|Review:||Violet Gryfindor says:|
Wow, this story is excellently written, especially that first section with its confessional style, the intimacy of which offers more insight into Cho's character than we get from the entire HP series. I'm drawn to your portrayal of Cho as being caught in stasis - wanting to move on, but finding it impossible. Her world is cast in shades of death - she can't overcome what happened, and I think that a lot of her problem is also guilt, that if she does move on, it will be at Cedric's expense. She has to leave him behind, but she needs to find a way of doing so that doesn't mean abandoning his memory. It's a moving depiction of a grief transformed into depression (if not outright melancholy), and the style - fragmented, broken, perfectly reflects her state of mind.
This creates an interesting contrast with the second half of the story. Its language flows more smoothly, giving a sense of movement - the movement of the train, Cho's movement into a different state of mind. She becomes less morbid, instead revealing her sensitivity to the world around her, the things that have been and are - she's able to revel in experiencing the outside world, taking comfort in its real-ness. The way that you introduced this second with that hopeful statement "I'm going on an adventure" - well, it at least sounds hopeful - is curious, and I'm still thinking over that line. Does she mean "adventure" ironically, or does it instead point to just how isolated and reclusive she has become? Or does it also foreshadow what's to come, that the next big adventure is waiting for her, and she's finally going out to seek it? There's a lot just in that one line - it suits the style of the story as a whole, how it is open-ended and bittersweet. Cho is in this in-between stage, and it is oddly fitting that in revisiting the grave - the memory that keeps holding her back - she discovers the way forward.
There's something elusive and ambiguous about the story that makes me keep looking back, reading over sentences and paragraphs. I've really enjoyed reading this and I think you've done a wonderful job with Cho's characterization. However, it's the style of your writing that makes this story so compelling, your use of imagery and your syntax coming together to create something beautiful. Incredible work! ^_^
Author's Response: I'm so sorry this response is so late!
Wow, I'm so glad that you were able to gain more insight into her character from this fic than you were from the HP series - I think there was a lot of unexplored potential for her, and I wanted to hopefully develop her character more here. I agree - she's definitely caught in a stasis in the first half of the story, conflicted between moving on with her own life and moving towards the future again or dwelling on the past and on Cedric's death. Guilt is very much a large part of her problem, and I think it's very hard for her to think about her future or even be happy without feeling like Cedric might have - and should have - been able to experience the same things. I'm so glad you think that the style fits in with her emotions and state of mind at the beginning of the story.
It's lovely to hear that you think the style of the second half also fits what's happening in it. I'm glad you were able to find so many different meanings behind that line, and I think it's definitely a combination between all of those - it's an adventure not just in that Cho is trying to escape the sad monotone and routine her life has fallen into but also because it's such a big leap for her to finally step out of her comfort zone and face some of her fears and try to come to terms with Cedric's death after so many years. I never thought about it before, but I'm so glad you pointed it out - by facing her past, she's able to move on towards her future.
It means a lot to hear that you enjoyed reading it, especially because you've been one of my favorite authors here even before I started writing fanfic. Cho's characterization and the writing style here were the two main things that I was worried about while writing this, and I'm so glad hthat you liked them! Thank you so much for reading and reviewing and for all your wonderful compliments! ♥