I apologize (wow, I had to retype that word four types because my spelling is so crappy) in advance for how short this review is definitely going to be - a just have to get my paws on the next chapter after that HUGE cliffhanger!
There was so much awesomeness in this chapter: the Sirius, Belle, James and Lily scene: LOVE! Love, love, love. I'd say something more intelligent and in-depth but I'm in a lazy mood. Drunk Lily: love! Bellaxtrix: love!
Okay, I'm going to attempt to sound intelligent for a few seconds now. I liked reading the interaction between Bellatrix and Rodolphus, mainly because I've always seen the two of then as having zero chemistry, so that was definitely very interesting to read about! But god, all her plotting and scheming was creepy - I literally had shivers running down my spine!
No! No, no, no! You have no idea how stressed out I got when James and Lily were captured and how desperately James was trying to turn into Prongs and rescue Lily and...HOLY CRAP MY EMOTIONS ARE ALL OVER THE PLACE TODAY! But you really had me freaked out there! And then Belle and Sirius came bounding in and I forgot for a fraction of a second that Bellatrix and Sirius are related and then...
THAT ENDING! MUST. READ. MORE.
I'm just going to go now, before I end up sounding like even more of an idiot. Onto the next chapter!
Courtney:)Author's Response: Okay so obviously I know what happens after a chapter and stuff, and I knew everyone would be okay, but this was one chapter that I got really emotional while writing. Just imagining James in the situation where he was watching Lily but helpless to stop what was happening to her, and ugh. These two had to go through so much, why did JKR have to take them away from us :(! WHY!
Ugh I'm currently working on a Bellatrix short story and Rodolphus is being a pain in there. I just can't fathom how those two ended up getting married.
I'm sad/happy I had you freaked out! Obviously we know they have to live through, but I still hoped I would get some people just a bit nervous, haha!
I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU'RE ALREADY THIS FAR. I was just thinking like a week ago that I couldn't wait until you got to this chapter, and now you're here! And you're reviewing them all and oh my gosh THANK YOU.
♥ Report Review
THIS. CHAPTER. WAS. AMAZING. That is all that really needs to be said in this review, but I'll waffle on anyway and try to sound like I'm semi intelligent.
There was so many wonderful things about this chapter. The whole thing was wonderful but that's not really the point. SO MUCH JAMES AND LILY FLUFFINESS! And gah, James was so adorable, offering to get two rooms at the hotel.
Loved loved LOVED the dinner scene with Vernon and Petunia. James' reaction to Vernon was great - I adore how protective of Lily he is. And Vernon was so...Vernon-ish, in the worst possible way.
Now, onto Belle and Sirius. Now THAT is what I call drama. Belle's parents really are awful - I don't blame Sirius for losing it. How could they bring in Christophe? How could they do that to their daughter! Gr, I honestly felt like screaming in that section!
God, I was so glad when Sirius punched Christophe and glad that Belle showed some guts towards her parents. And Belle and Sirius kissed! Yay! I'm so happy right now!
You can probably tell I enjoyed this chapter A LOT. And sorry if it makes no sense whatsoever or is utter garbage, I'm still so full of excitement from reading it and have this huge dorky grin all over my face. I can't wait to see what happens next!
Courtney:)Author's Response: Hahahah you're reviews always sound intelligent ;)! Probably much more so than my responses!
I loved writing all the James and Lily fluffiness in this! I'm so happy you liked that James wanted to get them two hotel rooms. It seemed fitting for him not to want to make Lily feel pressured or anything ;).
Eeek I'm so happy you liked Vernon. Him and Petunia would just be such a joy to have as siblings, wouldn't they? :P
Ahh I'm so happy you liked their kiss! It was never actually planned for them to kiss at the end of this, but then it just felt so right! And eek thank you so much for all your sweet comments on it! ♥
Thank you so much for your amazing reviews, Courtney! I can't even explain how much I just want to hug you! Report Review
Aaaah, amazing chapter!
The Bellatrix bath scene: I approve! Not that you need my approval obviously, I just felt like slipping that in there. I don't think I've actually ever read a bath scene in fanfiction so it was a very unusual (and creepy) experience. You write Bellatrix so well in all her insanity and creepiness. I loved the fact that she had to be in control, that she was testing herself by burning herself on hot water, staying under water for as long as possible. Give me your villain writing talent!
I loved loved LOVED the scene between Lily and Sirius! I don't why but the whole time I was reading it I just kept think of how Sirius got falsely accused of the murder of Lily and James and of all those years he had to spend in Azkaban and I just wanted to bawl my eyes out! And then you mentioned Peter's crappy dad and I felt even worse! In the best possible way!
Love the little scene between Sirius and James and James' parents (who are the best, by the way). I love (overkill of that word, I know) how easily Sirius is able to fit in and how Olivia and William see him as a second son.
I also enjoyed the scenes at Alice's house. It was definitely interesting, to say the least, to get a little glimpse into her life. Her parents seem like very stuffy people - it's a wonder Alice turned out so normal!
I am definitely looking forward to the next chapter - luckily I don't have to look forward for very long because I am going to read it right now!
Courtney:)Author's Response: I don't think I realized how odd writing her in the bath was until after I wrote it, haha. But I really liked the idea of her testing her own control though, even somewhere that most people feel relaxed. Poor crazy Bellatrix :P
Hahah I'm so happy you like how I write the baddies! It's definitely got to be a bit of an addiction.
I knowww isn't it so sad to think how someone who loved his friends so much, and cared so much had to pay for their death? Bah now I'm getting all sad!
When I first started this I had a hard time trying to figure out what to do with Alice's parents. We know they aren't involved in Neville's life at all, so something happened with them. I didn't want to kill them because we already had to say goodbye to Lily's parents, and eventually James's ;(. So that's kind of the base of their characterization. Their not bad people, just very engrossed in their own lives.
Can I just say how shocked I am that you're still reading this? I wish I could reach through my computer and hug you!
Haha, I love the fact that James and Sirius shorted Butterscotch's name to 'Scotch'- that definitely seems like something they would do and I loved how Lily was so disapproving of their little nickname.
And she referred to James as her boyfriend! *squeals dramatically* I'm so excited!
It was quite nice to have a little section from McGonagall's point of view in this chapter - I love how worried she is about James and Lily and her thoughts on having the Hogwarts castle much emptier than usual. It was definitely a great addition to the chapter, and I actually really like the way you characterize McGonagall!
I also like the way you ended this chapter with the friends all together, chatting away as the headed home for the holidays. And I was definitely having some strong Jily feels in this chapter! I think Christmas with the Potters would be a very lively, warm affair, and I am definitely looking forward to reading about it!
Courtney:)Author's Response: Hahaha it seems pretty appropriate for James and Sirius to want to shorter Butterscotch's name into that, doesn't it? ;)
Hahaha yay!! I love dramatic squeals!!
Writing McGonagall is still such a scary thing for me. She's nearly as scary as Dumbledore. But at the same time, I love what she can do for a chapter. And I figure I'll be writing her a lot more in book two so I better toughen up and practice now ;).
Anything on the train is always fun for me to write. Just that feeling you get from the leaving Hogwarts or coming back to Hogwarts... it was always my favorite part of the books. Well, maybe not favorite, but one of them :P
Okay, I seriously hope these responses are making sense. They make sense in my head, but as I mentioned I have strep throat so I might just be talking nonsense. Haha.
Thank you so much, Courtney!! ♥
Wow, it has been about a week since I have reviewed this story, and boy do I miss it! I was really enjoying this holidays, actually, with all that spare time in which I could sit down on the couch with my laptop and a pile of food and read and write until my heart was content. Now I have zero time and I'm so glad to be back to this magnificent story!
The idea of Lily actually enjoying her detentions made me laugh. She really is such a great character and I love the way you have developed each aspect of her personality. She seems like a very precise sort of person, especially in this chapter. I think she would make a very good Healer!
Oooh, Remus! The way you described his injuries really made me wince and Lily's reactions when she saw him were perfect. It was clear that Remus was extremely uncomfortable with the situation, but Lily kept pressing his anyway, determined to find out the truth and to help her friend, rather than let him suffer on his own. I honestly felt so sorry for Remus in this chapter and was happy when he sort of told Lily the truth.
And then, when Lily went out and began to cry for everything that Remus had been through, I actually realized my own eyes were watering, which shows just how great a writer you really are! I love how compassionate she is and I also love that we got to see a bit more of the Remus/Lily friendship in this chapter, because I've always seen the two of them as having reasonably similar personalities - at least in some respects.
The Belle and Sirius scene was great, too. I liked the addition of Sirius' story about he left home and I extremely curious about this scar of his, now. I think it is fair to say that I am looking forward to reading about the Christmas holidays - with Sirius and Belle going to France and James and Lily going to the wedding, it should definitely be interesting, to say the least!
Courtney:)Author's Response: Courtney! You are spoiling me so much!!! I'm laying in bed with strep throat and feel so pathetic, that having all your amazing reviews is such an awesome treat ♥
I like what you said about her being a precise sort of person, and completely agree. I'm so happy that you like how I'm developing her. She was one of the most intimidating parts about starting this story, but now that I'm at the point where she sort of writes herself, I really enjoy working on her.
I don't like the whole, I'm a werewolf, chapters in the Marauders fics. I think that Remus would have done everything he could not to tell her, even if she already knew. So making it clear that she knows, and that he knows that she knows, but not really having him give her an answer felt like the best way to go. And I totally agree with what you said about them having similar personalities. I think they do, too.
Aww I wish I could say I was sorry for making you tear up, but I'd be lying :P.
Now that you're passed the Christmas chapters, you know just how interesting it was ;). And Sirius seems like someone who would wear scars well, doesn't he? Not that I want him to have them, but I think it would just enhance his dangerous sort of feeling. Okay, I'm done gushing over Sirius. Really, half the time i'm tempted to change Belle's name to Jami ;).
Thank you so much for another amazing review ♥ Report Review
Head boy and girl don't share a dorm and book titles are slanted, not underlined. Also sometimes you put periods at the ends of quotes and they were supposed to be commas. Do you have an editer?
"Lily smiled a she said the words" That doesn't make sense
Never read Marauders like this before so I guess I'll keep goingAuthor's Response: Hi there! We actually aren't sure if head boy and girl share dorms or not. But in Britain at wealthier boarding schools the head students are awarded their own dorm as a reward for their accomplishment :) Since JKR follows the wealthy boarding school pattern (with giving prefects special privileges) it made most sense in my opinion to stick with tradition.
I do have an editor :)! But even numerous read throughs can't get every error. With that sentence, it should be 'smiled as she said the words.'
Thanks so much for the review! I hope you enjoy this if you continue :)! Report Review
Hello again :)
Aww the pictures are so cute. You really did think this present thing through so well. Your James and Lily are everything I expected them to be from what JK told us and every encounter between them just makes me so so happy. I love them. I have such a soft spot for James! When he's thinking about Lily and his relationship with her it just makes me smile. You have all of his character absolutely spot on. From thinking of how much Lily fits in with his home life to being worried about losing her and thinking of all their past including a certain Slytherin. The part with his mum in particular I felt I could really relate to as I see the same thing with my bf and my dad and it always makes me so happy to see they're getting on and like seeing each other. I also like how James is sorry for the terrible things he did but theres still the rivalry there that will never go. I think you have him in the right place regarding Snape.
I like that you've had James deduce the fact someones watching them. It was very similar to reading Harry have a conversation with Hermione and Ron when he's figured something similar out so that was good to see. I love it when we see something in James and Lily that is very Harry.
Ooh I love the origins of spells too! Interesting idea having Snape be the inventor of that spell, although very believable after we know he made up others. I like it!
Ooh I don't know who's side I'm on with the Sirius/Belle thing. Sirius anger wasn't uncalled for but he did act before he'd thought everything through and it would have gotten him into trouble if the boys weren't there. Maybe it's because we were in his head so to speak but I totally understand why he asked Belle to leave. He didn't want her to see that side of him. He should know better though and if I had been in Belles position I would be angry at him. Especially as he knows she has her own family issues and he helped her. Oh it's too much to wrap my head around. I just hope they don't argue for too long about it.
Another really great chapter here. I love that the gang are working out things steadily. It all leads up well to them being in the order eventually. I'm so excited that I can keep reading!
Lauren :)Author's Response: Lauren Lauren ♥ I'm way too excited to be replying to your reviews again.
I'm sure I've told you before how important giving the characters a story they deserve is to me, so knowing you think I have them spot on is just such a huge compliment.
I wanted to make it clear that James does think he acted a bit too harshly when he was younger, but that doesn't mean he's ready to drop all hatred. Snape isn't a good person, or at least he wasn't here. James knows that, but he also knows he didn't come off any better sometimes.
I loved writing that! The figuring out sort of scene. That's what I thought too while working on it, and I got all those R&H&H feels and now I just want to read the books again, haha!
Ahh I actually can't take credit for having Snape invent the Muffliato charm. That's actually a canon fact! I figured that out while googling how to spell it :P
I don't know who's side I was more on with the Sirius Belle thing either. Though I think you'll like the conclusion they come to next chapter ;). I think Belle is going to be really sensitive about certain things, and Sirius understands what it's like to be broken. I do know that I love writing angry Sirius though, haha!
I'm so excited you liked this chapter, and I can't even tell you how happy I am to have you reading again. Your reviews are such a treat, and I feel so spoiled every time I see you on my AP ♥ Report Review
Jami! Guess what? I'm back!! Yay yay yay!! I'll catch up hopefully in the next few days the I can go back to reading as you update. I'm so excited by this haha!!
I loved this chapter - I've been really excited for it since Lily got invited over by James! I thought the girls making breakfast was a really sweet idea and really touching. Something normal in a story so full of tragedy. A good way to say thank you too, as you intended.
I really like your decision to not have Lily uber messed up with the whole Bellatrix scenario. She keeps a calm and level head and even thinks everything through kind of logically which just seems so in character for her. Even though what happened to her was so terrifying she sees all the good(ish) things that come out of it instead of focusing on the bad. It also fits well with her wanting to be a healer too, she'll need to keep calm in a crisis and be able to see the good in the bad things she sees. She's also going to help James out as he's blaming himself of course, again perfectly in character and totally believeable.
The friendship you have created between the three girls is so amazing to read. You have all the different relationships between different individuals going through this so perfectly and it makes it so enjoyable to read. The friendships between the girls and the one between the maurauders, particually James and Sirius though are brilliant. I love how much the girls are there for Lily, her comment about her mum is so sad, not having her there to talk to but you still give her her friends which is just lovely!
Even though Lily is missing out with her mum you've made a lovely relationship again between her and Olivia. Obviously she can't replace Lilys mum but her just being there is great. She still has someone who cares about her and thinks a lot about her which is good for her.
The warming charm on the plates - god I could use that. I'm so bad at getting everything to finish cooking at the same time! Perfect!
Augusta's line here: ""You take some more of that, dearie," Augusta Longbottom said, scooping another heap of mashed potatoes onto Alice's plate. "You're looking a bit too thin lately."" made me smile. Typical mother-in-law.
Oh the christmas prank - fantastic. Pure genius haha. You really have these marauders sussed eh? It had me giggling!
Oh James Potter. "Well well, Lily Evans. I didn't know we were giving each other those kinds of presents, but I suppose that’s okay with me." I don't think I have to say much more. Perfectly in character and just the side of James I love. Thank you haha!
Oh the presents were so sweet! It's just had me filling up with all warm fuzzies and now I'm smiling like an idiot as these too are just too cute! What's in the snitch? Will we find out soon? The blanket is an amazing idea and it sounds exactly like the kind of thing James would do. As always you amaze me with your great magical ideas, everything you do is so well thought out! Can I just ask though - are you trying to tear my heart in too? The line: "We all put loads of our happy memories in the blanket, so you should have enough to last a lifetime" A lifetime? Jami really? The reality just makes me too sad to think about.
Oh Jami this was such a great chapter to get back into your story with lots of happy thoughts and Lily and James goodness. I loved every second of it :D
See you soon!
Lauren :)Author's Response: Lauren!!! This was such an awesome surprise! I was scared for a while there that I lost you for good! I know how busy you are, but my Saturdays aren't the same without you, haha!!
I'm so happy you liked that Lily wasn't really messed up by any of it. It just didn't feel right. I mean, they've known something was off for so long now. And now that's come to head and they can face it, not more pretending everything is normal when it's not. She's healthy, James is healthy, and they got away from our evil Bellatrix :P. I still get nervous though that someone is going to see Lily's reaction as unrealistic, so I'm really happy it felt right to you, too ♥
Keeping the friendships in the focus as much as the relationships is really important to me, though I do struggle with a bit. Sometimes I want to know what on earth I was thinking when I decided to feature eight main characters in a single story :P. But it wouldn't feel complete without any of them, would it?!
I never want to make it seem like Lily's parents didn't die, so bringing in those little moments of sads is super important to me. She'll always miss them, but then she has the perfect best friends ever to make it better. Not to mention James... I'd take that boy any day ;).
I am TERRIBLE at getting food finished at the same time too. By the time my baked asparagus is done, the chicken is freezing *eye roll.* Why can't we be witches?! :P
Hahaha that's exactly what I thought of when I wrote Augusta's line. If that isn't something designed to come out of a MiL's mouth, I don't know what is :P.
*now that I've googled 'sussed'* Thank you ♥ &hearts
Hahah I'm not trying to tear your heart in two, I promise! But that line is a sad one, isn't it? :(. I can't believe how short of a lifetime they have left at this point... ;(. Now you've made me all feelsy!
Aww Lauren! I'm so happy you like the magical ideas in this. If it helps, I spent as long thinking about the presents as I did working on the entire chapter :P. Yes! You do find out what's in the Snitch soon ;).
This review has been such an amazing surprise, Lauren ♥ I'm so spoiled to have someone as great as you reading Before They Fall. Thank you so much for all your sweet compliments. It still amazes me to think that you're actually enjoying something I wrote, haha!
I know I've said it before, but Jami, your writing is improving so much!! I'll get into all the nitty-gritty in a sec, but I just have to say, without question, you did some of your best writing to date in the Belle/Sirius scene. I'm just so full of happy squeees for you right now!!
That out of the way, I'll have to be brief on the rest. My notes on this one are already pushing the character limit :P
You set up the Belle/Sirius confrontation wonderfully. The end of the last chapter left me feeling like Belle was being a bit immature, so focused on how the boyfriend who usually treats her well got caught up in the moment and acted like a bit of a jerk. It felt real and true to character, but it kind of made me want to roll my eyes and tell her not to be such a drama queen. In relationships, you have to let some things slide. But you did a lovely job of humanizing her throughout the chapter and reminding us that she brings a lot of baggage to the table. She's going to be extra sensitive to these sorts of slights, and if Sirius wants to be with her, he's going to have to learn to recognize that.
I thought this line in particular really captured where she was coming from: And it wasn't that she wanted to be upset, it was that she simply couldn't be anything else. Your feelings are your feelings, and sometimes you just have to feel them! As the fight progressed, I had a little trouble pinpointing what was bothering her most. That she needed him more than he needed her? That he blew her off? That he thought she was too fragile to handle the situation? She seemed to have different reasonings at different times, so that might be something to relook at, but you still did a great job at making us feel for her and showing that she has even more depth than we might have thought.
The war wouldn't last forever. Another one of those gut-wrenching lines you like to sneak in on us. In a way, none of them ever really see the war end. All of them are brought down by Voldemort in one form or another. So sad!
Mr. Moody. For some reason, this made me giggle, hearing anything aside from Mad-Eye used before his name.
Okay, getting back to why I thought this scene was some of your best writing: A gust of chilly wind came darting in. Despite the temperature, she continued down the aged steps with Sirius a few paces behind her. The fat, icy drops fell onto the hair she'd spent so long brushing, catching in her lashes and blurring her vision. What a great, smooth transition from one location to the next. Just the perfect amount of description to set the "new" scene. And ...she thought as she stepped aside to let the bodies and brooms go by. Bodies and brooms. What great alliteration!
Forcing myself to move along here... Eek! I'm so sorry if I'm in your head now! I don't even like having myself in my own head most of the time :P Seriously though, the whole scene was very well laid out. You set the scene to establish who was there, but pretty much kept it at that. I thought it worked really well. And I didn't think it was at all "too convenient" that they don't suspect Alrek yet. They are clearly focused on known or suspected DEs, which makes the most sense since there isn't a shortage of suspicious characters lurking about :P
Just a few other quick notes on the scene. I loved the mention of the sleeping potion. It's great that you aren't letting the notion of Lily wanting to be a Healer slide, even without referencing it directly. And I LOVED the mentions of Snape. I know, I know... but the line: Sure, he probably didn't say the curse, but who do you think brewed the potion? So good, Jami!! I love that idea - of him being this creepy boy at school who has not only the inclination but also the ability to poison people without being caught. Not to mention:
Severus did make it clear that the Dark Arts was where he wanted to be, but she knew without a fragment of doubt that he would never let her walk blindly into death.
Come on! Are you trying to kill us here, knowing how what he eventually tells Dumbledore leads directly to her death?!?
Okay, I have to stop now or I won't be able to fit in the typos below. Really, it's such a treat watching you grow as a writer with each passing chapter!
-When James told them what was on his mind, she herself had started thinking only of who it could be and what she'd do to them when she found them. (not wrong, just awkwardly worded)
-Alright alright (Alright, alright)
- ...Alice added as the girls began their walk down the the Great Hall (down to the Great)
-Her feet moved on their own accord... (OF their own accord is the more common phrasing)
-One girl whose name she was wasn't certain of, but recognized the nearly black hair, eyed Sirius as she walked by. (One girl whose name she was wasn't certain of but recognized by the nearly black hair... OR One girl whose name she was wasn't certain of, but who she recognized by the nearly black hair...)
-But I didn't want be there for what I wanted to do to Regulus (missing a few words)
-I don't know Belle (know, Belle)
-His anger she could handle, she could stay just as angry for probably longer. (comma splice)
-"Okay, well, we'll leave him listed," Lily deciding (decided)
-And they're all seventh years, with more chances to over hear us than any other Slytherins (overhear)
-Lily's turned her head, meeting Sirius's eyes. She'd accepted the way they used to treat her former best friend, though she'd still never let them forget how childish they'd been, at least she'd moved past it. (Lily turned her head... friend, AND though she'd)
- ...Belle said, sitting up straighter in her cocoon of blanket (cocoon of a blanket)
-But I do think we need to keep an eye on where all the Prospects all are (delete 1 all)
-"And this, my friends," James began, his voice full of pride. "Is the Marauder's Map." (of pride, "is the...")Author's Response: I am so annoyed right now. I had this review about 85% replied to and then accidentally did the two finger swipe on my Mac and made it go 'back.' And when I went forward, the review was gone. RAWR.
Re do! :P
So when I saw this review first I was on a work call and it took all of my self control not to just completely ignore the person on the phone and read your review instead. Those last ten minutes or so of that phone call was brutal knowing I had a Becky review just waiting for me to read.
I can't even tell you how happy it makes me that you see improvement in my writing. I've felt so down on it lately, and reading this review made me feel a zillion times better. I think it's hard to telly our own improvement. I mean, I know I"m getting better in my own head with knowing what to do/what not to do, but you actually being able to see a difference is just a huge deal to me. Thank you :hug:
I'm so happy that this chapter humanized Belle more and sort of justified her more dramatic reaction in last chapter. To be honest, I struggled with what you commented on about not being able to pinpoint what was bothering her the most. I kept changing my mind with what she'd be more upset about and couldn't decide which one to focus on, so I decided to just throw them all in a pot together, haha!
That line about her not wanting to feel that way was one of the few of mine that I actually like. It's pretty rare that I go, 'hey. I really like that.' with my own writing, so knowing that one stood out at you makes me so happy. I think the fact that she's allowing herself to feel all this in the first place is a huge step to her own emotional recovery and stability. But that might just be more in my head than anything else :P
How sad is it that all of them die before they see the war to an end? Remus gets so close to making it through...
You know when we're in those tough situations and sort of just think, 'well, it has to get better eventually.' I can't imagine how many times they said that to one another during the war. And how many times they reassured each other that it will be all over soon. Knowing that never happened just makes me so sad. I want to mark this story AU and say that Voldemort died of a terrible freak lightning bolt strike :P.
I always giggle when I type Mr. Moody too :P. It just seems to proper for him :P
Okay, what I am about to say may sound relatively creepy. Err. I apologize for that. I'm a bit of a reviewer stalker though. Especially if I really like those person's review and have read a story that they've reviewed.
But anyway. I saw you'd reviewed a chapter of Wolf Calling that I read, and in that review you talked about transitions a bit. And it made me want to change mine up a bit to make them quicker but still easy to understand, and yeah. This transition that you pointed out with them going outside, when I wrote it I pretty much put you in my head to try and get it short and sweet but still enough to set a scene. Hehe. Sorry, I know I'm a creepy review stalker.
No! Stay in my head!!! It's so nice with you in here :P
I'm so happy you didn't think that not suspecting Alrek was too convenient! It just didn't feel like it belong here. And I KNEW you'd love the Severus bit!
Both getting the boys more negative opinion and watching Lily defend him was really fun for me. Keeping him... alive I guess... in this story and not making it seem like he's just disappeared is important to me. But I also don't want to make it seem like he's a big part of their every day life or anything.
NO ONE HAS POINTED OUT THE IRONY OF THAT LINE. The line about Severus would never let her walk blindly into death. I'm so happy that you did. You always pick up on everything. You're so awesome *reaches across state lines and hugs Becky.*
Thank you for the typos! Going to edit them in right now! And thank you so, so much for giving me back the confidence I've been lacking the last few weeks ♥ Report Review
So I told myself that I wasn't going to start reading any novels because I get so absorbed in them and I try and review every chapter I read, but I've been wanting to read Before They Fall for ages now and I couldn't resist any longer! The reviews I leave for this might be a bit spaced out because of my exams, but they will happen!
After that pointless ramble, I'll move on to the actual chapter. I kind of love this already. I know it's only the first chapter, but still. I knew from The Steps to Insanity that you're a great writer, but after this first chapter I'm just so excited to carry on reading the rest of the story!
The descriptions at the beginning are beautiful. The way you get an overall view of the scene and then zoom in is really lovely, and I can see the picture you paint very clearly.
For the first chapter, I feel like I have a good idea what your characters are like as well. Obviously there's a lot more to read and learn about them, but I feel like I know them to some extent already and, even better (for me, anyway) your characterisation fits with what we know about them from canon.
The relationship you portray between James and his parents especially fits in with the idea that he was well cared for and loved by his family. I like the idea of Sirius being a proper part of the family, because I've always thought that the Potters would have been happy to look after him and think of him as a second son.
I loved the way that you made think all along that Sirius was the one in trouble and that something bad had happened to him, when in fact it was Lily who had just lost her parents. I'm kind of looking forward to learning out about what happened to her parents, actually (that sounds quite morbid, but I don't mean it that way!).
Lily's reaction - not being able to speak properly or move - is perfect. Since we already know that she was close to her parents, it's going to be exceptionally hard for her, and as I think she must have witnessed whatever happened to her parents as well, it's little wonder that she's so consumed by grief.
Another thing I'm happy about was the "brief bouts of friendship" that you mentioned - I don't think this story is going to be one of those which goes from Lily hating James to loving him suddenly. He obviously must have changed and grown up for him to learn to love her, and that must have been a long process rather than an instant transformation.
I'm so excited to read on, and I'm looking forward to the next 27 chapters I have to read before I catch up!
Sian :)Author's Response: Hi Sian! That's a really cool spelling of 'Shaun/Shaw/Sean.' I love it! I'm always jealous of people with original names, haha.
I can't tell you how much it means to me that you've been wanting to read it for a while! I hope it doesn't disappoint! Chapter five is when I think the story really starts getting a bit more original (as original as a Marauder's era fic can get, at least), so if you make it that far I'm excited to see what you think!
Your thoughts on Lily and the possibility that she must've witnessed it is very, very close ;). There's a lot more to their death, or at least the circumstances surrounding it, than meets the eye. The full story behind it is in chapter 8, so it will still be a bit before you know everything ;).
I can't stand the hate to love transformation, or I guess how a lot of authors make it seem so sudden. I think James was a brat, which a lot of only children of wealthy families are. He grew up, again like most bratty teenagers do. Lily stopped seeing things through Severus's perspective and made her own opinion, and in my head canon James and her sort of just let the past start dying in 6th year. I think they probably went through phases, but that Lily was always close with Remus and Peter, and had a soft spot for Sirius once she learned a bit more about his home life.
Umm. Sorry. I don't know how that turned into such a ramble, HAHA!
Thank you so much for this amazing and unexpected review. I really hope that you enjoy this and it lives up to your expectations ♥
And just to let you know, if you do want to continue, I will not have hurt feelings or anything if you just read through without reviewing every chapter. I hate the idea of someone thinking they have to review every chapter to read it, because I know how much I enjoy just breezing through and reviewing the newest chapter.
Thank you again so much for stopping Sian ♥
Jami (see, I told you my name was unoriginal).
I definitely think you were right in leaving out the actual conversation between Belle and Sirius. Starting this chapter with the aftermath of their conversation, from Sirius' point of view, was a great way to pick up the story. You have this real flare with using different narrative devices to keep your plot interesting and original. I love the fact that sometimes (like when Sirius told his friends about the night of Lily's parents' death) you have a flashback rather than explaining the whole thing and that you skip less important, less interesting parts of the story effectively, and carry on from a suitable point. It means that your story is never dull to read, never has a dull moment.
I loved the fact that there was Sirius/James in this chapter! The way you portray their friendship is awesome and their personalities are just perfect! It's clear that Sirius has quite a bit of anger bottled up inside him and we all know that Sirius has a bit of a temper, so that's awesome to see. And I'm glad you added in that bit about the two boys matching stubborness for stubborness and then Remus and Peter having to act as mediators, because that reminded me a lot of me and one of my best friends, which made me laugh. We're both so stubborn that, if we have a different opinion, we can't find a halfway point and can argue for hours at a time.
I'm actually quite surprised Sirius ran away from Belle, though. Obviously her wouldn't exactly take her story well, but I do wish he would've acted a tad more...maturely about it. I hope the two of them are able to make up soon!
Abigail is horrible! She is like that classic female bully but she also happens to be a Slytherin who seems to hate muggleborns. That encounter with the Slytherins was really well written, and I'm so glad Lily stood her ground. You have a real talent for writing the bad guys!
I think the scene with McGonagall, Slughorn and Dumbledore was great, too. The addition of Slughorn's night cap was great - if I was Lily I probably would've burst out laughing and then would've ended up looking quite the idiot.
Anyway, another great chapter!
Courtney:)Author's Response: Hi Courtney ♥
With a story this long, hearing that it never gets dull is such a huge compliment! Thank you! I really love getting to play in the different heads of the characters. Sirius is one of my favorites. He's such a... chaotic person. Haha. I was really worried though that people were going to be angry they didn't get to see the entire conversation; i'm so happy you liked it this way! It just would have felt so redundant. We know what happened to Belle... and I can never write that much french accent again as I had to for her chapter, HHAHA!
I love that it reminded you of you and your best friend! I'm really not stubborn at all. Like, I'll have things that I get stubborn about, but for the most part I'm pretty, 'whatev,' so writing these two and how bullheaded they both can be is so much fun for me. And the fact that you were able to relate to that makes me think I'm doing a decent job at making it realistic! Yay!
I know, Sirius definitely didn't act his best in this :(. I think he'll redeem himself for his actions very soon, though ;).
I had so much fun writing Lily and the boys getting in trouble together. Especially with it being Lily that was sort of at the center of it all. I think she can be portrayed as almost too Hermioneish at times, and I want to show that, as good of a student and person as she is, that doesn't mean she's able to hold herself back all the time and walk away from an altercation.
And I totally would have laughed out loud too, haha. I got called into the principals office during HS once because I'd gone into the teacher's lounge and filled my coffee up (I did this all the time, but a new teacher who had a power trip apparently had an issue with it and told on me), and I was getting a lecture about what happens if every student did that and blah blah, and behind the principal was a window and outside of the window was a couple going to town on snogging. I started laughing SO HARD.
Okay, sorry, got off topic there. haha.
Thank you again for another absolutely amazing review ♥ Report Review
I am no joke waiting g on my kindle for the next chapter. Do not rush though. Your system is perfect. This is no joke this best fan fiction ever. No. It is not even a fan fiction any more. When I read this, I feel like I am reading a prologue to Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling herself! Keep up the fantastic work. Oh, and by the way... IT'S THE FINAL COUNT DOWN! #do do do do do do do do do do do do do do# THE FINAL EIGHT CHAPTERS, IF YOU TOLD ME THE TRUTH...;)Author's Response: I'm so terrible :(. I made a post on the forums but you obviously don't have an account. I got really ill this week though and just couldn't write anything. I tried really hard, but between being sick and trying to go to work, nothing would come out right. Updates will be back to normal next Saturday and I promise no more missing updates!
Okay the count I gave you last time was wrong. Well, sort of. It's either eight more chapters or nine more. I just went back over my break down and realized I probably needed to break one chapter into two because of how much has to happen in it. But either way, we have less than ten left! Eeek!
Thank you so much for being such an awesome reviewer, and again I'm so sorry about not getting today's chapter posted :(. I'm feeling much better though and will not let any more slip! Report Review
This chapter is so moving - Belle and Sirius are such a cute couple, and James and Lily are such awesome people! This chapter was definitely not too long - I was captivated and so gripped by it, I didn't even realise the length, haha.
I love how grateful Lily is for Mrs. Potter, and everything. It was really touching how appreciative she was, and I loved the last paragraph in her view, because it made me be all reflective and feel grateful of my own life! The words James says to Lily brought tears to my eyes, “I think the fact that we can hurt this badly for people we’ve never met is what’s going to eventually make our world better.”, that's so wise and insightful!
I love how Sirius thinks Belle wants to go somewhere fancy, and then she's really down to earth and wants to go to Honeydukes. That was such a sweet touch, and really adds more depth to Belle. I think that was an awesome little detail that showed us just how well they get on as a couple, and also how actually relaxed Belle is around Sirius!
Grrr Alrek just got me punching the screen! I loved the way you wrote the last section in Alrek's perspective - you write his bitter thoughts so well - and the you built up the tension really well with the stricture, it was formatted like his thoughts.
The last line is so suspenseful! I can't wait till the next chapter eeekk!Author's Response: Hi Sophie!! ♥
I'm so relieved you didn't think this was too long. I don't know how the word count gets so away from me.
Awww I'm so happy you liked James's bit in the final section. And I hope they were happy tears!
Sirius's bad mood was so much fun to play with, then when I got to show what Belle actually wanted to be doing and Sirius realized his bad mood was all for nothing, I just had to giggle. He's such a complicated little creature, that Sirius Black.
Alrek's section was one that I really enjoyed writing just to get us back into the bad guy sides of things and show us that he's really not doing well. Though I can't say I feel bad for him :P
Thank you so much for another really awesome review, Sophie ♥ I'm so spoiled by you! Report Review
I am excited that they finally got together, too but I loved the build up. I think I have read dozens of Lily/James stories but with your story, I feel like I am reading about them for the first time. It is so much more realistic for them to grow closer to each other gradually instead of other stories where they are rushed to couple. Keep up the good work!Author's Response: Hi there!!
I'm so excited you liked the build up between them getting together. I really don't like when it just sort of happens out of nowhere, and wanted to give their relationship a solid foundation built on friendship.
Thank you so much for your awesome review. It was such a lovely surprise! ♥ Report Review
So it's been far too long since I read the first chapter, and hopefully it will be a lot shorter than that before I go on to read the next one.
This is a very fascinating era of canon, as we only get to see glimpses of it in the books, and the glimpses we see are pretty much caricatures of what the characters were like at that age, so you definitely have a lot to work with.
While the glimpse we see of James/Lily at that age involves the infamous scene with Snape from their 5th year, James obviously matured a lot from that point to the point where they ended up together, and I think you've done a really good job at showing the seeds of that here, given the mature and sensitive way he was handling Lily's loss. We also know that Lily's parents have to die before Harry is born, so it's always interesting to see how writers incorporate that.
Overall so far we can see how the events around James and Lily are forcing them to grow up at a young age, and I can only imagine its going to get more serious when the war becomes a factor.
Also, I have to commend you for including Peter, and also in a way that seems pretty accurate as to how I'd picture Peter at that age. Far too often he is totally left out.
This chapter gave us a really good sense of Lily's inner struggles, and how they ultimately may draw her closer to James. I'll try to read more soon!Author's Response: Hi there! I'm so happy you enjoyed this second chapter, and I know how that can happen with RL getting busy and a story sort of getting pushed back.
Peter is definitely left out way too often. I've sort of gotten a nice head canon around him which helps a lot with writing him and making sure he is included as one of the friends and not just a tag along.
I'm really happy you liked the start of James and Lily growing up. Really, I think James could have matured over anything. Just the war starting, or more specifically them realizing how bad the war actually is, would have done it probably. But I figured to use Lily' parents' death as a nice little stepping stone ;).
Thank you so much for this lovely review ♥
Btw, I'm always very curious about your username. haha. I may have to google it.
Oooh, this was yet another great chapter - and James' parents made a reappearance, which was awesome. They seem like such amazing people, and seem to have made children out of James, Sirius, Lily and all James' other friends, actually. I quite like the fact that Frank was a bit embarrassed when James' mother hugged him - Augusta has never seemed particularly affectionate to me, especially when you think about Neville's upbringing. Perhaps that is why he and Alice seem to be quite...closed off for lack of a better word.
I liked the fact that James' parents seemed to suspect there was something off about Alrek - after all, they are ex-Aurors and clearly haven't lost their touch. I am quite surprised they are nearing eighty, but I guess witches and wizards tend to live to an older age than muggles. And Alrek is really starting to get on my nerves, with all his prying!
Frank was an awesome commentator! He kind of reminded me of Lee Jordan, in the way that he was completely biased when it came to Gryffindor bs Slytherin and some of his comments (and McGonagall's reactions) were very funny. I can definitely imagine Frank as a commentator, actually.
I actually liked the fact that you didn't write about the whole match and split up the action with a little piece from Bellatrix's point of view, because your Bellatrix is awesome. Alrek's letter was very well done, and I think you wrote Voldemort, and Bellatrix's reactions to him, super well. I really liked that you included Karkaroff in this chapter, too, and that even at this stage, he didn't seem to be the ideal Death Eater.
The Hospital Wing scene was a nice way to end that chapter - I actually love how both Lily and James are so hesitant with each other, and how James' frustration came through when the rest of the team came in and his talk with Lily was interrupted. Alice was great, too, trying to get both Belle and Sirius and Lily and James to talk.
I am looking forward to upcoming chapters even more now!
Courtney:)Author's Response: I think your evaluation of why Frank and Alice are sort of reserved is so perfect. Augusta isn't a warm person, and for Frank it's hard for him to be affectionate in front of other people when he just didn't see that much. Not that he doesn't make it clear to Alice that he cares about her, but he just isn't incredibly open about it.
I'm so happy you liked William and Olivia in this chapter! And I know, I don't love them being that old either. But JKR said that James's parents died of old age/natural cause, and they died before Harry was orphaned, and they had him 'late' in life. So with what we know about wizard ages and how long they live, 80s seemed appropriate. Still though, I like imagining them in their fifties a lot more :P
Quidditch is not my forte. Haha. I thought at least if I was going to cheat everyone out of a match, I could at least do a nice little Bellatrix scene :P.
I'm really happy you liked the hospital scene. I know I can be frustrating with how slow I move them, but I hope this was a nice way to speed things up, hehe.
I LOVED this chapter! It was so full of perfection and awesomeness that I don't even know how to begin describing this awesomeness. But I'll do my best.
I love this tension that is slowly starting to build up, relating to the war which is about to begin - especially what we saw of it at the start. I loved how insistent Sirius and Peter were to accompany Remus to the Shrieking Shack and how insistent he was that they stay behind him, keep themselves safe. I felt a little sorry for hi, actually.
Dumbledore was great in this chapter - I loved how he went off on that tangent about the name Beowulf and how McGonagall occasionally sent him the slightly disapproving stare - that was definitely very in-character.
The letter from Petunia was written absolutely perfectly - even though it was only a letter, I could actually picture the Petunia from the Harry Potter books and movies in my head, writing the letter with a disapproving look on her face. It will be very interesting to see James and Lily interacting with Vernon and Petunia.
James and Lily finally kissed! I'm so excited! And I think you wrote it absolutely perfectly, too - I liked that fact that Lily was still worried about it, worried about losing her friendship with James. And that she was slightly insecure about how many other girls James had been with. And her comment about not having been kissed that many times got me instantly curious and now I find myself wondering which guy she has kissed...hmm...
Gah, now that I know Alrek's little secret I dislike him very much and hope that Lily or one of the - marauders or Alice or Belle find out about him soon. I am extremely glad that she didn't end up going to the party with him!
Courtney:)Author's Response: I've been so excited for you to get to this chapter! I knew you would like it!! Hehe!
I tweaked with that letter so much to get it Petunia enough. I wanted to get her attitude without it being cruel and I'm so happy you thought I hit the right note!
In my head her first kiss was a very awkward one with Tig, another 7th year Gryffie, then the second (and a handful after) was with Alexander, the last 7th year Gryffie and Beater. They started dating during 5th year, which also started a lot of her and Severus's issues with seeing how possessive he could be, then broke up shortly after Severus called her a mudblood because she just didn't want anything to do with anyone. That's obviously all head canon, haha.
I'm so happy you liked their first kiss and this chapter. It was such a stressful one to write, and I was so worried it wouldn't come out the way I wanted to. Thank you so much for your awesome reviews ♥ I know I've said that so many times, and if I could think of any better way to say how appreciative I am I would. But you're stuck with my blabbery pool of mush ahaha. Report Review
Hi, Jami! Hope you make it through this without falling asleep. ;)
I loved the first section with Sirius. He isn't adjusting well to this whole "boyfriend" thing. You do such a great job of capturing the flip side of his intense, obsessive personality. Sometimes it's humorous, like this chapter. Sometimes it isn't pretty, like when he tries to attack Regulus. Sometimes it's painful to watch, like when he confesses his role in the Evans's death. Throughout it all, you've been consistent in showing the ups and the downs of being Sirius Black, without glossing over the bad parts.
Good food, a beautiful girl, and some snogging. It all sounded brilliant, so why was he stomping about acting like he couldn't stand the thought of it? -- Poor Sirius. He's so unaccustomed to good things happening that they make him feel uneasy. You did a good job of capturing all of his jitters, and the way he reacts to those feelings of unease is classic Sirius. Pretending that he doesn't care or need anyone else ia a perfectly natural reaction for a guy who spent most of his life putting up walls to protect himself from the people who were supposed to care about him.
He'd never tried to impress anyone, not willing to cover up the rougher edges of himself. But still, the idea of Belle being unhappy with their plans for the day had caused a sort of cold dread in the pit of his stomach, even if he didn't want to admit it. It wasn't fair that the girl could get under his skin the way she did. -- That's how love works, my friend. It's hard to pretend that you don't care when you actually do. :)
Belle really is perfect for him, isn't she? In short order, she puts a goofy smile on his face, sets his mind at ease and decides on a way to spend their day that's much more in line with what he wanted to do in the first place.
Then things get tense... Among the many things that Sirius Black doesn't deal well with, the possibility of losing anyone that he genuinely cares about is pretty high up on the list. It sends him into a very irrational mode. Fortunately, he has Belle there to watch over him and keep him more on the level than he might otherwise be. I am so impressed, by the way, that Belle is able to run like that in heels! Especially across an old castle floor that's probably made of slightly uneven flagstones. I think it's fair to say that a lot of people would have been on their way to the hospital wing with some combination of a broken wrist, ankle or face before they got anywhere near the one-eyed witch.
He took a breath, trying to think. "We should be hidden enough with the Disillusionment charm. If we get up there and something is wrong, if they - the Death Eaters - have taken over, just get back into the tunnel and run."
"Not until we find ze group." -- Silly Sirius, when are you going to learn? I loved every moment of Belle throughout their entire adventure. She's bold, brave and motherly. Also very clever when it comes to planning ahead, which obviously isn't his strong suit. They compliment one another so well.
Dumbledore... wow! I love it when he delivers one of his grand displays of magic on an unimaginable scale. If I was following the events correctly, he shielded himself and possibly the village, then unleashed a barrage of offensive magic against the Death Eaters? Awesome stuff. Marauders stories need more of that.
Sirius's parting thoughts continued to build on the running theme of the chapter. He has a problem treating Belle as an equal, but I don't think it's because he doesn't think of her that way. He's over-protective and scared to lose her. The funny thing is that I'm sure James feels exactly the same about Lily. He just conceals it better in the heat of the moment.
I felt terrible for Lily and the others as they waited things out at breakfast. The tight relationship you've created between McGonagall and her students isn't something I see very often in Marauders fics, and I really like it. Her strong personality adds to the story in so many ways. She helps to balance out Dumbledore and his rather laissez faire approach to the health and safety of his students.
It's sad to see the Ministry turning a mostly blind eye to the reality of Voldemort's rise, but it fits well with what we know of the historical details and the way that the Ministry has always been portrayed to work. I liked the various theories about why the Ministry wasn't doing anything, especially Frank's.
"But then I think about Bellatrix. The way she looked at me, at both of us, and I realize people like her don't do both. They don't just work by day and go murder people by night. It's everything to them." -- Lily hit on a really good point there. Dumbledore's Order will always be at a disadvantage in that way, because their goal is to be able to live normal lives. So when they're not fighting Death Eaters, that's what they do. They go to work or to school and lead normal lives. Sigh. That was depressing to realize.
Durmstrang. Grrr... I want to throttle him, but since I can't, it's nice to see that his carefully manicured facade is starting to unravel. He doesn't seem to be able to pay attention to people very well. I though it was grimly amusing that he actually checked to see that her bloodline was pure, even though he's just dating her to maintain appearances. If you're gonna be a lunatic, I guess you might as well be thorough. Ooh, and the Dark Lord is still making him pay for the fiasco in Swansea. Unlike Bellatrix, he doesn't seem to welcome the pain.
He's scary, though. He's been subjected to enough brutality at this point that I imagine he's capable of doing some pretty awful things and feeling no remorse. Good thing that Lily and the others are onto him.
So many neat things happened in this chapter! Sirius and Lily are both feeling so well-rounded after the past few. I can't wait to see who you focus on next!Author's Response: Dan! Midnight reviewing answering.
Sirius has so many sides, and I feel like including those is such a fun part about writing him. Especially in this situation where it's not angry Sirius but bratty Sirius. Although Angry is still really fun to write..
He really isn't adjusting well to the bf thing, but at the same time I don't think anyone expected him too. He has his friends and his basically adopted parents, but to step out past that and really get close to someone like Belle, and understand that he can get close to her while still being himself, is so much harder. Poor guy just needs a cuddle.
Belle is a woman of many talents. And I think we're both aware that I've translated that talent of mind directly too Belle, so I'm going to take your comment about being impressed as a personal one ;).
Yes, you followed Dumbledore's actions perfectly! It's fun to think about the ways he may have been different fifteen years prior to meeting the HP group.
I think you're exactly write about James and Sirius's actions. James knows Lily can protect herself, but he also knows he couldn't handle losing her. He's realized though he has a better chance of getting them out safely if he just goes along with what she wants and he can still keep an eye out for her. Sirius doesn't think about that. Instead he would spend ten minutes arguing with Belle about it if the group wasn't there, and by that time they could have both been finished.
I don't think I meant to give then such a close relationship when starting out, but it's really evolved that way and I do like it. I think maybe because she realizes they'll be working together soon, it's easier for her to sort of want to keep a closer eye on them. And she's McGonagall *wub face.*
I was thinking about the Order and how/why James Sirius and Lily would not work and devote all their time to it, and I think that really ended up being the most logical explanation. Because most people can't. And they need more people that can, because for every step forward they take the DE are setting them two back.
Dan, I already let you punch Christophe through Sirius, now you want to throttle Alrek?! :P
And as we've already been over this -- yes Dan, I've picked up your subtle hint on who you would like me to focus on next ;).
Thank you so much for another absolutely amazing review and all your awesome support ♥ Report Review
I actually really love the way you incorporate the class scenes into your chapters, because I think a lot of people forget about them, and I've always enjoyed reading about the magical elements at Hogwarts and the schoolwork they have to do - after all, they are students and I'm fairly certain that being a student requires a large amount of work.
Also, I've always seen Lily as being very committed to her studies, so I think the fact that you focused on the Potions class quite a bit in this chapter was a good thing - it was great to see Lily in her element and to see the group of friends working together.
I've said it before but I'll say it again anyway, because of unoriginal and can't think of anything creative to say: I really love your Peter. In this chapter it was clear that he struggled more making the Potion than any of his other friends but he wasn't completely useless, as many other fanfictions suggest (if they even include Peter.) I'm also glad that he actually seems to be really close to Sirius and James and Remus - often the other marauders seem to completely forget him!
I actually really like reading bits and pieces about the close relationship between Remus and Lily - I remember Remus telling Harry that he and Lily were quite close, so it is very nice to see. And it's great that Remus' sensible side (occasionally) balances out his friends.
Agh, James! How unfortunate that Remus' turn happened to be on the same night that Lily invited him to Slughorn's party for a sort of date. But I'm glad that Remus was so good about it - your characters are all turning out to be so different and so fun to read about it that I'd find it difficult to pick one or even two favourites.
No Lily! Don't go with Alrek! Gah, that little bit really made me grind my teeth together! But anyway, I loved this chapter obviously.
Courtney:)Author's Response: I got so carried away with class stuff in this chapter but it was just so much fun! Haha! I'm really glad that you liked it thought and it didn't just put you to sleep.
Peter is definitely one that I never thought I'd enjoy writing but really do. And really, you could tell me you love something a hundred times and I'd still be just as exciting each time. Knowing you're actually reading this, reading it. Not just reading one chapter and being like, 'no this is too long,' is just such an awesome compliment. I'm so happy you're enjoying this and I wish so much I had a better way to tell you that.
Hahahah that little Alrek issue was actually a spur the moment thing, and I sort of had an evil cackle while writing it.
I'm so excited that you'd have a hard time picking a favorite. That makes me feel like I'm doing something right with these characters!
Thank you again for another absolutely amazing review ♥ Report Review
It is such a nice feeling getting back to this chapter - I was away for a couple of days and even during that short amount of time, I found myself thinking back to this story, wondering what was going to happen next.
Anyway, bad Alrek! I must admit, I had a feeling in the pit of my stomach that there was something strange going on with his character - he was always so mysterious, and very suspicious when he agreed to go to Hogsmeade with that big group of Gryffindors. I'm just not sure I actually expected him to be a spy for Voldemort himself! However, I do love the fact that we get to see some things from different Death Eater's points of view (it was very interesting in this chapter) because it seems to give your story a whole other dynamic. And Bellatrix, as always, was fantastic.
I enjoyed Belle's revelation just as much - she is such a strong character, and I think her story really proved that. It also makes a lot of sense that she would be reluctant to start anything serious with Sirius after what happened to her - Christophe seems like a piece of work!
Anyway, I loved that Lily and Alice were so supportive of her - I really like reading their scenes together, as they seem like such good friends. I think they all balance each other our very well with their differences, but also have many similarities, too.
I really enjoyed this chapter!
Courtney:)Author's Response: Courtney! I'm so sorry I've been a little MIA for the past few days. Stupid work and being sick have killed me :(. Well, not literally :P
It makes me so warm and fuzzy that you were thinking about what was going to happen when you weren't able to read. Can I just steal you and keep you at my apartment to tell me nice things when I feel all blahy? Haha
Alrek! Naughty naughty Alrek. I'm so happy you had a bad feeling about him. I didn't want his association to come out of no where, but I also didn't want it to be totally expected. Bellatrix is too much fun to write, haha. She's such a good baddie.
I really enjoy writing the friends scenes. Both the girls and the Marauder's ones. I'm so excited that you finally know Belle's whole back story!!!
Thank you so much for another absolutely awesome review ♥ Report Review
You know what? You had the perfect title for this chapter. I think that "Build Up" sums everything up nicely. End of review.
Just kidding! I read this quite a while ago, all of your chapters actually, but I find that writing a new story and reviewing someone else's story don't mix well in my head. So now that I'm out of my own head for a bit, I thought I'd jump into your story and see if I can string a few words together to express how it made me feel.
Aww, first off there's the warm and fuzzy with the mention of Butterscotch again. I really love furballs, and to give Lily that extra sense of comfort was a brilliant touch. I had a roommate in college that snuck a contraband kitten into our dorm room for a semester and it was fabulous for a while... though I think that poor animal had some serious mental issues after its dorm experience... off topic... anyway...
I especially like the professor's explanation to Abigail for awarding points to another student. Abigail needs to know that extra points are for extra hard work, not for doing what is expected of you. *nods*
Aside from that, or rather, more importantly, I love how you purposefully use all of your story to show us your characters. I feel like every sentence gives us important pieces of their portraits, sometimes even more than a few pieces of the picture from different angles, and it's just lovely to read so much detail into the story without feeling like I'm getting lots of detail from the story. Your economy with words is truly skilled.
I can tell you love these classroom scenes, and it works in your story, because Lily loves the classroom scenes just as much as you do, making it pertinent to the story. And if Lily didn't love being in the classroom so much, and if she didn't have such a keen eye for all the details of things, we would have missed the cutest little scene ever, with Belle and Sirius working on their potion. Aww, that was so adorable, and it made it even more special that they didn't even realize that they were being watched by Lily... and all the rest of us. :)
James stepping in to be the honorable one after Lily's offer really surprised me. Oh gosh, and so unexpected! I loved how you turned it around and had his friends talk him into going with her. That showed how close those boys were, that they would want James to finally spend some time with Lily rather than help them out. And then you twisted it on us again by having Alrek step in. I don't like that Alrek fellow at all, but at least he provided an excellent plot twist. Gotta be good for something, right? Haha!
And then the owl!!! And the letter from Petunia!!!
Okay, that was my shock reaction to your scene twist at the end, so well done on that!
And the chapter is over!!!
Haha, that was my first reaction to the chapter, but luckily, I can just go on from here. Lucky me! Wonderful chapter fourteen!Author's Response: Pixi! This was such an awesome surprise!
And now I have a confession. I've read all of Better Days Than These as well *ninja face.* But I've always been on my phone and I HATE reviewing on there. I need to go back and review. Yes. Nods at self.
Every time my dog does something cute I'm like, oh Butterscotch can do that in the next chapter, haha!
I'm so happy you felt like you still got a lot about the characters through a more mundane sort of chapter. I feel like showing them how they spent a lot of their time is important, and it was a lot of fun to play more with magic. hehe.
James had a rough time in this chapter, didn't he? First he has to say no to Lily then he gets talked into saying yes and is secretly super happy about it THEN we learn he's too late. Poor guy. They're not meant to have that much emotional stuff happen to them in such a short span of time. He probably needs a nap now :P
I'm so happy you liked this chapter, and I can't believe you've read past this!!! That's so exciting to me. And I'm sorry I'm a terrible reviewer, but I promise I'll go back and stop cheating and actually review our BDTT . Hehe.
I'm caught up! Nooo! It was so lovely to breeze through the chapters with a single click and now I'm going to have to wait like everybody else. Boo.
There are so many things I want to say; I don't even know where to start. Okay here goes.
1) Your characters are simply perfect. One of the reasons I've tended to stray towards next gen is because I don't always think that the canon characters are captured completely. But, you, Jami, have done such an amazing job at it! I think that Lily is spot on. I like that she isn't all whiny (I've seen that quite a bit) and that her reasons for not wanting to be with James in the beginning of the story were reasonable, not just the usual "I don't like James because he breaks the rules." Gosh I'm pretty sure that didn't even make sense. Also your James is fantastic. I like that he is so dynamic. Sometimes he is sweet and tender but then BAM he's all tough, protective, and intense. And then Sirius is just so...Sirius! I believe that this is what he would be like. A few times when I think you got him perfectly were when he punched Belle's old boyfriend and stood up to her parents, when he got all protective over Belle in Hogsmede, and whenever he is with James. Ugh. You are just so good. I also wanted to say that I like how you made Neville's parents outgoing and popular, not just replicas of Neville. And your Remus is pretty great too. And just about every other one of your characters.
2) The plot. I love how everything you write could have really happened. There is nothing too far-fetched or unreasonable. I also love how you took it upon yourself to create your own spells (that's a little off topic, but I just remembered that I wanted to tell you that.) Anyway, I am just so invested in your story and I can't wait to see what's going to happen! The sad thing about Marauders era fics is that you know how it will all end eventually. I mean, Belle isn't in the books so somehow she's going to go. I don't know which will be worse, her leaving Sirius for some reason or her dying. Either way I know I'll be sad at the end of this. Also I know all the horrible endings that will become the cannon characters. Off topic again! What I'm trying to say is that I can't wait to see how You will finish this story. Especially what you will do with Alrek and Belle.
3) I've said it before and I'll say it again. The quality of your writing just blows me away. The descriptive detail and the nearly flawless grammar never stops amazing me. After reading your work all I want to do is become a better writer. I know I have a lot of room for improvement, but I can honestly say that you've inspired me to be better.
That's all for now, but I'm sure I'll review again later!
Sam (which is short for Samantha to answer your question!)Author's Response: Hi Sam! I'm so sorry that this response has taken ages. Of course work chooses the week that I get sick to be insane... *insert eye roll here*
I don't even know how I'm supposed to respond to such an awesome review. Characterization is such a huge thing to me. With a Marauder's story there aren't too many original things that can happen. I've tried to make this my own as much and possible, but there will always be common elements, so getting the perfect characterization is such a huge deal to me. I can't even tell you how much it means that you are enjoying mine, and I'm so happy that you picked those points as ones where Sirius seems very Sirius. Those are a few of my favorite bits of his, too :).
I think a lot of what had to do with Neville is the fact that Augusta couldn't really handle losing Frank. That was her boy, her son, and as much as she loves Neville, he won't live up to Frank. It's a bit part of how she is that I think made Neville the way he is, but in my head Augusta was a lot more supportive of Frank. Giving him a lot more confidence.
Did any of that make sense? It's late... haha!
That's on of the saddest aspects of the Marauder's era. There's only one real ending. But I'm so excited to explore their life before that point. Book two will be quite a bit different and more...grown up. But I'm so excited for that, to watch Lily and James learn to be young parents, to watch the group help one another get through the rough parts...all that sort of stuff. Knowing that your invested in this story and finding out how I'll get to that end is such an amazing, incredible compliment and I just don't know how to say thank you enough ♥
You've really made me feel so happy about this story and the fact that my writing has made you want to improve. There's been a few authors who have done that to me, so knowing I was able to give that feeling to some one else is just amazing.
Thank you so, so much for taking the time to review and just all your wonderful compliments. I can't even tell you how much this all means to me, and I hope you enjoy where the story goes from here ♥ Report Review
I knew that Alrek was suspicious and part of both attacks... :oAuthor's Response: Yes!! Alrek is definitely not a good guy...
Thanks for review ♥ Report Review
No chapter you write could ever be too long dear!
In the beginning I actually had hopes of a fluffy, makes me want to run off into the sunset with fictional characters chapter. Then the Dark Mark appeared. You did a wonderful job of capturing the emotions and the fear that went through all of them. It's so sad to see that these are all good people, normal people, apart from the magic and this world is making them do things like choosing to go to war and actually make the conscious decision that they might kill people.
I somehow suspected this wouldn't be the second defy, since they planned so hard to get them the first time and it would've been too soon.
I loved the image of Dumbledore swooping in surrounded by light and restoring the safety of Hogsmeade. He is so powerful and just calming all around.
Oh Alrek. Why don't you just drop dead? For me? Part of me was actually happy he got to suffer, not that he suffered for what he did but because he failed. And I'm happy he suffered because I suffered when I read what Bellatrix did to them. We need more suffering for the Death Eaters, yes?
This was a lovely chapter m'dear! We're so close to graduation and I know that the next book will bring us some more action and it will be a whole new dynamic, with them out of school and on the front lines! I can't wait! Good job!Author's Response: Awww haha you're so sweet Ral!
You expected a fluffy chapter?! With me?! HA. Are you new around here, Miss Ral? :P Just kidding, but the next one does have some fluff in it :D.
Yep, as you suspected, not the second defy ;). I think you'll know when that's coming. *rubs hands together.*
The second book will definitely take on a whole new dynamic. I'm so excited to explore their new adult life with all the craziness of the Order twisted in. And to get to explore what those last few years really brought them.
I'm so happy you liked this chapter and that it wasn't too long ♥ I try so hard to keep them at a reasonable length, but it just never happens. haha.
Thank you so much Ral for your awesome feedback ♥ Report Review
I. Hate. Rukin. Belle and Sirius; still love love love them! Sirius is all mushy when it comes to her. It's nice seeing that side of him! And James and Lily, what else can I say? They're James and Lily. The most adorable couple ever in HP history. I love seeing their sweet moments. I can't see what comes next in your amazing story. Author's Response: Hi there! I'm so happy you still love Belle and Sirius ♥
Thank you so much for this awesome review, and I'm happy you hate Alrek. I'm not his biggest fan either ;).
Saturdays update has been delayed do to me be being ill for a few days :(. I hope I'll see you next Saturday though, and I'm sorry about not updating today!
♥ Jami Report Review
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