Hi Eva! Here for your prize review #2! :)
Okay so first of all, I had to read this twice to fully grasp the story because it's late and I'm sometimes terrible at these things, but boy once I got it did I understand!! It's subtlety and complexity are what make it great, and that's why it's good to make people re-read it to make sure they can personally understand it. A lot of times Lily gets portrayed as the "golden girl" who can do and say no wrong, and who is loved for her continued denials of James' romantic overtures. This completely shatters that preconceived notion people have of her, and I am SO here for it. This characterization of Lily allows for her to have flaws, and some serious ones at that, as racism is not something explicitly talked about in fandom for the Marauders generation.
What I love that you've done here too is made Lily flawed in an actual, human way with her racist comment towards James. She tries to rationalize it as a slip of the tongue, by counterbalancing it with all of the good things she does all of the time otherwise. Her need to justify her one "bad" behavior speaks volumes about how racism is seen in lots of people today, which is quite a potent thing to think about and unpack. Her own mental fight on whether or not she is able to admit wrongdoing by calling him that slur and how torn she gets over it is so well written, even with the shortness of the piece. I think because it's so short, it also emphasizes how something so small, like calling someone a racial slur can impact them and the person saying it in such a large way. Very well done with this piece and characterization of Lily here, Eva! :)
Hey Madi! <3
Oooh, yes. Sorry about that! A lot of people have mentioned that they had to read it twice to understand it, and though I intended for it to be somewhat ambiguous at first I didn't mean for you guys to have to go through it again. At least it's not too long, though? Anyway. I'm so happy you liked this characterization of Lily! I have nothing against the usual characterization of her, I swear, but this popped into my head and I was like "oh this might be fun!"
Yeahhh hahaha I've seen too much of Lily-ness going on in everyday life these days, and I'm so happy you thought to point that out! Like, people who've done good things who're also racist. The goodness doesn't stop them from being racist, that's not how humanity works lmao. But the slur is something that can't really be avoided as evidence (though how do you talk to someone who tries to pretend that saying slurs don't necessarily mean they're racist?) and so she's wrestling with herself haha.
Thank you for such a lovely review! <3
Okay okay okay cool cool cool I'm fine, totally fine.
JK NO I'M NOT!!!!
This was so, so beautiful. There was always something about Lily that annoyed me, something about how the fandom portrayed her that was just grating to me.
This oneshot is everything the fandom thinks she isn't, yet it somehow also is, and I love that. because Lily isn't some perfect butterfly that has rainbows shooting out of her ass; she's human and she's flawed here; and I especially love that her flaw was racism. And, I really hate to say it, but it's a very realistic flaw. I do realize that that people love to juxtapose Petunia and Lily, and all they ways they're the opposite, but... I really do wonder what it would be like if in some ways the two were on the same footing. What if they both were racist? What if Lily was the only one who grew out of it? All the more reason for Petunia to hate Lily because it's one more way in which they drifted apart.
I'm in love with the way she tries to rationalize it, by saying that she's done all of these sweet and amazing things, so of course she can't be racist. Because that's definitely how morals and actions work.
I think Lily has no reason to fear. Her racism is something to work on, definitely, but the fact that she's trying so hard to forget, trying so hard to rationalize, trying so hard to put herself in the right, it shows that she knows something is wrong. Most people these days would go on thinking that their world view is always in the right.
I'm also in love with the way you write. It's sharp and grounding and poetic, all in the same way. I'm really in love with this line: "Her hair was plastered against her skin, with rivulets of water marking criss-crossing paths down her face."
Little thing I loved: the fact you made James a POC. Of course this story wouldn't have worked without him being a POC, but it was a nice detail anyways.
I'm going to be honest with you, I enjoy fics that portray Lily as someone that was adored by everyone hehe. But I also really love the idea of a Lily flawed beyond belief. (Though, it's not really 'beyond belief,' is it, with the social climate in the world today, is it?)
You understood everything perfectly! When you mentioned the relationship between Petunia and Lily, I was just pointing at the screen and dancing happily in my seat. It took everything in me not to start screeching "YES YES YES" to my computer hahaha. Because yes, Petunia was narrowminded to adulthood. She married a narrowminded man and with him had a narrowminded child. And I think it makes sense that, if growing up with a sister like that, Lily was conditioned to be racist as well, and that she was the only one who managed to educate herself on her own problems.
Lmao I based a lot of that on how racist people in the real world try to justify themselves. And in some ways, it's true, like, racist people can be funny. Racist people can have done kind things. But it doesn't stop them from being racist.
I agree. Lily has a lot to learn, and she has some damage to undo, but in the long run, I think she'll be okay. At this point in time, she's very firmly in denial, but it's a sort of denial where she's trying to convince herself that she's done nothing wrong, but her conscience is slowly starting to eat her up... So she'll learn.
Ahh thank you so much! I really appreciate the compliment, thank youu. And hehe I love James as a person of color! That's probably my absolute favorite HP headcanon to come out of the fandom.
Thank you for the review! <3
Hi there, Eva! :) So I was looking through the reviews threads as I've got a bit of time this evening (yay!) and thought I'd drop by - and this, well, I've kept seeing this every time I've looked at your page and always wanted to stop by but never have done. So here I am! :)
I loved this. Loved. It. I love how you cast Lily and James - how they're both problematic in this (although I don't like that word, really, it fits :P), with his arrogance and the mentions of his bullying and especially with Lily: how she's so, well, indefensible in this but she keeps trying to defend it internally, because she seems to not be able to admit she was wrong - despite the fact that she knows she's wrong. I just love how she's so complicated and so angry, how you say that she's nice and kind and generous with her time and her money - even though she likely doesn't exactly have lots of it herself - and how she doesn't judge Remus for his condition, treating him with sympathy and sensitivity. And then, when she's faced with James, out come the slurs and the hatred and all of her sympathy and sensitivity is gone - and I kinda wonder, is it because he's James, yk, or is it because of racism, or both?
(Also, I love that you addressed this topic because I've heard it in real life - and, yk, as a white person, it's so hard to feel you can say anything because how can I tell a person of colour what's racist? But it's horrible and it's real, and I love that you dealt with it so well and so bluntly, too - how you didn't shy away from it. It's not a surprise to me, haha, since having read some of your other stuff you always deal with sensitive subjects perfectly, I swear. But yeah, I loved that.)
I loved as well - and I think I read this right, though feel free to correct me if I'm wrong! - how you compared how she feels and thinks about Snape calling her mudblood to what she called James. I liked the way that you wrote the latter and not the former: it created this beautiful distinction between them, like that what Snape called her is so horrific she can't or won't even think it, but what she called James... well, that's okay, right? That whole beginning section sets up this wonderful contradiction then with her thoughts about James, and it's just so so clever.
As always, your writing is so lovely. You have such a lovely, easy, lyrical kind of style and I love it.
Loved it, as usual ;)
Hii Laura! I was so happy to see a review from you on here, especially since it's at the very bottom of my AP haha. <3
You know, I don't like the word "problematic" either, but it does fit both of them here. Pre-arc James is someone I would probably hate to be around; as much as I dislike Snape, his bullying of him and other Slytherins is honestly terrible. Bullies cause so much damage, I hate it. And same with Lily (or, at least, my headcanon of Lily haha). She definitely changes and grows in her last two years of Hogwarts, but as of now, she is terrible. From experience, racist people can have personalities that are quite likeable, but as soon as they even broach the topic of race, they become so nasty. And it's definitely because of racism that she calls James that slur. I'd say it's because of racism that she hates him that much to begin with.
(Ahhh omg thank you!! I'm so glad you think I do it well. <33)
Oooh I love reading your interpretations because they're always so smart, even though they may not necessarily line up with what I had in mind while writing this. Your analysis was super interesting (though I'm not sure I can take credit for the cleverness of what you're saying, because that's all you haha). To me, while I wrote this, Lily never once thought about Snape in this entire one-shot, which only serves to highlight her ignorance. Every "he" that she mentions is James, and when she's talking about him calling her that hateful word, she's thinking about -- or, trying not to think about -- the fact that he called her a "racist" for her use of slurs against him. The beginning is definitely meant to parallel Snape calling her Mudblood, because she's equating James calling her "racist" with Snape calling her "Mudblood," and it's to talk about how a lot of people seem to think that being called "racist" (when they most definitely are being racist) is equivalent to the worst slur ever.
Thank you so much! Every time you compliment my writing I just want to dance around a littlte bit. Thank youu. <3
I love this! It took me a while to understand she was talking about James, and that was just amazing! also because often people focus a lot on the only slice of interaction that is canon, so it's easy to jump to conclusion.
I particularly liked the fact that you repeated throught the story 'she wasn't' just to make us understand how still in denial she is and how people try and tray again to justify themselves even when they're clearly lying to themselves.
But the self doubt and regret that she shows is also a sign of a caring person, even though she doesn't feel like one.
I always make the example of Ron Weasley when talking about ingrained, unconscious racism: he obviously didn't think muggles as inferior... he just wasn't used to think about them, didn't know them, so sometime in the books is clear that he still has to learn how to view the world.
Oh, but this was beautiful. thank you for writing it <3
I always love people's reactions to this story, and yours was just as entertaining as the rest, haha.
Lily is very problematic in this story. She still refuses to acknowledge her mistakes, which I think is a fairly negative sign of her character. The fact that she does seem to realize that there's a part of her that feels extremely guilty is a point in her favor, but until she actually sits down with herself and confronts herself about it, it's going to be tough to say how good Lily is. I do have faith in her, though, that she can change.
I don't actually think that Ron exhibited nearly as much prejudice as Lily does in this story. I think there's a difference between not knowing much about Muggle culture, and then holding these negative feelings towards Hermione simply because she's a Muggle. If I recall correctly, Ron never said anything of Hermione due to her Muggleborn status, while Lily is...seriously racist here.
Of course, she's going to change, though.
Thank you for reviewing! <3
Hi! I’m here for your requested review. Sorry it’s so late. RL has been crazy!
I’ll begin with the concern you noted in your request, which was whether or not this was coherent. I’ll be honest, I had to read through it a couple of times to fully understand it, but that was in no way a detriment to the piece. If anything, the slight confusion it brought actually added to its complexity and made it all the more interesting.
And I think the reason it was so confusing was because it was about Lily, of all people. Lily, who has been painted as a saint both in canon and in the fandom, couldn’t be racist, right? Surely, I was reading it wrong. Surely, I missed something. My brain just couldn’t wrap my head around this being about “lovely Lily”, as Slughorn once called her. But that’s what made this so brilliant! I love how you chose a seemingly angelic character to explore this issue with. It made it more difficult to swallow, which is the entire point. Everyone, no matter how kind, patient, tolerant, or revered they are, can be susceptible to this way of thinking or making these kinds of comments.
You did a wonderful job of showing just how hard people work to justify and/or attempt to ignore systematic racism. Despite how ingrained it is in today’s society, no one wants to admit or even acknowledge that they’re part of the problem. It’s easier to tell oneself it’s “just a slip of the tongue” or “friends called (me) kind and loving.” It’s easier to claim the other party is being overly sensitive by “playing victim.” And the fact that Lily can’t admit wrongdoing, even after she was hurt in a very similar way by Snape just moments before her incident with James… argh! Heartbreaking and infuriating, but raw and real.
You write beautifully, and have a gift for sensory language. I definitely didn’t have to work too hard to visualize every moment in this story. Excellent work with this! You should be very proud! <3 :)
Eep thank you so so much for this review! RL can be completely crazy, so I appreciate you taking the time to write such a lovely review for me. <3
I'm so glad! The coherence of this piece has been something worrying me since I posted it, so I'm really very happy that it all seems to work out through the gaze of the reader. Thank you for complimenting the complexity; it really, really made me happy to hear that.
Right? Lily's generally known as someone with a beautiful soul with a moral backbone made of iron (and honestly, I'm perfectly fine with this interpretation of her character, since it makes for a number of amazing fics), but I'm a huge subscriber to the idea that after death, someone's negative characteristics become somewhat forgotten. Also, considering Slughorn's character, I didn't find his compliments towards Lily to be terribly reliable sources, haha. But yes, fandom does generally view her as wonderful and angelic, and I wanted to look at a different take of her, which I thought would be extremely realistic of a Muggleborn in that time period particularly. And yes yes yes I'm so happy you got this, that people who are beloved by most can still be racist.
The hypocrisy is very real here with Lily. What's particularly depressing is that a lot of what she says is based on things I've heard in real life, from excuses being made by people in the public eye, to people close to me. It's really saddening that Lily's line of thought is actually very, very realistic. I'm really glad you've pointed all this out, thank you for noticing and being observant. <3
Thank you so so much! Each time I read this review, my day gets made a little brighter.
I had to read this multiple times to completely understand it--and that goes to show what an amazing, complex piece this is! I absolutely love, love your writing. The constant refrain of 'she wasn't' was just so powerful to me for some reason. This was just so /accurate/ and evocative asdfghjk.
Anyway, other people have no doubt written more eloquently than me about the beauty of this story, so I'm just gonna say--
I wish I could write like you one day! <3
VANYA OMG YOU FOUND MY STORY <3
I don't know exactly what led you here, but I'm so so honored and happy that you liked it! This is such a huge compliment coming from one of the most artistically talented people alive, so I'm just. in some form of shock, haha. When I first saw the review (like three seconds before my Spanish midterm started) it made me smile through the whole midterm. So thanks for getting me through that.
Thank you so so much for sharing your thoughts! <3
Hi Eva! Here with your requested review, and also because apparently it's Eva Appreciation Month for the Hufflepuffs? (Honestly, it should be Eva Appreciation Month always because you're amazing, and this piece just reaffirms that!)
I've read this piece now about five times and each time, I walk away with even more appreciation of it, discovering another layer of complexity. What's amazing is that the fic appears so paradoxically simple at the surface; it's so understatedly profound, and I really admire the skill it takes to create a piece like that. I also kept looking for constructive criticism to offer, and honestly, I have nothing to offer—this piece is so, so well done.
One of the many things I admire about this piece is how you absolutely nailed how systematic racism works. I loved that Lily never outright said the word racist; that's a really common quality of racists who grow up in societies that have racism integrated into them—none of them believe that they're racist, just as Lily doesn't believe that she's racist. I also really loved that last moment of hesitation when Lily wondered if maybe, just maybe, she was in the wrong—followed by her quick denial. I especially loved that Lily's attempts to rationalize her comment and her beliefs. All of her rationalizations are also so true of systematic racism; she claims that everyone thinks these things about minorities, inadverdently blames James for blowing it out of proportion ("they always play the victim"), and then tries to rationalize that she has too many positive traits to be a racist, that she's sweet and fair, etc.
What I love most about this piece is that she is all these things—but this fic shows that she's not perfect. And as I've said before, that's such a wonderful, humanizing characteristic to add to Lily. Most of the time, the only character flaws I've seen in Lily are her being too stubborn, or too oblivious, or some other inherent character flaw. It's never been an obstacle or social commentary like racism. And I think it's such an interesting character flaw to introduce because it can certainly complicate the Wizarding universe you're creating so much more (which is always good!) and inject another dose of reality. Aside from her whitewashing, JKR never really noted much about race relations, so I'm really excited to see you explore this very real issue.
One thing that I appreciate about this fic is the moment you selected for her to spit out that slur. Severus just insulted Lily with a slur that can be really likened to a racist slur; one would think that Lily would understand the effect of the slur she said to James, given that Severus literally just insulted her in as similar way. That she doesn't, to me, reflects the effects of systematic racism on her character.
Aside from the social commentary of the piece, which I love in all of your pieces, I really have to commend you on your handling of the vignette style, especially since I saw this before it was a true vignette. The last image of Lily with her head under the faucet and the "rivulets of water marking criss-crossing paths down her face" (that description is so poetic for some reason; I really love your style of writing, honestly—you write so well, so poetically always. I'm truly in love with your writing) was such a remarkable image. That physical image of the water drops criss-crossing on her face, to me, reflected her inner conflict in a very physical way—her positive and negative traits criss-crossing. That she was staring at a mirror too seemed like a perfect place for her to start to confront the truth of who she is. That scene is what makes this, honestly, a perfect vignette: her internal thoughts start expressing themselves symbolically externally, creating an overall powerful image that remained me after I finished reading this piece. That's the mark of a really well done vignette.
Honestly, this is such a great piece. I'm sure I'll be coming back to it—and I really do have to mark it as one of my favorite pieces. I always marvel at authors who can express such complicated ideas and weave so many complex themes together in so few sentences; you are such a skilled writer!
Loved, loved, loved it. You really deserved your second-place win! <3
Omg Shreya, your reviews always give me so much joy to read, because of how much care and effort you must put into each of them. (Also psh don't say that, it'll only go to my head. Imagine how big my ego would be if it was Eva Appreciation Month always.) <3
I love that you brought up systemic racism, since Lily's racism is the absolute perfect example of that. (You're so observant and wonderful, I honestly can't think of a single way you could be more of a perfect reviewer.) As you pointed out, she strongly believes that the prejudices that she has are common amongst everyone, and in a way, I think that Lily's right. Most people do have prejudiced ideas ingrained in them, and it's just a matter of whether or not you're willing to confront it.
Yes, exactly! Lily is kind and sweet, yet there's this rather glaring character flaw that she has here lol. Haha, I'm always happy to cover topics that JKR clearly never really thought about as she wrote Harry Potter. I suppose that's why writing fic is such a fun thing to do for everyone! AND ONCE AGAIN ASTUTE SHREYA STRIKES AGAIN, with your wonderful observation of Lily's complete hypocrisy. Her offense over being called "Mudblood" versus her indifference towards the slur that she uttered is just so, so hypocritical.
Thank you so much. You were there when I spouted all my ideas at you, so I'm so thankful that you took the time to leave me this review, and for commenting especially on the last section. Thank youuuu! *GIANT HUG*
Yay! I'm so glad to see this posted on the archive! I didn't realize before that it was for the vignette challenge. And you've won second place with it! Congrats! ♥ (Not that I'm surprised it placed. It honestly is such a good story and my first thought on seeing the award graphic was 'well of course!')
Anyway, as I told you earlier, I think you did an amazing job with this. I love the new angle you present of Lily in this story, it's actually kind of refreshing to see this ugly side to a person who is so universally loved in the books. And I love the nuance that you give to her character and the acknowledgement that racism isn't only a quality of Bad People, it's something that can exist in anyone, and I love the moral grey area it gives to her. Because that's more true to life isn't it - like, the most common examples of racism that we encounter day-to-day are more like Lily is presented here, like you know, 'Grandma/other relative saying a racist comment at Christmas dinner' sort of thing. I don't know if I'm making my point very well haha, but I really applaud you for giving Lily who usually has this moral high ground in fics a very serious moral flaw, and the way she struggles to confront her own flaws seems very realistic as she's trying so hard to explain her way around it and justify herself, and I think this is the point where maybe things finally start to change, because she literally can't sleep while thinking of what she did. The last few paragraphs are wonderful, and the vividness of the scene really indicates how much she's stuck on that moment.
Your portrayal of Lily also explains why Lily had that particular hatred for James and not for Sirius, when Sirius was just as bad as James in terms of bullying Snape. It adds an extra dimension to that hatred and it's very believable. AND it also adds to why Petunia and Vernon would have hated James so much. After all, if Lily grew up in a household that enouraged (or at least didn't discourage) her from adopting racist beliefs, it's likely Petunia grew up with those same ingrained prejudices. It's kinda obvious Vernon is xenophobic as well, and so the Dursleys' hatred of JAmes just makes so much more sense now. Like, this may be my new headcanon.
I also appreciate how it shows just how much Lily still has to grow up at this point, much like James does. In a way, it makes the two of them on more equal footing - like, rather than just James having to grow out of his tendency to be a bully and learn to be more mature in order to be good enough for Lily, she also has to change and become a better person as well before she's good enough for him. As teenagers, they both have a lot of growing up to do, and fortunately, we know that they both do grow up and that Lily does indeed change her way of thinking (or she'd have never married James). In a bizarre way, this interpretation of Lily is kind of hopeful, because it suggests that anyone can change for the better and successfully confront their prejudices. I almost like Lily more because of it - not for being a racist, but because she overcame her racism.
Last but not least, your stylistic choices in telling the story were great. Without saying the word at all, it's clear what James called Lily, and it's clear that he's justified in calling her that (as evidenced by the way she brushes off the slur she called him as so insignificant). The way the story starts out seeming like it's about Snape and then morphing very subtly is great because it makes the reader have to really think about the story (as I told you before I read it twice - and well, now three times) and I love stories that make me think.
Wonderful work on this, Eva <3 You're such a talented writer.
I'm smiling so hard, I can barely type from excitement. This review made me possibly the happiest person in the world, and I can't stop reading it, and I can't stop smiling. Thank you.
And now I have a few questions: Are you a mind reader? Did you somehow pick my brain? Because I'm honestly trying to figure out how you managed to hit on literally every single thought that went on in my head while I was writing this little one-shot. It just goes to show how amazing of a reviewer you are! I swear I'm not kidding, though; everything that you wrote passed through my head while I was thinking about my headcanon. I'm still absolutely blown away by your review, and how spot on it is.
No, I completely understand the point you're making! Racism is less black-and-white than we'd like; it'd be great if we could just point to somehow spouting racist ideologies and just label them as undeserving of forgiveness, but there's definitely a spectrum. For instance, as you pointed out with Lily, her racist beliefs gives her a moral grey area. Her beliefs are definitely abhorrent, and at the same time, she does do kind things for others. Her problem is that she needs to recognize her faults, instead of denying them, and you're right, that's what's happening here. She's beginning to leave her little space of denial at the end, just a tiny bit.
Haha, I think that the "Lily is racist" headcanon would explain so many things about the Harry Potter books, which is why I included that bit about Sirius. And I do believe that Lily would have grown up in a time where racism was more widely accepted (considering how racist some people still are today), which led me to think exactly what you wrote! Petunia and Vernon were almost definitely xenophobic (I mean, look how narrow-minded they were to begin with), and it also explains a lot about their treatment of Harry, too. Ooh, yes, please adopt the headcanon, I'd love to not be alone in this lol.
THIS IS THE PART OF YOUR REVIEW WHERE I BASICALLY SCREECHED WITH JOY BECAUSE THIS WAS WHAT I WAS THINKING LIKE LITERALLY I'M NOT EVEN JOKING. I thought it would be great for Lily to educate herself about her racist beliefs, while James learned how to stop bullying those weaker than him, so that the two would mature and develop at the same time. Because it does seem to me that J.K. Rowling didn't give too much thought to Lily's character growth, and so this way, Lily will have her own growing up to do. And in the end, the two do deserve each other, like you said. I think seeing characters that learn to be better is loads more satisfying than having characters that are already good.
Thank you so much, omg. I'm just so happy, and I'm still flailing, and it's been hours, and just, thank you. Thank you so much.
Hello! I'm here to review your challenge entry to the Character Vignette Challenge!
You did an amazing job with this! It isn't often that I see something from Lily Evan's point of view that emphasizes moral quandary in such a torn, unsettling tone (which is very refreshing). It is the manner in which it is presented, with all of these darker undertones, that I was extremely impressed with. What I loved more is how I was misled into believing that this was about Snape, and, as it turned out, it was about James.
Lily's slur and the way she was haunted by it, endlessly trying to justify what she had done makes the entire piece lights up even further in its absolute wonderful uniqueness. Lily's forced to rationalize that she is a good person, that she was angry and that she's not racist. She uses all of her qualities to help convince herself there wasn't anything behind her remark than unbridled anger, resentment, and pain. She creates a mantra that she never hated him because of how he looked, but she hates him because of who he is and what he does (and has nothing to do with the color of his skin).
Of course, James throws her another factor that she has to mull over as well: if it was solely because of the things he did, then why wouldn't she hate Sirius and Snape in the same manner? And then there is this shockingly real separation of people (as Lily sees things in her attempt at justification) with words like 'them' and 'they'. It's clear she's finally grasping at straws when she reaches the "everyone thinks this way" stage, though clearly, she's losing the battle with herself as sleep still evades her.
And then there's this intense ending, where she'd remembered everything that happened on that day and nearly on the brink of admitting that she had been wrong--but she stubbornly refuses to give way to her conscience (by the way, there's some fantastic imagery in this scene, with Lily pulling her head away from the faucet and the way the water crossed as it fell down her face).
(It's also really nice to see the inclusion of culture in something that has been previously whitewashed. )
This was definitely a unique piece and I love the way you handled such a heavy theme. Absolutely wonderful job!
Rumpels! Thank you so much for such a detailed and lengthy review, I really appreciated each and every one of your thoughts that you listed in here. <3
Every time someone understands that this story is depicting Lily as racist, I just feel ten times happier. It really brightens my day and brings a huge smile to my face, so thank you for writing out all of your comments! I'm so glad that you liked this version of Lily (not like as a person, but like as a ~concept~) and I'm constantly thankful for the open-minded attitude that the people of HPFT seem to have about these things! Your analysis of Lily's thoughts throughout made me smile so hard, because everything you said outlined exactly what was going on in my head while I wrote this.
(Thank you for pointing out the lines you liked, as well. It's always really nice to see which specific parts stood out to people.)
And yes, it's always really great to see characters of color in a story with only white characters as the leads. Thank you so, so much!
I loved validating this and am glad I came by to read it again. Lily's struggle to reconcile her own wrongdoing against not being a hateful, racist person is a very powerful and relatable experience. I feel like everyone is faced with a moment where their privilege shows itself in an ugly way. I really like that she couldn't face the underlying racism of her using a slur. That seems to be how most people go through that kind of situation.
Ahh, thank you so much Rose! This was such a wonderful surprise to wake up to in the morning; I wasn't expecting a review from you at all. So I appreciated this so much. <3
Yeah, exactly! I find that a lot of people (myself included) tend to deflect the blame, even when it comes to situations that aren't as heavy as Lily's. There's always this brief stretch of time after I get scolded by someone where I sort of blame just about everyone but myself...until my subconscious steps up, clears its throat, and goes, "Yeah, you're an idiot." And pair that general self-defensive stubborness with the inability of many racists to actually understand what they're saying, and you have Lily.
Thank you again! I'm so happy you stopped by!
Hey, Eva! I don't think we've officially been introduced, so my name's Jill, and I'm here with a review for two reasons: one, to catch you in tag, and two, because it's Eva Appreciation Month, and okay, three: I've been meaning to make my way toward your AP for some time.
I knew I needed to read this one, and the entire piece didn't disappoint. Granted, I was disappointed that there wasn't more, but I understand that this was for the vinegette challenge, so the shorter the better. And Eva, I gotta say, you did a really amazing job with this.
You brought us into Lily's head, and you gave her such a clear, strong voice that it was easy to picture the kind of person that she was, even though you never specifically said it was her. I also loved that you didn't reveal until later on who you were talking about; at first, I assumed it was Snape, but when she was so vehemently hating him, and more clues were revealed, I loved even more that it was about James and their relationship. You did an amazing job of showing how one word can stay with a person, and I really felt for Lily as she was trying to rationalize all of the reasons why she was a good person. It's very realistic and relatable, and I just wanted to hug her through this whole thing.
I really loved this phrase-- how she threw everything in her arsenal of verbal weapons at him-- because it really stuck out and was more powerful than trying to show us what sort of comeback she would have.
And you did this all without dialogue. Really, I was super impressed with this piece -- good luck in the challenge, dear! <3
Hi, Jill! Thank you for leaving such a wonderful review hehe. <3
I'm actually fairly incapable of writing longer stories, so even if I wanted to, I probably wouldn't have. (How do people power through longer works? My memory's so bad that I forget the character's name occasionally, of all things, let alone the plotline for a fairly substantial novel.) But thank you for wanting more of this! It makes me feel all warm and glowy on the inside.
I feel as though characterizing Lily, who's such a common character in Harry Potter fanfiction, was one of my greatest fears while writing this. Thank you for all your thoughts! And thank you for pointing out the line that you liked, it's a really nice thing to hear.
Hello, Eva! :)
Here with your requested review, and also to say thank you for making me smile with all your lovely reviews on Jimmy these past few days! *hugs*
Oh, a trait to Lily Evans that we've never really seen before... the perfect girl apparently has a flaw, and a big one, too... I have to say, you did surprise me with this!
And I also have to say, it took me a bit to actually understand what you were talking about... at first, I thought that the he you were referring to was Snape and the word haunting her was the well known Mudblood... then I started to understand, but it took me a while to actually get it, that the he was James.
And thinking about it, it is strange that she was so irritated by James in particular, when people like Sirius or Severus were just as bad, if not more, and your explaination of that, even if it makes me a bit sad, makes sense in a way.
Racism and prejudices can come in many forms and degrees, I guess, and Lily's reaction, all her reasoning, the denial, the making excuses for herself, is just so real. It's so hard to admit our flaws, espeially when it comes to this sort of things. Or at least it is for the people who want to be/think they are good.
This was so interesting and really gave me a lot to think about. So great job for giving such a different portrayal of Lily and for writing a story that gives food for thought, it's always nice to come across that kind of fic.
Wonderful job, my dear (and sorry for the disordered rambling...)
Hi Chiara! <3
I loved reading your review, especially because everything you said was exactly what I was thinking while I was writing this! And your thoughts on my portrayal of Lily Evans were much appreciated, because I was just so worried about people either not understanding what was going on, or people not enjoying my ideas of this. So hearing your thoughts about how while this is different, it's also interesting, made me smile really widely!
Yeah, her irritation of James always seemed particularly strange to me. When this headcanon first occurred to me, I was thinking, "Why does she hate James so much? Why does she excuse the poeple Severus hangs around, despite them being arguably worse than James? Why doesn't she ever yell at Sirius the way she does James?" It could be that James actively asked her out, while Sirius largely didn't talk to her, but I still thought that she directed a disproportionate amount of her anger at James. Granted, I've always thought that James deserved her anger, but she definitely should have been just as angry at Sirius and Severus.
People (myself included) like to believe we're good, and I think that's generally a good thing. But we also have to learn how to actually see our flaws, and to not just excuse them with superficial reasoning, and clearly Lily has not learned how to do that just yet. (But she will.) I've always noticed that whenever people are confronted with something they did wrong, they always get angry, and start shifting the blame to whoever's accusing them. So I wanted to try writing that with Lily, and I'm glad that you picked up on it.
Thank you so much for your wonderful review!
Oooh, Eva, I loved this. I loved this so, so much.
Initially, I thought (as you clearly intended) that were were just talking about Snape and his calling her a Mudblood, but as I kept reading, I realized that that wasn't where you were taking this at all, and then it went from being a good story to a great one.
You do such an amazing job at getting into Lily's head here. The way she blows off what she called James as though it didn't matter and wasn't significant is both super realistic and deeply depressing - as is her hypocrisy in thinking that slurs weren't worth remembering because she was mad while "racist" (or "bigot," or something similar) drives a hole into her skull. There's just an atonishing lack of self-awareness, right down to the justification of how she's just such a Good Person because XYZ.
Great, great job. <3 Good luck in the challenge!
Reading your review was really interesting because I'm always curious to see what people think of a Lily such as this one. I'm so happy that you liked this! (Not Lily the person, just Lily the idea.) Everything you talked about were all things I was trying to convey -- her hypocrisy in relation to the Mudblood incident, her insistent justification of herself as a person -- so I'm glad that all my ideas were coming off clearly, instead of in a jumbled mess.
So, so thankful for your review! <3