After reading all the three fics in the series-- I just loved the story arc so much. Best friends, with one of the duo falling for the other, is an old concept, but it was so fresh in this fic! I enjoyed reading this with the simple writing, engaging plot and lovely characterisation.
The introduction to the fic was very well written. Introducing friendship and comparing it to bones-- it went well with the title, which I’m sure was what you were going for. And then the quick flashback through the two other fics was adequate-- not too long or short, and though it spoiled the crux of your other two stories, it definitely didn’t reveal enough to not have to read them. This is a good scheme-- it will make the reader curious, and get them to read those two other fics. :)
I liked how all the next-gen characters were so alike, and yet so different from their parents. I could imagine the kids in the future being just this way. The awkwardness, and Lily’s thoughts at finding Scorpius, Rose and Andrew on the guest list was well written. I think first person style is best for this kind of a narration because it’s so much easier to dive into the person’s thoughts and dig out all their emotions. Lily is no different from any other teenager, and each and every emotion she went through was very well written, or rather, I must say, painted.
Coming to the actual interaction between the characters, I loved how smoothly you managed to pull out all the dialogue-- again, the awkwardness-- Lily and Andrew are forced to talk for the first time after Lily lost her virginity to him. It would be awkward for anyone and I loved that your Lily didn’t shrug her shoulders and just talk to Andrew again. The same goes for Rose and Scorpius. The entire dinner was very good and I really, really enjoyed that part.
The apology part was lovely too. I hated Rose and Scorpius on reading Unspoken, but this made me like them (a little) once again. And Lily’s reaction to everyone’s apology was spot-on too! She didn’t become best mates with them again, and indicated that she’d forgive them, but would take her time with it. This line, in particular, portrayed Lily’s thoughts well: It was like the bone had been reset and put in a cast. It would mend, but it would take time. Often, I’ve seen that in a hurry to wrap up the story and add in a happy ending, the author just winds back the plot to where everything was well. People forgive the worst of mistakes and all is well. However, it was not that way in this story, and that gave it a very realistic touch. This didn’t mean that the story was sad-- it had a touch of finality to it in the end, symbolising that everything was over, or perhaps not over-- what happens next is open for interpretation, and I feel, allowing the readers to experiment with their imaginations like this is a very good idea.
I really loved Neville popping up and talking to Lily! It was nice and I loved his characterisation too. He was the Neville we knew from the books, but a grown-up Neville. I find Neville hard to characterise, as he could be written as a sniffling man-child very easily, or even as an extremely uncaring man. These are extremes that are not very easy to avoid and you have done well avoiding them. He is sensible, mature and the brief dialogue exchange between him and Lily goes very well with his characterisation, as it was in the books. Also, the character changes he’s gone through after the war are well reflected by you and I liked these aspects of Neville very much.
That said, apart from some minor typos (you did say that some editing is required), this story was fabulous. The title fits well with the events, emotions and characters and I am curious to know how the Lily/Andrew storyline proceeds. I need a sequel to this one. I really do. Good job! :D
Author's Response: Thanks for the review, Pooja! I'm very glad you liked the story arc - it's one I'm rather proud of :). I'm clad you didn't find the intro too much - I find the hardest thing about writing fics in a series is that you have to give a quick run down, but you don't want to bore your readers. You don't know how excited I was to read that you liked my dialogue. I struggle with dialogue so, so much, so to know that it worked was really exciting. I'm really happy you liked Neville's characterisation. I was a little worried as to how it was going to go over, so I'm glad you found it realistic! As for Lily and Andrew...I think that I need to make an outline, because the next fic I write will be chaptered and will hopefully finish up their story :D Maple