I'm kind of sad that this is the last chapter that you have posted at this point in time, but now it means I can pester/cheer you for updates, right?
I thought you captured the voices of both Lily and Petunia really well in this chapter - they felt a lot like the characters that we've seen through the past nine chapters, but it's really interesting to see how their voices come through as they write letters to each other, especially as there are some pent-up emotions that aren't really being focused on in the letters. I really like the fact you're using the epistolary device here, too, so that we still get to continue having an insight into their relationship even while they're apart.
I loved reading about Lily getting settled in her new life at Hogwarts - especially the way that at the start she tries to avoid focusing too much on her school and asks more questions of Petunia, as if she's trying not to rub it in. I liked all the mentions of Potter and that gang of loud boys, and Lily pranking them - you build up so much of her character in that.
Petunia definitely wasn't responding as much as Lily wrote, though, and I thought that really showed how she's starting to distance herself a bit from Lily, with the comments about owl post and the focus on her own life rather than asking too many questions about Hogwarts. I'm looking forward to the next chapter, love!
Oh my goodness, Renee. This was such a short chapter, but it really packed a punch. You managed to show so much in so few words, and capture this moment which is really the physical acknowledgement of the emotional tensions and the divisions that have been building between Lily and Petunia for a little while now.
I thought it was really telling and poignant that you opened this chapter with Lily's point of view, and she's contemplating what lies ahead of her. There's a real sense of loneliness at the start of this chapter, which is even more upsetting when we realise that she's sat in the back of the car with her sister right by her.
It's so much for Lily - and Petunia - to process at this point in time. They're so young, and I think it's natural for the jealousies and tensions to surface here because there's often that sense of competitiveness, or even just wanting to be the same as their siblings.
It's sweet of Lily's mum to reassure her when she's worried about going away to Hogwarts, but it will change her - it's such a time of enormous change anyway, and it's going to be even more noticeable when she's only able to come home once a term. But Lily's right that she would be mad not to take the opportunity - and Petunia knows it, too.
Still, I felt so sorry for both of them here - there's so much distance between them, and the physical distance will represent that too, soon. It's so sad to think of </3
I don't know if I've mentioned it properly in my other reviews, but I just wanted to say that I really like the fact that you're telling this story from Petunia's point of view. There are so few stories which offer us her perspective, and it's fascinating to see you explore that - it definitely makes me feel a lot more sympathetic towards her.
Another aspect I'm really enjoying is the fact that there's quite a few chapters focusing on this summer in 1971, rather than just skipping ahead, because it feels like it's quite a pivotal time for the sisters. It illustrates the way that it's just a lot of little things building up to cause the break.
This was a slightly heartbreaking chapter, though. I loved the way that you started it, with just that one word which Petunia was clinging onto, and trying to understand why her younger sister was allowed to go to Hogwarts when she'd never received her letter. It highlighted how unfair it actually is, especially for siblings like this, and the issues it can cause for those families. I loved the way that she applied the childish logic to the situation - took what her father always said and couldn't understand why she wouldn't be able to go to Hogwarts.
I liked the touches like the strike that her dad went out on, and the way that he used that to explain it to her.
The letter was absolutely adorable, and I felt so sorry for her as I read it - there was so much eagerness and hope and longing in it, and even the touch of adding the three stamps to make sure it got there was so cute.
After the stormy intensity of the last chapter, I was a bit worried about what was going to happen in this one, but I was really pleasantly surprised to see that the relationship hasn't deteriorated immediately. I think it makes a lot of sense that Petunia won't turn away from Lily straight away; there's a close relationship there and it's far more believable that they would grow apart more gradually, even if this is definitely the start of that happening.
I really enjoyed the way that Lily's parents - particularly her dad - reacted to the trip to Diagon Alley. Even if Petunia isn't magical, she's still young and the wonder of the magical world holds more excitement than fear for her, while their parents have grown to mistrust things they don't understand. I loved reading the entrance to Diagon Alley, and the way that you managed to convey the wonder and excitement of Lily and Petunia as they see it all for the first time.
The moment when Petunia was teasing Lily about the new friends that she was going to have at Hogwarts was really sweet.
I felt so sorry for Petunia when she wanted to get herself a wand and Ollivander went along with it, but none of them worked because she wasn't magical. I feel like it would be being told you're not good enough - not as good as your sister - and you showed how difficult that is for her to bear.
I'm glad that there's still a reasonably amiable relationship here at this point, though - even if I know it's not going to continue.
I read the date at the start of this chapter and I felt an influx of nerves, because it meant that Lily's departure for Hogwarts was imminent, and this was the real start of the chasm opening up between the sisters. I've enjoyed reading about their relationship as children so much, but I know now that there's a whole new layer of stress and tension that's going to be heaped on it, and I don't think they'll recover.
It was actually kind of frustrating to read this chapter, and see the way that things could have been so different if it hadn't been for the misunderstandings and the temper-fuelled words that start to break the relationship between them.
I think that this really showed the way that Petunia felt so left out when Lily got given her place at Hogwarts and she couldn't be a part of it. Even without parents causing it, there's often some sibling rivalry between brothers and sisters, but here Petunia is almost purposely left out of the discussion when McGonagall arrives. I mean, I can understand it, because their parents have to try and process what on earth is happening with Lily and it's probably not something they need another kid around for, but at the same time, Petunia is the one who knew what was happening with Lily and had heard about Hogwarts, and even keeping her there for that conversation might have changed something, however small.
Minerva McGonagall turning up to tell Lily about Hogwarts and explain what's happening was great, though - and I'm just imagining people's expressions when she turns into a cat in their living room :P I feel like it might have been easier to send her along to tell the Dursleys than to send Hagrid, to be honest...
The conversation at the end was just heartbreaking, to be honest - the way that Lily goes to Petunia because she's worried about leaving her family (and most children from happy homes would be, to be honest) and her sister - the girl she considers her best friend - turns her away because she's hurting and lonely.
That last sentence was so simple in a way, but so powerful; it really foreshadows the way that the rest of their relationship will play out in this story, and shows this chapter as the turning point for them.
Hi again, Renee! I'm back for more of this wonderful story <3
This chapter reminded me of the scene that we see in the Prince's Tale when Petunia is listening in on Lily and Snape, but you did a great job of making the situation your own here. I also liked the fact that it seemed that this is probably something that Petunia has done before, and so when we see her caught eavesdropping in DH, it's probably one occasion of many.
"Severus Snape. Even his name sounded slimy, like something peeled from the underside of a rock." Can I just say that there are very few occasions when I find myself agreeing with Petunia, but this is definitely one of them? I think this has to go down as one of the best and most accurate descriptions of Snape that I've read.
After the first few chapters when we see Lily so admiring of Petunia, and Petunia starting to push her away a little as she grows older, I liked the way that you flipped that around here. Petunia is suddenly on the outside here, looking in to something that she's not a part of, and she realises that it's not a nice feeling. I think she's grown used to having a younger sister who's always there when she wants her, and yet Lily has made a friend who's telling her all about this world that she's going to become part of, and Petunia is slowly realising that she's going to be left behind.
There was such a range of emotions in this chapter, and I think Petunia just felt really human here. The petty frustration when she knows Lily has taken her lunch box was believable as something siblings often do, and then the little comments about the girls at school who tease her made me feel quite sorry for her. But I think what was so bittersweet about this chapter was seeing how excited Petunia is by the prospect of Hogwarts and of joining Lily there, only to realise that she won't be going and she'll be left alone. I think you wrote that really effectively and it came across very well.
"In the morning, their mother found her two precious daughters curled up together on the floor, smiling as they slept, their hands still clasped between their gently rising hearts."
This fic was designed to really stab you directly in the heart, doesn't it? I'm getting so many feelings from how unbelievably close they used to be. The entire sequence in which they pretended to be on a ship, with a First Mate Petunia and a Captain Lily? Amazing. Children have amazing imaginations, haha. I can't even remember the last time I invented a story like that.
The lightning scene was a really amazing way to highlight the bravery tied into Lily's character, how fearsome things exhilarate her. Quintessential Gryffindor, isn't she? I also love how so far, the little bits of Lily's magic have all been positive things. She healed herself last chapter, and now, she brings warmth to her sister's scared heart.
Have I mentioned how much I love this baby and how well you write her? <3
Asdglkj you write children's perspectives so similarly to how they speak, with an abundance of cuteness and cluelessness and a general awe of the world. I was reading this entire chapter with a wide smile on my face, even when Lily or Petunia said things that made me feel sad (again), just because Lily is so freaking cute.
Lily's idolization of her older sister was really touching. She really looks up to her older sister, doesn't she? Most little children do. (Though, now that I think of it, my younger sisters certainly didn't. Apparently I didn't command enough respect lol.)
There were so many parallels between this chapter and what occurs between Petunia and Lily later, but my favorite: “You’re just a baby! I don’t want to play with you!” reminds me so much of when Petunia called Lily a freak years later, essentially severing their relationship forever. Little Petunia has more of an excuse to be this way than Older Petunia, though, since Little Petunia is young.
It's just like Lily to teach herself to ride a bike in order to prove her worth to Petunia. I love her so so much. <3
“Don’t let go, Tuney. Don’t let go.” This just made me so sad all over again. Ahh this fic is going to be the death of me.
Scenes from before the split between Petunia and Lily always make me feel so inconsolably sad, just because of how happy and innocent they were. Petunia's love for her little baby sister made me feel warm but also just. sad. (My vocabulary appears to be rather limited right now, lol.) Her jealousy when her parents began loving her new sister is a normal, endearing thing of young children, but because I know how these two are going to turn out, it just filled me with dread.
Petunia's two (?) years old in this one, I'm guessing, and I love how simply she thinks. Though I know she'll eventually turn out to be a jealous sister filled with resentment, I can't help but adore her in this chapter. You wrote her so wonderfully. This line was so cute: "Petunia’s feet swung from the chair. It was far too tall for her." I could just picture a tiny little toddler swinging her pudgy little legs back and forth. <3
Aside from her little bit of jealousy, this chapter was filled with warmth, and I'm so scared to read on, to when their relationship breaks.
Ah, the excitement of a first sleepover! It was so cute to see Lily bouncing up and down with excitement over the fact that her big sister had friends coming to stay and that she was going to get to be a part of it. And then Petunia is so nervous about it going well, and doesn't want her little sister to show her up in front of her friends - especially the "cool" girls.
(And just to offer a couple of Brit-picks - though tell me to shoo if you don't mind - we tend to call a slumber party a "sleepover", and frosting is "icing".)
I felt really sorry for Lily when Petunia told her to go away. Those twins seemed so nasty, but very believable that they'd be the "cool" girls at school and Petunia would want to impress them. It didn't really seem fair that Lily got punished for shouting at her sister and storming off, but I think it showed a glimpse of Petunia moving away from her little sister in some ways.
I think you're doing a great job of building up the characterisation of these two girls, as well, using the characters we see (only briefly, in Lily's case) as teenagers and adults and then growing that into your portrayal of them. Little details like the fact that Lily doesn't mind boys but Petunia hates them just help to make this story feel really rich and the characters so believable.
I am so glad I never went to a sleepover where that game was played. Honestly, it would have terrified me - no matter how much of a Gryffie I am, I'm definitely a wimp about stuff like that. I'd have run away crying :P
I loved the way we get to see Lily already showing her Gryffindor qualities, though, and trying to defend and protect her sister from the older girls. It was really sweet and fits in so well with what we know of her - and I really liked the way that you flipped it round so that it turned out that Petunia actually did float, because Lily made her do it. No wonder it scared some of the girls, and after telling on her earlier I was sure that Petunia would snitch now, but I'm so glad she didn't. It showed that she knows Lily was responsible, but at the same she's still going to protect her and that love and trust is still there at this point.
Oh my goodness, this chapter was just so sweet and fluffy and adorable, and it's making me smile so much. And also try not to remember how the sibling relationship between these two ended, but that's okay. Right now I'm in happy fluffy zone.
You captured the excitement of going away on a family holiday so well here - even though it's just to Brighton, and most children nowadays go on holiday abroad at this age, but it's just the excitement of going somewhere new and big and exciting, and that was so tangible in this chapter.
The fact that Lily had never seen the sea and didn't know what to expect about it was so adorable <3 I kind of forget that even on a tiny island, there are people who live far from the sea and haven't seen it yet. I loved the fact that you used that to show how much Lily looks up to Petunia, and that her older sister knows so much more about everything than her, so she always has an answer for any of Lily's questions (and probably makes them up if she doesn't).
Then the whole make-believe scene with the boat was just so cute and fluffy. I loved the way that they fashioned a boat from their pillows and bedding, just like children do, and then threw out all these terms they've probably read in books and heard on the TV, without necessarily knowing what they mean. It was just so fun and enthusiastic, and it was so sweet to see the two of them playing like that together <3
The opening of this chapter was brilliant. My first thought was actually that Lily had found out that she could do magic from Snape, and was convinced that Petunia was going to join her at Hogwarts, but then I realised that the dates didn't match up and was pulled back into the story.
The way that Lily thinks of Petunia is so adorable - she admires her big sister so much, and I loved the way that you flipped the idea of magic and showed Lily's reverence for all the things that her big sister can do that she can't, like reading library books and making macaroni pasta pictures. It was just so sweet to see how she perceived her sister, and how excited she was to be able to spend time with her, especially after having to wait for her all day to come home from school.
Petunia coming home crying from the last day of school is bringing back lots of memories. It's not very nice of her to say to Lily that she didn't want to play with her because she's just a baby, but that's definitely how siblings fight, and especially when a couple of years can feel like a lifetime of a gap at this age. It's definitely believable that she'd say something like that, and I think it shows how she could start moving ahead of Lily more easily, too.
But I was smiling so much at the end of this chapter, when Petunia came out to help Lily learn to ride her bike. It was so sweet and it was such a lovely thing for her to do as a big sister - she does actually want to play with her and spend time with her, and cares enough to teach her to do things like this. It's sweet to see that the relationship is so special and close at this point in time, even if we know it's going to deteriorate over time. Lily's love for Petunia is so easy to understand and clear to see here.
Renee! I'm baaaack <3
More of your writing and a story that explores the relationship between Lily and Petunia as they're growing up sounds like a pretty perfect combination, to be honest.
I really liked the fact that you started this at the very beginning, when Petunia is waiting for Lily to be born - so the focus is on her and her waiting and processing what's happening. I'm an older sibling myself, but I was too young to remember this part of getting a younger sibling, but Petunia is clearly old enough to understand some of what's going on around her, and I'm intrigued about how that's going to have an impact on their relationship. It definitely sets up the potential for jealousy from the very beginning.
I thought you did a great job of capturing Petunia at this age, though, and the waiting that she had to go through without understanding fully why she had to be separated from her parents. She sounded so lost when she asked for her mummy, and when she wondered why she hadn't seen her parents for hours. Opening with Petunia has actually made me far more sympathetic towards her than I would otherwise be, and I just wanted to scoop little Petunia up and give her a hug in this chapter.
The conflicting emotions that come through at the end of this chapter were brilliant - I loved your description and imagery here. It tied in brilliantly with how young Petunia was. That happiness when she first sees Lily, and then the dread - even for just a moment - when Lily takes Petunia's place and she's not the sole recipient of her parents' love. It's so much for a small child to process, really, and I thought you captured that brilliantly. I'm looking forward to reading the other moments you choose to explore!
Congratulations on being this month's sitewide SOTM winner! As you know, I've read some of this story before, but I realized earlier that I've never actually reviewed it (or at least not here) so I figured it was about time I did so. I'm gonna try to go back to what I was thinking the first time I read it, but I'll also add some of the thoughts I have about the first chapter today.
I actually remember that one of the things I really loved about this story (and that made me read all of the chapters you had posted back then in one go) was that it was about a sibling-relationship instead of a romantic relationship. Don't get me wrong, I love romance, but I think that the most important relationship in our lives is the relationship we have with our family, and I really wish more authors would focus on that. Petunia and Lily are so different, much like me and my older sister, and I've also thought that there's more to the relationship than just Lily being good and Petunia being horrible. I've always felt Petunia is very misunderstood, and I remember that what I loved about this story was that I really felt like that you captured the complexity of the character and her relationship with Lily so well.
But focusing a little bit about the first chapter and what I think about it today (which is probably the same thing I thought about it back then - I just can't remember). I absolutely love the way you start this story. It really shows a different side to Petunia. You can see some of the jealousy already here, but overall she seems quite happy to have a sister, which makes me curious what made her change so much. The first chapter does everything it's supposed to do really. I'm curious to see what happens next, because I'm sad to say I only remember bits and pieces of this story. Hopefully I can come back soon and read the rest of the story!
But good job on the first chapter!
Thank you so much, Lotte. <3
Aha! The answer to when I will be back for another chapter has appeared surprisingly quickly in the form of “M3 - Review one of this month's featured stories!” I am in favor of this turn of events.
I feel like recently you mentioned something about a chapter I hadn’t quite gotten to and maybe a moral dilemma or something? Maybe we were talking about Silver and selfishness? I don’t remember, but I wish I did.
This chapter also seems very similar to the scene in The Prince’s Tale, but I haven’t read that in so long that I forget the details.
“why she’d want to spend even a moment with that loathsome boy was well beyond Petunia’s understanding.” I’M WITH YOU, PETUNIA! Yeah, yeah, I get why that friendship is valuable to Lily at this point, but still….
(I’m going to be selfish and hope he isn’t in too many chapters)
I like the line about how Petunia is creeped out by the way he looks at Lily.
This is a great Petunia line: “Petunia tried to prevent her brain from unpuzzling his words, which were sure to reveal a reality she did not care to face”
I like that Severus and Petunia both see an appeal in Imperio that is almost childishly innocent, not thinking about the darkness of it, and Lily instantly rejects that.
Petunia goes through such a rollercoaster of emotions in this chapter, which helps keep her as human as ever and keeps her an interesting narrator despite her lack of action.
Yay another good chapter =)
"Petunia goes through such a rollercoaster of emotions in this chapter, which helps keep her as human as ever and keeps her an interesting narrator despite her lack of action."
^^Thank you so much for saying this. What a sharp observation to make.
I don't like snape at all either, but he has to turn up a little for it to be canon, alas. :P
Hey, I'm back for MAGIC again!
I love how this starts out with Lily believing that her older sister is magical because of all the "amazing" older-sibling things she can do! Of course, Petunia telling Lily that she doesn't want to play with her because she's 'a baby' wasn't very nice, but very true to the way siblings fight. I also think it's adorable that Lily believes that they are best friends. You've captured the girls in their childhood so nicely in this.
Lily's motivation to succeed and to do things seems to be centered around being able to do these things with Petunia (going to the 'fancy' school and learning how to ride a bike). She's absolutely determined to ride that bike so that she and Petunia can ride together that summer. It's perfect and adorable and oh-so sweet! So is Petunia taking on her big sisterly duties and offering to teach Lily how to ride after catching her falling a few times.
Even after the frightening incident of Lily being unable to stop the bike (and now I'm having flashbacks to my first bicycle crash), Lily's still ecstatic and bubbly. It's amazing. I love that she still gets to ride back 'with' Petunia.
Again this chapter was adorable and I think you're doing an exceptional job with this piece!
That you for the kind review, dear! <3
Hiya! Stopping by for a quick review for MAGIC!
I was browsing through stories and when I caught the summary and idea behind this story and I knew I would have to stop and take a look. Partly because I haven't read many stories that look at the relationship between Lily and Petunia but also because I never really thought much about what their relationship looked like and how it evolved over time. Like, there were little glimpses into what their relationship was like, and it obviously didn't turn out to be very good in the end, but I never contemplated how it was before the animosity and I'm kind of excited to see what this story has to tell about it.
That said, I love this start. I love the perspective of young Petunia, how everything is so simple and she's sort of just following along where she's supposed to go. I love her fascination with her baby sister, how she notices that attention isn't fully on her, how it's a short lived observation as her mum hugs her and she forgets about it. It's totally fitting of her age and it's so normal, you know. The jealousy that can be distracted from. I think it's going to be interesting to read on and see how it develops from this normal thing to something more...
Thank you so much for the review <3
Okay, so in finally coming back to this story, I realize a maybe subconscious reason I’ve been putting it on (cause come on me, the chapters aren’t even that long). The two things I love most about this story are how wonderfully you characterize Petunia, and the fact that we get glimpses of times when Lily and Petunia had a happy relationship. And part of me doesn’t want to read to the end and see that end. Hey, did you know I have avoidance issues??
Ugh Luny is so sweet and compassionate I can’t even. She is so excited, and yet her attention is drawn to her sister’s emotions and she wants to ease them. So much of Lily’s personality shines through in your narration, it really wows me.
I love the little details you included like saddle shoes - it makes it all feel very grounded and real.
Haha, boys aren’t just icky, they are NASTY
You did a good job weaving in little details that gave context to Petunia’s decision to kick out Lily, without having to slow down the narrative for it. Like the previous mention that the twins were the most popular girls, and the added emotional punch from the fact that Petunia deliberately chose a game Lily loved. Those details not only help the scene read smoothly, but also make it a little harder to simply hate Petunia in what could have been painted as a more black and white scenario.
I have to admit I don’t remember the other chapters super clearly, but just in this chapter you’ve done a good job of using small details to set up the dynamic between Lily and her father. Like how in “Mum and Daddy” his name is the more casual one that suggests a gentle playful relationship, and that he is the one in a room of adults she expects to see through her bluff.
Lily’s reaction to hearing Petunia taunted is very Gryffindor. I think it also says something interesting about Petunia that seeing someone defend her pushes her to do what she was resisting.
Favorite: “loved her with the sense-defying, all-forgiving love of a sister”
For a second there I thought the girls were going to think they had made Petunia float with their chant, but Petunia and Lily both clearly knew what really happened.
Okay, no I’m wishing I remembered the other chapters better. Does only Petunia know about Lily’s magic and not their parents?
The last sentence is really powerful, and does a great job of underlining how the events of this story shaped both girls in different ways.
I’m so glad I finally read this, and we’ll see how long it takes me to get to the next one =P
SAAAM! Thank you so much for this review! You know I value your opinion immensely, so I'm beyond thrilled that you liked it.
Hello, I'm here for MAGIC!
Okay, so I love this little introduction!
After all the Prince's Tale revealed to us about Petunia and Lily, I've drawn several conclusions. One being that, before Severus, Lily and Petunia were quite close (despite the wariness Petunia had about Lily's magical abilities). The second being that Petunia, of course, was jealous of Lily's abilities, and felt left out.
So, I think this small peek into the first time Petunia meets Lily, where at first, it's sweet and full of amazement. Petunia meets her baby sister for the very first time -- she's feeling it in her heart in all the giddy ways she can't quite describe, and it positively melts me. I think that the jealousy that follows, as she watches her parents fawn over the newly born Lily, is not only a completely natural reaction but also one that set a tone for the rest of their relationship. As I said before, there may have been several different ways that Petunia was jealous of Lily throughout her entire life, and I think that this introduction really set the stage for just that.
Thank you so much for this review! I interpreted the scene in The Prince's Tale pretty much exactly how you did, which is more or less why this story exists. :)
Eeee there's a new chapter!
Aw. This chapter is so perfect. I love it. I love how they're still talking to one another, because they're sisters, and they do still care about one another. Years of them being close wouldn't be destroyed in a second, that takes years... and so here you can see there's cracks forming, they're not as close to one another as they used to be, but they clearly still want to talk to one another and this just makes me so HAPPY to read them teasing one another and asking about each other's lives because they're genuinely interested. And I adore the little anecdotes about Lily's first year, I can tell exactly who she's talking about and I bet the pranks on the Marauders were hilarious ;) I do kind of feel bad for Petunia getting a letter by owl in the middle of the day and constantly having to come up with plausible excuses - all the work falls on her and her parents shoulders about keeping the wizarding world hidden from Muggles while Lily is away. But I'm glad they found a way around it.
I'm so glad you updated and this chapter was lovely. I really liked the format too with the letters - it's such a great way to show the passage of time and works really well to keep showing the relationship between the two sisters while they're apart during the school term.
You are amazing and so is this chapter. Loved it.
Thank you so much for jumping in to read this right away! You are the best reader ever <33
I was a little worried this one would be boring, since not much really happens. It's like you said - it's a way to show the passage of time. So I needed to do it but I was worried. I'm glad you didn't find it too dull.
You get exactly what I'm aiming for here: "Years of them being close wouldn't be destroyed in a second, that takes years... and so here you can see there's cracks forming,"
There's a little bit of stretching apart and pulling back together, but just a rip. Not a clean break, but a messy, complicated break.
Thans for the review!
Hello, sweet! Since I’ve noticed your main focus has been “Beyond Repair”, I chose this story as the third present for you.
I read through from chapter 1 to 9. It is awesome collection. All chapters are great and I mulled over in which I should leave a review, then I decided to drop here.
I remembered how my family reacted when the first invitation letter from Hogwarts was sent. You captured both Lily’s and her sister’s characteristics very well. You succeeded in the attempt to create a conflict which caught Lily and Petunia. They were torn between family ties and their identities. Your consistent theme will catch readers’ heart.
How adorable Lily was when she tried to do more than she could do to retrieve her sister’s attention to her. How bravery she was when she found Petunia was bullied during her slumber party. The highlight is the scene, Lily showed her magical ability for the first time in front of her sister and the girls in the same year. It is understandable that she couldn’t bear seeing Petunia’s predicament. As they had shared lots of precious moments like the night before going on a trip to ocean, Lily couldn’t ignore her sister’s trouble. But Lily’s concern towards Petunia brought about unfortunate result. Her pride as a big sister, her stubbornness, fear and jealousy towards magic prevented her from accepting her little sister’s help and her love.
However affronted she felt by Petunia’s insulting words, Lily couldn’t stop feeling thankful for her. Holding a jealous heart deeply in her mind, Petunia was always her friend and they were kindred spirits since they grew up together and shared the same pleasant memories.
Alas, fate is cruel for two Evans sisters. Each care, their kind intentions backfired.
I’ll be back to your story when Dromeda let me go out of our bed…
Hello Ted! Thank you so much for reading the whole story, that is so kind of you!!! I am pretty fond of this chapter myself. I think one of the few traits they consistently hare is a streak of stuborn pride - which made Petunia unwilling to accept help, and Lily determined to give it. They are very lucky, in any case, that Petunia's friends dismissed the events so easily. Ha! Thanks again for the review and especially for reading all the way through! I really need to get back to this story soon!
*Transferred from HPFF*
Renee! I read the first five chapters of this ages ago and I could have sworn I'd reviewed this before, but it look like I didn't! I'm so sorry. I am the worst. So I'm going to make up for that now!
First here is me gushing about the story as a whole. I love this. Your portrayal of Petunia and Lily is so adorable, so touching, and so realistic. Petunia as a child is not always nice, but I can really understand her. Maybe because I'm an older sibling myself, but all the moments when Petunia is jealous of Lily being so doted on and the golden child of the family - I could relate to Petunia. And what I especially love about the way you write their relationship - of course they fight, and they're jealous of one another sometimes and try to look cool in front of their friends and don't always get along, but at the end of the day, they are sisters and they care about each other. I loved the chapter where they're on their pretend boat, it was adorable. I just love the realism of the way you portray these two characters, and the sweet sisterly moments between them are even more special knowing how it all turns out later.
Which makes this chapter so much sadder. It felt like a long string of misunderstandings, and reading this chapter I just felt like it didn't have to be the way it was! Even after all that's happened, Lily is excited to tell Petunia her thoughts about Hogwarts and says she'll miss her sister, and Petunia backs Lily up in that scene when Lily's parents find out about magic. Until the last section of the chapter, it didn't feel like she thought Lily was a freak, just that she was sad to be left out of all the excitement, and annoyed that Lily could share that excitement instead with Snape, whom Petunia hates.
And then they fight, just as Lily's about to leave for months, which means they leave on a bad note, and then you have that ominous ending line about a storm coming. You've had all sorts of symbolism in the story so far that I really love - they used to sit through the storms together, and Petunia was afraid of storms (which is so appropriate, because here you have storms symbolizing conflict, and Petunia totally demonstrates this aversion to conflicts several times - not thinking about Snape's background, covering for Lily at the slumber party... it's all there and I can tell how much thought you put into it - it's fantastic. Anyway, before I got sidetracked talking about your excellent symbolism, I wanted to point out that the end of this chapter made me sad, because it really feels like the point where they stop being friends :(
on the topic of less sad things:
She’d been on the phone arguing with Susie, and his lecture interrupted her phone call. It was totally embarrassing. -- haha this is classic! Daaad, stop embarrassing me in front of my frieeends! this line made me laugh.
And I loved the appearance of McGonagall arriving to explain about magic. Everything about that scene was wonderful :D
this was such a great chapter, a wonderful story overall, and of course that a/n about you having a backlog of finished chapters makes me very happy as well.
now go summarize your research article. :P
Greetings from the Crumple-Horned Snorkack, out for another short adventure into the internet as a holiday from my months-long hibernation in the boreal forest of Sweden. How fortunate that I discovered this story!
You do such a wonderful job of showing how the division between the two sisters wasn't really anyone's fault in particular, just the result of a lot of jealousy and feeling left out and other things that are perfectly understandable to humans of that age. And the feeling is not limited to humans, in fact. My BFF the Loch Ness Monster is always telling me of the beauty of under water in the Loch, but Snorkacks aren't very good swimmers. Alas.
Poor Petunia, though, writing to the headmaster of Hogwarts and not being allowed in because she's not a witch. I would tell her she's welcome to stay with the Snorkacks in the northern forest here but she may not be able to find us, so I don't know how helpful it would be. It makes me sad that she said such mean things to her sister right before Lily left for school, because it's going to be a long time before they'll see each other next. And it's not Lily's fault that Lily just happened to be lucky enough to have magic. But of course it is going to change her, going to school. It's very sad how this is all turning out, but very believable, and no one is the villain. Both characters are perfectly understandable in how they're feeling.
This is such a wonderful story! But now, I must leave as I promised I'd meet Nessie for tea.
Here I am again! I thought I would profit and just go on reading. :P
I remember reading the first part ages ago, when you were writing it, in one of our Skype writing dates... I so miss them... anyway...
First of all, your description was great, as always. The sultry afternoon, Petunia painting her nails, McGonagall's appearence... also, I love that you sort of created a parallel between the weather and the narration, the growing tension between the two sister and the sense of suspension before the storm explodes.
By the way, the argument was just so sad... especially because they both just said right the things that would hurt the other more without meaning it. That's just how bad arguments go, isn't it? Wrong words and misunderstandings. But it really looks like the beginning of the end and it is so sad to see. I felt so bad for Tuney here...
Another great chapter! I really love this story!
Love you, my dear!
Hello again <3 I really had the hardest time with the chapter - I rewrote it three times, I think! This is definitely a moment where the fissure between them grows. Sad to write! Thank you again for the lovely review <3
Hey, Renee, love!
Thought I would profit of your appreciation month to move on a bit with this lovely story you have here! ;)
Oh, poor, little Sev... even if he does have a few little creepy moments... like the desire when he looks at Lily, and the fascination he already has for Dark Magic. It was interesting to see the different reactions Lily and Petunia had at the mention of the Imperius Curse, I love how Lily can immediately see the darkness in it, while Petunia sees only the selfish part. It's so in character for both of them and I love how well defined their personalities already are, even if they are all just children,
But going back to Severus, I really felt for him and for his family situation, it's horrible the abuses he and his mother had to suffer, and it's so heartbreaking that he prefers to be the subject of his father's rage, just because he wouldn't go after his mum then. There is one thing that confused me a little, though... why did he have magical wounds if his father is a Muggle? Not important, but I tthought I'd ask.
I loved how Petunia felt pity for him, too, but fought it off because it was a reality she couldn't and didn't want to understand. Sometimes things are just too painful and it's easier to close your eyes and pretend they don't exist, isn't it? I loved the way you wrote her inner conflict.
And I also loved the way you wrote her jealousy, and the mental mechanism that will lead her to hate her sister and despise magic in the long run. She doesn't think magic is creepy, she loves the idea of it. What she hates is that she can't be part of it. And that's not even that, because what she really hates is that her sister doesn't mind shutting her out from that part of her (obviously, it isn't Lily's fault and Petunia should understand that, but seeing the situation in this light makes you understand her motivations much better and it makes total sense).
To cut it short, this was another awesome chapter, with wonderful character development. I so love how you write everyone. Actually, I so love how you write, dot.
Might be back for more later. See you for now.
Chiara! <3 Thank you for this lovely review! Especially ths: "what she really hates is that her sister doesn't mind shutting her out from that part of her" YES YES YES! Exactly how I see it! Thanks again!