Hi! Firstly, thank you so much for entering my challenge! Secondly, sorry it's taken me so long to get round to your reviews, I can be rather forgetful.
Anyway, I really enjoyed this! I really like the way you've brought Blaise and Dennis together. I thought it was a creative and moving situation you've put them in. I liked the way you connected their two sections with the "he is broken" / "he is lost". It shows that these two people who seem to have nothing in common are not as different as you might think.
On that note, I liked that you didn't have Blaise as just another Slytherin who ran away. I've always found Blaise an interesting character, and as he wasn't that close to Draco and the rest, I think it's completely plausible that he would have stayed behind. I like the idea of him trying to redeem his house - Slytherins don't have to be the bad guys! I loved this line - "shrunken hearts still beating" – and I think it was much more interesting to have Blaise saying these things about Slytherins than someone from a different house. But at the same time, he was still Slytherin-ish and I liked the slightly snide/exasperated remark he made about Harry only being dead about five minutes.
While there are plenty of post-war-mourning stories out there, I felt like this had loads of original touches. I LOVED the idea of the phoenix monument, with it being 'reborn' every year. That felt practically canon - I can really see it actually being there. I loved the way you used the Giant Squid, too - it was nice to have some humour in there. And the bantering about Umbridge, and Dennis as a first year in the lake, was funny but really quite poignant as well.
I spotted a couple of typos: "his brother dies" (I assume should be 'died'); "sunshine that one sees in early may" (needs a capital letter). Overall your grammar/spelling/etc seemed pretty good though, which is always a plus!
Something I was a bit confused by was Dennis saying that Colin wouldn't be seen in the same group as Ron, Luna and Neville. Why those three? I feel like it should either be the three main heroes (Harry, Ron, Hermione) or those who stayed behind at Hogwarts and faced Snape and the Carrows (Luna, Neville, Ginny etc). The mix of the two sets feels slightly odd.
Anyway, a really good read! I really liked what you did with the characters I gave you, and it definitely made for a very moving story.
Author's Response: Ok. So i tried to respond to this about five times and pressed cancel instead of submit every time *facepalm* *herpderp*
So anyways, thank you so much for reviewing!
(it might be longer than the story its self xD)
I'm glad that the ways i brought them together seemed plausible. They're at different ends of the Hogwarts spectrum, so it took me a while to think of a circumstance in which they might meet. I was so happy with the characters that you gave me!
I love the interesting little side characters, we know almost nothing about them, so we're free to make anything up :D
I'm glad that Blaise came across as slightly snide (that was my voice speaking through him there. i mean, for most of us, death is permanent). I try very hard not to fall into house stereotypes, so I always try not to vilify slytherins.
I'm glad you liked the phoenix. I've read tons of stories with monuments, and the idea (obviously) springs from the original order of the phoenix. I thought it would be a statue that might very well exist in the potterverse.
Thanks for the corrections and constructive feedback! I will work on editing/correcting those bits.
Thank you again for the awesome challenge!