportive and enthusiastic teachers to be the best ones in school versus the ones that clearly knew a lot but didn't put effort into teaching.
Dorea is still the absolute cutest and I feel so badly for all this drama erupting on her birthday, especially because she doesn't really understand it so much. To be fair, she is very perceptive for a ten year old, but there's a lot going on here that she doesn't know about and she has no resentment towards Remus so the adults drama is just way over her head. Poor thing.
I also loved the thing about her new elephant which is Pinkey's girlfriend, haha. Kids are so funny and can be so open minded. I remember when I was a kid, my sister and I had a few Barbie dolls, as a lot of girls often do, and in all these stories we'd make up about them, two of the dolls were married. (We didn't have any Ken dolls and it just never occurred to us that this was anything unusual haha) I don't even think I knew what lesbian meant at that age, but our dolls clearly were, haha. And so I totally understand Dorea here and how she's like, 'well this is a girl elephant so they're girlfriends! Obviously!' Simple as that XD
But oh wow, things are so rocky between the marauders right now and I am so sad about it. I just want them to be BFFs forever, which is really hard when one put another one in jail and two of them are still sort of in love but one was working for Voldemort and secondhand murdered some people and the other knew about it all and didn't tell anyone. That complicates things. Mostly I feel bad for Sirius because he's trying to be on everyone's side as he wasn't as personally impacted as the others and it's totally impossible for him to stay out of it.
I loved this chapter and am so excited for this story! Love you!! <3
Kristin!!! Hello, my love! <3
I'm so glad that you are glad! I am pretty excited about this series and I can't wait to share all of it with you! <3
I love Lily! And I loved writing that scene of her teaching Harry Potions so much! Yes, I totally agree with you, a vast knowledge is not enough to make a good teacher. Passion and support are much more important! :)
Dorea is adorable! Yes, poor child, all that drama on her birthday was so sad and so hurtful for her... :(
I thought the gay stuffed animals' bit was a fun thing to include! :P And yes, children can be much more open minded than most adults... ahahah! I love your story about your barbies, that's so cute! <3
It is quite harsh for the Marauders at the moment and it will be so for a bit, I'm afraid... but also it's kind of understandable with everything that happened... it makes me very sad, too... but they will make up, no worries! ;)
Thank you so, so much! It means so much to me that you are excited for his! Can't wait to hear your opinions on the rest of the story as well! <3
Love you so much!
Hello Chiara, dear, I’m here with the review you requested!
So the first thing I notice is that Jimmy is now Harry, which is super interesting, and really makes me wonder what happened in the months since we’ve last seen him to prompt this change! At the same time, it doesn’t seem like he’s fully accepted his role as ‘Harry Potter’ yet, he still refers to Lily and James by their first names, or by ‘the Potters’, so he clearly doesn’t quite see them as his parents (yet?). I’m really intrigued by the dynamic between the new family, it seems he’s friendly, at least, with Lily, but they’re both aware they’re not treating each other like parent and child. It looks like he harbours some resentment against James, but I can totally understand that – a lot of children hate being compared to their parents, and it must be especially frustrating for Jimmy/Harry, who has to build a new identity for himself, to constantly be compared with a man he doesn’t even consider to be his father, especially since they are similar in so many ways. He’s being told that all the traits he considered to be his own – his interests, his talents – are just passed down to him from James, which must irk him so much. I might be reading to much into this, but maybe that’s why he calls himself Harry now; if he already has to share looks, talents, and interests with James, at least he can have a different name.
‘She sighed. Harry wasn't sure if she was disappointed in his behaviour, in his lack of understanding of Potions, or in the fact that he still couldn't bring himself to call her Mom.’ I loved this line especially in the exchange between Jimmy/Harry and Lily because it shows that both of them want to properly become mother and son, but just aren’t there yet. Perhaps it’s easier for Jimmy/Harry (it feels so odd to call him Harry!) to accept her because he never had a Mum, whereas James has got Peter to compete with for the role of Dad.
That’s probably also why it was much easier for him to claim Dorea as his sister, and I love the dynamic between them! I love that they’re already using nicknames for each other, and that Jimmy/Harry feels comfortable enough to ask her for advice, and that he’s already assumed the role of protective older brother! I also love that Dorea is so mischievous, and that she bursts into his room to wake him up for her birthday – as a younger sister myself, I can confirm it is our primary duty to annoy our older brothers :P It’s so good to know that there’s at least one relationship in the newly extended Potter family where Jimmy/Harry knows where he stands, and that isn’t confusing for him.
Jimmy/Harry’s emotions shine through particularly well in the party scene, I think – that’s like the epitome of a ‘Happy Family Moment’, so it’s very believable that he would feel uncomfortable and out of place in that situation, and I appreciate that it’s probably easier for him to deal with Padfoot rather than Sirius. I wish he could have talked about Peter a bit longer, but I can’t blame Remus for interrupting them. It’s so good of him to come to Dorea’s party to make her happy, even if he knows he probably won’t be that well received. The tension between all the adults in that scene is also very palpable, and while I can understand James’ reasoning, I hope they can work it out. Both of them have had their lives impacted so much over the past couple of months, and I would hate if they’d lose a life-long friendship, even if I can understand the logic behind it. That final scene also shows so well how everyone in the Potter family has been affected by recent events, in more than just getting additional family members, and I love how Jimmy/Harry’s big brother instinct kicks in at the end!
This was such a great chapter, Chiara, and I’m excited to see what the second year at Hogwarts has in store for the Golden Quartet!
Hello, Julia, dear! Thank you so much for this amazing review! (And sorry for the late reply...)
Yes, Jimmy is now Harry... I think there are many reasons for it. One is that he's really trying to adjust to his new reality, even if he doesn't exactly like it. Another is definitely, like you imagined, the fact that he doesn't want to share his name with James, along with all the other things he has to share with him. It is hard for poor Harry to constantly being compared to James, especially because he still resents him for arresting Peter. There are a lot of mixed feelings there and it will take a while before Harry will be able to actually see the Potters as his family, especially James, but he is trying and I'm confident they will build a real family bond soon. ;)
I absolutely adore the Harry/Dorea sibling dynamic! He is already very protective of her, and I'm glad you felt that Dorea's annoying attitude is believable for a younger sibling! :P Yes, that's one relationship within the family in which Harry actually feels at ease and it's good that he has it at least! :)
Glad you liked Harry during the party scene. I can imagine him feeling out of place in that situation... I wish he had more time to open up about Peter, too...
The James/Remus confrontation... that was pretty tense, indeed... I can't blame James for being angry, honestly, but I do wish they'll work it out soon, too... the recent events have impacted everyone pretty strongly, yes... :(
Thank you so much again for this great review! I'm so glad you liked the chapter and are excited for what happens next! <3