Oh, god, this was heartbreaking.
I opened a lot of stories in my browser at once and have just been going through them one by one, so I didn't initially remember who this was about. Once I got to the mention of Neville, though, I'd figured it out, and that was a good confirmation.
You interpreted travel in a different way than I think most people did, and I'm glad, because what you made from it was really terrific. I thought that you did a great job at capturing Alice's mind from several different perspectives, and I found the fact that you almost switched her dreaming and waking selves to be really interesting. Most of the time she spent awake is clearly spent in a fog, albeit a somewhat frustrated one - she's only barely aware of her former life, when she even remembers it at all. In her dreams, however, it's a completely different story, which I found fascinating.
Similarly, I really loved the way you explored her relationship with Frank both pre- and post-St. Mungo's. That's something I've actually always kind of wondered about - they were physically together, but they were so disconnected from reality that I've never really been sure how much they actually communicated or were even really aware of the other. You showed a shadow of what they used to have, which fit perfectly with the situation, IMO.
And, of course, the ending actually brought tears to my eyes. It was so heart-warming to see her manage that one word, but it was also very clear (or at least, it seemed this way to me!) that this was not a step toward recovery, not really - it was just one moment in time where she managed to get a bit of a grip on reality. Poor Neville.
I do have a couple suggestions, though.
First, while I loved that you actually depicted the beginning of the torture that ultimately drove Alice and Frank insane - it was a bold choice, but one that fit well with this story - I felt like you could have done a bit better with the dialogue around it.
Second, I felt like your description during her memories could have been a little stronger. Because there's clearly such a disconnect between awake-Alice and asleep-Alice, it would have been nice to see that reflected not only in her dialogue but also in her perception of the world as a whole.
Overall, though, this was a lovely, if heartbreaking, story. Excellent job.
House Cup 2013 - Ravenclaw
Author's Response: Hello!
I did that as well and it took me so long to figure out some stories out so I would open ANOTHER tab and work it out haha! So many tabs! D:
I'm glad you liked my interpretation of travel! It was one of the first things that popped in my mind!
I'm glad to hear that you thought it was fascinating! I really struggled writing this story so seeing all your lovely compliments makes me so happy! :)
I love the Frank/Alice pairing, so I'm glad that I've done it justice! :D
Aw, thank you so much. I absolutely loved writing those last few lines! :D
I'll take those tips on board when I revise it after I finish school! I don't have much time at the moment, but I will have some soon so I'll change things around after! Thanks for the tips!
Thank you for this lovely review!
- Kayla. :)