Oh Toujours Padfoot... You are such a gifted writer, it continues to blow my mind. There doesn't seem to be a genre you can't handle, a character you don't understand, or an idea that you can't execute with precision and excellence. I hate you.
No, no, ignore that, I'm sorry - that's just the jealousy talking. Seriously, though, this is so fantastic! I remember the first story I ever read of yours was 'Siren' and how dark and gripping and powerful that was. And then when I read something so opposite, it blows my mind that the same author wrote both! You're so incredibly versatile and I'm in love with both your style and originality!
So in case you haven't figured it out yet, this is your first (and insanely overdue) review for winning the HPPC Challenge! This story was the one I chose to read and review because I love Fred and George and I love OC's and I love the pairing of FredorGeorge/OC, so as soon I saw the option, I knew I had to read it! And I'm so glad I did! Where to even begin?... From the top it is!
I love how the story just jumps right in. A lot of fics I've read here that are based around an OC tend to start out with a lot of description about who that character is, rather than simply writing them into scenarios and allowing us to find out for ourselves through their reactions and where their mind races off to. I love that you just throw her into a back and forth dialogue with Fred from the start so that we get to figure Hollis out for ourselves, experience her wit first hand rather than being told 'I am sarcastic'.
Speaking of the dialogue between the two, that was so much fun to read! LOL A lot of the time when I see a writer who wants to create a witty back and forth, they tend to either over-do it so that the conversation lacks any real purpose other than to get a laugh (which also tends to become unrealistic), or they simply haven't written it in a way that's really very funny at all! But you've found a perfect balance of believability, true humor, and actual substance that serves a purpose, moves the plot along and is also so enjoyable. And to top it all off, Fred was SO in character! And as a fangirl of Fred (and George!), I'm very picky with him, but you've done him brilliantly here. These two lines were my favorite's of his:
""Irma," he said charmingly, arms outspread as if to hug her. "How long it's been!""
""Oi! Go easy on me! I've ingested a lot of interesting things today and I might be flammable!""
LOL! Too funny, and so perfectly Fred! I also love when he pins the not returning of a book on himself while pretending to be George. :-p You're so funny.
I love that you brought in a bit of canon with the invisible hats research! It's always cool to see connections to canon being made in a new way. Oh, and later in the chapter we get to see the galleon from the DA! Again, a great combination of the canon world and your world. :-)
The way you give us details about the OC and who she is is really nice. Learning about how she's been watching Fred for so long after her friend admits that she can't tell the twins apart is exactly what I mean about showing us who your character is rather than just telling us from the top. It's this type of writing that makes me want to keep reading, because there's so much about the OC that I don't know yet, but still enough was learned about her to make me want to know more. It's the perfect balance.
Can we talk about the way in which you describe the moment when Hollis knows that Fred's watching her and she's trying to play it cool? I was reading that and thinking back on my experience with when a guy I've liked is nearby and I'm trying to act nonchalant, though on the inside I'm over-analyzing EVERYTHING, and reading your descriptions about being so hyper-aware, taking a sip of a drink just because, and just thinking 'OMG THAT'S EXACTLY RIGHT!' hahaha
Omg, you just keep making me fall more and more in love with the twins! I didn't even know that was possible! I can't remember the last time a read a story that gave me butterflies because the romantic pairing was set up so well together! I got that excited feeling that people get when their actual crush is around because it's so easy to relate to Hollis and how she sees Fred! Oh, if only the twins were real...
Well I certainly can't wait to see what's going to happen in the next chapter! Fred with a surprise in the Owlery at 5am? That sounds like a recipe for awesome. Such a great way to end the first chapter because you know people want to find out what exactly Fred Weasley is up to this time! I will definitely be continuing this story. :-D
Thinking back on your one-shot that won the challenge (The Legacy of Waldorf), I have to say that it was really great to see another side of your humor. In your Peeves fic, the situations were so hilariously over-the-top and anything but subtle, but here we get just as many laughs but in a way that isn't as in-your-face as the one-shot. With the twins around, however, I'm sure we'll be seeing some Waldorf-esque over-the-top chaos in no time. It's just wonderful to see that not only can you write humor, but you can write it fantastically in differing ways! Did I mention already that I hate you?
So basically, in summation, you rock. You're an incredible author who can write about any character in any situation and make it look like the easiest thing in the world. And while I've been struggling with the third chapter of my only WIP, you seem to be an unstoppable force of nature on a whirlwind path to ruling the HPFF world of top writers. *bows to your excellence*
Thank you for this excellent story. See you in chapter two!
P.S. I just remembered seeing the chapter titles and how the years change, so next chapter won't be the prank cause it's going two years in the past! -le sigh- Guess that means I'll just have to keep reading til I get to it! ;-) Can't wait.
Author's Response: Oh my god, Tanya. It has taken me ages to respond to this because your review is just...wow. I don't think I've ever seen a more thorough reviewer! My jaw was dropping all over the place - there was lots of flailing and squeeing and such. ♥ I can't thank you enough.
I'm glad you chose this story for the review prizes! It's fairly light and easy to get through, and the chapters skip around through various years in Hollis's life, moving forwards and backwards so hopefully the nonlinear format will prevent you from getting bored. :P
Yay, you thought Fred was canon! That's always such a lovely thing to hear because that's something I worked pretty hard on. It's great to have a fellow Fred and George fangirl! George is very prominent in this story - he by no means fades into the woodwork just because Hollis is hanging around, so I hope you like his characterization in this story, as well.
bahaha, omg, playing it cool when a guy is around; I drew on that one from experience. Just grabbing whatever is nearest and fiddling with it like there's no tomorrow, for lack of anything else to do.
Haha, you'll find that the Owlery bit's not in the next chapter because of the nonlinear format. Sorry! :3 You'll have to take a few trips back in time before you get to see that particular scene. But of course I just read this in your P.S., so I can only offer some cookies to get you through the waiting period. XD
Oh my goodness, how can I thank you enough? Your words are so, so lovely and so kind and you seem to pick up on every little detail! When you read something, you really read it! I feel so honored to have you reviewing this and so flattered that you actually liked it. Thank you so, so much. :)