|Review:||Athene Goodstrength says:|
Okay, so you know how my reviews work. I type as I go... So I’m going to start by saying, that’s one stunning banner you have there. Nice one, ImposedWriter! Haha.
I’ve been excited for this story ever since you pulled those names out of the imaginary hat (it’s actually a massive spreadsheet)... and you definitely haven’t disappointed! I’ve mentioned to you before, that just the title itself seems so perfect. And I, like Caoty, *love* your Fleur. I think I’d find Fleur quite hard to write, as we only see her through Harry’s eyes, and the only female interpretation of her that we get is what Ginny, Hermione and Molly say about her behind her back. But, Bill loves her. AND she’s a Triwizard champion. And she’s not entirely human (I guess, like her husband now!). So there’s certainly more to her than her looks, and you definitely bring that out in this story. You’ve also found one of her greatest attributes that we *do* see in JKR’’s work - her loyalty, her utter devotion to her family - and brought that out. Your Fleur not only feels canon to me, but she also kicks a whole lotta butt, whilst still being terrified and vulnerable and beautiful.
I know you were trying to make me cry with your Fred story... but jeeez, Jami! This one too? That scene by Fred’s body, when she’s thinking of her own loss but recognising the terrible loss the Weasleys must be feeling... I got teary eyed. And then. And then, Fleur sees Gabrielle in Ginny’s face, and I imagine my little sister’s face, and Fleur becomes the big sister, holds Ginny and... I CRIED, OKAY?
So, I’m barely holding it together, this is a very sad scene, and then all of a sudden, it’s action again! Greyback has hold of a little girl! And then, the tension as we wait to see what Fleur will do, as the whole room watches and the Weasleys are terrified... And then action again! You really are mistress of this rollercoaster, Jami.
I think perhaps one of the best things you did was to have Fleur asking that Greyback *not* be killed. It would be all too easy to write it that way, but instead your Fleur shows ‘mercy’ - and is utterly cool-headed and vengeful about it. It reminds me of the tension between her looks and her brain. She’s beautiful, pure and silvery - but she’s fast, and ruthless, and vengeful too. I love it. She’s the perfect counterbalance to her Weasley husband.
Speaking of whom, he and his family and the Delacour family are clearly the centre of her world; maybe she and Molly have more in common than they realise.
Your writing in this story is just fantastic. You use so many wonderful images, and you slip them in so subtly that they don’t jar at all, and it doesn’t seem oversaturated either. I can’t even start picking out my favourite lines because I’d be replicating most of the story. That said, this line right at the start really got to me: “You could have been widowed before you even said I do.” Gah. It says a lot. The way lives were put on hold, young lives lost, the fact that Fleur would have considered herself a widow (she really is a steadfast, loyal, family-loving woman, isn’t she?). Perfect.
I’m not normally a fan of the second person, as it seems unnatural and can be hard to get right; but the way you’ve handled it here is utterly perfect. I barely notice it being employed, and that, to me, is the mark of a good 2nd person narrative. SO GOOD.
This story wouldn’t have worked for me in the first person, and third person would have been too distant, I think. So *applause* you never cease to impress me.
I noticed a couple of things: “But you continue on down the crumbing staircase” - you don’t need the ‘on’ - ‘continue’ does that for you. Also, ‘crumbing’ needs an ‘L’ in it somewhere :P
Also, “He sounds concerned, but not frighting. He knows you’ve seen worse. ” - frightened?
Overall - I really, really enjoyed this story. I love the way you manage to lull me into a false sense of security in an action-packed story! Haha. It’s like, ‘oh man, I’m glad that’s over - Fleur can now get on and grieve with her family. OH NO! Greyback! I forgot this story is for my challenge!’. You handle the ‘Meeting’ brilliantly. I’m so glad you picked these two characters. Loved it, loved it, loved it.
Author's Response: *Deep breath* HOWAMISUPPOSEDTORESPONDTOTHISAMAZINGNESS?
Phew. Okay. I'll try.
Fleur is one of my favorite 'every so often' characters. You know how sometimes they just work? She usually does. I did have trouble trying to get her to behave at first, but once I switched into second person I really felt like it clicked. And like you said she isn't entirely human. That Veela side goes a long way into not only making her beautiful, but giving her a certain kind of anger that she's able to own and act on. She's not breakable, and we know that she does/says what she wants. So when she kills a man to defend herself, it isn't going to crush her. She did it because it was necessary, and she's not going to care.
Ah I totally knew the bit about Fleur looking at Ginny and all the sudden she was Gabrielle would get you! Because.. maybe she wasn't the nicest person in the world before, but she is a very loyal big sister. And regardless of their first opinions on each other, she's Ginny's big sister now. And and and. I think that's all about that. I didn't actually mean to make you teary, though!! Promise!!
I never thought I'd write a second person piece!! You should have heard me complaining to Dan ( I couldn't complain to you, it was your challenge!) But email after email I'm whining about how it won't work and I can't do a battle aftermath because none of it feels right and blah blah and Dan's telling me to push through because it would be the best scenario and I just wanted to throw my computer. But, I do love writing poetry, and I always write that in second person. So I started to just play around a bit, and it worked. And I was thrilled when it worked because then I could stop being mad a Fleur for making my life difficult!
Writing Fleur's sneaky side to make Greyback think she was unarmed was my favorite part. Because the whole time we hear about her wanting revenge, she never thinks about saving the girl. She wanted to, of course, but more than anything she wanted to see him captured and imprisoned. You are so write when you say she's ruthless and vengeful. I think that might be partly why I love writing her so much. She's just such a contradicting person.
Okay, I'm done rambling. But you are so awesome and I just want to squeeze you ♥