"So yeah – the messages that are unclear are definitely the worst."
so unbelievably true.
i love all the inner turmoil eleanor is feeling. i also love that you're showing her as a healer - in detail. i feel like most fics have their characters aspire to be healers but they never develop their position at all. st. mungo's must have been a real war zone during the 1970s and i feel like you totally capture the hope/despair debate. good work! :DAuthor's Response: I know, sometimes i wish that messages and life was clear but it never is, is it? Sometimes that's good, sometimes it's good to have chaos and uncertainty in life. I think it helps sometimes to just be able to enjoy life in a weird way. Teaches you that you can't always be in control but that life will still work out.
I really love the idea of St Mungo's during the 70's. I think it would have been a mental place to be in and i think that it would have been hard to be training there because so much stuff was happening. I will be developing it more as the story goes on because there is so much potential behind those walls to show what the war might have been like.
Thank you so much for reviewing all my chapters here!!! I'm really appreciative and it made me grin so much to see you reviewing and liking the story! *hugs* Report Review
"You be good Master Londy, only poo on Eleanor’s pillow once a week, you hear me?”
man, i want to look after master londy. he sounds like an entertaining cat haha. and i swear to god, animals help during traumatic experiences. they are fluffy and furry and just love you to pieces.
but anyways ... this chapter was sad. beautiful, but sad :( if i magically became eleanor, i'd be hysterical and shouting where is everyone going?Author's Response: haha KITTY!!! I love cats so i think that might have been a selfish insert on my part to put him on there. :P Master Londy is a character though, stay tuned for more of him :P
Thank you so much for another review! I really appreciate you stopping by and reading my story!! *hugs* Report Review
"Life has a funny way of making you feel like you’re cheese going over a cheese grader. Though once you come out, you’re tasty chunks of cheese so maybe it’s worth it."
HA! i've actually had conversations about this topic before, although i've never compared it to cheese. so as you can tell, i really like your metaphor :D
i also like that you're starting your story at the end of eleanor's seventh year. there's so much potential and backstory that i don't know about and i can't wait to have both of them creep into the plot. muahahaha!
you description of the war is also very electric. i mean, i don't know what i would have felt if i was in eleanor's shoes but i expect i would be thinking some of the same things. they had no idea what was coming ... and that it was just the beginning. so tragic but so addicting!Author's Response: Im really happy that you enjoyed this chapter!! Haha, yah, i'm happy that you were able to connect with some of the stuff from this chapter! Not that life has made you feel like a cheese grader, however as a writer i'm glad i was able to capture that enough that people could relate to.
haha i'm really happy that you excited for the rest of the story to unfold! thank you so much for your lovely review and i'm glad you could really relate to Eleanor and what she's going through at the moment! Report Review
"Plus, that would circumvent my dedication and love to pumpkin pastries and we can’t have that."
i LOLed at that!
wonderful writing so far. i'm totally hooked. onto the next chapter!Author's Response: Hey Thank you so much! I'm so pleased you enjoyed this chapter! Thanks for reading!! Report Review
your description in this chapter is beautiful. i always like the first person point of view because i feel you can just convey more - if that makes any sense. i'm currently writing something with nine points of view and it's hard to put that much description into my writing because there is just so much going on.
but that's besides the point. this was a wonderful beginning and i can't wait to see what happens next!Author's Response: Thank you so much for your review! I'm really pleased that you enjoy the first person feel of this story and that it helps you connect to the story. That's the whole point, i want this story to be felt.
I can imagine that would be hard to write and i wouldn't even know where to start with that many perspectives. It's brave of you to do it and i wish you much luck :P
I'm really pleased you enjoyed the beginning of this story, even if it's quite dark! Report Review
First of all, I'm so happy you liked my suggestions! Although I didn't do much other than tweak your already awesome ideas!
I love the way you slow this chapter down and really turn it into an introspective one. I love those kinds in general, but you had such an awesome combination of Eleanor doing things but stuck in her own head. I think everyone can identify with not being able to focus on what we need to be because something big going on in life. Can we understand feeling like one of your friends may be dead? Probably not, but Eleanor really can't either. And I love that. She's trying so hard to ignore it, but she can't. She never thought she'd have to deal with something like this and I just love it.
You really played into her trying to go about her work day (more on that in a second) and not being able to. I think a lot of authors have trouble with first person because they either spend too much time inside the character, or too much trying to show us the world outside the character, but you found a perfect mixture.
Now back to Eleanor's work day. So many people have something like this (training to be this or that) then never include it! The character is never actually doing it! But you completely showed us that training to be a Healer IS part of Eleanor's life, and a large one. We got to see the kinds of things she does (or is supposed to do when she's able to focus).
Then getting to see the state the rest of the wizarding world is in... it's so sad :(.
But we got cheered up by Amelia! Her and Eleanor make such a good combination. You've really given the two of them different personalities - another thing I love. But you've left me hanging over here wondering if Bertram is okay! You're going to need to speed up on that next chapter, missy ;)
Sorry I don't have time for a longer review. I have family visiting but wanted to stop by and tell you how much I adored this chapter. You're making Eleanor so realistic, I just want to hug her.
Can't wait for the next ♥Author's Response: Hey dear! Sorry it's taken me forever to respond! I've gotten so far behind on my responses that i think it chased me away from doing any!
I loved your suggestions! They really helped smooth the chapter out and make it seem a little more coherent!
Gah! Your review is so nice! I love first person a lot simply because you can get really close to the character and get a chance to see the world from another person's perspective. I'm really pleased that there is a mixture of action and mind stuff though because i always feel I her too much in the mind which can get boring.
Yah, i've noticed that too and i find it interesting to see their day to day life. Which includes more mundane things like work and isn't exciting like going on a dragon ride or spending time being witty in a pub with mates. Or whatever. I think i'm attracted to stories that are day to day life stuff. I think some find it boring but i think it makes me feel really close to the characters in way.
I love writing Amelia. I don't know why but she's a joy to put into the story and i don't really have any firm ideas of who she is but i find that she's one of the easiest to write as she just comes and does her thing on the page. I'm glad that she compliments Eleanor and they work well because she's such a floaty character in my head i fear that she doesn't come across well on the page.
Thanks so much Jami for your lovely review! I'm working on the 6th chapter but i got distracted on starting another WIP (bad idea zayne, i know!!) but it's my next project and i'm about halfway done!! :P Report Review
Ooooh, this was a great chapter! And it actually made me really sad, though I don't really know why. I think it was partly because of all the farewells and end of an era and all that stuff...that and the fact that the dynamics between Eleanor and her friends on the train totally reminded me of me and my friends!
There are so many little bits and pieces of this chapter that I really enjoyed, that I'm going to struggle to name just a few. I think it's the little details that you include that I love most of all. Like Eleanor's failed attempt at a memory charm, Remus looking sad (intriguing, by the way-I want to know more!) and his rabbit supposedly eating his grandma (that line made me giggle-I already love Henry and Bertram!) I also liked Davey Grugeon and that mention of him and the Whomping Willow in his fifth year. That was a very nice touch-my mind instantly went to the books
I loved the little Quidditch talk about 'dating the enemy' that the boys had, because that's just so Hogwarts and their dynamics as a group were great. As I said before, I had this huge sense of sadness that they were all finished Hogwarts and beginning their adult lives...it's certainly a scary thought, but I'm glad Amelia and Eleanor are going to be sticking together.
Sirius and Eleanor's conversation was great, and now I'm wondering what Eleanor is going to decide...and how the events in the very first chapter are going to come about. Hmm, so many questions! I can't wait to find out the answers.
Courtney:)Author's Response: Gah! Thank you Courtney! I'm really pleased you could connect to the farewells, the goodbye's and that it seemed like the dynamics between them are real. Friendships in FF can be overlooked sometimes with all the romance's that are splashed about (and there is nothing wrong with those because i like them too) however, it is a huge boost to hear that the dynamics in that moment seemed realistic. Like they were meant to be friends!
Bertram is one of my favourite characters here to be honest, he took me by surprise though when i wrote him because i hadn't really given him much thought. Just started writing him and it turned into what he is. He's a fun guy to write because he's quick and witty but incredibly loyal to them.
That moment when people leave school is always a little scary because suddenly you need to make decisions for yourself. You feel like you need to know everything and yet they are all very young and how can they be expected to know all that?
Thank you so much for your review! I appreciate it so much! Report Review
Hello again! Thanks so much for re-requesting-I'm really enjoying this story so far.
I loved the underlying mood and tone of darkness and mystery in this chapter. Though it was quite light (the first half, at least) and Eleanor's thoughts were, at times, quite humorous and very seventeen year old girl-ish, I couldn't shake the feeling that something bad was coming. The fact that the war is at the back of everyone's minds at all times made this chapter much more believable and very realistic-a lot of people, when writing Marauders stories, often forget that the first wizarding war is looming-you clearly haven't, which is great.
I love how well defined each of your characters are. Their personalities are shining through and they are all unique and different from one another. I like how Eleanor is feeling quite uncertain about leaving school, as moving on into the adult world can be a very daunting thing-and I think you chose to 'start' this story and a very good place. I'm looking forward to seeing how it escalates.
Eleanor and Sirius' little moment together was perfect-very sweet and showed how protective Sirius can be, and revealed that the two obviously have feelings for each other of some sort. It also told me that Eleanor is-or could be-in danger, and that she needs to be more careful. I'm also loving the contrast Amelia brings to the chapters-she's very lively and upbeat, which makes a nice sort of change from the others. And I liked the way Eleanor described Lily as 'intense.'
Loved this chapter, can't wait to see what happens next.
Courtney:)Author's Response: I felt like a lighter chapter was needed, and i wanted to show that there is a time difference between the first and this chapter. In this one, although they are plagued by the war, they are still children and there still is that hope they hang on to. I also think that Hogwarts during that time (especially their seventh year but i think the war started getting serious for them in their 5th or so year) was dangerous and i think people would have been more politically involved. If you think of what the 70's was like as well, it seemed like everyone then always had a say and wanted to be heard. There seemed to be more of a culture of it and especially in a community that is as small as wizards it would mean that everyone would be affected in some way. Yes, some to a lesser extent but everyone probably knew someone who died, was tortured or something. That was one of the main reasons why i chose to write this story, was to explore the war and its effects it could have. It makes writing a bit difficult because it's exploring a lot of moments and a lot about life but there isn't something that is pulling it together like they have to go and find a killer or they're finding some object.
With that i've been trying to find a balance with it being light hearted and having the war hanging over them through this story which i find it hard because i'm more used to writing angst and more of my chapters seem to have more of that in it. But i'm glad you could see some of their light moments. :P
Thank you so much for this review and your comments! I appreciate you stopping by and reviewing this! Report Review
Hello again :D I'm back to review your second chapter!
Oh, I think your story and your characters are coming on really nicely! I love that foreboding atmosphere of war hanging over everyone's heads; it's really such a grim image despite Eleanor's light-hearted moments of internal monologue, that this bunch of children, new school-leavers, have to contemplate something so vast and destructive as war. All the students are surprisingly very politically involved; all of them have a very bleak maturity to them - loved the way you described the Marauders' faces as pinched and hard. Sigh. War really makes one grow up fast. I think you've got a nice theme running through your story - loss of innocence, and so far you're really conveying it well in these first two chapters.
Ah, I'm loving your Sirius a lot :) His characterisation is so precise and really canon - the way he's so volatile and how uncontrolled he is in his anger, how protective he is of Eleanor and his friends - he's a wonderfully complex character. Eleanor on the other hand is brave and she does have her moments of recklessness too, I guess - e.g. when she attacked Wilkes without a wand. She's also dryly observant at times, and contemplative. I love that moment between her and Sirius by the lake. It's a very lovely well-written moment that they share together. There's a sense of tranquility to that time, and yet, set against the backdrop of a war, and a wizarding world in chaos and political turmoil, the impermanence of this rare moment of calm is really accentuated.
Anyway, I think you've got quite a wonderful story here. Your characters are very well-realised and detailed and realistic, and Eleanor's narration is lucid, observant and humorous at times, which punctuates the prevailing bleak mood of the story quite nicely. I've really enjoyed this chapter :D And I'll definitely be coming back to R&R the next chapter :) Great work!
-teh Report Review
Hello :) I'm here for the TGS review exchange!
This is the first fic I've read in which a female character is being initiated into the Death Eater circle - and gosh, this is intense. You've really gone into some detail to create a very dark, horrifying sort of atmosphere, and I really felt your character's fear, disgust, contempt for the whole ritual, for the other masked Death Eaters gathered there. This really makes me curious as to how she arrived at the decision to be initiated into Voldemort's inner circle. She sounds like such a normal person - young, with a happy past etc. I can't wait to find out more about your character!
Loved the way you began this story in the thick of the action. The story really absorbs you from the start, from the first few sentences. There's so much tension and suspense and it just thickens as the chapter progresses.
I really loved how you portrayed the shift in your character's thoughts - there's something lighter in the earlier paragraphs as she recounts some of her memories, some of which are a little humorous e.g. the pumpkin pastries. There's also the bit about vomiting on "them" and the best angle at which she should tilt her head in order to maximise chances of hitting someone with her vomit...these are little light-hearted moments, and they feel really bizarre in such a dark bleak situation - but it's this bizarreness and strangeness that I really like, and that really shows me a bit about your character. Also, the tone shifts quite quickly and the humour drops away as the reality of the situation hits her. I know you were trying to incorporate humour into this chapter, and I think it sort of works because the humour is controlled and not too over-the-top, and instead really strengthens your characterisation.
I really enjoyed the last couple of paragraphs. Gah, they were so disturbing and you've portrayed Eleanor's state of mind so convincingly. This is so tragic...it must have been a tremendous loss of innocence for her, especially if this is the first time she's done something so horrific. This sentence really struck me: I opened my mouth again and heard it utter those two deadly words with my thoughts focusing only on why I was here. You've done a great job showing the disconnect between her thoughts and her actions, or maybe Eleanor is deliberately trying to disassociate herself from her actions...whatever it is, it's very well-written and there was just so much emotional impact there. I think you've definitely written her shock and trauma very well - to kill someone would be like splitting your soul, which must be what poor Eleanor is going through...
OK, I hope you don't mind if I offer a little critique...if it bothers you please let me know.
I think you need to be a little careful with your tenses. The narration is mostly in the past tense, but there are moments when you somehow start using the present tense, e.g. He looks like he fancies a little present. God, I feel sick. So sick. What am I doing? I honestly think I've gone off kilt, finally gone around the bend.
OK, one final thing, and this is very minor and not important at all...but near the beginning where your character starts thinking about the past and has some flashbacks - these memories were sort of marked by certain sentences such as I breathed in deeply and tried to force my memories away. as well as the following sentence, used to signal an end to the flashback and return to the present: My stomach lurched, bringing me back to the present. I think such sentences aren't really necessary; it would be a lot smoother if you took them out and embedded the flashbacks more naturally into Eleanor's narration :) But this is a very very minor thing and you need not take me up on this :)
Anyway, I've really enjoyed your story! Such a fantastic and utterly gripping opening chapter...I'm definitely going to come back and read more :D Great work!
-tehAuthor's Response: HeyTeh!
Sorry for the late response! I've been having massive issues in responding to reviews recently! So i'm sorry but i appreciate you comments!
First of all i don't mind critique, i really appreciate it and i know i have issues with tenses. Thank you so much for pointing that out to me! I shall go and fix that up as soon as i can!! :P Also with the pushing memories away and such - i think i've gotten in a little bit of a habit with that, especially with this story because Eleanor does tend to be stuck in her memories a lot and i haven't wanted to confuse anyone as i've had some who commented on some things being less clear. However, i think i will try and tone it down for sure and trust that the reader can figure it out.
Thank you so much for the rest of your review and seeing the tension in it. And humour. I added those bits in because there is so much angst in some stories and in moments like these that sometimes it makes it seem overdone. I understand that this is a big moment but people disassociate themselves from trauma in different ways. Eleanor uses humour and sarcasm to try and distance herself from it. I'm really happy that you thought it worked and didn't hinder the story!
I think you've really got this chapter and Eleanor trying to distance herself from the event and trying to see that it isn't her who's doing this. I really love the quote you pulled out with that comment and it's the biggest show of her loss of innocence. Things won't be the same for her after this. She can't live thinking she's a good person because she's just done something that is so dark and unforgivable. She's split her soul. I really liked how you used that to describe that moment and i think it hits perfectly with what she's going through.
Anyway, thanks so much for your review! I really appreciate it!
-zayne Report Review
Hey there! I'm Courtney, here for your requested review.
I never used to read a lot of dark fanfictions but lately I've been getting into them and this is certainly one of the best first chapters I've read for a while. It is very hooking and gripping and the language is absolutely spectacular. I especially like how you delve straight into the storyline, because it really gave me a sense of what this story is going to be about.
I loved Eleanor's thoughts in this chapter. They all seemed so raw and so real, and gave me a good sense of the type of person she is in a more unconventional way-without actually listing or describing the qualities of that character, which is an easy trap to fall into. I liked how she kept reflecting on her childhood, and days at Hogwarts. Not only did this give me a sense of the time this story is set in, but it also showed me how drastically things have changed for Eleanor, and made me curious to find out why.
The mood and tone of this chapter was excellent. There were so many little bits and pieces here and there that really sent shivers up my spine and told me this was going to be an excellent story, full of darkness and mystery. I think you've put you main character into a very unique and unpleasant situation, and I can't wait to find out why, and how she deals with this situation.
Eleanor seems like a good person to me, which makes me wonder what could possibly pull her to kill a man? What are her motives? Is she some sort of spy? Is that would enabled her to actually use Avada Kedavra?
As you can see, I have a ton of questions, which is great! It makes me even more curious to read the next chapter.
So far I'm really enjoying this story, and I definitely hope to read more.
Courtney:)Author's Response: Hi! Thank you so much for stopping by and giving such a lovely review! I'm so pleased you enjoyed the first chapter! That's always one of the hardest bits, trying to chose the best place to start. I've played with a lot of different beginnings with this story and leaving this bit of the story a mystery however i've obviously chosen this way where the end, or the near end of the story be known before the beginning bit. I like the idea that questions will come when you see someone who seems good, who seems like they'd be anywhere but there being initiated because in the war i think it did happen. I think there were moments were lines between good and wrong were mixed and that it wasn't easy to be a dreamer and a member of the Order- there was so much else going on that i think someone could be made to turn this direction. Which is one of the things i wanted to explore here and answer exactly why she's here. She could be anything at this point, a spy, blackmailed, scared, someone who's just lost hope in everything. I like the idea that at the moment there isn't anything that directly says what she is or who she was other than the hints that you picked up on reading through.
I'm really happy that you enjoyed this chapter! Thank you so much for your wonderful review! Report Review
So, I read this chapter title and did the 'what??' thing in my head. And started wondering if I was going crazy because I didn't remember anything that had to do with a paper cut.. haha. You sneaky girl. Before I review review, I have to say that I love the final set up of this.
Not only do I love the very intense feelings finding the letter gives Eleanor, but I really like where you put that in. It's a really perfect way to break up the chapter, and her wanting to escape the scene when the discussion was turning to heavier things and get the catnip was so perfect for this awesome character you've created. Little did she know that she'd escape the talk of death and war, only to throw herself into a different kind of turmoil. Poor girl :(
Your line about her not thinking it's so bad that she didn't want to give all her soul to the cause, that was her refusal (or not acceptance, I guess) really bad enough to get her exiled? Although, this is coming from Eleanore, so I'm sure she hasn't sent flares out trying to contact Sirius either. Anyway, you built up a lot of Sirius's character without even having him there. We know what the Order means to him, how important fighting against Voldemort is, and you drove that home with this little section.
I can never get over how much I enjoy Eleanor's sarcastic personality. I think she'd be an awesome friend to have, haha. Really, though. She's very, very easy to relate to.
Ahhh the ending isn't any easier to read the second time :(. It's hard, because I feel so sad that so much in Eleanor's life is changing, but at the same time you can't blame him for leaving with his family. I think you do a really excellent job making sure we understand how hard things really were during this war, how quickly people were disappearing and how severely friends were separated ;(.
Awww thank you for your sweet mention in the AN ♥ I'm so happy I'm able to help, even if it's just a small amount ♥ Now! I hope you are typing speedily away at chapter 5, because I am quite curious as to what comes next... *ninja face*Author's Response: Hahaha, yes, i'm glad that little scene fit in well with the rest of the story. I always feel a little bit iffy with inserting scenes into a chapter after it's been written because it always sounds awkward. However, I think that is what the chapter needed to make it a tiny bit better anyway :P Thanks for the suggestion! Seriously!
Ah, her exile, well, we will learn more about it in a few chapters from now, not the next one i don't think but probably the one after that. I think Sirius wouldn't have necessarily written her off no, but for a time he would have been irritated at it all. Anyway, that's all i'm going to say.
I like how you can read her as a character and know that she probably hasn't done anything either. It is true, she's not that kind of person (Lord forbid that she admits that she likes the guy and has emotions, gah!) and she may also be a bit dramatic about the whole thing as well. So take it with a bit of salt because all this is from her biased perception of the situation.
Anyway, i'm really happy you still like her sarcastic ways. When i was challenged to write humour as a genre (obviously it's only a very small part of the story) i was wary because i don't write humour well. However, as Gilbert Blythe told Anne Shirley once 'write what you know' so i made her sarcastic and dry. It's the humour i know and can write with some degree of success. (shocking i know)
ANYWAY GAHH! Thank you so much for stopping by and reviewing, it's was so lovely and THANK YOU so much for betaing this. You are incredible! *fails about* Chapter 5... well i know the outline and i've opened up a document, however there is a few other projects i'm telling myself to work on so... >=D you may have to wait in your suspense ^_^ Report Review
The part about Sirius's face having the audacity to float into her mind amused me for some reason, as does the detail about the other guy possibly being a toad in a former life.
Like that image about opposition to Voldemort being etched in Sirius's being like a map.
Hmm, I wonder why Remus looks so sad. Because his options will be limited when he leaves Hogwarts? Or something to do with the war?
And that comment about his rabbit attacking his grandmother was funny.
When Amelia is responding to Bertram's question as to what bird caught his eye this time, you've spelled her name as Ameliea.
*laughs at how the cards keep exploding on her*
The phrase "I laid ownership to him" sounds a bit awkward somehow. Something like "I claimed ownership of him" or even just "didn't mean he belonged to me" might sound better.
I think the paragraph where the main character is trying not to let anybody see how much the news about Samantha's family disappearing affects her really captures the atmosphere of the situation. Really shows how nervous people are and how they are trying to create some sort of normality in a situation that is anything but.
When she is talking about the Order having her back, she says "would they have my families too?" It should be "family's". The way you've written it makes it sound as if they have numerous families belonging to her.
Love the comment about the war being over by the summer. It reminds me of how World War I was supposed to be "over by Christmas". I guess people have to believe that it'll end soon or they could't go on.
And I like the way you raise the moral dilemma about whether or not ANYTHING justifies killing people and whether ANYTHING justifies war. All sides do evil in war, but then doing nothing means standing back and allowing evil to continue. There is no good option. I rarely see those issues explored, so it's really good to see it here.
While Binns is useless and doesn't seem to understand history himself (how can a HISTORY teacher dismiss myth? Before a certain point, myths are important historical sources), I totally disagree with her idea that history is not important. If you don't know how things have worked out in the past, then you are basically just sticking pins in lists to guess how they'll work out in the future. How can you know what political philosophies or other ideologies you agree with, if you don't know what has been tried in the past and what worked and what didn't? And I think there is a deeper side to it too; that we need to know that the world we live in is not the only way things can be or the best way things can be. We need to know that things have been different in the past in order to understand that they can be different in the future. And understanding that people in the past thought things were obviously true that were later proved not to be tells us that some of what we think obviously true probably isn't and therefore, we shouldn't be complacent.
Just floating off and ignoring her sounds pretty characteristic of Binns.
I really like the way you portray her despair as she steps out onto the platform. Very moving.
I think it's good it doesn't seem black and white to her. When you start looking at things as being black and white is when you start turning into Crouch. "We're the good guys; they're the bad guys. So whatever we do to them is justified." When you can see both sides of an issue, you're more likely to make good choices.
This sentence sounds kind of awkward for dialogue: "Even if I was duly impressed when he was able to scream loud enough when he tried to quiet the whole Great Hall for his studying purposes." People don't usually speak that formally. Something like "Even if I was impressed he could scream loudly enough to try and quiet the whole Great Hall so he could study" might sound better.
I like the way she does so much reminiscing. It makes sense, considering a period of her life is coming to an end.
When they disembark from the train, you mention "the home their going to" when it should be "the home they're going to."
I really doubt the Order would fail to protect somebody they were able to protect just because they didn't have a family member in the Order, but it makes sense that Sirius would think joining the Order will solve everything; it's the sort of way he'd look at things.
He's pressuring her to risk her life just as he'll later pressurise Harry and his friends to risk expulsion and just as he expected Peter to risk his life to defy Voldemort.
When she says "you guys are the picture of innocence", there should be a full stop before she rolls her eyes.
I think one of the most impressive parts of your writing is your use of imagery and metaphor. You also seem to be able to create atmosphere very well. Report Review
Really like the little insight into the character's normal life we get in the first paragraph. Also LOVE the third paragraph and how it really emphasises how the war has changed their lives. Really well and emotively written.
I think the sentence about her "love to pumpkin pastries" would sound better as "love OF pumpkin pastries."
Oh, gosh, people like Amelia are annoying. If they are dedicated to finding a man and marrying, that's fine, but they shouldn't assume everybody feels the same way, particularly not when they're still at school. People want different things from life; this shouldn't be a difficult concept!
You give good insight into her character just in those few lines.
Unless I'm missing something, the character should be a halfBLOOD, not a halfBREED as you've had her mention being called. Halfbreed means that she is something else as well as human, like part-giant or part-goblin or something.
Do Hogwarts students have electives for N.E.W.T.? I thought they just picked any 3+ subjects at that stage, much like the British A-levels, so in a sense EVERY subject would be an elective at that level. I don't think they have any compulsory subjects for N.E.W.T.s.
When she talks about getting back at James, you haven't given the word "i'll" a capital letter.
Yikes, Wilkes is kind of getting creepy here. And of course, in this case, the teachers can do less than usual as the students are about to leave school and what can they do at this stage? Expel them? If they've their exams done, then why would they care?
I think you're really kind of capturing the uncertainty of leaving school in this chapter, with your character being glad to get away from some of her schoolmates, but worrying about whether or not she'll get the career she wants and what'll happen next.
Oh, Amelia Bones. I would have imagined her as a good deal older than this, both because she was so high ranking in the books and because her niece was at Hogwarts with Harry. And probably because of things like being called "Madame Bones" too, which makes her sound older than in her 30s. But of course, there is no evidence as to WHAT age she is and you can be an aunt at any age. So I shouldn't be surprised by this.
I love that line about how they are being forced to act as adults when they are really just children. It shows the effect of the war on them and also fits really well with canon, where James and Lily had married, had a child, fought in a war and died, all by an age where many people are still looking forward to their first full-time job.
I also like the fact that Peter has had a girlfriend.
Ah, so I was wrong about the teachers lacking power against Wilkes, since he's apparently only in 6th year and not leaving yet.
And I really like the fact that your main character is trying to avoid facing the war. It sometimes seems like in canon, everybody is the kind of person who goes out to fight for what they believe in and really, those kind of people are far from the only ones in society. Apart from Slughorn, we rarely see characters who just want to get on with their lives without risking their lives. So it's good to see it in fanfiction.
*laughs* I think only Sirius would suggest that the Order of the Phoenix wouldn't be that dangerous.
Love the last paragraph and the hope that sometimes things will be normal again. I can't imagine what living through a war must be like. I don't know how people do it.Author's Response: Hey I'm really sorry that it took me forever to respond to this!
I understand you dislike of Amelia to an extent, although i really like Amelia I think i could only handle her in small doses in real life. Mostly because as you mentioned her single mindedness and her desire for a perfect marriage. Things will change for her as the time goes by but at this moment she's quite naive about life.
It should be halfblood technically, but i suppose i was using halfbreed to show how low they thought of Eleanor. I don't know if this works but i've gone in and edited to make it clear that she is halfblood but they use that because they don't see Eleanor as being fully human because of her blood. That comes not just because she's half blood but also because of her squib brother and blood traitor mum. I suppose i've always seen that being a squib or having one in the family could be volatile during those times because if a family's magical bloodline is tainted or not strong enough to pass down to the children then can that family be seen as human? Their blood means everything, to a purebood anyway, and I think squibs could be extremely shaming and mark someone being connected to them as less than human. It's a ridiculous concept but that's how i see it from a pureblood's perspective. Does that make sense?
You have brought up so many good comments that i wish i could comment on them all but i'm afraid this response would turn out to be an essay! But you've made me think about this chapter a a bit more and i appreciate the comments you've left here. It's made me see what i've done well and not so well so it gives me a point to work on! :P
I do however want to comment on your comment on Peter! Just that i loved it and i hate when Peter is thought to be a baboon without any prospects. I think he would have and i think he was once their best mate and had their trust implicitly. Also Sirius - yes i thought i could get away with it because he'd be the only one reckless enough to think that it would be fine. I think it show's some of his naivety too though and that he doesn't have a clear vision of the war yet. Kind of like the idea that war will be over by Christmas kind of thing. He has a pretty clear vision at times and experienced a lot more than others but i think that there was still a lot for him to learn :P
Thank you so much for your comments and thoughts! i've found them really helpful! Report Review
It's Roots in Water here with your review! Sorry for taking so long to write it!
Oooh- let me just tell you right off the bat that I loved you using this scene as a "starting point" for the story. It's a wonderful beginning to chose because graduation truly can be called "the start of something new". As well, at this point in their lives the war has developped into something worth worrying about (giving you your story) and they have the strength to worry about it.
As well, though I did enjoy your "tell the story backwards" method, I think that this (more usual) method of storytelling will suit the story just as well, or perhaps even better. It will certainly allow you greater ease with the progression of the plot and I'm very interested to see how you will integrate parts of the old version into this one. :)
I liked your characterization of Eleanor in this chapter- she still had a very amusing air about her but she was also irritated and annoyed by the war in a way that clearly explained why she didn't want to participate in it. Her comments about her friends were an excellent way to explore the effects of the war on them as well as give further reasoning behind her distaste to participate in the war.
I really liked the moment between Sirius and Eleanor. It very clearly showed the feelings between them (and Sirius' protectiveness was so very sweet!). On a slightly more practical level, it also showed that Eleanor was in danger just because of her blood status.
I noticed a few typos as I was reading that I'll just point out quickly. To begin, with the phrase "i'll put some grow-your-own warts" you should capitalize the "I" in "I'll" and with the phrase "attention, his body", "His body" should be the start of a new sentence. As well, with the phrase "I associated myself with" I think that the "myself" should be taken out as it makes the flow of the sentence slightly awkward and with the phrase "Bones, some people", "Some people" should be the start of new sentence as well. Then, with the phrase "Its fine" it should be "it's" and with "her friendships with the other Gryffindor girls was disintegrating" I would use either "friendship" or "were" to ensure that the verb conjugation matched the noun.
Your description was great! It was very easy to visualize the scenes, including both the actions of the characters as well as their emotions.
All in all, I think that you're off to a fabulous new start! The story is very interesting and I'm amazed as to the amount of background that you managed to slip smoothly into one chapter! Thanks for requesting a review and I hope that I covered everything in your request. ;)Author's Response: Hey Roots!
Thank you so much for reviewing this and so sorry for the late response!
I really appreciate your comments that this is an okay spot to start. I was feeling really uneasy with the decision to nix the method i had used to tell the story before- however it is allowing for better character development i'm finding. Also, it gives a bigger view of what the war might have been like and the situations that everyone faced during that time.
I'm happy you liked the part between them. Fluff and romance- intimacy of any kind really i feel are my weakest points in writing and i'm always worried that it'll come off as forced and awkward. However I wanted them to seem like they are already really comfortable with each other and that they have a certain amount of feels between them.
Thank you for pointing those mistakes out! I will be going back and correcting those!! :P
Thank you so much for your review!! ^_^
Hi there again.
My favorite part about this story is your characterization. We get to know both Amelia and Eleanor better. This chapter makes me believe even stronger that Eleanor doesn't want to be a part of this, and she definitely doesn't want this war. I love how you write that she feels like she should be happy and excited, yet she's not. It makes it clear that Eleanor isn't exactly like the other Death Eaters, because she really doesn't like what they are doing. She doesn't enjoy it like Bellatrix. I also love how she bitterly explains that the war is taking their future away from them, forcing them to do things they don't want to do. It, again, makes me think she is forced into this, that it's not something she wants to do. I also love how she mentions her family, and how bitter she sounds when she explains how people view them.
I also love Amelia (And I love them name, it's the name of my OC in the story I'm writing). She seems very different from Eleanor, but the connection/the bond between them feels very real. They are different, yet they do have amazing chemistry.
I also have to mention Sirius. He is probably the character I need to think is realistic no matter what, because I love him (especially during marauders era). If I think he is acceptable, then you have definitely written him well. But I didn't think that about the Sirius in your story. I actually LOVED him. It's just how I imagined him, and I'm so excited right now. And I loved the interactions between him and Eleanor, but I have to admit I'm kind of curious about their relationship. What are they exactly? Actually, don't answer that. I'll find out later. I just can't wait to see what will happen between them. This is by far my favourite story, and I can't wait to read the next chapter.
- Your Secret SantaAuthor's Response: Hi! I'm so happy that you like the characterization! That, to me, is one of the most important parts in a story and it's such a compliment that you think it's strong here. It's great that your picking that up from her, how she isn't in the war right now, for good or bad and she doesn't see it as something she can really give her soul to. I think there is so many stories about someone fighting desperately for a cause that they forget the people who weren't sure, who were scared or who hated war.
I have a special place for Amelia too and i like that you feel like their friendship is actually there. I've read stories, not just ff, but boks where it feels like the interactions are stale and forced. That is definitely not what i'd like to see in my story so it's really great to see you write that you liked it.
and THANK YOU!! (i'm saying that a ot it seems, your reviews really have blown me away) Anyway, thank you SO much for that massive compliment about Sirius. I hope he continues to be good because I have a lot of love for him too and I constantly fear that his characterization isn't strong enough. It's good to hear that you think i'm going something right, even if he just comes in briefly here.
Thank you so much! I'm really pleased you've enjoyed this so far! I hope to see you around again :P Report Review
Hi there. Sorry I'm late with your gift, but I have been sick for some time now.
I love how you start the story. It's exciting and makes me wanna read the rest. You get straight to the point, yet to leave the reader curious.
My favorite part is your description. I sometimes struggle with description, but it seems to come naturally to you. The description of her feelings and thoughts are so good that I can feel everything I believe she feels. It seriously gave me chills.That doesn't happen very often to me, but it did when I read this. I can see the story happening in my head, and it's just one of the best stories I've read so far.
I also love the mood in the story. I don't read stories that have that kind of mood very often, but I might do that from now on. Everything is very dark and heavy. For me it's important that a writer don't over-do the mood, and fortunately you didn't. I also think you write very realistically, which makes me believe in it. This is also because your plot is very believable, and you stick to it all the way.
I also found your character very interesting. It's Eleanor, right? I love how you describe her, and makes it seem like she doesn't really want it. She is almost forced into it. She seems like someone who knows what's wrong, yet feels like she has to do it anyway. I think she has the potential to become a really good character, once you get to know her a little better.
What I'm really curious about, though, is what Sirius did. I hope I'll find out quickly. Anyway, it was really intriguing. I'll soon be back with more gifts.
- Your Secret SantaAuthor's Response: I can't thank you enough for al these reviews you gave me! They are absolutely lovely!
Description is something that i've definitely worked at for a while and i'm glad it's seeming to pay off. I always view my stories as if they were a scene from a movie and I try to explore what i see and explain it to someone who has never seen it. (which obviously no one really has in a way)
I'm really happy that you like the mood. That sounds morbid because the mood is so dark but as an author it's always great to hear that someone can really feel the mood in the writing. I'm glad that it came across to you because i always see that as one of the most important aspects of writing is to draw the reader into the story in someway.
Yes, it's Eleanor and you are exactly correct. She really doesn't want to be there and the story explores what brought her to this point and made her make the decisions she has.
Thank you so much for your lovely review!! Report Review
Hi, here for the exchange! :) First of all, let me just say how intriguing this was to read. I expected something else entirely, but what I got in the end was great. I like that you chose Marion Cotillard for the banner, because I was kind of hearing the words in her voice, which was really really cool.
The imagery you use is very unique and different. All the images are sort of negative, scary, and they build the heavy and dramatic atmosphere. I also liked that you didn't feed the reader with information about the setting and everything right away, but rather let him figure things out on his own gradually.
The writing was very good and easy to get lost into. I feel captivated by this character and want to read what she sees when her life flashes before her. :) I'd be very glad to read the next chapter if you fancied another swap, this was really nice. I didn't really see the humor in it, but I guess that's intended for later parts.
Happy Holidays!Author's Response: I'm glad that you liked the beginning and that it surprised you. That is really cool that you were able to imagine Marion's voice with this. I've always imagined Eleanor as a mix between Marion and Ellen Paige. More Marion though obviously which is why i chose her to feature.
I'm really happy you enjoyed the beginning of this and i'd love to do a swap again. So don't be surprised when you see me popping by your thread :D . I'm not shocked that you didn't see the humour. This story was my first venture into the humour genre and i've never intended it to be the typical slapstick, crack fic that circulates on hpff as humour (not that I dislike them, they are amusing) but the humour here is more of a wry, sarcastic kind of humour that is underneath the surface. It's probably the wrong genre but it was put there for the challenge i once entered. Obviously, this first war story isn't going to be funny.
happy holidays dear! Thank you so much for your review, i really appreciated it! Report Review
Hi there :)! So happy to get the chance to pay you back for all your wonderful reviews. On a side note, if my slots are ever full and you need an opinion immediately, you can always PM me the story and the link!
Anyway! I LOVE being thrown into stories. It's easily one of my favorite techniques. It gets things moving and I don't have to read pages of back story which, I'm confident at some point, will come out in better ways than if you were to just start off why she was here what she was doing and all that.
The mood was phenomenal, as wells as your characters thought process. Everyone experiences true terror in different ways, she clearly is trying to avoid her own situation by letting her mind wander, and I really loved that because it kept me more entertained than 2,000 words on how scared she was.
I always imagined there had to be a very serious test to become a death eater, so I liked that this plays into my head canon. My one CC is her killing the man. I feel like we've had it drilled into our brains from lovely Bellatrix and I think at one section Voldy himself that you have to mean the curse. And her whispering an apology makes me really think she wouldn't have meant it enough for it to kill him. Maybe a brief though on why she was there, the smile of her mother and the knowledge that she'd be murdered, just whatever it is that has driven her to this.. can be in the back of her mind to get her that necessary motivation to end this mans life, to mean it enough to cast the curse.
And I'm guessing we are going to be backpedaling in this, right? If so I'm excited, that's another style choice I really enjoy.
I think this first chapter did everything one should and more. I'm intrigued, I'm emotional for this girl who so obviously didn't want to be there, and I want to know what's happening.
I hope this was helpful, thanks for requesting!
JamiAuthor's Response: bah, Jami, you amazing, you know that right? I actually forgot completely that i requested this from you and was shocked to see a new review for this story! It made my day safe to say :D
I'm so pleased that this wasn't jolting or disorientating because there really is no backstory in the chapter. Or, very little and i'm never a fan when the author just vomits all the info in the first chapter. I'd rather let the info come to me in small bits and pieces. I'm glad that i've done it well enough in the chapter. Also, the way this story is structured, there is going to be a lot of times that things don't exactly make perfect sense because yes, this story is going backwards from this moment on and things won't be lead up to like they are in normal stories. Sometimes, things happen and there is no reason as of yet why they've occurred because it happened in their past.
That leads me to you critique and I do get where you coming from. The idea that you have to mean the curse is something i've thought of and the fact that it worked can only mean one thing. She does mean it even if she's sad that she has to do it. I think that because it works it points to the idea that there is some serious motivation for her to be here because it's clear she doesn't, it clear she's terrified, and even with that we see, in the end that she does have the power to kill someone point blank. I think it's possible for someone to feel sorrow for their actions but can still go and do terrible things and mean what they do because there is little other choice. There were plenty of people in the war who were blackmailed into joining the cause or if you think of RL in WWII were some Germans or SSers didn't believe in the cause but were forced to do horrible things. That didn't stop them from committing terrible acts on humanity. If it means life or death i think it could. I personally like that we don't know the exact reasons why she means it but as a reader i can understand how that may be annoying so i think i'll try to make a but more explicit that she's here trying to save her family or make it clearer that she does mean it. (that will become 100% clearer however in the next chapter :D)
Thank you so much for reviewing this piece Jami, you are the best :D Report Review
This was interesting, but it sort of divided me. On the one hand, you did really well establishing such a dark mood and at times, I loved your description, for example the line ‘the dark, dank feeling that cloaked the room like mildew, grew like death’ is wonderful and so emotive. Lines like this really set the scene for me. However, I felt that often, the dark mood was spoiled by what your character was thinking, like thinking about the pumpkin pasties when she’s in that sort of situation, or about her friend asking for an autograph just before she’s going to kill someone. It felt immature and frivolous at such an important time, and didn’t felt too light hearted to be realistic. Sure, people would think about their friends and families at such times, and later on, when the character was about to kill the man, you did it very realistically, but those examples I’ve given really felt out of place.
I was also wondering how the character came to be in the situation in the first place. I think there ought to have been some background to what was happening rather than throwing the reader into the middle of the action because I found it confusing, and also I was sceptical. Sceptical about the chances of those sorts of things actually happening to your character because there’s nothing there to tell me why someone would be in that situation. Along the same vein, a little more detail about who your character is would have been good as well, just so I had something to go on; her age, her situation, whether she was still at school or not. Perhaps things like this come up in later chapters, but it would have been nice to have a couple of hints here.
Overall, I thought this was interesting, and you certainly have a gift for description, but I think you need to work how your character’s thoughts and actions impact on your writing and the mood you’ve created.Author's Response: Hi, first off, thank you for coming by and giving me your honest opinion. I really appreciate your concerns and thoughts.
I understand some of your concerns about disrupting the flow and it had been something I thought about after it had been written and worried that people might be annoyed at it. But the more i thought about it the more i felt like it fit with my character and how she relates to life. I don't know if you've ever been in a really serious situation and had the most inappropriate thought cross your mind? That's sort of what's happening here. I haven't gotten much flak for it so I've left it all in.
Anyway, I also find that it's easy to write a scene that's super dark and super intense emotionally but it just seems really typical. I didn't start it out with this in mind but it sort of came that i wanted to try and balance out a few different feelings at once.
Anyway, about the confusion, it's hard doing it the way i'm doing it since it's in reverse chronologic order. So we start the story knowing the answer but not the question. Which isn't what our minds are used to, we want to know what leads to this moment first, we want that background info, but back to one of your other points at the beginning of the review, in this moment, will she actually be thinking about her age? Or thinking about going to school? That seems, to me, extraneous thoughts for something like this. I started writing this to see if I could explore in those moments when your life is about to change what things will flash before you mind in that moment. We'll be finding out a lot of the things you asked as she starts remembering back onto her life in later chapters. I actually like the ambiguity here. I don't necessarily think that a whole bunch of background information is needed in the first chapter. It really annoys me sometime when the author just shoots out a lot of info at you in the first chapter and forgets to put in the plot because i'm not going to keep reading if there is just a bunch of stuff about the character that isn't important to the immanent moment. I may be wrong with that thought though.
Again though, i do really appreciate your comments and opinion and you have given me something to think about. :D I hope you haven't taken my comments back harshly or anything i'm just trying to explain where i'm coming from with this as well. Thanks for stopping by! ;D
Very interesting first chapter! I really like your scenery descriptions and the imagery you use. And the whole chapter just gives off this feeling of despair and resignation... gives me the chills!
Green With Envy 2012!Author's Response: Hi! Thank you so much! I'm so pleased that you feel the emotion here and that you can imagine this. I feel like with first person, although i love writing 1st person, it has to be very present and descriptive for it to be a good piece. It's always a challenge, for me anyway, and i'm glad that you liked the starting of this. :D Thanks for your thoughts! Report Review
Hello! I'm here from the TGS Review Exchange :) Also, this marks my 600th review. You've helped me meet a personal goal!
I really loved the way you set the scene here. Your vivid descriptions really made my skin crawl, and I could feel the fear and hatred that your main character felt as the events unfolded. It was interesting to see the other characters through her eyes, as she's obviously got a bias against many of them. This was a really mysterious beginning, and I think you've done a good job of balancing the fact that your reader has questions (How did she get to this point? Why is she becoming a Death Eater, since it does seem like that is what is happening?) with the need to draw the reader in and make him or her want to proceed onward to the next chapter.
I think the flow of this chapter is very nice, and I didn't spot any major errors with regard to spelling, grammar or punctuation. There was one tiny thing I wanted to point out; where you say "now that... I looked into his metal face - I could agree with", it should probably be two dashes on either side of 'I looked into his metal face', not an ellipsis and a dash. That makes more sense and it would be symmetrical.
Very nice work! I'm glad I got to exchange with you :)
green with envy 2012Author's Response: oh yahh 600!! I'm so honoured ;D
Thank you, i'm glad i was able to read your story as well, i don't read a lot of Teddy/Victoire and you wrote them so well!
Anyway, thank you for your comments, i really wanted to explore what it might have been like for a character sort of coerced into joining them and how that would have affected them. You know how Hargrid? Or Dumbleodore? I'm not sure who said it, but someone was talking about how back in those days there was more dark than light and may people being blackmailed into joining. I don't see this a lot in fanfiction and i really wanted to explore it. It's so great to hear that the emotions and the description were here! Thanks you so much for your comments!
-zayne Report Review
This was wonderfully written and an amazing gem of a chapter. I was dragged in right away from the choise of words and such deep emotion. However the thing about the train confused me so I did look back through the reviews and noticed other people have asked and that was just a memory. Perhaps you should just check back and re word that a little as I just got generally confused.
The depth of emotion crammed into under 2,000 words stuns me, but you pulled it off really well. I never thought it imaginable to put that much emotion into a few words, but now I think about that in another light.
There were no grammatical errors and the wording was perfect. (except for the train bit) You described Elenor perfetly so I could feel like I was really connecting with her and I could feel and see the same as she did.
An amazingly written story, one which I will definatly be continueing with to read through all the chapters. Amazing job, i'm impressed.
HufflepuffAuthor's Response: Hi Snoopy!
Thank you for stopping by and giving me your thoughts! And THANK YOU for mentioning the train thing again. That was just a memory that was flashing through her mind and i meant to fix it ages ago but i forgot! Thanks for pointing that out.
I'm so glad you liked this chapter and felt i got the emotion spot on. I really didn't want to muck it up! Getting initiated is a tough thing and i wanted to portray what might it have been for someone who wasn't for their cause and who didn't even want to be part of the war. Thank you so much for your kind words!
I really enjoyed this chapter. It really drew me in, and I wanted to keep reading, just from skimming this chapter. You have a really strong main character. Keep up the good work!Author's Response: Hi! thank you so much for stopping by with a review!! Ah! I love unsolicited reviews so so much and i've been grinning like a little school girl when i saw that i received 4 from you! I'm glad you like the main girl so far, she's been a gag to write! thank you so much for reviewing! Report Review
You're character seems very strong. She seems almost as if she's being forced into this, but also like she's choosing it at the same time. (I'm not sure how to else to explain it. I'm not saying it's a bad thing either-just a general observation I'm sure will be explained in a later chapter).
I really like her though. And I like that we're seeing someone on the other side of the war (besides Regulas, Snape, and Peter, that is, since we know the basics of their story). I like the fact that she's a female Death Eater. I know some people say Bella was the only female, but I can't see that being true.
The flow is great, it really is. Like I said, I can't really tell if she's chosen to be there or if it's been forced upon her, but that doesn't ruin any of the story. It just adds a bit of mystery. Like this line, "I wanted to vomit, preferably on them," makes you think she doesn't want to be their, but then she chooses to kill this innocent (or not so innocent) person. I think this story is going to be great!
~LilyAuthor's Response: Hi LilyFire,
Thank you so much for your thoughts and i really appreciate you liking my chracter so well. It is indeed explained later on about her feelings towards the war and the situation she found herself in.
I thought it would be interesting to see the DE's from a different persepective as well and it is definitely lacking in a female voice but if you remember that one conversation where... (was it Sirius or Hagrid that said this) that was saying that at one point it seemed like there was more people turning dark than there was light. I sort of wanted to explore that kind of idea and I don't think they could have ever said that if females weren't involved as well.
Thank you again for your comments and thoughts! Report Review
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