Hi! I'm here with the review you requested (finally!). It's been quite a while since I've looked for this story... I'd been really busy with school and so I hadn't come back to HPFF until about a month ago. But I was really surprised and pleased to see that you remembered me from that gushing review I left on this story a couple of months ago. It really means a lot to me when people acknowledge that I left a review, especially when it happened a while back. :)
But on to the story-discussion part of the review.
Okay, as far as I'm concerned, you can do no wrong with this story. The emotions are all angsty and dark, but they havea good foundation; it isn't like they're there because you wanted to torture the characters, it's because the events evoked those emotions. This story has life, some kind of fire burning that creates all the conflicts and muddles of emotion, and even though it took a short break, it picked up perfectly right back where it needed to be. I'm really sorry, but you probably won't get any actual constructively critical thoughts from me in any review I leave on your stories. I'm a rookie at the art of fanfiction, and to me, this story is like an offering from the gods of Harry Potter (Merlin maybe? Or Dumbledore?).
Anyways, the way you tell this story is just brilliant. I loved how you introduced the really minor characters that show up sometimes in the books, such as Eileen Prince and Moaning Myrtle (before she moaned, of course). They fit so flawlessly into the stitching of the story that I don't even notice any seams on the sides. (Sorry, my autocorrect autocorrected a word, and so I made a goofy sewing metaphor-type thing.)
Probably my favorite thing abot the story is the time period that it's set in. The World Wars are a really good link to what was happening in the Wizarding World at this time. Tiberius' drafting issue only added more to the plot, and it makes me really sad that he's going to have to give everything he loves up to fight in strange and dangerous places.
Your diction and syntax are super amazing. I sometimes re-read parts of this chapter over a few times, because the words fit together so well. Every word fits the tone and the mood of the story; not a one is out of place. The metaphors that you used were very... Gutsy. That is to say, they had tons of meaning. Nothing was arbitrary, and I think that's a lot of people's problems in fanfiction: they don't know how NOT to be arbitrary, myself being no exception. Do you teach writing classes on the forums? You probably should. I would be the first to sign up for that class. :)
Lastly, though I'm sure there's stuff I've left out, I lovable you get inside the characters' heads. I often enjoy stories where the innermost thoughts are in parentheses or italics, like Stephen King often does. (I read a lot of his books, and I know and enjoy the style.) However, you have this awesome magical power of showing the inner workings of the mind without parentheses or fancy little tricks. It certainly clicks in with the style of your story, and I'm sure you've developed so many characters over the years that you know at least a part of what makes them who they are on the inside (though I won't presume you know absolutely everything... Stories are always writing themselves if you don't watch them closely enough).
That's all I'm going to gabble on about for now. No rush, but PLEASE get the next chapter out soon. I would be more than happy to review it again, if you don't mind overly sappy, praising reviews like this one.
Thank you for requesting a review and alerting me to the continuation of this marvelous story! I really do look forward to reading the next chapter... And the next... And...
Okay, I'll stop blabbering now.
Author's Response: Wow. Just wow. I really don't know how to respond to this because, inside, I'm running around squeeing and that really doesn't translate well into a good review response, does it? This is a wonderfully kind review that is inspiring me to push through the next chapter, and probably through the rest of the novel as well. I can't thank you enough for that!
It's interesting what you said about your previous review, but maybe it's because I take the reviews I get a little too seriously (it's the desperation, I guess). It means a lot to me to receive any reviews, and I like to keep track of who is reading and what they're saying - it's the best part of posting online in this way. Stories become a dialogue rather than just a text that you read and put away again. Readers and writers can shape each other... and I'll stop before I turn either gushy or philosophical (neither is advisable).
The rest of my response is accompanied by furious blushing, especially at the thought that I could do no wrong with this story. I'm not sure that I don't spend my time purposely torturing the characters, but I do try to give that torture a plausible reason - in this story's case, both the events with Riddle and WWII create such an atmosphere and circumstances that it's been hard to break up the dark angst/drama with lighter scenes. I love your description of the fire burning in the background - there is that kind of emotion behind everything going on in the story, and maybe that's why it's so different from other things I've been working on. It has a particular quality to it that makes it a treat for me to come back to, again and again.
However, it is your compliment of the language and syntax is the one that sends me into rapturous squees. I obsess over things sounding right, and lately I've been changing words and the organization of sentences just so that they end on the right kind of syllables. I'm incredibly pleased to hear that this isn't just a crazy thing, but it's instead enhancing the story. When it comes to metaphors, I probably use far too many, and even more that are far too weird. Gutsy sounds much better than weird. :D I'm not always sure where those metaphors come from, otherwise I'd be happy to share. A lot of it probably has to do with possessing a wild imagination that hasn't matured much beyond the monsters in the closet stage. But it's important to not just have pretty images, but make them apply to the character, plot, or setting in some way. The types of images associated with a particular character can be used to show aspects of their personality and background that wouldn't normally come out in the story.
I have a weakness for third person limited and its more extreme state of free indirect discourse, which is like first person without the "I". It brings me closer to the characters, though this is the only one where I've done it successfully with more than one character. Though characters often surprise me with things about themselves that I never knew - a lot of times it's like they're real people, and it's scary.
So I'll go finish off the new chapter before I keep rambling on here. Thank you again for this fantabulous review! I'm very glad to have caught a spot in your reviewing queue. ^_^