|Review:||Holiday Hippogriff says:|
Once again, you blew me out of the water. I am seriously in awe/incredible jealous of your writing talents because you have something special. I don't think Cho is necessarily an easy character to write, because we don't know all that much about her in canon, and the portrayal we see of her is sort of one dimensional.
Which is the beauty of one shots like this. I think this is in a way one of the best things about fanfiction: taking the characters that JKR gave us and making them better, more believable, more loveable and sympathetic, especially in the cases of minor characters like Cho. Because in this, Cho isn't just the girl who won't stop crying with a traitorous friend. You gave her life and made her somebody that I care about, which I really admire.
Again, something that really stood out to me here was your style, which is still beautiful. You manage to get a lot of emotion across in a fairly short piece, which is impressive (and something I myself struggle with, if the length of this review is anything to go by). It's brief, but it doesn't feel short, if that makes sense. It's still a fulfilling read. (also, I am 300% more impressed when I read that you got this in 5 minutes before the deadline. you go girl)
I like the way you structured it, with the three sections. It provided a nice flow for the story, and I liked how each connected back to each of the tasks - the first, dragons; the second, the lake; the third, the maze (and Cedric's death). Clever and very effective!
Moving on to characterization: as I think I mentioned before, I like the way that you've written about Cho here. You show her progression from a brokenhearted girl who's trying to cope with the death of a loved one to a woman who is not only brave and strong, but brave and strong enough to admit when she is not, if that sentence even makes any sense. But I do feel like there was a noticeable maturation, which was nice.
And again, your imagery and descriptions really helped bring the whole story together for me. You have these completely beautiful sentences that just beg to be read over and over again and that make you sit there and think. Seriously. I don't know how to describe it other than completely wonderful and amazing and can I please be you?
Favorite quotations time!
"And that year at Hogwarts, there would rule a dragon with pretty pink talons and the wickedest fire she would ever know." Seriously the best description of Umbridge ever - it's completely spot on and just perfect.
"Better to die with the living, girl, than to live with the dead." Life lesson: listen to slightly suspicious looking characters in bars who give wise advice.
"On some days, she will grieve, but the other days, she will fight. And she will find, in the sleepless between-nights, that there is little difference between the two." There are no words to describe how much I am in love with that quotation.
I know that writing for the House Cup could be difficult, but you pulled it off flawlessly. I didn't notice you sticking in the prompts at all; they all seemed to be naturally put in there. This is a gorgeous piece of work and I am dying and oh my gosh I feel like such a fangirl right now but I am not ashamed. So. There you go!
♥ Happy holidays!
Author's Response: I wish I could've expanded this oneshot further after I speed-wrote it for the competition, but the muse ran dry unfortunately :p I love fleshing out the minor characters JKR gave us, and I've written a few minor character stories now, and I was worried they'd get a bit samey, as I didn't want to write a whole bunch of characters triumphing their fears with a feel-good ending. I wanted Cho to discover her strength, but at the same time, not enough of it, and there's a tragedy to the fighters just as much as to the dead.
The sections -- oh how I wish I could've expanded them! I had this whole running metaphor comparing Cho's struggles to the tournament, and that's what inspired this :D I sort of dumped all the initial parts that I thought of into this oneshot and skipped all the transition xD
I also cannot imagine Umbridge as anything but a dragon in a wee furry pink coat now, because that is an accurate description, yes it is. And Aberforth isn't slightly suspicious looking! He's highly suspicious looking.
You are far too kind, Holiday Hippogriff :3 I've been so flaily over your reviews. I shall fangirl them, yes I shall.