Hey there, it's Whiskey from the forums with a very belated review...Sorry about that :( I'll try to make this extra good :P
I'm a big Fred and George fan, so reading about them is a bit of a double-edged sword - as much as I love stories with the twins, I'm usually too critical about their portrayal to just relax and enjoy the show. That being said, there was quite a lot I liked in this one shot!
First, very interesting choice to use "you" in the narration. It's an unusual tactic for bringing the reader closer to the action while also hinting at how detached George is from his own emotions as he processes the shock of losing a part of himself. There have been studies into trauma coping mechanisms that concluded that trauma can be summarized as the loss of an inner picture of the self. In this case, George narrating with the general "you" seems also to be an attempt on his part to connect his emotions to something another person could also be feeling, thus to re-establish a complete sense of self. I might be over-interpreting here, but I just found it to be a fitting stylistic decision. One thing I expected to see, though, and didn't was some sort of switch in tone after George has his epiphany/pep-talk with the imagined Fred/closure. Clearly the experience changes him, because he choses to go back. Having the narration evolve from "you" to "I" would have made George's development more poignant. Or you could have made it "we" if that doesn't seem too over the top...Basically, when chosing a format that corresponds to the content, it is important to be consistent about it. When the content changes, so should the form.
What I found most interesting about this one shot was that it gave the reader the channce to experiece Fred and George being honest about their feelings. I suspect one would have to jump through hoops while wearing a corsette to get even a few straight-forward words from either of them under usual circumstances. Based on the impression I got from the books, the twins are very intuitive, they are more the type to act first and think later (if at all). I liked how you aknowledged that fact by having their imaginary conversation drag on awkwardly at first until the facade just shatters when Fred makes one little mistake. The way Fred is sorry to hurt his family and encourages George to participate in the funeral (something so organized and institutional, I'm sure the twins would usually be physically incapable of taking it seriously) was very odd to read. It didn't feel like Fred and George at all. But that's the point, I suspect. The phenomenon of Fred and George is over. Allowing their joker mask to come off and letting them say more "normal","boring" things is just another way of showing the end of an era. So all in all, I think what you did worked very well.
But I did notice a few non-Georgy moments in other parts of the story where I thought they seemed out of place. The first paragraph is one example. It's just very angsty and melodramatic. Also, this sentence "You're no longer whole; the other half of yourself has been snatched cruelly away and left behind this broken shell that can barely function from one passing second to the next," is a bit long and awkward sounding. There are many metaphors and adverbs and similes...I would recommend that you try separating it into several sentences and settle for less imagery and more depth. I liked the description of the breath, maybe you could focus more on that and leave out the part about the empty shell, since it does seem a bit, well, cliche.
There were a few other sentences I would extend this advice to: "You turn to tell your brother the joke that's already starting to form in your clever mind but as you gaze at the empty space next to you realisation hits you like a train wreck once more, battering your fragile body with everything you've worked so hard not to feel."
"And just like that, with just that small, almost joke, your pain all but vanishes and you feel lighter without the weight of missing him hung around your neck."
I think the story could benefit a lot if you clean up some of the imagery, shorten some of the sentences and tone down the melodrama just a bit. Imagine you are George...what kind of things does he notice? Would he ever describe himself as an empty shell? Or would he ever say this: "You vowed never to leave each other. What's happened to that promise now?" This sounds more like something you would say about a lover...a bit confusing.
Well, that's it, all I could come up with!I hope I could be helpful and didn't come accross as too critical. This was an unusual one-shot and I am glad you requested it :)
Author's Response: Hello :)
It took me a while to decide whether to use second person or not, but in the end I couldn't make the one-shot work for me any other way. I hadn't quite thought of it the way you did interpret it but it does seem to make sense what you said. I also never thought of changing the style after the closue. It's an interesting suggestion and I will definitely consider it, I just didn't want it to be confusing with changing the narration but it is a very good suggestion :)
Yes, I think the Fred and George as we know them would have changed. They still did some jokes as they wouldn't have been able to help themselves but I think Fred's death would have made George more serious.
Thank you for your suggestions though I will take them on board when I get the chance to edit it.
Thank you for the review! I appreciate it!