Date: 01/20/2009 11:06 AM Title: Chapter 9 - And You
Whoosh! That was a strong bit of work to deal with! Y'know, when you first mentioned Meliae, I thought you were just being cute with the spelling. Then, last chapter, about the time you mentioned her orange eye color, I began to wonder. Then when you mentioned her having slit pupils, I googled the name. So, I knew the background, and assumed you were coming from that, not just using a unique name. But, I did not expect her to be THE Meliae! That was a pretty cool idea.
I think you have a pretty good handle on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Sirius and James dealt with an awful lot. I hope that you bring Lily in on some of that healing, too. (My father-in-law makes furniture and what-not. He often says that sometimes, after a break, the fortification of the repair leads to the piece being stronger than it was originally. I'm holding onto that thought as I read your tale.)
Yes! Yes yes yes! Thank you, thank you for that google! I'm *totally* using the real Meliae - hence the spears coming from the tea.
And yes, this is definitely an exploration of the human fallout from living in such extreme conditions. While reading the books, I was struck again and again by how much James, Remus, Lily, and Sirius were going through. I kept wondering how their own individual shatterings would show up - no one can go through that kind of thing without it affecting them deeply. And then this story came up . . . When I wrote this chapter, I had to imagine the kinds of real situations they would come upon as Aurors. Well, this felt totally real to me. Death Eaters are not "nice." They're involved with the deep, dark side of the human soul, and they're going to do things that leave scars, physical and emotional, for the rest of peopole's lives. I am trying to imagine living through that and trying to maintain your humanity at the same time. Whoosh, indeed.
Date: 01/20/2009 10:07 AM Title: Chapter 8 - Love is a Kind of Knowing
It's nice to see Lily giving and Remus being able to take. And what a crushing revelation from him. (I'm glad to know that Tonks is in his future!)
Hee hee! I know - I kept telling him she was there while writing this. Just hold on, Remus! Just hold on!
And yes, it's just like Lily said - "I'd guess you've spend the better part of the last weeks talking to James and Sirius about James and Sirius." He needed someone to lean on for a bit, and Lily and he have just that relationship.
With Remus, I've given him the consciousness of exactly what is going on for him. Think of it like someone dealing with depression - every second of every day, there is that question: Is this really how I feel, or is this just some f-ed up expression of my brain chemistry? Do I act on these feelings or do I just observe them and move on? It's overwhelming and difficult, and it has to be done, this second . . . and this second . . . and this second.
I'm really glad you're so into the story! Thank you!
Date: 01/20/2009 09:55 AM Title: Chapter 7 - Me
Well, that was certainly something! So, this Meliae is some sort of seer, exorcist, psychiatrist type of witch? Not necessarily a likeable character, yet still compelling. I'm more intrigued than ever. And my heart bleeds for James, trying unsuccessfully all this time to let go of his pain.
I've already read your other reviews, so I don't have to live with the suspense of whether or not you will figure out who she is. :) :) And yes, she isn't really totally likeable - I like that about her. And yes, James - ah, James. He is carrying so much it's unbelievable. And these are the kinds of things that can happen when you try to hold all that in.
Thanks for your enthusiasm for this story! I love it!
Date: 01/20/2009 09:32 AM Title: Chapter 6 - Wolves Circling
Wow. All the cats came out the bag at once, there, didn't they? I just knew there was some "requirement" type thing that made Lily and Sirius do that the first time! And all these conflicting emotions. Gah! A very fine line, indeed, between love and hate, eh? This was a brilliant chapter!
Thanks! Yes, it was time to give a bit more than veiled hints as to what the heck was going on.
I've heard it said that the opposite of love is not hate - it's indifference. I like that - love and hate are so intense, they have to be related. Only indifference can really put you out of one or the other. I loved writing this chapter; the violence, the rage, the twists and turns, the vulnerability smashed against the wall of denial . . . ahhhhh!
Glad you enjoyed it!
Date: 01/20/2009 09:08 AM Title: Chapter 5 - The Ancient Magic of Salt
I just can't wait to find out what that first time was all about. Some sort of protection or cure thing, I'm guessing. By the way, "blood mixing with the salt of an ancient ocean," is a beautiful turn of phrase.
That's a good guess. :)
Thanks for noticing that phrase - there was a lot of writing and re-writing to get it exactly right. Writing is really editing. Over and over. And then one more time. *groans* So it's nice to have someone notice. :)
Date: 01/20/2009 08:55 AM Title: Chapter 4 - Tacitum Vivit sub Pectore Vulnus
How sad. You're doing a lovely job with all of your characters. I can feel the tension at the table as Lily confesses to Remus. And I can feel how it must have all seemed harmless to her, until she got caught out.
I'm answering all your reviews out of order - sorry about that!
Thanks for your compliment on the characters - I'm trying to stay true to the core characterization given each one by Rowling. As one other reviewer said, my Lily is the most different, but since she is the one of them all that we get the least information about, I'm taking a few liberties . . . I'm glad that it's working for you!
Yes - this is for all of us who have secretly allowed our minds to spin stories about past lovers, letting ourselves "get away" with all sorts of things, and then doing that incredibly stupid thing of trying to get back in touch with them. We have a story in our heads - it is not the story that is now occurring in the actual world! It's easy to fall into the "simplicity" of that dream - to make it more than the difficult times we are having in our real lives. But that's where we need to keep these stories - in our heads. When we let them walk out into the daylight . . . well, it ain't so pretty, then. ;)
Date: 01/20/2009 07:54 AM Title: 3. Light Into Darkness, Darkness Into Light
Whoops, I was so caught up and in such a hurry to move to the next chapter that I forgot to review this one. But, I came back to do so.
I'm so glad that I decided to follow along for all of this story. I can't wait to sort out the mystery of Lily and Sirius. Clearly you aren't just spinning a yarn of "undeniable physical attraction" or some such for them. Clearly, there is something there that we will only learn when Sirius if able to tell James the story of that first time. I can't wait.
I am especially impressed with your characterization of Remus in this story. His last bitter lines to James, "You’re just a nice guy. You’re such a nice guy. Not a soul in the world can hold a thing against you. Congratulations. It is a master stroke," are so coldly scathing. I'm impressed. That's all there is to say. Wonderful.
Oh, thank you thank you! I'm so happy at the depth with which you are engaging this tale. And I, too, just love Remus. As I'm writing this, he keeps tapping me on the shoulder, leaning over the keyboard and pointing to something I've written and saying, "You know I'd never say *that*." But he loved that line you quote above.
Thanks so much for your wonderful reviews! These kinds of reviews make it totally worth it for me.
Date: 01/20/2009 05:40 AM Title: Chapter 9 - And You
I cant seem to make heads or tails of this entire sordid affair.They all seem to have their heads stuck up their collective arse holes.James with his seeming inabilty to talk to the woman he loves.Sirius to let the situation escalate as far as it got & not keeping his fly zipped.Lily well frankly you paint a far different picture to what Rowling shows of Mrs. Potter.Remus seems to be the only one without the head in ass syndrome.Dumbledore should just take them across his knee & give them all a good spanking.This is a train wreck and I cant wait to see how it all ends.
I think I love that last line the best: "This is a train wreck and I can't wait to see how it all ends." I'm glad you want to see it through! I know it's a bit of a rough read. And you pegged it exactly - Remus *is* the only one without his head up his arse!
I know my Lily is different - but of all the characters I'm portraying, we have the least amount of info about her. So I'm taking a bit of liberty, I know, but I'm feeling into how it would be, with a small child (which I have), in a war zone, in hiding, not knowing if this is the last time you'll see the love of your life and your closest friends. And not being able to do a g.d. thing about it. I've been in unbelievably stressful situations - and the struggle not to go completely out of your mind is sometimes a second-to-second proposition. And then, sometimes you just . . . snap.
I agree about Dumbledore! Why doesn't he do that?!
Date: 01/20/2009 01:57 AM Title: Chapter 9 - And You
Wow. this is an incredible fic. I didn't really want to read it after the first chapter, I didn't know why you would tell this story...but I kept reading and it is so intense! Really emotional but compelling and very real.
First, thanks for going on with the story! I know it's a tough sell, that first chapter - people have such a strong response to Lily and Sirius doing something like this to James. But I'm doing it for the next reasons you list - I like the intensity, the emotional depth required to take these characters through such an experience. I'm happy to hear that it's compelling and real - good news for any writer!
Thanks again -
Date: 01/19/2009 02:24 PM Title: 2. The Letter
Even more intriguing than your first chapter. You're certainly doing a good job capturing the anguish Lily is going through. (And I like the slice of life view into Baby Harry's day. Especially the pretending to fly on the broom!)
Thank you so much! I'm glad you're enjoying the story. Yeah, I like that bit about him on the broom, too - I can just imagine his confusion about a "dead broom." Thanks for reading and reviewing!
Date: 01/19/2009 02:20 PM Title: 1. Sunshine Charms
hmmm... Intriguing start. I've just discovered your tale today, and think I'm on board for the ride. I don't much like Lily or Sirius doing something disloyal to James, but I'm going to assume that you have your reasons. It's definitely caught my interest.
Thanks! Glad to have you here. I know it's tough to get around that first bit. But yes, I do have my reasons. I like fics that really dig in and explore the deeper aspects of character, so this is my take on how this lot handles the pressures of living in a war. Let me know what you think! I'm going to be posting more frequently, so there won't be such a long time between chapters.
Date: 01/19/2009 10:31 AM Title: 1. Sunshine Charms
I just came back to amend my original review and saw you had responded so I can do both.
I don't think James should kill Sirius.I also agree that men often work through some pretty tough things but James and Sirius have a more problematic relationship.
Firstly Sirius has betrayed James twice with years in between times. Yes Sirius had an "excuse" the first time but Sirius is very charismatic and wouldn't need Lilly to be the one to do it. So James can never again be secure and trustful in either relationship "fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me"
Making it even worse is that the two of the are essentaly soldiers in the same unit who need to be able to trust each other with their lives but now James knows he cannot trust Sirius at all.
I'd also like to say I love that James hasn't gone grovelling back to Lilly, that relationship is even more damaged than the one with Sirius. Many fanfic authors write a character doing something utterly reprehensible like Lilly has(twice) and has the other party come crawling back to them for some odd reason.
I have a feeling Voldemort is going to kill them and there will be no reconcilliation but thats just a guess.
It’s very interesting the weight you put on that first betrayal. To me, as a writer who lives in her head, the intellectual “explanation” for the event was sufficient. Lily could have told someone else how to do it, but Sirius, being under the force of the curse, made her take the Vow not to tell anyone else what was going on. Do you hold the first time on par with the second time, even given the mitigating circumstances of the first one?
Yes . . . “soldiers in the same unit.” I was once involved (before, during, and after) with a man who was in the first Gulf war, and I know he said once that when he was in that position, the “extra bullshit” didn’t matter – what mattered was what was down deep. Like someone could be an asshole in “down time” but be totally reliable in a tense situation. Obviously, he was not talking about someone who had slept with his wife.
Yes, I didn’t think it would be even remotely realistic or honest to have James grovel back to Lily. He is not the one who caused the breech. It is entirely incumbent upon her to be open to him, to soften. However (and I’m sure I’ll hear from you again on this one hee hee), he does have to take responsibility for what he has sown in terms of his own refusal to truly open up to Lily about what his life is like right now.
Again, with the man I dated, he didn’t talk about what was going on for him in that situation. In fact, he almost never brought it up. But it changed who he was in fundamental ways, and he was never the “same” after he came back. This is not his fault – I think experiences like that must fundamentally change you or you go insane. However, he had no context from which to explore how and why he had been so strongly impacted.
If he had been a bit more open, if he had been able to talk about what was true for him, I wonder if his life – and our relationship – would have gone differently? I did try – but there was never quite an opening for him. I’ve given James the opening this other man never had, and given him a will to look at it, a desire to try to see how much he is holding inside. Don’t ever say fiction isn’t based somewhat on life.
It would be a relief to just let Voldemort handle the whole bloody thing! Alas, my intent is to cause all this strife and then, somehow, bring it back to where it was prior to the actual events as Rowling wrote them . . . with a few shadows, not in her work, remaining. I’d love to see how the whole arc rests with you along the way as well as at the end. Also, how this posting hits you.
This is very long! Hope you’re still with me.
Date: 01/19/2009 09:08 AM Title: Chapter 9 - And You
This is a very well written and compelling story.
That said the author is beyond a doubt female because what Sirus did has no defense or forgivness between men. The first time he violated the code of trust between mates James would have and should have cast him aside. The second time James should have killed him.
Thier reconcilliation is a conversation between two women.
I do love this story, I just thought it bears mentioning.
First, let me apologize for deleting your first review. I was a newbie, and thought I was deleting my response to rewrite it. Ugh.
That said, I really like the point you're raising. First, you're right, I am a woman, and I'm sure that colors the action and interaction of the characters. But I'm curious - I know men who have worked through tough issues, even tougher than this, and remained friends. Granted, it has taken a much longer time than I have portrayed in this story, but for the sake of moving the story along, I'm condensing the timeline. I think you're right about initial reactions - James would have killed their friendship for a long, long time. But, if there is true friendship between him and Sirius, it couldn't have just ended forever. Especially not with Remus in the middle and Sirius feeling such remorse. If any two humans are interested in looking deeper into what is really going on for them, and, in this story, both James and Sirius are (albeit at different times), then there must come a time when that initial strong, totally justified reaction comes under question. Otherwise we would just go through life cutting people out and moving on. (And yes, I know there are people who do just that.) So this story is more of an exploration of what lies underneath our actions - the bits of us that we don't want to look at so much, the bits that make us look "bad," and a look at what happens if we try, in whatever fashion, to take responsibility for them.
So is it realistic between two men? Not on the timeline I've portrayed, for sure. Point well taken. But is it realistic in life? Hmmm . . . I guess I can only say I hope so!
Thanks again for your consideration. I think it's important. And I'm glad you love the story and have stuck with it! I'd love to hear more about what you're talking about, though - please feel free to post more! It's something I'd like to bring to future stories.
Date: 09/23/2008 12:33 PM Title: 1. Sunshine Charms
Please Please update this incredible story. I can't wait !!!
Wow! Thank you! As a writer, it's amazing to me when something I've written generates such a response in someone else. We writers, we sit around a lot, in front of computer screens, saying, "Well, I think it's good . . ." and then, the next day, saying, "It's crap. It's all crap. I don't even know why I think I can do this at all." So it means a lot to me that you like it so much!
I'm updating today, so, hopefully, it will be up soon! Sorry about the huge gap in updating - I'm editing a book I wrote and it is just a hair-pulling sort of experience.
Thanks for reading!!!!
Date: 09/21/2008 11:37 AM Title: 1. Sunshine Charms
Poor Remus! I love your characterization of him. I really want to know how Sirius is dealing with all of this. James is being a total prima donna- I can't wait to see why...
Hee hee hee! Yes, James is being very prima donna-ish. Next chapter will explain a lot . . .
Thanks for the Remus props - I love him, and I've been having such a blast writing him, poor guy, in the midst of yet another James/Sirius screw-up.
I'm sending the next chapter in today, so hopefully it won't be too long before it goes up!
Thnks for sticking with the story! Sorry there's been this huge break - I'm editing a book I've written and it is just eating me for lunch.