You are such a wonderful writer, it truly blows me away. You have this amazing ability to take a rather simple storyline and make it so meaningful and captivating in just a few short paragraphs. And it isn't just your beautiful choice of words and phrasing that makes your stories so delightful, it's that you have this perfect understanding of every character you write about. I've read your stories about Ron, Percy, and Sirius, and now Remus and Rosmerta, and every character is so magnificently on point that I am truly blown away.
This piece, in my opinion, was simply stunning.
Of the stories I've read of yours, this has to be my favorite thus far. Perhaps I'm being a bit biased, because I happen to be in love with one Remus Lupin, but that should technically only make me even more critical of a Remus portrayal in a fanfic. The Lupin in this story is so the reason that I love him so much. I absolutely have to quote from your delicious wording of him:
""Hey, Rosie," he would say after a few minutes of small talk, his hands in his pockets, scuffing the toe of his shoe against the floor, flashing his shy smile and willing himself not to blush in front of her, "you wouldn't have any unclaimed firewhisky lying around, would you?""
Oh my goodness. That is the absolute definition of Remus Lupin - those few sentences, those choice words, that phrasing - spot on. That paragraph is why I love him, and I had the biggest smile on my face when reading through it. So perfect. There are a thousand things I could ramble on about when it comes to Remus and this story, but I will simply sum that aspect of the story up by saying that it is, in my opinion, a flawless portrayal, and I have to thank you for writing him so carefully.
Moving on to Rosmerta - someone who I've honestly never spared much of a second thought on, and to be honest, it almost made me pass over this fiction altogether, but thank goodness I came to my senses and took a chance on this story! You've brought Rosmerta into a whole new light for me - and this is what I mean by your ability to simply understand the characters you choose to write about. You took a very small, usually forgotten canon character and turned her into this complex, overlooked, poor woman who isn't the happy and beautiful barmaid that we see in the story. I've never thought about the fact that Rosmerta's life has probably not been that satisfying and that other canon character's, and myself as a reader too, have simply overlooked her, content with the fact that she Seems like a happy person, so therefore she must be! And after reading this, I kind of feel a bit ashamed for passing her up...
This line here is what really did me in: "...anything to get out of Hogsmeade."
Again I say Oh my goodness. Why? Because when I think of Hogsmeade, I think of this wonderful village that the students of Hogwarts look forward to escaping to on special weekends - a magical town that gives them freedom and fun and lifts their spirits, no matter the case, and then you threw this Huge curve ball out there by simply stating how Rosmerta would give anything to get Out of Hogsmeade! I read that line and went 'Whoa.' You changed the game on Hogsmeade with those few words. You flipped the perfect little village, that was once a place to escape to, and turned it into a prison, relentless and unforgiving. Absolutely blew my mind...
And now the two as a couple - holy beard of Merlin, I suddenly think they are perfect for each other. I'd never even considered the possibility, but this story changed the game on that as well. I am mystified about the fact that I'd never seen this as a possibility before, because it suddenly feels so right. I love the way you have both characters thinking the same thoughts, though slightly altered. Both of them feeling so similar, even with their situations so different, their mutual feelings of absolute loneliness is what unites them so beautifully. Corresponding emotions, regardless of the situations that evoke said emotions, are such powerful tools for bringing people together, and you displayed that fact brilliantly.
(My review exceeds the maximum length so I have to continue on a separate one! And I blame you for writing such an exceptional story that I can't seem to stop myself from writing about it!)
Author's Response: GAH. Wow. I am so flattered and don't even know where to begin with responding. Thanks for all the lovely compliments! Especially about my characterizations - I think characterization is my favorite aspect of reading and writing, because I just connect with people and characters so much more than with description, intricate plots, etc.
I read the last bit of the review for this that you tacked on to your review for "Aloof as a Bard" so I'll address that quickly - thanks so much for pointing out the typos/missing words/etc. It must have been like 3 AM when I posted this, I don't know how I could have made those dumb mistakes. XD I guess we all have them.
Considering you like Remus so much, I am thrilled to hear you liked my characterization of him. I hate to think he wouldn't have been fun or funny and goofy at all - I mean, he DID hang out with James and Sirius, and there was a reason he was a Marauder. In my mind, he's bookish and shy but charming and, above all else, a teenage boy. It couldn't have been ALL seriousness.
With Rosmerta, I also never really thought of her as this lonely, pining person...but I like taking a new spin on minor characters like that, giving them a story you would never have thought of because we only ever see one aspect of them. And I agree, the idea of wanting to get out of Hogsmeade is so strange because it's this awesome place in the books - but that's from the point of the kids who spend all their time doing homework and running from teachers. I guess one person's heaven is another person's hell. Hogsmeade seems like it must be a small and somewhat boring town if you have to live and work there every day.
Haha...these two as a couple...I don't even know what I was thinking or how it came about...but once I got the idea into my head, I. Could. Not. Get. It. Out. It just stuck. I think I like Remus/Rosmerta better than Remus/Tonks almost. XD It just came from nowhere, and it stuck. I knew Rosmerta was at the Three Broomsticks when the Marauders were at school, but we were never told how old she was, so I figured it would make sense that she might still have been very young at that point. And considering Ron finds her a bit of a dish when she's older - at least middle aged - I imagine she must have been quite a Little-Miss-Thing when she was young.
This idea hit me, of two people who are each so disappointed in themselves, but so in awe of one another, and it really is such a sad idea, because I imagine a lot of people must live their lives that way. This idea of mirroring their emotions pulled me in, because a lot of times it's just Remus and his angst and self-loathing, paired with the totally awesome and confident girl who's going to help him or change him or god knows what. But what if it was someone just as lonely and sad as him? It broke my heart to think about it, but I loved the idea of these two people who really do need each other in a way, because they're both so friendless and yet such good people. How's that for cheesy and mushy? XD
I thank you so much for the amazing review! I really appreciate it - it absolutely made my week!