Hey Renee! This has long been on my to-read list, and finally I decided to make a dent in it... only to binge everything that you've had posted in one evening. My first reaction is: WAIT, WHERE'S THE REST?!
And my second reaction is: Let me write down my spinning thoughts into a somewhat coherent review!!
I absolutely adore reading Lily Evans Potter. JKR has done a fabulous job at laying out who Lily is/was, and what her sacrifice meant for the entire Potter series, but there are still plenty of holes to fill in her personhood, in her life. Who was she before becoming Harry's mother, before being murdered? You capture her spirit brilliantly, I think, throughout all of her ages. Her desires as a small child to awkwardly cute teenage girl. She's spunky and fiery and NOT afraid to stand up for what's right!
Now, I normally don't read Petunia fics. I am apalled by how the Dursley's treat Harry throughout the series. But here, you have made her into such a compelling character. Sure, I can't really stand her jealousy, but you make her very human, exposing her insecurities, which are ones that many of us share in some way, shape, or form, and making the reader feel some sympathy for her. I love the moment where you have Petunia's first gleam of jealousy at Lily's birth and then how it ebbs and flows throughout the story.
Petunia and Lily have such a complex relationship, and I love how you've explored how it cracks into something that's... /beyond repair/. It's heartbreaking and devastating to see a close knit relationship falter like that... and you make it clear what's at stake and you have the reader rooting for their relationship to remain in tact, despite us knowing what's to come in canon.
This is so well written, and I cannot WAIT to see what you have next!
This is so adorable! I love the turning point where Petunia is too old to want to play with her younger sister. I kind of wonder if Julian will get like this with Winston.
Changing grades is such a big time. It's understandable that Petunia wouldn't want to spend time with Lily who is all about the past and old experiences. I really liked seeing how their mom took time with Lily after Petunia was so mean. She seems like a really good mom.
I really love Lily's determination to keep her relationship with Petunia. It's so heart warming. Petunia coming out when Lily is on her bike was just the best. It showed how she really does still want to spend time with her little sister.
You capture sisterhood really well. The closeness and desire to be with each other was amazing.
I'm really glad you sent this to me for a review
Hello Renee, I’m back again!
I loved how we got to see more of the relationship between Petunia and her father in this chapter. Especially in the beginning it’s very clear that she admires her father greatly, and that his opinion and advice mean a lot to her. But it’s also troubling to see how she seems to only apply his philosophy when it directly benefits her – if she’s the one being disadvantaged, she needs that wrong to be righted, but at the same time, she doesn’t care about other people being marginalised, as we’ve seen in her treatment of Snape, and as will be apparent in her adult life with Harry and Dudley.
At the same time, she does of course have a point – there is something inherently unfair about her not being allowed to attend Hogwarts, even if it makes sense logically – and the letter she writes to Dumbledore is very endearing, and heart-breaking in the way it reveals Petunia’s dearest wishes – We already know her attempts are hopeless of course, but there is something so earnest in her appeal to Dumbledore that really makes me wish he’d make an exception, just this once.
Hello Renee, I’m back again!
Looks like I was a bit premature in my assumption the next (i.e. this) chapter would already take place after September 1st, but I love that you’re devoting so much attention to this transitionary period – a change like this is going to have a huge effect on the sisters, where even the littlest details, like Petunia’s unwise choice of words in the last chapter, are going to make a great difference, so it makes a lot of sense to have that reflected in your storytelling!
Christ, I feel so sorry for Petunia in the beginning – she’s already feeling alienated from her parents, who are naturally devoting a lot of time to Lily, and then she’s being referred to as “the other one”, and essentially told she’s not welcome in the wizarding world… That’s just so hurtful.
I really loved Petunia’s impression of Diagon Alley – I think I’ve read enough Harry Potter that I don’t properly appreciate anymore just how bizarre of a place wizarding London is, but your descriptions here really brought that back to mind. I especially loved the detail of the advertisements, and how the entire family is so swept up in this mysterious, magical world they’re experiencing for the first time!
Petunia’s outburst and subsequent disappointment and not being able to get a wand also made me really sad, even if she was a brat about it – the fact that she’ll never purchase one is so indicative of the fact that she’ll never be a witch, and that she’ll ultimately never be a part of the same world as her sister again – coupled with the intense disappointment of being back in the normal, boring muggle world at the end of the day makes me really empathise with Petunia, and makes me understand how her jealousy might eventually turn sour, and how it’s easier for her to distance herself from the wizarding world and pretend it doesn’t exist during her adult life, rather than having to live with the knowledge of a world she’s fascinated, but ultimately rejected by.
I also absolutely adored all of the appearances of other canon characters, that was such a brilliant Easter egg! Moody, Dumbledore, Augusta and Frank Longbottom, the Prewett wins, Sirius and Andromeda (?) and I’m guessing Ted Tonks? Did I miss anyone? :D
Hey Renee, I’m back with another review!
This was another excellent chapter! Your portrayal of Petunia was really intriguing, and especially her relationship with Lily! At the beginning of the chapter, I thought the sisters had already irrevocably fallen out, since Petunia showed such a disdain at even the thought of spending time with Lily, and at her choice of friends. But when McGonagall visits, it’s very clear that she’s still fiercely proud of her sister, and excited for her to go to Hogwarts. I also loved that Petunia was the one to first observe McGonagall, and to have her see the witch change from her animagus form because it really showcases Petunia’s attitudes towards magic – she’s clearly incredibly fascinated by it, and she loves seeing other people, especially Lily, do magic, so I wonder what exactly happened that made her change her opinion so drastically. I always figured the fall-out between the sisters happened because Petunia was jealous of Lily’s magic, but the way you write it makes me question that assumption, or at least I think that’s not all there is to it. Especially with the last line of that paragraph, it seems like she’s not jealous of Lily’s magic per se, but more resentful because she’s being pushed out of Lily’s life, both by circumstance but also by other people.
And the line “Why would you need a family? Why can’t you just have us for your family?” really brought that home. Petunia isn’t spiteful because Lily has magic and she doesn’t, but because she knows she’ll be losing Lily to another world – the fact that Lily will be away at boarding school, at this point, seems far more significant than that it’s a magic school…
Which makes it all the more heart-breaking that the sisters get into a fight about it, and that Lily makes exactly that accusation, though I can’t fault her for it – Petunia has a history of looking down on others, and even has called Lily a freak for doing magic before, so even though her words weren’t intended in that way this time, I think Lily’s interpreting them in that way is very justified.
I’m anxious to see how Lily’s move to Hogwarts will change their relationship (but I just wish they could stay friends, really).
Hiya Renee, I’m back!
I just had a moment obsessing over your lovely story in our house cup spreadsheet chat with Eva, who warned me I was in for an emotional ride and I’m honestly not sure I can cope with that, because I keep wanting for Petunia and Lily to be friends again, but I know that’s not going to happen :(
This chapter reminds me of the second one, where Petunia also went outside to keep an eye on Lily, but now it already feels a lot more malicious, like even if it’s still partly because she wants to look out for her sister, and protect her because she doesn’t trust Severus, this time she’s also doing it because she’s suspicious of Lily, and want’s to get her in trouble. And whereas she didn’t mind Lily taking her bike in the earlier chapter, she now is annoyed at her taking the lunchbox.
I also feel so bad for Severus, who has to go hungry, and wants to protect his Mum. Lily is such a sweetheart for looking out for him and helping in any way she can. It’s also interesting to see how Petunia’s got the same instincts as Lily, to feel sorry for Sev and to be empathetic, but supresses them because she doesn’t at any cost want to be associated with anything strange (or mysterious). At the same time, it’s so sad to see how Petunia watches the two of them do magic, and wishes she was a witch herself – she has to listen to Severus and Lily talk about this wonderful world she can never be a part of, and then Lily seems to confirm her fears about wanting to leaver her behind… It’s so heart-breaking, and makes me understand Petunia’s jealousy, but also her growing resentment for magic so much more.
This was another fantastic chapter, Renee, even if I fear I’ve now officially entered sad territory.
Hiya Renee, I’m back for another review!
I feel so sorry for Lily, being excluded from the party, especially when they’re going to play the game she and Petunia made up! Those twins really are awful. I guess I can sort of understand why Petunia would agree with them, if they’re the most popular girls at school. From what we know of Petunia in the books, her greatest wish is to fit in, so she would desperately want to please them, even if that means being mean to her sister, but that doesn’t make this betrayal any less painful.
Lily’s hurt also comes across so well, from having to spend all day alone to hearing the other girls giggle in the living room, while she’s upstairs in her bedroom. I’ve said it before, but those twins are a right nightmare, if they’re also pressuring Petunia into things she doesn’t want to do. It’s so sweet of Lily to stand up for her sister, which makes it all the more heart-breaking to see Petunia push her away, so I can totally understand Lily’s outburst and accidental magic here. And I’m guessing similar things have happened often enough for both Petunia and Lily to immediately know that it’s Lily who’s making her sister float.
You can really see how their dynamic is changing in this chapter, and even though they’re still bound together through Lily’s magic – by keeping it secret – it no longer holds the same happy memories for them and is already starting to tear them apart, which makes me really sad.
Hiya Renee, I’m back for another review!
This chapter, too, was so wonderfully sweet! Lily’s and Petunia’s excitement before going on holiday is so infectious and reminds me of when my brothers and I were kids! I also loved the little impromptu play-pretend session when they’re meant to be sleeping! I also loved all of Lily’s casual references to magic, even if she doesn’t yet know that’s a real thing, I feel like she understands she can do something special, so she applies the explanation that’s most readily available to her, which just happens to be true in her case!
Is that Lily causing the storm? That’s really powerful magic, so I can see how it would frighten Petunia, who’s maybe not quite as engrossed in their game, when there’s a sudden storm brewing. And I love how Lily, sensing that, adapts their game to comfort her, and lets the weather calm down again – I especially loved the line “gifting her a warmth that thawed her fear into something more malleable, pulling her gently back into their magic.” I loved that for now, the sisters experience Lily’s magic use as a shared experience, something that binds them together.
This was such an incredibly adorable chapter!
Hiya Renee, I’m back for the House Cup Finale!
Lily’s adoration for her older sister is so sweet! I love how she always waits on her sister before eating her afternoon snacks, because she wants them to do everything together! And then to have her sister deny her that, of course she’s upset! But I love how she already knows her sister didn’t mean anything she said, and is ready to forgive her before Petunia ever apologises.
Lily’s attempts at learning to ride a bicycle are adorable, too, and they really demonstrate how she’s not willing to back down before she can do it, just like her sister! I feel like that also shows how she really was hurt by her sister’s words, and is now trying to prove that she isn’t a baby, and that they can do anything together Petunia would with her friends. And I love that Petunia helps her sister, when she first came out, I was worried they’d have a fight about the bike, but this is much sweeter! And is that a bit of magic Lily performs, in healing her scrape, and later in stopping the bike from landing on the street? Those are such sweet details, and I love how Lily doesn’t even question it, because she doesn’t know most people can’t simply will a wound to stop bleeding.
Hiya Renee, I’m stopping back for the House Cup Finale!
I absolutely adore stories written from the point of view of children, and the way you’ve written Petunia is so delightfully cute! I love all the little child-like descriptions, like “the sort of place where talking didn’t feel allowed”, and the fact that Petunia runs straight for her mother. And I simply love her reactions when she first meets Lily, the “sweet, honey-scented feeling” made me go all warm and fuzzy inside, too!
But of course, we can already see Petunia’s jealousy, and knowing what will drive the sisters apart later on, that stings really badly. But I can’t fault her for it, because she’s just a little girl, and it seems to her like her parents are replacing her with a shiny new toy. Especially when she looks up to her Mum, expecting to be comforted, but finds her talking to Lily instead; that made me feel really sad, too, because like Petunia, I was expecting her to be talking to her eldest daughter, so I felt that sense of disappointment really strongly.
I can’t wait to see what happens next for the sisters, and I’ll be back really soon!
Hi Julia! <3
Thank you so much for this review (and all the others, OMG). I am always interested to see how people respond to this chapter because it's so short. Also, I really enjoy reading stories written from a child's POV as well.
I definitely think there's a stark contrast in this chapter bewteen the joy of a new baby and the anxiety of change for a young sibling. It's an interesting moment to ponder. I don't think it would be as interesting without the dramatic irony of knwing what will come, as you said. If only things had gone differently. *wipes tear*
Tahnks again! love you!
I think this was amazing! I've been so impressed with how you've captured Lily and Tuney. I think it's difficult to write children but I think you've done so well at getting that childish wonder right. This chapter was truly heartwarming but also makes me sad about how it's all going to wrong for them as sisters so it feel a little bittersweet but I must enjoy this chapter for what it is!
I think we all remember that time when we are so excited about a holiday, I love how Lily is asking about the ocean to Tuney and she is pretending to be all knowledgeable 'everyone knows that!' it's so cute and very big sister-y. I think you've shown very quickly the rapport between the sisters through this dialogue. I think it's building chemistry between the characters is such a strength within this story. It's something that I've noticed in your other stories.
My heart wants to burst reading about them playing/dreaming about being on a boat! It was just so sweet. I love the moment when you go between the line of them just playing then letting their imagination just go free. I perfectly remember playing the 'the floor is lava' with my brother as children so there is something that feels so nostalgic for me about this. It's a good feeling so I feel like you've succeed in making your writing feels very emotive for me (and I'm sure your other readers too!). I'm really looking forward to reading on because I think this chapter especially has really gripped me into knowing what happened to them to be like the characters we know them to be in canon.
(HC Finale '19 - Vote Maya Chon)
You keep writing these moments of softness and genuine care and I always, always foolishly think, “Oh, maybe they’ll start loving each other again!” but then I remember what actually happens in the novels and I berate myself. But it’s such a testament to your skill in writing, how you’re able to create these small moments when their relationship is all but broken, and to make me hope for continued better things in the future! I love your writing so much. <3
I feel so terrible for Lily, honestly, that she’s dreaming about the attacks now. It really must be such a difficult time to live in, especially with her being a part of the group that’s targeted by Voldemort and the Death Eaters, and the fact that she can’t really talk to anyone about it is really saddening. I’m really glad that Petunia noticed her crying, actually, and asked after it—when she was “moved by a sudden longing for the days before magic, when things between she and Lily had been warm and easy.” It makes me really sad, because their relationship could have had the same warmth, but it doesn’t.
Each girl thinking that the other has it better is probably the most devastating part of all. Everyone always wants what they don’t have, but in this case I feel like both girls have a reason for what they say. Lily’s is more life-threatening, of course, but Petunia has spent like half her lifetime feeling inferior to Lily because of her magic, and so it makes sense that she would want it. However, only Lily really knows what it’s like being in both worlds, and so I think her judgment is more accurate. And we know that her staying in the wizarding world and fighting is what ultimately causes her very, very early death.
Ugh what a wonderful chapter, as always!!! Your writing never ceases to amaze me. <3
Oh my gosh, this chapter made me swing back and forth between bursts of laughter and moments of sadness, like everything that happened with Lily was on the funnier side, while this chapter made me feel really bad for Petunia. (In this one it’s easier to feel bad for her because there’s no Lily for her to take her negative emotions out on, haha.)
First of all, if I was Lily I would have probably jinxed my friends so badly omg. Like imagine being shoved out into mistletoe before you’re really ready, just as another guy is passing by, and then hearing those friends laughing! And ruining the moment! Also, haha, I probably should’ve been able to tell from the beginning that Charlie Tomlin wasn’t going to be a particularly fun date, considering how miserable he started to look as soon as he heard her friends’ laughter, but still, her friends could’ve had a bit more self control. :P
I thought Severus’s jealousy was predictable and hurtful, and, quite frankly, I can’t wait till he’s out of her life. How can he be friends with someone for so long and not understand that she doesn’t want to date him, and will never want to date him? It’s utterly baffling.
Honestly, her date sounded like it ended in a pretty funny manner, hahaha, like even Lily was laughing when she described the part about Charlie getting hit with the jinx. The Marauders should’ve probably not bothered her, but I’m glad she could handle herself haha. I can’t quite say the same for Charlie, who appears to be an awkward, bumbling young man, but I’m glad that Lily got to try going on a date with someone for the first time.
But Petunia, aw. I thought her mom was being particularly insensitive by beaming about Lily’s first date, when she witnessed firsthand how Petunia was stood up for the dance. I don’t understand why her parents are so careless about this; more than anything, I wish that they’d shown more love and appreciation towards Petunia as she was growing up. I don’t understand why Petunia’s date didn’t come and pick her up, but that was just horrible, and I felt so sorry for her that she had to deal with that feeling of being rejected.
I wish she didn’t automatically feel jealous about every little thing, like the fact that her friend was asked to the dance, but still, she went through a really rough few days.
What a wonderful chapter. I loved the way you formatted it, with the chapter jumping back and forth between Lily and Petunia’s point of view!! And each section was paralleled so nicely with the one that came after it, too, which was really lovely! <3
THIS WAS SO DIFFICULT TO READ AHHH.
The entire time, I just wanted to make Petunia stop talking. Like at first, I was hopeful that the girls would reconcile, at least for a little bit (and it seemed like it was going in that direction), but then of course Petunia instantly became snide and unbearable at the mention of magic. It’s really incredibly selfish, at this point, that she wants Lily to just pretend Hogwarts and magic—two very big parts of Lily’s life now—don’t exist, just so that Petunia can continue being happy. Like, Lily should not have to separate herself into two in order to keep a sistership with Petunia. This is something that Petunia should have had the emotional maturity to come to terms with. She’s sixteen, and her younger sister’s still a baby (sorry, my sister is thirteen and I can’t think of her as a teenager yet haha), and older sisters should be taking care of their younger sisters.
What particularly struck me as ironic was that by shrieking at Lily to shut up, Petunia drew far more attention to herself and Lily than existed before. And she scared Ralph away. It’s just that the vast majority of the things that Petunia is so unpleasant about is really her doing, and all very hypocritical—she wants no one to pay attention to Lily’s talk of magic, but then spends awhile shouting at Lily in a very public space about how “freakish” she is, and Petunia. You’re sixteen. Please, please, please stop being so terrible.
She actually reminds me of my sister these days. Like the tiniest thing will set her off, and though the majority of the time she’s cute and sweet and everything, if something is upsetting to her it suddenly makes her furious, and that’s exactly how Petunia is behaving right now. And I don’t understand how Petunia can be hurt by what Lily said in retaliation about being better off without Petunia—after all, she was the one who “disowned” Lily first! I do think that what Lily said was not right (you shouldn’t feel delight in taking revenge against your sister), but she’s still a child; to expect her to be in full control of herself after her sister has pretty much been unfairly angry with her for a year is a lot.
Also, Petunia needs to learn that it’s not Lily’s fault. I do blame her parents a significant amount for not realizing the extent of this problem, but a lot of this is just in Petunia’s head, and I wish she could have dealt with it in some way.
AHHH how do you write this relationship so well?? How do you have such a good understanding of them as characters???
I noticed one typo here: “Beside her, the Ralph's easy smile Ralph slipped from his face in a heartbeat.”
Wonderful chapter!!! <3
This chapter almost made me cry, Renee.
I was reading the letters, and already the content of them was enough to choke me up a bit, but then I noticed the way you started changing the salutations and sign-offs?? And seeing Petunia’s very first letter beginning with “Dear Lily” and ending with “Love, Petunia” was so painful, because she just continued becoming more terse and abrupt as the letters went on, until her last one was just addressed to “Lily—” and from “—Petunia”. And how when Lily was angry with Petunia, she only signed off with “—Lily” but then reverted back to her usual sweetness afterwards. It’s just so painful because Petunia clearly cares for her sister, at least in her first letter?? And Petunia cares for her family, which is why she’s getting so angry about the money spent on Lily??? But like the feeling is there; Petunia is just terrible at handling difficult emotions.
UGH RENEE SO MANY EMOTIONS.
Petunia said she kept Lily’s letter in her book bag at first, which is sweeeeeet. Of course, she put a somewhat negative spin on it, with the boy reading it (that must’ve been really difficult for her to cover, though, so I’m kinda proud of her for that), but yeah. At least she had it with her for a little bit. Awww Renee I’m so sad!!! I feel so bad that her family’s struggling, and that Petunia said, “I wish I could eat at Hogwarts with you,” and that she made Lily cry.
Lily is still very much a child so it makes a lot of sense that she would want to talk about the fun things that happened at school, but every time she said something, I was nervous that it would just like unintentionally mock Petunia about her current home situation, which Lily doesn’t have to suffer through. It’s just such a difficult situation, and you wrote about it so well in this epistolary chapter (epistolary stories are the best haha), and I have many sad feelings. :(
This was such a good chapter though omg.
RENEE. I’m finally back to read the rest of this story! <3
Just as I remember it being, your story continues to be poignant and touching and incredible. Every single time something bad happens between Lily and Petunia, I always feel a little bit like this situation could have been avoided—perhaps if Petunia was a bit more understanding, or if Lily stopped mentioning Hogwarts so often… And then I think about how that’s just the way things happened, and how Petunia and Lily always seem to find themselves in a spot of difficulty (though, to be fair, Lily’s slip-ups are usually accidental, while Petunia does lash out at her sister purposefully).
IT’S SO SAD. I want all sisters to be able to rely and depend on one another, and to see these two children drift slowly further apart is really really heartbreaking. One thing that I particularly loved about how you wrote this chapter was how you dealt with the financial aspect. Like, I think if anything’s going to put pressure on a family, it’s being in a difficult financial situation—and from the kids’ perspective, if one child (Lily) seems to be “worth” more money than the other (Petunia) then it is reasonable to feel rather bothered by it. (I love how you write Petunia. So much. She’s so understandable in how she feels and does, and I can’t believe I used to think I would never understand how Petunia could be so terrible.) But! I wish Petunia wouldn’t continually take things out on Lily! It’s not her fault.
I do think their parents should be more careful about preserving their daughters’ relationship, and not saying imbalanced things like that, implying some sort of bias. :(
What was really really sad about this chapter was how they actually enjoyed each other’s company this time, for the most part. Like it was peaceful and they had fun, and I loved seeing these two together when happy! And the fact that they built a sandcastle (which…I have never been able to accomplish, ever) together was just really sweet.
And you know Petunia cares, because she began getting teary after seeing the sandcastle destroyed by the weather. And that’s really the most heartbreaking part.
WONDERFUL CHAPTER. <3
Hi Renee! I can’t believe I’ve never read any of your stories before so I was excited when I got you in this month’s swap. It took me a while to decide what story I wanted to read and I’m glad I decided on this one. From the first chapter, it’s easy to see why this fic won a FROGS award.
From this first chapter, you’ve done a wonderful job of capturing the dynamic between siblings. Even though it’s only been a short time that Petunia’s been a big sister, you can already see the jealously and competitiveness we see in the books. I look forward to reading more and seeing how the dynamic changes as the story progresses.
I’m horrible at leaving long reviews and while I’m working on this, I apologize for this being a short one. I’ll do better next time I promise.
Peace, Love and Tacos
Thank you for the review, dear! <3
Ugh this chapter is so good. It's a rare moment when they're not only civil to one another, but caring - but there's still so much they can't say. The ending kills me, how each is thinking of how lucky the other is, but by this point they truly do live in different worlds and it's impossible to explain all the nuances of it to the other. Like they've been apart from one another for so long (both distance wise and emotionally) that there is no bridge that can span that gap anymore, even though at this moment they both want to for just that moment of vulnerability, because I think they both know that it won't last and things will go back to how they have been lately. This is honestly such a good chapter. You are so good at writing nuanced , layered emotion and showing the different levels their strained friendship operates on.
I love this story so much and I hope you have more chapters up your sleeve! â¤ï¸â¤ï¸â¤ï¸
You are amazing, thank you for getting all caught up and leaving so many reviews. MANY HUGS
"You are so good at writing nuanced , layered emotion" --> What an amazing compliment, thank you so much!
And thank you in general for all these reviews! There will be a total of 30 chapters, and I hope to get the next one out soon-ish.
I knew this was coming... :(
And once again, I can sort of understand Petunia? Lily put so much effort in the present and she thought that Petunia would love it, but Petunia felt like she was being mocked, and I can understand why... I feel so bad for both of them... this story is just so sad... :( (but you write it brilliantly...)
The snow globe was incredible, btw... your description of it is just stunning, the wonder and beauty of it just comes across and I love all the details you show. I can almost see it, and I can almost admire it with the same awe that the Evans are probably feeling.
Again, it's such a sweet thought from Lily, and I love that she spent so much time and put so much effort to make the figures look like Petunia and herself, and it's heartbreaking how it has the exact opposite effect.
This was another great, if painful, chapter. You are so good at writing this story!
I'll try to be back sometime soon!
Love you loads! Snowball hug!
I agree with you - they both need all the hugs in this chapter. I'm sorry it was so sad!
Thank you so much for leaving so many reviews!!
Aww :'( I really liked the way you structured this chapter, flipping back and forth between Lily and Petunia's miserable attempts at dating, but with no actual communication between the girls. I think the structure here is especially effective here for emphasizing what they've lost now that they're not speaking to one another, because if circumstances were different, I think that they could each have helped out the other in their respective situations, having someone to complain to about their failed dates. And yes, Lily has Marlene to talk to. But there's something really bonding about shared misery, haha, and I think the two sisters COULD have been so helpful for one another in navigating their messy love lives and having someone to sympathize with! I definitely feel worse for Petunia though, constantly feeling left out. That's so horrible her date stood her up. I wish she had someone to talk to :(
Another wonderfully written chapter!
I was unsure about this chapter, because generally I focus on interactions between them. But I really wanted to show how their different experiences apart from each other serve to alienate Petunia even more from Lily.
Thank you so much for the review! <3
Aww! The letters were so lovely!
Petunia is still a bit cold, but I'm glad she's actually replying and that she's interested in Lily's life... at least for now. It's kind of hilarious how she's starting to complain about wizarding traditions being gross (they sort of are, to be true... why do wizards and witches have to live like they still were in the middle ages? It makes no sense, even if it makes things fascinating, I guess...)
I can't blame Petunia for not liking Severus and for being happy that he and Lily are in separate houses. I think you know that I'm not his biggest fan either... and neither are you, right? :P I also think it was really amusing to read about Lily causing and enjoying mischief... the bit about her and Severus putting Silentium potion into the drinks of their schoolmates, and then being amused about the Peeves' prank. I have a feeling that the students in question in both cases were the Marauders? And btw, James showing off at flying lesson... he'll never change... :P
This was such a lovely chapter, I loved the epistolary format, too. I'm a bit scared about what will happen once Lily gets home for Christmas, though... while the letters were (for the most part) friendly, I'm scared that things won't go as smoothly when the two sisters will see each other again... :/
I suppose I'll read one more chapter and find out. See you in a minute, love!
Writing the letters from a child's point of view was so much fun! =P And I completely agree, it makes no sense that the magical world wants to keep living like it's the Middle Ages. Knowing how to use Muggle post would be so simple, it really doesn't make sense that they haven't managed at least that.
Making those little asides about the Marauders was a nice treat for me! I'm glad you noticed them.
Ahhh my heart is breaking again. So many times in this story Petunia has hurt Lily, and sometimes Lily has hurt Petunia unintentionally, and Lily has almost always been the one trying to patch it up, which is why this last scene hurt so much, because Lily finally stopped trying and gave up on their friendship, and Petunias surprise and hurt at the end is such a telling moment. Petunia didn't expect that from Lily - I think she has been taking Lily's generosity for granted this whole time and just assumed that whatever Petunia did or said, that things could still be mended because Lily cared enough to not let Petunia go, and now - she doesn't. I can't help but wonder if Petunia will try and mend that bridge now, feeling guilty about pushing Lily past her limit, or whether she's done. I kind of suspect the former, even if I know it won't last.
One way to find out! Reading on...
Hello again! <3
This chapter was hard to write. I was stuck on the end for a long time. And then I finally came up with this ending and it was painful because, as you say, Lily is always been the one trying to patch things up. I inherently love her and want her to be only good. But that isn't fair to her character, she deserves more complexity than that. It was so counterintuitive more me to write her like this, I feel like it isn'nt believable, but I know actually it makes her more believable. It was a weird chapter.
Thanks again for a lovely review!!
Hi, Renee! I'm here for our swap! :)
Aww... poor Lily... poor Tuney... it's so sad that they have to separate... and it's so sad that they are fighting over it like this... :( I can see both POVs... I can even understand Petunia calling Lily selfish... although, really, who would renounce to something like this? It's not just the excitement of magic, it's the fact that Lily would renounce to a part of herself... and yet, in a way, she's renouncing to a part of herself by leaving for Hogwarts... She would climb aboard the train and it would carry her away from this life and into a different one, and she would never, ever be able to go back. Not really. Not in the ways that mattered. There is something so true and heartbreaking about this paragraph... I'm just very conflicted about so many things right now...
I loved that little excerpt from Dumbledore's reply to Petunia. And once again, it gives some food for thought... is Lily the lucky one? It's complicated. Especially when you think about what's coming to her in a few years... she's entering a world at war (or that will be at war soon) and as part of a marginalized group of people... okay, I know it's a bit early to think about this, but it kind of makes me wonder if it wouldn't have been easier for her to just live a simple muggle life... (sorry if I got into depressing stuff...)
In any case, I really wish that Petunia wouldn't be so stubborn and resentful. It's true, Lily is the one who's leaving, and I understand why Petunia is hurt, but Lily is at least trying, she's at least apologizing, and Petunia's behaviour is absolutely unfair... argh, this is so complicated!
Great chapter as always, you are so good at capturing the two sisters and their feelings!
I'll move to the next one now!
I LOVE your point that Lily would be denying part of herrself and her own identity if she didn't go to Hogwarts. Yes! It is such an unfair thing for Petunia to ask. Because Lily could theoretically not go to Hogwarts - but she can't not be magical.
Writing anything in Dumbledore's voice is so scary omg. =P This is why I only wrote a tiny bit of the letter lol
There is definitely so much irony here, knowing that ultimately Lily is right... she suffers far more than Petunia does.
THANK YOU for this review!!
I love the first couple of letters. Petunias assertion that wizard post is 'completely embarrassing' made me laugh, and while Petunia's letter isn't exactly friendly, it still comes across as the sort of teasing all sisters are familiar with, rather than the undisguised meanness that comes out in her later letters. Lily is trying so hard, and she can't do anything about how expensive her school is, so I feel bad for her. But all the same, I totally get the stress that the rest of the family is going through, esp with not getting any paychecks for months #tooreal . But it isn't fair for Petunia to take that frustration out on Lily.
This story gives me so many feels. I just want then to get along and be friends again even though I know how things will eventually end. Asldkfjgj
Oh god I hadn't even considered how the strike would feel in the wake of the shutdown. *hugs*
Writing these letters with more true-to-life teen/child voices is really fun. They're youth gets to come through more strongly here. I'm glad they made you laugh =)
Thank you for the review!!
Renee guess what there is WiFi on my flight so here I am writing this review on my phone at an altitude of like 30,000 ft! I apologize in advance for any typos due to crappy autocorrect. I honestly couldn't wait 3 weeks to read this on a proper computer because I am so excited that there is not one, not two, but FIVE new chapters, thank you for my in flight entertainment.
I really liked this chapter (of course, because I love anything you write <3) . It's really interesting reading this right after the preceding chapter, because everything fell apart in the previous chapter and it felt very final, like things had broken and the pieces would never fit together in the same way again. So this chapter, even though the girls are talking to one another, there's an underlying sense of brokenness still. Like they don't talk about things that matter anymore, all of that is left unsaid, even if they still talk. Their past disagreements are still simmering beneath the surface, and it feels like such a fragile peace between them.
It was really nice to see them build a sand castle together though, because after all they are still sisters and still share that bond, but it seems like everything now reminds Petubia of Hogwarts and what she cannot have. Even looking at the expanse of the ocean makes her think about it. And this is yet another thing that drives a wedge between them, I think, because it's now getting to the point where any time Lily is around, Petunia conjures up these feelings of bitterness and the reminders of what she cant have are so present all the time,which has got to be really hard for her. I appreciate her trying,though, in this chapter - she keeps all of that inside so as to not stretch thin her relationship with Lily any more than it already has. But you can only go so long keeping stuff like that inside.
Wonderful work on this chapter and I'm off to read the next ones!
Hello! These reviews made my day! <333
I sometimes worry that the up and down nature of Lily and Petunia's relationship with not seem believable, but at the same time I think it takes a LOT to break a family bond, especially when that starts of with love. But I think that way you phrased it and being in a fragile place is very accurate. They still have a connection and a sense of familial love... but it's growing more and more fragile over time.
I think it is easy to cast Petunia as being in the wrong, and I think there is real truth to that, but her feelings are still real and still valid. I always tell my friends when they're upset that feelings can be illogical and/or frustrating, but they can't be wrong. And here she's really trying but the feelings are still there. You know?
Thank you so much for using your airplane ride to read my little story <33