Oh, Rachel. When I first read this, I think you were still updating and I knew you as the girl with the across-the-universe avatar and sig set on the forums who called herself Jane. And now, sometimes, when I consider my best friends, it always takes me out of myself for a moment to realize that we've never met in the flesh (sounds a bit creepy but I'm unapologetic about this particular phrase ehrueurer), because you've always been so encouraging and because, well, it seems we understand each other on a philosophical level--we have major differences but I think our similarities are stronger. I count us as kindred spirits.
I see a lot of you in this character, and because of that, a lot of me, too. Reading this is a pleasure, a kind of simple thing, the sort of novel we all want to write and would if we could hold that inner, pesky editor at bay. Sometimes we produce the best writing not because we're grammatically correct or brilliantly original, but because the subject at hand means something to us. I know how much this story means to you personally; even if, perhaps, because you wrote it so long ago, you've forgotten what it means to you, or, what it means to you has changed. But we have talked enough that the hope and sadness of you as a person are things I recognize as illuminating to this story. I always think of it as a real staple in my HPFF experience, so I thought, I am in a mood to read a good story, and I came back to your page.
Ensuing reviews will not be so substantial, will probably be less-thoughtful and much more spastic, but I just want you to know that for whatever flaws you see in this piece, I think it's fantastic. I think it's great. Sincerely, I do.
Just in terms of this first chapter, I think the way that you've established Rachel clearly as a part of Fred and George's little clan immediately makes me believe her as a character in the series and as fitting in seamlessly--I have always thought this was brilliant, making the tongue-tonne toffees her idea, but that it was a joke. It explains how they get along so well; she can humour them, but for them, it's real business, and I think it balances out because of that.
I also love how she thinks to herself that she's not the type to get crushes on random guys and yet she obviously just developed a pretty big one on Ced in a few moments. Perf. It's so human. Followed by her moment of clumsiness. It all works so well to move the story along plot-wise but also to provide information on your character. There's reasons that we keep reading and they do double-work.
AND OK, HERE IS WHERE I DISSOLVE INTO A MASSIVE BLOB OF FANGIRL JELLY BECAUSE THE WAY YOU HAVE WRITTEN CEDRIC IS VERY DEAR TO MY HEART FOR SEVERAL REASONS I WILL UST LEAVE IT AT THAT
he's seen her around she hasn't seen him therefore he is obviously in love with her. goodnight. I've got this figured out.
Author's Response: -deep breath- This is going to be the toughest response of them all, mostly because I cannot read it without tearing up. BEAR WITH ME, PLEASE. ♥ I will take this moment to fully say that I, too, believe we are kindred spirits, and you are one of my closest friends without a doubt. We are on a very, very similar plane of existence, and if I get nothing else out of my HPFF career (such as it is), I will have people like you and Sarah for great friends, and I can think of nothing better to ask.
Reading this review actually sort of opened up my eyes -- or any similar sort of phrase that sounds less cliche. But I know I moan about this story a lot, and claim how bad it is, etc. And yet for all that, I'm still very proud of it, and it's people like you who help me be proud of it. I wrote this story not to get reviews, not because I thought it was brilliant, not for anything but the fact that I couldn't find one I liked and really just wanted to write this particular story, beginning, middle, and end. There is, I think, a sort of innocence in that, if I can say that without being too pompous, and it's something I'd like to get back, even though another part of me also thinks it's lost somewhere along the way. But that's why I want to write a sequel: I want to return to this world, the first novel I ever completed, the one that essentially started me out and put me where I am now. (We're just being all sentimental up in here, aren't we?)
It really does mean so much to me that you like Rachel, even here in this first chapter -- even through all of it, really. ♥ I don't even have the proper sorts of words to describe this, really, except that your support of this story is truly invaluable. I didn't realize how much you liked it until just this past week, and I'm still reeling a bit.
THANK YOU SO, SO MUCH, LILY. I CANNOT TELL YOU HOW MUCH. ♥ ♥