I'd like to say that I was one of those faithful readers who clung to the belief that one day you'd return with the next chapter of this lovely story. However, it seems that I was one of those who was convinced you'd abandoned us and I'd never know what happened between Remus and Lindi.
I don't think I've ever been more pleased to be wrong in my life. ;)
First, I'd like to congratulate you on your persistence with this story. Sometimes lengthy stories like this can get dull over time, or repeat themselves causing the reader to lose interest but I didn't feel that way about Moments of Bliss at all. The first time I began reading this, (and I've read it multiple times) I found myself thinking about the story almost every time I had to get offline, and my mind was constantly on what would happen next.
I think you did very well with the characterization of all the characters, especially Remus. You capture all of those pieces of his personality that make him different from the other Marauders, such as his overall more serious/less arrogant attitude. However, what really completes the picture is that you make sure to add that sense of humor and mischief that makes him a Marauder in the first place. Everytime I think of this story the only way I can describe it is this: Moments of Bliss just oozes Remush-ish-ness. Please exuse my momentary lapse of intelligence in which I made that word... I just couldn't help myself.
Your characterization of Sirius was spot on as well. While you make sure to show his complete loyalty to his friends, you also show how reckless he can be and how sometimes he's too proud for his own good.
Two other characters that really stood out for me were Remus's parents. We really don't know much about them from canon, so we all have relatively free reign when writing them. But now I've formed my own little head-canon in which his parents are just as you've written them, and I have to shake my head and remind myself that it isn't entirely true. ;D Mrs. Lupin in particular was written wonderfully. I really like how you did the Prologue from her point of view. Her grief for her son is absolutely heart breaking. Besides that, she was absolutely hilarious. Her typical overly protective and motherly actions amused me to no end, and the fifteen-year-old vixen bit really cracked me up.
Although there were many things that made this story so great, it always came down to one thing in the end that made it unique in my opinion. Lindinara Dellington. Lindi is one of the best original characters I've ever had the pleasure to read about. There are way too many Mary Sue OCs out there, but Lindi didn't seem like that at all. There were plenty of flaws that gave her more depth as a character (she's irrational, gullible, somewhat naive, timid).
Sometimes she was absolutely infuriating, and there's probably no way I could put up with her in real life, but in the end I always found myself thinking of her as a great character.
I really hope you finish this one day, but even if you don't it will always be a story I can fall back on when I have nothing else to read. I just never get tired of it. Soooo... well done. :) ~Ashleigh
Author's Response: *blinks* (back a tear) Wow...what a wonderful review. I hardly know what to say, except I LOVE the new word, Remush-ish-ness !!!! LOL I think it is perfect as I am quite mushy when it comes to my love for Remus!! hehe...and it made me laugh when I was quite sad. So thank you for cheering me up at a very hard time. :) And about my characterizations...I could not ask for better compliments. It is the most important aspect for me, that they be believable. I'm really happy that you like his parents, but umm... that really is entirely true. <.< hehe I refuse to accept any other option! ;) Apparently, I have my own 'head-canon' and am going to be quite stubborn about it! :D And what you have said about Lindi...thank you. Wow, I think I'm speechless, and that is hard to do! *beams at amazing review* Thank you, Ashleigh.
Oh wow, this is a really lovely story. I've put off reading it for far too long. I expected it to be a much more light hearted sort of fic, but I was very pleasantly surprised with the outcome... It actually brought tears to my eyes when it came to the end.
Anyway, I think you did a wonderful job with Petunia. I can easily see the Petunia Dursley we all know and love (er... hate) from the books inside her.
Yes, her dress was perfection. She would walk down that aisle tomorrow and be a perfect English rose of a bride.
This line in particular was very Petunia-like in my opinion. You definitely capture the Dursley (although she isn't yet a Dursley in your fic) we meet in the first HP book. However, what I really loved about your Petunia is that you added so much depth to her character. Her jealousy, anger, and sadness almost had me feeling sorry for her. But what really got to me was her longing. The way she watches James with Lily, and realizes that it's something she and Vernon don't have together...
A sudden pain shot through Petunia. Vernon never looked at her like that.
I could almost feel Petunia's ache for the love her sister shared with James... You made her pain so believable.
The Dursley's characterization was perfect. I can definitely see a younger Marge and Vernon acting like that, and Edna is a perfect description of how I would imagine Vernon's mother.
I was also pleased with your portrayal of James and Lily. I agree with the fact that Lily couldn't be too extremely "rule-abiding". If that was true, I highly doubt her relationship with James would have worked out so well.
I really love the fact that Petunia eventually almost warms up to James, despite his messy hair and red socks.
“Thank you,” she said softly. James flashed a smile at her, and she found herself smiling back.
I absolutely loved the conversation between James and Petunia. Again, it added so much depth to both of their characters.
However, as much as I loved your other characters, I was definitely the most pleased with Sirius. Even in dog form, you still kept up with the whole Sirius-ish act to him. James's alarm when it's suggested that Padfoot sleeps in Lily's room is hilarious as well, and I'm sure Sirius was rather excited at the thought of that, haha.
‘Because a bride should look beautiful on her wedding day.
Sirius Black xxx’
Again, you have added so much more depth to the character (I'm quite sure I've already said that three times)! I actually choked back a sob when I read that. That was, by far, my favorite line from the story.
I should really re-read Lions of Gryffindor, so I can see how this story ties in with it. :)
Soooo, I do hope you'll excuse my raving over your story. I really enjoyed it, and it is one of the best views on Petunia Dursley that I've ever read.
Author's Response: Ashleigh, thank you very much for such a gorgeous review. Veils is one of the stories I most cherish when I look at by written work. It emerged from a drabble I wrote about 4 years ago that I expanded for a competition, and it remains one of my favourites. There are parts that still make me giggle (Sirius, for instance) and parts that make me cry (the end, and also James and Lily being together when we know they have so little time)
The tie in with Lions won;t be obvious yet as I haven't got that far but there's another story of mine that is the prequel - sort of. It's called First date Disaster. There's a better one called Sixth Time's the Charm, but that doesn't quite fit - ha. And now I shall stop pimping ma fics.
Thank you again for the lovely review. ~Carole~
That first part was absolutely adorable. ;D I can just imagine Hermione as an eight-year-old insufferable know-it-all, arguing with a young Ron. I think you did an excellent job at showing their personalities as children. I was also pleased with the way you described the other Weasleys' magic being revealed, especially Percy's. I can definitely imagine him producing multiple copies of a book Mrs. Weasley tried to take away. ;)
I also think that an entire family of red-heads would be rather difficult to forget for such a bright girl, however the story still worked out nicely.
I like to think that something like that might have caused Hermione's liking in Crookshanks, if she had remembered. ;D
Anyway, great story! I really enjoyed it.
Well, I honestly wasn't extremely impressed when I began reading the story... I was a little dissappointed in the way you portrayed James in the beginning.
However, something made me want to continue reading...
And after reading this chapter, I decided that I immediately wanted to review. I've read various James/Lily fics, in which Lily finds out our werewolf friend's secret. Most of them featured Lily immediately accepting Remus's problem, or feeling sorry for him. However, I really liked the way you have written her reaction. It seems much more realistic in my opinion. Another thing I loved was James's response to Lily's anger.
"And I promise you, Evans, if you breathe a word of his secret to anyone, I will make you regret it."
I think that this perfectly showed the loyalty and friendship of the Marauders. It's a very interesting twist, actually. I don't think I've read a fanfiction yet in which James actually threatens his dearest Lily. ;) I must say that I thought you wrote his character very well by doing so.
Being a die-hard Remus fan, it's amazing how much I loved Lily's reaction. :)
Great chapter, I'll definitely continue reading!
Author's Response: Thanks! I'm glad you gave the story a chance even after not liking my portrayal of James in the beginning. And I'm really glad you liked this chapter. It was hard to write and (since most of the stories I've read show Lily immediately being okay with the Marauders putting people in danger) I was concerned people wouldn't like her reaction.
I was actually listening to the song when I came across this for the second time. I immediately decided that I wanted to read it again, and leave a review.
Being a die-hard Remus fan, I think you portrayed him quite well. Your Tonks was wonderful too, but I was most pleased with your Remus. Although that may be because I'm biased and love Remus too much for my own good. ;D
What I really liked the most was the subtle references to the lyrics of the song.
"A lone man walked across the silent grounds, scuffed boots trodding well-worn paths that he knew like the back of his hand."
I didn't notice this the first time I read it, and I probably only noticed it the second time because I was actually listening to the song while I read. I assume you were referring to this lyric...?
"I walked across an empty land, I knew the pathway like the back of my hand.."
I liked how they both went to the Shrieking Shack, and your choice of memories was great.
Mostly I absolutely loved it because the song fits Remus and Tonks so perfectly. Although it certainly doesn't have anything to do with how well written the story is, I do think that I could easily connect this particular couple with that song. The lyrics match them so perfectly. ;)
Our dear werewolf's choice of words at the sight of an Animagus Sirius amuses me to no end, I might add. The thought of quiet little Remus cursing is just... hilarious. Realistic in that situation, but still hilarious. ;)
Very well written, I really enjoyed it. Definitely one of the best Remus/Tonks one-shots I've seen.
Author's Response: Thank youuuuuu! And yes, yes! Those lines were exactly meant to go with the lyrics of the song! Yay! I'm so glad you enjoyed this. When I wrote it I was so in love with that song--I stil love it. I can totally see it applying to Remus, or any of the Marauders, really, but especially him. It's such a great song. I'm glad you liked the memories, especially the Animagus one. I smile when I think of that one too--it had to have been quite a shock, after all. ;) Thanks again for all the lovely reviews! ~Gina :)
Wow, I really enjoyed that! I think you did an amazing job of writing Hermione before Hogwarts, and Iike to think that she might have had at least one friend before she went to "boarding school."
Hermione and Jamie's friendship was very inspiring, and I think you created a very interesting character. There were so many different things about him that made him more unique.
This would be a great explanation to much of Hermione's actions during her first year. Such as her amazement when nobody else seems to have read Hogwarts, A History and her tears when she hears Ron talking about what an insufferable know-it-all she is.
This really was a wonderful story, and I really enjoyed it. :)
Author's Response: I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I tried really hard to make her true to the Hermione we know, and I enjoyed putting in details like Hogwarts, A History and the otter which McGonagall conjures (which I implied was the reason for Hermione's patronus being an otter). Thank you so much for this review :)
Of all the things I could have asked myself after reading Deathly Hallows, I thought, 'I wonder what happened to Hermione's parents..'.
So when I saw this story, I immediately wanted to read. I'm happy to say that I was pleased with the way you wrote Hermione's parents. I can see small parts of Hermione's personality in each of them, which makes the whole thing much more believable.
The Grangers are overlooked throughout the series far too often, and I'm glad you took the time to write about them. I think you did a great job of writing the parents of our favorite "insufferable know it all." ;)
Great story, I loved it. It's always nice to see some of the very minor characters in the spotlight. I really enjoyed this. :)
I do believe this was the first James/Lily fic that I ever read. I'm happy to say that I instantly fell in love with the entire Marauder Era. Thank you for inspiring my love of the Marauders and Lily. :)
However, I didn't have an account back when I read it the first time. Therefore, I decided that when I did make one, I must come back and review this.
Sometimes it's hard to show the characters' emotions when writing, but you did so perfectly. Their clever banter is fun and amusing, however the second chapter reminds us of more serious issues. I really enjoyed it.
"Where's your better half?"
"I assume you mean Remus and not Sirius."
That sent me into an endless fit of laughter, for some reason. I just found it highly amusing. ;)
Author's Response: Aw, thank you for coming back to review! I'm so glad you even remembered this! I had such fun with it, I'm glad it turned out to be something that hooked you, because I do love writing these characters. I've always enjoyed the clever, fun bits of banter, but the more I write, the more the more serious and bittersweet bits work themselves in as well. Glad you liked those lines - they're true, though, aren't they? ;) Thanks again for all the loverly reviews! ~Gina :)
I thought it was a nice story... simple, but sweet.
However, I can't help but wonder about Lily's reaction. It doesn't seem likely that she would just immediately decide that she liked him too and wanted to spend her future with him. I imagine she would probably try to deny it at first, being the stubborn girl that I imagine her as.
Of course, that's just my opinion. One of the most wonderful things about James and Lily is that you can write them almost any way you want to. We know almost nothing of their past at Hogwarts from the books, so we must leave that to our imaginations to figure out. ;)
Author's Response: Thanks for the review! I do agree with you to a point. I sometimes like to imagine that Lily secretly did like James and that she wouldn't admit to anyone but herself. I think that was one of those moments when Lily's imagination ran wild about the future. I guess we'll never really know what happened. But it's fun to try and make up the story. Thank you for the review! ~MJ
Oh wow, I was also terrified that you would go AU and kill James. I actually sat there for a few moments, with teary eyes, thinking 'She wouldn't actually kill James, would she?'. Then I thought, 'No, of course she wouldn't. She enjoys putting him through endless torture too much.'
Anyway, I wanted to tell you that I absolutely loved the way you portrayed Dumbledore and Snape. I think you did a magnificent job of writing Dumbledore's genius, and Snape's love for Lily.
Disgusting, did I actually say Snape was capable of love? Your story might have almost convinced me to actually like him. Almost. ;)
I really liked Sirius and Remus in the story as well. Their personalities were revealed perfectly, in my opinion. Something about the hug from Professor McGonnagal to Lily was also something I enjoyed. Although it was a very insignificant part of the story, I thought I should point out that I really liked it. Sometimes the simplest of things really add to a story. I think it helped portray McGonnagal's character well.
Great story, and congratulations on making it to 100!
Author's Response: Oh wow, thank you so much for such a wonderful review! Wow! First of all, I had to laugh that you know me/my stories so well with the 'She enjoys putting him through endless torture too much' comment. LOL! But it's true! :) Thank you for the compliments on Dumbledore, and even Snape, hee hee. I may not like him, but he is interesting to write, and it seemed right for this story. I enjoyed writing the scenes with Sirius and Remus. They each got a scene with James and Lily because I can really see them all being close. Glad you liked the hug as well. Can't you just picture Maggie Smith doing that now? ;) Thanks again for the lovely review, I really appreciate it! ~Gina :)
I've never really thought about what the Marauders might see in the Mirror of Erised, but I think you wrote it perfectly. I think all of the characters' desires make sense, however I think you did the best with Peter's. Sometimes Peter can be a bit of a challenge to write for me, however I think you did an excellent job with his personalilty. I also like how it not only showed what he desired, but to what measures he would go to achieve it.
I like Remus's reaction to what he saw as well. Obviously Sirius wanted to help him, but the mirror couldn't give him any hope.
"You can get a date with Lily, Prongs. I'll always be a werewolf."
Sometimes I just want to hug Remus. :(
Another thing I really liked in you story was Lily comforting Sirius. I like to think that she might have cheered him up if none of his friends could.
I also noticed that none of them showed another person twice. Sirius showed Remus, Remus showed James, and James showed Peter. I think it makes sense for them to find the mirror at different times and from differenr people. After all, the Marauders didn't always she everything together.
Great story, I enjoyed it!
That last sentence gave me shivers, by the way. ;D
Author's Response: Thank you so much for all your lovely reviews lately (I still have one or two to respond to, I think...) I'm so glad you enjoyed this story. I had not really thought about it much either, but jumped at the chance to give it a go over on the forums. I'm glad they all make sense to you, because everyone sees these characters slightly differently and I don't want to stray too far from the bits JKR gave us. Peter's part was perhaps one of the easier ones, to be honest. I agree about Remus - so, so sad. But how could it go any other way? I was rather surprised at the Lily/Sirius bit, but I've liked the idea of them being rather close thanks to James. And I hope those shivers were a good sort of shiver. I toyed with the idea of some sort of epilogue and ending on a more positive note, but I really couldn't. Ah well! Thanks again, I really appreciate it! ~Gina :)
Hello there, Sophie! I remember seeing a piece of this in Excerpts of Murtlap on the boards, and I eagerly awaited its arrival. As soon as I saw it on here, I jumped here to read it. I'm afraid I avoided reviewing for far too long, because I'm lazy and pushed it to the back of my mind... but here I am now. :) So, without further ado...
I think you did an excellent job with dialogue only. Sometimes it can be hard to show characters' emotions when they're speaking, but you did so perfectly. There were occassional parts where you slipped up, such as the one Ellie pointed out... Where she couldn't tell whether James was frustrated, sad, or just angry? I agree with her at that point, but for the most part I think you did a good job with the characters' emotions.
I absolutely loved your portrayal of Lily. I've never really imagined her as an extremely "rule-abiding" person, and not necessarily very angelic or perfect either. After all, Slughorn does refer to her as "cheeky", so I think she'd be a witty/somewhat sarcastic type of person. I love her clever remarks and teasing to what James says...
“Ah, but that would be telling.”
“Interrupted, James? What on earth were you planning on doing in here? I happen to want to wash my hair.”
Yeah, of course. Washing your hair. Right. What a tease, Lily... *smirk*
I also really liked the fact that they still refer to each other as "Potter" and "Evans" in the beginning. I like to think that they still would have called each other by their surnames even after they got together, but in a more... joking manner, instead of furious. You know what they say, old habits die hard... ;)
Your portrayal of James was very good as well. He is still the playful, sarcastic, somewhat arrogant character we all know and love in the beginning, but you show us a deeper side of him when he's pressed with a serious situation. We all know that James matured at some point, and I think his family might have held a part in that.
Now for some minor nitpicks...
When Remus knocks on the door, you make it very clear that someone wants to come inside and James is allowing them entrance. Therefore, I don't think it was entirely necessary to add "(The door opens)". I would have assumed this anyway, because James called for them to come in. In most circumstances this would mean the door is opened. Of course, there isn't anything wrong with it being there, but I did say these were minor nitpicks so... Anyway.
I agree with Gina that the dialogue about his mum is a bit too short to really give much depth to the emotions. The fact that it jumps from something serious to them making out again doesn't really bother me, though. I think James would have welcomed the "distractions" Lily could provide him with. I don't think Lily would have wanted him to worry himself sick either, so she wouldn't mind dragging him back to the prefect's bathroom.
Before I forget, I would also like to point out that I liked your Remus. Most of the characterization focus is on James and Lily, but it's important to keep your minor characters characterized as well. I think you did a good job with him. He obviously realizes that something must be wrong, but still tries to lighten the mood a bit when he walks in on James and Lily. He's just so... Remus-ish, haha.
Overall, I loved the story. Dialogue only can be quite difficult, but you tackled the challenge! Although this is nothing on those legendary Sophie reviews (they're all the rage in Hufflepuff, aren't they?), I do hope you enjoyed my rambling. ;)
The corruptible little Hufflepuffs bit really made me giggle. Especially because we're both 'Puffs... hehe. We definitely need to knock before we enter, Sophie!
Author's Response: Oh my goodness, Ashleigh! You are so very complimentary about my reviews, and then you go and write something like that! Thank you so much for taking the time to write this.
I love writing dialogue - it often seems to appear in my head - so while it was challenging to write this, I did have a lot of fun with it. I am so glad that you like my characterisation. It is, as I am sure I have mentioned before, one of the things that I always worry about. I couldn't see Lily being totally straight-laced when James Potter, Messr Marauder, fell in love with her. I have always imagined her as very witty and teasing.
I am glad that you appreciated how James started to grow up too. We know that both of his parents died before Harry was born, only a few years on from the time of this fic. It seems like that would have forced him to grow up a lot, and I do like being able to show a different side to him. I like my Remus too :P I adore him as a character, so I quite like finding ways to slip him in. He has a very clear voice in my head, so writing him is always good fun. I know exactly what sounds like him and what doesn't, but James takes a lot more work.
I see what you mean about Remus' entry. I had originally just left a couple of extra line breaks to show the pause as he opened the door, but my beta thought that it was somewhat unclear. I chose that option for consistency's sake. Regarding the stuff about James' mum, I do hope to expand on those shorter sections at some point, but at the moment I have several other things on the go, between challenges and the Brawl, so it will probably have to wait a while.
Since writing this, I have realised that Hufflepuffs don't actually need corrupting at all. Carole, the drunken-sexspert and Natalie, author of Desire and a Half (read it!), prove that quite clearly. However, I don't suppose James and Lily would be aware of that ;) I have enjoyed your rambling very, very much. The "legendary Sophie reviews" are really not too hard to do, as I think you may be discovering. Thank you again!
By no means am I an expert on poetry, so I'm really not sure quite what to say. But you took the time to stop by and review my poetry, so I figured I would do the same for you. :)
This poem was absolutely breathtaking. This is one of the most unique views on the relationship between Harry and his mother that I've seen, and it's very saddening. However, while the length of it is impressive I think it takes away from the overall depth of the poem.
Her hand, no longer held out,
Yet still lingers
With the promise of protection.
This is a perfect way to describe the protection that Lily's sacrifice provided for Harry.
His hand, young and small,
Briefly touches the mirrored glass
And this really captures Harry's deepest desire, when he looks into the Mirror of Erised. However, that last line is the one that really got to me...
And they will, one day, clasp each other again.
This poem is a wonderful view on the love between Lily and her orphaned son. Well done. :) ~Ashleigh
Author's Response: Wow!!! Thanks for taking the time to review. Sorry if the length was too long, but I really wanted to capture every essence I could of their relationship, and also how they mirror each other in their sacrifice. :)