This story definitely won best overall (for both our house and from the staff) for good reason. It was fun, imaginative, and it works perfectly with canon. I can see this being part of their Auror training so easily, and the way you portrayed the Gryffindor boys in particular was absolutely perfect. Harry acting as though dragons are no big deal, Ron putting his foot in his mouth, Neville falling into a moment of self doubt but digging his way out of it. There was a lot of subtle, complex, and thought out characterisation, and it really pulled me into the story.
Initially, I wasn't sure what I thought about the choice to have them face a dragon as part of their training - I mean, obviously that was needed for the prompt, but I wasn't convinced that it actually made sense. Isn't that what dragon people like Charlie are for? Once I thought about it for a bit, though, I could see the logic behind it - sure, Aurors probably won't really be facing dragons all that much, but at the same time, being resourceful, quick-thinking, and brave are obviously vital parts of being an Auror, and those are all qualities that Neville certainly displayed in the fight itself - which was beautifully, beautifully done.
I have to admit that I wasn't sure how you were going to have Neville defeat a dragon all on his own and keep it plausible, but I was pleasantly surprised. Okay, maybe it was a little unrealistic, but I was pretty much sold; you were imaginative and showed him using the sorts of spells that it makes sense for an Auror trainee to know and use. It would have been out of place for him to use a stunner or something and have it work, and it also would have defeated what seems to me to be the purpose of the exercise, but you didn't fall into that trap. I especially liked the use of the Imperius Curse - that's certainly not a spell I think has been used on dragons all that frequently, and when I think about it, I doubt that most Death Eaters would even think to try it.
And along the lines of the Imperius Curse - I thought that you worked the prompts into the story really well. Using this many prompts can definitely make a story come off as awkward, but the only place I think of that I didn't feel like the prompt really fit was actually the only point where I think you didn't actually need it - the Avada Kedavra reference at the end just felt a little forced to me. Aside from that, though, everything worked really well, and this definitely felt like a story, not an entry to the challenge. If that makes any sense at all.
Now I think I'm rambling and I'm going to stop. Suffice to say, excellent story, and it has been added to my favourites. :)Author's Response: Hey, Beeezie! Thank you for reviewing! I heard that the review-a-thon was really fun and I'm disappointed I wasn't home long enough to join in. Today was my birthday. :P
Going to be totally honest here - I agree about dragons not being a super realistic thing to accompany Auror training, and I also don't think Neville would have used an Imperius Curse on a dragon if he could help it. However, keeping in mind that this is fiction based on fiction, I just wanted to have fun with this and not take it too seriously. Everyone seemed to be taking themselves so seriously in this Task, but for me to enjoy what I'm doing I need to use the prompts but not try to kill myself trying to make everything tie together in a neat little bow. So I just let the story in my head flow out naturally and didn't worry much about it, in the end. My main thing was to have fun, because regardless of points, there's no reason to write something if I'm not actively enjoying every word I write.
It's very interesting what you said about the Avada Kedavra feeling forced because that's the one thing I didn't use to fulfill a prompt! lol. I already had 'Imperio', but just wanted to use it because of the color green, to bring to mind that bolt light emanating. Excellent feedback, though! I can definitely see how that would seem like overkill.
Thanks you for reading and reviewing! Thank you for favoriting this as well, and for your kind words and thought-provoking feedback. I appreciate it greatly. :) Report Review
So I've been meaning to come back to this since I finished chapter 5, but I haven't really had the time. When I saw that the Second Task was a reviewing competition, though, this was one of the first things I thought of, so I'm back to review another chapter or two. :)
I feel like I'm just repeating myself when I say this, but I really love the opening section. I think my favourite part of it is actually the emphasis on moving forward, but it seems to me like you're not using forward to mean improvement - it feels like you're more using the word 'forward' as a way to say that you can't turn back the clock. I really like that, both as a general philosophy (for lack of a better word) and in terms of this story in particular. There is a sense of hope in it as well (especially in the closing section), but it's not all puppies and rainbows, you know?
Or maybe I'm reading things into it that you didn't really intend. :P
At any rate, I especially liked that theme in relation to the focus of this chapter: Toby. I know you say in your author's note that you'd originally intended to make this about Euan again, and I'm glad you didn't. Not that I don't like reading about Euan, obviously - it's just that I think that you're right, Toby did need this chapter, and it added dimensions to the story that you haven't really had the opportunity to show thus far.
I thought that you did an excellent job portraying Toby; there were a lot of little things (the "sleepovers," the red train, the letter at the end) that really helped to show just how young he is. He clearly doesn't understand everything, but he's confused and hurt by what he does understand, and for me, that's especially heartbreaking because he's so young. We've seen a lot about what Jessica has faced in previous chapters, but Toby's a different pov, and I think that showing him here really helped to enhance the story.
And, you know, break my heart.
Another excellent chapter. Report Review
Hey! So I meant to review this before now, but I failed because I am lame. *hides* I'm here now - I know the task is over, but who doesn't appreciate reviews whenever? :P
I don't think I've ever reviewed one of your stories before, so I'm going to give you fair warning now: I'm kind of the mechanics queen, so please don't take my comments to mean that you're not a good writer.
Along those lines:
There were some points where the way you worded things just felt a little awkward to me. In the first few paragraphs, you referred to witnesses to the storm a few times (all that was brave enough, very few remained, the surveyors that were left). It wasn't really clear to me whether you were talking about objects or people when you were saying that. If it was the former, I think that you ascribed too many human characteristics to them, and if it was the latter, I think that you needed more detail to establish that you were talking about people. Does that make sense?
Similarly, when you started talking about the baby trying to sleep through the storm, I felt like you were treating it as being far too self-aware, especially for an animal. Dragons don't seem to be particularly smart in the HP universe as a rule. There was just something about She had tried to sleep through the rage of the thunder in particular that felt like it didn't really fit a baby's pov for me. She had been woken up by the rage of the thunder would have fit with her age better, IMO.
I also felt like you could have included more about Delilah physically than you did. You showed her thoughts about her baby and about the humans and about the storm, but you didn't really tell us much about how she was feeling. Given that she's a beast, I would have liked to see more of that - as is, it felt a bit too much like I was reading about a human, if that makes sense. I love the choice to write from the pov of a dragon, but I wish that you'd depicted her perception of the things around her in a way that really shows how different she is in terms of how she sees the world. I'd expect her to be a lot more primal than she was, especially given how injured she was.
I'm going to stop there, though, lest I come off as hypercritical of a story I really did enjoy.
As I mentioned, I really loved the choice you made to tell this story from a dragon's pov. While I do wish that you'd gone a little deeper with the fact that she's so different from people, I do want to emphasise that I still thought you did a nice job with it. The description throughout the story definitely helped to set the mood, both in terms of the surroundings (especially with the storm) and in terms of Delilah herself. You frequently referenced her breath, her wings, etc, which meant that I never really forgot that you were talking about a dragon. It helped give your story a different tone than any other story I can think of reading on the archive, which is a terrific thing.
And this story was creative and imaginative beyond your choice to write from the pov of a dragon. There were a lot of little details about dragons that you worked in - the uses for their blood, the internal bleeding - that were really well-done, and helped to give this story a real sense of originality. I loved it.
And as far as following the prompts goes - I can understand why you decided not to include the details about Neville's wand - it definitely would have come across as out of place. The way you used the prompts you did use was terrific - the mentions all flowed into the conversation well, and the way you chose to interpret the "feature" prompts was terrific. You crafted your story around them rather than try to just squeeze them in, and it really showed.
Sorry - this is definitely on the short side of a review I'd usually leave for a chapter of this length. House Cup and all that. You're in my house, you get it. :PAuthor's Response: Short side??? Oh goodness! Thank you so much for such a wonderfully detailed review!
My thoughts regarding the dragons are pretty different than others, I think. They were around for so much longer than the wizards, I just find it hard to believe that they wouldn't have done some massive mental evolving. I guess I'm a bit like Hagrid in the sense of thinking of them closer to humans than senseless beats.
I've been bothered by that storm section, also! Thank you so much for bringing it up, it has reminded me to take me editing pen out. I hate the editing pen.
I am so happy that you also see my issue with the wand. Despite me feelings on Delilah being very intelligent, there would be no way to get to Neville's wand through her naturally.
Now that this challenge is finished I think I want to edit this and will definitely include more physical descriptions! Now that my word count isn't so important ;).
Thank you so much for this lovely review. You have given me a lot to think about for the next time that this story is edited.
Hey, you. :) I'm sad that you missed out on a review place, so here I am anyway. This might be slightly less detailed than you usually get, but hopefully you can forgive me.
The chapter was really terrific when it came to this. I hope I don't sound condescending when I say this, but I think that you've really improved since a writer since I started reviewing Joker almost a year ago (wow, has it really been that long??). Not that you were bad before, because you were already great, but there were little mistakes and slip-ups I saw then that I just never see now. :)
That said, a few minor (minor, minor) things:
- The first sentence of the chapter (starting, If Brienne was ever worried) was a little awkwardly worded. I like the concept, but I think you could rework the sentence a bit. Maybe, If Brienne had been worried about finding a distraction after returning to Hogwarts, she hadn't needed to: studying for her OWLs took up most of her time. Not great, but do you see what I mean?
- The paragraph starting, As Angelina revealed how Harry Potter came off a little awkward to me; I wasn't quite sure what was going on in it, and some of the phrasing was a little off. I think that if you go back and reword it a bit to make it clearer, it would work better.
That aside, though, excellent job!
This is just a minor detail, but you know how I am with those. :P I loved the little mention of Angelina working with Wood on Quidditch strategies. Harry didn't really pay much attention to that sort of thing, so we never saw that in canon, but it does make a lot of sense that she would, given that she was appointed captain after him. It's complements canon nicely.
I liked the way you described Brienne and her friends preparing for the OWLs. I felt like you approached it in a realistic way and didn't go overboard - it makes sense that she'd see less of Paisley, who's in a different house, and I loved the fact that they were so busy that they didn't really have time to talk about their holidays.
I also liked the way that you segued into how happy Brienne was to be back despite all of that. Given what she discovered over the holidays, I can understand why she'd want to get back to Hogwarts where she could see her friends. Her relationship with her father is strong, but it seems to me like being with him is also kind of a reminder of what happened to her mother, so even beyond everything else that's different, he can't really draw her out of herself in the same way.
However, you also didn't make it as simple as, "Brienne is back at Hogwarts so everything is perfect!" She clearly becomes a bit of a bystander in her circle of friends at times, and she was definitely a bit hypersensitive (as shown in her reaction to Lee's joking about the kiss). Her character continues to be consistent and realistic, which is one of my favourite parts of this story. (And why, like a bad person, I usually read the new chapter as soon as I see it and then go to review it at a later point.)
Just my take on it. Maybe I'm reading into things that aren't there.
I'm also continuing to like the way you're developing Fred, George, and Angelina's characters in general - it works nicely with what we see in canon, but you also go far beyond that. Both what you show of their personalities - mocking Snape, waxing poetic about the Firebolt - and how they react to her being more withdrawn and unhappy is perfect. You show the difference in her relationship with each of them in subtle ways (especially when she leaves to go outside and George and Angelina eventually go and get her), which is another aspect of this story that I really love.
So yeah. Definitely shorter, and I hope you're not disappointed at the lack of CC. I really can't think of much you could improve about this chapter - it's beautifully done, and I can't wait for the next one!Author's Response: Hi! Ooh, I love when I get a review from you so I don't mind how long it is :)
Thank you so much for your comments that I've improved! It's odd that though you spend so much time without writing that when you come back to it you seem to have improved xD It's strange! But I'm glad you think I've gotten better at those mechanical things :)
And it's great to know you think I'm keeping up the whole character side of things. That's the most important thing to me, I think. I probably should concentrate on moving the plot along more but I like little character moments :)
Thank you so much for your review, I'll get right onto Chapter 19! (Wow, 19!) Report Review
Hey! So you requested this review awhile ago, but between a backlog and my being away on holiday, I haven't gotten to it until now. My apologies, and I hope I can be useful now.
A couple quick stylistic notes:
The journal entry included some important information, but the presentation of it was a little awkward. I think that you should have italicised it to help distinguish it from the actual narrative, and I also thought that you should have had more description around it. Starting the story with the entry felt a little abrupt; either including a little more description around Hermione actually writing it (as opposed to just looking up from her journal) or adding to the entry so that it segues into the story more cleanly (e.g., by talking more about her feelings - I didn't get the sense of emotion and frustration that would have helped bring it to life).
There were also a fair number of little errors - typos, tense inconsistencies, odd little descriptions (e.g., 'Golden Trio' - I'm not sure that anyone in canon ever called them that) - that distracted from the piece as a whole. I would recommend either looking the chapter over again (if you can identify the errors on your own) or running it by a beta (if you can't).
In your request, you mentioned being worried about flow and description; the flow is fine, but the description could use a little work. It would actually be fine in a more light-hearted story, but because the atmosphere of this particular story is (thus far) so emotionally-charged, I thought you needed more. A little more description of how Hermione in particular is feeling and reacting to her surroundings would help communicate that.
Okay, maybe that wasn't quite as quick as I meant it to be. Sorry!
Onto the rest of the chapter. As a disclaimer, I'm a bit iffy about AU, and I tend to dislike characters being OoC. That doesn't always affect my reviews, but for this particular story, I think it might, and I wanted to make that clear from the start, because people without the same inclinations might not find your choices problematic in the same way I do.
Along those lines, there were several points here that just fell outside of what we know to be true from canon, and I didn't always understand why you were changing it.
Some of it just needed some elaboration; for example, I can understand why you chose to deviate from canon in not having Hermione return to Hogwarts, but if that was the case, I wanted to see more of a reason for it. She says that the place holds nothing but bad memories and that she lost a lot there, but that feels a little too generic for me - Hermione has years of good memories at Hogwarts, and I'm not clear on what she lost there that was so traumatic. If you'd had her writing in her journal about how Hogwarts had been poisoned for her because of all the things that had happened there (for example), it would have made more sense.
However, there were other points where the deviation from canon didn't make much sense to me. For example, you mentioned Harry and Ginny and the "mini Potters," which I'm assuming is a reference to their children. That struck me as odd for several reasons. First, we know how old two of their three canon children are - at most, only James could have been alive five years after the Battle of Hogwarts, and even that's doubtful. Second, even if you are deviating from their canon children, for Harry and Ginny to have gotten married and had multiple children in the last five years while he's going through three years of Auror training and she's playing pro-Quidditch seems a little strange.
I mean, I'm not opposed to deviating from canon when I can understand why, but there were points in this chapter that I didn't really get it.
There were also some points in this chapter that just didn't make logical sense to me. How and why could McGonagall have "forced" her to go back to Hogwarts? If Hermione has been cut off from the world for such an extended period of time and isn't even with Ron anymore, why is he still coming by several times a day? Why on earth does Draco Malfoy have a seat in a muggle pub, and how is the muggle bartender supposed to contact him? There were just a lot of questions that arose for me throughout the chapter that didn't really seem to have a good answer, and I think that both the size of Draco's inheritance and the terms of the estate were a little unrealistic. I think a quick read-through where you stay on the lookout for things like that and then a little rewording/moderation would go a long way.
I hope I'm not coming off as hypercritical here; there are a lot of things about this chapter that I think are promising. I like the way you're looking at a darker post-war Hermione; the war certainly affected her in unique ways that a lot of authors don't really explore (her being muggleborn, Ron walking out on her, putting a memory charm on her parents), and I can see how those experiences could have led to the kind of difficulties that you're depicting. Having her venture out into the muggle world to avoid the people around her is also a nice touch - it makes sense that she'd feel safer there.
I also actually don't have an issue with the basic concept of Draco's uncle's will - the whole "You must marry a muggleborn" clause is believable, and it certainly sets the stage for a Dramione in an interesting way. I can even see a time limit that speeds things along, though two weeks is a bit extreme, IMO. Dramione isn't my favourite ship, in part because I often find it to be a little fake and contrived. This premise neatly sidesteps a lot of my issues with the ship in general, and I think you could do a lot of interesting things with it.
I just feel like the execution could use a little work to really make the story stand out. :)
I hope I was helpful. Please feel free to rerequest when spots are open, and to PM me with any questions about my review. :)Author's Response: Beeezie,
First off, WOW!!! This was a great review. It is so in depth and I hope it has helped me correct some problems with this first chapter. I will definantly be rerequesting if you ever have open slots. Ok now moving on.
I have a big issue with my writing where I assume that my readers understand all that is going on in my head and the background information I have thought of. That being said this first chapter has been completely re-written with this problem in mind and I hope that makes some of the plot holes you have pointed out a little more understandable.
I have re-written the journal entry and removed a few bits that, I can agree with you, were just a bit far fetched and too OoC.
Being as this started out as my few fan-fic ever I tended to ignore some of the basic canon plot lines. Such as Ginny and the kids. So I have re-written to exclude that part of the story line. I have added some backstory to Draco and the will to hopefully get around some of the issues you have pointed out.
I would hope for you to re-read this chapter but that is probably asking too much. Thank you for the wonderfully helpful review.
Megthechef43 aka Meg Report Review
Hey, this is Beeezie, here with your review! Er - two months later. Sorry - I was away on holiday for awhile.
First section (Ron)
I had slightly mixed feelings about this section.
I really liked your portrayal of Ron and Hermione's relationship as well as both of their characters individually. There have been points in this story where I've really liked how you interpret the way the characters we knew in the books might have changed over time, and points where I felt like you kept them a bit too static. This is definitely an example of the former; I could easily see how Ron and Hermione would have grown up to be like this, and in some ways, I could see a ghost of their interactions regarding doing their homework when they were in Hogwarts in the beginning (with much more adult content, obviously).
As the section went on, however, I also felt like you showed that Ron has matured since then (which in some ways is obvious, but so many writers don't depict him in that way), and that Hermione has mellowed a bit. In that respect, the chapter was very well done.
However, while your treatment of Ron and Hermione as characters was excellent, I wasn't so sure about your treatment of the plot important information. In the first paragraph, I think she was reorganising the case file in a way that made more sense, but I had a hard time following (and visualising) what was going on. More importantly, there were points where I felt like you were presenting information because the readers needed to know it, and it didn't integrate well into the narrative.
For example, Hermione not knowing that the Aurors sometimes don't allow Magical Law Enforcement to copy everything struck me as odd - she's not an Auror, and I can see how that might not come up over dinner, but she does work in Magical Law Enforcement, and she's presumably of a pretty high rank. I would believe it if she said, "Oh, of course, I hadn't thought of that," but for her to apparently be completely ignorant about the idea made me feel like it was a fairly transparent attempt to relay the information to readers, rather than something that fit with the story.
There were a few other points like that, and I wish you'd integrated some of the information a bit better. The characterisation was good in this section, and I felt like there was important information being presented. I just wish the presentation had been a little smoother. (If that makes sense.)
Second section (Goyle)
Okay, I found this section really interesting. It wasn't very long, and at least as far as I could tell, it didn't reveal any crucial plot information, but it did give a new glimpse of the world that compliments where the story is right now nicely. The idea of magical children going to muggle schools is interesting and shows how their society has changed since the time of the books, and the attack also helps set the mood for the current atmosphere in the country. Nice job.
I'm still not wild about all of the povs, especially ones like this (that, at least as far as I can tell, is probably just going to be included this once), but that's personal preference, and I don't know who else you could have used to show this.
Third section (Harry)
This section was excellent. You fit a lot of important pieces into it, and you did it in a natural, interesting way.
There were some very important additions to the plot in this. The information about Katerina is probably the most important, and that was well done - I especially liked the bit about Katerina's sister and the locket. But you know that the information about Katerina is vital: it's obvious.
What's less obvious but what I liked just as much was the glimpse into international relations that you gave us. Harry's reluctance to open up to the French Auror despite the serious problem in Britain's Ministry was interesting and made a lot of sense, as did Esme's willingness to. Of course she doesn't care about tact or secrecy regarding the British Ministry - she's French.
Her openness also helped to establish more about her character on her grounds, not Harry's (which I think was important, given that she seems to be becoming a major character), and it was a nice way to show Harry's irritation and frustration with her. It seemed to me that Harry was irritated with her as much just to be irritated with her than anything she actually said or did, in part because of their past and in part because he feels emotionally vulnerable because of the thing with his parents, and surprise surprise, Harry deals with emotional vulnerability by getting annoyed.
That's Harry, through and through, IMO, and I think it's one thing that wouldn't have changed. Nice job in that respect as well - it was subtle, but it was definitely there.
My only issue with it was with some of the dialogue; some characters were written with obvious French accents, and some were not. I would have liked to see some difficulty understanding each other or thicker/milder accents, if you were going to include them at all. As is, it just felt odd. Other than that, though, this was terrific.
Fourth section (Percy)
Another excellent section. As with the second one, it was short, but I think you accomplished exactly what you needed to in it. You showed a side of Percy's personality that hints at what we saw in the books - ambition - and also that has been tempered since he was in school, presumably in part from the war. Nice job. I'm wondering how his giving into Arabela's prodding will turn out.
My only complaint about this section is that I would have liked to see a little more about Percy's relationship with her; when she started to talk about her family, you could have offered up some more detail about that (how long they've known each other, how close they've been for how long, etc).
All in all, this was a very nice chapter. My apologies again for the wait.Author's Response: Hi, there. Long time, no see!
Ron's section -
One of the biggest challenges throughout the story, but also the most important, has been to age the characters realistically. I'm really glad you liked the way I aged Ron, because he is probably the trickiest of all. It's so hard to imagine how that goofy personality of his enters its seventh decade *and* to keep him out of the dreaded Second Banana Zone.
This section wasn't heavy on plot, as you indicate. It was much more about character development.
Goyle's section -
I think maybe you missed an important bit of plot in this section. Aside from the socio-political statement, the letter that Goyle is planning to send to Draco is quite significant. The choice of Goyle's PoV was necessary because he's the one who ultimately contacts Draco. No other reason.
Harry's section -
An awful lot happened in this one, and I'm happy that all of it seems to have come through. Aside from the part about the locket -- which, as you said, is pretty obvious -- the bit about how the different wizarding nations relate is significant for more than just context. It gives an idea of how Lady Tenabra views her priorities and the caliber of minions she's trusting to run the Ministry while she focuses on other things.
Esme does give too much away for Harry's taste. It's partly because she's talkative, but also partly because Dauzat intimidates her. She'd never admit that, of course, but he isn't head of the French Aurors for no reason. She's trying to talk their way out of a situation that doesn't actually exist, and if she'd been a bit more patient she might have known that. In that sense, there's definitely a contrast between her and Harry.
Eh, I can accept what you're saying about the dialog. Unfortunately, there are only so many ways to write a French accent.
Percy's section -
Again, I think you picked up on the key plot points. Arabela is nudging Percy in a certain direction for reasons that are not completely clear. I take your point that a little more definition of their past relationship might make it a little clearer. Then again, maybe I didn't want it to be 100% clear. ;)
No worries on the wait. It's your thread, your life, your priorities.
Thanks for reading and reviewing! Report Review
Hey, I'm back! :) I'm going to say this in my review response - which I swear I'm going to do soon! - but you're ridiculous. Your reviews are very helpful and awesome. Don't be silly. ♥
Anyway. Onto this chapter!
I actually read this a few days ago on my ereader, but I hate leaving reviews using that so I'm only just getting to it now. Looking back at the chapter and thinking about what happened in it, I'm realising that not a lot happened, in some ways - but it certainly didn't feel like that while I was reading it, and for good reason.
On the surface, there's nothing special about this day. George went to Lee's. He met (re-met? whatever) Lee's girlfriend. Angelina stopped by while he was going through his and Fred's old things. It would just be a day like any other… if George wasn't still hurting so much over Fred's death.
But he was, and this was a perfect progression. You're not hurrying the recovery process, but you are showing it, little by little. In this chapter, that was by depicting his relationships with the two friends he's probably closest to at this point. I know (because I read a few chapters on my ereader) that soon, you're going to show it with his family.
I like that on several levels. First, I feel like this built on the last chapter perfectly. You showed George in a group, with a lot of people he knew, and it was clear he had a hard time. By showing him in more intimate settings, I feel like I started to get a better grasp here on how he's feeling about life right now and where he is emotionally. Groups are always the hardest when you're getting over a loss, in my experience, and you showed that here.
Second, I felt like the difference in setting flowed beautifully not only in comparison to the first chapter, but to the second. You picked up some strands that were alluded to in Angelina's chapter, which continued to keep this flowing like a story rather than just feeling like two different stories that you pushed together.
Third, you kept all three of the major characters from this story in character considering the events of the war while adding to what we know about them from canon. I got a sense of Lee's personality as well as Angelina's, and I got a sense of how they've grown up - also something I liked!
I feel like I rambled a lot in this review and wasn't very helpful. :( I'm sorry! At any rate, I really, really liked this chapter. Nice work. :)Author's Response: Review response, ahoy!
Thank you so much for this review!! I really appreciate them~
Ah. You've discovered my secret! There's nothing really special about most of the days depicted in this story. I really set out to write a story about George, Angelina, and their day to day lives -- and then the relationship that comes from all of that.
I think it's great that you picked up on the subtle connections I have linking the chapters together despite the varying timelines. I fear I may have gotten away from this in later chapters, so if you do review further it's something I'd be interested in hearing your opinion on.
I am really enjoying writing this story, and it's so wonderful to hear when people are enjoying reading it. Thank you so, so much!!
Melissa Report Review
So you requested this review from me awhile ago, but I kind of unofficially closed my thread down for awhile. Now I'm back and here with your review, and I hope that you forgive me!
You were wondering about Oliver's character in particular, which I don't think I can really comment to just yet - if you want to rerequest when spots are available, feel free. Thus far, I think you've done a decent job with it, and I'd be interested to see how his relationship with his family has developed, given the glimpse you gave us of them shortly after his birth (which I found quite interesting and imaginative). However, like I said, I just don't feel like I've read enough to say too much about it right now.
As far as improvements in general…
Well, I do think that this is a solid first chapter, and I certainly found it intriguing. This is a take on Oliver and his life I haven't really seen before. Starting with it caught my attention as a reader, and I'd be surprised if others didn't feel the same! My only issue with this kind of prologue is that while it often feels interesting and helps draw the reader in, it sometimes isn't really as relevant to the rest of the story as perhaps it could be.
I only mention that because from your story summary, it sounds like this is entirely focused on Oliver and showing depth to him as a character. I'm not sure how that ties in with a prologue about his parents during the FWW - it just seems like it might be a dramatic change in tone in a way that isn't strictly relevant (as opposed to an angsty prologue but a happy chapter 1 because the story will explain how the angst came to be). I could simply be misunderstanding the story summary, of course. It's just a thought. :)
The major issue that I saw in this chapter was in your description and prose. I just didn't feel like there was enough of it, and what was there sometimes conflicted with itself. For example, in your first paragraph, you mentioned that Oliver's parents were holding hands as they walked down the street, but in the fourth you say that Oliver's father was holding him in his arms. Both of those things can't really be true unless he has three arms.
There were a few cases of contradictions like that in your description throughout the chapter, and there were a lot of cases where I felt like you just weren't including enough in the first place. Both scenes have a lot of emotional significance - in the first, the mood is tense and somber, and in the second, it should be light-hearted. I didn't really feel as much of that as I'd have liked to. What were the shadows like in the first scene? What did Oliver see below him as they flew? You don't need to add in paragraphs and paragraphs of description, but a bit more would help flesh it out, you know?
As is, this is an intriguing prologue. It gives a perspective on Oliver that, as I said, I don't think I've seen before, and I like the way you've displayed the end of the FWW from his point of view - it's easy to forget that people like Oliver, Bill, and Charlie were all old enough to remember the end of the war, and that gives them a very different perspective on it than people who are closer to Harry's age. It's was a nice addition, and a nice way to open the story, especially since that's how he discovered flying.
I hope I was helpful, and I'm sorry again about the wait.Author's Response: Hello Beezie and it's okay, I'm sorry for the late response :)
I'm glad you review because I've been meaning to reboot this fic, I wrote under such a different mental state that I feel I didn't do the best job on it.
Thank you for pointing the contradictions and my problems with prose and description I'll keep that in mind while I edit the story :)
You were very helpful and it's true people tend to forget that Bill, Charlie, and Oliver were old enough to remember what the war was like.
Again thank you for this helpful review. :) Report Review
Hey! So you requested a review from me for this story awhile ago, and then I started neglecting my review thread. I'm here now, and I hope you can forgive me.
A couple mechanical notes first:
In the opening section (in italics), you phrase most of it with you/they, but the second sentence in the third paragraph uses "one" instead. I'd suggest changing it so that there's more consistency. Minor, but I thought I'd point it out. :) Other than that, I loved that opening segment - I think it set the mood well and was just a really lovely piece of prose.
I also thought that you overused their names a little in your dialogue. Usually, when people talk to each other, they use each other's names relatively sparingly. The little sequence at the beginning, before they go outside, is really where I thought that this was a bit of problem. Just cutting out a few of the name mentions there would have made it feel more natural. :)
Other than that, though, this was absolutely lovely! I know that you probably want CC, but there's not much I didn't like.
It can be difficult to properly portray children, especially several different children of different ages when they're just interacting with each other. You managed to pull it off with style. They were each completely believable, and I also felt like you managed to stay consistent with what kind of people they ultimately grow up to be without overdoing it.
Bellatrix in particular was perfect. I've often seen young Bellatrix written in a very one-dimensional way - she ends up being portrayed as ruthless and even a little bit evil. You've depicted Bellatrix as headstrong, confident, and even a bit arrogant, and I can easily see how that gradually turned into bloodthirsty and unstable. Right here, however, she's just a know-it-all older sister, and I even found her kind of cute.
That's not to say that the other two weren't well-done, too, because they absolutely were! Narcissa was excellent, and you really hammered in her role as the youngest sister. I can see how that could have affected her personality, and I think it makes a lot of sense given what we see of her in canon. She really was a bit of a follower, wasn't she?
The only thing I think you could have expanded on a bit was Andromeda. I did get the sense that she was more supportive and generally a bit less daring than Bellatrix, but I felt like a lot of her personality traits were defined by her being the middle ground between her sisters and being less extreme than either in general. That works in general, but I did want to see a little more to distinguish her from her sisters - right now I feel like her character is built more around what she isn't than what she is.
On the whole, though, this is a really lovely piece, and I'm glad you requested. I'm sorry again that it's taken me so long to get this review to you!Author's Response: Quite all right! Thank you very much for leaving such a helpful review! :)
I am planning to edit this at some point in the future, so mechanical notes are very much appreciated. Writing dialogue is something that I struggle with and am hoping to improve. I'll definitely try and work on that and use it in the future chapters!
I was sort of terrified to try writing children. o.o So I'm really glad that it seemed to work, haha! Bellatrix was probably the hardest, because I wanted to show how she could end up being the way she did (if that makes sense) but at the same time, I really /didn't/ want to show her in that one-dimensional way.
Hopefully Andromeda's character will become more defined as the story continues - I have to admit I'm still working out the details to how I want to depict her. (oops!)
Thank you so much for the review - it was incredibly helpful! ♥ I really appreciate it. Report Review
Here for our swap! :) I was really happy when I got paired with you - as you know, I really loved the first chapter, so I'm glad I have an excuse to read on! (It's been on my 'to read' list... but you know how those go when you're strapped for time.)
I was wondering how I'd react to the shift in perspectives, since obviously Angelina's pov during GoF is obviously very different from George's post-war. The answer, thus far, at least, has turned out to be "very well." You did an excellent job of capturing a completely different character in a completely different situation while still keeping the overarching narrative coherent. I didn't feel like this was a separate story, because it complimented the first chapter so well.
I loved your portrayal of Angelina and her friends. As with the first chapter, there were just so many intricate little details that really made the story come to life. From the mention in the very first paragraph to what happened when her sister cut her hair to the comments about Michael the Muggle (which were a nice addition given the mention about him last chapter) to their (now failed) plans for the Yule Ball to a million other things (okay, exaggeration, but you get my point), you painted a vibrant, interesting picture of Angelina and her life at Hogwarts without leaving me feeling confused by the introduction of a fair number of OCs. This flowed naturally, and I really, really enjoyed.
I also liked the relationships you depicted, on a lot of different levels. The friendship between Angelina, Alicia, and Lora came across as very realistic (and, as a sidenote, I was happy to see that Katie Bell was not one of Angelina's closest friends - I find the "they're the Gryffindor Chasers so clearly they're all best friends" thing a little overdone, especially since Katie is in a different year than them). Similarly, both Alicia and Lee came across as typical teenagers with their awkwardness in asking people to the Ball as well as their rather shallow motivations. It was just really well-done and really realistic.
Before I forget, I want to mention your interpretation of Fred and Angelina going to the Ball together. It's something that I've seen a lot of different takes on - everything from them being madly in love throughout their time at Hogwarts to them just going as friends - but this is something I don't think I've seen before, and it's something I really liked. You departed a little bit from canon in how he asked her, but you kept the core of it intact, and I'm interested to see what you do next. I felt like this hinted at George's feelings for her in a similar way that the first chapter hinted at her feelings for him, and it fit in well for me because of that.
I did notice a few small mechanical issues. Occasionally, you treated something as a dialogue tag when it wasn't: e.g., "Angelina," Alicia trotted down the corridor beside her friend. There was also one point that I noticed where you didn't capitalise "Potions" (Alright any other course besides this or potions) - the names of subjects are typically capitalised in the books. Minor, but I thought I'd point it out.
Other than that, though, this was an excellent chapter, and I'm continuing to really enjoy this story!Author's Response: Hey there!!
You really leave amazing reviews. I always have the intentions to leave well-organised reviews like this, and end up squeeing about a number of jumbled thoughts. :P So I apologize for the disparity between your amazing review and mine. lol.
The timeline (or rather timelines) in this fic was a bit of an experiment... how to tell a single story from the past and future without giving too much away and with two narrators -- so it's alwas reassuring to hear positives comments about it.
I really enjoy writing Angelina and her group of friends -- I've tried really hard to keep them realistic for their age and maturity. Friendship is a really important facet to who Angelina is, so her relationship with Alicia and Lora and even Lee and the twins adds to who she is as a person. Katie will appear later, and she is a friend of Angelina and Alicia... but definitely not in the same way.
hehe. I had to come up with a way to explain the Yule Ball Fred conundrum! I'm glad you thought this approach worked. You'll see more of it in chapter four.
And THANK YOU for pointing out those few errors. Dialogue tags are a weakness in my writing skills bag. lol. I'll have to clean this chapter up a bit.
I'm so glad you are enjoying this story!! Thank you so much for this review, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts as the story progresses.
Melissa Report Review
Hey! Sorry it's taken me so long to get over here to review your entry - I've been a bit busy, and I wanted to make sure that I could give it my full attention.
I loved this. I really did. Your prose was perfect for the piece - it was dry and witty and very, very engaging.
Nova Spacelove made me laugh on so many different levels. I loved her name. I loved the reference to Lockhart and her backstory in general. I loved her frame of mind and the way she was so frantic to say something - anything to convince Molly that she was the real thing. Initially I really did think she was going to get away with it, when she predicted that the baby was a girl, but then Molly started talking about her five sons and I let out a little laugh. One child too early, Ms. Spacelove. :P
And I loved the fact that you included Molly here. You captured her really well. I'm not sure why Molly was wandering around visiting seers, but I am sure that I don't care. She's bored and pregnant. If I was bored and pregnant and a witch, I might go around trying to see Seers to laugh at them, too! I think my favourite thing was Molly playing along and pretending that she really was concerned about Arthur being faithful - "Geraldine" was great, and the addition of that really made me laugh.
I'm so, so glad that this came out of my challenge. I loved it. Thank you for writing it.
... and conveniently, I've been deliberating about what to nominate for the story of the month! I think I have my answer. ;)Author's Response: Hi, Beeezie!
Firstly, thank you for creating the challenge! And thank you for this thorough and very kind review. :)
Bahaha, Molly trolling all the Seers. I kind of dipped into my own experience with this. When I was pregnant I was laid up on the couch, sick with pneumonia, and had to get my kicks by leaving people really strange text messages. I don't know, my friends/family probably thought I was really bizarre, but at the time I thought it was hilarious. I was just so /bored/.
Really, Nova obviously did not know a thing about Molly because how could Arthur ever step out on her with a leggy blonde woman? Molly + Arthur = true love.
I'm so pleased that you liked it! And eeep! Thank you for nominating it for story of the month! That made my day so much brighter. :) :) :) Report Review
This is a really interesting idea for a fic! I don't think I've ever read one with this premise before (which can be hard to do!), and I think it has a lot of promise. I've already got a lot of questions - I'm kind of assuming that Charity turns out to be a muggleborn witch, but you might choose to keep her a muggle. Either choice allows a lot of room for you to explore the situation and be creative, though perhaps making her a witch would make the story a bit easier to write.
I thought that this was well-written - I could really picture the scene through your description, and I thought that you did a nice job portraying Charity's emotions. It could be a bit more polished here and there, but it's good as it is!
However, I do think that it would be good if you could expand on a few things a bit, in particular her parents' relationship. It seems odd to me that they'd plan to move in on a day that their father needed to go to work, and I didn't really understand why he would just leave right after they'd presumably bought an expensive house. If you could clarify some of that, I think that this would be a great start! :)Author's Response: Thank you so much for being my first review! I will love you forever for that :) I know it's a bit shaky and I appreciate the honesty, I really do! I have an edited version sitting waiting, but I just haven't had the time to update it! Hopefully the update will be a little clearer on some things but I'll check it before I post it. Thanks for the review :) Report Review
Hey, this is Beeezie, here with your review! I actually finished this a few days ago, but I just realised that I never actually posted it, just saved it in a text document on my computer. Fail.
I'm happy to review chapter 2 if missing chapter 1 won't make much difference. :) In the future, though, avoid writing general review under areas of concern. ;)
A few mechanical notes first:
When you're using punctuation, it generally comes off as cleaner if you stick with the conventions. Use one exclamation point rather than two, and rather than use both an exclamation point and a question mark, choose one. An ellipsis should only have three periods, not four or five, and it isn't necessary to put a comma after it. Deviating from conventions when it comes to punctuation often has the opposite effect than a person usually intends - it draws attention away from the content and to the punctuation itself. Sticking with the conventions tends to make it more polished.
You were a little inconsistent with Fleur's accent. It was sometimes written as strongly as it was when she'd first come to England, which was presumably about fifteen years ago, and sometimes not written at all. I would suggest doing one of two things: drop the accent entirely, or reference the books very, very closely when writing her dialogue, so you know you're picking up on the right things. Personally, I think that the first option is significantly easier and also probably more plausible - you could mention that she still had a faint French accent or include a couple consistent words (e.g., always write ze) to keep a flavour of it, but after fifteen years, it's reasonable to think that she would have lost most of the accent.
There were also some points where your phrasing was just a little awkward. For example, in the first paragraph, you say, The book was held up in the air by her. It should really be something more along the lines of, Dominique was holding the book up in the air - that's significantly less awkward. You want to make sure that you're keeping most sentences active - someone should be doing something. The focus in this example should be on Dominique, but the way you've phrased it, the focus is on the book. Does that make sense?
As you mentioned in your areas of concern, you did have some issues keeping your tenses consistent, and there were a lot of sentence fragments or places where you really needed a comma. I'm actually going to recommend that you see about getting a beta who's good at grammar to look over it for you - I don't think that I can point out where you were inconsistent without beta-ing the chapter, which I unfortunately don't have time to do right now.
You mentioned characterisation as being your other major concern. I actually thought that you did a pretty good job with it, with Fleur and Dominique in particular. Fleur can be a hard character to write, especially in a motherhood role, but you balanced the equation well. She wasn't boring or OOC, but she was a lot more down to earth than she was in the books - which makes sense, considering that she's significantly older and has three children. It can be difficult to anticipate the way a character might age, but you did a nice job of it with Fleur. The only think I think you could have done to help elaborate on her personality a bit is include more about how she's feeling and what she's thinking, but on the whole, nice job with her.
On the other side of it, a character like Dominique can be difficult to write. She's still quite young, and she's obviously going through a difficult time right now. As with Fleur, though, I think you handled her well - you got across the drama she's creating without going overboard. I thought that she was quite realistic, and I especially liked the fact that you did indicate that this was out of the ordinary behavior for her beyond just explicitly saying that. I could tell as I was reading that this isn't the way Dominique usually acts, and that's important to me as a reader.
Louis and Bill were well done, too, from what I saw - I just saw less of them.
I mentioned this briefly when I was talking about Fleur, but I think that it bears repeating - the only real issue I saw in your characterisation was that there were were points where a little more detail on what they looked like or how they were feeling would have been helpful. For example, when Fleur is talking to Bill at the end of the chapter, you were describing their actions, but there wasn't much real emotional impact. So she pursed her lips and looked deeply into his eyes - so what? What does that mean? What did she see there?
Do you know what I mean?
Other than that, though, I think your characterisation was quite good. The major issue here is mechanics, and if you can get that sorted, I think you'll be good to go. :)Author's Response: Hi, thank you for reading and reviewing, and sorry for taking long to respond.
Your review is very helpful.
Noted! I will not ask for general review again. Sorry I didn't read your review request specification thoroughly.
Punctuation: yes... every reviewers have commented about that. I just haven't got the time to edit. But I will get to them for sure. Thanks a lot for telling me that excess punctuation will distract the reader's focus (which is of course something I don't want to happen).
Fleur's accent: 15 years is indeed a long time, and while losing her accent completely might be reasonable, it's not the case in my head. I imagine she still has it somehow. I thought I toned it down already, but looking at your review, I think I did not do a very good job. I'll try to work on it again, and if I'm stuck, I'll probably just do what you suggested: not using it at all :D
Passive to active sentence: Got it! It's a remain of my report writing style which I've got so used to. Thanks for the input.
I know I have problem with tenses and grammar. Don't worry, I didn't actually intend to make you locate every single mistakes I did. I just needed to know how bad it is. And, with you suggesting me to have the chapter beta'ed, I can feel that it's pretty messy.
I'm glad that the characterization is okay. But as you said, I will try to work more on the detail and what the characters are thinking or feeling when they're doing something. Thank you so much.
Hey, it's me again! I have been lame with keeping up with my queue. I apologise. :( Feel free to rerequest for this if you see a spot open in my queue (which I should be clearing shortly) even if you haven't responded. I know you're good for it. ;) Also, awww, thanks for the mention in the A/N! :) As I said, you totally deserved it! ♥
Before I get onto the rest of the review, I want to mention something that really stuck out to me about this chapter - you've really improved as a writer since you started writing this story! You were never bad, but you did have some issues with dialogue, description, etc. The only thing I noticed here was the occasional word that wasn't correctly capitalised or should have had an apostrophe to make it possessive rather than plural. I didn't even note them down, because there were only a few and they were ridiculously minor. Great job. :)
Pacing and flow
Decent job, but not great - I think that this was probably the weakest part of the chapter.
The first scene felt complete, as did the beginning of the second one, but I did think that the transition between them could have been a bit cleaner - as it is, you jumped from Keira hoping she could get out of the Hospital Wing that evening to her sitting in class, and reading it, the progression seemed a little jarring to me. You do mention her going back up the Hospital Wing for her last check-up much later, but I would have liked to see something sooner and more clear.
After that, I had a little bit of a hard time following the progression of what was going on. The meal confused me a bit for a few reasons. It didn't seem to last very long - I can't imagine that dealing with her broken bag and the short conversation with Grimstone would have taken up almost all of lunch, and I also had trouble understanding why she was so focused on food and being hungry but then refused to eat because she was on a diet.
The third scene left me feeling a little confused in general - the segue into it from the second could have been a tiny bit more clear, but that wasn't really a huge problem. The bigger issue was that there was just so much subtext that Keira didn't really understand that I felt a little lost, even with knowing more about certain aspects of the Marauders' lives than she did. I would have liked to have some of the things that she sees explained in a way that I could understand as a reader, even if she doesn't. Does that make sense?
The other issue for me in this chapter was that while I felt like most of what you included worked well in the context of remaining true to the characters and the world you've established, I didn't feel like you really moved the plot along, and I would have liked to see more of that rather than just Keira going about her day. If there were some things that were new rather than just reiterating old information, I didn't really pick up on them, so some emphasis would have been nice.
This continues to be excellent.
You are definitely one of the best authors I've read on this site with crafting strong and realistic portrayals of characters. That's not to say that other authors aren't good - you're just excellent.
The way that Keira and Alice were talking about the war in the beginning was perfect for teenage girls who are still relatively ignorant of what's going on in the greater wizarding world but are really starting to understand it. Keira's isn't just horrified at what happened to the Healers (it should probably be Healers rather than nurses, no?) - she's shocked. "They can't do that!" implies a certain naivete. I also liked the way that she and Alice seemed to switch roles - at first it was Alice who seemed a little jaded about the attack, but then when she asks Keira if she thinks the war will ever end, Keira started to sound jaded herself before she pushed it out of her head completely. It's just a really excellent portrayal of two young girls who are coming to terms with a pretty terrible world.
That was the scene that really stood out to me, but I also liked the interaction with Henry at lunch. I remember feeling like you weren't really properly developing their relationship early on, but since he actually got to Hogwarts you really have done an excellent job portraying their relationship. It's cute and sweet and a completely plausible portrayal of two teenagers in love.
My only comment is that I would have liked to see a little more about how exactly Keira reacts to (and feels about) Lily, James, and the other Marauders toward the end, but that's quite minor.
This was also great. The entire chapter fit in well with what we know about the Marauders era and what you've already established about your interpretation of it.
Again, a standout for me was the scene in the Hospital Wing in the beginning of the chapter. You mentioned the Daily Prophet and a couple of the articles in it. I thought that both of them were quite plausible, and I like the way that you're continuing to balance the different sides of the wizarding world. It's not all doom and gloom with any of the students in Hogwarts, Keira included, and the mention of the French National Team and Mel's predicted reaction to their tour definitely helped to emphasise that. At the same time, though, the mention of the attack on St. Mungo's Healers brought the war back to the forefront. That was absolutely plausible - I'm actually writing a fic about a similar situation! :P
However, that's not to say that everything else didn't work. I especially liked the discussion between her and Grimstone about the position being jinxed - you wrote it in a way that came off as realistic and appropriate for a conversation between a student and a teacher.
And I've run out of space now, but I don't have much more to say anyway. Great job, and (of course) feel free to rerequest. ♥Author's Response: Branwen! I'm so sorry I'm late to reply. I was busy and then I forgot I had a backlog of unanswered reviews. (Awkward.)
But of course I was going to mention you in the A/N! I still can't believe I won, and it's how many months later now? haha. ^_^
I have improved, even i've noticed it, and largely it's thanks to you. :) Your reviews are so helpful, and I've learn so much. I still slip up now and again (more often than not, actually) but I at least know what i'm doing wrong, and that's a huge step forward. Thank you. :)
I've had so many problems with flow lately. I think it's because I've been pushing myself through this writers block, and the flow is suffering as a result. I'll go back and edit it when I have a chance. And I see what you mean about the plot. The first part of this story is very character driven, and while it has plot, I suppose that's being overshadowed a lot by the characters. I'll try and work on that for the upcoming chapters. :/
Yeah, i'm still working on the Marauders. I don't want it to be a huge and sudden jump to them being best friends (?) but at the same time, I totally get what you're saying. There's far more Marauder interaction in the next chapter, so hopefully that helps explain the situation between them? I dunno. Hopefully you get what i'm saying. :/
I'm glad you liked the discussion between her and Grimstone. I was so worried that it wouldn't come across right, but i'm happy that you feel otherwise. :)
Thanks so much for the review, Branwen. They really make my day, and are so helpful.
- Adele ^_^ Report Review
Hey, this is Beeezie, finally here with your review! Sorry - I've been a bit busy lately with the CR activity, which I hope you've enjoyed. :)
I'm continuing to really, really like your writing style. I think that you've done a great job transitioning from the abstract style of the prologue to a more linear narrative while still maintaining the distinctive tone that (thus far, anyway) that I'm continuing to admire and enjoy.
One of the things that stands out to me about this story continues to be the strong statements Ariana is making. People attack others because they want to is just another example of an argument that really made me think. I'm glad that you didn't just cut it out entirely, because it helped draw me into this story and Ariana's character very early on in this chapter, and I remained absorbed in her throughout.
I also loved the way you started this: breaking it up by minutes, hours, and years really helped to illustrate how Ariana experienced the attack, and on a wider level, how people experience that kind of traumatic event in general. An act that takes only minutes can leave scars that last years, and this was a great way of communicating that. My only issue was that the way you used the theme of time wasn't consistent - first it was a colon, then a semi-colon, and then just a full sentence. I think that the years sentence can work as it is if you prefer it that way, but I'd strongly suggest that you make the first two consistent at the very least.
The way Ariana remembered her life before the attack was well done, on the whole - there was a certain childlike simplicity about what she noticed. However, I did feel like your description of the way she used magic needed a little work - the description of the maze she made felt too complicated for a six-year old to think of, and there was also a sense of deliberateness which struck me as odd for someone so young.
From what we saw in canon, children typically can't control their magic - Lily could only jump from the swing and make pedals move on a flower, and I think that we were told that she was unusual in that. For Ariana to be able to intentionally do things like refill her pumpkin juice, make a hedge to lay on, and create the maze seemed inconsistent with canon to me.
Additionally, while I felt like Ariana before the attack was done well, I thought that Ariana during and after the attack needed some work. The language was too complicated for a six-year old, and for a girl who was deeply scarred by the event and who we've been told was easily confused, she seemed quite aware of what was happening around her. I think that you could have cut out a lot of the details and emphasised the stress and the tension and the fear rather than lay out exactly what happened. This is a situation where I think that less is more - a lot of what you have could be replaced with her feelings and vague impressions, and for me, at least, that would have felt more real.
Other than that, this was good! I did feel like as with the last chapter, there were some points where your prose felt a little messy. Because this is a longer chapter than the first, however, I'm having a little more trouble picking out exactly what I think is problematic and how you might fix it without actually full on beta-ing it. I'd suggest seeing about running this past a beta who's good with grammar and mechanics, just to get the chapter to be as good as it can be. :)
Thanks for requesting, and feel free to rerequest when I've opened up spots. :) Report Review
Hey, this is Beeezie, here with your very late review! Sorry - the CR activity has been taking up a lot of my time. ;)
I think that you've got a very promising start. It seems to me like in general, you're very good at creating an overarching plot and background of the story, but you struggle a little when it comes to execution.
The premise of the story and what you've told us of Lynette's life is great. Between the story summary and this chapter, you established a solid foundation for what I assume will be the basic plot - Lynette having to deal with the lies she's had to tell her best friend - without emphasizing it so much that I felt like you were hitting me over the head with it. That can be difficult to do, especially when you're writing OCs, but you did a great job with it.
I also thought that what you've shown so far is quite plausible. Lynette's feeling cut off from some of her family and her friend because she's muggleborn is completely realistic, and I'm sure it would be something that a lot of muggleborn witches and wizards would go through. I especially liked some of the conflict with her brother - I did feel like you could have expanded on it a little (I'll get to that in a minute), but the fact that he clearly doesn't understand the Wizarding World and also clearly isn't making much of an effort is something we even saw in canon between Lily and Petunia. It's hard, and by having Nate make a nasty little comment about sports, you worked it in so that you weren't just saying, "There's conflict" - you were showing it.
I also actually really liked that Daniel is someone that she met fairly recently - often in fics that focus on a conflict between two close friends, the best friend is someone the main character has known forever. While that's not unrealistic, this is a refreshing change, especially since I think it's probably fair to say that most conflicts between friends happen between people who have not known each other for years and years.
Where I thought you started to run into problems was in your execution of your ideas. I'm not saying that it was bad, because it wasn't - you're not a poor writer by any stretch, and I'm glad that your friend convinced you to try.
There were a few typos here and there - in the paragraph starting, "Is there any way that I could help you? you forgot to close the dialogue with a second quote, and in the paragraph starting, Lynette blinked a couple of times, you wrote his brother in the last sentence when I assume it should be her brother. There were also a couple incorrectly capitalised dialogue tags (there's a great article in Grammar Guidelines on the forums if you need a quick refresher), as well as a few misplaced commas. On the balance, though, those are all very minor things, and they don't really get in the way of enjoying what I'm reading (for me, at any rate, and I'm pretty picky).
The real issue for me was that you often just hadn't fleshed the story out enough. You didn't have as much detail in your description as I would have liked. You did integrate a nice variety of dialogue tags in ways that really fit with the chapter, and you also described what the characters were doing well enough that I definitely had a good picture of it in my head.
What you lacked to some extent was richness - something that makes the story stand out and makes it come to life, rather than just giving me a decent picture without much fuss. There were a lot of points where just a little more detail could have added an extra dimension to the chapter.
For example, in the beginning, when Lynette was brushing Jennie's hair, you could have mentioned something along the lines of Jennie having asked that at least five times since Lynette had gotten home three days ago, or something along those lines. When Lynette examines herself in the mirror, you could have included something about her appearance - is her hair like Jennie's? Does she feel odd in muggle clothing?
You could have done the same thing when she was talking to Nate. What are his angry moods? How does he react during them? How long has he been playing football, and how high a level does he play at? Why didn't she go to the game the day before? Why doesn't he feel that he needs her help?
Do you know what I mean? You don't need to answer all of those questions - in fact, if you did, I suspect that the chapter would end up dragging. My main point is that just a little something extra here and there could add a lot of depth to the story and tell us more about Lynette's life.
The same thing also holds true for your characters. You've given them their own personalities, and none of those personalities feel generic or boring. However, I think that you need more detail to really emphasise them, so the characters feel more relatable and compelling.
For example, I know that the focus isn't Hogwarts right now, but I did want to know something about what Lynette's experience at Hogwarts has been like, and how she feels about being a witch outside of her family. You mention Quidditch, but you don't really get into it other than saying that she's the captain - does she miss it on holiday? Is she sad that she can't share it with Daniel? Has it become harder to keep the secret since she turned 17?
I also wanted to know more about Daniel. What's his school experience like? How often does he write to her? Has he pressed her about her school more than just feeling annoyed about the letters?
Again, do you see what I mean? Just a little more detail could add a lot more depth, which I think would really help flesh this story out and make it great. :)Author's Response: It took me one and a half month to respond to this review. I am extremely sorry for that. I actually ha very little access to the internet for the past 2 months and life eventually got in the way. I am still very sorry and I hope you can accept my sincere apology.
Your review was so helpful. I am feeling guilty once again. I mean I just read one of the best reviews ever and for the past few months i didn't manage to write a single line for this story. I wonder if I even deserve such wonderful reviews. I wish I could just thank you. But really a simple thank you won't be enough here. I just want you that this review meant a lot to me.
THANK YOU. Report Review
Hey, this is Beeezie, here with your review! Sorry (again) for the delay - I had to put a lot of time/energy into the CR activity. ;)
As a note for the future: when you rerequest, please specify the chapter you're requesting for, and it would be nice if you'd specify the word count as well. I have a hard time keeping track of what chapter I'm on, so I waste a bit of time each request figuring it out.
First section (Harry)
The first part of this came across as a little awkward for me. On the whole, you described the scene well, and it was a nice way to open the chapter - there was just enough action to grab my attention without being overwhelming. However, there were a number of points where I felt like you were rushing the scene. I understand that you didn't want to spend too long just getting them on the train, but at the same time, I do think that you needed to slow down a little.
For example, as far as description goes, the first paragraph of the chapter was a little unclear - I think that the paragraph would have worked better if you'd cut out the two sentences in the middle. Similarly, I was confused about why it was even necessary to use the muggle as a decoy.
Along the same lines, there were a lot of intuitive leaps Harry made toward the start of the chapter that I wanted you to back up. I can understand how he might have been able to pick the wizards out of the crowd, but I wanted a better reason. There are a lot of people who wear dated or unmatched clothes. Additionally, the jump to, "that box has a Sneakoscope" and "the Sneakoscope obviously senses us" seemed like a big leap. I wanted to know why he was confident about those things..
Finally, both Esme's and Harry's reaction to traveling as muggles seemed strange. Based on the books, at least, it seems like wizards are at least familiar with trains and boats, and I'm not quite clear on why airplanes were so confusing.
Other than that, though, the section was good. I still feel like Esme's reaction to Harry is a little overblown, considering how long ago whatever happened between them was (unless she had a child with him or something), but I think I'm going to just have to try to let that go.
I did feel like the explanation he gave her was reasonable. It explained why he would have betrayed Ginny like that in a reasonable way, which I've certainly been wondering, and I also felt like it moved Harry and Esme along from the standstill I was afraid they'd fall into.
I'm also glad that you took the opportunity to move them into France while you addressed that; it felt a lit more natural than simply starting the scene by announcing that they were in France or, on the other end, taking way too long to get them there. It's something that could have easily become very boring, but you handled the transition quite well.
Second section (George)
This section I was a lot less conflicted about. I think that you did an excellent job capturing George, especially in terms of showing realistic character development given the time that's passed. He's still recognisably George, of course - the faerie wings are absolutely something I can see being a product in Weasleys' Wizarding Wheezes, and him using them like that is completely in character. However, I also felt like you did add some maturity and thoughtfulness to him that wasn't there before.
The same was true for the rest of the Weasleys. I liked what you've done with Charlie, and there's still a suspiciousness and an uneasiness I feel about Percy that's perfect. Molly hasn't really changed much - if anything, she's gotten even more protective and bullish about the whole thing - but I think that that's a good thing, too. There's no reason why should would have changed.
I also liked the way Arthur and Molly managed to shake their tail, though I think I might have liked it a bit better if you'd included some explanation about why Molly knew anything about muggle psychiatric wards and where to find them or made it Arthur's idea in the first place. Alternatively, you could have made her lead them into a home for people suffering from dementia, which I think it's a bit more likely that Molly would know about. Either way, it was quite funny. Ditto the comment about the tail being arrested for vagrancy.
The only thing that bothered me about this was quite minor, and I may have mentioned it in a previous review - I don't love that Fleur still has an accent. She's been in England surrounded by English speakers for decades. At least in my experience, you tend to shed most of your accent after such an extended time. Just my opinion, though.
Third section (Harry)
On the whole, I liked this section as well. Without it, I feel like this chapter would have felt almost unnecessary, because all it did previous to this is establish things we already knew or could guess with a little extra information. I'm not saying that that's a bad thing to do - I just think that when there's nothing that moves the plot along or starts to answer big questions, the chapter ends up being a bit disappointing. That's especially true of a story like this, which is primarily plot driven.
So in terms of that, this section was terrific. It helped give me a sense of direction that the story could move in next. I would have liked a little more detail about Katerina from either Turgeon or Esme here - I'm sure that will come, but it would have been nice to have some of it here, too. Turgeon herself was fun, and I liked her.
I did think that Esme's showing Harry his parents right there was a bit odd, and it would have made a lot more sense to me if she did that in the next chapter, after they were in a different and more relaxed environment. That's just me, though.
All in all, good chapter. It did feel a bit slow, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. As always, feel free to rerequest (though please do include the chapter & word count).Author's Response: Beeezie! Long time, no see!
So into every story some plot delivery must fall, and this was definitely one of those slower-paced chapters that was heavy on setting up future developments. I'm sorry if the pace felt a little slow. I promise that I'll be back to barn-burning, blistering, brain-warping action very soon.
As I was trying to get them onto the train, my main goal was to set a certain atmosphere -- covert, dangerous, tense -- without belaboring the point. Evidently I could have belabored it a bit more, so I'll keep that in mind as I write future chapters. As far as Harry's logical leaps go, I'm thinking of him as having over 40 years of Auror experience by this point. He's worked countless surveillance assignments and he's very well versed in the ins and outs, as is Esme. I wouldn't see a hastily-assembled Ministerial Security task force being any sort of match for them.
My beta reader and I went back and forth a lot on trying to get the conversation between Harry and Esme to sound just right and honestly I'm still not 100% happy with it. The old "Harry is rubbish with girls" plot device is getting pretty tired and cliche by this point, but I couldn't think of any other plausible way that he could make her angry enough for the two of them to really get their true feelings out in the open. Esme has that classic Mediterranean personality type: emotional, prone to flying off the handle, and wearing her heart on her sleeve. That's why she still hasn't really forgiven Harry, although they make some progress in this chapter.
The way George eludes his tails from Ministerial Security was far and away the most fun part of this chapter to write. Aside from his prank during the family dinner, I haven't really made enough of George's character up to this point, so I'm trying to remedy that. As far as whether Molly would understand the workings of a muggle hospital, come on, dear, you can't have it both ways. Either wizarding society is sufficiently disconnected that Esme wouldn't have known much about muggle transit or most wizards are aware enough that they would understand that muggles have special facilities for their mentally ill patients.
As far as Fleur's accent, eh, you probably have a good point. I just like to do something to help differentiate her.
As for the last section, it definitely has the biggest dose of plot. There is a lot more detail about Katerina coming up in the next chapter. Here, I was mostly just trying to introduce her as a presence and get a few things about her -- her gifts, her immaturity and Professor Turgeon's concerns about her -- out in the open.
I thought that Esme helping Harry to experience the full detail of his memory of his parents fir in reasonably well with her explanation of the Beauxbatons memory class being her favorite and why. It also happened to be a place where penseives were easily available, which won't happen again for a while.
Thanks for all of the constructive criticism. It's something that I really wish I got more of in my reviews, because it pushes me to think about what I'm writing and challenge my own assumptions. I'll make a point of giving you chapter and length the next time I get a chance to re-request, although you seem to stay really busy these days and I feel bad about snagging spots that could go to less established authors. Thanks so much for reading and reviewing! Report Review
Hey, this is Beeezie, here with your overdue review. :)
Just a quick note: in the future, please do not just write "general review." When people are not specific, I do not fill their requests. You did specify pacing and flow on your request, which is why I'm filling this, but I just want to make you aware of that for the future.
I've struggled with this review for awhile, because this kind of story just isn't really my thing. As a result, this review has wound up being embarrassingly short. I'm sorry, and I really did try my best.
The chapter was well-written. You definitely have a talent for crafting words together to create a real, vivid sense of how the character is feeling. Draco's fear and confusion was communicated brilliantly - you expressed it well, and as importantly, you expressed it in a believable way. I felt the tension and the uncertainty in his narrative, and it was honestly a little contagious.
My major issue with this piece was that I felt like there simply wasn't enough to tangibly tie this story to Draco Malfoy. Most of the chapter was just so abstract that I had a hard time connecting to it - I mean, yes, I know it was supposed to be Draco, and I don't think that he was OOC, exactly, but there wasn't much reference to canon, either, which made it difficult for me to feel invested in him as a character.
That's just a personal preference thing - a lot of people don't need a story to be as tangible as I do, and they also don't need as strong a connection to canon to get pulled into the story. I do think that having a little more detail and description of his sensory experiences would have helped give the story a little more depth, but again, that could just be me.
I'm sorry I wasn't very helpful, and that my review was so short. :(Author's Response: Thanks for coming by. I apologize for the "general review" slip up when requesting this.
I'm glad the way I wrote it was contagious. That's what a writer likes to hear, right? XP
There is a reason there is not much connecting him to the story. He doesn't know exactly who he is, which is why he's not particularly canon. I've planned out two sequels for this and everything will become a bit more clear as the time passes. I will, however, attempt to bring out his character a bit more.
You were, in fact, really helpful so thank-you. (:
Brittanique Report Review
Hey, this is Beeezie, here with your long-overdue review! Sorry it's taken me so long - our CR event has been eating up a lot of my time lately. ;)
On the whole, this was well-written and captivating. I thought that your prose was both beautiful and thought-provoking. I've sometimes found that fics that start out on an abstract level like this did sometimes have a tendency to feel generic or overdone, but the detail you put into it made this story stand out. I really got a sense of Narcissa's turmoil and pain when you started talking about all the ways in which dying of a "broken heart" isn't romantic at all. You turned it ugly, and that set the tone of the fic in a way that allowed you to seamlessly segue into their wedding.
I loved the mention of the flowers in their wedding. It was a nice little detail - especially the fact that Lucius has a favourite flower and that surprising Narcissa - that helped give this fic a little more depth. I also liked the link Narcissa drew between the white lilies and funerals - it was a nice analogy, given the overall tone of the piece.
I also liked the way you characterised both Narcissa and Lucius. I've read a lot of fics that portray them as cold, even toward each other, and Lucius is often unfaithful or standoffish. Some of those can be quite good, but I've personally always favoured your interpretation - I think that there was a lot of love in their relationship, and that while he wasn't a particularly nice person, he probably was a very good husband. I felt you portrayed him as such without whitewashing him, and for me, at least, that made this fic very believable.
That said, there were a few things I think you could have to improve it.
As I said, I thought that Lucius was very well done. However, I did feel like there was a little something missing from Narcissa. I didn't really get a sense of what her opinion was about Lucius's choices or why she thought that he'd chosen the wrong side, especially since she seemed to have doubts when they got married. I'm not saying that I wanted you to get into details about blood status - in fact, I think that doing so would probably be a mistake - but I did want to get a better sense of who she was and how she felt.
Additionally, while I liked the narrative in the beginning a lot and thought that it was beautiful, I also felt like it took a little too long to get to the point where Narcissa starts talking about her husband choosing the wrong side. I think that if you'd either cut some of it out or integrated some details about Narcissa and her situation into it, it would have worked much better.
On the whole, though, this was a very strong piece, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. :)Author's Response: Hello! And gosh, I know! It's all happening in the CR :D
I'm glad you liked the start- I was trying to give it humour as well as making it feel sad. The flower/funeral analogy wasn't very subtle, was it? :P I wrote the flowers in because I previously didn't realise that narcissi were flowers, so I wanted to link in my new-found discovery.
I portrayed Lucius and Narcissa the way I always characterized them in my head, so I'm happy you agreed with that - I never felt they were bad people, they just made a lot of wrong choices, and they never gave us any indication that they weren't happy together.
Looking back, I wholeheartedly agree- Narcissa's own point of view isn't very well developed. I specifically made sure I didn't go into blood status- I wasn't sure how I wanted Narcissa's views on that, so I just didn't touch it at all, but I see that Narcissa's character could do with some developing. Also, the start- I can see how it is a little long. I tend to ramble :) I'll work on those points, thanks.
Thank you very much for such a great review! Report Review
Hey, this is Beeezie, here with your review! Sorry about the delay - RL and a Gryffie CR activity have sapped me of my time recently. No worries about taking awhile to respond - honestly, it can take me forever to fill requests and answer reviews, so I totally understand. As long as it's answered within, like, a month or two, I don't think anything of it. :P
The mechanics in this chapter were definitely stronger than the last one. (Not that the last one was bad, this just feels a bit more polished.) It flows really well, and there wasn't anything that jerked me out of the story. I was completely absorbed in it start to finish.
I also thought that your description was much better in this chapter. Again, it wasn't bad in the last chapter, but there were a fair number of points where I just felt like there was a little something missing. The description in the first four scenes of this chapter was excellent, however. You included enough description that I felt like I had a pretty decent picture in my head of what was going on, but not so much that the flow felt drastically different than in the previous two chapters (which can sometimes happen when people add more description in, and it sometimes ends up feeling a bit odd, at least to me).
My only comment is that sometimes, I felt like the narrative surrounding your dialogue could have used a little more detail. It was mostly a problem in scenes II and IV, which I think might have been because they were more emotional than the others. Your use of dialogue tags were good and definitely helped to get the mood across, but I wanted you to follow up on them. For example, in scene II, when Madam Pomfrey snaps at Kreacher, I wanted to see some follow up - what was her face like? How did Kreacher interpret her tone?
Does that make sense?
The fifth scene felt a little more like the last chapter to me - there was just a little something missing in it. I wanted a little more description of the setting or even just detail about Cygnus's thought process or subtleties in Moody and Kingsley's expression. Does that make sense? Otherwise, though excellent job. :)
All of that was pretty minor, though. This is probably my favourite chapter so far, even though there was no Sirius in it. It was really, really strong in a lot of different ways.
One of the best things about this for me is your characterisation. I think I said this in my last review as well, but it bears repeating. This, for me, is exactly what good AU should be: it's a different world, yes, with very different rules, but I'm still left with the feeling that you're exploring canon. This story does not read to me like you are just substituting in the names of Harry Potter characters in a Hamlet-inspired OF (which is often what AU feels like to me and why I tend not to like it). This is beautifully crafted; there are so many references that fit perfectly with what we know or have guessed about canon.
Kreacher is one of the best parts of this chapter for me. I know that you mentioned that you're wondering now why you took house elves out of the story, but I'm actually kind of glad you did (or, at least, that you made Kreacher human). I think that the dynamic here would have been different if he was an elf - he would have had less respect and less control. As is, I feel like you've eliminated a lot of the complex relationships that inevitably come up when you're writing house elves, which in this situation, would have just been distracting. I love Kreacher's loyalty and devotion to Regulus in particular - it just felt so perfect and in keeping with what we know about their relationship in the books.
In praising Kreacher, though, I don't want to sell the other characters short. You did an excellent job with them, too. The other two standouts for me in this chapter are Regulus and Cygnus.
I loved Regulus. Kids can be very difficult to write, but you did a great job with him. His mannerisms and reactions to a rapid series of very traumatising events was absolutely realistic - you included a perfect amount fear and the confusion and even a hint of a temper tantrum toward the end without going overboard. I also loved the exploration you've done into his and Sirius's relationship. Regulus is a scared little boy who wants his older brother to take care of him, and you know, I can see this being how their relationship might have been pre-Hogwarts, too. This is AU, but it's giving me a new perspective on canon, too, which I love.
Cygnus is creepy. Cygnus is exactly the kind of creepy, self-serving nasty piece of work that I would expect him to be. It's a nice perspective on the Black family, and it's one that I can easily extrapolate to canon.
In short? You have me convinced that this is exactly what Hamlet-meets-Harry-Potter would look like. I love this story. I believe that this is what Kreacher would be like at a human. I can totally see all of the arrogance and egotism that it's very clear the Blacks as a whole had in spades in Cygnus's and Pollux's plotting.
I can't praise this highly enough.
Please feel free to rerequest. (And if you see a slot open and you haven't answered this yet and you'd like to post, go ahead - I know you're good for the response. :P)Author's Response: Hey, we're both busy, so I can totally understand. It's not like my chapters are all that short either and your reviews are so thorough that I get that it can take a while to get around to it. :)
I am so ridiculously happy that you love this story, no joke. Your opinion means a lot to me and the fact that you're so in-depth in your reviews blows me away. Every time. Thank you for this review, and for hopefully giving me the motivation to keep writing it. I've been sort of in a funk since school took a lot of writing time away from me so I'm hoping once I wrap my head around the idea that I do have free time, I can pump out a lot of chapters before school starts again and consumes my life. Thanks again!
Hey, this is Beeezie, here with your review! (Which has taken forever. Please forgive me - there's been a Gryffie CR activity that's taken up most of my attention.)
I'm going to address your writing style first, because style is important to me. I always nitpick about it, because I really think it can make or break a story (and, of course, you did ask specifically about it! :P). And I have to say, I think you did a great job. I usually really dislike present tense, but here it works well. I think it gave the story a more personal feel, which can sometimes be lacking in a third-person perspective. The way you wrote this pulled me into Leanne's frame of mind, and made me empathise with her.
I also liked the transitions you made between scenes. You covered a lot of important ground in a very elegant way. The scene changes didn't feel forced to me - they felt like they flowed from one to the next naturally. That was true right from the start: moving into the flashback right after Leanne says, "Then they went to Hogwarts" was absolutely perfect. The scenes themselves had a similar quality - you summarised where you should have to keep the scene from dragging, included enough dialogue for me, at least, to feel a connection with the two of them, and spent an appropriate amount of time on each scene.
My only issue with your writing itself was that I felt like sometimes your description could have used a little work. I don't think that very detailed descriptions always work, but for the pace and flow of this story, I think a little more detail would help enhance the story. While you did a good job overall at getting across how Leanne was feeling, I wished that you'd included a little more of a reaction early on to some of the things Katie said, especially since some of them came across (to me, at least) as being a little hurtful.
I also didn't always have a clear picture of what was going on around her. Early on, when Katie first wakes up, the story was basically just their dialogue and Leanne's inner monologue. I wanted to know more about what the scene physically looked like. Leanne thinking about Katie's eyes a lot - what colour are they? How does she feel about the environment? What is Katie doing? Leanne is clearly uncomfortable at the beginning - what does she look at when she looks away from Katie? How is she reacting to that discomfort?
Does that make sense? I just wanted a little more detail and description than you had, to really ground the scene in something tangible. Otherwise, it's a really nice job. :)
As far as characterisation goes, I think that so far you've done a good job. Both Leanne and Katie have very strong, distinctive characters, and I really liked them both. I felt like you portrayed a very complicated relationship very well - as the story progressed, I definitely got the distinct impression that not only did Leanne develop feelings about Katie that Katie didn't return, but she was also more attached in general to Katie than Katie was to her. That's not uncommon, especially in childhood friends, but it can be difficult to portray, especially without someone coming off as the bad guy.
But you managed it, and managed it beautifully. I felt for both of them. This friendship is awkward and messy. I'm still not quite sure where Katie's mind was at or what she did or didn't notice, and I like that, too. I'm definitely left wanting to read on and find out what happens in their sixth year and after Katie gets cursed. You took a minor character and a character who barely got a name and made them something unique and creative - and really enjoyable to read about.
All of that said, I do have a few little pieces of crit.
In the first section, just after Katie wakes up, there were a few little bits in the dialogue that didn't work for me. Part of the problem was just Katie's recollections, which didn't always make sense to me - how could she remember her mother and that Leanne hadn't come to visit her, but not Dumbledore or the school? I'm not questioning that she can't remember Leanne - just the fact that her memory for information seems a bit inconsistent. The other issue I had with that section was that I felt that Katie's dialogue showed someone that was far too calm, being able to remember almost nothing. I wanted a bit more description of her emotional state or why she didn't have one.
I also thought that some of their dialogue and interactions when they were kids first heading off to Hogwarts didn't quite fit eleven year olds. Leanne's glancing at her watch to time how many times her mother had told her to write every day was in the last twenty-two minutes (that came off convoluted, but you know what I'm talking about) seemed like something a teenager or young adult would do, not something that an eleven year old would do. Similarly, Leanne's use of the word "Perhaps" during her Sorting seemed a bit odd - "Maybe" would have fit better to me. (Minor, but I do that. :P)
The only other issue I had was that I wanted a tiny bit more background or detail on the broken friendship between Leanne's mother and Katie's. As it was, it seemed like a bit of an overreaction on Katie's mother's part, and I didn't really understand why neither woman seemed to be very emotionally affected. (All right, I wouldn't necessarily know about Katie's mother, but Leanne's didn't seem all that upset.) It just felt a little strange to me.
Other than that, though, this was a really lovely story. I great enjoyed it, and please feel free to rerequest when I have slots free. :)Author's Response: Eeeep, I've completely forgotten about this review! My apologies for responding so late -- exams have been horrible lately >.<
I see what you mean about the impersonal-ness of third person, but I'm glad present tense worked for you :) And yay to you getting into Leanne's mindset, as well as you liking the transitions between scenes. It was kind of tough doing that, so I'm really glad you thought I did that well.
I see what you mean about the lack of description. I think it's been commented on before, and I have been working to curb that. I will definitely bear that in mind for other writing, so thank you for that :)
Hahaha, yes, their relationship is certainly awkward and messy, lol. That is a perfect way to put it. It gets more interesting later on, I think.
I think the dialogue was stilted for a reason, but the fact that Katie remembered her mother and not Leanne is scientifically more accurate than her not remembering anything at *all*. A friend of mine had a car accident a few years back, and when she woke up, she could remember a few of her friends, but not her parents, interestingly. So that was me trying to be accurate, lol. Also, Katie has been awake for a while -- as in, she first woke up the day before, and then Leanne went over to see her, so Katie had a bit of time to digest what had happened.
Leanne checking her watch etc was her being nerdy (it was meant to show that she's studious/a bit of a stickler for detail). Maybe it was a bit much for an eleven-year-old, but I think Leanne was quite mature for an eleven-year-old, more mature than Katie, that is, hence why she comes across as such.
The thing with Katie's and Leanne's mothers' problems is that it's not the major plot strand of the story, and this mushroomed from a one-shot to a three-shot as it is, so I kind of felt like I had to skim over it a bit. You have a point, and I wish I could go and expand this story further -- but it's just given me so much hell as it is that I'd much rather just leave it for the moment.
I'm really glad you liked it anyway! Thanks for reviewing, and once again, apologies for not responding sooner.
~Soraya~ Report Review
You know, I'm starting to wonder if maybe part of your problem is the perspective. I had a lot of the same issues with this Scorpius chapter as I did with the first one - I didn't feel like it was as coherent as the second chapter. I felt like you kind of just dropped the reader into the scene without really providing a neat segue in, and I also didn't feel like enough really happened for it to be a chapter all on its own.
I do see that your chapters start to get longer later on, which (in my opinion) is good, but I think that you could make this longer just by adding more detail in. I don't really feel like I have a good grasp on Rose and Scorpius as a couple yet - Albus is saying that they've been in love forever, but I haven't really seen that so far. In this chapter, you focused more on his conversation with Molly than his bumping into Rose, which seemed a little odd.
I hope I'm not coming across as hypercritical, because I do enjoy this story and I think that you have a lot of promise. There are a lot of little sparks that are great - in particular, I like the way you're depicting a lot of the friendships so far (Rose & Dominique, Albus & Scorpius, Scorpius & Molly). I just feel like you need more detail to take the story to the next level and really get me invested in the characters. What you have here is good - I just want more.
If that makes sense.
(Hopefully this didn't come off as rude or mean or anything! I really do like the story!)Author's Response: I definitely think you're right about that! Scorpius was a lot harder for me to write and I'm thinking about editing a lot of it sometime to see if I can make it better! Thank you for reviewing! You really helped me :)
-Amanda Report Review
Seeing as I just nominated this for a Golden Paw, I figured I probably ought to review it! :P
I adore this fic. I've been reading a lot - a lot - of Gryffie fics in the past week so I could find lots of new stories to nominate, and this is by far my favorite Weasley-centric one. I feel like this is going to be an utterly lame review, because I don't have any CC at all. It's just such a cute little story - you captured Molly perfectly, and I thought that you captured Percy nicely as well, and you did a terrific job of showing his age. I liked the little hints of older-Percy that I saw (maybe I just imagined them, but I don't think so) - the sense of responsibility and protectiveness was really well-portrayed and well handled. And the story itself just made me want to hug Twinkle - and she's twice-fictional!
Thank you for writing this. It's amazing.Author's Response: I saw that you nominated it, and it really made my day! Thank you. :)
I'm glad you liked Molly; it can be a tricky thing to show both her sternness and her softer side, so I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out when I was writing her. And hee, you didn't imagine the glimpses of older-Percy. I didn't want to make him completely unlikable because, well if I'm being honest, older Percy is a bit of a git, so I tried to expand on his other characteristics. We all know he loved responsibility, so that's what I worked with.
Thank you so much for reading and for this lovely review, and for nominating little Percy. :) Report Review
Okay, this is more along the lines of what I was talking about in my last review. I feel like this was just a more complete, more coherent chapter - it had a clear progression from start to finish. There was also a nice symmetry about starting it with Dominique talking about doing some investigating, and ending it with Rose saying it. I also felt like you definitely built up the sequence of events that led her to change her mind well. Great job. :)
I also felt like you included information here that helped pull me into Rose's life in a way I wasn't necessarily pulled into Scorpius's. There was just a lot of background worked into this, and as a rule, it was worked in well. You're mentioning cousins as they come up, rather than going through and listing them all off (e.g., James), which for me comes across as a lot more clean and interesting to read. I also got a good sense of her relationship with Dominique based on their interactions, which was an excellent example of showing rather than telling.
I still think that you could have included a little more information, though - in particular, I really want to know what House they're all in, and what Rose's relationship is with Scorpius and Albus. I didn't really get a sense of how close they are - on one hand, you mentioned Rose, Dominique, Albus, and Scorpius sneaking around the castle late at night, but on the other, the way she reacted to Scorpius in the hall and the way she thought about him and Albus just didn't feel particularly close or affectionate. I wanted to see more of that in there.
There were also a few little details here and there that didn't really work. There was one point (in the sentence starting, Half way down to the Great Hall) where you referred to Scorpius as "Malfoy," which doesn't seem to fit if they're friends.
Another awkward point for me was when Dominique was pulling the clothing out of her trunk. First, you described the clothes in a lot more detail than you described everything else ("tight black skinny jeans"), which comes off feeling kind of strange - a simple mention of Dominique pulling out black clothing would have been sufficient. It's important to keep your level of description consistent, and in general, for clothing less is more. (Not always true, but usually is.) Second, the Charlie's Angels reference was completely anachronistic to me - they're wizarding girls in the 2020s. How on earth would Rose know what Charlie's Angels were, and to the extent that they would jump into her mind first?
On the whole, though, nice job. I think the biggest thing you can do to improve it (other than those little errors and the number of line breaks in between paragraphs, which are a bit distracting) is to add in more detail and information. :)Author's Response: So sorry for responding to this so late but you definitely did help me! I edited this a bunch and took in a lot of your CC :)
I think that this is a really promising start. I like the voice you've constructed for Scorpius - you did a great job of balancing a very solid writing style in a mechanical sense (grammar, etc) and keeping his thoughts informal enough that I felt like I could easily relate to him. His plan itself is also hilarious, and it's not one that I recall seeing before. I like the fact that you've made Rose and Scorpius friends - not best friends, not enemies, just normal friends who sometimes have a little bit of tension. (Or at least, that's my impression.) That's different from the spin that's usually given, and that makes the story stand out in my mind.
You were also really good at choosing when to summarise and when to actually include the dialogue (e.g., simply writing that Albus and Scorpius pestered her for five minutes rather than writing out the actual dialogue). That kept the chapter from dragging, and made it a lot easier for me as a reader to follow.
Now for some cc. (I hope you don't mind.)
I felt like you jumped into the story a little too quickly without properly grounding it. That's not to say that I wanted a six-paragraph summary of all of the next-gens, their houses, their favourite subjects, and how Scorpius feels about each and every one of them, but I did want you to slow down a bit. Rather than jumping straight into Scorpius and Albus going to Molly, it would have been nice to see some more information about Scorpius's relationship with Rose. Are they in the same house? Are they fairly good friends (like Harry and Dean, for example), or just kind of friendly (like Hermione and Parvati, for example)? He says that she's stubborn, annoying, irritating, and beautiful. How so? Does he have any memories that illustrate that? Has she done something recently?
Similarly, what is Scorpius's relationship with Albus? How is Albus's relationship with Rose, and does Albus feel like he has divided loyalties? Those questions popped up in my head, but you didn't really answer them, and I feel like I wanted some answer or hint worked into the chapter. Just a passing mention - "Albus has never really understood my fixation on Rose" or "Albus and Rose are really close, and he thinks that us being together would be convenient" or something along those lines - would have helped bring the story to life.
Again, I like what you have, but right now I feel like it has promise and is a fun read but lacks some depth. Nice job, though, especially for your first fanfic, and I'll definitely try to r&r your other chapters as well while I'm on my Gryffie story spree! :) (I've been reading lots of Gryffie stories so I can find great nominations for the Golden Paw Awards. :P)Author's Response: Thank you! It's always nice to see a surprise review, especially one so long!
I'm glad you like Scorpius... He's one of my favorites :) And yes, I liked the plot too :D I got it from a show called The Friend Zone on MTV and I just knew I had to use the idea some how. :P
Thank you for the CC. I think I wrote it by jumping right in because I really didn't know any other way to start it... haha. I know what you mean about it lacking some depth, but it is only the first chapter. I initially wrote this all at once and to be one long One-Shot but I eventually seperated it into chapters, and I can assure you that it gets more in depth as you read more chapters :) I'll try to see where I can add a few extra things, especially now that I'm finished with it and know where it's going.
I hope you like the rest of the chapters, and again, thanks for reading and reviewing, it means a lot :) Report Review
Terms of Service
categories & genres
short story collection