Oh my goodness, Lily. Ohhh my goodness. I don't even know how to begin to write you a review for this. Your chapters are always so lovely, and I suspect -- nay, know! -- that you could write chapters five times longer than this and they would fly by just as quickly. This story is absolute crack in the way that is not crack at all, but is just as addicting and fun and I just really appreciate you. A ton. ♥♥
THIS CHAPTER WAS SO EXCELLENT AND WORTH THE WAIT AND MOAR. I absolutely loved all the little flickering-back-and-forth-between viewpoints -- it kept me on my toes and you wrote everyone SO WELL, too! I was reading about Muriel, I confess, in the library stacks earlier this evening, and I could not smother my giggles. She's so fantastic and batty. And HUGO, of course. /The/ best Hugo this site has ever seen, and ever will see. And Ron! And Percy! (I'm really, really sorry for the pointlessness of this review. You're probably like SHE DIDN'T EVEN READ IT but it's so hard for me to be coherent now, I gobbled this down so quickly with my eyeballs. I am going to take a brief moment.)
I think one of the best things is that suspenseful attitude you kept up as the chapter went along -- telling things while leaving others out so I was over here all eager to continue reading. I've never, not once, read a story so easily on this site. Normally I'm not a huge fan of reading things online (insert ironic face here as everything I write is posted online) but this is the absolute tip-top exception. Normally I have to take breaks; I couldn't be dragged away from this story by Hugo's Venomous Tentacula. (Am I repeating myself? It's a very bad review-leaving habit.)
AND THE BIT THAT HAD ME CRYING OF LAUGHTER. That plaque on the dormitory, OH. MY. ROWLING. I literally spit out a bit of my coffee, I was laughing so hard, and I /never/ get tears in my eyes from laughing (I find things funny often, but for some reason it's difficult to make me laugh more than a chuckle or so). That is so HUGO and it was absolutely brilliant, one of my favorite things in this story to date. No lie!
Now what, pray tell, did Marjie and Rose find that merited Ron and Harry's presence?! (TAKING A MOMENT HERE TO SQUEE THAT YOU'RE WRITING RON AND HARRY, OH MY GOSH I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE WHERE THIS GOES.) And what's Muriel's involvement in all of this, precisely? I know I'll just have to read more to find out but I am just on the edge of my chair (and, am fact, really on the edge) to read all of this. Lily, I wish I could tell you so that you could understand how much I adore this. You are a next generation inspiration and your writing makes me want to be a better writer, and that is a true statement from the very bottom of my beating cardiovascular muscles. ♥
THIS CHAPTER. Lily, it was so /good/, you've got such talent!! I absolutely cannot, cannot, cannot wait for the next one, because you keep setting these bars and then topping them and setting new ones, and this is just the best fic. The best. Please update just as quickly as school and work and life in general allows, and I will be a faithful reader forevermore! I LOVE THIS STORY IN CASE YOU MISSED IT ABOVE, BUT I REALLY DO LOVE IT. IT'S MAH FAVE.
Author's Response: FORGIVE ME for taking so long to respond to this monstrous, but lovely, review! I know you always talk about how you ramble, but I love it. You know this, but it's extremely satisfying to continue a dialogue with readers and, well, as you're so good at keeping up with these updates, you're always right on point no matter what you're saying.
To me, fan fiction is this CRAZY AND WEIRD opportunity to write like life is a musical--we understand that it's cray, but it makes sense within the context. I think this may make sense, and might be another way of saying "crack but not."
This was an /extremely/ difficult chapter to me. You've read adventure, you know that large casts are a new thing for me. In one way it's exhilirating because it's a kind of flying between characters, the dialogue is this rapid fire writing session where I sit transfixed, slumped over my laptop, muttering to myself in a British accent, being five hundred people at once. I like the balance, the challenge of giving everyone a voice. In a way these stories are about giving people voices who are generally overlooked. Hugo, the underdog who makes awkward gestures at this broader humanity but who, because of his specialness, is still largely alone amongst his peers...who is best friends with a professor, a graduated student and a unicorn. (I mean, let's get real.) Neville, who relives a rebirth, though in a less tragic, sad way than he did in the war. Scorpius is quieter, but he affirms his worth as a good person, separate from his family. In THIS story, though, it's less about proving things and more about just actually voicing things. I tend to focus a lot as a writer on internal space, because I think I'm naturally a stream-of-consciousness writer, though I hate to say it like that because phrases and names are gross. But yes. This is a challenge, and so it means a lot to me to see that you feel it's working. I will just trust you on that :P
The suspense mostly, aha, happened because I just felt like NO WAIT I NEED TO GET THIS SCENE IN HERE TOO OH WAIT, I WONDER WHAT MARJIE IS DOING AND WHAT ABOUT NEVILLE, IS HE HAVING TEA LIKE I IMAGINE OR IS HE STARGAZING WITH THE GIANT SQUID AT MIDNIGHT AGAIN? It's the big cast, the needing to get everything in, but the miracle of still having a /general/ idea of how their stories all connect. Suspense is lovely, but I feel it's a side effect. Useful, but not wholly intentional :D
Yes, the plaque. I have had three scenes entirely written since I /named/ this fic--which, by the way, I think you were there when it was still called "A Round, Unvarnished Tale" :P--and the plaque made it in there. It was not in this scene, but it was just time while I was writing this. I added a couple things and subtracted one and ended up with what you see now. I'm super glad it made you larf. I chuckle myself thinking of it...but in a way, it is also a bit sad to me. Because Hugo's so lonely and he feels he wants people to know about him. BUt it stems more from an awkward confidence and pride than it does from loneliness. Still, it's there.
Harry is turning out to be hard for me to write. I had this idea of him and I'm finding it impossible to translate :( However, I keep chugging along in hopes that things will play out as they should, or that I can fix whatever damage I do, in time.
YOU STOP THAT WITH YOUR COMPLIMENTS, OR I'LL START TO BELIEVE YOU!! I really love your love for this fic and, though I am very bad at updating in a timely manner, your excitement and encouragement is really what keeps me writing. It's an amazing thing, to think that out there in the world just one person is enjoying my writing as much as you are. I am very grateful to have the few of you who read regularly! And, to be honest, if anything about my writing is as exciting as a "next generation inspiration," it may be because I stay close to my writing, and it is important to me, more than talent or determination.
O LOFF YOO (H) (H)