|Review:||Courtney Dark says:|
Okay, so you said in your request that you wanted a lot of constructive criticism but I'll tell you now: I am going to seriously struggle to find any for you, because this first chapter was absolutely amazing! I am already hooked and want to read more! You asked whether I thought the story was engaging - yes, yes, yes! It definitely is! I have always been super interested in this time period, but it is rare to find a really good canon story set almost straight after the Battle of Hogwarts - and it looks like I've just found one!
Personally, I don't think the paragraph size looks intimidating at all, because to me that shows that you have put a lot of detail and thought into this chapter, that you have included plenty of imagery and emotions. So I wouldn't worry about it all, although you may get a few reviewers claiming the paragraphs are too long.
Okay, now onto the actual chapter!
I loved Fred. I really did, and my heart breaks every time I remember that he's dead. I think you showed the character's grief extraordinarily well in this chapter. I don't even have words to describe how well I think you wrote it. I was actually tearing up in the cemetery scene and when you described the way George was sitting huddled up, tears streaming down his face, I just wanted to burst into tears.
Another bit of this chapter that struck me was how you included Fred's comment: “all wear what you like” because every time I read DH all I think is "but he'll never get a wedding, so it makes me unbelievably happy (and super said at the same time) that you also thought about this.
You wrote both the funeral and graveyard scenes really well. I found myself both smiling and almost dying of sadness, which I reckon is a pretty good combination. I think it makes complete sense that Ginny didn't cry, and then worried about why she wasn't crying like the rest of the family. To me, this seems very in-character, as Ginny has always been the sort of person who has tried to stay strong for the people around her, who tries not to show her weaknesses, as she is the only girl in the family. So I think you have portrayed her personality really well so far.
Another bit I loved (sorry, this review is getting very long and waffly, but I just enjoyed it so much!) was the bit when George bent down by Fred's grave and let out a howl of pain, and then Percy knelt down beside him. It was just so well written - from Ginny's thoughts about how Percy was there when Fred died, to the way you described George's behavior...I felt a bit like I was reading JK Rowling's work.
Okay, you asked for constructive criticism so I'm going to stop squeeing for a few moments and try desperately to find some...
Hmm, one comment I could make is that I was very disappointed with Harry not showing up to go to the funeral with the Weasley's. I guess that's not really constructive criticism as I'm sure he's going through his own stuff, but to me it just feels like Harry would want to be there, with Ron and Ginny and the rest of the Weasley's, in that time of grief. But that is me being super picky.
There were also a couple of typos and spelling errors scattered throughout the chapter, but there was nothing too distracting, and they can easily be fixed up with a quick edit.
Awesome first chapter! I'm already looking forward to the second!
Author's Response: Hello!
First of all, I want to say thank you for all of your kind words! I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it, if that's even possible :D
I also had a hard time writing about Fred's death. I think each HP lover had a special relationship with Fred and therefore had a very difficult time dealing with his death. I'm sure this was done on purpose by JKR, genius that she is, just to emphasize the tragedy that the war truly was. In my mind, dealing with the loss of Fred was by far the most important thing in any Post-Battle of Hogwarts fic, so I am so glad to hear that it elicited the right emotions.
I cannot agree with you more about Fred at the wedding, it made me so happy to read what you wrote! Literally every time I read DH (which admittedly is maybe too many times) I just cry inwardly when he talks about his wedding. This again was undoubtedly planned by JKR... That evil genius...
Speaking of which, I can honestly think of no higher praise than "I felt a bit like I was reading JK Rowling's work"... I'm pretty sure I actually teared up at that. I don't think my work could possibly be compared to her writing but I am so happy to think that I am even coming close to that!
For some reason when I was writing the cemetery scene, I just knew how George would be acting, and I don't think there was ever a question in my mind as to who would be the one to comfort him. Though we all may find it hard to sympathize with him at times, Percy's story seemed second only to George's.. what with his only recently mended bridges and whatnot.
As far as Harry not going with the Weasley's to the funeral, I think I will address the reasons for that in the next chapter. It does seem out of character, and I had played with a couple different ideas before writing that scene, but for some reason I felt like it would be more dramatic that way... /:
Thank you so so so much for taking time to write such a kind and helpful review, it really does mean so much to me :D