Wow. So, I usually avoid 'zombie' stories (I don't know why!) but I've enjoyed your writing before and that banner really caught my eye, so I thought I'd give it a go - and I'm so glad I did.
This chapter drew me in and fascinated me from the start, and you kept building more and more details and more nuanced relationships and characterization.
I really think you made a great choice by setting this story after after the initial terror, so that Rose, Scorpius and Albus are survivors and living in this strange world and situation where all they have is themselves and each other. The casual mentions of times past and people who are now dead are so alluring and tragic - particularly as they're all people we know of.
The fact that Rose can think of something so awful as the fact that Molly is now dead, that the Malfoys hanged themselves, that the woman outside might still be alive and terrified with such numb acceptance is so very sad, but what choice does she have? As you point out, you can't spend your whole life thinking about the dead. You'd go mad.
Rose seems hard at first, but she seems to have had to grow a thick skin. I feel so sorry for her. It's my idea of hell, not knowing what's happened to the people you love and living in an awful world and not being able to do anything about it. The hope she holds onto is perhaps the saddest part of this whole thing. These lines are amongst (a few) that made my eyes go all prickly:
"She couldn't wait to get to Hogwarts. Maybe Hugo would be there, waiting for her with a big grin. She could give him the toy car. Maybe her whole family would be there, and Teddy, too. They could stay in the castle forever and Rose could read all the books in the library." ~ This reminds us that she is just a normal young girl, in an awful situation. The way you go from that wonderful hopeful though to the terrifying dream creates a really striking juxtaposition. I don't blame Rose for crying.
It's such an interesting insight to Rose's mind that an object that brought back such a sweet memory of Hugo and overwhelmed her with grief has become a sort of totem for her. Speaking of Hugo, you've characterized him really beautifully, so tenderly, and with few words - maybe because we see him through the eyes of a big sister.
The relationship between Rose and Scorpius is such an interesting angle to take in this already multifaceted story. It seems that he has become literally the last man on earth... and even if their relationship worked before the apocalypse, spending your lives together like some end-of-days Adam and Eve (with added Albus) is a lot of pressure on a young couple who may not have stayed together anyway. I'm so interested to see what happens! Poor Rose must be so confused.
I enjoyed reading this so much. It's unlike anything I've ever read, and it's so very well written - I've mainly been yakking about your characterization, but your use of language and dialogue are utterly brilliant. I loved this. Adding to favourites!
-Athene xoAuthor's Response: Ahh, I love your reviews! :) I was totally out of my element when writing this (I usually won't even read horror/dark) and I think it's really helped me to grow as a writer.
Thank you so much for stopping by! :) Report Review
Wow this story freaked me out. The first chapter, I could just imagine the screen, the screaming and I had to keep on reading until the second chapter. You completely got my attention, which is not something that happens often.
Brilliant descriptions and set out.
I will be keep reading this.
Laura (from the review swap)Author's Response: Thank you! Report Review
Hello, it's me again. I'm going to be reviewing as I read this, so this review may turn out to be either horrible or brilliant.
Your imagery at the beginning of this chapter is gorgeous. This line in particular:
A trail of blood was smeared through them and into the darkness inside, a morbid parody of a red carpet.
was like a literary punch in the face. In the best way possible. And that image of Draco and Astoria as marionettes... bloody hell, that's dark. Well done, Ms. fox. Poor Scorpius.
I'm also liking how we're getting more of Albus in this chapter. His situation is almost unique, because his dad is the Harry Potter, Boy-Who-Lived, Master of Death, and so to someone like Albus it feels like he shouldn't, can't, ever die. It's gotta be devastating, not just because his parents are dead, but also because if that guy got killed, what chance is there for you? I have all the Al feels right now. And Rose's reaction to his grief is utterly understandable. You're much better than I am at character interaction.
Speaking of Al feels. Oh my God. Oh my God, he did not just stab himself in the eye. That's amazing. Your cruelty to your characters makes for a damn good read. And the callback to Rose's dream in the previous chapter make it all the more chilling.
Your characters' thoughts sound like real thoughts - your mixing writing styles is pretty cool, actually; while most writers, myself included, would struggle to make it not sound jarring, your writing flows naturally. The repetition and the fragmentation of Rose's thoughts just works, really well.
Teddy's death was handled extremely well. It's a long, drawn-out, torturous disintegration, and yet it's oddly beautiful - again, your attention to detail. You've got a lovely visual style of writing.
I would perhaps suggest more focus on non-visual description - like, for example, with all this blood everywhere... that has a pretty distinctive smell.
Anyway, I hope this review wasn't a complete train wreck, and happy writing. :)Author's Response: Hi again! It is dark, and I was sort of nervous about posting it because I thought everyone who read it would think I was crazy. I was also very nervous because there are a lot of sensitive topics in here (duh) and I was worried about whether I'd handled them well.
So, your review really means a lot to me. As does your suggestion of adding more sensory detail, which I'll definitely work on.
Thank you so much, it was a great review. :) Report Review
So I actually didn't forget about the horror/dark challenge. Who'd've thunk. Sorry, I'm just a huge procrastinator.
That beginning is one of the more original I've seen. It's almost funny in a morbid way, and it would be genuinely funny, but your attention to detail when describing the witch's appearance, contrasted with Rose's pessimistic logic, makes it real and tragic.
Rose's characterisation is definitely a huge strength of this fic so far. She struggles between having a real, human empathy for people like the witch at the beginning, and wanting to keep herself, Albus and Scorpius alive and somewhat well for as long as she possibly can, while all the while she believes death is the only real way to really escape her situation. She's a logical yet complex and contradictory character, which is not often something I can honestly say about a fanfiction writer's depiction of Rose Weasley. Her commitment to her family is absoutely lovely and desperately sad at the same time, and it's the pretty things, like the toy car and the bracelet, and the ugly things, like the dream-image of Victoire's eyes having been ripped out, that show that with a ton of style and impact. It's clear to see that you've really thought through Rose's character.
Scorpius is an interesting one, too. You've characterised him as a lot more practical than Rose, though as of yet I'm not sure to what extent - and out of the three of them, he is the one who needs that physical expression of love to keep him going. We haven't got as much detail about his and Albus' characters as we have for Rose because of the way you've chosen to write this, but you've given us enough character detail to keep us interested. Which is great, really.
Minor detail: you've got a typo in this sentence:
The candlestick dripped hot was onto her fingers but Rose did not let go.
It's also in your summary, so you may want to take another look at that.
Anyway. This is a good, solid start to an interesting fic, and I'm looking forward to leaving you the review for the next chapter. :D
And congratulations for co-winning teh tarik's challenge!Author's Response: Thanks for stopping by! Also, thanks for the challenge! I was totally out of my element when I started writing this, but it's been a fantastic experience and it's really helped me to grow as a writer.
I love your insight on Rose and Scorpius. Seeing them through someone else's eyes, rephrased, really helps me to think about them in different ways.
Faux Report Review
This is just awesome! I had goosebumps everywhere by the time I reached the end of the chapter. I usually avoid apocalyptic stories because I just find it hard to be believable at times, but your story is just...so real. It's fantastic, really.
I love how the amount of terror and suspense in the story! It was scary, but not to the point that you want to stop reading because you're terrified you'll get nightmares later at night when you sleep.
The details in the story is amazing too! Minor things like that little red toy car, the radio Albus has and each of their jobs that help keep them sane, when they all add up together it just makes the whole chapter a lot better. Of course there are the major things too, like Rose's relationship with Scorpius and the fact that monsters of all sorts have invaded the world.
Speaking of Rose, her characterisation is just wonderful. Right now, I feel as though she's more of a pessimist that an optimist. She's almost certain that she's going to die soon too! I hope that's not the case. Her thoughts are very well-constructed and it definitely gives a lot more depth not just to her character but also to the story!
I have a lot of questions, like who are the inferi? What happened to that old woman? Where's the rest of the Rose's family? I know they won't be answered (yet) but I can't help but ask. :P
Fantastic job! I'm keeping it in my favourites and will be back for chapter two as soon as I can. :D
~IzzyAuthor's Response: Thank you! I didn't think this story would get much attention because of the genre, so it always makes my day when it gets a review! :)
I have to warn you that a lot of questions are going to be left unanswered at the end of the story, but it's safe to assume that most of Rose's family is wandering around the country like she is.
Thanks again for stopping by! :) Report Review
Aaah, oh my gosh. This is such a horrifying chapter. And you were certainly right when you said it was depressing :(
OK, so I was planning to review either Underworld or Obliviate as you requested, but but but I saw this was updated and I couldn't resist :D I promise you will get your seven reviews bahaha! (This one doesn't count).
Oh, so many things in this chapter. The details were just...overwhelming. From the trail of blood ("morbid parody of a red carpet" is such a good line. But utterly grotesque.), to the human hand half buried by a colony of mushrooms, to the acromantula webs, to Albus losing it and taking his bloody eye out, and Teddy dying D: and and gah! The only moment of comfort was when the Fat Friar appeared. The ghosts of Hogwarts, of course they would be still there! They're a lovely touch to this chapter, a sigh of relief, a break. They're something familiar, something good from canon and they contrast nicely to all the terrors which are hidden in the dungeon. I can't tell you how creeped out I am that Rose, Albus and Scorpius are still in the castle by the end of the chapter even though the place has clearly become a haunted nightmarish place.
And that last bit: Their penultimate stop was the Gryffindor common room floor, where Rose let Scorpius take her because she knew that he needed to. She was so refreshed from all the crying that she almost enjoyed it. This is so depressing :( But somehow I'm hoping against hope that these two will get through the whole thing alive, and possibly there will be some hope for them...and for their relationship. Arrgahhaskdgaklsdjf;sak
sorry keyboard smash at how depressed I am
OK, fantastic chapter! I'm so glad you updated :D And I cannot wait for the next chapter :D You're a great writer.
-tehAuthor's Response: Oh, it's cool. :) I've never written something like this before, so I'm really happy to get some feedback on it.
I was especially nervous about the Albus eye part and Rose's reaction afterward. Because it's hard for me to imagine how I/someone would react to something like that, and I didn't want to overdo it.
Sorry it's not too cheerful (understatement). I have to warn you that things are going to get somewhat (completely) worse in chapter three, which will be the last one.
Thanks for reviewing!
Faux Report Review
This is a brilliant chapter - scary, tense and totally awesome! The details of Rose's thoughts and observations makes this chapter so realistic and quirky - as well as the different settings which help keep the chapter exciting.
You build the suspense brilliantly through the range of sentences, Rose's thoughts drifting to snippets about the past and her dreams, and the contrast to the action and motion. It was lovely the way you wrote them as younger rather than sixteen or whatever - everybody can empathise with them then, and it makes them much more adventurous and innocent.
Overall, a fabulous read which I enjoyed thoroughly, and an awesome cliff hanger at the end :DAuthor's Response: Thanks for your review! I'm not used to writing this genre so it means a lot :) Report Review
I really enjoyed your story please update it keep it going cause these types are rareAuthor's Response: Thank you! There's only one more chapter, but it's coming soon! Report Review
Hello Faux :D I'm here to review your entry for the Apocalyptic AU Challenge! Sorry for taking so long to do this.
My goodness, this is one terrifying story. You're incredibly skilled at evoking a setting, a scenario - and here in this first chapter, you gave the reader a glimpse of the ravaged and ruined world and its dying population through the experiences of Rose, Scorpius and Albus. Right now there is a bit of mystery about what is actually out there - we know there are Inferi, Dementors, people gone insane and cannibalistic and desperate. I'm so intrigued to find out how the destruction of the world started and who started it - if indeed people were responsible.
I think you've done quite a fantastic job with the characterisations of Scorpius, Rose and Albus, and especially how they interact with each other. Both Scorpius and Albus appear to very protective of Rose. I loved the moment with Scorpius, and these passages were beautifully written. The relationship between him and Rose feels tormented - at least for Rose, who sees death as an inevitable fate for all of them - and is quite possibly anticipating the time when Scorpius dies and she has to carry on by herself until...well, until whatever happens. You've really explored Rose's emotional and psychological states with such depth.
I love the tiny details seeded throughout your prose. I love how the three of them cope with dealing in this new bleak world - how Rose keeps them tidy and treats whatever injuries they have, how Scorpius is in charge of cooking and finding them hideouts, and Albus, being the one who keeps track of the days in this apocalyptic scenario. It's really realistic, the way characters would focus on doing the tiniest of things and taking care of the most menial of tasks. I love the tiny toy car that Rose finds on the street and how it makes her think of Hugo.
Anyway, it's getting a bit late here now, I'll just say that this is a beautifully written piece - it certainly is full of horror and fear, and I think you've done a marvellous job with this.
I really enjoyed reading this piece and I'm so glad you entered it for the challenge! Thanks so much once again for taking part, and the results will be out in a blog post once I finish reading and reviewing the other entries :D
-tehAuthor's Response: Thank you! :) I've been meaning to get another chapter up but it's sort of depressing to write, haha. Great challenge idea! Report Review
Wow, great start, it's very intense and I like how you save further explanation for later chapters, instead of giving it all away at once. One part that confused me though, "Victoire squeezed the little car tightly in her pocket." Victoire is there? Did the car used to belong to her? Oh and I may have missed it but does it say how old they are here? I'm just trying to imagine faces...anyway, thank you for posting this, I really like it, nice work! :)Author's Response: Oh, oops, "Victoire" was a typo because I get confused between my characters...sigh. I'll go edit it to "Rose." I'm going to go into a bit more physical detail / time scheme stuff in the next chapter, but they're around eighteen/nineteen.
Thanks for reading and reviewing!! Report Review
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