Hi Susan! I was in a reviewing mood and decided to stop by and check this out. I love the banner :)
The imagery here is so powerful. I love your seemingly accidental juxtaposition of Minerva's sunrise and Tom's figurative and literal sunset. It was nice how you kept referring back to it--for example, when you mentioned pools of blood as red as the sunrise. I felt really bathed in color the whole time I was reading this, and it was very helpful for me visually, trying to picture younger versions of Tom and Minerva interacting.
I like your portrayal of Minerva a lot. Your Tom is powerful, very nested in his canon characterization, but I feel like his presence most serves to highlight hers. She reminds me a lot of a Ravenclaw, trying to logic him out of the path he's heading down. In fact, I think she shares the same weaknesses during arguments that I do--I often can't resist pointing out the flaws in the other person's point, and it tends to get me in trouble if I don't check it emotionally or adequately assess the function of my words. She seems to be trying to keep to it purposefully to distance herself sentimentally from him, but it's like it only drives them further apart.
This was really lovely. I see why you like the ship!
Author's Response: Amanda! Thank you very much for this review! It was a great surprise to see it, and I'm very glad that you enjoyed this story. :D
It's one I really enjoyed writing, especially because of the imagery and the strength of the colours. The two characters are faded, almost monochromatic compared with the sunrise - it gives them colour, dying them red and gold. The story is a painting, with two shadows framed by the doorway against the thick oil shades of the sky. For one-shots, I like to keep to a strict theme or style - for this one, everything stems from the sunrise and its colour, particularly that shade of bloody red. It's not only an obvious colour to represent the bloodshed that Tom Riddle instigates, but it's also the colour of Gryffindor. It can't be a noble colour in one context and an evil colour in another, and in the story, both characters struggle with the good/evil binary. It's not clear-cut, even for Tom Riddle.
I really like what you said about Tom's presence highlighting Minerva's characterization. I'd never thought of it that way before, but now that I have it in mind, it perfectly fits the way I've been writing this ship. In each case, Minerva's interactions with Riddle push her toward a new stage of development - she has to enforce her autonomy and make a decision about who she could be. On one level, he's a tempter offering the apple of knowledge. On another, he is someone she could help, perhaps even save. But her third choice - the one she ultimately chooses - is to abandon him completely. It's the one he would also choose, interestingly enough because they both value their own independence and spirit, and they couldn't give either up to anyone.
Thank you again for the fantastic review! You've definitely brightened up my day! ^_^