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Name: Sapphire at Dawn (Signed) · Date: 10/09/09 6:21 · For: Chapter One: Are You Ready? Hold that Focus--Steady
An interesting beginning. I think you’ve got a very good voice, and I love the style of including parts of Emmeline’s diary as bits of the story. However, I’m not too keen on your characterisations, Lily especially. In the books she is described as ‘vivacious’ and ‘cheeky’, and JKR has stated in interviews that she was popular and ‘quite a catch’, and that she would have probably gotten letters from the Ministry about underage magic at home. This really doesn’t fit into your portrayal of her at all. While there is no evidence to suggest that she wasn’t a perfectionist, I don’t think that she would get all worried and worked up about it all in the way you have her in the story. There are also part where her personality conflicts with what Emmeline tells us about her, for example, she eats like a horse and would rather go to sleep when they get to the station and risk missing the train to school, and being late for the Head’s meeting. To me, that just doesn’t make sense for a girl who earlier you said was an overachiever.

I also have to question your choice of Emmeline Vance as Lily’s friend. In OoTP, Emmeline is described as ‘stately’ and wears a shawl. Now according to your timeline, she would be around thirty five at this point, and to be honest, I don’t know many thirty five year olds who could be described as ‘stately’. I think it could be done, I like the idea of her being a writer, it could lend her particular airs that could contribute towards her stately-ness (I doubt that is actually a word, but I hope you know what I mean) .

I also have to point out that in 1970s Britain, the Evans family are very unlikely to be eating pancakes. Over here, pancakes are only usually eaten on Shrove Tuesday, and my sisters only eat those little round ones that you’re probably referring to rarely. The norm for breakfast would be cereals and toast, or an English breakfast consisting of bacon, eggs, mushrooms, baked beans, and maybe sausage, hash browns and black pudding. I understand that it's hard writing characters from another country, and while you've done well with the language that they use, there are obscure things that are different in England.

I also have to comment on the letter sent by Emmeline’s mother. To me, she came across very caring and fantastically ditzy, the kind of flaky-ness that really makes you warm to a person. I also don’t really see why Emmeline doesn’t like it at her house, it seems sort of like the atmosphere at the Burrow, and if her parents were always prying into her business, wouldn’t they want to know why she and Sirius had broken up? I think to get the effect you’re after, you should have a different, more pushy and prying letter and describe the family as more raucous than they come across at the moment.

‘...and no more hanging up lavish decorations in celebration of Brian May’s birthday.’ This bit made me laugh, and I think your line about Lily’s dad watching her go into a world he knew nothing about was fantastic.

However, the change in point of view confused me a bit. The only time you mention Lily’s name is when she is speaking, and that could have easily come from Emmeline’s perspective. I think that starting the next paragraph with ‘She didn’t want to see....’ to ‘Lily didn’t want to see....’, or simply just stating her sentence about not wanting to get on the Hogwarts Express into a thought.

The use of Alice Longbottom as one of Lily’s friends is not only cliché, but impossible. Alice could not have been in Lily’s year because of the time it takes to complete the Auror training. The training takes three years, and if she was in Lily’s year and started straight out of Hogwarts, she wouldn’t be qualified until 1982, which is around a year after she’s tortured to insanity. She has to be at least one year older than Lily, but I suspect it was more.

I also don’t get why, if Alice was Lily’s friend, that she didn’t know she was Head Girl. I would have thought (because I would have done the it if I was in her place) that she would have sent an owl to her friends telling them. I don’t believe that they didn’t write to each other over the summer, and if Lily didn’t want to feel like she was crowing over her friends, then I think that Emmeline would have made her share the news. The other thing that makes me wonder is that Remus must have known who the Head Boy was, and it came across to me that he and Lily were good friends, so she would have written to him over the summer too, if only to ask if he had got the Heads badge too, I think.

At first, I thought that naming all the Prefects was a little over the top, but now I think that it breaks up Lily’s thoughts nicely and makes them sort of disjointed and a little rushed. However, I don’t like Lily’s reaction. She shows absolutely no surprise at seeing James there, despite the fact that he wasn’t a Prefect, and the fact that they have a little bit of history. I’m not saying that you should have her start shrieking like a banshee, in fact I like that you don’t have her doing that, but I think she’s a little too blasé about it. She must have had her suspicions about who would be Head Boy, and I highly doubt that she would have thought of James. I also think that he would be a little unsure of himself, too, seeing as he wasn’t a Prefect, he doesn’t know how exactly they go. Moony might have given him a clue or two, but doing it for the first time without any prior firsthand experience would make him at least a little nervous.

The second change in point of view was much clearer than the first. Well done. Though, I’m not really too sure about him seeing the Slytherins whispering and immediately thinking that they would be talking about Lord Voldemort. I like the lines you put afterwards, but I think that they should be more focused around him jumping to that conclusion and feeling bad, rather than thinking that Voldemort wouldn’t recruit students. Remember that, as a Werewolf, he is subjected to a lot of people jumping to conclusions, and even if they don’t know about his condition, there is the general attitude towards them anyway, so I don’t think that he would copy it. He knows what it’s like to be on the receiving end.
The character’s reaction to Roxie (which, by the way, is a fairly modern name over here and definitely wouldn’t have been used then. Roxanne is a better name than Roxanna, as well), is very strange. I couldn’t work out whether they disliked her, or had forgotten about her, or what was happening. I think that to illustrate that she is not a nice person, it really has to be explained right away, when Remus first sees her. I also don’t think that Lily, as Head Girl, would stand for such a threat. She has the power to dock points and give detentions, why not use it now, on this girl who is clearly threatening them?

I know it may not seem it after reading the above, but I really like this story, you’re a good writer, and the writing itself is brilliant, you kept me interested the whole way through, and parts were quite entertaining. It was just some of what was written that I didn’t necessarily agree with. It was a very good start, and great for your first fanfic, and I especially like Emmeline’s character and am looking forward to see how she develops over the course of this story.

Author's Response: Oh, darling, please tell me you are applying to SPEW pronto. Because you really really really should be. This review is fantastic! I pretty much know about all the problems you mentioned (except for the breakfast part, which is fascinating). In fact, I think my friends avoid reviewing this story because there are so many problems with it. -rolls eyes- I've been considering deleting this story for the longest time because of its epic adventures in suckdom, and I would delete in now, too, if you hadn't left me this review. I just can't delete such lovely review. Thank you for taking the time to read and point out all the problems! And thank you for the compliments on my writing--I can't stop smiling whenever I read that last paragraph. And, finally, Keep Reviewing! xox Mere

Name: bellatrix-black-lestrange (Signed) · Date: 09/03/09 12:05 · For: Chapter Six: You Can't Quietly Wipe Out an Entire Tent City Then Watch 'It's A Wonderful Life' on TV
i dont like this Roxie girl she confuses me, i mean i cant categorize her so i find it difficult to understand her ! the rest was good though :D

Name: The_Dream_Team (Signed) · Date: 08/28/09 17:21 · For: Chapter Six: You Can't Quietly Wipe Out an Entire Tent City Then Watch 'It's A Wonderful Life' on TV
Gr8 chapter!! I'm so glad that u updated! I'm wonderin where this is going so please update soon!!!

Name: ron lover (Signed) · Date: 07/21/09 10:30 · For: Chapter Five: They Expelled Me For My Theory of Actual Reality
I really like this story. I like how you wrote James and Lily together. It was fun to read that part. I can't wait for the next chapter. This is a really good story.

Name: bellatrix-black-lestrange (Signed) · Date: 07/20/09 9:46 · For: Chapter Five: They Expelled Me For My Theory of Actual Reality
Another amazing chapter !
i like this cliffhanger but i hate that it leaves me wondering oh well hopefully not long until you update

Name: The_Dream_Team (Signed) · Date: 07/19/09 12:36 · For: Chapter Five: They Expelled Me For My Theory of Actual Reality
Yay!!! you updated! i liked that chapter! Remus and Julie are really cute together! :) i wish James was in it a bit more... but it was still really good! AND I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT SHE KILLED THE OWL! so sad... but @ the same time kinda funny... plz update soon!

Name: The_Dream_Team (Signed) · Date: 04/30/09 6:56 · For: Chapter Four: Oh, Won't You Light the Candle?
Yay Yay Yay! I hadn't read your fic before so i started yesterday and i wanted to keep goin and going... but then it ended and i was like, NOOOOOOOO! Plz try to update quickly! I really like how James is still cocky because in a lot of other marauder fics he is totally serious and no fun! so thank you for making him fun! Keep riting!!! :D

Name: bellatrix-black-lestrange (Signed) · Date: 04/30/09 2:59 · For: Chapter Four: Oh, Won't You Light the Candle?
i love it
so different and it actually seems the real thing like this is how people would have reacted to it

please write another chapter i want to see what happens to lily and james

Name: JeeviS (Signed) · Date: 04/29/09 12:43 · For: Chapter Four: Oh, Won't You Light the Candle?
Yay James is back!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love it... hmmm when James asked to dance i thought he still liked her and stuff... but it didnt actualy show much....does he???????? i can see tat Lily is starting to notice him more n more which is good...

You know u might find it weird but i absolutely loved thid lines:

“Why?” James sounded amused. “An old boyfriend?”

She winced. “No. He never got that chance.”

He froze. “Snape?” he whispered.

Lily lowered her head a fraction, dropping her gaze to the floor. “Yes,” she murmured.

I dunno y.... but i think it was fantastic especially when Lily said he never got the chance after James asked her.... furthermore, i had been waiting for a chapter about Lily and James for long.... finally its here!!!!!!!! and ur right i find that this is also my favourite chapter so far too!!! this chapter is well written and it was also good to se it from Lily's point of view... will we be able to see from ?James' point of view??? cant wait for the next chapter.... plz update soon!!!!!!!!!!!

Name: JeeviS (Signed) · Date: 04/29/09 11:45 · For: Chapter Three: One Song, To Redeem This Empty Life
I love this chapter!!! Its really well written... I liked the part where you showed us a sneak peek of Peter's character when he and Lily talked.... I also think this chapter is great because it shows about how Lily feels aout the war and everything that is going on around her.... It shows that she cant have just be carefree and enjoy herself when all of this is happening....

But theres one thing that kind of bugging me though... what happened to James??? We dun hear or get to see him in the chapters much.... other than that i think this is brilliant...cant wait to read the next chapter now... and by the way i like the names u gave for each chapters... it sounds unique :D

Name: JeeviS (Signed) · Date: 04/29/09 11:31 · For: Chapter Two: Forces Are Gathering
Haha i agree on Dumbledore's speech.... But u did it well:D.... and again i love this chapter too!!! I liked the part where Em says:

“Sounds like things aren’t so great in paradise.”

I wonder wat Lily wanted to say to Em though.... The professor Temple sounds interesting... cant wait to read more..

Name: JeeviS (Signed) · Date: 04/29/09 11:03 · For: Chapter One: Are You Ready? Hold that Focus--Steady
I think its fantastic!! I love it... for a first fic u did very well... and i completely agree on the part where Emmeline said to Lily :
“You always want to bring out your eyes, Lily. They’re one of the first things people notice.”

Furthermore, I love the chracter of Emmeline so far.... I dun like Roxie... she sounds so rude and evil to the others....

Ohh and I also love the art where James says:

“Evans and I just wanted to remind everyone not abuse their power too much, to pass out the passwords, and to establish a patrol schedule.” He leaned forward and began to pass pieces of parchment and a quill around.

I like that part because he made it sound like u could abuse ur power but not much:D... thats so sounds like him... I always loved james/lily pairing a lot... :P

Name: Sdogg (Signed) · Date: 04/29/09 10:15 · For: Chapter Four: Oh, Won't You Light the Candle?
I wasn't sure if I liked this story enough to follow it, but this last chapter was your best by far! I really like your internal character development with Lily! Great work :)

Name: Essence of Potter (Signed) · Date: 04/28/09 13:25 · For: Chapter Four: Oh, Won't You Light the Candle?
I really liked this chap too! I liked how they talked more but it still wasn't rushed, I like how it didn't end with a kiss and James asking her to go out with him. I liked how it wasn't predictable and I was glued the whole way through.

Name: IndigoPassion (Signed) · Date: 11/11/08 2:40 · For: Chapter Two: Forces Are Gathering
'And, lastly, thanks to you, for reading, for reviewing, and just being totally awesome.'

Thats okay, Mere, I do try! Lol

Anyway. WOW, amazing story. Even better than the last chapter, now you've got into it.

So amzaing! WOW WOW WOW!!!!
Honestly, and this is going straight on my favourites. I love your writing style, and the way you put it in the diary, then discribe it, ane everything, lol.

Lol, nothing compared to DD's speech? Haha, i've never heard that one!

And use your sweeteness? Are you implying you want Alice to become a double agent and seduce the Death Eaters? LOL

Anyway. Update soon!!!!

Love!!! *higgles and huggles*
-Lexy :D

Author's Response: -hitsheadondesk- So it only took two months to respond to this.... oh, well. Thanks so much, Lexy! You are awesome. :D heehee. I love all your comments. Thanks so much, again. <3 -hugglesquishes- xox Mere

Name: IndigoPassion (Signed) · Date: 11/08/08 17:16 · For: Chapter One: Are You Ready? Hold that Focus--Steady
OMG! Mere!

Thats so amazing!
Your a brilliant writer!

The situations are all so lifelike, it could honestly be happening. And your charectarization is wonderful.

Its so good to see your not going all cliche, like most maurauders do!

*higgles and Huggles*


Author's Response: -squish-Thanks so much for reading and reviewing, Lexy! -blushes- Why, thank you. Yes, yes, I do tend to dislike cliches. :p -higgles and huggles back- Thanks so much! Again! ;) xo Mere

Name: PeaceLovePotter (Signed) · Date: 09/04/08 18:08 · For: Chapter Two: Forces Are Gathering
I love the sorting hat's song! Most authors skip over that.

Author's Response: Yes, they do, unfortunately. I kept in because of that. I'm glad you liked it. Thanks for reviewing. xo Mere

Name: ringobeatlesfan4 (Signed) · Date: 09/04/08 16:43 · For: Chapter Two: Forces Are Gathering
Mere! Another update! I could sing. Probably about Slytherin (my house on the forums), or about Paramore (my favorite band), or about how my fic was rejected a second time *sobs* So sad. Anyway, great job on this chapter!

Author's Response: Becca! -hugs- I'm sorry about your fic. Ehh...Paramore. >.> I kind of like them. Anyway, I'm glad you liked it. xo Mere

Name: obsessed_with_jo (Signed) · Date: 07/26/08 11:38 · For: Chapter One: Are You Ready? Hold that Focus--Steady
This is such an awesome fic! I love all of the RENT parallels SO much; it's really well-done...got me singing the Tune-Ups and Voicemails in my head =P
Aside from the whole RENT business, I love what you've started here. I like the interactions between the characters; they seem very real and believable. It held my attention all the way through, which is amazing, since it's about twice as long as one of my average chapters =] . It's also really well-written for a first fic. Great job, and I hope to read more of it soon!

Author's Response: Thanks so much for reviewing! heheh.... It's good to know that you could recognize the songs. I'm glad the characters seem real, that's one of the things I really strive for in writing. Yes, it is a bit long... but I like long chapters. :D I'm glad you liked it! xo Mere

Name: YourWildestDreams (Signed) · Date: 07/20/08 13:10 · For: Chapter One: Are You Ready? Hold that Focus--Steady
Sub for sub? Haha- Mere, this was an amazing read! Is it really your first fic? It can't be, can it? Okay my nitpicks:
I'm not really a fan of the chapter title. The "Of a, b, and c" thing I think is kind of cliche. Yeah, I would definitely change that.
Also, with the letter from Emmeline's parents, it took me a couple of times to read it over to figure out why Emmeline was so upset by it. Personally, I would have considered it a sympathetic letter, and would have made it more obvious why Emmeline does not find it satisfactory.
Another thing, why does Lily glare at Frank when he say hello? Is he supposed to be mocking her? It seemed to me like he was just responding to her hello.
Also, wouldn't Linda Downs know that Robert and Kimberly are twins if she's in the same year as them? After all they've had classes together for five years. Just a small irk.
Also, wasn't Snape sworn to secrecy about Remus being a werewolf by Dumbledore? He wouldn't have said "Hello werewolf" in front of Regulus. Also isn't Regulas Sirius's younger brother? Would he be beating someone up with an older kid? I would have chosen someone else for Snape's comrade.

Okay now that bad parts out of the way, I can tell you about all the amazing things this chapter had. First of all, I loved the begging with the diary. And how you made Lily seem like an over achiever, but still childish and light spirited. People usually make Lily a hard worker, but also very serious, which I'm glad you stayed away from. I also really loved Emmeline's character. She took out her anger with clothes, haha that made me laugh. Also, I like how you switched points of veiw often. It kept the reader interested, instead of one straight chapter (5000 words too - how did you do that???) told by the same person. The part where Lily and her father say goodbye is very touching, I love his nickname for here: Tigerlily. This was a great line:
"It was hard for him, harder than it ever appeared, to watch his favorite daughter disappear into a world he knew nothing about." That really gave me an insight into his feelings. I like how Lily and James weren't completely surprised when they saw each other, and how James hardly took notice of her. Also, you'd think James would be the late one, but it goes to show how much he's matured. Also, the naming of the prefects was really creative, with intervals of Lily's thoughts. That was a great idea! Oh, and I feel so sorry for Remus! I hope he gets helped. And Roxie seems... interesting. I'm curious to see why they aren't friends anymore, what she needs help with, and who her friends are now. "“And that’s the bad part of coming back,” said Lily, making a face at the door." That line also made me laugh, it was a great end to a greater chapter. What a very uncliche, marvelous story. I think I'll add it to my favorites now.

Author's Response: Avery! -huggles- WOW! Thank you for your amazing review. I'll go look into those things and see what I can do. ;) I tried to make it as un-cliche as possible. I think it's working, yeah? You pointed out my favorite lines. :D I love that line from her dad too. It really bugs me when Lily's all uptight and no fun in fics, so I made her loose and more fun. Emmeline is quite the character, isn't she? As for Remus and Roxie... well, you'll just have to wait and see. -laughs evilly- Oh, and, I like long chapters, what can I say? :) -hugs- xo Mere

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