Yeah I’m back again but I’m stalking your Jily stories this time round!
The dialogue in this just ♥ it was superb! I could sense the tension between them with all of my sense which isn’t something that happens all that often so hear it was just wonderful. The bitterness of Lily towards James was so well written. I liked the fact that she was challenging him and his word as it was a bit of girl power though it probably defeats the purpose of the challenge!
The structure of this story was really great too and the way it was broken up into little parts seemed to symbolise the disjointedness of their relationship and how fractured it was. You not only encompass great style into your work but structure too and that something I always admire about your pieces!
I never imagined Lily as a killer but your slightly darker portrayal of her here really fitted with it and it made sense. I liked how you she connected with her conscious at that part as it showed that she was still human though she hadn’t appeared like that for much of the one-shot and it made me like her more. The comparison to the fallen angel was really great and it can almost be used with James’ view too because he used to admire her but after this he may not so she’s fallen in his view.
That line which James said but sounded like Dumbledore was really great. It sort of bonded them together and Dumbledore’s wiseness carried them through and showed that in times like these arguing is frivolous and they need to find Caradoc though it may be futile in a case like his.
Though it sounds horrible I liked the fact that James had to kill because it binded him and Lily together as they were both broken or fallen however you wish to see it and that final section when he was asking her about what it felt like was really powerful. I thought this was an excellent study of their pairing!
Author's Response: Thank you for stopping by again! It's great that you're taking the time to read through my older one-shots - I really appreciate hearing your feedback. ^_^
Oh wow, I'm really glad to hear that you like the dialogue in this one, as well as the tension between Lily and James. That's what I wanted to emphasize in this story was how their initially strained relationship develops, not during their final year at Hogwarts, but in the year after they graduate (and thankfully canon is so murky that I could just, just get away with it :P). There was a lot in canon about how they worked together against Voldemort, yet it's harder to find fics that look closely at their partnership in this respect - they're all about the romance rather than the trust and mutual strength they would have required to go up against Voldemort three times. Lily fights against James to assert her place, not as the girl of his dreams, but as his equal, someone with actually more at stake in this war.
It's interesting how it's much harder for fans to see the "good" characters as being capable of killing, yet they had to kill to survive. Harry stands out because he refuses to kill anyone, even Voldemort - it's regarded as an anomaly in the Potterverse that he decides to do so. It's not only what makes him capable of defeating Voldemort - who is literally killed with Harry's goodness - but it's why he's lauded as a different kind of hero. There's nothing in canon that suggest that other characters, including Lily and the Marauders, did the same. If they'd not killed any Death Eaters, then the magical world would have been overrun in no time. What differs for Lily is that she feels guilt, even at the death of someone who would have killed her without a second thought - it disturbs her that she has to go to such lengths to ensure not only her survival, but also that of the magical world.
Yes! That's exactly it! By the end of this, they are true partners in everything - even though it comes at a horrible cost, it links their fates and makes them see one another in an entirely new way, one that easily blossoms into respect and love. They are each capable of greatness on their own, but together, they are even stronger - that's what makes the Lily/James ship what it is.
Thank you so much for reading and reviewing this story! Your review has made me appreciate this story a lot more, and I appreciate it! ^_^
Well, this is definitely a story I wouldn't have normally read, but I love the Dylan Thomas Poem (granted I've only heard it in Rodney Dangerfield's movie lol) but it intrigued me, and then learning what they went through, killing for the first time. I think it was beautiful how you ended it. Also makes it very appropriate that Killing is then something Harry had never done, that even when Remus scolded him for using Expelliarmus, he stuck to that part of himself that is so much like James in this. I loved the similarity, and I believe that if it was between say Ginny being killed, he would, like James, then kill. There are a few phrases that come up a little too often, but then if it was waaay too often then I'd remember what it was :P lol. I'm not a big drama/angst reader, so it makes me curious what James' POV would be since he was the more positive one, but then I would have thought it would then be that much harder for him than Lily since she was already so tainted with what she'd been through.
This really seemed to echo that poem, they certainly did "not go gently into that sweet goodnight" so to speak.
Author's Response: Thank you very much for coming in to read this story! It was lovely of you to take the time, and I'm really glad that you liked how the story turned out. With the ending, I wanted to give them both some happiness even in the middle of a war - they've found each other, maybe in the wrong time, but they still have to make something of it; they have to fight.
Not many readers have dealt with the way that this story explores the act of killing, and I don't think anyone has nailed what I was hoping to do with this story quite this perfectly. If Harry was cornered and had no choice, he would kill, but with Voldemort, he knew he wouldn't need to, that it would in fact work against him. If Ginny had been directly threatened, though, he would have done what Mrs. Weasley did - and he would do the same for Ron and Hermione. But it would always have to be for someone else.
But Lily is different. She killed because she was scared, and she sees that as a weakness - though self-defense is natural, instinctive. The fact that it haunts her shows that she equally hates killing and hates herself for it, but unlike Harry and James, she won't shy away from the spell - she sees it as a preventative measure, saving others before they're even in danger.
It's a big issue to deal with in a story, and I don't know if Lily and James were the most ideal characters to attempt it with, but I'm happy to hear that you found that it worked with the parallels between James and Harry - I hadn't even thought of those! I don't know what James's POV would have been - I only imagined it through Lily's eyes, but my guess would be that it would also be a sad story. He would be watching the girl he loved torture herself over something she could not help, something that they were both too young to deal with, much less fully understand. He may have seemed more positive when compared with Lily, but his story is equally a tragedy.
Thank you again for reading and reviewing this story! I agree that there is too much repetition in this story - I do get carried away sometimes. XD But I'm glad that you found it an interesting read!
I love it. I also agree with your statement about finding it hard to believe Lily just decided to be with James.
Author's Response: Thank you! :D I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one who thinks this way - it's a curious question that's very interesting to explore in fanfiction.
Wow, what an amazing oneshot! I loved it! 10/10 :D
Author's Response: Goodness, thank you! I'm really glad to hear that you liked it! ^_^
OMG! Susan, this is amazing. I had meant to read it when you posted it on my challenge thread, but then I got distracted and then surgery. Now I'm here to review it cause it's part of our exchange.
Anyway, I absolutely loved this. The mystery, the romance and the way you pulled the dark/horror genre in there, it was awesome. You have a lovely way with words and I envy the talent you have.
I really loved that Lily wasn't completely in love with James right from the get go. That her affection for him grew as the story developed.
Author's Response: Thank you so much for this, Len! I really appreciate that you were able to do this review, even with your surgery, and I hope you're doing better. ^_^
I was unsure whether I'd pegged your challenge's expectations because they are hard genres to combine in a novel, much less a one-shot like this. My Moody/McGonagall idea still fits better, but that one is still, even now, in the planning stage (my problem being how to frame the story and who to narrate it). However, it's wonderful to hear that this one-shot does, after all, manage to pull off all three genres successfully. There was meant to be more horror and romance, actually, but I'm glad that the former, at least, fell by the wayside to a large degree - I thought of going deeper into Lily's ability to kill, making her almost a vigilante-figure, but it was too extreme for my love of canon. ;)
I'm so glad to hear that you liked how Lily wasn't entirely in love with James from the beginning. It was more fun to have their love develop slowly, naturally, and it fit into the storyline of this perfectly, too. ^_^
Thank you again!
You quoted Milton! I LOVE Milton, and I love the quote.
"He wanted to treat her like a queen when all she wanted was to be treated as an equal." That line was fantastic. I think it really gets at the core of Lily. She's such a complex character, simultaneously beautiful and wild, fragile and so stout of heart. The line you used blows all of the cliche James-loves-Lily-but-she-hates-him stories out of the water. I also love how you've written Snape's offense as affecting her so deeply; with a friendship that important, I know that she would be deeply scarred by his words. Very realistic.
You've made Lily so bitter, and though I love her dearly as a character, I really do think it's appropriate. Her spite is her only weapon in this war that she never asked to be a part of. She's been pulled to one side, and she's scrambling for control, though she conceals it beneath an apathetic exterior. You've done a daring thing by adding this edge to her, but I'm in love with it, because you give her the depth she deserves.
I love James, too. He's so protective, and he provides a nice foil to her bitterness. I'm usually adamantly Snape/Lily, but for some reason, I felt that I could trust James to take care of Lily here, that he could be someone for her to cling to.
The part where Lily killed Wilkes was so powerful. It really cut into me. Again, you've extended an unprecedented level of depth to her. It's so hard for us to imagine loving, warm Lily Potter, who laid down her life to protect her child, murdering another person, even an enemy sent to kill her. I think the vulnerability and regret she feels, the feelings of guilt and pain, are so very real. You've not only done a wonderful job of focusing on the war, you've also dealt with a sensitive issue in a powerful and realistic way. Well done.
Also, you wrote the pairing so well. I loved the juxtaposition of filthy, guilty Lily and perfect, pure James. I love how you transformed his twice-daily proposals into her secret longing to be with him, her own slow discovery of her love for him. It's so much more poignant than the canon timeline :) And the ending... zohmygod. You wrapped things up beautifully, and you set up the pairing in a very realistic fashion.
Okay, well, this is about as long as the review I gave Celestie. The two of you have got me thinking that James/Lily might kinda-sorta-maybe be okay and that simply won't do. Lovely imagery, flawless writing, flow that keeps you hooked. I love, love, LOVE it.
Nice work :)
Author's Response: Wow, Amanda, thank you so much for this! It was a great treat to get a review from you (I always meant to request, but never failed to miss the open spots), especially one so long and detailed! Many apologies for taking too long to respond, but these long reviews intimidate, leaving me speechless, scrambling to find something coherent to say, but here I am, and hopefully this response makes sense. ;)
The main thing for me is that you liked this portrayal of Lily - it's a risky portrayal because it removes her from that "paragon of virtue" status that both canon and, to a lesser extent, fanon have given her. I always imagined that Snape's betrayal hurt her very deeply, which was why she reacted so negatively, almost overreacted in my opinion - it must have snapped her resolve, but she was too... I won't say "proud", but something like that, to accept his apologies afterwards. She points out his hypocrisy to him instead, knowing that, even if she forgave him there, one day, their relationship would kill them both.
Oh my gosh! I just theorized my way through a question that's been bothering me for months! Thank you! Your review has given me that Eureka moment! *dances*
Anyway, yes, it means a lot that you like my portrayal of Lily. She's more rebellious, even violent - capable of the killing curse, if only to protect herself (which, ironically, aligns her and later James, to Peter, who assumedly joined Voldemort in order to survive - it's very much a demonstration of the extent to which anyone, even the supposed-best of people, would go to just survive). It surprised me how many reviewers noted Lily's act as a problem - that someone like her couldn't possibly have the desire to kill - but I went by the saying that you never know whether you can be capable of it until the moment comes when it's necessary. If Lily and James were to defy Voldemort three times, they sure as heck better have been capable of it - at least, that's what I think. ;)
And you liked how I wrote the pairing?! *dies* This keeps getting better and better. I'm glad that it sounded more realistic than that (highly cliched :P) canon version that had Lily and James married off by the time they were like seventeen/eighteen - I wanted to give them more time to grow together, and it's fantastic that it worked for you (especially because you're a Snily shipper - I wonder if it's the die hard James/Lily shippers who have more difficulty with my version of their relationship).
Thank you for this fabulous review, and the best of luck in writing your own James/Lily story - I'm looking forward to reading it! ^_^
I'm not even sure I know where to begin. This was gorgeous and heartbreaking, Susan! It's definitely a departure from canon in that Lily and James don't get together during their seventh year, but I like the idea of them (well, mostly Lily) growing to love each other in the midst of a war and not hidden behind the walls of a school.
I'm going to try and go in some sort of logical order in terms of things I wanted to point out.
"One knife had been thrust into her heart before – the power of a single, impetuous word – and she would not let her guard down again, even if it meant sacrificing her last chance at happiness." I liked how you showed how much Snape's dismissal of her, calling her a Mudblood, really affected her and her idea of love and that she could never have it.
Lily is so different in this story than what I've usually seen. I've seen conflict between her and James, but nothing of this intensity. It's interesting that she says there is no hatred behind them but the venom behind her words towards James speaks otherwise. It kind of irks me how stubborn she is, how she doesn't want to listen to James just because he's James, you know?
I had a bit of an issue with this sentence: And yet she had no choice but to fight alongside of this belligerent, arrogant, selfish prat who had worshipped her from the first. Or so he said. - I think you should take out the 'of' after alongside and I'm not sure what you mean by "from the first." First what?
Also: "It was not quite door, but they used it as such," - there should be an 'a' after quite.
At first, I had trouble coming to grips with Lily being capable of killing someone. She's still so young and it was disconcerting that someone her age could have enough anger to use an Unforgivable Curse, because you really have to mean it for it to work. But I think the subsequent descriptions of the rage and the desperate need for survival made it a bit more believable. It made me sad, thinking of James looking at her with disappointment, with disbelief that she was capable of using such a curse on someone. I like the line about "those spots that did not come off", it's like when you kill someone and even though you've washed your hands, you feel like you can't wipe the blood clean from them (not that I know this personally, ha!). In that little bit of the story, you also used 'knife-edge' twice so that repetition threw me off a bit. I don't think normally it would bother me but because 'knife-edge' is something you don't necessarily use very often, having it used twice in such a short span is definitely noticeable.
Then later, I really loved this description of how the death affected her: "A dusting of freckles across the backs. The lines tracing her fate across the palms. But all stained with blood. All. Forever. The mark of Cain was upon her." You have such a way with words. :)
I like how James is so determined to figure out what happened to Dearborn - something to focus on in the midst of a war. And Lily thinking that he was the best of them all because he was still innocent, still hadn't killed anyone. I'm pretty sure I'm going out of order here, but since I mentioned James's innocence... gah, the idea of Lily wishing to go back in time and wishing she could forgive Snape, to still feel innocence. It just breaks my heart that she would join Voldemort just for that once chance.
I also loved this sentence, I think it was beautifully written and a great way to encompass their relationship: "They were on the margins of her memory in comparison to this wizard, this man, with whom she spent her time, her life, with whom she would spend the rest of her days, given the choice." But I am kind of confused - I feel like I'm not sure how much time has passed, like Lily's had a change of heart and there has been no reason for it. Like she's gone from being angry at him all the time, to wanting to be with him forever, you know? Maybe it's just me.
Oh, and then when James killed his first person and he talks to Lily about how he feels inside, and Lily tells him that they need to feel guilty because then they're not like them. I love that she throws his own words back in his face to remind him what side they're on.
I'm not sure where exactly it was either, but I love the idea of describing them as "patchwork". I think it's an interesting term but it reminds me that they're not all whole - that they've had pieces of their soul taken away with each person they've killed.
Then the end, finally bringing them together. It was perfect. Finally. A little bit of light in the darkness. They're raging against the dying of the light.
I really did adore this story, Susan. I think you've taken such an interesting period in time to bring them together. I've forgotten how beautiful and fluidly your writing flows. I'm glad this didn't make me sob like Amaranthine did, but I can definitely see a bit of the influence in your story. I love that you used Dylan Thomas, sort of, for your title and Hamlet reference! You should write more Lily/James, by the way. :)
Author's Response: Oh gosh, Missy, this review! You're killing me, though I guess I deserve it after giving you so many long essays. But really, how do I respond to this? For one, you deserve a huge thank you for this. It means a lot to hear from you, and it has meant a lot since the beginning 7 years ago. That we're both still here says a lot, right? ;)
I've fixed the things you mentioned - it's a story that's needed far more work than I expected, probably because it was rather outside my comfort zone. Usually, I would have written this from James's perspective, but I keep wanting to challenge myself and write Lily. You see the results of that here. :P She's so hard to write! I can't believe it! But I'm glad that things such as her ability to use the killing curse were properly explained within the story. At one point in the planning process, I even had her pegged a Death Eater vigilante, enjoying the kill. That really wouldn't have worked, would it? Some ideas should just never get out of bed. :P
It's wonderful that you liked so much of this story. It's far from perfect, but a few bits of good stuff found its way in. I couldn't resist the Dylan Thomas allusion, not only because you'd come back and I always think of Yeats and Thomas when you're around (I wonder why? :P), but also because that image of Lily and James fighting against that dying light was an amazing opportunity to explore their characters ad their relationship in a new way, in a darker way, to be exact.
Thank you again for reading and reviewing this! It's made many of my days to read and re-read this review. ^_^
Dear Violie (you know me, I love making up silly nicknames. x3),
Hey! It's SeverusLove from the forums for your review (FINALLY!). :3
The first snippet of the fic is the kind that tends to catch your interest. Not because it was catchy but because it was unique. I've never read much Lily or James/Lily fanfics before but the way you portrayed Lily was just so different... I've always thought of Lily as fiery, kind, and someone who was mad at James; but not mad like furious like you made her. I guess I never really dug very deep to her emotions and never considered how mad she was supposed to be.
I assume you weren't going for canon as this takes place after school when in the series, they got together during their last year at school. So I think the plot was unique. I wouldn't know for sure though, I haven't read "Amaranthine" yet. x3
In terms of spelling and grammar, I didn't find anything particularly major. Here are the ones I was able to pick up on though. And even these are only few. :3 :
"She was sick of the killing and the death and the blood lust that had consumed them all." - I think bloodlust is better off as one word but I also think I'm just being picky and both actually works just fine. :3
"The smallest of things, but those where what changed the world, the things that-" - I think you meant "were" instead of "where" here...? :3
"She knew too-well the sound that tirade," I'm not quite sure what you were trying to say here... >..< Maybe you meant "the sound (of) that tirade,"?
"Does the lady protest too much?" - I haven't read Hamlet, so I wouldn't know. But when I saw your author's note and this sentence, I was confused. Which one of them did you mean? Was one mistyped? Or is one just a revision of the other? As in this sentence you say "Does the (lady)..." while on your AN, you say "Does the (last)..." and I'm just confused. =_=" Also, this particular part threw me off a bit because it sounded like you were suddenly talking to the readers when you said "What was that?" I don't know though as I'm not sure about what you were trying to say.
With you flow and description, I don't find any particular problems. You were however, right when you said "my sentence structure tends to be odd". It is odd. You have a strange way with words. Not in an unclear, vague, eyebrow-raiser way, but in a different, mysterious, unique, eyebrow-raiser way. I think it's the type where you describe a bit poetically about everything and anything that seems not completely related, but not completely unrelated to the subject in question either. It's short and brief, only enough to capture the emotion or relay the point across before moving on to the next thing.
And I think that's a good thing. :3 It makes you stand out more as an author. And you don't make your sentences drag very long dully.
Your tone was consistent and the transitions were appropriate. Only little parts involving James seemed rushed.
""It got him killed!"
James leapt away and she scrambled to catch the cufflink before it fell between the floorboards." -- One minute he was very calm, and the next he was yelling in frustration. I would have loved to see what led him to that.
I would've also wanted to know what led him to not propose as much anymore? What had he really thought of Lily after she killed? Did he not -even just for a moment- feel disgusted?
But then again, this story is told from Lily's point of view so I understand how delving into James' head might ruin the consistency of the story. You managed to exert self-control on explaining James and leave us in a sort of wondering curiousity which makes us feel unsatisfied like the story lacks something, but at the same time, is perfect the way it is. Kudos for that!
"Then she had him. Her smile widened.
The smile fell away." -- this part also was very confusing about James' side as I don't understand what might have led him to cast that spell when nothing was in any particular risk; and you were clear about Lily having him where she wanted. Everything seemed in control, so what made him cast a serious spell on an unnecessary moment?
You wanted me to touch on your characterization more because as you said, you weren't very comfortable writing Lily...I can see that, lol.
As I mentioned earlier, I haven't read much Lily fics but from the little I know about her, I know that she's a fiery, strong, brave, and kind person who always stood up for what she believed in. The way you portrayed her was plausible and realistic; it was not canon-like but not unbelievable either. Besides, I think this Lily fits in better with your story. :3
The way you described her fall from innocence was beautiful and very real. I loved every part of it. My favourite sentence had to be: "We have to keep feeling the guilt, James. Only then do we know what side we're on." -- did you think that up? Huh? Did you see what you did there? It's GENIUS.
James on the other hand, was very good. I can see how he matured. I can see him - both the old him and the new him. You understood him well. :)) I would've loved to see a bit of mischief though as a hint to his old self; although I don't think that would fit in very well with the dark concept of this story.
So overall, if you put aside my nitpickiness. I think it was a beautiful and angsty piece and I loved every moment reading it. Thank you for requesting it. I hope you found my review at least a bit helpful.
See You Around the Forums, neh?
Author's Response: Holy cow, this review! I've left it, as terrible as it is to admit, because I haven't known how to respond. It's not only long, but incredibly detailed, and that always makes me flail and squee and lose the power of speech. So I'll begin right away with a gigantic thank you for this - it's been a great help and I've made some edits to the story since, hopefully for the better. :)
The one main edit was to clear up that one killing curse scene because Lily's smile fades when she hears James saying the curse - she didn't expect that from him. It ruins his perfect image, but at the same time, it makes him more like her, flawed, fallen. But I hadn't made who said the words clear enough, and I've since fixed that.
I think I'll have to do more with that scene when James loses his temper. Part of the problem is the way that I've jumped through time a few months, and we don't see him slowly snapping; instead, we see the final break. I'm not sure what I should do with that part, but hopefully I'll think of something. It's going to be one of those stories that I just keep editing over and over again, I feel it. XD
Thank you very much for the grammar suggestions - I think I managed to get them all, especially since that first section was the one I edited the most (but I'll check back again just in case). It helps a lot to have another pair of eyes look it over, and non-requested reviewers never seen to mention those things.
I'm sorry that my discomfort with writing Lily showed, as I hoped I could get over it, but this is one of my first times writing her so closely - usually I write stories about her from the male perspective, so this is only the second time I haven't. Maybe one day I'll feel more comfortable writing her - practice makes perfect, right? :D
It's great that you liked that line about guilt - it just came to me one day, probably filtering through from another source that I can't remember, but it seemed so right for this story and the two characters here. It was the lesson they both had to learn, and I'm really glad that you liked it so much. ^_^
Your nitpickiness was fantastic and I really appreciate it! I'll definitely be requesting reviews from you again when my stories need a good going over. Thank you so much! :D
Hey, this is Beeezie, here with your review! :)
Okay. I have some conflicted feelings about this - some things I thought you did really well, and others I think could use some work.
The premise is really interesting, and I think that you executed the basic structure well. It's a different look at how James and Lily got together, and I think that it's a compelling one.
However, there were points that I found confusing. Why were they off in that situation in the first place if they were seventh-years? And, if it was after Hogwarts, why weren't they going out? That part confused me. I also wasn't always sure how big the leaps of time were, and would have liked something to ground that, you know?
The use of unforgivable curses also bothered me a little. There are other ways to kill a person, and Avada Kedavra was illegal. That either James or Lily would stoop to use it and even be able to use it struck me as a bit off. Harry couldn't use the Imperius curse very well because he didn't really mean it. I think that James or Lily meaning it enough to be successful was a bit off, and also struck me as letting an opportunity slip by - in some ways, knowing that they could kill without meaning to might be harder to accept, if that makes sense.
I also would have liked to see a little more romantic interaction between Lily and James. While this is in a war, it's not like they decided to get together as some defensive strategy - they did love each other, and I'd have liked to see more of that.
On the whole, though, I did like this. I found the idea compelling, and I think that showing them at their darkest hour gave their relationship a great spin. I just wish that at points, you'd gone a bit deeper. :)
Author's Response: You brought up some really great points and I'm sorry that it's taken so long to get to your review - I've been through the story a couple of times now, adding a few things here and there to add clarity. It seemed that with a few points you made, the issue was that the image I had in my mind didn't quite make it to the page. It happens a lot with me, so it was great to find someone to point these things out - give me a good crack over the head to knock some sense into me, so to speak (Lion King references are always relevant, I find). Thanks very much for your honesty - I appreciate it!
One of the things that didn't get fleshed out enough, as you said, was the idea that Lily had indeed dated James in seventh year, but their relationship wasn't yet full-blown - it was almost so, but she was still often annoyed with his behaviour. He couldn't change his behaviour entirely - as the books even said, he still bullied Snape and others, but tried to hide it from Lily - so while I don't mention the exact incident that has bothered her at the beginning of this story, it is something serious enough for her to publicly deride him, even while, inside, she does work hard to repress her (rather unwilling) love for him.
I agree that there should probably have been more romance. I wanted there to be, but for some reason, it never fit into the story. There are many subtle moments of it throughout, but it's never full-blown. At the end, they do kiss (the shadows merging together symbolizes this), but it didn't feel right to me to make it an explicit, sweeping scene because James had just killed a Death Eater - it made me uncomfortable to do that, so I focussed on the abstract instead (which I do a lot of in my stories, as much as it bothers readers who prefer a more straight-forward approach).
As for the use of the killing curse, I hadn't thought of what you said before, and it took me a while to figure out an explanation. Yes, both of them are "good", but when it comes to a moment of great need, even of desperation, wouldn't the right feeling be there? Can't all people, no matter how good, feel that amount of hate for a thing, an idea (as the Death Eaters represent, which Lily states at one point when she discusses how she only sees the mask, not the person beneath - that's an important part of it), that they can kill? Harry isn't a great example of a normal person in this instance because, while he may be fallible, he's got too much goodness in him - so much that he could never kill, never harm unnecessarily. Dumbledore can kill; Sirius can kill; even Snape can kill. Even though I often see Lily as, like Harry, a super-human figure of goodness, in this story, I was looking at her darker side. At one point in the writing process, I even considered making her enjoy the killing, but there I balked - a little too far, that would go.
I don't really know how else to add depth to this story. It seems all depth at times, perhaps lacking surface (which may be the problem, actually - too much poetry, not enough... realness). This story may have been better off as a two-shot or something longer, so that I could fully flesh-out the canon issues. I've always had trouble with one-shots in this regard, trying to put too much into a single story, and that may be the problem here.
Anyway, thanks again for reading and reviewing this! I appreciate it! :D
This was beautiful. I was easily engrossed in the story.
Usually, most Lily-James stories really turn me away, as I don't really like the whole 'James-annoyed-the-living-shit-out-of-me-for-the-longest-time' thing. But I think that this truly does show the part of the relationship that most people do not see. They think something suddenly changed, but as you said, their relationship came up in the midst of a war where nothing is easy.
I'm just in love with this. This is the first 10/10 rating I've given in a long time, but this left me with a certain feeling that I can't really identify, but I'm pleased.
Author's Response: Getting readers engrossed is one of the things I love to hear about - it's wonderful to have achieved the right amount of depth and atmosphere to draw in the reader to such an extent. ^_^
Yes! I'm glad that you liked that aspect of this story. Typical Lily/James stories get so run-of-the-mill in their portrayal of the two characters - very superficial in many ways, and it's painful to see when there's potential for so much more. People don't change that fast, and it never made sense how especially Lily could align herself with James in the space of a single school year, so I wanted to draw it out a little more, let it be more natural, less fairy-tale romance.
Thank you very much for reading, loving, and reviewing this story! It means a lot that you've enjoyed it to such an extent! ^_^
This was so, so gorgeous. And I was actually going to mention that this reminded me of "Amaranthine" - and then I read the author's note and my suspicions were confirmed! :) (I adored that, and I adore this! realistic L/J is the best) I love this showing of Lily and James, not ideal but rather raw and human.
I actually don't even know where to begin with this review - as I was reading, I was making a mental list of all the lines that stuck out to me and realized that I was picking out at least a good quarter of the story. Your writing is so enviable - every word is perfectly placed with such consideration that the entire piece seems to come alive.
but it was better to ignore the softer feelings, far safer not to feel, only to act. One knife had been thrust into her heart before – the power of a single, impetuous word – and she would not let her guard down again, even if it meant sacrificing her last chance at happiness. gorgeous. No other word for it. The way you subtly referred back to "mudblood" and the aftereffects was just... asdfkl
I did notice one small confusing detail - typo maybe? "Until then, she would hide shroud her heart in shadow." The hide shroud is a little off - maybe you meant one or the other? but the fact that that was the only thing I could find in 5000+ words is super impressive :)
For the end of the war. For the end of her life.
They were, after all, one and the same."
"Draped in black, their faces masked, the Death Eaters were not people, but an idea, Voldemort’s belief that only the pure should survive, that anything less than pure ancestry was simply unsuitable." seriously one of the most profound things I've read about the Death Eaters. I love this line so much.
"Remember that even in the darkest of days, the blackest of nights, the most horrific moments, life is the greatest adventure of all." ♥
"We have to keep feeling the guilt, James. Only then do we know what side we’re on." The way you talked about the guilt that they two of them felt was perfect. Because while both sides were killing, I feel as though that really was the difference - the ability to feel guilty. Almost a responsibility, in a way.
"The darkness won, as it always would, but that moment of light, though less than a second, could last forever, if one chose only to remember."
So basically, I just quoted back your entire story, but there really wasn't a single part of this that I didn't like. It was absolutely beautiful and realistic and so, so gorgeous. This review has mostly turned into me flailing over this one shot, but it's all your fault for making me incoherent. :P
Incredible work. Absolutely perfect. ♥
Author's Response: Haha, the inspiration from Celestie's story was pretty strong. I loved what she did with the ship there, and wanted to move to an earlier time to see whether the same issues could be dealt with in a different context. Not quite sure whether it worked - it certainly isn't the same quality as Celestie's work - but it was an interesting experiment. :D
What bothers me about Lily/James stories, and even about the original books, was how unaffected Lily seemed to be by Snape's "betrayal" in their fifth year. She's Lily - she can't be as heartless as that! It had to have affected her so deeply that she kept it all within, and that always has negative impact on a person. For this story, I played with the idea that it made Lily less likely to open her heart to James - yes, they went out in seventh year, but since when does dating lead to to OTP-status? It's a leap that too many Marauder stories make, and it's a great relief that you liked that addition to this story.
Thank you so much for your compliments, by the way! They're making me swim in a haze of happiness - it's wonderful that you liked the language and style of this story. It was an odd one to write (though I think I say that about most of my one-shots - they're all odd), and there are still aspects of the plot I'd like to fiddle with, yet I'm afraid to because of the words. It may hurt the style too much, and I'll have to be really careful when editing.
That was a typo, by the way, so thank you! I changed words at the last minute, then forgot to remove the first word I'd used. >< Too much excitement to get this posted, haha.
Thank you again for loving this story! And also for taking the time to read it (it is rather long!) and leaving such a lovely review. I can't put into words how much that makes me a happy writer. ÃƒÂ¢Ã‚Â™Ã‚Â¥
Okay, okay...where to start?
First, I'd like you to congratulate yourself for coming up with such a wonderful story. I think this story deserves more than 10/10 for bringing almost all the emotions in and the reader 9or maybe just me) can actually feel it.
Second, the description, was just enough for me to get hooked just by reading it. It wasn't one of those typical ones, somehow they had more than word in them.
Third, the ending was simple, but not too simple it held me in place infront of my laptop blown away by the ending.
This story was one of a kind and I will never ever forget how good you wrote this, no matter how many people otherwise.
xx keep writing!
Author's Response: Thank you very much! Wow, it's weird because I was thinking of requesting a review from you for this story, only to discover that you already had - always a bonus. :D
I'm glad to hear that the description and the ending worked out - description is very important, especially in a story like this, where it almost takes precedence over the plot and characters; it's a very moody story. And the ending was guessed at entirely - it was a hard story to end because I'd originally wanted something very romantic, but it felt forced when I tried it; it just didn't fit. Simplicity was thus the way to go, and knowing that it was for the best is a great thing. Thank you!
totally knew the banner was your the second I saw it! :) fabulous! just like your writing! I adored the fact that you changed the james/lily dynamic and made it so they didn't fall in love at Hogwarts. That's pretty fresh! at least for me, never seen that before!
your introduction was lovely and hooked me right off the bat. you have a wonderful vocabulary and style of writing. and as you continued, I loved that you added Lily's little observations about James. that was intriguing(:
I liked the reference back to canon too! and Lily's thoughts about Severus. it made me want to cry when she was talking about losing her innocence.
^then I got far too wrapped up in reading to provide a detailed analysis/review. it was so wonderful though and it positively broke my heart. I thought there was going to be a blossoming of romance in this but I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of it. I think this is a completely accurate, gritty sort of interpretation that I love. sometimes I think fanfiction authors fluff up the world of Harry Potter far too much, and it's refreshing when I read a story that doesn't do that.
amazing job susan!(: you're incredibly skilled at both the art of graphic making and writing.
you just couldn't leave any talent for the rest of us, could you?(;
Author's Response: That banner was the third one I'd done for this story - the first two didn't fit, but then I went back to another set of folders and come up with something completely different. I'm very glad that you like it - something in the colouring just worked out - but it is rather like my style of earlier this year, so that's probably why it's recognizable. Thanks for the compliment on it! :D
It's great that you liked the introduction! I wrote this story out of order, then rearranged the bits and pieces, finally filling in some of the gaps afterwards, so it felt like a giant mess in my brain, rather than a cohesive story. I wasn't sure whether making them fall in love after Hogwarts would work out, but I'm glad that it did because it better suited the idea I had. Both characters had to grow and develop together, along separate lines, before they could have a relationship. To have them already in love would have made that far more difficult.
It was supposed to be more romantic. *headdesk* It was frustrating when it didn't appear, the focus instead resting on that grittier side - it's all that film noir that I watch, I guess. Yet it is more realistic, like you said, because it is the middle of a war and they get caught up in it. There isn't really room for fluff (which makes it easier for me).
Thank you very much for reading and reviewing this story! It's a great relief that people are enjoying this story and that it isn't the horrible monster I felt it was once I'd finished writing. XD It means a lot to have heard from you! ^_^
W-O-W. That was like...epic. There was so much emotion woven into this story that I could basically feel it. Although I have never read a James/Lily story where they didn't pair up during the end of 7th year, I liked this story. I don't like dark stories that much, but this one was beautiful, even though it was dark. Awesome job!
Author's Response: Epic? O_O Wow, I didn't intend it to be that way, but maybe it's because I wrote it all in fragments and I never saw the story as a whole, complete thing. But it's fantastic that you enjoyed it, even though it was a darker story (I actually didn't intend that either - it was supposed to end happily, and I don't know what happened).
Situating the romance outside of Hogwarts for James and Lily was a bit of a challenge because I know it's canon that she decided to go out with him in seventh year, but I made it so that Lily is still uncertain about him - I've stretched out the timeline of their romance a bit. I'm happy to hear that it worked out as something different, though. :D Thank you!
This is spectacular! I love how it's deep and there is this palpable sense of mystery, and an undercurrent of death in this one-shot. You're utterly perfect.
Author's Response: Thank you very much! Wow! I didn't think people would like it at all, so it means a lot to hear otherwise, especially in such a positive way. It's wonderful that you enjoyed the story, and I really appreciate hearing from you! ^_^