|Review:||teh tarik says:|
Hello! I'm here with your requested review :)
First of all, thank you for writing this pairing! In the texts (especially Deathly Hallows) there are some lovely moments of friendship between the two, and implications of a possible relationship - and I'm not sure if many people think too much about the fact that Luna and Dean were both prisoners in the Malfoy Manor dungeons, and that both went through the same ordeal together, and possibly helped each other emotionally and mentally.
This is a very lovely post-Hogwarts story told through Dean Thomas' POV. I think you're pretty much spot on with Dean's characterisation. His POV is convincing enough, and as a narrator, his voice is dry, casual, honest, observant but not weighted down by too much detail. He is down-to-earth and practical, and I like that you've incorporated aspects of his Muggle-born upbringing into his present life (e.g. watching TV, buying things from the Muggle hardware store - lovely, especially when contrasted to the quick-drying Charms :))
Luna, however, is a more difficult character to pin down in writing. Rowling's Luna is, in my opinion all floaty and airy-fairy and yet is incredibly perceptive with a startling wisdom that none of the other characters possess. That being said, I think you've done a great job with Luna. You've taken into account her ordeal and her wartime experiences; your postwar Luna is convincing, more mature and sober than the Luna of the novels. There's also a sense of energy to her character which I really like - the painting scene was especially lovely and heartwarming, and the contrasts between her and Dean are wonderful and well-thought out. I'm not sure that Luna would be so unforgiving as to not talk to her father for months (I've always thought she would be forgiving and light-hearted), but then again this is just my opinion, and you have after all, taken into account her recent experiences.
The relationship and chemistry between the two is believable and heartfelt; their decision to live together and set up home just tugged at my heart! Their relationship is a warm cheerful and consoling picture against the postwar wizarding world. there was a reference to their shared experience of imprisonment in Malfoy Manor; I would liked to have read a bit more about it and how they survived before being rescued. I think including such a scene in your story would have perhaps added a whole new dimension to their relationship (possibly a darker side to it) and to its development across time.
I think after this story I just might go round looking for more Dean/Luna fanfics :D
As for the depiction of the rest of the wizarding world after the war, this was done very skillfully through allusion and other indirect references e.g. Xeno Lovegood's house arrest provides a deeper less cheerful look into the state of the outside world. As for Xeno himself, well done! You write his character flaws well, his strangeness (his refusal to come all the way down the stairs) and the final reunion with his daughter is beautifully done.
first of all, the numbering of the story segments. I understand that you want to start with action and you have broken up the linearity of the plot. This is fine. I read the story in the order as it appeared on the page, and it sounded great. I would, however, have preferred if you'd numbered them I to VII. I am not suggesting that you rearrange the segments into chronological order; they're fine as they are. Just...perhaps change the numbers so the numbers themselves are in order. I know you're trying to help your reader out - but I think the non-linearity of the story is perfectly understandable. There's no need to take the reader by the hand and absolutely explain everything. This is just my recommendation but it's up to you.
Repetitive information is another thing you should look out for. For example, at the beginning of the segment marked as II there is this sentence:
Since the moment she'd found out about his bargain with the Death Eaters (her life in exchange for Harry Potter), Luna hadn't spoken to her father once.
It just happens that the segment before II (no. IV), which shows the conversation between Xeno and Dean, has already gone into some detail into the current situation between Luna and her dad, and the falling-out. I don't think you need to repeat the information. This has probably something to do with the non-chronological story order but generally, there's no need to deliver the same information more than once, especially within the same POV.
Also, at certain moments of the story, I think that you could do with a bit more "showing" rather than "telling". Especially during the times when Dean describes Luna. For example:
She inspired me constantly. Her exterior was completely calm and serene, but underneath that she had more tenacity than anyone I knew. While I wallowed in my setbacks and failures, she rose above hers and kept going, often while helping other people move forward as well.
It might be nice to know exactly how Luna rises above and helps Dean overcome his "setbacks and failures". Rather than telling the reader directly this, you might choose to show us by perhaps writing a scene - perhaps a dialogue scene of Luna and Dean getting over their problems and helping each other out. This is just an example. I hope I'm not being too obscure here. But if you "show" more, I think you would have a more rounded relationship between the two, and subtler, more nuanced character development. (Feel free to PM me if you need further explanation)
OK, to wrap up: this is a lovely warm story of family and relationships. The tone is great; there is a lightness to your writing that suits Dean's character a lot and the pacing was easy and unforced. great, convincing characterisation.
Well done! This is a lovely piece of writing. Hope I've been helpful with this review!
Author's Response: Hi! Thank you so much for this wonderful review! I really appreciate your feedback, and I'm glad you enjoyed reading the story :)
I absolutely loved writing from Dean's POV. His voice just seemed to come naturally for me, and I'm so happy you thought it sounded authentic. And I did want to add some maturity to Luna's character after what she's been through, because I did think her experiences would change her. But I also tried to keep her true to the personality JK gave her in the books, and I think I'll just have to keep working on it as I write more of her.
You're not the first person who's mentioned being curious about what happened between them in the Manor, so I'm think a one-shot about that might be in the works soon. And I'm glad you like Xeno! He was an interesting one to write as well.
You know, I didn't even notice that repetitiveness untill you mentioned. Thanks so much for pointing it out--I'll definitely keep that in mind as I keep writing. And I see what you mean about the segment numbering. I just wasn't sure if things would be as clear to other people as they were in my head, so I decided to map it out a little more clearly. But it's good to know that the non-linear thing was clear on its own, without the explanation.
Thanks again for the great feedback! I will keep all your suggestions in mind as I keep writing. This was so helpful and well-thought-out, and I appreciate it so much!