Reading Reviews for Evolution
193 Reviews Found

Review #1, by 800 words of heaven Mitigating Damages

1st May 2015:
Hey, hey, hey! I apologise for being a little late with this review. I actually read the chapter a couple of days ago, but time got the best of me, and thus was not able to write up my thoughts. But here I am!

You definitely accomplish a lot in this chapter! I was really looking forward to the way James and Lily would handle the situation. It is very true that Dumbledore throws them in the deep end with no life raft, but from his point of view, he's grooming the leaders of the future. I'm sure he's already thinking of having these two join the Order after they graduate, and to be effective members of that secret society, they'd have to set themselves apart at school.

In terms of the cloak being too much too soon - I didn't think so. James strikes me as one of those people who trusts deeply and somewhat quickly. In effect, he puts his trust in trust, and expects the person at the receiving end to have the same sort of honour system as he does. From that point of view, it makes sense that he'd share the Invisibility Cloak with Lily. Also, it does seem like a good strategy on their part. I think his sharing the cloak also highlights another aspect of James' character, and something which Lily still lacks. He's a strong enough individual to realise that he can't do everything alone, and therefore uses partnerships to full effect. I have a feeling that if the roles were reversed, Lily would have rather carried out this plan alone, rather than including James.

And this now leads me to Lily. In this chapter more than any others set in seventh year illustrate just how much she has to grow as a leader. James is already there - he's confident, he's charismatic, and he has an astute understanding of the people he leads. Lily still lacks that. Of course, there was the beginning of her working towards that goal, with her spontaneous lying - I was rather proud of her for that one! But she still has so far to go. You touch upon her sudden realisation that she's feeling rather lonely this year, and I'm waiting for her to figure out that part of that is her fault. She's always sort of shied away from asking for support when she's needed it, and now when she needs a system of people who'll be there for her emotionally, it's not there. I'd love to see Lily build positive bonds with others outside of Alanna, Marlene, and the Marauders. Her other major relationship so far has just been with Lionel, and that didn't work out too well.

A lovely chapter, overall. As always, I eagerly anticipate the next one :)

Author's Response: First off, there is no "late" for reviews, especially delightfully detailed ones like yours! I really appreciate you carrying on with this story and giving me such great feedback - especially when I've been rather intermittent this year with updates.

You're absolutely right about Dumbledore. Making them handle it on their own is the second in his line of machinations for them (after naming them co-Heads) which are definitely geared toward cultivating them as leaders and as people - yes, for the benefit of the Order too.

You're very right about James and Lily's styles too (I'm glad I've developed them well enough that it comes across). While I hope to demonstrate in some other settings that it isn't that Lily's a poor leader, James is much more the charismatic coalition-builder than she is. Lily is generally well-liked because (to everyone but the Marauders-less-Remus) she's very kind and then she prefers to lead by example. They'll both learn a little of the other's style from each other as things progress though. The trust angle definitely plays in as well because though I intend to edit it to make the friendship dynamic with Lily and her friends a BIT less superficial, it is at least partially deliberately so - partly because she still deals with "outsider status" as a muggleborn, partly because of the collapse of her relationship with Petunia, and partly because of a past trauma.

Though I'm not 100 percent convinced that I won't need to go back and edit later to make their growth less divided, you're right about Lily. Early 7th is much more about HER growth (though it will still involve James dealing with the trauma of last summer) and the whole year they'll grow together. As for her support network, though from canon we know she's well-liked and social enough, I've actually kind of viewed her as someone with loads of people she's on good terms with, but comparatively few TRUE friends (tying back to her trust issues and also owing in part to her connection with Snape until recently). That may be controversial (since though I don't remember Lupin's exact words about her I think he referenced her having lots of friends), but I've always viewed that through the "Lupin-lens" which I think would regard simply being on good terms with so many people as being friends because he also doesn't have many given his issues - though in life I think having a huge network of people you're on good terms with is VERY different from having loads of FRIENDS. We shall see though. Lily's connections with those she leads will deepen as the year goes on though as she learns from James about confidence and tactics and as she starts to acknowledge her own imperfections. I'm contemplating an off-shoot friendship with a non-Gryffindor prefect in that vein, but who knows!

Thanks so much for the spectacular review! I'm hoping to have an update sooner rather than later!

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Review #2, by RupertsPheonix Mitigating Damages

20th April 2015:
Love it! I knew he'd have to show her the map or the cloak. :) I love that it's the cloak - family secret, later goes onto their son... such sentiment there.

I am eagerly awaiting the next chapter!!

Author's Response: Thanks so much for continuing on reading and taking the time to review! It really means a lot, especially after longer breaks than expected.

I hope to get the next chapter up in the next couple of weeks!

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Review #3, by RupertsPheonix The Prince's Path

21st February 2015:
Thanks for another great chapter! I enjoy your writing style quite a bit, and I'm anxious to see how everything pans out with Lily and James' new assignment with their "dissenting prefects." Great update, looking forward to another!

Author's Response: Thank you for the kind review and for sticking with the story! I'm hoping to wrap up another chapter tonight, but at the very latest by next weekend so stay tuned!

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Review #4, by TheBigA Round One

19th February 2015:
Hey there again friend! Been quite a while hasn't it? I feel like being engulfed by the ever lit Jily flame again, so here I am! Anyway first chapter back, a nice easy reintroduction to the main characters. I felt that you touched upon a lot of character aspects in this chapter even though most of the text was dialogue, It was fairly easy to recognize the underlying development you wanted the reader to pull from James' thoughts, such as in the beginning of the chapter, where he is thinking of Remus' "destructive" taste in women, which brought a much deeper dilemma about Remus' furry little problem, and the discrimination it can sometimes lead to in the Wizarding World. I also found the slow acceleration in the depth of interaction between James and Lily's dialogue to, rather than frustrate me, instead only increases my anticipation for the future. I didn't mind the switch to Lily's POV at the end because it was able to "complete the picture" for me in the sense in what Lily has realized about her feelings for James and remind me of the recent events which aren't as fresh to me as they were when I first read them. Finally on the topic of characters, I'd like to say that James was the true stand out of this chapter and that his emotions and thoughts provided critical insight into his habit of distancing his private working from Lily and without this POV it would've been lost. Great chapter and I look forward to catching up to what is so far a fantastic story😃
All the best,

Author's Response: Hello again! Glad to see you back! I'm glad that you're finding the fact that I'm not sprinting into sudden James/Lily depth and understanding to heighten the anticipation rather than irritate you. I think you may be in the minority there, but it's honestly people with that mentality that this story is most directed at, so it's encouraging to hear.

I'm hoping to have another update soon (possibly today) so hopefully, I'll see you back!

And don't worry about the multiple posting. I can take care of it on the back end. I just appreciate you leaving a review in the first place!

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Review #5, by 800 words of heaven The Prince's Path

14th February 2015:
Heya! I'm back again!

I really enjoyed this chapter for the way it set up the scene for what's happening outside of Hogwarts with Voldemort's aggressive rise to power. What I particularly enjoy about the way you write these events is that you make it relevant to the students at Hogwarts. They're very much a part of this movement, more so for Voldemort right now, but I think Dumbledore is grooming Lily and James to be his torchbearers for the good fight in the halls of Hogwarts. I imagine that this would have quite an impact on them and thus influence their decision to join the Order after they graduate. most other stories I've read portray the reason for this change to be quite sudden and because of some sort of cataclysmic event, but you're building it up slow, which makes it far more realistic.

Snape is as melodramatic as ever. It's interesting to read about what motivates him. To me, he seems far more caught up in the fact that this gives him importance and respect and a chance to be a leader. More than anything else I think he enjoys the recognition. He's also still deluded when it comes to Lily, thinking that she'd defend him about being caught in a Death Eater hangout. What even, Snape? This is a bit ridiculous, even for him.

I liked they way you used Dumbledore as a link between Hogwarts and the rest of the community. However, I did find that some of his dialogue was rather inane. I understand the effect you were trying to achieve; he speaks in riddles - and a lot of what he said was to that effect. Also my guess to the book he gave James is The Art of War.

Looking forward to the next chapter, as always :)

Author's Response: Hello again! You are correct about the book - and the dialogue. The struggle with that for me was that I actually had originally intended this scene to be far more literal, but as I wrote it and reflected more, I realized there was no chance that Dumbledore would be as open about things with James and Lily, especially not at this phase of their lives, and so I had to re-write it to be much more riddle-y, perhaps going too far in that direction.

You're definitely right too about him wanting them to be torchbearers. I definitely imagine that both Dumbledore and Voldemort would have a great interest in winning over the youth of the era if possible. Dumbledore's difficulty of course is that despite his machinations, he is still ultimately good and wouldn't abuse his authority to achieve his ends, while Voldemort is happy to have loyal subjects infiltrate Hogwarts (including student leadership positions) to accomplish his ends. Because of this difference, Dumbledore needs to have James and Lily decide for themselves to fight that "hearts and minds" battle in the halls and he chose them because he believes they will - and will do so better as a unified team. As you point out, this is definitely something I want to explore slowly and realistically so that we can see the first War's impact on students too outside of the deaths (and because it definitely WILL dovetail with the pair's decision to join the Order).

As for Snape's thoughts on Lily, I don't think I conveyed it as well as I could have because I try to keep Snape's sentences mostly short to fit his overall sense of bitterness in that area. Really, what I intended to express better was to pick-up on his side of Lily and James's silent exchange about whether he would hurt her, to emphasize that he would not have. Something to come back and edit later. Even outside of Lily though, he is a rather dramatic character. Part of that is that he's still a teenager and that he's not yet developed his more canonical ability to be as coldly calculating. Here he's also on a high about, as you say, the prospect of significance and recognition, which I think given his upbringing and his sorting into Slytherin would be big driving factors for him.

Right now, I'm trying desperately to crank out a challenge entry, but after that I'll be starting the next chapter for sure. It should have more direct interaction between James and Lily as well as more prominent appearances by Remus and Peter and, whether it's your thing or not, Quidditch practice.

Thanks for the wonderful, thoughtful review!

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Review #6, by 800 words of heaven Twice Skived

13th February 2015:
Heya! I've fallen a little behind on this story since Secret Santa ended, but I have finally arrived.

I quite enjoyed this chapter. The length of it allowed me to get back into the swing of things and reacquaint myself with your characters. I did find the transitions a little abrupt, but since the scenes themselves were so distinct, it didn't detract too much from the overall flow of the chapter.

It was really nice to see Sirius unintentionally prodding Lily towards some introspection. I'd never really thought about it that way before, but the way Sirius phrased her behaviour as hypocritical concerning arrogance rang true with me. I see this not only as the beginnings of Lily realising her own flaws, but perhaps also the start of her and Sirius' eventually-close friendship.

It's comforting to see James doing a little better this chapter, although I imagine it'll take him quite some time to get over what happened with Katie. His little rant about the reason why things are the way they are with Voldemort's rise to power is admirable, but also a little idealistic - I feel as if he's simplified the situation somewhat, and this is quite telling of the way he sees the world in terms of black and white.

The Death Eater gathering at Hogwarts was a clever reminder about what's happening outside the walls of Hogwarts. We read a lot about it through Lily's ruminations but there's something else to be said about seeing it first hand. And the fact that two prefects were involved underscored the point that no one is really above suspicion.

Lovely chapter! I'll be back for the next soon :)

Author's Response: Howdy!

Thanks so much for this review and the recommendation on the forums! I've never had a story recommended before so it was a great thing to come back to after a LONG day (and long weekend ahead). I've really enjoyed all the thought and detail that you put into your reviews and this one is no different.

I definitely hear you about the transitions, they were way harder than normal. The first one was originally a little softer with a transitional Lily-introspective scene, but it felt a bit too much like pulling back the curtain and undermining the effect of Sirius's comment at the end of Potions so I struck it.

As for James, he's definitely doing better. And he is very black and white about things. It's one of the interesting aspects (I think) about what his and Lily's relationship will become - James is really the "man of action" and while Lily has no fear of acting decisively herself, she has a more considered, nuanced approach. They'll prove to be complementary in that way once Lily realizes that just about the only people she HASN'T taken a considered approach to are James and Sirius (which is on the way soon).

I'm interested to see what you think of the next chapter (in particular the meeting with Dumbledore) as it plays more on the war growing and its impact on the school and Dumbledore's corresponding machinations without being overt at this point.

Thanks a million!

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Review #7, by KLB1234 Twice Skived

28th January 2015:
I am loving this story. I got through it in just over a day and can't wait till the next update. I like that you have managed to characterise both lily and James in a way that makes them tolerable. In a lot of fics people get too hung up over the necessity to make them fight constantly to develop their characters and the plot.

I am enjoying seeing Lily interact with the other marauders more, and would like to see more of that.

Author's Response: Wow! Thanks for your dedication and I'm really glad to hear you're enjoying it. Thank you too for the compliments on the characterization. I feel like I've not done Lily enough justice to this point, so that's something I'm working on now (along with the James/Lily build-up), so you'll definitely see more of her interacting with others and more of her relationships with her friends outside of stereotypical conversations they've had previously.

I hope to have update tomorrow, so keep your eyes peeled. And thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review! It's very much appreciated, especially at the end of a busy week for me!

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Review #8, by RaeLane Twice Skived

18th January 2015:
I really love your story so far! You have a great writing style and I look forward to reading the next chapter!

Author's Response: Thanks so much for reading and the encouragement! I'm working on it now and hoping to update soon!

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Review #9, by DivergentHarryTARDISMusic One Night in July

5th January 2015:
Oh my goodness, I have been gone forever it seems like, but I had a little bit of time, and was thinking of you and your fantastic story, so I stopped by to get a chapter or two in.
As for the chapter: Success! I especially loved the little witty Beethoven lines, especially since I'm a big fan of classical music! Like usual, looking forward to reading on!
Sorry for being a stranger, Cece

Author's Response: Welcome back! I'm glad you liked this chapter - I think you might be alone in that, but it's encouraging anyway. So many others were upset that James got no "closure" - but then that was sort of the point.

Perhaps surprisingly, I'm actually NOT a big classical fan, but I figured for a Ministry function it would have to be more in that vein and of course it gave me the opportunity to play with Beethoven.

Hope to see you again soon! Thanks for reading and reviewing!

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Review #10, by peacock33 Cold Light of Day

3rd January 2015:
Great to see another update. I'm excited to see how the story starts moving with more interaction with LIly and James.
WHile I understand Sirius' point, it seemed kind of silly to act like what happened was the same as another breakup. It clearly wasn't as neither James or Katie chose for this to happen and would have still been together if given the choice. But furthermore, james got no closure and has reason to wonder if katie will be coming back at some point for them to resume their relationship. Plus, he has to worry if she is even alive or hurt or anything like that. Beyond just losing Katie herself, the whole experience is rather terrifying in showing what is going on at that time in the wizarding world and would have really destabalized James' view of the security of his world. So it seems like a month isn't too long for him to still be struggling with all of this; so I'm glad you have implied that he won't just forget about katie after this. Sirius came off as kind of selfish and not really caring about james' struggles, but just wanting him to get over it so Sirius didn't have to deal with it. But i am glad that James won't be moping and wallowing forever.
I'm interested to see what you will do with Lily as so far James seem to have come off as the nicer, more mature and less judgmental person in recent times. So I hope that Lily becomes more appealing soon. It seems like we'll have to see her change a fair amount to believe in james falling for her as hard as he did Katie, who was so nice and fun.
Thanks and can't wait for more.

Author's Response: Hello again! Glad to see you back!

Sirius IS wrong from a literal standpoint for the reasons you've mentioned. But he isn't being selfish. He genuinely believes he's doing the right thing to buck his friend up and get him out of the doldrums, where he's dwelling on the loss almost ceaselessly. Being blunt (sometimes callously or exaggeratedly so) is part of their dynamic as "brothers" which you may see more of going forward. So while this won't be the end of James thinking about Katie by any means (proving the point that moving on after 6 weeks or so IS unrealistic), it WILL be what he needed to get him to back to "living" so to speak and also get him some perspective on the reality of their relationship and the world at large.

Lily is actually quite an interesting case as she's come off not quite as I'd intended. I think it's largely because there hasn't been enough development of her character outside of interactions with James or situations where he appears or comes up in conversation which, since he sets her off, causes her to necessarily appear in a bad light with the possible exception of helping Katie and what I would consider her fairly mature handling of Lionel. It's something I'm going to look to help fix through edits later, but hopefully Lily has already started to come across as a LITTLE more caring with how she's reacted to James's situation. Certainly we'll see her start to acknowledge her own flaws in the coming build-up though because a reality of this story was always that BOTH people needed to change to make James/Lily not just great, but viable.

I think the words "nice and fun" are an interesting choice for Katie. Certainly very appropriate, but I'm interested to see what you think of James's eventual analysis of her in that regard.

I'm hoping to get another chapter up next week, which should include more development on Lily's part and include a bit more on the dynamic in her group of friends in their own right (independent of the unfortunately stereotypical subjects of development so far - another thing for edits).

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Review #11, by Unicorn_Charm The End of the Line

2nd January 2015:
Hiya, Kevin!

I've finally had a chance to come back and continue on. :) I really wish I started this story sooner, I'm really enjoying it so far. This chapter was really, really well done. I honestly cannot see all of this happening any other way. This is exactly how I would have imagined Lily feeling and thinking about Severus after he called her a Mudblood. So far you have characterized her wonderfully.

I think everything that Lily thought was spot on. Severus did slowly turn to darkness, just like she said. I can totally picture him going from the victim to this cold hearted and cruel boy, just like you described here. Lily's pain came across really well here. Again, this was just very well done. I could easily see this as being canon. Excellent job on this!

Your writing really is a joy to read. These first two chapters were great and I cannot wait to continue on! Well done!! ♥

xoxo Meg

Author's Response: Hello again Meg!

You are super nice! It's all great to hear, though I hope if you keep going you feel the same way... :\ With Lily in particular I have misgivings about how I handled her (and her friends) in the late-beginning and middle so I'd love to get your feedback on that if you carry on.

At any rate, with regard to the final severing ;) of ties between Lily and Snape, I always believed it was about so much more than just Snape's Worst Memory so I'm glad you agree.

Thanks so much again for the wonderful review and encouragement!

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Review #12, by missatron Ain't No Sunshine

2nd January 2015:
Hi there, Kevin! I've been wandering round the archives and reviewing stories to kick off their new year, and I found Evolution! I can't believe that I haven't reviewed it yet.

As an opening chapter, I, personally, think that this works very well. It was very well written, and gave the tiniest of hints about what could possibly happen in future chapters. It can sometimes be hard to grip the reader from your first few pages of writing, but this certainly gripped me and didn't let go!

I like how you haven't started this off as the stereotypical James/Lily fic, as James seems to be more interested in oranking Lily that thinking of her as a potential girlfriend, or even liking her. In the James/Lily stories that I have read before, James usually starts off being obsessed with Lily from day one. Your characterisation of James is actually very pleasant to read.

The narrative voice is very consistent throughout. James' personality is very clear, and your writing style shines brightly. I look forward to reading future chapters.

From Missy

Author's Response: Howdy Missy! Thanks so much for stopping by this story and for your encouraging words. I always worry about this one as: (1) it's kind of my "baby" on the archives and (2) it was my first foray back into the world of fiction and I know it has some issues (more in the middle).

I'm really glad you like the non-stereotypical side of it though because that's definitely what I was aiming at. I've just never viewed James as being over-the-moon-in-love-for-all-time with Lily or there being a bunch of existing sexual tension that suddenly turns into romance (the other James/Lily trope).

As far as James goes, I'm glad you found his characterization believable. At this exact moment, I'd certainly agree his thoughts aren't 100 percent settled, but Lily's definitely piqued his interest and if you continue reading you'll see what that initially turns into and how it influences him and changes over time.

Thanks for the review!

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Review #13, by Secret Santa Cold Light of Day

1st January 2015:
Iiti! Secret Santa here!

Oh, my goodness! Sirius is ridiculously clueless about how to handle emotions as ever! I wonder how he'll grow this year. In canon, he and Lily are quite close, and I'm wondering if you'll write the beginning of that relationship during this year. Will it be before or after James and Lily start dating? How on earth will such two different people manage to get along? The Sirius/Lily friendship is a relationship that I'm looking forward to the most, I think, since I know Jily will happen whether I look forward to it or not.

Sirius is direct, if nothing else. I wonder what his "pep talk" will do for James. James needs to move on. And Sirius needs to get better at expressing his need to help his friends.

So! We've reached the end of the published chapters of Evolution! Maybe you'll post another chapter before the season of Secret Santa gift-giving is over, since the queue opens up before the end of that! But if we don't meet again... YOUíLL NEVER WHO I AM. MUHAHAHA.

*throws confetti into the air and runs away with the energy provided only by the holiday season*

Author's Response: Howdy! I don't think you've used that one yet ;) Before I respond in earnest I wanted to take another moment to thank you PROFUSELY for all these reviews and taking the time to read this whole story - all 41 chapters and 106,000 words of it! That was a titanic effort to take on (holidays or no) and I REALLY appreciate it. Your reviews were so detailed and thoughtful and overwhelmingly helpful that I think they'll be instrumental moving forward from here. THANK YOU!

As for Sirius, yeah...he's not the most tactful, but sometimes blunt is what people need and I wrote this chapter with that in mind for James. We can't forget that James and Sirius are said to be like BROTHERS so if anyone knows what will finally wake James up it's probably him. And I certainly think it will. Sometimes there's just of value in someone you know loves you and cares about you bucking you up in when you're in a really rough spot. Did he muck up the wording in a few spots, especially his "other witches in the castle" remark? Absolutely. But by the end the idea was actually supposed to be that Sirius had gotten through to him. I don't know if that truly came off, but that was the aim.

I think you'll find if you carry on that James is a bit more "alive" from her on out and that the tale can really move forward in earnest once more.

Thank you again for this wonderful gift! Hope you had a Merry Christmas and enjoy a SPECTACULAR New Year!

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Review #14, by Secret Santa Lakeside

1st January 2015:
S'mae! Secret Santa here!

Once again, I just want to mention that I love the details that you put into your story. My favourite types are the ones you give about the academic curriculum at Hogwarts. The details are thoughtful, thorough, and realistic. I love it!

I like this change in Lily. She's always been thoughtful, but this nostalgic turn to her thoughts is interesting. It gives a new dimension to her character; it shows a softer side of her that yearns for times past when things were simpler in her life. We've never seen this side of her before, and I think this is the beginning of the changes that she's going to go through this year, as well as building on what's going on with Voldemort's rise to power.

I also liked this time we spent with Lily's friends. Finally, they weren't talking about boys but their lives! And they weren't fighting either, but just chilling. Woohoo! Also, I just read your AN, and now it's going to be really weird for you to read some of my past reviews where I've just been complaining about all the issues you've already identified. But I'm looking forward to their development.

The James and Lily interaction was also interesting, since Lily was trying to offer her support to James despite the fact that she doesn't quite like him. It's clear that James doesn't trust her, but I think it will be lead both of them to new and exciting discoveries about each other if James does open up to Lily about Katie's disappearance.
Onto the final chapter! Awkward sign-off for the last time!

Author's Response: Thank you! Sometimes I wonder if those details are necessary or helpful or what the deal is with them exactly because mostly non-members read and review this story (with me not getting active on the forums really until it was like...well, it was too long to just go out and ask people to start reading it) and while a number of them have given exceptional characterization and big-picture feedback, none of have commented thus far on details like that.

As for Lily, I definitely wanted to make a quick start to the reforms I've recognized needed making with the topics of conversation among the three girls and also Lily's interactions and behavior. Obviously you could see more of the needling, but I wanted to show that Lily doesn't always bristle at it - that it is as I said - just part of their friendship.

You're absolutely right that all of this is going to ultimately give rise to positive changes in Lily. Right now she's just doing some of what she does best - thinking, thinking, thinking - but it will cause her to come to certain realizations, both on her own and with the help of some other characters that will allow her to grow.

With James and Lily, you're right that there's distrust on his side too, though his is borne more of the fact that she's never taken his side or tried to support him - EVER - with the possible exception of fighting alongside him against the figures attacking the first-years. I think it's a lot less deep than the distrust from the other direction because James knows full well that Lily doesn't set out to hurt people or betray confidences, but it's still there.

I haven't quite decided when James will open up to Lily about Katie's disappearance or exactly how it will happen yet, but certainly it's coming. I think there a miles of bridges to be built before he'd share anything that personal with her though. It'll be many small, small steps before that subject is ever reached.

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Review #15, by Secret Santa Round One

1st January 2015:
Ai! Secret Santa here!

James and Lily's first round! And first real problem-solving session! They handled it rather well, all things considered. It could've gone a lot worse than it did, since they did come to a resolution. And now they're talking about James' responsibilities and how he actually has plans for after Hogwarts and how he's been working towards them over his tenure as Quidditch Captain.

I'm oddly pleased that Lily agrees with me. James and Katie's relationship ending lacked a lot of closure, which is a huge problem for James (and me), aside from the fact that she's actually gone.

Sorry about the short review, but I find myself sort of rushing towards the end of published chapters. I march forever onward...

Author's Response: Indeed they did. Lily handled it better than she probably otherwise would've due to James's fresh wounds. Absent that she wouldn't have long suffered his melancholic, disinterested silence. But that's also to show that even when it comes to her sworn enemy she does have the CAPACITY to empathize with him if she really tries. And crucially as you say (though she won't think on it much now), the conversation and problem-solving have planted the first hook in her head that maybe there's more to James Potter than meets the eye.

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Review #16, by Secret Santa Collision

1st January 2015:
nuqneH! Secret Santa here!

It's really adorable to read James be so eager and nervous about his new position. Lily, however, is a little annoying, but I think that's because as the readers we get to see James' side of things, and Lily doesn't. So when it's so obvious to me that James being genuine and really trying to be the best he can be in his new role as Head Boy, Lily doesn't. That change I suppose will be a slow one for Lily. She's really quite set in her ways.

That scene with the Prefects was interesting. James clearly has the charisma to hold a crowd, from which I think Lily will benefit. I'm looking forward to not only Lily learning more about James, but also learning more from James. If anything, that entire incident with her Transfiguration essay the year before should serve as a reminder that he does know some things.

It was really cool to see Remus be so assertive towards Lily. We've seen him be understanding, and wise, but I think this is the first instance where he's downright refused something to protect his friend, especially since he's always so diplomatic. The next couple of chapters should be fun, indeed!

Author's Response: Indeed indeed. Despite Dumbledore's speech, Lily's only just giving James a chance in this gig. She doesn't trust him farther than she can throw him. But as you say, she will learn some things from James (and he from her) throughout this Head Boy-Head Girl experience.

This is also where we see a more protective side to the Marauders - including Remus shutting Lily down. I wanted to include that bit because so far the story actually hasn't included much of them supporting one another, when that's obviously central to their group dynamic. It also sets up the last bit you've read though, which is them (or one of them at least) getting tired of all that and supporting their friend in a very different way (though I'll leave that for that chapter).

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Review #17, by Secret Santa The Special Visitor

1st January 2015:
Aloha! Secret Santa here!

I think you've definitely captured the strange way in which Dumbledore speaks - a grave truth wrapped in the pretty wrapping paper of a semi-senile old man's seemingly unrelated stories. That's the way he often talked to Harry at least, and honestly, all of that talking around the matter can get a bit annoying, but here it works. Nothing like a dose of Dumbledore to help get James out of his Katie-induced funk.

I'm 99% sure that Dumbledore is Jily's #1 shipper. I always suspected that James and Lily were paired as Head Boy and Girl partly so that they'd end up together. Obviously, James' choosing has more to do with his other qualities than that, but the way Dumbledore speaks of his and Lily's relationship... well. Dumbledore definitely ships it already :P

I wasn't expecting Lily to learn that James is to be Head Boy alongside her. It would've been fun to see her explode on the Hogwarts Express, but I'm looking forward to seeing how she handles it over the remainder of the summer, and what her reaction will be when they meet face-to-face for the first time. Should be fun!

To the next chapter!

Author's Response: I love your thoughts on the Dumbledore scene (and am eternally gratified that you thought I handled his speech well)! Truth. Dumbledore definitely ships James/Lily. Whenever I think of them in connection with Dumbledore I always think of the conversation Dumbledore had with Harry wondering about he and Hermione's relationship. My instant reaction was "Dumbledore, you old fox, you've played this game before with a Potter, haven't you?" Of course, Dumbledore being who he is, I think he would've viewed James and Lily getting together as being of incredible strategic value as well.

I considered the Express Explosion actually, but I decided the Headmaster was probably smarter than to let that happen, especially in such a pivotal time in history. He surely knows just how explosive things can get between the two and needs them as united as can be to start and needs them BOTH to trust his judgment. Which means making a recently-crushed James see how important this job is and helping prod Lily toward recognizing what she often refuses to - that people can chance.

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Review #18, by Secret Santa One Night in July

1st January 2015:
Salute! Secret Santa here!

Haha! I enjoyed that little bit about Beethoven! It injected a surprising splash of humour to the tale, which has been rather dark in recent chapters.

That's how James and Katie end? She has to go into hiding? I wasn't really expecting it to end that way. I guess because you've been building up their relationship problems for so long, this particular way to end things seems so sudden. I know another reason I wanted a proper breakup scene between the two is that it offers some sort of closure to their entire relationship. Katie going into hiding... doesn't offer that, I guess. In terms of suddenness, it definitely caught me off guard. But poor James! Ah, things are going to be hard from him, like you mentioned. However, onwards I must go!

Author's Response: Indeed - sudden. Insecurity wasn't going to do it to them because she was James's first love and it wasn't really an enormous enough feature of their relationship to grate on him. Death wasn't going to cut it because that's too cliche. And I desperately wanted there to be no closure because it would force James to make a choice to move on after losing a strongly positive relationship through no fault of his own. The lack of closure will also leave room for some retrospective assessment of the relationship on his part that I had always planned on to (very lightly) push him in Lily's direction. Psychologist/Life Advisor-Remus will probably help with that at some point.

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Review #19, by Secret Santa Reunions

1st January 2015:
Salud! Secret Santa here!

It's nice to finally get to know Lily's friends a little more. Does this perhaps signal their larger role in the story from this point onwards? I hope so. I hadn't realised that Alana's family was so ridiculously filthy rich, and thus concerned about their position in high wizarding society. And I might have missed something, but is Lily always at odds with her friends for some reason whenever they interact? I'm not sure if I'm just reading their relationship weirdly.

Sirius finally has a steady love interest (possibly?)! Oh, no! She's going to die, isn't she? I can feel it. Poor Grace and her family is going to be killed by Death Eaters! OH NO POOR SIRIUS.

I hope we get more of the story from Remus' point of view from this point on. His situation at home sounds intriguing, if troubling for Remus himself, and I'm positive that things are going to escalate, so I'd love to see what happens! And I actually like reading the story from his point of view. There's something really steady about it.

The next chapter, ho!

Author's Response: Yes! It is SUPPOSED to signal the beginning of them featuring more prominently. Alana and Marlene's families are actually both quite wealthy, as I (very) obliquely alluded to with the early disclosure about their extensive summer vacations.

Without repeating what I said about the needling aspect, I would say Lily is different from her friends. They certainly aren't always at odds, but Marlene and Alana come from magical families and money and generally have less high-minded ambitions post-Hogwarts than Lily. Accordingly she's a lot more studious and more weighed down by the way the world is evolving around her and her friends like to rib her about the former and are somewhat blissfully ignorant of the latter because Lily hates showing weakness.

As for the wedding date with Grace, that really was a filling-in-in-a-pinch scenario, so I wouldn't call it anything steady at this point in time, but it COULD (maybe...possibly) be headed in that direction. As for the end of her involvement in the story, know I can't possibly answer THAT.

You know, until you actually drew it to my attention, it had somehow escaped me that I really haven't written from Remus's perspective. I did have one chapter absolutely planned that will be from his POV that I hope is interesting, but more...I'm not sure. It's something of a challenge writing from all these loads of different perspectives and I don't know that I'd want to leap out there with Remus too, but I have certainly not ruled it out.

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Review #20, by Secret Santa Table Talk

1st January 2015:
Prannam! Secret Santa here!

Argh! Formal dining makes me so nervous as well! There are like fifty plates in front of you (all empty, unfortunately) along with about twenty different types of forks and knives, and about twelve different kinds of spoons. Formal dinners always strike me as a "worst case scenario" type of situation. Whoever invented the rules of formal dining would survive the zombie apocalypse. I feel for you, Katie!

Ah, this very sad turn of events for Katie and her family is bound to have an effect on her relationship with James. Will this be the unfortunate end to their romance? I knew this was coming, but still... goodness. I'm going to miss these two together :(

Avast! The next chapter - actually, I have no idea where that one was going. I just watched Pirates of the Caribbean again recently. It seemed like a good idea at the time to use the word "avast".

Author's Response: I am the WORST at formal dining, primarily because I hate salads and generally loathe fancy food. I just want a burger and fries people. Or at my fanciest a thick steak and some delicious garlic mashed potatoes. But Katie handles herself well I think, even despite the awkward banter between James's parents.

As far as Katie - I'll miss her too - but you've gotten it in advance. It's the impetus for the end.

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Review #21, by Secret Santa Deeper

1st January 2015:
Nomoskaar! Secret Santa here!

Ah, I've been waiting for something that develops Peter a little more. The fact that he's so severely bullied, or more accurately, frequently physically assaulted, when he returns home. He feels helpless without his magic, which also makes sense, as he relies on trickery and magic to survive Sirius' confrontation, and later, evasion from people at large. But I'm glad you showed his Gryffindor spirit; he considered it an improvement that he was able to land a few blows himself before he was knocked down.

I don't know whether I should laugh or feel sorry every time I read something from Severus' point of view. He's just so melodramatic! All his reasons seem really valid, and obviously all his hard work and dedication at this time during his life doesn't go to waste, but everything is steeped so heavily in teenage angst and drama. It's hard to separate his motivations from this, and so he comes off as a bit pathetic at times. It's like reading about that crazy teacher Timmy Turner has on The Fairly OddParents who believes that fairies are real (and isnít wrong) and spends all his time and energy trying to prove their existence (whilst making everyone feel miserable) but no one believes him.

That little scene with Lucius was interesting. I like how you're not letting the entire summer go to waste, so to speak, and are connecting the characters to the goings-on of the real world, which are just as important to their development as their lives at Hogwarts, especially with seventh year and all the world holds looming in their near futures.

The next chapter - it calls my name!

Author's Response: Peter...I have had this in mind for since the beginning. I had long decided that there would have to be more than just fear of Voldemort and the Death Eaters to turn him. Because he was sorted into Gryffindor for a reason. In many ways, right now, he's a great contrast to Snape, because both had...less than away from Hogwarts and suffered plenty at the hands of bullies (Peter, honestly much worse). Both have dealt with it all almost entirely in secret, but Peter is such a better person for it right now. I think you'd be interested to see how things turn for him. It might not be what you'd necessarily expect. Then again, it might be exactly what you'd expect.

Snape is just carrying on the drama. He's just so put upon by life really. But at the same time, he's getting the edge he's always wanted with Lucius. Things are definitely about to get "real" as far as Snape is concerned and he'll feature more prominently and (mostly) much less melodramatically from here forward.

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Review #22, by Secret Santa Stranger on the Street

1st January 2015:
Haai! Secret Santa here!

It's a bit strange to read about Sirius' adventures through a small place like Stroud. I'm so used to reading him as very sure of himself and always knowing in what direction he is heading, so seeing him so lost, and at the whims of a strange is kind of fun.

Is Grace going to be a summer love interest for Sirius, in the absence of Renee? I don't want to pass judgement too early on Grace, without getting to know her a bit better before I make up my mind about what I think about her. I hope we get to meet her again!

Have we all been waiting for the end of James and Katie? I can't say that I really have. I do think them to be well-suited to each other. Like any real couple, they have their issues, but it seemed as if they were working their way through them. Alas, the hardcore Jily shipper inside me rears its ugly head to declare with a mighty roar that, no! We are glad that the end of James and Katie is nigh! RAWRR!

Until the next chapter!

Author's Response: Haha that truthfully refers to the vast majority of my readers, who are more than ready at this point for the James/Lily endgame we all know is coming. I'm glad you thought they were well-suited and real though as that was a goal for them. What I would be interested to see is how you evaluate James's later reflections on the relationship.

As far as Grace goes, she's not just a summer love interest. I actually have a lengthy arc in mind for her in this story that you'll have to carry on to uncover.

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Review #23, by Secret Santa Pale Sunshine

1st January 2015:
Sawubona! Secret Santa here!

Ooh! This is an interesting turn of events! Lily and Remus hanging out together! That should be fun! I'm so pleased the fact that Lily is a "judgemental hothead", in her own words, has finally come up. This might be the first step in realising that she may need to make some positive changes the same way James did this time last year.

Lily's friends have been passing judgement on her every time I've read an interaction between them, and it's a little strange that she's only taking notice of it now. She does know what people and even her friends think of her for the most part, but she seems more influenced by what Remus had to say than either Marlene or Alana ever said to her. Why does she listen to what Remus has to say? Is it the effect Remus has on people, or their relationship?

The next chapter awaits!

Author's Response: Indeed! This is the beginning of Lily starting to see the less flattering side of herself, though she's got a long way to go from just naming it, and she won't kick on so easily.

I would say she listens to Remus more so because she takes a lot of Marlene and Alana's comments as being "all in good fun" even if there's a distinct truth to them. The passing of judgment between the three girls is really a part of how the friendship works. Lily doesn't always react well to it (remember getting defensive about Lionel), but they actually like to needle each other to a degree. Remus gets her to see it where her girlfriends' remarks do not because while they're friends, their relationship is very different. And then there's the fact that Remus is quite good at reading people and accordingly broaching subjects like this in a way where they'll have to own the words. He's clever like that. I think he would've made a good psychologist or psychotherapist. Later, Lily will probably agree.

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Review #24, by Secret Santa Summer in Stroud

1st January 2015:
Bawo! Secret Santa here!

Haha! Poor James! Katie's father is understandably very protective of her, and it makes sense for him to treat James the way he does. However, James is always getting grief over his "reputation", although in this story, you haven't really shown any evidence of its existence. Is that just a product of from where you started this story?

This was a surprisingly short chapter! Hopefully there will be a return to something a bit longer like the ones that covered their time at Hogwarts. Until the next chapter, adios!

Author's Response: James's reputation has been a factor deliberately left like a hanging cloud. I will say that it is a product of where the story began, but it will ultimately be explained and dealt with. Really, I would say it HAS to be dealt with, though as you may remember, even Remus acknowledges it's undeserved.

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Review #25, by Secret Santa The Quidditch Cup

1st January 2015:
Helo! Secret Santa here!

Ah, it was nice to see a return of Renee and Sirius. I thought that maybe I wanted something romantic for these two, but I think I'd rather prefer reading them as good friends, to be honest. In canon, Sirius and Lily are quite close, at least by the time they're both in the Order, and I think it would be nice if Sirius could maintain other good, serious friendships with women.

Yay! The end of sixth year, finally! Is this the sort of chapter length, about thirty chapters, you have planned for each year in this story? Or will that depend on the events that you wish to portray?

Author's Response: Hmm. I think that will depend. Honestly, I could see 7th year going longer in terms of chapters unless I stop doing what I have been and find ways of stretching the chapter length. After all, we're what, two weeks into 7th year and that's already been four chapters? There's a lot of growth that has to happen for Lily, carrying on of other character/plot lines (Snape, Sirius, Peter, the Death Eaters, and Quidditch), the institution of new ones (Lily's friends, Prefect Politics, the Order, "the future"), and of course the heavily lifting that I MUST pull off after all this wait of bringing James and Lily together, including some angst and believable sexual tension. Now I'm scaring myself, let alone you. But I really am hoping to finish the story this year - we'll see.

Renee and Sirius are certainly better off not romantically involved. I wouldn't say they'll become friends exactly - Sirius only has room in his beat up heart for so many of those (at least in my head canon) - but we'll start catching more positive glimpses of the Marauders' interactions with a larger population in the school this year (outside of pranks). And Sirius will develop positive relationships with other female characters besides Lily. Those two will absolutely start to become a little closer though before James and Lily become an item. You'll have to keep reading to find out why ;)

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