Hi, there! Tagging you from Review Tag!
I am so pleased to get a chance to come back to this story! I hear so many good things about it and I really should have made a point of reading more.
The beginning of this chapter was sort of strange. It had a disorganized quality to it, like a person struggling to find their point. Or perhaps to find themselves. Regardless, it set a very interesting tone for what was to come. Like Fred is doing his very best to maintain a sense of identity. Of being.
And then he goes into his recollections about contemplating death with George. I loved the idea of the two of them growing as old as Dumbledore together, but still looking for opportunities to prank Percy. So sad that it was never to be.
The unfocused anger and random destructiveness in the aftermath of Umbridge banning them from playing Quidditch was probably the part of the chapter that I found the hardest to get my head around. The idea of Fred and George venting in such a wantonly destructive way seemed a bit odd. Fred and George have always been about controlled, precisely choreographed mayhem in my mind. There's always a design behind their mischief, a master plan that perhaps only makes sense to the two of them, but is very real. Maybe I just missed something in your description, but this felt a bit off.
Anyway, the idea of the two of them coming upon replacement brooms and stealing off to the pitch was where the story reconnected solidly for me. Fred and George, blowing off steam as the rough-housed with a flotilla of bludgers was a great scene. The blackness of the nearly-moonless night added to the sense of toying with death in the way that only the two of them can. And then Fred nearly gets killed by three of them, only to be saved by his brother's almost instinctive reaction to the danger he's in. Again, a perfect twin moment. The way that they joke about Fred's serious injuries reminded me a lot of the scene in Deathly Hallows where George cracks wise about his severed ear.
That awkwardness that settles over the two of them when the topic of death comes up was a nice touch. They really are too young to contemplate the harsh reality of death in anything other than a joking manner. Fred's close brush was definitely too close for comfort. It put the topic front and center and even with their formidable ability to make light of anything, they couldn't quite shake the tension.
Lastly, we come to that terrible night at Hogwarts. The stark contrast between their joking dismissal of the non-reality of dying at a young age and the abrupt reality of Fred's death was well written. I loved the idea that Fred's last thought was of George. I can't see it being any other way.
You are a fantastic writer. You have a particular knack for using the visual element of how you put the words on the page to add some extra depth to your writing. I don't see that done very often, and it usually isn't very effective. Here, you made really excellent use of space and spacing, capitalization and the lack thereof. Very well done.
Author's Response: Hello there! Wow, thanks for such a lovely review! It's such a detailed, insightful and honest one, and I can't tell you how much I appreciate these :)
I have to confess that this chapter no longer fits with the rest of the story (because I've been a bit experimental and all my story notes were deleted and I've had to start planning again). Thus, the entire chapter will be rewritten so it's a little more stylistically consistent with the newly validated Chapter 4 (where Fred also narrates again), and then I will swap this chapter around with no. 4. Yeah, it's all confusing as anything. I've been having a lot of doubts with this chapter as it is, and I'm so please to hear all that valuable feedback about what works and what doesn't work so well.
The beginning of this was just me trying to experiment a little :) Obviously, it no longer fits too well with the rest of the story, so I'm going to tone down things a little. I'll still try to work with space and voice and everything, but at a more restrained level.
I absolutely agree with you on your point about "choreographed mayhem" being much closer to the twins' style rather than random destruction. I've been becoming increasingly unsure about this scene, and it does seem a little over-the-top. And you pointing out how odd it seems really confirms my suspicions. So thank you so much for that. You've no idea how useful your comment has been!
I'm glad you like the other scenes, the bludger bit and the awkwardness...those will also have to be rewritten, though! In hopefully a more sensitive manner!
Gaaah, and the praise you gave me ♥ ♥ I'm just absolutely floored by all of it and I'm relieved and impossibly happy that you didn't find the stylistic weirdness too much or too disruptive to the reading process :)
Thank you so so much for your wonderful review! I hope you'll come back to this fic again!