Girl, you are too talented.
First of all, how is it possible that you are always raving about how good my twins are when you are posting lines like this: "He turned to George, unspoken words of disgust passing between them. Jokes and pranks were one thing, but pain and cruelty were never funny."? I love how accurately you always portray them because you KNOW how picky I am with those two. Then again, you're as picky as I am, which I'm certain is exactly why you write them so flawlessly! hehehe Seriously though, right from the top we see Fred go through a series of emotions and actions (shock, anger, jealousy, quelled jealousy, worry, bravery and leadership, etc.) that all perfectly unravel in a very Fred-like way. As much as I adore the comedic side of the twins, it's just as fantastic to see them jump into action when the moment calls for it. I love seeing the twins be all fierce and whatnot. :-p
Part of me wants to say that if J.K. Rowling had written this, it probably would have been Fred leading the way and George holding Ginny's hand, but that's just me being a brat. ;) hehehe It's not my fault, though! Lying Josephine has me splitting the tiniest of hairs between the twins! I can't help it. I blame you and NaNo for making me write so much LJ recently, so there. ^.^
I really love that Ginny is the one to reach out for Sadie. It's such a small detail, but I always feel like when people are writing a romance story, when the MC needs help, it's always, always, always the romantic interest who offers it, so I like seeing Fred grab Ginny and Ginny grab Sadie.
"It was as if the world around them was holding its breath..." I love this line. Your writing is so fluid and has such great moments of poignancy, too, and this is one line in particular that stands out as being just very beautifully written and grabbing; it makes me hold my breath along with the story.
Bahaha! Those boys are too sneaky. It's so very much who they are to have a backup plan like that, and I love how you've twisted canon so perfectly to work in your favor on this scene! Honestly, I think it's quite possible that that's exactly what did happen, we just never saw it! hehehe
I really love the way you describe the differences with surprises between the twins and Sadie's worlds - jokes and pranks versus fear; it paints a clear and vivid picture of just how different their lives have been.
The first conversation with Sadie is really sweet and charming and exactly how I think Fred would handle that situation: by doing his best to relieve the tension of their circumstances with some light humor. He's very spot on in this moment and I look forward to less dramatic chapters where we get to see more of your comedic writing! And I know we discussed a little bit about ideas for how Fred and George would eventually help Sadie communicate, but I can't wait to see exactly how that all unfolds! We get to see a little foreshadowing here, but it'll be cool when the plan fully unravels. Also, this line perfectly sums up exactly why the twins are the two who need to do it: "How frustrating that must be, to not be able to make yourself understood!" Can you even imagine if Fred and/or George were in Sadie's position? LOL
The flashback is very heavy and sad, but well-written and gripping, as is the way the chapter ends when she comes back from the memory. Sometimes I think maybe the writing for these kinds of moments is a bit too tortured, and so it loses some of its power, but considering how heavy Sadie's past truly is, I think you've done a good job at balancing the dramatic writing without over-doing it.
"Or the sound of her own screams, until strange words were muttered and suddenly something seemed to wrap around her throat and even her screams were ripped away from her." - I love the way this sentence (and the flashback itself) is wrapped up, with the losing of her voice in a very cool, dramatic, and almost prettily put way (the writing itself being pretty, not the stuff that's happening! hehe). The beginning of the sentence and having it start with 'Or' is a little odd, but certainly not a deal-breaker. :-p
Your writing is as brilliant as ever, and other than the 'Or' thing, there was really only one additional moment that stood out as being a bit off:
""We'd just end up going in circles looking for them. I'm sure they're fine," he grumbled, wishing he'd thought of it first, but also knowing he couldn't drag Ginny into it." - I'm just a little confused by the 'wishing he'd thought of it first' line - what's he referring to exactly? This is probably just a me having a brain fart sort of thing, but I really did reread that section a few times to try and figure it out and I'm still not sure! haha
The chapter as a whole is really dynamic, I think! It starts out with this great high energy and quickly slows into some gentle humor to give it a break, and then ends with a dramatic flourish that leaves the readers wanting more! It's a little hard for me to be completely impartial as far as Sadie's past goes, seeing as I know a lot more about it already than most people, but I honestly believe that if I were a reader coming to this story for the first time, I'd be dying to know the details of who she is and what exactly happened to her! And since I do know a lot of it already, instead I get to look forward specifically to how beautifully you'll write it all out when the time comes! ^.^
It's a great story, farmgirl, and you are brilliant as ever.
Author's Response: I don't know about the talented thing, but I've got the late thing down to an art! See me finally responding to this amazing review! You can throw things if you want. It's only fair.
I'm always raving about your twins because THEY ARE THE BEST! Or do you not remember how you sent me into hysterical laughter last night with your story? Hmmm?
I am glad you like my interpretation of them, though. I try, and I have good teachers like you to keep me centered. You know as well as I do that there is more to the twins than jokes, and I love when I get to explore those other qualities.
As for the leading and hand holding, part of you is probably right. JKR DID have Fred be the one to grab Ginny's hand - I was stuck with that as it was in the book and I was trying to stay to canon, but you're probably right on Fred leading the way. He is more of the leader than George. But I let them act out of character for once, giving George the lead since Fred was taking care of Ginny (and in my world, Sadie). See, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Glad I passed the "don't be to obvious with the romance to come" test by having Ginny grab Sadie instead of Fred. LOL.
Aw, and now I'm blushing. Thanks for the praise. Means SO much coming from you, Oh Masterful Writer! (I mean that!)
I'm actually having a lot of fun trying to stay within canon as much as I can, yet twist it to fit my story. And after writing this, I went, it makes sense! Because somehow those boys went from having Molly take all their stash, to selling stuff at school the next week. That seemed fishy to me, so I made a plan. LOL.
You like my comedic writing? I have comedic writing? Cool. Thanks! And yes, I don't intent this story to be completely angst full. I do plan some funny stuff.
And I'm so glad you liked Fred! You being the twin expert, getting approval from you on him is super cool!
Fred and George would go bonkers after 10 mins of not being able to communicate. Just sayin'.
I know the flashback was heavy, and I was worried it was too much, but it was such a horrible event I didn't want to cheapen it by brushing over it TOO lightly either. So, I did try to walk that very fine line. Hopefully I did okay.
Will watch out for those sentences that start with "or." *Makes notes* hehehe. Thanks for the compliment on the sentence. I'm still working on my writing, as you know, but sometimes I guess a little poetry sneaks into it.
The wishing he'd thought of it first part is him wishing he'd thought to double back and get messed up in the thick of the action before the Trio did. Probably could have written it clearer. Opsie. My bad.
Thanks for reviewing and keeping me going! You rock!