Hey Jane! Wow, CONGRATS on your featured story! I finally have some time this month to check out the "winners" and was so happy you were one of them because, as I've said on numerous occasions, you're sickeningly talented for your age. Really. It's nauseating. If I didn't like you so much, I'd hate you ^.^ *hugs!*
So first off, my experiences reading fan fiction aren't as vast and varied as some people, so this is actually my first Bill and Fleur story to review. I really love stories like this that fill in missing moments or answer questions I've always wondered in the back of my mind, like how *did* Bill and Fleur end up together? I just assumed they were both so gorgeous, they attracted each other like oppositely charged molecules or something, but you did a wonderful job of figuring all those details out for us people who had never considered them before.
At the very get go, I was "meh" about the present tense, because I feel like present tense is a sort of fad thing in literature right now, and most of the time I don't understand why it's used. But I think there are stories where it works very well ("The Time Traveler's Wife" always comes to mind for me because, really, the past, present, and future ARE all the main character's present). This was definitely an instance where it's very fitting to use present tense, and it actually adds to the writing instead of being a distraction.
I like the format of this, how it's sort of a one-shot made up of snap shots. It's like reading a photo album where I can see each moment in time so clearly. Each little blip in their lives we see has just enough description and insight from Bill to make it powerful without being overbearing.
"His first Christmas with her is forever embedded with the sounds of summer." --I love that. Maybe it wouldn't be as relevant for someone like me who grew up next to the ocean, but for Bill it's such a lovely description.
"Their first child is born two years, to the day, after that battle. They call her Victoire. Victory. He has never been prouder of her." --I love the slight hint of another meaning you've given to Victorie's name. I always just thought of it as referring to the Order's victory over Voldemort, but what in the world could ever be a greater victory than a woman fighting her way through the war of labor and delivery to bring forth a new life? As a woman who has done that herself, I think every single baby should be named "Victory." :)
So over all, wonderful job! It was neat to read something of yours that wasn't about Snape (I'm trying to write some of those myself... but it's so HARD to not talk about him at all!) Congrats again! ~Renny
Author's Response: Howdy, Renny! Wow, thanks so much for taking the time to leave such a long and lovely review. :) I'm so happy you did, and even more happy that you enjoyed the story! Although I don't wish to make you sick. :D ♥
Before writing this, I hadn't read a lot of Bill/Fleur, either, but I've gained a new appreciation for them through this -- and that's very exciting for me! There wasn't a lot of planning that went into this -- more of OH, MERLIN, THEY NEED TO MEET, QUICK, ARRANGE A MEETING.
Present tense was something I just sort of fell into here -- I'm really not a fan of it, but in my last few one shots I've done second person POV and first person, and this story was largely inspired by a set of Ron/Hermione one-shots set in third person, past tense. I knew that if I didn't want to kick myself for making something too similar (even if only in my own mind) to something already out there, I'd have to do present tense. :D It was kind of a struggle to not stray from it, too!
I like the comparison of the sections to vignettes in a photo album. :3 It's quite accurate, now that I think about it. And that summer line is one of my favorites, too!
Gah -- thanks so much again for such a sweet, heartfelt review. Writing about Snape is great, but it is, of course, good to take a break once in a while! :P You're fab!