|Review:||Athene Goodstrength says:|
'Hermione brushed a stray curl out of her face as she tried to get comfortable in the tent, flinching slightly as her shirt moved up just enough to expose a tiny sliver of white skin to the cold earth upon which she laid.' Once again, you've started with a strong image, yet it is also one of fragility. It's almost as if in both Ginny and Hermione's stories, you have come up with an image to remind us that both of our bottom-kicking heroines have a vulnerable side. It's not just a gender thing though, as the images of both the boys curled up under their blankets, asleep, is similar in reminding us that they're all barely more than children, despite their heroism.
'Standing in Ginny's bedroom at the Burrow, gingerly folding her shirts' - I love that you used the word 'gingerly'. One, it's a brilliant word. Two, it's funny… moving 'gingerly' in the fortress of famous redheads. I have an awkward sense of humour.
A couple of little issues jump out at me in the rest of that sentence: folding her shirts and pants and tucking them carefully into her bag, which she had charmed to make it bottomless. Unless you mean she's packing shirts and underwear, I think you mean trousers! And in the next bit, the sentence would run more smoothly if you dropped the 'it'.
I love the idea of packing the books because not having them on her would have felt strange. I imagine it would feel like the 90's Hermione equivalent of going out of the house without your mobile phone! Bless her, she's so earnest. This is one of those moments of perfect characterization that I'm finding you to be so adept at. It makes your writing a real pleasure to read.
The sudden rise and quelling of anger directed at Harry is so believable, particularly when you go on to mention the tarnishing of her precious memories (of parents whom she thinks she may never see again) and Ron's splinching...it begins to reveal the depth of her feeling for Ron, that his being injured angers her.
I also enjoyed the implication that being muggle-born actually protects her from Voldemort, as he knows very little about her and therefore cannot anticipate her next move.
This line made my heart leap: 'She turned over and found herself face to face with Ron. If she exhaled, it would touch his lips.' It's so haunting, so gentle. I think you could do with expanding on 'it'...maybe 'her breath'. Ach, it's details like this though that make you a great writer. You then go on to the detail of Ron's mouth falling open and it's just so utterly endearing, I can't help but feel the wave of fondness Hermione feels too.
'Ron, well, he was nothing special' Made me think. Do you mean, that to the rest of the world he was nothing special? Because he's clearly special to her.
I really enjoyed her thinking back to Hogwarts, to the many hours they've spent together, and to the fact that Harry's absence almost meant more than his presence in their threesome. I almost imagine the two of them as parents, worrying about their son but knowing that they just have to trust and support him... and getting on with their own lives/school career in the meantime!
I hate the idea of Hermione longing for death, but it's understandable. When you've been living in danger for so long, I guess it's inevitable that she would begin to wish for an end to it. It reminds me of Beedle the Bard, for some reason... the relationship with Death, perhaps.
I really like the way you concluded this story, with Hermione taking Ron's hand. It reminded me instantly of Harry seeing them close to each other at Grimmauld Place and feeling oddly lonely, which in turn reminded me of poor Ginny whose chapter ended with nobody's hand for her to hold. The thought that being with Ron and wondering if he's dreaming of her, is the only comfort to Hermione that night is both very sad and very touching.
Overall, this was yet another beautifully written and clearly well thought out piece of writing. I'm so glad I was behind you on Slytherin tag! Each of these chapters could stand alone as a lovely one-shot, but together they become completely brilliant. I can really see both young women, awake and full of sadness, longing and hope, and I think your characterization of both of them was spot on.
I love the way that they are each longing to be where the other is. Reading them both, I could almost imagine a thread stretching through the night between them.
Sorry for the time it's taken me to write up these reviews, but I hope you can tell how much I really enjoyed 'Crushed Butterflies' (10/10)
Author's Response: Hey! Back again here for dear Hermione!
Yes - once again, I wanted to emphasize that they're all still young, that these two girls have really been put into positions that demand a lot of them and ask them to really hold back how they're feeling for the good of everyone else. I keep going back to how I would feel if I were put in Ginny or Hermione's position - it would be hard. I would probably break down most nights when I was alone. That's what I tried to focus on here.
I'm not British, and I never worry too much about Britpicking in my stories - if the proper terminology feels right at the moment, I'll use it, but I don't make any special effort to make the story sound British. Thanks for pointing out the mistake all the same, though. I'm happy that the rest of the details seemed to work for you.
Yes, I meant that Ron is nothing special to everyone else. Naturally, Hermione's opinion is a little different :) I do think their roles as "the best friends" kind of set them apart from Harry and everyone else in a special way.
I always thought that Hermione might be a little bitter under her wealth of knowledge, even more so than Ginny. She had a tough time fitting in initially at Hogwarts, even more so because of her blood status. I thought that times like these might really get to her.
I'm so happy that you enjoyed both halves of this story. It really is one of my favorites. Thanks for both of your wonderful reviews!