Hi :) I'm suprised this hasn't got more reviews, as Battlefields is really good! It was a breath of fresh air after reading a few too many cliched Lily-related fics. The characterisation of Lily is my favourite part of Battlefields, although the characterisation of her family, Mark, Snape, Eileen, the Death Eaters... (on further reflection, everyone's characterisation is some of the best I've read in a while). Looking forward to reading more :) ~Andrea
Author's Response: Thank you so much for the review! I'm glad you liked the characterisation, I really enjoyed writing Lily and getting inside Eileen's head as well. Thanks :)
This story has been on my to-read list ever since you published it in December, and I’m glad I chose to read it for SPEW. This was an intriguing first chapter, and I’m impressed with the way that you both introduced the story and also got into some actual plot in only a few thousand words.
A newspaper article was an abrupt way to begin the story, but I like how you threw us into the action straight away. I like Lily’s feelings about the war straight after she reads the article, especially when she points out:
But a war had to have two sides, had to have a resistance, but instead there seemed to be simply confusion.
I think Lily is spot-on in thinking this. During the first war, nothing really seemed to happen, and that’s why Voldemort took “control” so easily. During the second war, people were actively fighting (if losing) and it probably took a lot more effort for Voldemort to gain control.
I like the character of Mark. He’s very cheerful and likeable, and he seems oddly good for Lily’s misery. He does seem a lot like James, and it’s pretty ironic that Lily is more attracted to him than she is James even if they are alike. I like the way that you point out that it’s easier for Lily to like him because he is “like a breath of fresh air” for her because he knows nothing about the war. If Lily went on a date with someone from Hogwarts, I think they would be talking about the war more often than either of them would have liked because that was the main thing that was going on at the moment and neither of them could ignore it, no matter how much they wanted to.
There were a few Briticisms that I didn’t understand, such as when Mark says that Lily’s faux Scotland boarding school is “very posh” and when he says he has “to meet his mum at the chippy.” However, even if I didn’t understand them, I think it’s very important for Mark and Lily to act in character, dialect and all, and I like how you incorporated that sort of thing.
I like the ending of the chapter, where we see Snape watching Mark and Lily leave. The character of Snape is an interesting dilemma for me- I never understood why he didn’t just act differently for Lily if he loved her that much. However, I like the way that you describe him as “sour yet wistful.” I think this really fits him - he’s sour that Mark is with Lily, but wistful because he wishes that he were the one with Lily. It was definitely a thought-provoking way to end the chapter.
Overall, Sarah, I really enjoyed the first chapter of this. I can’t wait to read the others.
Author's Response: Oh, wow, Lily, thanks so much! What an epic review! I'm glad you like it, and Mark. I've never thought about how much like James he is; it wasn't my intention, but now you mention it, he actually is. Perhaps a little more tame and mature than James, not as intelligent, but I can see how he and James are similar. The Briticisms... sorry about that :p 'chippy' is short for chip shop. The boarding school thing... generally boarding schools are private and therefore to someone who is a bit of a lad and working class it's posh. It's a social thing more than a Brit thing, I think. Thanks so much for leaving this review and I'm glad you like it. Sarah x
Oh Snape, you idiot. He's just so deluded and lost, I very nearly felt sorry for him, which makes me shudder. I thought you wrote that recruitment scene very well, Sarah, showing Snape's fascination and wonder with Voldemort's cause and then contrasting it with his conflicting feelings for Lily. I don't like Snape at all but he is a complex and interesting character all the same.
Looking forward to the next chapter :)
Author's Response: Once again, thanks so much! I found writing Snape very hard and was worried that the recruitment scene wasn't all that good, but you've reassured me a little.
Oh I wasn't expecting Mark at all but he was a nice surprise and something different. This is an intriguing start, Sarah. I must admit I don't read much Marauder but I have been in a Marauder mood lately and remembered this fic from the banner ;) I'm really interested to see where this goes and Mark seems like such a refreshing character amidst all the gloom of the impending war.
I loved the way Lily was flustered about explaining her school. I've always been interested in the ways Muggle-borns have to tread the line between the Wizarding world and the world they grew up in. I thought you showed this really well.
Anyway, great start, Sarah! Adding this to my favourites :)
Author's Response: I am so terrible at responding to reviews. Sorry it's taken so long. Thanks for reviewing and I'm glad you like it! Can't really say much more thank thank you :)
OHHHH, now, I wasn;t sure where this was going to begin with Sarah, and was expecting war filled doom and gloom, or even worse Lily ending up in Snape's arms - (you know how that would make me shudder), but this is good. I was totally surprised by the OC appearing and loved his characterisation. Mark seems to fit rather nicely into Lily's Muggle world and it is refreshing to see her with someone who isn't Snape or James. A good buffer between the pair of them. I particularly liked her recognition that if James had said the line she'd have been irritated beyond compare. Sometimes men just can't win, can they.
Good dtory, Sarah, and am adding to favourites now. ~Carole~
Author's Response: Thank you so much, Carole! I could never have Lily ending up in Snape's arms. I don't think I could physically do it. But he pops up again in the next chapter for her to have a good old shout at, and unfortunately, the doom and gloom resurfaces a little. Poor old Lily. Thanks again for reviewing!