Oh this was a gem. And I really feel bad for Sirius and Remus. And if Dawlish can be an auror, I'm sure Sirius can be one too.
Author's Response: Dawlish was an idiot, true, but I think that was because he kept getting Confunded. I have a feeling Sirius was too reckless, but also McG felt she had to give him a wake-up call. It's Remus I feel most for because there wasn't anything for him - especially after his friends had gone :( Thank you for the reviewwwww. ~Carole~
Great, I love McGonagall's attitude!
Author's Response: Thank you very much for the review. I loved writing McGonagall, she can be quite amusing. ~Carole~
Oh, poor Remus... :(
I must say, I really do like the way you characterise all of them; totally canon-compliant, but still fresh and interesting (and this goes for all of your fics that I've read so far). I particularly like Peter (so many fics make him rather amoeba-esque, but you've actually given him a personality - his lack of confidence is particularly interesting), and Mcgonagall (who, quite frankly, deserves that slug of Firewhiskey...). All in all, very nice :) (though it would have been nice to see Lily... can't have it all though ;) )
Author's Response: I think Lily would have been interesting, but I wanted to focus on the four Marauders, and she would have distracted form that dynamic. Thank you very much for the review. I always ache for poor Remus as well. ~Carole~
Carole, I really loved this, and I am wondering why on earth I haven't read and reviewed it before. As you're teh queen of Marauders, I'm not surprised in the slightest that your portrayal of them was absolutely stellar. The thing with your Marauder stories is that you're consistent with their characterisations, and little details, like Remus not liking chocolate (which I so LOL'd at :D) and Peter wanting to be an Auror, and McGonagall with her Ginger Newts, they really are reminiscient of JKR.
And while I am occasionally partial to a well-written MWPP cliche, I loved that you kicked the cliches out of the window with this story. By the way, I loved Sirius, James, Peter and Remus in this fic, but especially Remus, because I just felt so sorry for him. Of course, James, my dear husband, was more assured, and I liked the way you had him being jokey but then becoming serious. That's very James. Well done :)
Author's Response: Ha ha - this was a story for the MWPP class so kicking cliches was a must. I was fond of this story because it tied up a lot of my head canon, namely the fact that Sirius playing that 'trick' on Snape, probably impacted on him as much as it did Snape. I find it hard to believe Dumbledore would have just let it go, and by association McGonagall would have been ruthless towards him. Remus just makes me so sad so much of the time and this story didn;t so him any favours except he became closer to Sirius.
Between you and me, James made me LOL. I could picture him so vividly nicking the biscuits, taking the piss, and then suddenly snapping out of it. Thank you so much for the review ~Carole~
I decided to browse through your quite intimidating author’s page when picking a fic to review for SPEW! Anyway, this one caught my eye (we do both love the Marauders, don’t we?) so here I go.
I really enjoyed this one. Not a surprise, coming from an author such as yourself, but it’s going to be hard finding flaws with this one.
First of all, I love that you chose to give us the Marauders’ career advice sessions with McGonagall. I always appreciate “small” scenes such as this. They are often found in Harry Potter (for example, I absolutely loved Harry and McGonagall’s career advice scene in the books) but don’t get much attention in fan fiction. It’s a tendency for writers to be attracted to the more dramatic moments, but I definitely recognize that successfully creating more simple scenes such as these can be equally rewarding.
As I said, even though on the surface these little encounters don’t seem to be very important, I think they add so much to the Harry Potter canon in the way of characterization. And I have to say, your characterization really stood out.
I think I have to give you the biggest compliments on McGonagall, who really shines in this fic. In the first few books I barely noticed her, but in the later books I realized how much I undervalued her. You really captured her stern but honest manner, and injected some of her amazing wit. I love that you didn’t give in the temptation of simply having her coddle, for example, Remus when he faces the idea that he is nearly unemployable. I for one was sending him telepathic hugs, but you kept with characterization perfectly. She’s brutally honest, but understanding.
Now it’s on to the Marauder’s characterization. Before I tackle each one separately, I would like to compliment you on keeping them who they are without become cartoonish. I think a few of them could have easily drifted into caricatures of themselves (more on that later), but each of them were perfectly rendered. For example, if you had removed the names of each of them I would have easily been able to pick out which student was which. On the other hand, they weren’t so bold that I was cringing from the amount of Marauder clichés being thrown at me.
First, young Sirius Black. When I first clicked on this fic, I immediately began wondering which career paths you would have the characters become interested in. I think your choice or Auror for Sirius fit perfectly. As we’ve seen in the books, Sirius is a man of action. I can see a clear connection between his interaction with McGonagall and his frustration at being locked indoors in Order of the Phoenix. You made him bold and quick to anger, but you made sure that he wasn’t out of control. I think you ended it perfectly—“Thank you for your time, Professor.”
I think Peter’s characterization stood out the most to me. I think that this is because you avoided a big cliché in the Marauder era—Peter as a completely worthless human being. There is absolutely nothing in the books that makes us pity him, but logic tells us that there must be something in Peter that made the other Marauders loyal to him. I love that you stuck with his usually characterization as a copycat of James and Sirius (the Auror career) but injected a new dimension to his personality through McGonagall. I think McGonagall’s comments about his potential as a Beater really made all the difference.
Alright, I’m trying desperately hard to come up with some kind of flaw. Curse you! I will say this about James: unfortunately, he was the Marauder who least stuck out to me in this one. The whole section felt a little strange to me, as the other interviews did much more for characterization. I thought that he was appropriately characterized (and I did love the line about him wanting to fight) but I don’t think you added much beyond what we know from canon. Ordinarily I wouldn’t consider this a flaw, but as I think that you really added to the characterization of the Marauders with the others, this one fell a little flat.
Remus’s interaction was really very heartbreaking. I’ve always liked Lupin, but I’ve never wrapped my head around how much prejudice he had to deal with. Maybe this was because I was turning a blind eye to the pain of characters I liked, but the realization really hit me with this one. I also liked that you didn’t succumb to melodrama here. I think that you could have easily turned this into a very Dark/Angsty piece focusing on the woes of Sirius and Remus (and really, it is unjust) but I’m glad you didn’t. I think this also made it very Jo-like…she rarely succumbs to melodrama like that. I think it’s good that you left their grief mostly unspoken, and ended it on a lighter note.
Finally, the last factor that made this fic so enjoyable was the writing style. It was perfectly JKR-ish. If Jo wrote a book about the Marauders in school, I would fully expect this scene to appear exactly how it is written now. It would not be out of place in the slightest. From other fics that I have read of yours, you have definitely mastered this style.
Author's Response: WOW! Thank you very much, Danielle. What a lovely review. This story was written for an MWPP class, so not using cliches was uppermost in my mind as I wrote it.
I do see what you're saying here about James. My feeling with James is that he's the least deep, most normal and generally the boy most on an even keel amongst his friends. I was aware as I was writing that James' section was really about light relief. It was meant as a polar opposite to Sirius because although they are both very alike in bravery and recklessness, Sirius is still a Dark character and James is the Light. (I go with this theory a bit in my Remus Tonks fic). So James' section is probably the least successful in the respect of adding to his character, but I think its presence in the fic as a bit of light relief was necessary. Plus I still laugh out loud that McGonagall shouts at him and he nicks all the biscuits.
I cried for Remus. I just think he had so much going for him, but everything else conspired against him. Very sad. McG couldn't protect him from that, no matter how much she wanted to. *sigh*
Thank you again. Lovely review ~Carole~
I loved it. It was so sad though, but great nevertheless.
Author's Response: Thank you very much. ~Carole~
The bits about Lupin made me cry a little. SO good.
Author's Response: Thank you. I cry for Lupin as well. ~Carole~
I do love how you picked careers people (at least I) could really them in, and showed how terribly wrong things could go based on uncontrollable circumstances.
Author's Response: Thank you for the review. I wanted to show how the consequences of the 'prank' that nearly killed Snape affected Sirius too, so I'm glad you agreed. ~Carole~
I loved all of this. I've loved everything of yours I've read. This was such a nice look on the Marauders.
My favorite part was the ending, of course. I always thought Sirius and Remus had a very unique connection due to the way society viewed them. Remus, a werewolf, therefore frowned upon by society. Sirius, shunned by his family and practically branded as if his last name were a warning sign. They both had to deal with people looking at them and treating them like they're different, simply for being the people they. For something they can't change.
I really love McGonagall. Her interactions with each of the characters were spot on, I think. Though she isn't afraid of being hard on her students, she isn't afraid to love and fight for them with just as much determination. You put that across very well. Really, all I want to do is offer her a biscuit. And, you. You should also have a biscuit.
Author's Response: Thank you very much. You got all the nuances that I was trying to portray in the story and yes,I think Sirius and Remus had a special connection. I like McG as well. She's a strong character and probably had to be hard on them. Thanks again ~Carole~
good. It makes me sad for Remus, and I liked both how James was tricking Mcgonagall and how he was bragging in front of Lily. :)
Author's Response: Glad you enjoyed the story. I liked James as well, especially when he kept takingthe biscuits. He makes me laugh so much.
You've left me speachless. I'm starting the whole college application process now and i do thinkit is hard, but this story put a lot of things in persepective. Although our world doesn't have to deal with lycanthropy there are other very real issues that make college and work a real dream for some people. And I feel a bit liek james and peter, where I don't seriously have to worry about not fitting in anywhere. And then when you think about teh remuses and siriuses of the word it's a bti shocking. For remus especially, because he has done nothing to merit his lack of possibiities. This story is very good. I like the way McGonagall trully cares abut her students and hwo she is honest with them while still trying to shield them from the pain.
Author's Response: Thank you very much for the review. Ever since the careers talk Harry had with McGonagall and Umbridge, I've always wondered how the Marauders talks went. I mean what on earth could she have suggested to Remus - poor love. I also wanted to show that Sirius' 'prank' on Severus Snape had consequences for him too. Glad this rang true for you ... but hope you have better luck than Remus with your college applications. ~Carole~
I really loved the idea for this fic, but unfortunately I wasn’t as in love with the fic itself. There are some definite high points, but overall I was left a little disappointed in the final product.
The opening of this is great. I love the brief mention of Sonia Slattery, just as a moment of quick humor before we get into the fic. It also serves to establish the setting a bit; we’ve already been told that McGonagall is meeting with fifth years, but knowing who’s come immediately before our Marauders is just a nice way to bring us into the fic.
The meeting with Sirius is probably my favorite bit of this fic, and not just because Sirius is my favorite character. This is the part where I think the two players are most in-character. Sirius’s indignance and then passive acceptance of his career fate is a nice bit of characterization. I’m not sure I buy that he wouldn’t be let into the Auror program because of his pranks, though. I understand the gravity of the prank on Snape, obviously, but would that really weigh so heavily in the decision to accept or reject Sirius? McGonagall says that’s why Dumbledore wouldn’t recommend Sirius, but I can’t see something like that as being Dumbledore’s reason. I feel like Dumbledore might not recommend Sirius because Sirius is reckless, amongst other things, and probably just not right for such a high-profile job. I suppose it’s up for debate why Dumbledore might or might not recommend Sirius, but in my eyes it’s more plausible that he would have more character-related reasons than just “Well, you almost killed Severus Snape so now your career hopes have been dashed” (as terrible as that prank was).
I feel like the scene with Peter and McGonagall is a little lacking. They don’t really discuss what Peter’s going to do with his life after Hogwarts. McGonagall sort of suggests Peter finding a place at the Ministry, but that’s not really very helpful, is it? She spends more time just telling him not to be a follower. I like this from McGonagall, and the reference to Peter’s Quidditch try-out was nice, but it seems like there should be more after that. As it is now, Peter’s left with no real idea about what he wants to do after Hogwarts, and he probably at least had something in mind before he joined up with Voldemort (unless he was never deterred from the prospect of being an Auror).
James’s meeting is cute. The shift from joking to seriousness is a nice look at James’s character, as he does seem to be constantly moving between the two temperaments. I would have liked to see more of he scene after James declares his desire to help fight in the war, because I think that could have been a real gem of a conversation. It would have helped balance the joking and seriousness, too, because right now it’s just a bunch of pulling McGonagall’s leg and then, “But just kidding, I’m going to fight.” I’m also not sure it would have taken McGonagall that long to realize James was joking, but I’m going to address McGonagall in a bit.
Moving on to Remus, I have to say this was my least favorite part of the fic. I think Remus would have been fully aware of the complications his lycanthropy would cause in pursuing a career, and I can’t see him going into this meeting making any real suggestions. I don’t think McGonagall would beat around the bush the way she does here, either. She tends to be a rather straightforward person, and I imagine her sitting down with Remus and stating flat out that finding a career for him would be difficult, if not almost impossible. But I’m going to get to McGonagall in a minute, so back to Remus, I just want to note that Remus in canon tends to be more hopeless than hopeful. I realize how depressing that sounds, but based on his character in canon, I would think he would be more likely to not present any hope of getting a real career after Hogwarts, rather than trying different options as he does here.
So, McGonagall. Her character felt a bit inconsistent. I didn’t feel like I was reading the same McGonagall here as from canon. For example, she refers to the Marauders by their last names only (well, mostly, here), which felt wrong to me. I think she’d be more likely to call them Mr [insert last name here] in this situation, and probably use only their last names if she were angry. It also kind of feels like McGonagall is all over the place in her reactions. At one point she yells at Peter to speak up, but then later she calls Remus ‘dear boy.’ I’m not saying people can’t say both those things, but McGonagall usually isn’t quite so, well, mean or so, well, sweet. She’s direct and can be rather severe, but she’s got a soft side. I think you were trying to show both of those and just got a little lost in doing so. You went a bit too far in both directions.
Overall, I thought this was a very interesting idea for a fic and simply could have been better executed. There were some nice parts, and some nice insights into the characters, but the final product was a little lacking, for me.
Author's Response: I have to ask, why do you keep reviewing my stories when you so clearly disagree and dislike my portrayal of the Marauders? Obviously it's end of the month and so it's time to get your SPEW review in, but why is it my turn again?
Right, let's go through this. - Sirius as an Auror. No, it's not just the pranks - obviously not - but his 'prank' against Snape could have led to Snape's death or James' death or at the very least them being turned into werewolves. Do you really think Dumbledore would, at this moment in time, recommend him to the Auror department? Not in a million years. The 'prank' happens in their fifth year so just before the careers interview, so it's on their mind.
James - I have to disagree and refer you to P ussycat 123's review in which she said James was perfectly IC. He's a joker is my James Potter, supremely confident in that he can do no wrong, but he gets VERY serious, VERY quickly just at the moment it matters.
Remus -Actually this is my favourite part of the fic. The fact was, Remus did really know he had very little chance of a good interview and his career prospects are grim, which I think is obvious from the fact that Sirius is waiting for him. However he allows himself to dream, once in a while, that everything could work out because he is taken care of at Hogwarts and doers well there.
McGonagall - Okay, in the books, in the space of a few paragraphs, she calls Harry, Potter - and Ron, Mr. Weasley. I think she calls them by surname alone when she's angry, and 'Mr so and so' when she's impressed or trying to impose authority. Her use of 'Remus' and the 'dear boy' is because she is genuinely fond of him and he needs a bit of compassion in his life - don't you think? In the books, we see McGonagall stepping out of her teacher role to show that she cares (when Hermione is Petrified she's particularly kind, Ginny taken into the Chamber she's genuinely upset - Harry appearing in DH and his 'death' causes real, intense grief) She's also passionate about Quidditch and we often see her slip out of her stern Professor role when Gryffindor win or lose. As for her reaction to Peter. His interview has come just after the difficult one with Sirius - she's on edge because of that - and then Peter is irritating. In POA she admits to being 'sharp' with Peter on several occasions - this is one of them.
I appreciate that you put a lot of effort into writing this review, and I'm sure SPEW will think highly of it ... but I still wonder why it's been my last two stories you've reviewed. If you dislike my portrayal of the Marauders and my writing style so much, then why do you read my stories? If I dislike something, then I don't review - it's as simple as that, or I write something encouraging. ~Carole~
I'm still wondering why I overlooked this one-shot. After reading it, I'm even more convinced about the MWPP classes.
On to the serious part. So, I can't really say which one I liked best. Each of them was written superbly. You set different tones for them, seeing as they are such different individuals.
I think it is easy to mix up James and Sirius at times, but here, you showed the very distinct line which separates them. Sirius was reckless, James had a bit more self-control. Sirius did not really know himself, James was a little more aware of who he was.
Peter has always been a mystery to me. However, your portrayal of him has cleared things a little for me. I am thinking - would he have been better off if he hadn't been their friends? It is easy to see how inadequate he feels when he is with them. I don't think Sirius and James were always making fun of him, but Peter's need to impress them, to be like them, must have been hard on him - especially because he fell far short of achieving it.
As for Remus, it's just the way you write about him. Less melodrama, less angst - but the pain is so much more tangible. I think his section was the one which really made me love the fic, simply because you handled him so well.
I loved McGonagall here. Lol! I loved her scathing remark to Sirius: "Mr. Black, when you have the time..." lol! There is that soft side to her - which threatens to break into the surface at times. I loved how that came out here in your fic.
Lastly, I want to say - well, you did a great job! You picked a great moment to write about the Marauders. And, I must not forget to add, I like how Sirius and Remus end up being the ones who comfort each other.
Author's Response: Thank you so much, Natalie, for reviewing. I'm glad you enjoyed the story (and apologies for not responding sooner). I'm pleased you liked McGonagall in this, because I wanted to show different sides to her. I giggled when writing James - he is such a bad boy at times. Thanks again ~Carole~
Brilliant! Ingenious idea, to pick this moment for a one-shot.
I agree with some of the other reviewers - I read McGonagall's advice to Peter twice. It really touched me. I want to say fantastic job characterizing Peter, I so frequently tend to tune him out of my stories - I suppose I have the same hill to get over; the fact that he betrayed my favorite characters. I'm so sad this is the last one you'll do; you're incredible at it.
After Peter's interview, James', not Remus' was my favorite. Because I love him. But also because it WAS JAMES. Oh my goodness you captured him perfectly.
Definitely would have nominated this for Best Marauder Era in QSQ but I didn't read in time. :( It's very deserving of it!
Author's Response: Thank you very much for the review. I am so pleased you enjoyed the story - especially the Peter interview because I also have trouble seeing him as more than the traitor. I won't be adding to this story as it's a one shot, but I do have a Marauder chaptered fic on the site called The Lions of Gryffindor which this could be seen as a prequel too. (plug plug). Thank you for the best wishes for the QSQ - fingers crossed but there are some amazing fics already nominated. ~Carole~
Ah! I love you! You really captured each individual character with their conversations. I love the way you portray them, because it's not all superficial fluff, you really get down to the heart of each character and what makes them tick. Great, great job!
Author's Response: Thank you so much for your review, I wanted to do something a little bit different and we don't see enough of McGonagall in the fics - plus we tend to see Marauders together and not seperately. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Loved this! I think, in fact, I'll list the things I loved most. You know ... for fun.
1. That James kept taking more and more biscuits. I'd have made him do the exact same thing, I thought of it as soon as I read the first scene, and so was extremely pleased to see that you'd obviously done the same!
2. That James decided to use it as an opportunity to wind McGonagall up as much as possible, but then got very serious very fast, right at the end. That last little part captured his personality perfectly - joking 99% of the time, but fully appreciating, in all its seriousness, what needs to be done.
3. McGonagall's sympathetic attitude towards Remus, which made me love both characters even more than usual.
4. The SPOT ON interpretation of Peter trying to be James, and consequently selling himself short. Perfect.
5. The sweet scene between Sirius and Remus at the end (including the description of James's boasting, which I can also see just perfectly). It's nice to see that, even though they are a four, they work just as well in twos - and not even the traditional friendship pairings of James & Sirius, and Remus & Peter, but it can be completely interchangeable.
Basically, I thought the whole thing was amazingly perceptive, and captured the Marauders perfectly (and I say that as a Marauder-era writer myself, so I feel like I've really got to know them much better than any of the original trio ... or at least, I've got to know my own interpretations and ideas about what they should be like).
Congratulations on the QSQ nomination for this - I hope you get it, because it definitely deserves recognition! =D
Author's Response: Thank you so much for a wondeful review. I'm particularly pleased you liked James because I giggled all the way through writing it. I just think he's such a wind-up merchant ... Ahhh I love the guy. It means a lot that you, particularly, have liked my interpretation because I love The Cause so much. Thank you also for appreciating that McGonagall can be sympathetic at times. She's harsh on Sirius because he needs it but Remus doesn't have a great deal out of life.
Thank you again. Carole xxx
haha, great again, carole!
you've just got the marauders characterization down, nothing else to say. Peter, especially cought my eye, as I so rarely come across a fic that has a good characterization of him. All of tghe others were great to, and I noticed that normally Remus is all 'no one will take me...' and the teachers are 'you've got great grades, bla bla bla' but this time it was sorta the other way around. i think it's good. And likely, too, although we just don't really know, do we? The other theory is also very possible.....
Oh, and Chocolate Dragons??? Is this just something I missed, or did you invent them? An addition to chocolate Frogs????
Great job! And I love the Lions of Griffendor too.
Author's Response: Thank you for the review. Mmm, I made up Chocolate Dragons, just as something diffewrent and they sound quite yummy. Thanks for saying that about Peter, I struggle with him because it's hard to forget he's a traitor. Carole xxx
I LUUUUUUUUUUUUVED IT!!! T'was Awesome
Author's Response: Thank you very much. I had fun writing it. Carole xxx
You know I always like a good Marauder story, and I really loved this one. I think you’ve got all their characterizations down to a tee—it looks like I really ought to take this class!
She perused the list in front of her and ticked off some names. I’ll admit I was a bit disappointed when I read this sentence, but only Sonia Slattery’s example followed before we jumped into the Marauders. Given the names, plural, I wondered where the rest of the amusing anecdotes had gone. So I wonder if that sentence might be tweaked a bit, to avoid let down expectations? :(
I really liked the way you portrayed Sirius with his arrogance and intentionally being difficult, but also his nervousness when he says he wants to be an Auror, and the dark shadow on his face when the Snape incident is mentioned, and his anger about his name. I thought you did a good job showing the conflict in his character as he grows up.
I also liked the story McGonagall told about Peter and Quidditch. It shows that he has real potential of his own, but all he does is follow his friends about all the time. It is my firm belief that Peter Pettigrew had potential.
I thought you showed the process of maturing, again, with James’ character, by the way he fools around with McGonagall for a bit, but then becomes serious about wanting to fight.
Remus’ scene was incredibly sad, and I liked the way you showed his optimistic, almost naïve nature, and his disappointment and anger when it lets him down. Also I found it really interesting that he originally wanted to be a Healer, and I think it makes sense because he’s not really a fighter like James or Sirius; he’s a peacemaker.
I thought it curious that it was Sirius who came to find Remus. It’s unusual that Sirius is shown as the sensitive one, I suppose. I like it, though. Really good job on this, Carole! It really looks like you put a lot of thought into these characters.
Thanks for a beautiful read!
Author's Response: Thanks, Lilu. Hmmm, I take your point about the list of names. I hadn't thought of that. Because this is a kinda prequel to Lions of Gryffindor, I had only thought of Sonia and later Phyllida. DARN! I now want to add Mary and Lily too. LOL. Okay, with Sirius coming to find Remus, it was really because he'd had a dreadful interview and I think he knew Remus would have done asd well. I always see Sirius and Remus as being the ones who are 'darker' as it were.
Thank you, for the concrit. It really is appreciated. carole xxx
I don't know if I've ever read anyone who is so consistent in their characterization of this era! And still manages to have a nice range to write in...if that makes sense. This story was a great read that had me chuckling at one point and feeling the sadness and frustration right along with the boys (and McGonagall!) in the next. I think McGonagall's point of view was spot on (and really fun to read, actually)…she seemed to genuinely like each boy, but was obviously frustrated and still…McGonagall, lol. Fair and stern and well-spoken.
Each interview was unique and helped to do several things at once. It illustrated the boys' relationship at that time, and through James' interview mainly, it helped to highlight the rough times in the world outside Hogwarts. It also served to develop each character; even though the interviews were fairly short, the boys were given enough time to reveal important things about their character at that age. And it had some foreshadowing without being hit-you-in-the-face with it.
Overall, your writing is always very enjoyable and this was no exception - it was a pleasure to read. I would have liked to see more Lily, but I know this was about the boys. She did have her place at the end. And…McGonagall has a picture of Dumbledore on her desk? ;)
Author's Response: Oh ha ha - no I'm not implying she loves Albus hee hee - just that she uses him for inspiration sometimes. Thank you so much for the review- I am pleased you liked it. I extremely pleased you liked McGonagall, I see her as someone who behind the stern front can be emotional (see her at Quidditch matches - LOL). Hmm, I was going to include Lily, but it was hard to slot her in with those troublesome Marauders (plus I still struggle with her - *blush*). Thanks again. Carole xxx