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Review:Violet Gryfindor says:
Oh, this is lovely! Excellent work on this story, particularly with the way you carried the cold, wintry imagery throughout, letting it seep even into Marlene's emotions so that she became one with it. Not only did this suit the ending perfectly with the concept of melting, but it made the whole story feel cold - I felt chilly just reading it. The intensity of the imagery also made the story very easy to visualize - I could picture them walking up that snowy hill and, even better, I could feel the heat emanating from Mrs. McKinnon's room, a heat that suffocates Marlene, who seems to have embraced the cold in reaction to her mother's need for warmth. The heat also symbolizes love, which Marlene also tries to reject, or at least set aside - it is for love that she stays with her mother and thus endangers herself. The cold keeps her safe, isolated, unhurt.

I hope that I'm not reading too much into your story. I've a bad habit of that, unfortunately, but I very much admire your use of figurative descriptions within this story. It well-surpasses what I was expecting for the challenge, and I'm very glad that you've given me the opportunity to once again admire your talents.

As for other technical aspects of your story, there did not seem to be any problems in terms of flow, characterization, or language. I liked that you did not go overboard with descriptions and instead opted on conciseness - it goes very well with the emphasis on the cold, ice, and snow, winter not being a time of year conducive to "flowery" language (I couldn't resist the pun, sorry). The story is as cold as its setting in a metaphorical way. However, I have to agree with the previous reviewer that Marlene's life might contain too much strife - it could just be that she's had awful luck, but she's so downtrodden and then the ending seems a little too happy? I hate to criticize this because it works well with the binary of cold vs. warmth, but she gives in too quickly. Consider either expanding the ending to describe more of how she changes her mind or provide more hints of warmth within her earlier in the story - then the ending will seem less abrupt.

You have written an excellent story and I'm again reminded to read more of your work. You've captured the Marauder/First War era with great care for canon details and the atmosphere of the period, so I look forward to reading your other stories from these eras. Your next-gen work is great, too, but I've a bit soft spot for the Marauder/First War era. ;) Thank you again for entering the challenge!

Author's Response: I am so sorry for the absurd amount of time I've taken to respond to this lovely review. :( I've been a bit stressed lately, and let this go for much much longer than I should have.

You're definitely not reading too much into the story - that's exactly what I was hoping would come across, but I was afraid I hadn't pulled it off well. I'm glad that you feel like I did!

I definitely know what you mean about there being perhaps too much strife - I actually went through and edited it a bit, so hopefully it flows a bit better now.

Thank you so, so much for your review, and sorry again for the wait!


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