|Review:||Violet Gryfindor says:|
Another really good chapter! It's been a while since I last checked in on this story, but there's only a few more chapters left to go, and I'm curious as to what will happen with the potion (and, admittedly, with Cedric and Cho :P). What I still like best about this story, however, is the historical detail, and once again, this chapter hits the mark in that regard. I actually haven't seen trench foot used in WWI fiction, yet it was a major infliction for soldiers, resulting in what Dean now suffers. It's one of those injuries that doesn't have any "noble" associations, but rather comes as a result of the terrible conditions of war, which is why writers seem to avoid it. It's an awful thing for Dean, but kudos to you for using it because it only adds another layer of realism to this story.
I particularly liked how you introduced Seamus's shell-shock. It's perfectly set in contrast with his joking line that nothing's wrong with him - it doesn't show, but it's still there. They're all maimed, inside and out. And their dialogue is stilted as a result - how they say they're just "fine", or respond with "right", and Cedric's repeated "I'm sorry". They're still trying to sound polite and normal, and I think this is a very important thing you've taken into consideration - it makes their dialogue sound strange, but that's the point. There's no way they can actually talk about the war or about their trauma - it's a white elephant in their conversation, preventing them from sounding genuine. You did a brilliant job with this, bringing the period to life in a horrifying, but honest way.
The characterization is also perfect here, the AU world blending seamlessly with the Potterverse - it's great to see these characters in a story, and I think you do a wonderful job at situating them in the WWI era. What I would have liked to see more in this chapter is plot development, preferably more about the potion - you start out with Cho detailing the results, and it needed more along those lines. The ending of this chapter is rather abrupt, so perhaps you could go more into what Cedric feels about the potion, or recovery, or something. That would be my only criticism of this chapter - it does some amazing work recreating the period and developing the characters, but it needs to be filled out in terms of plot development.
This is a great story to read and I look forward to seeing what happens next! :D
Author's Response: Hey Susan, thanks for stopping by again!
I actually really enjoyed writing this chapter because of the opportunity to incorporate some legitimate consequences of trench warfare. It was morbidly fascinating to explore injuries like trench foot and to think about how PTSD or "shell shock" would have been perceived during this time. Now I kind of wish I had explored more of how those perceptions could differ between magical and non-magical folk. As usual, you're making me think, and I love it!
You're definitely spot on about the dialogue. I meant for it to be a little too basic, a little too polite, because there are obviously some issues that they can't really discuss without accepting the fact that they've been forced into manhood. It's sad to think that just months ago they were happily spending their days by the Black Lake or stressing about their exams.
I see what you mean about the plot development, too. I purposefully tried to keep these chapters short but I think I could have done more with how the potion was made or how Cedric feels about taking it. I think this is a filler chapter in some ways and in other way it's not really a filler. I'll make a point to go back and re-examine it when I have a bit more free time.
Thanks for your lovely review, Susan :)