|Review:||Violet Gryfindor says:|
My proper reaction to this story would be something like "asdfghjkl", but I'll try to give it a decent translation into regular English, though I assure you that it's a challenge. Stories about Percy are fascinating because, of all the Weasleys, he is the one we could call "tainted", perhaps the most ambitious and least at-ease with himself. And that is exactly what you've shown here in a most extraordinary way. You've condensed Percy's life and trials into the search for that one elusive thing - his heart's desire - only for him to realize that he had it all along, and it was the thing he had neglected in his quest for something more. Gah, it's like the end of Great Expectations or some frustratingly brilliant modernist novel - ripping out your heart with carefully measured language.
This one-shot works so well because you take on a very Percy-like voice. You make use of free indirect discourse with a bit of stream of consciousness, all of the emotion kept in sharp restraint that becomes painful in those places when his frustration lashes out. But it begs the question what is the source of his frustration - is it his family, or himself? He's never satisfied, he tries so hard to be different that it destroys him. Ron does the same thing in DH, and it's something that's so understandable, it happens to everyone. This story shows how, of all the Weasley siblings, Percy ended up being the most real, the most human and flawed. Maybe that's why many people still don't like him - he did what many people do every day, except he was allowed to see his mistake and, most importantly, he had the strength to go back and admit that he was wrong.
The stylistic experiment you performed with this story is a great success. I'm envious that you were able to contain so much in less than a thousand words and still make it sound absolutely gorgeous. I love these kinds of stories, but to be honest, I usually see them in literary magazines, so you better be getting yourself into them pretty soon, too. This story and the style you've used is just the kind of thing the needs to be in print. ^_^
Author's Response: Oh, I can already sense that I'm going to make a royal mess of this response. But I'll try my best! I definitely agree with you on what makes Percy fascinating -- and I think he is, as you said, the most human of all the Weasleys. So often they're painted as an idyllic and perfect family, but then there's Percy, who broke away from them to pursue his own aims. I think he was looking for something that he didn't realize he'd had all along; even though I might have phrased that a bit more poetically here than plain English normally would require, it's something I've always thought, however abstractly.
I'm so pleased to hear you found Percy in the voice of this story! That's always something I strive for, in anything I write, providing a voice. :) I'm trying something lately in which I don't focus so much on a story's word count, and just focus on the STORY itself. As long as it passes the 500-word minimum, then I won't fuss about how many more words come after it.
Your comment on literary magazines -- holy cow, you made my entire WEEK. ♥ Now that you've mentioned that, I've started brainstorming ways to turn this into an original story... it's something to think about. Thank you for bringing it up, and for encouraging that idea! And, of course, thank you for your review, too. I honestly cannot even tell you what it means to me to have a review from you, one of my favorite authors. It's so very appreciated!!