Honestly and truly, Helen, this was one of the most beautiful thing I have ever read. It might just be my Harry Potter feels coming to play, or your beautiful writing, but this was just so amazing - I don't even have words. I've read so many of your things. Some have me bent over laughing, and others have me bribing you for an update. Every single story that you write that I have ever read has always been so absolutely hooking from beginning to end that I don't really know what to say. This one especially just gripped my heart. Some authors can literally paint with words. Let the readers see through their eyes. Congrats, Helen, you have just done exactly that. The first line - I just remembered everything. Just that sentence was enough for me to have jsut a small pang of what the characters must have been feeling.
Then your imagery. About the sky, I could see the sky. All sunsetish. I don't have to describe it since you already did it for me. The foundation, the build, of the story was incredible. It was describing this sunset with theses flashes of perspective and the speech. I loved the sunset. The words you used were stunning. I could literally see the sunset, Helen. Like really.
And each and every moment was so, so dear. I was all red-eyed by the end. I love all those characters so much, and in this I could just see the grief. This is amazing. All the tragedy. You've managed to characterize each character you mention perfectly in just a few sentences. "We will remember them." I love each of this characters and these little glimpses brough them to life.
Write forever.Author's Response: Hello Wisty you absolutely lovely person.
First, I don't think I tell you enough how much I appreciate it when you're all lovely like this. Honestly, you know when you left this for me I'd had a really rather horrid day (allergic reaction and insomnia and exploding slow cookers and all) and honestly it made me feel so much better you are a really really lovely person and I'm a very lucky author to have you reading my stories, let alone liking them.
And e this was just something that I sort of scrubbed together when my brain was being all floaty, and PAINT WORDS eee (I have a whole novel on my computer called 'the painter' which is just like... all about word painting and the feels surround it) yes THANK YOU :)
And this is a beautiful review. It's practically poetry in itself (and I'm going to say it's more beautiful than the story) and you... ack, thank you very very very much and you know I will try my damned hardest to be able to write forever.
Bless you, Wist, for being lovely like this :)
Helen Report Review
I LOVE the way you wrote this -- and I am completely in awe that you managed to tie all of the Hogwarts fallen into the recurrence of colors and characteristics sunsets. I am such a huge fan of imagery and repeated metaphors, and I think you captured perfectly here the different romantic and poetic facets of sunsets that would apply to these characters. My favorite, I think, was Colin's, and how the winking of the sun is like the flashing of a camera bulb. Seriously, Helen -- brilliant job!
And as I said, your imagery was wonderful. You really know how to describe colors, and it was more like painting with words than just throwing them about as necessary descriptions. I'm not sure if that makes any sense, but it was artistic and lush and just bordering on purple, but purple prose happens. And considering that I'm writing this review on a day that is extremely wet and cold and windy, I like the warmth of these sunset pictures you've put in my head. Even though they are describing death, they're peaceful.
And maybe that's what this is all about (switching from my reviewer's hat to my analyst's one, apparently): Sunsets are an end to a day, and isn't death the same sort of end on a grander scale? And yet we still find peace and beauty in sunsets. Maybe we should look for the same peace in death.
Philosophical musing aside, this was a lovely one-shot, and I'm so glad that out of all the stories on your page, I picked this one to read. I love this challenge, too, and I think it's even more impressive that you were able to get so much out of 500 words! Fabulous job! ♥Author's Response: HI.
This is such a lovely review thannnk you for leaving this for me (and I want to go to my knee-jerk sorry for the long time it took to respond thing, but it actually hasn't been an obscene wait for once!)
I honestly thought that I couldn't do anything at all with 500 words (I mean, 500!? SURELY you need at least a couple of thousand word chapters to get anything done?) but I was actually quite pleased with how this turned out in the end.
Colin's was the first bit I wrote and I think that remains my favourite :D
As a philosophy student, I fully embrace your analyst's hat. Death is one of those strange, incomprehensible things that I end up thinking about all the time and I definitely like that slant on it (although, easier said than done).
Thank you for such a lovely review! :) Report Review
Noo! You brought out the 'feels' in me! It was so horribly sad. Job well done :)Author's Response: Whoops! Sorry about the feels. THanks for reviewing :D Report Review
This story is just so sad!
It's amazing how you can transmit all that sadness with such few words. I think that when someone you really loved leaves you, they never really do, because you're constantly thinking of them since something always remind you.
I loved the way you used the different lights of sunset as the thing that reminded the characters of those that they lost. It's really beautiful.
My favourite snapshot was Molly's, since I always thought that the most awful dead in DH was Fred's.
I really loved this small, yet beautiful piece. I think it's a good way to portray the feeling of loss.
-- AndreaAuthor's Response: Hi Andrea! Thank you for such a really lovely review! This put such a smile on my face after what was really quiiite a long day.
This was written shortly after the first time I ever really lost someone (although I tend to write about death a lot) but... yeah, it means a lot that you enjoyed this :)
-AC Report Review
amazing, heart wrenching, beautifully writtenAuthor's Response: Thank you very very much :) Report Review
Hey AC, here for BvB review :) gunna keep this short and sweet cuz the story was short and sweet and direct. I haven't seen something like this before actually. Very to the point and prolific, I enjoyed it a lot. You gave us glimpses of how the deaths of those people during the final battle affected the lives of those who remained - the scene with Andromeda in particular pulled at my heartstrings as I have a little baby too, would be so sad :( I really enjoyed this and you did the characters memories justice in such a short, very cleverly written peace. Well done :) Bobby xxAuthor's Response: Thank you Bobby! This was a lovely review and I'm really glad that you enjoyed it. I never thought I could achieve anything with 500 words! Report Review
This is truly beautiful :)Author's Response: Thank you :D Report Review
That was very good, moving and sad. Nice work!Author's Response: Thank you very much! Report Review
I loved how you used 'we will remember' due it being used for the world wars, where so many lost their lives, it was a nice touch to put it in here, as it shows us that the muggle and wizard world aren't that far apart when you think about it:)
The sky's changing colours instantly reminded me of Tonks, due to her love of bubblegum pink hair, so it was nice that you lead this on by talking about Teddy and Andromeda.
I really loved how that even though this is such a short story is covers so many people's perspectives of the war, and it allowed you to get a real sense of how so many people suffered by it.
I really loved the inclusion of Colin's death here, as many people forget it, or don't think much of it, but that little scene with Dennis and their father was just so touching and endearing it made me want to cry.
It was a great one-shot I thought, and it was beautifully written, and brought tears to my eyes. So well done, Kiana :) Report Review
Helen! How did you do this? This oneshot is just amazing and I'm in complete awe at what you have done here! To take each of these lives and do this small little tribute to each and actually get the point across and the pain and suffering that each of these families must be feeling, man its just amazing! I really thought I was going to cry, and maybe even laugh when you mentioned Colin. Gah, how can you make me have all these feels in just such a short oneshot? I'm impressed and amazed and I think that you have done each of these different characters wonderfully. I loved how you descibed how they would each be remembered with the setting sun that was just so smart! I loved it and you did a wonderful job with this piece something that I could only hope to do and it would take so many more words for me to even get half of this response! Great job!
~Slytherinchica08~Author's Response: Erriicca :)
Thank you so much for this LOVELY review! You are just like an angel this is so lovely let me loovvveee yooou. I honestly never thought I could achieve anything with 500 words (some TAOB chapters are 10k and like... barely anything even happens), but I wanted to try it and I'm really glad I did because it worked out much better than I was expecting it to!
Thank you very very much dear :)
-AC Report Review
Hello there! :] I just happened across this story and read it quite quickly, but I'd love to give you my thoughts:
First off, terrific job. I thought this was a really beautiful take on the remembrance after the war. I loved all the descriptions that fit so nicely into the narrative. Using the sunset as a metaphor for all the things people have lost was a brilliant idea. I felt quite touched by the style you used. The emotionality of this piece was really, really nice. I felt so terrible for everyone left behind. You showed a really great grasp of the way this would affect people. It was really wonderful. Again and overall, this was fantastic. I'll be reading some of your other pieces soon. :]
--EmilyAuthor's Response: Hello Emily! Thank you for taking time to read my story and leave this lovely review.
I've always seen these peoples entries to the 500 word challenge and never felt like I could do anything with 500 words, but I actually really enjoyed writing this and i'm so infinitely glad that you liked it :D :D :D
-AC Report Review
I'm anonymous and incognito :3
Helen this was just so incredible. All the feels. I just felt so sad reading this. I mean I'm seriously speechless. You're a brilliant writer. This is just so.
I loved the sunset thing and especially the one with Andomeda and Dennis. Just spectacular.Author's Response: oh. I can still see past your anonminity Wist. Don't think you're fooling me.
and thankk you! I never thought I could write anything halfway decent with 500 words! Report Review
Oh dear Lord Helen, why?
I remember when you gave part of this for me to read and it wasn't quite finished then and I remember having my heart ripped out when I recognised all the hints about each character.
Ugh this is like the most shortest, silent kind of tribute to all the characters that died. Even if it doesn't include all of them you get the idea that each one was important and deserved everyone's remembrance.
All the little things that come together to weigh heavy on your heart, to remind you of just exactly what you were almost trying to avoid remembering. Trying to remember what life feels like instead of focusing on the you that died along with that person. The moments that you won't get back and the memories all melting into one.
And then finally having the courage in order to move on from grieving that part of them and that part of you and being able to reminisce and think of the next time you see them it'll be in much better circumstances - hopefully.
Blah obviously I loved this and I'm off to cry or something. ♥ Report Review
Hello there! Holiday review swap! So I picked this story from the selection on your thread because I was in the mood for something angsty (like I always am).
And I'm very glad I did! Because this is indeed a lovely piece of writing. The imagery is beautiful, and I love love how the dead characters are embedded within the glorious sunset images. This could easily have become overly repetitive, but you skilfully avoided this with your lovely language as well as nice attention to detail with your characters. I love how Dennis Creevey takes up his brother's camera! It was a really strong symbol of Colin living on through his brother and it did make me tear up a litte :)
The inclusion of Harry at the end was a slight surprise, but then I realised that it might have been him who was uttering all those italicised bits in his toast to the fallen heroes. That was such a lovely piece of narrative. And you only took 500 words to evoke so much emotion and use so much beautiful description :)
I'm really glad I read this! It's sad and beautiful and tragic - but somehow there's just a shade of hope, that the dead are happy and that the survivors will slowly recover. Excellent stuff! I'll probably come back and read your other stuff :D
-tehAuthor's Response: Oh this review is lovely and I'm sorry it's taken me a week to get to my end of the swap (and this response) but you will have it soon! Things just got hectic and buys all at once.
Eeek. I always seem to be in the mood for something angsty too, but I wasn't sure how much I could actually do with 500 words. Either way I'm so glad that I tried it because I was really quite happy with the way it turned out. And I'm SUPER glad you were too! Thanks or the lovely review :)
-AC Report Review
Oh my God. Thank you so much for reviewing The Growing Gathering of Weasleys... it meant that I got to find this story of yours! This is one of the most beautiful, most well-executed, most utterly perfect pieces of writing I have read here on HPFF.
When I looked at your thread, I wasn't going to read this one, as I fancied something funny and it felt mean to review something so little! But I clicked anyway, and that was it - I was pulled in immediately. This fic is irresistible.
Your choice of words, your knowledge of and obvious fondness for these characters, your skill at giving *just* enough all meant that I knew exactly who the dead and living were before I even got onto the second half of each section.
The idea that each of the living characters sees their loved one in the sky is just beautiful and clever. On the one hand, they are 'The Dead', one entity represented by the sky - or the 'going down of the sun', but on the other hand they are all individuals and their personalities shine through in the versatility of the sky and you are just SO CLEVER. Your characterization of the living and the dead is even-handed... you bring Tonks to life just as much as you do Andromeda. I liked the juxtaposition of poor Andromeda, in the sunset of her own life, having to start all over again with a young child.
The section with Fred and Molly was just stunning (actually, every section was stunning)... I have a huge soft spot for the Weasleys (as I think you can tell from the chapter of my WIP you reviewed!) and this line was just heart-wrenching: "a family whose loss is so magnified by numbers".
The inclusion of Dennis and Colin was a really thoughtful, surprising, but perfect touch. I think the death of Colin Creevey really made me (and Harry!) realise that nobody was safe... that Death was not discriminating between the innocent and the reckless and the fighters and the evil... Ugh. So sad.
And then the final section. Oh. Right in the feels. Of course Lupin does not get the sunset. He gets the moon. The imagery in this section is beautiful in a different way from the rest of it; gentler, and yet harder. I love that you acknowledge Remus's role in Harry's life; So often he gets overlooked in favour of Sexy Sirius. I noticed that this piece is bookended by Tonks and Remus, which made my heart a little melty.
I absolutely love the glimpse of hope in the final section. All of the dead and all of the living in the story would want Harry to be able to remember but also to get on and live life.
The bits in italics were perfect. I googled them because I thought they must be lyrics from somewhere, but no - yet another product of your fascinating, talented mind.
Gah. I loved this so much. I'm sorry I don't have anything more constructive for you than "Aah this is brilliant."
Athene xo Report Review
Hey, I'm here from the review battle on the forums.
I've read a lot of your stuff, and I really love your various styles. You can do snarky, you can do humor, you can do serious... And you do it all very well.
If truth be told, I was trying to find one of your stories that DIDN'T have 213322552423 reviews on it, because the things I would say on them would probably be redundant. Plus, there's always something special to me about being one out of only a few people to review a work, as if it's some secret that no one knows yet. And though I've digressed... My point is that I'm extremely glad I chose this story.
The imagery of sunsets and moons and darkness and light was nothing but perfect. I love how the characters all had some aspect of that fading light within their segments. It connected everything together and really helped convey their pain and loss.
Something odd happened when I read this: The italicized words made me shiver. They just contained so much emotion and were crafted so beautifully that they gave me chill bumps. And that's a really awesome reaction to have to a story, especially one like this.
In brief, this was amazing. You're really fantastic!! :)
~UnluckyStar57 Report Review
N'aww Helen, you've gone and done it again - made me cry in so few words, but they're so beautifully crafted and gorgeous and I love it so much ♥ lots of tribute-to-the-dead type one-shots can drag, or feel like they're resurrecting demons they don't need to, but this was short and sweet and while each of the four people had their tribute paid well, it was simple and effective and a lot more enjoyable than I'd have thought.
Your emotions conjured by the clever sky imagery was just so perf asdfghjkl, they represented each loss and their pain and their grief and healing so amazingly! and I just loved your structure, with Harry's toast, the person's thoughts on their loved one, and then revealing who it was and what they were doing to heal. It gave us a snapshot into each life and almost put it back together again in one quick blow.
Also, I love how you chose Remus for Harry's lost one, since he's so often forgotten in the light of Sirius :( loved it all so much, Helen! Report Review
When I began reading this, I was touched by how beautiful the language is. It's so lovely to read something like this :)
By the third 'scene', I guess that's the right word, my eyes filled with tears - I'm trying very hard not to start sobbing right now because it's ten past midnight and waking my parents would be a bad idea. Anyway, Colin was such a minor character but his death was so unnecessary and heart-breaking.
This is just so perfect. I love how you have set each scenario. Your writing is so gorgeous and the words you have used are perfect; this is probably one of the most flawless one-shots I've ever read, especially considering it's less than a 1000 words!
I think your one-shots are perfect: this one, 'self portrait in crimson', 'break me' and I just read 'watering petunias' and I'm in love :)Author's Response: Thank you so very much for such a lovely review! I was always amazed by what some people seemed able to achieve with so few words - because I always consider myself to be quite a wordy writer - so this was a really fun challenge that I really enjoyed. And, ack, thank you so much! Honestly, this was lovely and I'm so glad you liked this and my other one-shots :)
-AC Report Review
Well why don't you just rip out my heart while you're at it, Helen? It shouldn't be too hard; you've already shattered it into pieces before.
Honestly, I don't know how you made me begin to tear up in 500 words, but you did and I applaud you. I'm pretty certain that if this was longer I would have fallen into a full-blown crying jag.
I really loved how you connected each person (out of the so many) lost with the sunset. That was so amazingly creative and they all actually made sense. I have to say I liked Tonks's sunset analogy best, although Fred's death kills me the most out of all of them.
Can I ask where the quotes are from? Or did you make them up yourself and it's supposed to be like some third person making a speech? Either way, I really liked the quotes.
Brilliant one-shot, Helen. You never cease to amaze me. Stop writing so wonderfully!!
classicblackAuthor's Response: I am ACTUALLY amazed by the fact that 500 words could make you cry, ahha. Wow. Now that really is an honour. And I had such a blast writing this (is that the right word, maybe? I'm not sure?) but it was such a challenge getting it to 500 words when I normally write so much.
I think my personal favourite was the Colin one, which was how the whole thing started, but I really enjoyed writing the whole thing ahhh.
The quotes? They're an original Helen and I imagined them as part of a memorial speech.
Thanks for all these lovely reviews, you're a real star! :)
-AC Report Review
You're a terrible woman - you made me cry again! :'(
Absolutely brilliant piece. Thank you so very much for sharingAuthor's Response: Oh, sorry Jen! Didn't mean to make you cry again, dear. But thanks for such a lovely review :) Report Review
*sobbing* That was beautiful. Beautiful.
I really like how Dennis takes up photography, it just shows how things that were so annoying can be missed so much when they're gone. It has so much more depth than just a brother taking up his dead sibling's pastime.
KEEP WRITING :D
Shay_GryffAuthor's Response: Thank you! My grandad was a photographer and since he passed away a few months ago my aunty has been using his camera to caputre family occasions, so I guess that bit was quite a personal bit.
Thanks for a lovely review :)
-AC Report Review
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