Hi, this is going to be my overall feedback/impressions from your story as a whole, so prepare for a monster review! And I kind of left some rude reviews early saying something about senseless drama, if I remember correctly; I have to apologize for that, and I hope I can make it up to you. My only excuse is that I read the first 20 or so chapters in 1 day (and wrote those reviews in a sleepy stupor around 2AM) in epic procrastination.
To preface, you should know that it's been a while since I've read. I've only just caught up on the last 8 chapters, but I'll give my best shot at a review.
So first, the things I didn't like (we'll end on a good note): obviously, based off of my earlier review, you can tell I wasn't a huge fan of the drama. I'm a petty straight-forward guy, so drama and romance pieces typically aren't my thing. They're both very hard to pull off convincingly. I think you tend to slightly overdo it sometimes, but it's a very hard balance. Take that lightly and always question "Is this realistic? Would I ever say or hear this?"
Next is something very difficult to accomplish - theme. I respect the fact that you so loyally stick to canon (it's my preference, actually), but it also limits your writing. For example, everyone knows that Ginny becomes a seeker, Harry/Ron become aurors, etc. So you are only left to show what we expect to see. Because of this your writing is reduced to almost just a "feel good" story, which is a shame considering the level of your writing. To add more depth to your work, poke at some universal theme. For instance, Harry's life has always been dictated by his tie to Voldemort. Harry is a hero afterall. Surely he'll come to to miss the adventure. How does life after Voldemort suggest something about how people deal with a sense of loss? Now this isn't a good example because Harry become an Auror, which probably satisfies his need for adventure, but you get the idea. Good luck to you if you ever attempt to tackle a theme and still maintain an exciting plot while sticking to canon.
On to the things I like about your writing: firstly I had no clue that English is not your first language. Heck, you're a better writer than most native English speakers. Your adjectives and descriptions in general (analogies, metaphors, etc.) are spot on. And you usually have a strong handle on the characters; I've only noticed a couple of times that someone is out of character, and it's usually in the romantic scenes (which again, are very difficult to pull off with any bit of realism). One example that stands out to me is Hermione running across the street without looking both ways because she's so desperately in love with Ron. While it sounds nice, she would never lose her cool and be so careless. And I'm sorry to include some criticism in the "good" section, but I think the fact they this bad example stands out is truly a testament to your realistic portrayal of the characters. Finally, to wrap up the review, your ability to convey a complex emotion or situation (believably) is superb. The image of Harry a heartbroken wreck with purple, ringed eyes after losing Ginny is powerful, to say the least. Your sad scenes (Fred's funeral) always have me tearing up, and I'm not overly emotional. There are others, but I forget benjoyed it's late by me.
I suppose overall I've really enjoyed your writing, and I like forward to more. I hope you take this feedback with the knowledge that it's all meant to be helpful and not antagonizing. I'm actually in the process of rereading this fic because I've got a bit more time now. So if you want more specifics I can leave review on each chapter. Let me know if that would help or if I would just be wasting my time. :P
Thanks for writing!
(Whole review on mobile because I'm insane. Please ignore inevitable typos).
Author's Response: Wow, talk about monster review, haha. I have to agree that you are a little insane for typing all of this on your mobile. But I appreciate it SO much. Seriously. Thank you!!
As for those early review, there's no need to apologize. I appreciate it, but I realize that not everyone are that fussed about the whole romance/drama thing, and I'm still glad you shared your opinion.
I'll definitely keep those tips in mind when I write drama, though. It's a really good idea to ask myself those questions when I write, and I'll let you know that I am planning on going back to edit those earlier chapters (that had the most drama, I think). I'm not entirely happy with a lot of the earlier parts and that's a great thing to keep in mind when I do get around to edit them. So thank you so much for saying that!
I really appreciate what you had to say about theme as well. I understand what you're saying about this being stuff that everyone already knows, and it is difficult to get around it. I do add as many new bits as I can, the latest being Hermione's mother and a new one coming in the next chapter that I can't reveal yet. But it's definitely something I will keep in mind and another great advice.
I'm so glad you thought my English was good - to be fair, I've just returned home after living in an English speaking country for a year, but I started this story way before that, and it still means a lot to me. I'm so, so happy you like my writing. Thank you so much for all your kind words. I'll definitely take note about characterization in romantic scenes. It is difficult because I think romance makes people do stuff they don't normally do. Well, that's what it does for me, anyway, and a lot of people I know. But that's a good point about Hermione running across the street - I guess I imagined she was just really, really upset at the time, but maybe it's still a little out of character. I'm really glad you pointed it out, not just that scene but as a general thing to work on. Hearing that you think I've managed to convey a lot of emotions is really, really amazing for me. I guess that's one of the main goals when you write something, whatever it is, so that really goes mean a lot to me.
I'm glad you've enjoyed this overall, and don't worry at all about this being antagonizing - it's one of the best, most thoughtful reviews I've ever received, and I'm seriously going to take notes from it! I appreciate it so much, probably way more than you know. I realize that this must have taken you a while (especially since you typed it on your phone!!!) but let me just say you did not waste your time. I don't think I can thank you enough. And if you feel you have time to review some other chapters I am going to be super grateful. Really. I wish I could explain how much I appreciate this.
Thank you xx