|Review:||nott theodore says:|
Does a one-shot about Voldy interest me? Of course! I've actually wanted to read something written by you for a while but I seem to keep missing you in the review tag, so I'm pleased you asked me to review this.
Without a doubt, your real strength in this story lies in your characterisation. There wasn't one thing that Tom Riddle said or did in this that seemed to be out of character from what we know of him in canon. Even right at the beginning, his sense of superiority is evident, as is the presence he commands; his 'friends' feel the need to please him and he recognises that.
One thing that I've always seen in Voldemort is his intense need to understand everything that there is to know about the magical world - or at least, everything that gives him power. Because of this, it seems only natural that he would be so curious about the Sorting Hat, and go to such lengths to find out its secrets. Even the way that he abuses his authority to avoid suspicion fits with what we know in the books.
I really want to commend you for writing the Sorting Hat's song. I don't think I'd be brave enough to attempt it, and I think it's very difficult to write something that sounds authentic as far as the Hat is concerned. I also enjoyed the way you added depth to even those characters that you mentioned only in passing, as well as giving them recognisable names. The portrayal of Bilius Weasley really made me laugh!
You also managed to make me feel sorry for a hat! I'm not entirely sure how you did that, but you really brought the Sorting Hat to life so that it seemed like it was just as much of a person as Tom. The way that Tom used leglimency on the hat was horrible - completely ruthless, and completely inkeeping with his character. He'd already killed by this age, so why not torture people as well?
The tale of the founders was really intriguing and I enjoyed the way you portrayed the relationship between Godric and Salazar. Often writers forget that the pair were described as best friends, I think, but you got that part across as well.
I honestly did not expect the Sorting Hat to be a Horcrux! I think it is a believable idea, although I think it would have to be as a sort of penance for killing his best friend rather than any other reason, because I can't imagine Gryffindor making a Horcrux otherwise. I guess that if the hat was a Horcrux, Gryffindor must still be alive somewhere? Maybe he's the Giant Squid, like JK once said!
I actually find this to be quite a plausible explanation for how Tom Riddle came to find out about Horcruxes. The Hat is pleading with him not to corrupt his soul in such a way, but of course he doesn't listen. Why would he? He's Lord Voldemort, and he's found a way to become immortal. Plus, it would have ruined the plot of the whole series!
Another thing I picked up on was the references throughout to snakes, and the snake-like characteristics that Tom has. I thought you wove them into the story very cleverly.
Just to balance things out, I'll point out a few mistakes I picked up on:
"returned to studying to Sorting Hat" - the Sorting Hat
"It was two years when he returned" - two years later
"one they had practiced together" - practised
"Riddle spared a thin-lipped smile for his yearmate" - classmate would sound more natural here
"the moment it grazed his dark hairs" - hair is more common
"accompanied by a pair of girls underpants" - we use 'knickers' in Britain
I really like your writing style and enjoyed this one-shot - thanks for asking me to review it!
nott theodore :)
Author's Response: Hi there! Thank you so much for being nice enough to review this story, your thoughtful review really means a lot to me!! :)
It's wonderful to hear that you thought Riddle was portrayed properly. It was strangely easy to get inside his head, though I felt like I could have gone on for many more chapters exploring the well-concealed depravities of his mind! I based a lot of it off how he's portrayed in the memories in HBP, as well as CoS since a lot of this story was set in the chamber itself.
I loved writing the song! The rhyming was really the hardest part, and I'm glad it came across OK and I didn't make a total fool of myself! The poor hat really has it's work cut out for it, writing a new song from the same material every year! :P
I'm so glad you liked the mentions to other characters, especially Bilius! Really, he deserves his own story! :) I wanted to entrench the story in the historical context of what we know of that era, and adding in a few familiar faces was a fun way to do that.
I felt horrible for the poor hat as well! Having Voldemort dig into your most painful thoughts and memories would definitely be awful. I tried to personify the hat as being a bit of a cross between Gryffindor and Slytherin (or how I imagined them to be), plus some wisdom and agency of it's own that it's gathered over the years. It was funny how this story occurred to me: I was thinking about how human and conscious the hat is, and thought, hmm, how would we know that it's NOT a Horcrux? Which is how this whole idea got started. I originally wanted to tell it through Regulus' eyes, but playing around with Voldy's mind was just too tempting. I'm glad you thought the story was plausible, however, and that it made at least a bit of sense!! :)
I definitely feel that if Gryffindor made the hat into a Horcrux, it was as a kind of personal punishment. The Godric in my head seems like the type to hate himself for killing his best friend, and making a Horcrux after he's already accidentally split his own soul from killing Salazar just seemed to fit. I think it would be amazing if he was the giant squid! Maybe that was his Animagus form, and he just decided to stay that way forever?
Thank you for pointing those out-- I plan on going back over the story and fixing all the little mistakes at some point in the near future!! :)
And thank you for this lovely and thoughtful review!!! I really appreciate it, and loved getting such detailed feedback on this story! :)