This one immediately caught my eye because of the pairing; I've never seen James paired with Petunia before. Obviously, that means I had to check it out.
Right away, you set the scene with Petunia walking through the rain, fretting about knocking on the door. I love that she struggles with her courage while comparing herself to Lily. She sounds a little jealous and maybe even a tad resentful of Lily's bravery and how it complimented James' so well. I think it makes sense that Petunia's aversion to magic is because she's envious that she doesn't possess magical abilities.
I really love that James not only remembers her tea but also that he's noticing the small details. He knows just because her favorite shoes are soaked (and knows which shoes are her favorite) that she must've been standing in the rain awhile, thinking.
I also am really enjoying the depth you've brought to Petunia surrounding her hesitance to buy that red pair of shoes. I love that she eventually bought them because, heck, she wanted them, but the comment when she returned home about red being 'too flashy' made me feel for her.
I really liked how the two were brought together in a moment of grief, with James still in love with Lily and Petunia to be getting married. James' confusion regarding his feelings about her getting married, but being in love with and being in a relationship with Lily must've been extremely confusing for him; similarly, Petunia must be in the same boat.
The resolution to their feelings is bitter-sweet, especially given what happens shortly after James and Lily go into hiding. I really adored the last line, it was extremely poetic and tied the one-shot together so nicely.
Thanks for the swap! I enjoyed this little Petunia/James ship!
Here from the review swap! I don’t think I have ever seen this pairing, so curiosity made me choose this story to review. 😊 You definitely achieved making it more plausible than I thought possible. There were some punctuation issues and odd sentence structure that made it a bit hard for me to read in areas - but I am kinda sensitive to things like that. I think part of it was you intended to be from a sort of internal dialogue perspective. I liked the flow and your descriptions. It was a unique little story that I enjoyed and believed more than I thought I would. Thank you for read!
So I have to admit, I was very skeptical in opening this story. James and Lily are my OTP, times like a million. End all be all life long OTP. It PAINS me to read about them with other people.
That said, I was very pleasantly surprised. You've set this up in a truly realistic way, so it wasn't too much of a stretch of the imagination. It makes perfect sense that James would tag along with his father in an attempt to comfort Lily. It makes sense that Petunia would be there and would be distraught enough to ask a kind stranger to stay and comfort her. And traumatic times like that are pretty prime time for falling in love. It's like, heightened adrenaline or something. And of course, James, being James, would keep in contact with Petunia no matter what, because he is a kind, wonderful person, but the fact that he ended up liking, even loving her, makes it even more realistic.
Your characterization of Petunia is so spot on. A lot of times Petunia gets written as a shrill, cold person. It's always nice to see a softer side of her, and I think you did that without disconnecting from the character established by Rowling in the books. And really, you just gave her ANOTHER reason to treat Harry badly and to hate magic. First it stole her sister, then it stole her love, then it forced her to take care of the baby her sister had with her love. That's intense.
I like how you described their relationship playing out. It was simple and sweet, and it tells this solid truth, that true love doesn't necessarily have to last a lifetime. Sometimes it just lasts for a moment.
Beautiful story, even for a die-hard James/Lily shipper!
Hufflepuff CtF- transferred for final exams
I sort of planned to come in and finish reviewing everything you have on here, so i didn't even read the summary. I started reading and I was like, hang on... I've read this on HPFF :P So I'm transferring the review over! <3
Hello Abigail, my dear!
I've never read this pairing before, but I have heard of it. I knew I was excited over this challenge for a reason!
Ah, if Petunia was a witch. That's my favourite 'What if?' Her and James probably would have gotten along. Eventually.
I love that you've written that Petunia chose to accept the term 'Muggle' because it's the only thing that made her feel strong. That's very powerful, because I can understand how she would be feeling when she has Lily, a talented witch, as a sister. Petunia has to find something to hold on to.
Ooh they've been writing to each other! Sneaky sneaky! It's sad that grief brought them together, but I can totally understand that :( (But wah - the Evans' killed by Death Eaters!)
I like how you included little things that show how close they are, like him knowing how she has her tea.
Ouch, coming second to Lily in the boy department too :( How are you making me feel sorry for Petunia?!
I think you did an amazing job with the pairing you were given, Abi, it can't have been easy! Good luck in the challenge! :D
I'm finally here to review your story for The Take It Seriously Challenge! I'm so sorry it's taken me ages, but every time I sat down to start reviewing stories, life seemed to get in the way. I'm going to break this review down into categories to show you exactly how I'm judging the entries for the challenge. :)
Rarity - This is definitely the first time I've seen a story about Petunia and James, so full marks to you there!
Editing - I know you've told me before that you feel self conscious about typos and editing, but I thought this was really good. There were no glaring issues anywhere and overall, I thought everything was phrased really well.
Flow - The flow of this story was really smooth. Moving from Petunia's thoughts to her convo with James and finally to their melancholy goodbye all felt easy and paced correctly. Nothing felt rushed and I thought you adequately described what was going on.
Emotional Impact - I've always despised Petunia as a character for how she treats Harry in canon, but here you've really helped me feel for her. I do think it's shady that she's pursuing something with her sister's boyfriend, but that part about feeling like she's always second best to Lily was humanizing. It made me stop and take a minute to think how difficult it must've been to be in her sister's shadow constantly.
Plot - I thought the plot was pretty realistic and executed well. The only thing I wish I had a bit more info on is how Petunia and James became romantically involved in the first place. Maybe an idea for another one-shot? A prequel of sorts?
Characterization - I thought you really nailed Petunia's characterization. She definitely seemed like a younger version of the Petunia we see in canon. She's a bit selfish, quiet, and clearly a bit jealous of Lily. Good work there!
Overall, I thought this was a really solid entry and I enjoyed reading it. I look forward to checking out more of your stories soon! I'm hoping to have the results of this challenge posted some time tomorrow evening, so I think morning time for you? Make sure to check it out.
Thanks for your entry!
Transferred from HPFF
Hufflepuff CtF review
Oooh PE is Petunia Evans! I honestly couldn’t figure out who the second person was in your JP/PE ship =P Alright, I’m interested.
I find Petunia to be an interesting character who is to simplified for my taste in canon, so I jump at the chance to read more complex versions of her in fan fiction, and you’ve done that here.
Petunia thinks she’s not brave, but just the fact that she is able to make this trip in the first place is plenty brave in my opinion.
It seems clear that Petunia really cares about Lily despite their distance and conflicts, and it makes me sad that she is closer to Jame than to her own sister.
I find it interesting how long of a paragraph you dwell on Petunia’s thoughts about her shoes. Yu don’t go into this much detail with other things, so it seems significant. Like Petunia thinks about this think in particular because it’s something in her life connected to James, and that makes it important to her. And it also gives us a window into the minute way Petunia thinks about things.
Oh hey, I knew this little maybe emotional affair was going on when James was with Lily, but I didn’t realize Petunia was with Vernon. Cheating all around, then.
I like the idea that James was chasing an uninterested Lily and found something better with Petunia, but the fact that he then ended up with Lily does kind of ruin that. I imagine Petunia would agree.
Oh hey, and James didn’t know Petunia was getting married? This is going well…
I am glad that James is owning up to his selfishness, though I would have liked to see a bit more of it in action, to see how he had been holding onto her beyond simply being told so.
“if there is one thing in life I know how to do, it’s come second to Lily” Oh my goodness that hurts and it’s true (at least o how Petunia sees the world)
Signs you maybe shouldn’t get married: “She was pretending to read the newspaper but really she would have one of James’ letters between the pages.”
There’s a grammar issue in “During the week he spend with her”
Omg and that’s what made James decide to marry Lily? Um yikes? In love fools are a train wreck.
You did a good job establishing chemistry and history between these two, and while I was not impressed by their personal choices, I think you did a good job with this story.
Hello! I thought I'd drop by to check out your stories :) I was sad to see that this one was review-less, so I decided to remedy that.
I was intrigued by the opening paragraph of this story, and it triggered a multitude of questions: why was Petunia standing in the rain, where is she, who is she meeting, and why is she half-thinking that it was a mistake to turn up? She clearly wants to avoid her sister; I get that things weren't good between them after Lily began attending Hogwarts, but is there an additional reason to stay out of her way? And why would she be worried about bumping into her sister in this random village ... unless she's meeting James?? Butbutbut WHY would she be meeting with her future brother-in-law? Have they been planning something together for Lily, like a wedding gift/surprise?
OMG - THEY HAVEN'T!!! Have they? An affair?!!! Petunia, you dark horse - and JAMES, you complete rotter :( Erk. That wasn't the kind of surprise I'd had in mind. Oh, poor Lily. Funny that I can't feel the same sentiment for Vernon, but I suppose I should feel a bit sorry for him too. I'm really angry at James right now, for wanting to be with both women, but not having the guts to tell Petunia outright that it was Lily who he loved 100%, but I'm also horrified at Petunia for betraying her sister and letting Vernon down.
I really like how this story explores aspects of Petunia's relationship with various people. Aside from the clandestine affair (my poor heart!), the snippets revolving around Lily, and why Petunia feels the way she does about her sister, are well-crafted. "She had carefully created her persona to hate magic because it was the only thing that made her feel strong." Poor Petunia must have felt like the inferior sister for years and it seems only natural that she'd protect herself with that sort of defence. It fits in really well with her bitter canon character. I particularly love the reference to the shoes, though, and despite you not saying who thought they were "too flashy" - I can guess that it was Vernon's comment. That little phrase cleverly says quite a bit about him. Maybe Petunia fell for James because, like the shoes, he injected some colour into her life?
This was a very novel approach to an unusual pairing and I loved your writing here! If I was to offer any CC, it would be that this story needs a little bit of grammatical TLC in places, but that's all.