Hey it's Whiskey from Holiday Review Swap!
I thought I'd check out the one shot, since it hasn't got too many reviews and my goodness, am I glad I did!
It isn't without faults, of course, but the idea is just so lovely! Hogwarts, we all know, has a life of its own and magic has the tendency to gift sentience to objects, like portraits,books, Peeves...So imagining how the walls of the school would feel towards it's own students fits perfectly into the HP world. I really like it when fanfiction makes sense within the fandome! It doesn't happen all that often at all!
If I may, though, I would like to suggest some changes. A couple of sentences were a little weird. For example: "Dust gathers itself in untrodden, non-existent corners." I really can't picture a non-existent, dusty corner and don't know what sort of feeling you were going for with this.Or: "Rare and interesting plants cultivated from the Herbology greenhouses..." Rare and interesting are rather vague words and they are not very exciting nor do they help picture what is being described. Are the plants sharp and pointy, or brighty colored, or round and fluffy, or, eh, I don't know! Tell us what they are like :) Or this: "sofas...crying out". It might just be me, but sofas and crying out doesn't seem to fit. Sofas are the epitome of comfort and relaxation...maybe they would whisper, or chant?
I liked how you described the way the beds were stripped and the curtains were drawn. This reenforced the idea of abandonment. I would advise you to continue the same way throughout the rest of the one-shot. You have so many very different descriptions that it takes some effort on the reader's part to understand how to feel. It shouldn't be that much work to fix, though, you have a great basis here. The imagery is perfect, I just think the words you chose are conflicting with it at times. Try to go for descriptions that imply calmness, melancholy, quiet anticipation. I think altrering one or two descriptions should accomplish that :)
Author's Response: Ooooh thank you! I'm quite flattered that you think my fanfiction fits perfectly into the HP world; that's a fantastic compliment!
I did research for this one-shot and the Hufflepuff common room is designed in a circular shape. Therefore, the corners would be non-existent because a circle doesn't have corners. ;) I also felt that Dumbledore would reduce the house-elves' duties over the summer because they work hard over the school year, which would explain how dust has gathered.
I did consider describing the plants, but I was concerned that adding too much detail about the plants would detract from the rest of the one-shot. It is the Hufflepuff common room I'm describing after all, not the Herbology greenhouses. ;)
As for sofas, they creak loudly when forced to take too much weight. So while I appreciate your thoughts, personally I'm quite happy to put "crying out". Sofas were designed to be sat on, so I visualize them as sighing happily and contentedly when students are sitting on them, and whispering gently to any students who have fallen asleep on them. When they are not permitted to serve their purpose, they would get very upset. (And perhaps one or two of them, jinxed by some very mischevious 'Puffs, would start chasing professors demanding to be sat on or said professors would get eaten!) :D
I'm glad that you think that my imagery is perfect, however I didn't want to use too many melancholic words because I wanted to portray the Hufflepuff common room as still having hope that its students would return from the summer. The school has been threatened with closure more than once, so imagine how the poor common room feels every year wondering if Hogwarts was closed over the summer and no-one mentioned it to the room, so its students would never return!
Thank you so much for taking the time to review; it is much appreciated. :)