I have been reading a lot of your works lately
and they were mind-blowing (drowning, not waving is my favourite). This, on the other hand, is INSPIRING. As a writer myself I do not know how you have changed my thoughts about the Marauders (Especially JAMES!). I now have so much respect for James-centric fan-fiction, and I cannot thank you enough. You have also introduced me to portraying feelings in dialogue. I had struggled with that prior to reading this masterpiece. Keep up the fantastic work!
Author's Response: Thank you very much for the lovely review. I am a Marauder fan and write quite a bit of it (or used to). In this story I wanted to show that it wasn;t just Lily that had an effect on James. I wanted him to be more than just a Marauder who Lily changed a bit - if that makes sense - so I'm glad you enjoyed this story.
OOOH, Drowning Not waving. I'm currently writing the sequel - it's going to be chaptered the way it's going atm, and mainly from Cedric's POV, so I hope you get around to reading that. I hope the first chapter will be up in December.
Thank you very much, again, for this lovely review. Quite made my morning. ~Carole~
Amazing story! I loved it!
Author's Response: Thank you! I enjoyed writing it - except the end which made me cry.
I have to confess that I was really pleasantly surprised by this story, Carole. Not that I don't expect to enjoy your stories, because I always do, but because James Potter is generally one of my least favourite characters. I don't dislike him in any of the usual scary, ardent sevgirl-type ways or think he is a despicable human or anything like that. My antipathy is purely based on how uninspiring most characterisations of him tend to be. I've read too many stories that make him a really obnoxious mix of cocky, misunderstood and yet irredeemably bland, so I tend to shy away from stories that feature him, but I think that, shockingly, you may have actually converted me to appreciating that, written well, he can be complex, layered and ultimately sympathetic.
I really like how you have him think of himself as this chivalrous, brave Gryffindor, and his actions towards Dita really do play that out, but yet you don't brush his teenage thoughtlessness (however intentionally cruel) under the carpet either. I really like the way Dita calls him out over his actions towards Snape and makes him view things differently - it really gives him space to grow as a character and mature and he's far more interesting for having his less admirable traits taken into account as well as the positive ones.
I found myself developing a lot of respect for Dita throughout; she comes across as a girl with a real core of inner strength. Growing up as a mixed-race girl in a rural village in the '70s, not to mention being smart enough to end up at the local grammar, can't be an easy situation, let alone being excluded from the world of the person she loves, and yet she carries herself with dignity and grace. I found myself wondering if perhaps Remus was right at the end and if perhaps, had things been different and James weren't so hardheaded in his desire to protect her, her sheer determination may actually have been enough to save him.
Despite the fact that the story manages to span very few scenes over such a long period, the progression from friendship to love to heartbreak felt entirely natural and the whole story was effortlessly well paced.
I think part of why it felt so natural was that the emotions were very well handled, and I love how you aren't afraid to be understated with them either. Dita's stoic acceptance of James death and her lack of surprise is so much more affecting and shows the depth of her understanding of the sort of man he was so much better than any more melodramatic reaction would have.
The only thing, style-wise, I found I did struggle with at times was the point of view. I found myself a little muddled at certain points as to whether I was in James' or Dita's head, which did just jar me out of the story a little. Mostly your writing is so fluently written and comfortable and easy to follow, but I just found myself feeling a tiny adrift on the rare occasion when the point of view didn't feel quite as firmly rooted.
Finally, I thought the concept of the parallel to Lily's friendship with Snape was very astute because of the way that the two friendships are almost the inverse of one another: for Severus and Lily it was the magical world that brought them together but they grew apart as people; whilst for James and Dita, they grew together as people but the magical world wrenched them apart.
I'm so very glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and read this.
Author's Response: Hannahhhhh, Thank you so much for the lovely, in-depth review. I feel very humble because this response cannot possibly do it justice.
I like James Potter very much, but I agree he can come across as a very bland character. There isn't much we know about him compared to the other Marauders, so I think people tend to fixate on the two things they do know - he was an insufferable prat when he was 16, and a hero when he died trying to save his wife and child. But obviously there has to be a lot more to him. I wrote this story for Natalie and at the time it wasn;t supposed to be much more than a short oneshot about James and a Muggle girl, but as the story progressed, Dita and James became a lot more important. I wanted someone else apart from Lily to be the person who showed him what a prat he was, and yet ... she also had to see that Snape wasn't as defenceless as she'd thought because I simply don;t believe that's the case.
Anyway, so that's why the story developed as it did. I take your point about the head-hopping. My beta (Gina) did point it out to me a few times, and I thought I'd rewritten it to assuage her concerns, but I can see where it might not have worked.
Thank you again for the tremendous review ~Carole~
That was a fabulous James-centric piece with an engaging original character.
Author's Response: Thank you very much. I had a lot of fun writing this except the end which made me cry. ~Carole~
What utter fabulousness.
So I've been hanging out at your Author Page for the last hour or so, and everything I've read so far has been favourited!
I love how Dita worked out how arrogant James was, without even seeing it happen. And the final scene with Remus was amazing, too - even if I did get a little teary.
The best thing, however, was how you managed to intertwine racism into the prejudice of Muggleborns. James was SO cute and innocent when he asked her if Paki was her name. The innocence of children (especially wizarding ones).
x Annie x
Author's Response: Thank you very much for the review. I admit to getting a little teary myself at the last scene. ~Carole~
This was so heartbreaking to read. I liked your depiction of James especially, and your reasoning behind him asking Lily out was nice (it is nice not to see him moping over her once in a while).
Dita was a great character too. I liked the way you paralleled the idea juggling worlds in Dita and James. The first chapter was great too - especially the first time they met.
Anyway, I could ramble a lot about how much I enjoyed all of this. Your writing was beautiful throughout, and that last bit with Remus was just so sad and yet so beautiful...
Author's Response: Aww, thank you very much. I enjoyed writing this, although I never thought I'd like writing James with anyone but LIly. I agree that it gets a bit tiresome seeing him only thinking about Lily. Thanks again ~Carole~
Sorry but this made me really sad!
Author's Response: Um, well, I hope the apology doesn't mean you hated it because it was supposed to be a sad story. Thank you for reading and reviewing. ~Carole~
good story. I liked your themes of trying to mix cultures and how difficult it can be. Loved the last sentence of the story.
Author's Response: Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed it. It was hard for me not to be writing James/Lily is I'm honest, but Dita was a fine girl. ~Carole~
We have reached the end, haven't we?
This was a beautiful story, Carole, and so well-written and nicely pulled off. You risked the danger of writing Marauder/Muggle but it paid you off. It made me smile throughout, and even weep a bit towards the end.
Thank you for this lovely, lovely present. I am so honoured to have friends like you. :)
Author's Response: I took my time responding to your lovely review because I didn't quite know what to say. (Siriusly - lol didn't quite cut it
I loved writing it, and I loved having a reason to write it. ~Carole~
My favourite Keane song by FAR :) I really like the way you ended it, and your very convincing with your pairings. I wasn't sure about reading this fic, as I love James/Lily, but you did a great job!
Author's Response: I love James/Lily too, but this was a present for someone (the real life Dita) plus he did end up with Lily in the end. Ah, the Keane song. Yes, I think it's my favourite as well, closely followed by Bedshaped. *sighs at Keame* Thanks for the review. ~Carole~
Only I meant by the heartbreak that there is a possibility in a year or two James might end up with another girl. Since you also dont put up a AU warning, I believed wholeheartedly that you were showing a glimpse of James's life we usually dont get to, which it so happens this time includes a girl, and romance. :) I had to write heartbreak because the scene was so well done. Because if there really was a possibility that James were going to date Lily later, then it would break his heart too, like you wrote when he's almost near emotions while leaving. I guess I had to feel about things that may of course not just make appearence in your story (well, it is Other Pairing) because the whole build up to it, you know Ditta's concerns about James seeing her as a girl. I guess, I'm thinking above and beyond. But isn't your story making me? I suppose that makes it a compliment.
In addition to what you say about James' and Sirius' reaction after sex, well, I was also thinking how it is that the girl each of them chooses says a lot about them too, doesn't it?
And I can't not like the final chapter. Because I love James and Lily but well, I'm always pinning for something different.
P.S: I don't see James as philanadering in my story either. They are miserable, yes, and I'd say more than that, a degree confused due to the changes that are coming in their lives which they didn't anticipate/are finding it hard to mould in.
Author's Response: Ah, okay. I guess I mistook 'heartbreaker' to mean philanderer and I want James to be a sympathetic character in this, cause I like him - despite everything. Yes, I agree about Sirius and James' choice of girlfriends, although I think Sirius was definitely up for a bit of flirtation with Dita - hee hee. Thanks again. Good to have clarification. ~Carole~
Okay, usually I'm a Lily/James fanfiction obessive and will refuse to read a story where they start out with someone else, but sometimes there's just a totally awesome story that features James/OC or Lily/OC and I just LOVE it so much! This is definitely one of those awesome, amazing stories and you have me addicted to James/Dita(awesome name, by the way). Keep writing! :D
Author's Response: Thank you very much. I adore J/L myself, but wanted to write this for someone and then I got rather addicted to it. The name Dita is more of a nickname for someone I know, but it also fitted this character. Thank you for the review and I hope you like the last chapter. ~Carole~
Terribly upset I have been this whole of the week, and this read might just have been my saving grace. You keep saying you have to work with descriptions but I say you have the details so who wants description if you can still succintly make the point and make it stay in the readers mind. Chapter one stood out to me in that regard, where you credibly build Ditta and James and their opposing worlds. I smiled at the icing sticking to her nose. Although you are really telling, I guess it is just as much as showing. Loved the progression.
In this chapter, I was just reading every line in anticipation of when Ms Evans would make her honorary appearence. Ha! When you wrote This girl was, according to James, the most irritating girl in the world. I can bet you, nobody would have been smiling wider than me. The fifteen-sixteen years old love-making came off as very appropriate. And heart breaking. I think you wrote it incredibly well. I loved when James blushed into her neck. The way he flies into her window just proves he's a terrible romantic and this is the part that just might never really become old to read.
When the chapter had started, you almost had me fearing what Ditta was fearing about James not having feelings for her more than just being mates. So kudos to you for distracting me from the treat ahead.
About Sirius. Well, I just can't leave without offering something on him because although he wasn't a major appearence, I realise when you have a really firm grasp of characters or their background story or just their instincts, all of that comes off in the story whether you deliberately construct it that way or not. The way Sirius intrudes on James and Ditta's brief moment and James shakes him off, falls in place nicely with the idea that they had a row. As I observed Sirius, in your story he came off as a troublesome cousin you know. Like you know he's naughty and bound to make trouble but you just can't say anything to them because mum's shown you the eye, they won't be here very long, behave. I get the same vibe from James when he leaves the compartment in the train. Remus has more screen space and Sirius comes as provoking more thoughts in me. How come? ;)
Finally, Ms Evans. I said the love-making scene was heart breaking because thats how the knowledge of future some times is. How sad. As I'm reading that, I was thinking of shaking James and saying, how many hearts you gonna break, mate?! You are a fine tormentor, Carole. Fine indeed.
“At least one of us was keeping count,” he called back, looking over his shoulder and giving her a ghost of a grin. Ghost of a grin? You are holding back, really you are. I bet he would be grinning outright.
I'm anxious to know how far you will go with this story. I'm hooked.
Author's Response: First of all, thank you for such a long, well thought out review. It is much appreciated. I doubt my response will live up to your words.
About James ... I think you may have misunderstood my intentions with him. He's a bit of a flirt, but there's no intentional heartbreak involved. I know you have written James and Lily as miserable during Godric's Hollow - whether due to being cooped up, James' philandering, or Lily secretly pining after Sirius or Remus - I don't know, but I don't see James that way. The point of the sex scene, in fact, was to show how different he was from Sirius, because Sirius can't wait to get away from the girl once he'd had his fun, but James was anxious to stay. I kinda think you'll be disappointed with chapter 3, but well, it's my story - LOL.
There's actually only one more chapter. It was supposed to be a oneshot, but once again I got too involved in the story and the characters.
I am pleased you thought the sex scene was realistic. I get so annoyed with first times being universally wonderful, with stars exploding and string quartets serenading the happy couple. Far too Mills and Boon for my liking. A bit of realism especially when they're only sixteen.
,br> Anyway, despite the fact that I'm fairly sure the end can't live up to you expectations, I do hope you read it. It should be up fairly soon. Thanks again, Akay ~Carole~
I really love the Lily/James pairing, but this story is very good. It's weird seeing James liking another girl, and not really wanting to go out with Lily! I love the song too :)
Author's Response: Ah, I love the song too. I was listening to the album while I wrote it. I'm generally a canon shipper, but I'm sure james had a love-life before Lily. Thanks for the review. Carole
Ahhh! A new chapter. :D:D:D
I was surprised by how quickly things had gone ahead. I was actually expecting to see Sirius getting fascinated with Dita's dad's bike, but instead I got an...er...steamy scene. *sniggers*
I really must congratulate you on your ability to write believable ME era OCs. The MacDonald sisters are great, but the Muggle Dita is just as good. I also completely love the fact that you're bringing in cultural issues here, and the problem of having a bi-cultural identity. But you don't overdo it so that it becomes too much for the story, and that can be a difficult thing to achieve. Also, her story with James is quite a nice foil to James' relationship with Lily. I'm desperate to know how their affair will end.
I am not going to comment on characterisation. I feel...odd when I'm reviewing an ME fic by you and trying to comment on that aspect because your version is now canon for me. But I still want to mention that I loved the banter.
The only thing which stuck out to me was James not ever coming home for Christmas. Why was that?
Oh well, in short, I can NOT wait for an update.
Author's Response: Ah, basically James didn't come home for Christmas because things were more exciting at Hogwarts ... Sirius wouldn't have gone home for one thing, and then if the full moon happened over the holiday period, I would assume Remus stayed too. I thought I'd mentioned that but perhaps I edited it out. There was a scene with the motorbikes but I had to cut as it was turning into a multi layered epic. Other cut scenes ... Dita meeting Alex Turner ... James and Alex fighting ... Um, that was it - ha ha. Glad you enjoyed it, anyway. ~Carole~
I've already written you comments, but let's make it official (even if you don't get those lovely notifications anymore.) I love this! You are one of those writers who writes original characters effortlessly. You've created a lovely character in Dita. I instantly liked her, which is amazing since we know James ends up with Lily so it's possible Dita might inspire more jealousy than anything, if that makes sense. But I like her so much and you know I am rooting for them.
As I also mentioned, you write their age perfectly as well. And your canon knowledge continues to amaze. You pick up things and tie them to your story incredibly well. I think it's one of the things that gives your stories a feeling of depth and a real "JKR could have written this" type of feeling.
Looking forward to reviewing the next chapter and finishing up the third! I'm glad I could be involved!
Author's Response: Thank you for the review, Gina, it's much appreciated. I'm pleased you like my OC because at one point I really didn't think I'd ever be able to write OC's - especially not ones who play as large a part in this as Dita does.
Thanks for all your help as well ~Carole~
this is super cute... and i love keane! very good
Author's Response: Thank you. I hope you approve of the next chapter titles. ~Carole~
AArrgh! I fear for their friendship! I fear for Dita. (Cool name, btw. Wonder where you found it.)
Oh, Carole, thank you so, so much! This sounds like a brilliant story, and I can't express how amazed I feel at having this dedicated to me. :D
Can't wait to find out about the meeting with Sirius. :D MOTORBIKES!
Once again, thank you so much!
Author's Response: Ahhhh, the motorbikes may not feature much more ... but I do have a 'deleted scene' that I may put on LJ. Glad you like it. The story became rather obsessional (is that a word) because I wanted it to work, but I also became rather attached to Dita. Hope you like the rest. ~Carole~
This is so totally an 'awwww' story. I just adore the fact that James is so like himself, but you still managed to make him not so fat-headed. That subsequently leads me to believe that he learnt it from that nasty Black boy. :D
Darling story, and I can't wait for the thrilling conclusion... *in best TV narrator voice*
Author's Response: You mean that 'nasty Black boy' that I adore - ha ha. Thank you, Jess, it gets a bit darker and less fluffy in the other chapters. But actually, I hope you'll see the change between James and Sirius because there's a small part of that coming up. Thanks for the review. ~Carole~