This is a beautiful collection. I could say a lot about it all, but I'm going to wait to the end to do thast. Instead, I'm going to review each part separately. I hope that's okay!
My biggest problem here is that it starts off *too* pretty, if you get what I mean. I felt like you flowered a lot of description of that may have been better if you made it simpler. But that is only at the beginning, and only for this part, since all the others are done wonderfully. Even with this, it doesn't really distract from the story enough for me to really complain. I would like to say, though, I would have preferred the meeting to have more build up, but once you had them meet, you set up their relationship very well, so it was easy to see the dynamics in it very fast.
I loved the repetiton of words in sentences, such as "you are weak, so weak" to put empathisis. Repetition like that is one of my personal loves, so I really enjoyed it, and you did it so well. However, there was one bit - the "his face contorts in rage and pain" that got to me, since you say a few sentences/paragraphs on "his contorting in rage", which stemmed the flow for me, because I noticed it. Just changing it a bit might help.
I also liked how this ended - the quiet victory for Tom, who revels in delight of it all, but not boasting. It makes him almost more despicable, which I think you were probably aiming for. If you were, you definitely suceeded. I loved how Minerva was represented by the crumpled paper angel. I felt really sorry for her, almost embarassed for how she had fallen, the shame she must be feeling. Poor Minerva.
This short contained my favourite line of the whole story; "breath pours from your lips". Such beautiful imagery, I imagine it like fog dribbling out of her mouth. I really liked this, it got my imagination going. I also liked her inner-conflict; "The idea of him being thousands of miles away from you should not seem so attractive." She's struggling with herself. She doesn't want to be with him, but it's almost as if she feels it is her duty? Or perhaps that is just my interpretation of this line, but I loved it nonetheless. I also feel like she's too weak to resist him, too weak to say no to him. You always leave me wondering how he decieved her.
"You will not give him the satisfaction of distracting you."
I like how all these stories have the common theme of her resisting Tom. And although she partially wins here, it's more like Tom just cannot be bothered with her. If he had stayed, she probably would have gotten distracted eventually. I do kind of wonder about the between-scenes, how Tom comes to have the angel. Does she give it to him? Or is that what she means by "what does it mean?" at the beginning, I wonder. This is what I'm enjoying about the vignettes; they leave me thinking about the two of them, how they work, what it's like for them.
II & I
You seem to have a running characterisation for Minerva which I've spotted here that I like; the fact she seems to touch her hair when she sees him. Such a self-concious habit, even if she pretends she doesn't care about him. It's very subtle, very well placed. I like little things like that, they make me very happy to find in stories, aha. I also loved his fascination for war that you've kept running. Very clever. It makes you think about how intelligent Tom was/is, what he could have been, and instead what he did become. Tragic, really.
Your last vignettes was a very quiet, unassuming way to end the collection, but beautiful nonetheless.
As a collection? I loved the hints at the future for Tom; fascination in war, the dropping of the Muggle-made quill. His need to win, to have power. It's all there, the pieces of the puzzle, waiting to be put together for him to become Voldermort. Quite a harrowing thought, really.
I also love the way you have Minerva constantly trying to beat him - or not even beat him, just to win. A little victory for herself for once. It feels almost as if she is the only one really playing the game, that Tom is merely playing along with it so that he can prove to her that it will always be him to have the power in their relationships. He knows he will always win. But, I would have liked to see her to win at some point, but I am satisified with the end nonetheless.
On note of style, I love the way this is written, and, as a fan of second person, you used the point of view very well, giving us a very good feel of the characters, especially Minerva.
Beautiful piece, will definitely have to read more from you!
Author's Response: I've put off and put off responding to this review, because I've never recieved one quite like this. Seriouisly, it took my breath away when I read it for the first time, and the second time, and even third time.
I'll definitely attempt to change the things you pointed out - all of them are completely useful suggestions, and I'll definitely incorporate them into the story. Thank you so much for pointing them out, for they're things I wouldn't have spotted on my own, or simply missed out while reading it through.
This review is so ridiculously helpful, and I just can't thank you enough. -squish-.