Hey there! It's Whiskey, back through Holiday Rewview Swap :D
I've been meaning to get back and read that third chapter for a while now, and finally I made it :D
This was a very intense chapter, as I am sure you know. In the author's note you said how you deleted bits and went over it many may times...which is noticable. It's very condenced, every word carries very much emotional weight. I might even dare say... too much. Although everything that happenes in this chapter (and I mean everything!) was perfectly placed and I could see why chose to have ever episode happen the way it did, I still wish the chapter was shorter. At some point I was just exhausted from all the pressure and seriousness. If you had broken up the chapter and started a new one at, say, the ceremony, it would have given the reader a chance to breath before continuing, put things in perspective. The way it is now is a flood of emotional triggers that desensitize the reader with their sheer quantity. At least I had that impression...I think others might disagree, but I'm a less is more kind of person :P
But now to the avalanche of compliments I got in store for you:
I loved every single episode in this chapter. Molly cleaning up was a good, familiar and symbolical start.
And then this happened:"But it doesnít make a difference. I donít stop seeing Fred. It's hard because I've got his face and he has my stare and our eyes are going all over the place tracking the hint of each other. We try to avoid glass a lot. It's where he skims along like a glance, like a glint - pure light and no human shape but I know it's him, it's us." This was a wonderful bit of writing. Period.
And then, George getting high as a space ship and going for the Polyjuice potion, that was simply brilliant. You have convinced me that this is the only way George would act in this situation. The scene just brought George to life. Not the pg13 George of the books, but the real-life one, you know? The kind of guy that, magic fantay world with wands and goblins or not, could be real.
It just made so much sense: the Sentimentality Serum (?? something like that) reminded us of his past with Fred, amplified the twins' known tendency towards escapism into their own careless world of magic AND gave the reader a chance to feel the surreal and oddly fleshy nature of death.
I was also quite fond of the scene with Percy at the funeral and the last bit with the gravestone. Although, now that I mentioned it, the end was a tad melodramatic. It fit Fred and George well, tore their habit of picking on one another out of context in a very poignant way, but...as a follow-up to George crashing Fred's funeral and needing to be detoxed by half the family...It didn't quite work as a follow-up. I imagined something calmer or more numb would come afterwards, something with a different emotional callibre. Maybe you could keep the scene for a later part of the story? I think it could work well as a way of showing him come to terms with Fred's death...
Actually, I wasn't going to go into that...What I WANTED to say was I really liked the scene with Harry. I liked how Harry was so drawn into his own grief that he didn't even try to give George special treatment. He seemed to just be working on auto-pilot. It was a great scene that set the mood more than anything else. It's more scenes like this that I think could freshen up the chapter and break up the push of George's distress in order to give his suffering more poignancy.
In my last reviewes I made sure to point out some sentences that just didn't sound Fred and George-y, because he IS the narrator, and a kind of difficult and unusual one at that. So here we go:
First off: "clogging up space and obstructing her" struck me as odd because I just can't picture George useing the word "obstructing", nor does it fit with the concrete, detail-heavy descriptions in the rest of the chapter.
"I walked until my feet broke through the ground..." was just a strange description, and if it's intended to be metaphorical, a bit sentimental for George...
"Mum cleaned it out when we left and all the sharp lines and edges of the room are visible. The furniture in their conspicuousness look like stiff bones of themselves." This is kind of cliche and I think the idea of the room looking lifeless and naked can be conveyed easily with some other imagery, I'm sure you'll think of something ^^ Maybe go back to an image you used earlier for a more tied-together feeling.
"Every eye on me Ė they sparkle like wet stones, their hard scrutinising angles turning over every inch of my skin." It follows the pattern of George-ness that worked well so far: observations of something physical and whimsical in a way that puts it out of context. But this just doesn't work...seems more like something girl would say, maybe? Too vulnerable and not harsh enough. So far, his comments about people and things have been very merciless in their notice of the ugly/silly side of things. That seems to be missing here.
There were a few more things, but I really can't remember...
Well, I hope this was helpful and not too all over the place and confused ^^
Author's Response: Ah another amazingly helpful review from you! I really appreciated all those comments from your past reviews on the accuracy of my portrayal of the twins! And I'm blown away that you've written another such detailed review for me! Thank you so so much! And apologies for taking ten million years to respond to this.
I found this a rather difficult chapter to write and I'm so glad you thought that George's actions were convincing :D The idea of a kite-high George sounded very silly when it first occurred to me...but I wanted to try it anyway. So I did my best to be silly but convincing and I'm SO happy you found this to the scene to be believable!
Yes, I can most certainly reshuffle scenes and chapters when more of the story is written. That would make the flow and transitions between parts smoother.
And thanks so much for all your detailed commentary on my language / diction, based on what George would or wouldn't say! I really need help in that area and on the canon accuracy of my characterisation!
As for that bit about "obstructing" and "clogging up space" being un-George-like, well...that was actually a fragment of Molly's voice and those are Molly's words...which somehow got embedded in George's narration :D Bahaha I meant to have her words echoing about in his head and all but I guess it's rather inconsistent since I haven't really done this elsewhere. Thanks for pointing that out :)
OK, thanks so much once again for the lovely review! Glad you liked this chapter :D And thanks for choosing to do the swap with me :D Happy holidays