Lovely! I can't remember if I've ever reviewed this- but it sure does deserve one! I love all your stories- your writing improves with every one! :D :D :D
Author's Response: Thank you! :D Your reviews have brightened my day :)
Wow! This was fantastic! I love the transformation of James and Lily!
Hey Natalie (aka Wife), reviewing this for SPEW!
First, I was intrigued by the choice to make this a songfic. Thought the lyrics are lovely, I’ll admit I did feel a little alienated because I didn’t know the song.
I did like the style of the fic. I find that little anecdotes such as the ones that you used keep the fic fresh and stop it from being tired and bogged down by plot. Since the fic is constantly changing, it constantly peaks your interest.
The first bit has a very canon feel, and you seemed to communicate a lot in a few words. Lily’s prejudice against James and James’ hopeless lover for her are very evident in just a few sentences, which is a true skill. It’s very poetic, really.
The second bit seemed a bit corny, however. James talking so candidly about his undying love for Lily with Sirius seemed a bit strange to me. I’m just usually not a big fan when characters speak so frankly about their feelings. I’d rather be shown than told, or have the emotions take place inside the characters’ head. Plus, I don’t really picture Sirius and James talking about love like this. I see you make an attempt to insert Sirius’ womanizing and immaturity through the comment about snogging, but overall the conversation seems out of place.
I like how the third anecdote incorporates both Lily’s and James’ feelings for each other. I like how the focus shifts back and forth between them, which really indicate the state of their relationship. I felt that your beautiful imagery and shifting focus shows how confused they are about each other. I especially enjoyed the description here:
He was sitting with his three friends, basking in the glory of so many things – a paper excellently done, a series of perfect catches made on a stolen Snitch, the joy of being with his friends, and the simple fact that she was there in sight.
She was laughing, he noticed as he unconsciously ran his fingers through his hair. She was laughing with her friends. Her shoes were off and she was cooling her feet in the water. He knew he’d give anything for the world to disappear so that it was just him and her there.
I particularly enjoyed your characterization of James. I love that you communicated how happy he is just to have Lily feel emotion for him, whether it is love or hate. It is very poetic and even explains James’ teasing behavior in the books. I also enjoyed that you communicated this in few lines as well, like a poet:
It thrilled him to see he could provoke her, to see her eyes blazing in anger because that meant she wasn’t indifferent towards him.
It hurt him, too, no matter how much he succeeded at covering it.
It made him feel as though he was not quite right in the head, to even like someone so much he was okay with her disgust for him.
Beautiful description, and you let the readers know exactly how James feels without it becoming trite.
The further small anecdotes about James finally giving up on simply demanding Lily to give in is also nice, as it proves how James was finally able to swallow his pride and respect Lily as a human being. Again, you depicted an immense change in James in a small passage:
He decided to stop, found that it was near impossible to do so, then realised he’d never get her if he didn’t grit his teeth and say something other than demand a date. He succeeded after a few months.
I liked the second conversation between the Marauders better than the first. It definitely had the air of a conversation between young, immature boys and felt more realistic and less touchy-feely.
The anecdote in which Lily and James found out about their Head Boy and Girl status was also a wise decision because it gradually shows the transition from hatred to mild acceptance. Too many stories make the leap from hatred to love, so I’m glad that you’ve realized that emotions don’t suddenly turn overnight.
Your description of James’ mounting fears that Lily would turn him down for good, after she had finally come to tolerate him, also had me sympathizing with James. I thought these lines were particularly effective in communicating this:
As he watched her brewing her potion in the dungeon, he sadly thought how much he wanted to be near her.
Be a part of her life.
Have the right to peck her cheek and hold her hand and crush her in his arms and touch her hair and kiss her lips.
Have the simple privileges of waking up and finding her next to him, of being scolded by her, of having her give him a lover’s smile.
I also loved James’ blunt and heartfelt speech to Lily.
Overall, good job depicting the course of James’ and Lily’s love. Personally, I felt that the lyrics didn’t add much to the fic, but your writing was concise and poetic.
Author's Response: Danielle! You have been away far too long! I hope you know you won a QSQ! First of all, thank you for this amazing review. : ) I’m sorry I am a prick and didn’t reply sooner. Let’s say I was left speechless by its awesomeness, yeah? I need to confess something first: I can’t write major canon pairings. I love them, I ship them hard, but I just cannot write them well. :/ That would explain the corniness of the second section more than anything. Thank you for pointing it out, though! I’ll be more careful in future! You might also be right about the lyrics. Now when I go and read my songfics, I realise putting the lyrics in the story is rather distracting! Another point I am going to keep in mind. <33
Good story ! :3)
Author's Response: Hey! Thanks! :) ~Natalie
Fantastic. Should be extended into a novel.
Author's Response: Thanks! That is indeed a great compliment. :)
Adorable! I loved it!!
Author's Response: Thanks! Your reviews made my day. :D
hat was very sweet! I'm not familiar enough with the song or with songfics in general to comment on that, but I thought that each little bit developed nicely to the end. Of course the resolution was my favorite part - James's speech was perfect, but I'm a sucker for those kinds of speeches. Because *of course* something like that had to be said for them to finally get together! :) I also liked the contrast between him going to her at the beginning and her coming to him at the end, it was a nice, subtle touch. Lily's characterization - that little hint about breaking the rules - was cute and different for her. And the simple ending was perfect for the beginning of their relationship. Nice job, I enjoyed reading your J/L moment! ~Gina :)
Author's Response: Ahhh...it's a lovely song! You must listen to it. The mood and music suit these two so well.
I'm so happy you liked Prongs' speech - I just wrote that without thinking whether it would suit him or not. And yes! I knew the ending had to be simplistic. :)
Thanks for the review again!
Well, I must say I'm shocked to learn I can enjoy a romance story this much without it being about R/Hr... crazy! ;) I loved this so much. There are too many wonderful parts to mention each one, but I especially liked his little speech to her, followed by his reaction in the silence... thinking he might die.
I also loved that it didn't try to go anywhere dramatic after he asked her; that he just couldn't really say anything, so they went to their next class. I really loved it, Natalie. Nice job.
Oh, and if you really wrote this in 2.5 hours... dude, that is seriously impressive. :)
Author's Response: Lori!!!
Your review was a pleasant surprise because I know your love for R/Hr. I can say I should be proud of myself if you enjoyed this that much.
Oh! The ending...yes, my endings are often like that. Here, especially, I wanted to make things sound as normal as possible because in RL, fireworks don't explode when someone tells you they love you. :D Thanks for the review!
I can’t help leave you a substantial review for this one (and that’s my work jargon. :) ).
I wasn’t sure what to expect with this; I never am with James/Lily. They’ve been done so many times, but even I feel the lure to write my OWN version, because it can be done so many different ways, with so many different subtleties. I think the lure of J/L is that it’s such an enticing mix of romance that doesn’t work without believable character development. So, as you are like, my hero for character development, I was pretty excited to read this. You had me hooked with this line, right off the bat:
“So, it was he who went to her. As usual.”
You have SUCH A KNACK for simple lines that convey so much about the characters – Lily has power over James. AND USES IT. But…he succumbs to it. Is he bitter about it? We don’t know. But it was such a great little scene and I just blubber repeatedly about how good you are at choosing those moments that so wonderfully illustrate things about the characters through their actions better than back story and exposition do. This little opening scene is one, especially when it ends with: “She left him wearing a brave grin on his face, and bearing a heart that crumpled a little.”
LOL, I was so focused on James/Sirius conversation the first time around that I didn’t realize what they were doing. James seems to have been just as foolish and arrogant as Sirius, but I think his pursuit of Lily when Sirius didn’t get it made him the more mature of the two. I don’t know if that makes sense, but I’m not going to bother to write my thesis on it here.
You have claimed to me that you don’t do romance well, but there are so many lines here that are so good: “The world wouldn’t disappear, of course, but he didn’t honestly know how else to get her alone with him.” || “And yet, it was what he enjoyed the most, to know that he could make Lily Evans feel for him.” And yet he’s still a BOY, hastily reassessing that he doesn’t want Quidditch to disappear.
BUT OH MAN that lead-up to James’ POV on SWM might be the best I’ve ever seen. And it was so brief and eluded to but gaaaaah when I read: “As he looked at the boy – the one who he had disliked since he was an eleven-year-old – dangling in mid-year and about to have his pants taken off by him and Sirius, he found he couldn’t do it. And he didn’t.” I wanted to have the ability to call you and wake you up and demand that you realize how awesome you are.
I kind of had a bit of a skeptical moment when Remus said, “Methinks…” but as that was pretty small, it honestly didn’t detract from the rest of the story, just made me giggle a bit and go, “Methinks?”
I started to write, “My favorite scene…” and then I would change my mind. I have such an admiration for your style of writing, the scenes you choose to illustrate development and the way you are able to move a story along in chunks rather than one continuous piece. It works so well in this, and each one had such little touches that made them delightful in their own ways, and revealed just a bit about each character. And I love the cork popping when he asked her. The scene was very vivid in my head.
Great lines I wanted to pull out that really stuck with me:
“If she said no now, she would never say yes.” – really showing part of James’ essential character – his determination to do what he believes in, something that was passed on to Harry, and really…just a great line.
“He thought he would sink to the ground as he held on for a reply. He thought he was weightless and would evaporate on the spot any second. He thought he would die. He thought it was over, and nothing ever mattered anymore.” – umm…aw.
“And she came to him.” GGAAAHHH! And the line you got me hooked with has been book-ended!! You were probably grinning when you read the beginning of this review. Now, I have to comment that when I read that line originally, I didn’t forsee it as this big moment that would be completed at the end (and maybe that’s my poor forshadowing…) but, I LIKE that it didn’t bowl me over…each use is subtle but at the same time, I am touched reading it. Does that make sense?
Um, you wrote that in 2.5 hours?! I should get H/G or D/A challenges with time constraints.
Great read, Natalie, super great read. Love!
Author's Response: You really should be in SPEW, Amanda. And, yes, I know you will be as soon as you're back from hiatus. Thanks for the wonderful review! I don't even know where to begin replying...
I do agree that James/Lily is something which can be rewritten over and over, and yet so many versions can be near-perfect. It's a wonder, and initially, I was scared of writing it. But then the song I used remind me of Prongs a lot, and I just to write it.
That lead up to SWM is my favourite. :) That, and the cork popping. I was happy when I saw that you could picture the scene vividly in your mind, as that was I way I wrote it.
And *cough* you know the story behind the "And then she came to me line". :D Thank you!
Oh Natalie, this was absolutely beautiful! I loved everything about this. The way you draw the line from the beginning to the end (Lily walking to James and not the other way round), and your description... That paragraph about her smile was just wonderful, I can't even find the words for it. Also, James' language seems so... fitting for his character.
This is absolutely brilliant. I love your Lily - when she talks about breaking rules but not telling people about it, I actually had to grin because it's so great of you not to have her as such a "good girl" character.
I would love to read a longer James/Lily at some point... your characterisation of the two, but especially your description of emotion is just.. brilliant.
Author's Response: :D:D:D:D:D
I am so, so, so glad that you liked Lily. If you MWPP experts loved it so much, I must have done something right. That part about the smile is my favourite para, too. It is special to James. I would love to write more James/Lily in future, but I get scared when I even think of writing them because they are a fiercely popular pairing, and certainly my OTP of all time. I get scared that I may not be able to do well. But after this, I'm feeling a bit more confident. :D
Thanks muchly for the review.
And she came to him.
And that is the line that floored me. Superb!
This won't be an indepth review, suffice to say, I loved this story. Remus was a star and James was exactly right. A bit of a prat, but he adored his Lily, and got the girl in the end. *sigh* I love a bit of fluff, especially if it has a bit of substance. ~Carole~
Author's Response: I am seriously glad you thought Remus was fine. I really had trouble writing him. And yes, a bit of fluff is nice once in a while. Thanks for the review, Carole. I really appreciate it.