I loved this story! I love how you showed the relationship between Lily and Petunia, but my favourite part was the phone call between James and Lily.
I don't think I'll ever be able to see the word 'scrummy' without thinking of Sirius and Rosmerta. Lol. I'm glad it wasn't an engagement ring so Lily didn't have to feel like the bad guy on Christmas. Oh, and Petunia would so pissed if she about the Felix Felicis! It seemed to work in Lily's favor, though. ;) This was a very cute little story!
P.S. I would never have thought to look up tv listings from the 70's. I wonder if BBC America existed back then. (I'm a Doctor Who addict. Lol)
Aw, thank you for saying that even though scrummy is a word that can be applied in many situations. ;) You're right, Petunia wouldn't have appreciated Lily's gift, although she benefited from it happily enough.
Google is my friend, and back then I think the only BBC shows seen in the US were shown on Public Television Stations.
I loved this fic! Your characterization of everybody was spot-on, especially Lily and her worry about the possible engagement ring. I also liked what you added about Lily's father liking to 'carve for an audience.' That tells a lot about his character in a simple line.
Vernon was great: perfectly irritating, if that makes sense. He's just one of those characters you love to hate. His bluntness reflected his personality wonderfully.
I liked how you had the Felix Felicis in here, and I think it was nice how Lily had wanted to save it for Severus, since she thought his potion was better than hers. It was sweet how she let Petunia use it, and it ended up working quite well for her, too. ;) For some reason, though, I don't find it likely that Slughorn would have the same reward for making the same potion for both Lily and Harry's classes. I don't know why; it just doesn't seem right to me. I liked the touch it added to this, though.
Finally, I don't know if you noticed or not, but you gave Lily's aunts (Rose is her aunt, right?) and cousin flower names just like Lily and Petunia. I thought that was a nice touch as well, even if it wasn't meant on purpose.
Author's Response: Hi Manda! I read your review ages ago and thought I replied, but obviously I didn't. D'oh! Thank you so much for liking Vernon's irritating personality. He is truly enjoyable to dislike, heh. Yes, I would've given them flower names even if I wasn't a Keeping Up Appearances fan. Truthfully, I think Slughorn remembered Lily so fondly he would have repeated the reward hoping Harry would win and prove like Mother, like Son. Even slugs can be sentimental. :)
I loved it at Christmas, I love it now.
Author's Response: If people can have Christmas in July why not Christmas stories all year round? It's more about relationships than the holiday, anyway. Thank you so much for rereading!
I think my favourite thing about this story is that it’s warm, not fluffy. I feel like there’s this general feeling of happiness and love that just radiates from it. It makes it the perfect Christmas story because it embodies everything that I, at least, think Christmas should be. Family, friends, food, gifts, everyone getting along even though they don’t like each other—you’ve got it all in this story. :)
Lily hid her face in a pillow. That would crush his feelings, ruin Christmas, and break her heart.
You’re characters always react so naturally. You have this really good grasp of human emotions and interactions and it really brings your stories to life. I like how you let the narration do the talking. Like, you don’t say “Lily hid her face in a pillow because…” instead you show us why she did and we understand because we’re human.
I also like the second sentence of this line because I think it really emphasizes and explains Lily’s feel. It shows that she’s worried about hurting him and she doesn’t want to end things with him, so her fear isn’t out of anything other than not wanting to get married.
I really like the interactions between Lily and Petunia. I love how Lily is trying so hard to have a decent relationship with her sister and a couple of times Petunia seems to want it too. It’s really great characterization of Lily. It shows her compassion and niceness that we see in Harry.
It didn't matter that Lily always tried to draw Petunia into conversations, to ask her opinion and include her.
This line makes me love Lily so much. In spite of everything, in spite of Petunia being like the rudest person on the planet to her, she’s still trying to be a good sister. I love this emphasis on Lily and Petunia’s relationship. It’s something I think is really complex and fascinating, but it’s so rarely explored.
Lily slipped on a holly-green towelling robe and went downstairs to make tea. She delivered a tray to her parents and then carried one to Petunia, kicking the bottom of the door to avoid spilling the cup spiked with Felix Felicis by setting it down to knock politely.
Another thing that really makes your stories come alive is how detailed you are with everything. But you don’t waster the readers time by unnecessarily describing absolutely everything. Instead you just pick out details that bring this vividness and life to your story, like the colour of Lily’s robe, that she took a tray of tea to her parents, and that she kicks the door so not to spill the tea.
They didn't talk much while they worked. Christmas carols played on the radio and a pot of apple cider simmered on the cooker, perfuming the air with fresh gingerroot and cinnamon.
Aww, this made me a bit nostalgic. Christmas at my home is a bit like that, too. :]
Under the influence of Felix Felicis, Petunia moved with graceful confidence, avoiding the spills and splatters that transformed Lily's white apron into a canvass of abstract art.
I really like this sentence. It’s very fluid. I can see in my mind, Petunia moving easily around the kitchen in her nice clothes and Lily covered in the mess that comes with cooking. I particularly like the second part about the spills and splatters and abstract art. I just love that idea.
The choice of Hyacinth, Daisy, and Rose as names was very good. Not only does it go right along with JKR’s penchant for flower names (Pansy, Lavender, Padma means Lotus in Hindi, etc), but also works in that family. I like the idea of flower names running in the family, not just something Lily’s mother liked.
I like that Petunia genuinely seems to like Vernon. I like how you point out the details that disgust Lily (and the rest of us), but also indicate why Petunia likes him.
His gaze brimmed with mischief and love as he pointed his wand.
I think that line is just so James. The way you’ve written their relationship is so comfortable and warm and sweet I can almost feel how much they love each other. It’s beautiful.
As always, Paige, this one-shot is wonderful. You’re an amazing writer and a fabulous SPEW buddy. :D
Thank you for such a wonderful review! You'd be lovely poster girl for SPEW because you have a gift for productive praise that goes to the heart of the story and emphasizes both art and craft. You notice details, descriptions, and characterization that's shown instead of told, helping writers by highlighting skills they can continue to build on. All praise is supportive, but yours goes beyond that. It's motivational--and very much appreciated.
I hate Lily-stories as much as I love them; it's just so sad. Especially because she isn't "Miss Look-at-me," Petunia's just annoying. Point is, Lily's such a sweetie--it never occurred to me that maybe...just because Petunia resented Lily's luck, didn't mean that Lily would ever stop trying. I mean, giving her Felix Felices? That's beyond sweet.
I did like the idea of Petunia being Vernon's secretary, him her boss at Grunnings; although I find it hard to believe that prissy Petunia ever actually worked a day in her little bitch life, it totally fits in with their relationship, which I always agreed that Vernon ran.
"Rehabilitated arrogant toerag." HAHAHA. I dunno if she'd love him for it, but if he changed, she did. She probably likes a little adventurous sweetie, he was just annoying when he was doing it against her/her best friend. T'all makes sense now!
I don't like that Lily tries so hard for Petunia, who's a bitch. I don't think I'd wear that jumper crap for anything--and I'm not sure that Lily would, either, she always seemed so headstrong and bold. And you made her those things, just not necessarily with Tuney, whom she did of course always have a soft spot for. Which I hate. I hate Petunia. Gah.
HAHA. Hyacinth. Daisy. That originally went right over my head because I just finished a book with. actually, all of these flower names (including Lily&Petunia and Rose, and seven others) so I overlooked Hyacinth but after Daisy I was like HA. That's funny. :)
I realise that it isn't just because of flowers...though probably somewhat..but it's still amusing.
Aghh. You make me switch between hating Petunia for being a bizzsnitch, making googly-eyes at an uptight someone I hope hates her forever, and feeling super-sad that their childhood is forever stripped away.
Ah. I just love everything you write so much. The end was super-cute too...I like the idea of the Affere charm...I'd use it as a sort of substitute love-potion, probably more a misuse than anything else...I don't know exactly what it means, but I can assure that I'd use it for all sorts of dastardly purposes. ;)
I read somewhere that Lily had kept in touch with Petunia after she left Hogwarts, however slight that contact might have been, so I do believe Lily never stopped trying. "Tuney" was her sister, and until Lily got that letter and she didn't, Petunia loved her more than anyone else. I think that's one of the reasons Lily never got the hint about Severus' feelings. He reminded her of her sister, an intense personality who adored her. It's sad all the way around.
How many fics have I slipped Hyacinth, Daisy, and Rose into? :D They should be flattered.
Thank you so much for loving what I write and sharing your comments that make me laugh!
Great Story. keep writing about James/Lily. :)
Author's Response: Thank you for wanting more stories about them! I do have a few plot bunnies hopping around. ;)
You're always fantastic!
I was so happy to see that you had posted a new story, and I had to read it. :) You don't disappoint, not ever! Keep writing!
Thank you so much for reading! Sometimes people have certain ships they sail to the exclusion of all others, and while I understand that, it makes me appreciate eclectic readers all that much more. *hugs*
I've finally started the next Lost chapter. You may laugh at me when you find out what blocked me for so long, but if you do, I won't mind, because that will mean you've read the chapter and the author note, hehheh.
So romantic and...sexy in the end ;)
Love your name! I have a grudging sympathy for Petunia, even though I'd still like to hex her.
Thank you! I saw their summoning game getting very sexy. Tuney would not have approved, lol.
I was happy to see that you were able to put this story up for everyone to read. I like to read Christmas stories any time of year. This story was good in that it gave me a warm, cozy feeling. We know that bad things happen in the future but there really wasn't a hint of that. James and Lily were simply older teenagers in love, not fighting the fight of their lives--still wishing for adventure, still happy just to see each other. It made us able to forget all of the bad things yet to come. Lily wasn't too impressed with Vernon and I'm sure she would've been horrified to think that Vernon and Petunia would raise her son one day. That was nice of you to make Petunia halfway attractive. This story was a nice gift. It let us forget for a moment that there is a Dark Lord and in a few years time he'd be searching for James and Lily. You let them have the magic of new love, if only for a brief moment in time. Excellent story.
Yay! My first review! *throws confetti*
Some runway models have very horsey faces, :D. Petunia was tall and skinny, she could have made a good fashion model or a home and garden tv presenter, heh. It's a shame that she fell for Vernon and a "normal" life instead.
I think the only way to write Marauder Era characters is to "be" them, and live in the present moment, dealing with present issues. What will be is unknown, although I'd like to give them an adventure or two. :)