Lisa, I must say that I wasn’t sure what to expect with this story. I must say, the summary was an excellent one. Sometimes all you need is a one-liner to draw readers in, and you certainly managed that. Congratulations on both the QSQ nomination and the number of reviews you’ve already received for this - you really deserve it :) Initially, though, I thought it would perhaps be fluffy, or overly angsty, as many James/Lily, Marauder Era and Dark/Angsty stories tend to be, but it was neither. It was a beautifully written story that reduced me to tears.
I’m probably in the minority in that I enjoy second person. It’s so very personal, by addressing someone as “you”, and it makes me as a reader understand that character’s emotions so much more. And this was such an emotional piece that I could not possibly imagine it in any other POV. You really brought out Lily’s character in this story, without making it seem like a formulaic character study as such. I particularly liked the fact that you tied the story in with the title so well - you painted the picture of Lily as a mother figure but also, you never let us forget the war. For example, the part when James is calling Lily and she reaches for her wand - this is a really good instance of letting us remember the war in a subtle way, and this is better than shoving it in the reader’s face.
I think the whole premise of this story is such an ingenious one in its simplicity. A baby’s first word is always a really excitable thing, and I think you did an excellent job of portraying that in both James and Lily, especially in their competition against each other. I thought it was nice that Lily got one over on James too. I thought James’s characterisation was spot on, with his signature arrogance - something that is really easy to overdo but you did it perfectly :) And in doing so, you really showed James and Lily’s love for Harry as parents, which is the main theme of Harry Potter anyway.
There was just one point where I questioned your wording. It’s been more than a month since her death, but you still cringe at the thought of Marlene. I wasn’t sure about the use of the word “cringe”. It just sounded a little awkward. But that was the only thing that really stuck out for me; as a whole, the story was worded beautifully.
I think the scene with Harry in the room with James was the saddest, the most bittersweet. The fact that we saw this moment in canon but not what James and Lily were doing has always made me curious about what actually went on inside. I can definitely see this happening in the book, and I thought it was so heart-breaking that Harry only said the magic word when Lily and James were about to die. I loved the way the story was written - snapshots of James and Lily’s lives with Harry until they died.
The end scenes were painful to read. Not because it wasn’t written well (it definitely was!) but because I felt so bad for Harry having to be fed by Petunia instead of his own mum, just after he had learned to say the word. The use of short, sharp, almost choppy dialogue worked really well there. I can imagine Petunia acting like that and I think you had characterisation down perfectly for her. But even more painful for me was Lily’s reaction. I thought it was really interesting that you had Lily watching over him the whole time he was suffering at the hands of the Dursleys. You really conveyed Lily’s and Harry’s emotions so very well throughout but particularly at the end, especially the part with the Mirror of Erised.
Lisa, I really think this is your best story yet. It was emotional, touching, personal and so very unlike any other James/Lily story I’ve ever read. I can’t wait to read what you write next. Excellent job.
So ... I already tried to post this once. It didn't work, so I'm going to rewrite it. Hope it works this time.
I love this. I love how it's built around this minuscule moment in the canon book which takes on such enormous significance by the end of the story. I love your interpretation of the image in the mirror -- how Harry's parents are actually THERE, not just pictures. I also love the sense of wholeness we get about Lily's life. You reference friendships and histories that we don't have at our fingertips, and it makes the character so much more real.
Author's Response: Thank you! I love getting feedback, and I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Response to my earlier review:
No, definately don't be. It was an excellent story, and you should be proud that you can bring forth that many emotions ^^
Author's Response: Oh, good, I'm glad I didn't ruin your day, or something. Thank you!
Why, why, why did I read this? I didn't want to cry that much right now!
I think this might be one of the stories that makes you shed a tear every single time you read it, even though you know hows its going to end.
Author's Response: I'm sorry to have upset you so much. D:
Made me want to tear up, very emotional.
Author's Response: Thank you.
That was fantastic. I suspected that he would say mummy for the first time then, and I was horrified. In a good way, if that makes sense. You dragged me along with you characters. The Mirror of the Erised is perfect, too.
Author's Response: I'm glad you enjoyed it... and sorry to have horrified you, if even in a good way. Thank you for reviewing!
Really? Are you trying to make me cry? Because you're succeeding. That was really beautiful, and I loved every word! I thought the competition between James and Lily was very much like them, and it helped balance the sadness.
I liked the second-person as well. I haven't read any other stories that use it, but this was really well written. Most people don't believe me when I tell them there is such a thing as second-person, so I'll have to point them to this fic. :)
Author's Response: Thank you, Manda. I hope you didn't mind being made to cry too badly. ;)
Aaaaaaw That almost made me cry. And I don't cry very easily ;)
Author's Response: I guess that's a good thing. ;D Thank you for reading!
Wow.... this was so sweet and yet so sad! Honestly, my eyes are stinging... I can actually feel Lily's pain, and I just feel like scooping little Harry into my arms and hugging him tight. He's a lot like me here, because I said Papapapa first, and then said mummymummymummy a lot later, hehe :P. Your characterisations were awesome, and the bets between Lily and James were adorable, as was the rugby tackle. And when I reached the part about the door blasting open, my eyes widened with shock. Later on, I felt really sad for Lily when she say Petunia and Vernon treating Harry badly; I know she felt like tearing them apart. Anyway, I think I better end the ranting review, lol. Once again, AWESOME story! --Nadia
Author's Response: Oh, thank you, Nadia! I'm so glad you could relate to this fic. Thank you very much for the lovely review!
Wow! This was brilliant. I almost started crying, and I got shivers! Absolutely beautiful!
Author's Response: Thank you! I'm glad you liked it.
Very moving. I love the theme of 'Mother's love' that run through all the HP books and this is a lovely idea that lily was always watching over Harry.
Author's Response: Thank you so much. I love that theme as well.
Lisa! Carole told us this was a great fic, so I came to read it. Guess what? I have tears in my eyes. I generally don't enjoy second-person POV, but when I was reading this, it didn't bother me at all. You picked the right moments and you wrote them so beautifully, making the whole fic immensely emotional and heart-breaking. I loved the competition between Lily and James! Overall, a perfect story. Keep writing!~Natalie
Author's Response: Wow, thanks, Nat! I know second person isn't a very popular POV, but I'm glad you were able to enjoy the fic anyway. Thank you for the review!
loved it it made me cry it just goes to show simple ideas are often the best thanks for writinging this lovely story
Author's Response: And thank you for reading it and leaving a review. I appreciate it!
Oh, Lisa, this is so beautiful. About the only moment in the last film that made me cry was when Lily appeared and the whole scene at Godric's Hollow when she's saying 'Mummy loves you.' This is a beautiful way of echoing that moment.
Ughh, I hate Petunis so much. *controls rage* I love, however, the way you showed how compassionate and loving Harry is despite getting no love from his relatives. The early love saved him from more than just Voldemort.
Second person isn't a POV I like very much. It tends to be quite hectoring to my ears, yet I soon got into this despite the initial concerns. I think that's because I could relate to Lily.
Lovely story. Well done. ~Carole~
Author's Response: Thank you, Carole! I agree about Petunia. She... grr. I'm not going to go there.
I usually don't write second person, and I don't often read it, either, but for some reason this story wouldn't come out in first or third. *shrug* I'm glad you were able to get past it. Thanks again!
This brought tears to my eyes! Such a great story!
Author's Response: Thank you. :)
wow god that made me cry, it was beautiful. Thank you for portraying harry's parents' love for him so perfectly
Author's Response: I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for reading and reviewing!
This was a wonderful read, and I think 'bittersweet' is the perfect word to describe it. Choosing the scene with the Mirror of Erised to finish this story was perfect, because I think that is the moment at which Harry really starts his own life despite the lack of his parents in his life (if that makes sense).
I loved the use of second person. I love writing in that perspective (three of my stories are in second person) and it's fantastic to read, particularly when it's been pulled off as effortlessly as you have in this story.
The banter between Lily and James was just perfect, particularly when contrasted with Lily's thoughts about being stuck in the house, eg trying to shake off the feeling that you’ll never leave this house again, that this war will never end. Lines like that just fit into this story seamlessly. I think it's very likely that James and Lily would have tried their best not to think/talk about the war and to be happy that they had each other and Harry.
The short scene with Petunia I think might be the best in the whole story. This line He can’t hear it. nearly brought me to tears. The neglect Harry suffered at the hands of the Dursleys just really hit me, and it must have been so heartbreaking for Lily not to be able to comfort her son.
I think what this story really captures is the beautiful connection between mother and child, and how heartbreaking it is when this is torn apart.
A beautiful and extremely well-written story.
Author's Response: I'm so glad you thought the second person effortless, I worked hard on it. ;D Thank you for that wonderful review, Katrina!
Oh. My. Gosh! My new favorite story! I absolutely loved it. As a mom I can say that you got Lilly right on! Great job! Brava!!
Author's Response: Thanks! I'm glad I got it right. =D
This is so lovely and moving. I love the interaction between James and Lily.
Author's Response: Thank you! I was worried about their dialogue, I'm glad you thought it was alright.