My throat has that throbby feeling when you KNOW you are about to cry... and here the tears come.
You made my tearducts act up, and for that, I just KNOW that you deserve a spot in my favorites and that you are a good writer who wrote a good story.
Author's Response: Ahh, thank you. I will be posting more of this series of one-shots soon. If you are in the mood for another tearjerker, The Decision is one I still can't read without crying, and I wrote it. Thanks again. Terri
This was a very sweet piece, Terri. Nice job. I really liked the emotional part of it. And although James is murdered so cruelly, I loved the small snippets of memories. Memories of happier times, of friendship, of love and care. It flowed so naturally and touched my heart.
Though, there were a few places that left me confused, like for example in the part James was sitting on the sofa, making puffs of coloured smoke come out of the tip of his wand when Lily entered the room. He picked Harry up and handed him to Lily. He threw his wand on the sofa as he stretched.. The “he” at the beginning of the second sentence confused me. You see, at the end of the first sentence, you talk about Lily. Naturally, when finishing reading the first sentence, my thoughts are still with Lily, but with the “he”, you bring the reader rather abruptly back to James. In my opinion, changing the “he” to “James”, or rephrasing the second sentence to maybe “Picking Harry up, James handed him to Lily” would help break the momentary confusion and let it flow better.
Also, what I would have liked to see a bit more is description, to give the entire story more background feeling. It mustn’t be much, but some more imagery to show where the characters are or what they are doing would help draw a better imagine in my head. What you have is great really, but at times, I had the feeling the sentences weren’t flowing so smoothly, like in the memory when Sirius changes back from his first Animagus transfiguration. I would have liked a bit more description on how Sirius looked like after performing this advanced piece of magic. Was he feeling tired? Elated? Did he look dishevelled or did he change back without any hair ruffled? Even though the scene is a small memory that flashes up in front of James’ eyes in his last moments, I believe he would have seen details like clothes’ neatness and such. Also, the remark of Sirius “Oh, and I suppose you being a stag matches your personality?” Sirius asked. is kind of hanging loosely around there, I found. What did he mean by saying that? Did he refer to something special?
Characterisation-wise, though, I like the way you depicted James. I believe he would be feeling truly lucky and happy to have Lily and Harry in his life, especially in hard times like these. I found your portrayal of James – especially through the memories – spot on. Great work, dear. Looking forward to read the other final thoughts you present.
Author's Response: Bine,
It has been a long time since I have gotten a review from you. I do understand what you are saying. I am fixing the first issue now and will work on adding a bit more to the description as you suggested. Thank you so much for your review.
Aww, Terri, even though I read the first version, this still made me sad. I think the tears started welling at this line. His life meant nothing compared to theirs..
The flashbacks are well done - although, I still think Remus was in on the Animagus plan, but we have and will continue debating that (LOL).
He heard the door burst open and he knew his luck had run out. He also knew in that instant they had trusted the wrong man. FOOLISH James and Sirius trusting that rat. Remus was by FAR the better man.
Great idea for a oneshot, but poor James is going to be devastated to see Lily again so soon. *sobs* Carolexxx
Author's Response: Carole,
I'm glad you approve of the addition about being betrayed. I thank you not only for the review but your honest opinions and your ever present help when I get stuck on something British. And, yes, James is going to be a bit upset when Lily joins him. But, at least Harry won't be there.
I really found this to be an intriguing one-shot, mostly because it introduces a James that most readers forget about, which is a loving father and husband. I loved the mention of how he thanked Fate every day for giving him Lily and Harry. This sentimentality we as the reader see in James is very refreshing and adds a very humanizing touch to him. I also really liked the quick memory snapshots in the end and how the reader literally saw how James’ life "flashed" before his eyes.
There was only part that got a little confusing. When Voldemort attacked them, I thought it was a little rushed. At this point I think you could still have the sudden exploding door and sudden attack if you built up the impending doom earlier in the one-shot. The one-shot started out this way as the reader got to see what James did with Lily and Harry, but later in the one-shot the reader was told what was happening rather than shown. I think if you showed more and more scenes that James had with Lily and Harry, instead of telling the reader, then it could really build up the doom hanging over them. The reader knows this is James’ last day and the more you show of that last day (as you did in the very beginning), the more endearing those moments become to the reader.
I also think you could lead up to the attack in a subtle way by weaving in dark tones, so that when the attack happens, it doesn’t make the reader feel it is too rushed. Like maybe as James is feeding Harry, he sees flies buzzing around a dead bug outside the window or maybe Peter was supposed to call him and doesn’t or the lock on the door could be getting rusty or maybe James keeps seeing a gray rat in the house. These are, of course, only suggestions.
Other than that, I really think this was a unique one-shot. I loved how James didn’t bother to pick up his wand when Voldemort came and that he wasn’t afraid for his life, but would gladly lay it down as a sacrifice for his wife and son’s life. This shows how truly heroic James really was in the end. He was probably one of the few characters who faced Voldemort unafraid and without a wand and I think people generally forget that about James, so it was nice to see here. Excellent job!
Author's Response: Thank you for your review. I see your points about the rushed feeling. I will keep these in mind as I am writing the next one-shot in this series. I wanted to show James as more than a Marauder and an Order member. You are right, it is the side of him that everyone forgets about. Thanks again.
Well, I loved this. The quick flashbacks really did portray the common idea of life flashing before the dying person’s eyes, and the swiftness emphasised this all the more. Also, for such a short piece, I felt as if you’d actually told James’ life story in a few paragraphs. Like, wow. We could see what matters to him, what his best memories are… everything. It was great.
I loved baby Harry at the beginning, too. So sweet! And you could see how much James and Lily cared for him…
“Daddy,” Harry said to him. - I think this would be better without the ‘to him’.
Dinner was at the normal time, and still more time playing with Harry. - usually I moan about repetition, but the subtle repeating of ‘time’ brings to life well that this family have so little of it left. We see the normality of their day, but we know what’s going to happen, which is why I found this simple line so effective.
pushing Harry into her arms and then pushed her away - repetition there is distracting, though. At the beginning of the chapter, you also repeated James’ name quite a bit.
the Healer says - ‘said’? I’m not too good with tenses, but that doesn’t seem right.
And, now, this has nothing to do with your writing per se, but I was wondering why there were different amounts of stars on the breaks between each memory?
And, lastly, I have to say the last sentence was devastating:
Sighing, James hoped against hope, he would not see Lily or Harry for a long time.
We know that Lily will be joining him momentarily, so that line is quite a powerful ending for its simplicity. But, either way, I like the connotation that when you die you will see your loved ones again one day.
Good work, honey. I look forward to reading more. xx
Author's Response: Spire,
Yes, says should be said. One verb that got missed when I switched this from second to third person POV. Thanks for catching it. You are right about the repetition when James gave her Harry. I do have a couple things to edit in it that I realised today at work were a bit off. I hope you will reread it once I make the changes. Thanks honey for the review.