Hello, Amanda! Sorry for the slight delay, but I am nonetheless here now to leave you your review for the TGS review exchange. Side note: I was creeping on this story a week or so before its assignation to me, so I was really, really happy when we got paired up! But anyway.
I'm not normally a fan of next generation stories, but I saw that with no small amount of reserve, because it's stories like this that prove me wrong. ♥ I think a more accurate phrase would be I'm not a fan of conventional next generation stories, and yours is far from that. I've never read a story that tackles something quite like this, an almost-love triangle between two girls and a boy, instead of the other way around. It's not really a love triangle, though, and that is perhaps one of its most interesting aspects: It's not fiction, it's not happily-ever-after. It's life, as much as a piece of Harry Potter fan fiction can be life.
You wrote emotions into this story so well, though I can't say I'm surprised; there's a distinct reason you're one of thirteen authors I've added to my favorites! :D You portray Rose's jealousy impeccably well, and, once again, it's realistic. That probably sells me in stories more than anything, realism. I could sense exactly what she was feeling, even if it wasn't stated explicitly. You've managed to create a story in 2,000 words; not just a story, but a story. There are things unsaid here, intentionally so, and I just can't get over the fact that these three feel like such real people.
The other thing that really strikes me about this one-shot is your metaphors, namely your allusions to flowers. I'm not sure, of course, but J.K. Rowling did give a lot of her characters flower names, and I'm sure there was some reason behind it. Like this line:
She still looked like a flower, but she had been crumpled beneath his shoes -- SUCH an accurate description of the thing! I am just in awe. You've woven the flower trope through nicely, with the comparison, the crushing, the re-blooming. Love it.
I really enjoyed reading this, Amanda! You need to shove me in the direction of your author's page more often, you know. ;) Because you're seriously fantastically talented! ♥ Hoping to drop back by before too long!!
Author's Response: I kind of want to cry into a pillow about how late this review response is. Let's just say that awesomeness of the review has a direct and positive correlation with difficulty in responding!
Oh, gosh, I'm not either. They're like Marauder stories, typically melodramatic and overdone, and it felt like a serious challenge to try and write something decent. I'm so happy that you think I've succeeded, and that you enjoyed watching Rose, Lily, and Scorpius weave their strange and tangled little web.
It means a lot to end up on your favorites list. Thank you! I felt like people might be able to sympathize with Rose, though like so many of my characters, she's been taken to the extreme. How often have I worked so hard for something, pouring blood and tears into it, only to come up with nothing at the end? In the end, I don't even think she knows what she wants, what her ideal outcome would have been. She just knows that no matter what, she deserves it more than Lily does.
Yes, the flowers! I tried to contrast the delicate nature of such pretty names and pretty girls with the ugliness of Rose's feelings. I'm glad it didn't seem too forced.
Thank you so much for this lovely review, and again, I apologize for the belated response :)