Jess and Olivia,
This story was a lot of fun to read and really showed some exemplary features. The creativity behind this fic and the ability for the reader to connect with the characters made it something that I actively read through, rather than just skimming and forgetting about it.
While this wasn't a fic that relied heavily on characterisation to make it work, you made both Al and Lily fleshed out characters that were unique and interesting. I think the selling point for me was that you took two characters whom my head canon states as Gryffindors, put them in houses I never even considered for them, and I bought it. One of my biggest pet peeves in fanfiction is authors putting students into houses and then the character displays none of the house qualities. Here, it wasn't so. They displayed house qualities straight from the get go, so I went with it.
The real magic behind this fic comes from the interaction between Lily and Albus. Anyone who has a sibling can relate to the relationship we see between the two siblings. As the oldest sibling, I found it easy to relate to both siblings, not just Lily, especially due to the fact that my brother is much bigger than me. This is what made this story so fun for me. As an older sibling I could relate to Albus's philosophy that "it’s basically my duty to make her as miserable as she makes me.” While I certainly love my siblings, there are times where I just need to jerk their strings, just because they are my younger siblings, and they annoy me all the time in some shape or form. That being said, I know what it's like to be where Lily is, and just feeling done with my brother's antics and needing some way to get him back. You really managed to touch on the almost mean side of a bigger brother, which is something I could understand. Because I could relate to both siblings, I enjoyed reading both points of views, and cheered for both of them, but also flinched for both of them.
Another aspect of the story I found particularly relatable is the mention of the book. You gave Albus this keepsake that was so important to him, which is something that I know I understand, and then you rip it away from him and have us think that Lily destroyed it. While we know that Albus was a jerk earlier on, it still seems so extreme that Lily would destroy something that was so important to him, so for that moment, I felt angry and sad, similar to what Albus was feeling. In that moment, I imagined what it would be like for my sibling to do that to me, and I felt that it was extreme and mean, even if Albus did humiliate her. Luckily, Lily didn't really destroy it, which was good, so then it was funny again. Speaking of the book, I thought it was interesting that you chose Flying with the Cannons as your book. I'm rereading the series, and Ron gives Harry this book for Christmas one year, so it really shows just how important this book is to Albus and Harry if they are both super protective of a book that Harry already had.
I thought that your prank was very creative and totally believable in the context of this fic. I find that one of the hardest thing to come up with and write are believable and funny pranks that haven't been done before, which is why I tend to avoid humour. Pranks usually come out boring or just bad, but this one didn't. You basically used the same prank twice, but in different contexts and different extremes. Both instances were equally powerful in creating a moment that was funny and completely unexpected.
Another very creative aspect was the Hufflepuff common room. In the books, we have seen how the Gryffindor, Slytherin, and Ravenclaw quarters work, so it was neat to see the fourth house. It was believable in the sense that it isn't so much different from the other houses, but it's still got that little feel of Hufflepuff to it, especially in the portrait who wants Lily to be nice.
As a complete work, this story had a real flow and cohesiveness to it. Though this was a cowritten story, it feels as if it was written by one person. This makes the fic feel connected as a whole, making it easy and enjoyable to read, as I didn't have to adjust to a new writing style whenever you switched authors.
As a whole, this piece really captured my attention with its cohesiveness, creativity, and relatability. I would definitely recommend this fic to someone who was looking for an easy going and fun read.
Hahaha that was awesome!!! Go Lily!!!
Thank you very much. :P
Big brothers are made for being cut down to size (Jess: I have had plenty of practice). Lily's revenge was slightly cruel but justified in the end. I'm glad you stopped by and read this story. We had fun writing it!
~Jess & Olivia
Great story, you guys! I loved it. I immediately wanted Albus to get it, because he was such an arrogant git at the beginning. I loved that Lily was smart enough to suspect him - and beat him at his own game. The prank was very well planned and the details were fantastic. I especially liked the nod of sentiment toward Granddad Weasley's book. That was a really nice touch. Wonderful job, you two - good luck in the challenge! ~Gina :)
Thank you. :)
Albus was meant to be the jerky but relatable big brother. We've all known people who find humor in not so nice actions, but at his age, it's almost expected. It was, though, a giant 'hell yeah!' for Lily. Nothing asserts a younger sibling's equality more than a proverbial foot up the ass. :D
Thanks for reading and reviewing, as well as waiting so long for a reply. Kudos for your win in the co-op. We like to think we were worthy competitors.
~Jess and Olivia
Ah, fabulosa. Really enjoyable story, you guys, with a decent trick and great consequences. I love the fact that you wrote them as a Puff and a Claw - after all we have no idea what houses they'd be in, but this does make sense. Albus really is a git, but I loved the bit about his Granddad's book. (Don't know if you know but I wrote a story where Arthur was suffering dementia, so that struck a chord with me)
It was very smoothly written, and I know how hard that is to do when you're co-writing.
Well Done ~Carole~
Big brothers... *sigh* Gits, all.
This prank was a lot of fun to concoct, and the great part is that both of us quickly agreed on Next-Gen. And as both of us had favourite characters of the genre who happened to be siblings... it was destiny.
And saaaaaaaaaad for Arthur. But he does seem a prime candidate for that. :/
Thank you for your lovely review. We like to think we gave you and Gina a run for your money.
~Jess and Olivia
I loved it soo much! I'm the only person who ever put Lily as a Ravenclaw...it was refreshing to see her like that. Normally she's a sort of stupid Gryffindor. I think you did a really good job, about how she was smarter than Albus, how she tricked them into thinking they pranked her. I especially liked how she was a prefect and she still did all this stuff. But I especially liked how even when she was pranking Albus, she wouldn't stoop as low as he tried to.
Really good job, I'm putting this as a favorite!
Lily is a very versatile character in the Potterverse, in that she has the possibility to be so many things. We don't see much of who she really is in the epilogue, so she could be anyone. It's almost a shame that she isn't put to better use. But being the cracking younger sister to the smartass-come-dumbass older brother is a fun way to realise this, hehe. She is, after all, a Potter through and through.
Thank you for the review, and our apologies for the lateness in the reply!
~Jess and Olivia
Heyyyyyy. I have to say this was A LOT of fun to read. I loved the dynamic you set up between Albus and Lily. It was very sibling-esque hahaha. I also liked that neither Albus or Lily were in Gryffindor. The way you built up their characters fit well into Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw. Anyway, great fic! And congrats on getting it in on time xDDD
Our apologies for the lateness, but thank you, Jules, both for your assistance via AIM and enjoying our little tale. What we wanted was something that could have easily slid into canon and change the dynamic from a James/Albus sibling rivalry to the less heralded Al/Lily one.
Thank you much for the review!
~Jess and Olivia