Reading Reviews for Over The Edge
  
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Review #26, by patronus_charm Chapter Sixteen: Viktor and Rose

19th April 2013:
Regina represents the person we fear yet admire at the same time. I could see what Rose meant about her commanding tone with the way she stood there, and immediately sussed everything out. Even though I donít particularly like Regina, she did bring up an important point that Rose doesnít really know all that much about Krum, then again, he is secretive so it isnít really her fault.

They found Krum then! Iím guessing heís hiding out in his house in Bulgaria, but I suppose Iíll find out soonish considering Rose is on a plane somewhere! This line seemed a little odd to me, I think itís either missing a word or the structureís a little off ĖĎIt was the first time Rose ever had occasion to ride in an airplane.í It may just be me, but I thought it was best to point it out :)

Iím glad that Rose had the courage to challenge Krum over why she was drawn to him and the whole mess was created. As Regina kindly pointed out to her, she seemed a bit more lenient towards men then Regina was, so I was proud of her that she was standing up for herself, and that Krum really wasnít that Ďirresistibleí.

Youíre right about it being onward and upward, while I do enjoy a good bit of angst it was nice to see a happier and calmer Rose and Krum. Iím starting to get worried now, and that happier scene was just a bluff. First there was no sign of Heart, then her parents and then Krum not answering. What on earth could have happened? Ah Krumís unconscious! Iím guessing itís drug or alcohol related, and I do agree it is sweet that he wanted to protect Rose, or heís just being a stubborn man and refusing to see a doctor.

I think I was as blinded as Rose about how bad Krum really was, I didnít expect him to begin convulsing and doing that to himself. I suppose with people like him you never really know what theyíre going to do, and itís just good that she went and found him as I dread to think what it may have been like otherwise. It was so sweet when he came around though, and Rose was trying to care for him, and Krum was just like Iím fine trust me!

I spotted this here Ė ĎYou saved me, remember? Everythingís going to be okay.Ēí The remember went down to the next line, when it looked as if it could have been on the same one as Ďyou saved meí. I just thought I should point it out :)

The mystery thickens with Krum being unable to remember what happened when he collapsed. I didnít want him to be in that state due to him falling into his old ways, but other than just randomly fainting the only thing I could think of is him being attacked. But who would really want to attack Krum, the only really vindictive person is Regina, but she didnít seem to hold that much hate towards him.

The hearing does sound a little optimistic with what Peter said about Krum keeping his nose out of trouble, as he has done that for the past two weeks. I hope he does get off, as he does seem to be more troubled than a real criminal. Another excellent chapter!

-Kiana :D

Author's Response: Regina is definitely one of those people who can make you doubt yourself. What she says is true, but somehow distorted, until she sort of backs you into a corner you can't argue your way out of.

I'm really glad you liked the way Rose stood up to Krum. Rose does let him get away with a lot, and he is sort of constantly seeing how far he can push things, but she'll only take so much before pushing back.

lol, I try never to let the characters get too comfortable. Just when they seem to be settling in... I wanted his overdose to be a surprise but still believable. Like you said, when it comes to people with his past problems, you have be prepared for this sort of thing.

haha! Well, I guess you know the ending now, of course. I think you might be the first person to suspect Regina at this point in the story.

Troubled is probably the perfect description for Krum. He isn't really a bad guy; he just makes a lot of bad decisions.

Thanks for pointing out those two errors. I'll make sure to go back and take a second look at them. And thanks for another lovely review!


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Review #27, by patronus_charm Chapter Thirteen: Mr. and Mrs. Ron Weasley

19th April 2013:
Despite Rose and Krumís obvious physical connection, I like how youíve showed that theyíre also growing closer with telling each other about things, it really is lovely to see, and you can tell how they actually do have things in common. I like how Krumís changed Rose, itís really lovely to see, and you wouldnít expect someone in such a bad way to have a positive effect on someone else.

Regina sounds interestingÖ I didnít expect another nice person after Liddy, but I didnít expect a demonic person! I wonder whether Krumís just making her out to be like that for another reason, or whether she really would string Rose up by her ankles. Even though Krum denied that anything happened in his childhood the mention of him buying his childhood home makes me think that there is, as it does seem all rather odd, buying the land, only living there when he has to, getting it in an illegal way. Itís so pitiful to see him like this.

In chapter 12 I think you forgot to include a space here Ė ĎAnd she was just about to remind him of all thiswhen she noticed the corners of his mouth twitching upwardí :)

The wedding sounded very interesting! I wonder if Rose is going to bring Krum, and if so how will the older generation react to him being there. I have this sinking feeling about Albus and Amelia, the fact that theyíre expecting a baby and now this rushed wedding, it sounds as if itís a recipe for disaster.

Ok I was wrong Rose is already in the disaster zone, not Albus and Amelia! I certainly wasnít expecting those turn of events, but now I think about it seems almost inevitable that it had to end up like that. I love how Heart reacted to it, he didnít seem annoyed that she got caught, but more annoyed about the fact she slept with him! Merlin, I guess Iím going to find about the parents reaction now and I really donít want to see it.

I found it so funny that Rose was trying to deflect the attention off her and onto Albus instead, even though she knew that she would have to face her parents soon. Then the way Hermione just mentioned that she was surprised Rose was writing again, I was just sitting there thinking of all the things you could comment on, and you choose to say that!

I loved this line it was so perfect for Ron Ė ĎWhat, just because I think the man is one rung up from pond scum means I must be jealous of him?Ēí I agree with Hermione though. It must have been bad enough for him to have his wife date a famous quidditch star, then the said man begins dating his daughter he is bound to be confused and slightly jealous about the whole situation.

Da-dun-dan! What a cliff-hanger to end it on with Regina at the door! Iím glad Iím reading it with it being completed as I get to find out happens next straight away!

-Kiana :D

Author's Response: Hi, p_c!! I tired really hard to show lots of angles of the relationship. Sometimes it's physical, sometimes it's a little more like two people just enjoying each other's company. At least that's what I was going for.

I know you've read the rest of the story already, but it's really fun to read your comments on Regina! I guess you know by know how terrible she was. I have some thoughts on Krum's childhood in my head, but it's more personal back story than anything relevant to the plot. To me, his later problems in life are more the result of being so famous at a young age than a traumatic event or neglectful parents.

lol, Rose's problems are making Albus and Amelia's relationship look like a perfect match. I think these two will be okay though. They'll find a way to be good parents... somehow.

I'll admit, I baulked a little at Hermione coming totally clean about her and Krum. I could pretend I did it so the reader can imagine whatever they want about what kind of relationship they had as teenagers, but mostly I was just a chicken about it when it came time to put all the cards on the table.

Yea!! I'm so glad you liked that line. Ron is so fun to write but it can be tough to get him and Hermione right. I think they both have a point. Ron IS a father, so it's hard to blame him for not being thrilled about Rose dating someone with Krum's problems (and him being so much older). But Hermione knows him well enough to know that at least a tiny bit of his anger is some residual resentment from all those years ago.

Thanks so much for reviewing! I'm so glad the story is holding your interest :)


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Review #28, by CambAngst Chapter 21, Epilogue: Rose Weasley

17th April 2013:
So here I am, finally at the end. I have a lot of general things to say, but I'll save them for the end. To start, I'll just say that you really had me going with the entire first section of the chapter. I was completely convinced that Viktor was a dead man.

But that's getting a bit ahead of myself. Your Hermione was beautifully done. At the outset, you described her so well:

Those large brown eyes, always wide and alert. That look of practiced control, which never seemed to fully mask the current of emotion that lay just below the surface. For Krum, the resemblance between mother and daughter was haunting in its exactness.

And what I found impressive about it wasn't just the the descriptiveness and how true this statement was to Hermione's character. What I found most impressive is that fact that you really delivered on your premise with the way that you wrote her. Her words and her mannerisms all fit perfectly with that description. Even her actions at the end of the day, although we don't find out how much so until after the jump.

As for Viktor, Rose was his life, and without her there was no future for him. - I thought this was a really powerful statement. Taken out of context, it probably would have sounded kind of cheesy. But in Viktor's case it's profound. In a world full of people who either hate him for what they perceive him to be or are only interested in him for the things that he's done, Rose was a person who understood him and all of his shortcomings and loved him anyway. She was something that was actually worth living for.

I really liked Albus in his brief appearance. You can feel the doubt and apprehension radiating off of him, even though he's determined to carry out the task that's been handed to him.

And then they're both still alive! Actually, I wasn't sure about that at first. I've read more than enough afterlife scenes in HP fics, so I had that thought in my head for a while.

It took me a little while to fully figure out what Viktor tried to do for Rose, but once I did, I was in awe. I think we've known for a few chapters now exactly how important she is to him, but what really blew me away was the thought that went into what he tried to do. His analysis of her circumstances and the reality that would have faced her -- under incredible duress, I might add -- was amazingly prescient and accurate. If people learned that she killed Regina, even in self-defense, she never would have known peace again. The act of killing changes the world's perception of a person, no matter the particulars. I am so impressed by the way that you tied it all together, because I'm 99% sure that if it was me, I would have simply accepted the self-defense angle as an easy way out.

You did an amazing job of writing poor Rose's fractured, partially obliviated recollections of what happened in her flat. I thought it had the perfect feel to it. This paragraph was brilliant:

The memories were nothing more than fractured pieces of light and sound. It was like trying to view the world through a broken mirror, smashed into a million tiny pieces until the images were no longer recognizable. Only there was one thing Viktor hadn't been able to completely obliterate from her mind: the feeling of warm blood dripping through her fingers.

One more amazing excerpt and then I promise I'm through:

"I von't let you go to prison, Rose. Not even for a single day. It would crush you. Kill you."

"And it won't do the same to you?"

"There's a lot less of me left to kill."


How do you even do that? Those three lines are incredible. I'm so jealous it's sick!

I loved the fact that it was a team effort to spring Viktor from prison. Hermione, Albus and likely other unnamed parties took a huge risk to make sure that Rose didn't have to watch Viktor waste away in Azkaban. For quite a few chapters now, it's been really heartwarming to watch the way that certain members of her family, the ones who really know her and care about her the most, figured out just how much she cared for Viktor.

I honestly don't know how I feel about Viktor's final revelation about Regina's pregnancy. I understand that it gave Rose a certain form of closure and it ascribed a more human motivation to Regina's hatred of Viktor. Maybe it's me, but I liked her a little more when she was just around-the-bend-and-off-the-deep-end crazy. It's a matter of personal preference, I suppose.

OK, I lied. One final excerpt:

Maybe time just finds new ways to make you bleed. - That was poetic!

And then they ride off into the sunset together. Or take a portkey or fly on a broom. Whatever. The End. Absolutely beautiful.

Let me get the couple of typos I saw out of the way really quick:

... when heíd arrived with a message for Hemsely... - Hemsley

If I want to use it while away the hours on a beach somewhere... - ... use it to wile away...

I really had no idea what I was getting into when Jami talked me into reading your story, but I'm going to have to send her an extra-large bundle of cookies or cupcakes or chocolate. Maybe all three. This was one of the most amazing, unique, well-written and all-around inspired stories I've ever seen in the HP fandom. I can't say enough about your creativity and sophistication as an author. Thank you so much for this brilliant story.

And now, I can go read the sequel!

Author's Response: I'm a little sad to respond to this. I've so enjoyed reading all your reviews.

I'm so happy you liked Hermione here. She was a total last minute add to the chapter. I was just planning on having Albus come in, picking up right where the prologue left off, but I felt it needed something. And since I only skirted around the whole Krum/Hermione thing, it seemed a good way of giving that mini-storyline some closure. Hopefully it serves a couple of purposes: to let the reader know Rose is running off with some measure of support/permission from her family, and to sort of set up the idea that we are all capable of sacrifice for the people we love.

I tried REALLY hard to stay away from cheesy and over-sentimentality throughout the story. I don't know how well I managed, but hopefully, like you said, this line works in the context of the chapter. Krum is done with the bravado and games. Rose was his last shot at happiness, and he really doesn't see a future for himself without her.

I'll admit, I had to play around a lot with how to make what Krum did for Rose work... at least, I HOPE it all works. I struggled with how to make it believable that Krum felt compelled to take the fall for Rose and not just support her through whatever police inquest she'd have to face. In the end, I hope that the fact that Krum has been through a trial, been the subject of speculation, has some measure of blood on his hands, etc., makes him credible on the topic. He thinks by doing this, he's allowing Rose to put it all behind her and be free of Regina.

In my head, I see everyone but Ron sort of playing some hand in the escape... though most without admitting it to anyone else. In addition to Hermione and Albus, Heart gives them the money in a form the Aurors can't easily trace. Peter makes sure Rose has the bracelet so she knows how much she means to Krum, etc. I thought that way, the reader wouldn't feel so much like Rose was trading her friends and family's happiness for her own.

I'm not sure how I feel about Regina's pregnancy either. It was always "head canon" for me, but I went back and forth on actually including it in the story. I'm of two minds on it really. I think a villain that's just totally nuts can be a cop-out. But I also don't like overlooking the innate evil of some people and thinking every character that "goes bad" has some tragic past.

Yikes! Misspelling your own characters' names is a big no-no. Thanks for pointing that out.

Thank you so, so much for all the lovely reviews. I really am beyond thrilled that you enjoyed the story. It was a lot of fun to write, and I feel like I learned a lot through the process. There are still a lot of things I don't like about my writing, but I do feel like I'm heading more in the right direction than when I started the story. Thank you again for taking the time to leave so many wonderful and thoughtful reviews!


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Review #29, by patronus_charm Chapter Eleven: The First Mrs. Krum

13th April 2013:
I really liked how you built the tension over what may happen to Krum. You could tell Rose is beginning to care for him with asking whether the book should go ahead or not, and whether Krum will be alright. She contrasts so nicely with Krum as she just seems to have this innocence about her, compared to the darkness Krum alludes.

It was interesting to learn about Krumís downfall from being a quidditch play at his peak. It sort of explains his current behaviour as it mustnít have been easy to have to give what had really been his life. Iím almost beginning to feel sorry for him now, even if getting himself locked up was his own fault. He really does have a lot of mystery attached to him. I really hope we get to find out more about his wives and why their marriage ended in divorce as if thereís an interesting story behind it.

I rather liked the questioning scene. Krumís so complex so it was a lot of fun to his reaction to everything. I almost thought he was going to have this childhood filled with horror like Rose was thinking, so it was a little disappointing finding that wasnít the case. I really like the hinting about them being together with the winking and Krum calling it a date; I canít wait to see what pushes them to be together.

Ooh so Rose doesnít know about what happened between Hermione and Krum then? Thatís interestingÖ I canít wait to see what happens when she finds out, and I wonder who will break it to her, Krum or someone else.

It had to be Albus! I like how you didnít make his life perfect. As Albus said the baby wasnít planned and they had broken up, so it canít be an ideal situation theyíre in. I dread to think what Harry and Ginnyís reaction to this was, as I canít imagine they would be too pleased with this happening. I really want to meet Amelia, as I have feeling sheís going to be quite a character.

Go Rose! I felt proud of her fighting back at Krum, as he does deserve as he hasnít been the nicest person around. Haha, I guess I can see what Krum may have thought when Rose went over to Al, but it didnít make any less funny for me! Ah she finally chose Krum! That ending was brilliant, it was so dramatic and tense, I was sitting here on tenterhooks.

It was all going so well, after that night, then for Krum to have a mysterious person over and claim itís no one. Iím guessing itís either a bailiff, probation person for either his crimes or drugs, or some other person whoís woven into Krumís story. Then not wanting her to come over again that night. Ah not knowing is starting to get very annoying now!

So we get to meet Peterís mum, that was exciting! She seemed so nice and normal, it was hard to think that she would fall for someone like Krum, then again, you wouldnít have thought Rose would fall for him. It was nice to know more about him in an earlier stage of his life, and how he had been nice. Itís cool how all the people in this story are interlinked like how Regina got Rose the job, yet they were both with Krum.

The secrets are starting to come out now, and I canít wait to find out more!

Author's Response: I'm so glad you're liking the contrast between the characters. I do think that there is a lot of natural tension when two very different people are pushed together for any reason. Hopefully it helps add a sense of uncertainty about how things will play out between them.

How to include all the back story was definitely a challenge! I knew endless scenes of Rose questioning Krum about his life would have gotten very tedious very quickly, but I'm really happy you liked most of this scene. I'm sorry his childhood felt like a bit of a letdown. I debated a lot on giving him a more troubled upbringing, but in the end decided against it. I didn't want to "force" the reader to like him because of what he'd been through as a kid or provide too much of an excuse for his later behavior.

Albus will definitely keep popping up throughout the story. I guess I do put him through the ringer a bit! But even though he doesn't really have his life together at the moment, I really like the idea that he can still teach Rose something about what love and family can look like -- even when it's complicated and messy.

Hooray! I'm so happy you liked Rose fighting back a bit. Krum can be moody and manipulative, and Rose can get caught up in it all. But I did want to show that she isn't completely at his mercy. Hopefully it makes the reader more comfortable with the relationship knowing Rose goes into it willingly.

Yikes! Sorry if all the secrets are getting annoying. I tend to unravel my stories pretty slowly. I guess I like keeping my cards close to my chest. I am glad you liked Liddy though. I love having characters cross paths in unexpected ways!

Thank you once again for another lovely review. I've really enjoyed reading all your feedback!


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Review #30, by CambAngst Chapter 20: Regina McFey, Part II

9th April 2013:
Out of all the chapters of this story, I'm finding this one to be the hardest to review. It's tough to even know where to start. This was the chapter where everything came crashing together. Every character, every event, every stray plot thread -- well, every one that I can think of, anyway -- they all converged in this unbelievable roller coaster ride of suspense, fear and "oh my god, so THAT's why ABC happened way back in chapter N!" I think it's going to be incredibly hard to review this without sounding like a gushing, squeeing mess of a fanboy, but here goes. I owe you a good faith attempt, but I can't promise much.

The way you wrote Regina was absolutely terrifying. She was cold as ice, but imbued with the same false sweetness I remember from her first appearance. Her maniacal hatred of Viktor was combined with a win-at-all-costs compulsion and a fiendish sort of genius. She was going to take absolutely everything from him and then leave him to take the fall for it. Rose's life was nothing more than a tool she was using to cause him pain. I felt like I was seeing shades of Jami's Bellatrix, but with a more controlled and focused strain of sociopathy. What makes it even worse, at least to me, is that Viktor's only "crime" was disappointing this horrible, shallow, fake, manipulative person by turning to an out-of-control lifestyle that she probably drove him to by being such a b... um, bad person. That's how I'm interpreting things, at any rate. Maybe he would have found that lifestyle no matter what, but I'm sure she didn't help.

Poor Rose held it together better and for much longer than I would have expected. I loved all of the physical details that you used to convey her terror, anxiety and even anger.

I am completely in awe of how you wove all of these seemingly unrelated plot threads together into Regina's "master plan" to destroy Viktor. The overdose was especially brilliant. If it was me, I probably would have given in to the temptation to drop some sort of hint, some little bit of information so I could come back and waggle it in the reader's face and yell "gotcha!" later on. But Regina's not like that. She leaves no evidence. And she knew Viktor so well that she knew that he'd have drugs hidden somewhere in the flat. She's so frighteningly single-minded, it's crazy!

And then all hell broke loose. You couldn't have pulled me away from my computer while I was reading the last quarter of this chapter with a logging chain and a bulldozer. From the moment that Rose lunges at Regina until those awful final six words of the chapter was one of the most amazingly tense, suspenseful action sequences I've read anywhere on HPFF. I could feel my heart pounding when it was over, and then I was instantly empty.

This paragraph hit me like a kick to the stomach:

But that was as far as she got before she felt the impact and the pain overtook her. A horrible, ice-cold fire that spread through her back and arms. It took her breath away, stole the spell from the tip of her lips. And for a moment, even made her forget who she was. It was just pain.

I have nothing to offer you in the way of constructive criticism for this chapter. Nada. Zippo. Zilch. It was absolutely brilliant. Please accept this nearly irrelevant typo as my small attempt to brush a stray bit of dust off of your masterpiece:

But Regina had gone suddenly quite, apparently having said all she intended to on that matter. - quiet.

And with that, I'm almost at the end. I'll do some more gushing in my review for the next chapter, but please know that I mean the following with complete sincerity: This is one of the five most incredible chapters I've read on HPFF.

Author's Response: I have to start this off by apologizing for the delay in responding. A review this nice deserved a prompt response, but I shall do my best to try and make up for it now.

I tried so hard not to leave plot lines dangling out there! Since I don't plot much of my stories in advance, there were a lot of little bits here and there that I threw in along the way without knowing where it all was heading. That this chapter didn't feel like a total free-for-all is a minor miracle.

Jami's Bellatrix is awesome, and I do think Regina has some of that same psychopathy. She just channels it all into this one venue. She doesn't even really hate Rose -- she doesn't see her as enough of a person to bother hating. From my end, I didn't really see Regina as a cause of Viktor's problems in the past; I think he would have been on the same path with or without her. But she definitely didn't help, and I certainly don't think he really did anything to bring this about. He could have been a perfect husband and she would have found some reason to hate him. She had crazy inside of her -- he was just a trigger.

One of my regrets on this story is that I didn't drop more hints to the reader. I tried several times but it never came together. I tried to have Rose walk in on Regina in Krum's flat, tried to send an Auror there on an anonymous tip, have a mysterious package delivered. I even wrote out a whole scene in the last chapter where Krum and Rose arrive at his flat to find it ransacked. But I couldn't make any of it work. I always wanted the ending to be a surprise in terms of the villain being Regina, but I wish I'd threaded more of a feeling of outside danger throughout the story.

Wow, just... thank you! This was my first attempt at any real level of violence. I didn't want bloody or gory, but I was aiming for tense and real. If anyone saw my internet search history for the day I wrote this scene, I'd probably look like a psycho myself! Who knew stab wounds feel cold, not hot?

Thank you for such an amazing review. I'm really a little speechless that you liked the chapter so much. I'm sorry again for taking so long to reply. Please know it wasn't a reflection of my appreciation for your comments!


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Review #31, by adluvshp Chapter 21, Epilogue: Rose Weasley

8th April 2013:
OMG! THIS WAS AWESOME. AWESOME. AWESOME.

Okay, I feel guilty for not reviewing every chapter but I've been reading this story from the beginning since 2 days and I couldn't bring myself to stop to review.

This is truly a masterpiece. I absolutely loved it. Rose and Krum are so complex and yet I love them. The entire plot is just brilliant. The way things played out is amazing. The suspense you built up towards the end was just superb.

I really don't have any more words to comment on how brilliant this entire story was and how much I loved it. You have done a great job with it and I am excited to read more of your stories now!

Congratulations on finishing your first absolutely marvellous novel. To me, it is perfect! If this was an OF, it would totally rake in a lot of money! You're very talented, hats off.

10/10
Cheers!
AD
(AditiDraco95)

Author's Response: Oh, wow! Thank you so much, AD. I'm beyond thrilled and flattered that you enjoyed the story enough to read it all the way through!!

I definitely learned a lot over the course of writing this. Krum and Rose turned out to be such a fun pair to write, and this story gave me the chance to try my hand at a lot of new and different scenarios.

Thank you again for such a lovely and unexpected review. I really am so happy you liked the story!


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Review #32, by CambAngst Chapter 19: The Intruder

7th April 2013:
Hi, there! I am trying really hard not to let myself start reading your new story until I finish reviewing the rest of the chapters of this one. It's meant to be an incentive, although it hasn't been getting the job done so well. :-/ At any rate, one chapter closer...

Poor Rose. Never get drunk unless you're prepared to pay the piper. And Rose is paying the piper. I really couldn't find any fault with your descriptions of her suffering. It felt completely realistic to me. And then her knight in shining armor -- well, at least her aging former sports hero in yesterday's wedding clothes -- shows up to save her. I loved this line from Viktor:

ďAre you really going to question my expertise in this area?Ē

He had her with that one. She supposed if anyone would know how to treat a hangover, it would be Krum.
- Indeed. I doubt most people alive would have more experience with waking up hung over and confused. And it was followed by another classic Viktor-Rose exchange:

ďSee,Ē Krum said when sheíd finished cleaning her plate. ďI told you I knew vhat I was doing.Ē

ďI suppose it was bound to happen eventually.Ē
- Brilliant!

I loved the way you wrote the article from the Society section, presumably from the Prophet. Hermione was right, most people in the wizarding world really are a bunch of shameless busybodies. But the quick glimpse of Rose and Krum on the dance floor, looking -- gulp -- normal and happy was a really nice touch. I liked the effect that it seems to have on Rose, even though it is brief.

OK, so Heart came off a lot less creepy in this chapter. Slimy? Sure. Unscrupulous? Mostly. But not nearly as creepy. It's all just free publicity to him, apparently. And who can blame him for decrying the lack of it. Well, aside from Rose...

Your description of Rose's editor really struck a chord with me: The man, despite his timid appearance and an unusual affinity for sweater vests, proved to be excellent at his job, plowing through Roseís chapters with lightning speed. Is there anything in the world that makes an otherwise competent, respectable, professional man look more namby-pamby and, I don't know, lame than a sweater vest? I am completely blown away that we're still having this conversation in 2013. Now that I've gotten that out of my system, back to the review.

I find myself wondering whether you have any first-hand experience with the publishing process. That section wasn't especially long, but you wrote it very deliberately and with just the right amount of detail to make it feel very realistic without belaboring the point. Peter came out of this looking like a very competent, very smart attorney. When I think about the way I've been going back and forth on the guy for pretty much the entire story, this was a pretty nice way to wrap up the plot line for him.

The conversation between Krum and Rose as they're walking back to her office really put a smile on my face. The two of them have been through so much together, and neither one of them is "relationship material" in the classic sense of the term. That's probably one of the things that brings the two of them together. I really liked the anxiety that both of them feel about what's going to happen once the book is complete. It's the great unknown, and it definitely seemed a bit scary. You wrote it as less of a happy ending than the start of the next adventure, which I think is totally appropriate for these two.

I have to say that I love the little note she left for Heart under the title. I can't repeat it, but I love it!

And then... and then... You leave us with the ultimate cliff-hanger!" So obviously I know what happens next, but I'm going to channel my thoughts from the moment I first read this. I was convinced it was the Man in the Suit. Con-freaking-vinced. If you made me take a second guess, I would have said Viktor's first wife, Liddy. You did a great job of building misdirection around this.

So I found one little typo on this:

-- Krum, as usual, seemed obvious to the cold. - oblivious

I'm gonna do it! I'm going to get to the end. It's in sight, and then I can let myself read the new one. That's my proverbial carrot and I'm chasing it for all I'm worth.

Author's Response: There's no rush at all. I've been having a super dry writing spell of late so there will be very little to catch up on ;)

Haha! Rose did get what she deserved, I suppose. Though in her defense, it can be pretty easy to drink too much champagne. And I'm so glad you liked that little moment there. I love throwing in a bit of banter between the two whenever I can. It helps them from taking themselves too seriously.

I think the wizarding world is so prone to gossip because there are so few of them on the whole. It's like living in a small town. Who is marrying who really IS front page news. But the normality of it all really was the point -- leaving the impression that the two are heading down a path where they and the world at large embrace the relationship as "no big deal."

Phew! I'm glad I managed to redeem Heart a bit. His real moment of redemption comes off-screen and is alluded to in the last chapter, but I'm glad you didn't want to throw a shoe at him in his last appearance.

Nope, no publishing experience for me, but I have read a lot of books about writing and they always seem to contain at least a few chapters on publishing. The rest is just educated guesses! Hooray!! I'm so glad that you ended up on the side of liking Peter. I thought ending on a note where he walks away looking competent and that he did a good thing by bring the pair together was a proper sendoff.

I feel like you are hitting on all the things I wanted from each scene! Their little stroll down the street was totally meant to feel like the two are heading off into the unknown but ready to face it together. This whole chapter was supposed to have that sort of feel to it -- wrapping up their old lives to head off into something new as a pair. Not necessarily marriage and kids and that sort of happily-ever-after, but a future of their own making.

Hehehe... Rose's note to Heart was a favorite of mine, if I do say so myself. And yay for surprise plot twists! I'm so glad you didn't guess Regina, though I hoped she lived up to the role of villain!!

Thanks for another awesome review. And thanks too for the typo spot. I can't believe you're almost at the end!


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Review #33, by patronus_charm Chapter Eight: Viktor Krum, Part III

2nd April 2013:
Roseís initial description of Krum was rather complementary, wasnít it? I rather liked that it was as it showed how potential relationship between the two could develop, yet at the same time didnít put too much emphasis on it. I found interesting that Krum found Rose just as intriguing, and that he was studying her with the same intensity. I wonder whether he was trying to pick out signs of Hermione in her. Aha I was right, he was looking for Hermione.

I really liked your characterisation of him. We never got to see that much of him in the book, but I liked how you made him surlier and almost cynical, it fits well with his deterioration and drug use. I was surprised as Rose about him not drinking alcohol, you almost just assume he would with his other vices, but I suppose this shows heís not as bad as many people perceive him to be.

Krum is such an odd character, but his oddness makes him all the more interesting. The way he has that physical dominance of Rose seems to be suggesting that he wants to lay claims over her, like he used to be able to. Then you would never have thought he would be the one to break up the fight, yet he did.

I really like Rose too, the way sheís trying to better herself, yet sheís still kind and compassionate. I can definitely see the mix of Ron and Hermione in her, and itís so nice that you passed on their characteristics, and didnít make her someone different.

I thought it was interesting that Rose seemed to think visiting her family as more of a duty rather than something of pleasure, and you could tell that there was some tension there due to her thinking of the family home as too small, and mentioning her parents retiring. I canít put my finger on it, but it just doesnít seem that right.

Hugoís gay? I always imagined him being gay, but I thought I was alone on that front, so Iím glad that youíve got the same views. I want to meet Billy too, and see what heís like. Rose did seem a little bitter towards them, and towards Albus and Amelia, I really want to know if this is just her natural inclination or whether thereís another reason. Rose must have made an impression on Krum if sheís the only one heíll see, so she drew him in.

Though Krum hasnít endeared himself to many, heís endeared himself to me with his quirkiness, and his obvious plead for help with him going so off the rails. The fact that he didnít put up a struggle seems to suggest to me that he almost wanted to be arrested, so that people will see how much he needs help. Or Iím just reading too far into this ;D

I thought Brooks may have just made it up that Krum didnít know anything about the book, but I guess my assumptions are being proved incorrect because it does seem that Brooks really didnít tell them. I have a feeling weíre not going to find out for a while, which is annoying as itís really bugging me not knowing!

I was so glad that Rose began to fight back against Krum, he needed telling off! I felt so proud of her and may have got a little carried and started doing girl power chants in my head! It pains me to say that he did deserve it as he was being rather obnoxious to poor old Rose, and she stuck up for Brooks as well. At least the book was agreed to!

Author's Response: Deciding how much to describe Krum was tough. He is the romantic lead, so I wanted to give him a proper introduction, but I may have gone a little overboard. It's strange because in the books, he isn't described as very handsome, but yet he still has legions of girls following him around. I tried to find a middle ground of portraying him as alluring without actually being overly handsome.

I'm so glad you liked his characterization! We know enough from canon to give him an interesting jumping-off point, but there was still lots of room for me to play. I'm glad his sort of contradictory nature came through here. It's a running theme with him that leaves Rose on unsteady ground. You aren't the first person to mention it being odd that he breaks up the fight. I might need to look at that part again. I meant to imply that he does it as a favor to his friend, the owner of the bar, but maybe that's not coming through...

It's not that Rose doesn't enjoy seeing her family...I just think of her more as going through that strange phase of life where the way she relates with her parents is evolving. She's an adult but she still feels a bit like a kid when it comes to parents. She's trying to look at them as fellow adults and understand why they do what they do (live in a small house when they could afford bigger, not retire, etc.) but she's not quite there yet. But if it's coming of as judgmental or out of character, I definitely don't want that. Thanks for pointing it out. I'll take another look at it.

A few readers have told me the imagined Hugo as gay too. I thought it was a good fit for the story since I wanted Rose to be surrounded by people in all types of relationships, but maybe it's an actual thing! Rose is pretty short with him and Al. That will all boil over a bit in later chapters, so if you read that far, I'll be interested to see if you think it was explained well.

I don't think you're reading too much into it at all! I'm glad that you have mixed feelings about Krum. My intention was always to leave his true nature and intentions ambiguous until the end. I want the reader to feel torn on whether to tell Rose of go for it or to run screaming for the hills.

Thank you for such a wonderful review. I always feel so terribly conceited when replying to them! I hope you've enjoyed the story up to this point. I've certainly enjoyed your reviews. Thank you again!!


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Review #34, by CambAngst Chapter Eighteen: Mr. and Mrs. Albus Potter

1st April 2013:
Such a beautiful day for a wedding! You set an absolutely perfect scene at the start of this chapter. It was really humorous to see how much more difficult that seemed to make things for Rose. If it was raining, or cold, or if the day was any less perfect in any way, it would have made it a lot easier for her to decide to make a run for it. Because the whole wedding thing is obviously not her scene. All of those commitment insecurities are boiling over. All in all, a brilliant continuation of your characterization of Rose from the last chapter.

Besides, sheíd made a promise to herself to be more okay with all this love stuff. What better place then this to test her new resolve? - Brilliantly put!

She really surprised me with her honest answers to Viktor about not wanting a big wedding and a family. It's a very unusual thing to find in any Weasley character. Charlie always seems like the Lone Ranger of the family, the only one who eschews the ideals of hearth and home and pursues his life's passions without regard to the social norms. I like that look on Rose here. For one thing -- and I would think this even if the site wasn't going Shipless ;) -- it breaks your story out of the tired, old Next Gen romantic narrative. For another, it fits so perfectly with everything you're written about Rose up to this point. There was no hard, left turn into Happily Ever After Land. I don't know if there's such a thing as common law in the wizarding world, but that's the direction the story is heading and she and Viktor are alright with that.

I thought you did an awesome job writing Viktor's brief reunion with Harry. I wasn't sure what you'd make of that, or whether you'd avoid it entirely. What you did with it was so low-key and simple. It was perfect, I thought, for these two characters. They've both had more than enough notoriety in their lives. They don't like it when people make big deals out of things. They really seem to understand one another. So they simply chat, quietly and amiably, until Harry is called away for more pictures. Q.E.D.

I see the evening isn't done taunting Rose with the siren call of domestic bliss and nuclear family stability. The little girl was a pretty adorable touch. At the moment, of course, the Archives are turning "little girl" into "bunny rabbit", but that's neither here nor there. ;) The way that Rose relates to her wasn't unfriendly, but it wasn't maternal at all, either. It set the stage really well for the conversation that Rose and Viktor have about marriage and children. The way that Viktor sort of explains away his relationship with Peter was interesting. He just isn't one to be tied down by feelings of obligation. He seems like the type who would make a really great uncle when he's in the right mood. I guess Hugo and Billy will have to adopt!

The ending was another awesomely humanizing scene for Viktor. I loved the idea that he wants to set Rose apart from all the ones that came before. He wants to put her on something of a pedestal, whether she wants to be there or not. From the point of view of being a sober adult, sitting here and reading a story, it's pretty obvious how much she means to him. Because honestly, it had to be difficult for him to say no in a situation like that. Very nice touch!

I admit it! I couldn't find any typos! I feel so defeated!

Oh, goodness. We're winding down. I already told you I finished reading, so I know what's coming up. I'm savoring the chapters I have left to review!

Author's Response: I'll admit to falling into the cliche of using the weather to reflect a character's mood, but doing the exact opposite here seemed much more fitting. It's almost like the weather is mocking her... and she kind of deserves it for being such a chicken :P

I didn't want Rose to be outright hostile towards marriage and families, but for someone who struggles with commitment, I can't help but see her as at least skeptical about how it might fit into her own life. And while I didn't do it intentionally to avoid falling into a happily-ever-after trap, I do think the idea that every Potter and Weasley falls in love and gets married by the time they're 25 isn't overly realistic. And honestly, if Rose was on the hunt for a husband, I doubt she'd have ever gotten involved with Krum :P

I'm so glad you liked the Harry cameo! I played around with which family members to trot out, but in the end, I thought Harry provided the best opportunity for a little perspective. I totally see it the same way; Harry has been both famous and infamous, and he doesn't really look at Krum and see gossip or scandal. But I also thought it provided some nice contrast. The two are very close in age, and it kind of gives you a yardstick to hold Krum up to -- the kind of life he didn't choose for himself.

Haha! No, mothering doesn't come natural to Rose. And that's exactly what the "bunny rabbit" was meant to show. I'll see if I can work an adoption for Hugo and Billy into the sequel!

The ending (if I did it right) was meant to show two things: (1) that Rose was back in the relationship 100%, intimacy and all, and (2) that Viktor is in love with Rose. I made a point of never having him say the L-word up until or even at this moment, but this is his way of trying to express that. Granted, he does it while also being a jerk, but that's really Viktor in a nutshell. He loves and cares for her, but he's never going to be great at just being a normal, caring boyfriend.

Success!! A chapter without a million typos. And just in time for the story to be almost over. Thanks again for such a wonderful review. I have so much (i.e. too much) fun responding to them.


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Review #35, by patronus_charm Chapter Five: Viktor Krum

30th March 2013:
Iím just going to combine my reviews, and leave some here and there due to time constraints and me wanting to get to the end ASAP ;D

I really liked the excerpt at the beginning of the chapter. In so many fan fictions thereís a book/article published and we never get to read which is rather annoying in my opinion, so I was glad to see it included here. And we got to learn more about Viktorís background, and it was such an interesting and different way to find out things!

Well Joseph Heart certainly sounded formidableÖ. I loved the mention towards Hagrid though, and how he came out as a winner in a drinking game, I canít wait to see if there any more future references towards him! Then there was Regina McFey! Her stories reminded me of the ones which you can find on the free Kindle downloads page!

I felt rather sorry for Rose in this chapter. She just seemed so innocent, and so young compared to everyone else at her work. But I think thatís what made the work environment work so well, as you could see how something between her and Krum would then develop, if she was so used to dealing with odd people. The mix of people at her work seemed to balance really well though, and I liked how they all had fiery personalities as Iím sure itís going to lead to some interesting stuff later on!

I remember you mentioning that your Albus was dating a girl called Amelia as well, so I was really interested to learn more about her! I liked how you wove in details about both of them in this chapter, such as Rose not earning much money, and Al being restless. It was so nice not to see it done in a really obvious because when itís done like that it almost scares me.

I thought it was interesting that there was some tension between Al and Harry. I feel as if most people are too scared to show Harry in a bad light, but I really like it. I canít wait to see how that develops, and whether thereís any more history behind the two.

I liked how you made Rose stick to her principles. If I was in her position I would be dying to write that book for Krum, as it would be such a big scoop for her, but I liked how you made her reject it. It reminded me of Hermione, and how she wouldnít have done something unless she fully agreed to it. I liked how Heart valued her though, as you almost wouldnít think he would with his harsh demeanour, but youíve developed a really multi-faceted character here, and I canít wait to see more of him!

Iím still on the fence over whether I like this Peter Brook person or not. Thereís just something about him, which puts me off him for some reason. I canít explain it, itís just a thing! I liked the mystery behind Krum though; Iím guessing itís either financial problems, or something related to his drug taking! Either way, I canít wait to find out :D

I should have carried on reading as I found out straight away, but I was right, it was financial problems! Brookís is his step-son though? I certainly wasnít expecting that, and I canít wait to learn more about Krumís previous relationships, as they certainly sound interesting!

I almost felt sorry for Rose, with her thinking she could get out of it. I can understand why she would be offended by being called a Ďpretty little writerí, I wouldnít want to be recognised for my looks, I would want to be recognised for my talent. At least Peter made it up later, with talking about how she was reputable and published.

And there was the first encounter! I was wondering when it was going to happen, and I loved Krumís intro it was just great. I think it was the whole outlandishness by offering to buy the whole place drinks, only an ex-quidditch star whoís in debt would do that.

Itís proven to be an excellent start so far!

-Kiana :D

Author's Response: I'm so glad you like the book excerpts. Since the book is such a major part of the story, I thought it might be nice to use some of the actual passages to convey a bit of Krum's backstory.

Heart is a little over the top, I'll admit, though he has his more mellow moments in later chapters. Hopefully he balances out okay over the course of the story. Regina will return as well. And I know exactly what books you're talking about! When I first started writing this, it was the middle of all the 50 Shades hoopla. I may or may not have "borrowed" a little inspiration from that.

I'm so glad you liked the bits with Al. He doesn't have a lot of "screen time" in the story but he's one of my favorite characters. I tried really hard to give the reader a bit of a glimpse into Rose's life here without bogging the story down with too many details. I'm really happy it didn't feel too obvious or heavy-handed. Harry pops up later in the story, but his role isn't too big. I did try to show that all the characters have good and bad sides, so hopefully that's something that carries through the other chapters too.

I'm with you. I would have wanted to write the book too! But Rose doesn't really have the confidence yet to take the risk. I'm glad that Heart's support of her came through here. He comes off pretty crass at times but he really isn't meant to be a terrible guy.

I love reading that you're not totally sold on Peter yet. He's definitely meant to be a character you're just not sure about, at least at this point in the story. He certainly doesn't exactly go out of his way to endear himself to Rose. But hopefully by the end of the story (if you read that far), you'll have a better feel for him. And Krum's past relationships will definitely be a major part of future chapters. Hopefully they prove to be interesting.

I know the set-up is a bit long but I'm so happy you liked their first meeting. I tried to make it worth the wait. It is pretty audacious of him, but I really wanted to make Krum's entrance into Rose's life a memorable one

Thank you so much for such an incredibly lovely review!


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Review #36, by patronus_charm Chapter One: Prologue: The Man In The Suit

30th March 2013:
Iíve been meaning to get round to this story for ages, and as it was the holidays I finally had some time to read it!

Wah! The start was just awesome! Iíve always wondered what happened to Krum, I mean I never hear him mentioned in any next gen story which is odd as he was one of the few celebrities mentioned, so I loved what you did with him! I can imagine him as a drug addict for some reason.

He really does seem to be the fallen man, with being interrogated, and now writing a book about his life, and trying to bribe the interrogators with it. Itís almost sad to see how far heís fallen as I always liked Krum, but I guess itís only natural for someone that young to be so famous, there were bound to be repercussions.

I loved the reference towards Hermione. Iíve always shipped those two ever since the Yule Ball, so it was rather crushing to find out sheís with Ron, but for Krum to now have a thing with Rose! It took a while to get my head around, but now they seemed to be the perfect after chapter one!

It was a great first chapter, and I canít wait to read on!

-Kiana :D

Author's Response: Hi, p_c. I'm so honored you'd spend some of holiday reading my story.

I always wondered why there aren't more post-Hogwarts Krum stories too. There are a lot of Quidditch stories but enough Krum love!

Krum is a pretty broken man at this point, and for much of the story, actually. I won't pretend I psychoanalyzed it *too* much, but I thought it was an interesting way to take the character, especially compared to someone like Harry, who was famous since he was a baby but didn't know it so perhaps didn't face the same sort of pitfalls.

Hooray for Hermione/Krum! I always liked that ship too. I know Rose/Krum isn't to everyone's liking, but I'm glad the idea is already growing on you a little.

Thanks so much for the lovely review!


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Review #37, by CambAngst Chapter Seventeen: The Man in the Suit, Part II

25th March 2013:
OK, time to finally finish the review that I started writing on Saturday afternoon.

First off, a small bit of commentary:

What do you think of Reaching New Heights: The Viktor Krum Story? Itís got a certain ring to it, donít you think? - Come on, Rose! That's so cliche!

It was nice to see Viktor actually get serious about something. You didn't drop it on me right away, but as the chapter progressed, it became really obvious that this was huge for Viktor. He finally puts the childish "ice man" posturing aside and lets Rose see that the hearing, and maintaining his freedom, was important to him. That the possibility of losing his case bothered him, frightened him, even. It helped to humanize him quite a bit.

The man in the suit was... I think unnerving is really the best way to put it. I didn't really feel like Rose was threatened. He didn't seem creepy in the stalker sense of the term. The game he's playing seems to be a lot more personal and a bit more cerebral. All of Rose's head games with Viktor seem to be paying off, because she seems to know exactly how to put this guy in his place. Naturally, I'm really curious what was inside the envelope, but the way you ended their encounter really built up a sense of mystery. And I loved this line:

The man was making a good show of looking nervous, as if he really was offering her something he ought not to have been sharing. But Rose wasn't buying it. There was a hint of something akin to glee in his eyes, as if this was all some sort of game for which he would soon be declared the winner.

I thought that did a brilliant job of making it clear what this guy was really all about. There's something really off about him, and he's convinced that he can manipulate her if he dangles the right bait in front of her. To Rose's credit, she just pushes him away.

Rose was so consumed with this one terrible possibility that she almost missed the sound of the front door swinging open. Before she even had the chance to ask what happened, Viktor crossed over to her, scooping her up in his arms, burying his face in her hair. - I really love the visual here. So much vulnerability on his part.

And then... he starts to talk about the future and Rose freaks out. This was a really awesome gender role reversal. And you couldn't have sprung it on two more unlikely characters, which made it even better for me. Rose: the archetypal female character who's been alternating between a girlish infatuation with the man and mothering him through all of his troubles. Viktor: the stone-faced alpha male who mostly shows her flashes of emotion when he wants to reel her in and seduce her. And in an instant, it's all flipped on its head. She'd the one panicking at the idea of commitment and he's sitting there confused about where the train came off the rails. Very nicely done!

Heart is just plain creepy in this chapter. Funny to think that he came off as sort of a twisted father figure way back at the beginning of the story. Not even the most twisted father imaginable wants his daughter to drum up business like this. What a weirdo!

Then she gets the family one-two punch in the form of Hugo and Al. Hugo sets the pins up and Al knocks them down, I thought. Hugo starts off by reminding Rose that this situation really is all about her. What she wants and the trade-offs that she's willing to make. And everybody else will either deal with it or they won't.

Al was the master stroke. And you did it in a really unconventional way. He comes along and shows her everything about her relationship with Krum that's wrong and right, all at the same time, if that makes a lick of sense. The infatuation, the lost weeks and the fact that she's basically forgotten Al's wedding are all symptomatic of just how much of an effect this relationship have had on her. This line really hit home for me:

She'd hardly given his upcoming nuptials or the fact that he was only months away from becoming a father more than a passing thought for weeks. Al was right. When had she become so self-involved?

And yet Al isn't there to yell at her or be angry or offended. He gets it. And eventually Rose gets it, too.

The final revelations that hit Rose as she's lying in bed were the icing on the cake for this thoroughly brilliant chapter. I said earlier that this chapter was huge for Viktor, but even that pales, I think, compared to how huge it was for Rose. It finally dawns on her why she's gone through so much for him. Why she's put her career and her relationship with her family at risk. Why she wants to help him so much. And it coincidentally happens to be the same thing that terrifies her so much that she had to run away from him. I loved this paragraph like few other things you've written in this story:

So there was her sad little truth. Viktor might be the addict, the one who couldn't get his act together. The one with a string of failed relationships and more demons than he seemed able to handle. But she was the pathetic one. The one who was scared of commitment, of jumping in with both feet. Of ending up with a stupid grin on her face. Scared of falling in love.

Her whole speech to half-awake Viktor was awesome. You can feel her convincing herself, item by item, reason by reason, that the things that should keep her and Viktor apart just aren't enough to overcome what she feels for him. It was like watching something roll downhill. And this line made me laugh out loud:

The very thought of you and I together makes my father want to kill himself - or kill you. - Truer words have rarely been spoken...

One typo only: ďI hate to break it to you, but you love life isn't really my top concern at the moment. - your love life.

I think I'm about out of characters, so I'll end with a single word: amazing!

Author's Response: I'm so glad this chapter humanized Krum for you a bit. I tried really hard to keep him a grey-area character, but if the reader doesn't like him enough to at least vacillate on the idea of him being a good match for Rose, the story doesn't really hold up well.

Looking back, I don't think I developed TMitS plotline as well as I should have, but I'm happy he gave off a creepy vibe here. He isn't a physical threat to Rose, but he's unhinged enough to still be a danger. I'm glad that line stood out. Now that you know the ending, you know his hatred has been eating at him for a long time. He's enjoying the idea of causing Viktor and anyone who cares for him pain.

Swapping the roles here was fun, but hopefully didn't seem too OOC for either of them...? I always pictured Rose as falling for Krum a bit because a part of her really didn't believe the relationship could go anywhere, and I see Krum as someone who actually likes being in a relationship, despite being unable to maintain them -- hence all the marriages. But only now does a real long-term relationship seem feasible to either of them so those true underlying feelings come out.

Haha! I didn't mean for Heart to come off that creepy here. My bad!!

I tried really, really hard to teach Rose a lesson here without feeling like I was lecturing to the reader. Al really didn't go there to teach her anything. He wants to make sure she's okay and maybe nudge her along, but just by being himself, he holds a mirror up for her, letting her draw her own conclusions.

Awww, I'm so glad you liked that paragraph. Internal monologues scare me like nothing else I write, so that it was one of your favorites of the story makes me happy to no end.

The end scene was meant to be Rose's belated freak-out to all the crap life has thrown her way the past few months. If Rose were real, she'd be an idiot if she hadn't thought all these things at one point or another. I thought this might be a fun way to acknowledge to the reader she had, in fact, considered all these things. Plus I wanted to make sure it was clear Rose was willingly making the choice to say to hell with it all. She wasn't being tricked or lulled or dragged into it by Krum.

lol, I love Ron as a dad. I couldn't resist.

Thank you for such an awesome review! Seriously, it was such an amazing treat to read and respond to.


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Review #38, by CambAngst Chapter Sixteen: Viktor and Rose

18th March 2013:
Hello, again! It's Monday morning, so here's to a little reading and reviewing over yogurt and cereal...

It was really sweet to see Rose keeping vigil over Viktor. After what he did to himself, he probably didn't deserve such good treatment. The same way that I thought you did a great job writing Viktor's OD in the last chapter, I thought you managed to capture the essence of what it is to watch over an addict going through withdrawal in this one. Again, you didn't over-dramatize things. It's basically a lot of boredom punctuated by brief bouts of incoherent jabbering and scary physical outbursts.

When Viktor finally comes around, his reaction was mostly what I'd expected: somewhat humble, slightly macho and a tinge of regret for having put Rose through it all. It's really interesting to watch his demons and his pride battle with the good person who peeks out every so often. Regardless, it was a big step for him when he told Rose where to find the last of his stash and let her dispose of it. Well, assuming that was his only stash, anyway. Hard-core addicts usually have a Plan B. I'll choose to think the best of him at least for now.

These two lines, I thought, were another classic example of the intense conflicts inherent in Viktor's relationship with Rose:

"Then what is it you want me to say?" Rose asked with more than a hint of agitation coloring her voice.

"I want you to say vhat it is youíre thinking. You deserve that much, at least."


He wants her to be herself, on his terms.

And then they settle into what seems like a really nice little domestic routine. You really backed off of describing the physical aspect of their relationship in this chapter, which made sense to me. Viktor is still recovering, after all, and it seems like the two of them have moved beyond just physical infatuation. At times in this chapter, you could almost see the two of them acting like a married couple.

I loved the descriptions of the two of them walking outside in the fall leaves. I probably don't give you enough credit for the lovely way that you're able to evoke a mood through imagery and details in this story, but you're really quite good at it. This chapter was so wonderfully domestic. I can't help but feel like it's the calm before the storm...

I noticed a few typos that you might want to take a second look at, but nothing too major:

So you hedge your bets, pick the people you think will cause the least amount trouble and let them keep their freedom. - amount of trouble

Rose was enjoying their time away as well, though maybe not quiet as much as Krum. - not quite as much

October had arrived, brining with it a noticeable drop in temperature. - bringing

Krumís brief escape to Bulgaria had thrown the press of their scent. - off their scent

That's all for this chapter, I'm afraid. Lovely job, as always. I'll be back soon!

Author's Response: Okay, it feels a little weird responding to this knowing you've already read the ending, but hopefully I can still be coherent.

While I wanted the OD to be dramatic, I'm definitely glad it didn't seem OVER dramatic. Hopefully the drama comes more from what it means for their relationship and him as a character than because of his physical symptoms.

I'm so happy you mentioned the part about him telling her where the last of his stash is. I personally saw it as a huge moment for him but no one else commented on it. He could have lied and she'd have been none the wiser, but it was meant as a show of good faith on his end, at least in my eyes. But I didn't feel I could really come out and say it since I don't think Rose, having no experience with an addict, would recognize it as that. Anyway, I'm glad it stood out to you enough to comment on it.

Okay, so I guess you know now that their physical relationship gets addressed again in future chapters, but I'm glad it seemed natural to back of it a bit at this point. I did try to have some measure of balance in their relationship. They don't really have a lot in common, and intellectually this isn't a great match, so I thought it was important that it was passion more than anything that brought them together initially. But at some point, most couples have to either settle into each other's lives or go their separate ways.

I'm off to fix the typos now. Thanks again for pointing them out.

I'm not sure if you plan on reviewing the other chapters since you've already finished the story, though I hope you do since I really enjoy your comments. But if not, thank you so much for reading the story. I'm one of those terribly annoying writers who never believes people when they say they like something I wrote, but I really hope you did enjoy at least some parts of it. And thanks again for all the reviews, particularly being number 150. I really wasn't ever expecting this story to get that many, so it's an extra special milestone for me.


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Review #39, by CambAngst Chapter Fifteen: Peter

14th March 2013:
Hello, again! Sorry I've been away for a while. The Gryffindor-Slytherin Review Battle has kept me occupied for the past week or two.

I loved the difficulty that Rose had trying to settle back into her day-to-day life after returning from Bulgaria. And it wasn't just the trip to Bulgaria, I guess. That was only the last leg of the whirlwind journey she's been on. Everything she tries to do -- going to work, stopping by her parents' house, going home and cleaning her flat -- seems so flat through her eyes. She's discovered this whole new world of excitement and fulfillment pursuing Krum and it doesn't take her very long to realize that she misses it.

From start to finish, the way you wrote Viktor's overdose was really well done. You didn't introduce any false drama or theatrics into the experience. I've had the misfortune to see it happen once in my life, and the way you wrote it was exactly how I remember it: vomit and silence and paralyzing fear. Even if you know what's happened -- which Rose obviously doesn't -- it tears you apart trying to figure out what to do. You know that the outcome is going to be bad either way, and you -- as a clueless, non-medical professional -- are trying to weigh risks and possibilities that are well beyond your ability to understand.

You finally succeeded in making me feel some empathy for Peter Brooks. Up to this point, I was really on the fence about him. I tend to be on the fence about everyone aside from Rose and maybe Hugo in this story. They all have their own angle on Krum's life; nobody's motivations are pure. But here, Peter displays a bit of genuine emotion. He really does care what happens to Krum and the fact that Viktor has fallen from the wagon hurts him. It was nice to see him connect with Rose just a bit.

The best constructive criticism I can offer you for this chapter comes down to typos, because overall it was very good.

Viktor looked up at here, and just as she thought he might try to say something more, his eyelids fluttered, eyes rolling back into his head. - looked up at her

Sheíd spent the last two and half months combing through the manís past, unearthing every grisly detail she could. - two and a half months

To talk about how unbelievable ___ up it all is? - unbelievably

So what about her then? What was her roll in all of this? her role in all of this

Things really seem to be accelerating now. I sense a big finish ahead!

Author's Response: Yay! I'm glad you had time to stop by again. You all have been reviewing machines!

I hadn't really thought of Rose's return to normality like that, but I can see what you mean. It was meant as more of a calm before the storm -- getting her life back in order so she can start moving forward again -- but I guess her old routine is pretty bland compared to her new life. Hopefully it wasn't just my writing that was flat :P

Wow, I'm really sorry you ever had to witness something like this. I've never been though it myself, but I have been nearby for a few medical emergencies, and it's a terrible feeling. There really is just some level of instinct that either kicks in or it doesn't. It does for Rose here, though I tried to make sure she didn't seem too practiced.

Oh, good! I'm so happy Peter is growing on you. That was totally my intention with that last scene -- to humanize him. I really felt like it was important to give Rose an ally. The two aren't going to become best friends, but they at least understand each other, and may be the only two people with Krum's best interest at heart. Hopefully it says something about Krum too, that he is a man worth caring about.

Typos have already been fixed. I feel like I'm going to need to credit you as an unofficial beta by the end of this. Thanks for the review. I always really enjoy reading what you have to say!


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Review #40, by CambAngst Chapter Fourteen: Regina McFey

3rd March 2013:
Hi, there! I am slowly but surely getting there. Where did all of my reading and reviewing time go?

I thought your physical description of Regina McFey was fantastic. She came across as being so intimidating, so sculpted and just so... intensely, fiercely fake. It was pretty amazing. It's one thing to be an artificial woman with tons of nips and tucks and a whitened smile and a spray tan for all seasons, but this lady sounds like she's taken it to a whole different level. And she's cold. Merciless, brutal, calculating and downright scary. There isn't a doubt in my mind that she could eat Rose for lunch.

The way she dissects Rose's relationship with Krum was a work of art. She takes a tiny example, the fact that Rose doesn't know what Krum likes for breakfast, and puts Rose instantly on the defensive. Then she proceeds to drag Rose through the drugs, the injuries, Rose's own family background and the way she's being portrayed in the press. It was downright surgical, the way this woman makes Rose doubt every last thought she's had since the moment she laid eyes on Viktor Krum.

What better way to feel special than to be the one Viktor comes crawling to when heís got no where else to turn? The truth is, she's the only one desperate enough to take his calls. Of course, until you came along, that is. - This is what I suspected about Liddy when we first met her. Not that I'm taking anything Regina says as gospel, mind you. I have a strong feeling that she has her own angle on this situation. Perhaps we'll find out what that is before it's all said and done. For right now, I'll just choose to believe that her visit is more than what it seemed.

Go get him, Heart wrote. Get him, bring him home, and letís put this whole mess behind us. - Brilliant. The world really is that simple when you're the boss, isn't it? Oh, and I guess it helps to be devoid of conscience.

Rose's angry discussion with Krum about his motivations for leaving was pretty revealing for me. It took me right back to that line of Liddy's about Viktor being a flame that left you feeling cold and dark when he was gone. Rose's life already seems to be starting to exhibit a lot of those swings between the highs and the lows and they're always driven by Krum vacillating between being open with her and shutting her out. It's not a good pattern, at least if you're Rose. It certainly makes me want to put more stock in Regina's comment about him destroying lives.

Krum knows exactly which buttons to push to reel her back in, doesn't he? He lets her get all worked up about the book and then, casual as can be, he acts as though it's been his plan to finish it with her all along.

"That's absurd. This isnít any more your doing than mine. I could have said no. I could have stopped this if I'd wanted to, but I didn't."
Viktor gave her a wry smile. "It's sweet that you think that, but it isn't true. And even if it was, it's just more proof you don't know what's good for you."
- Wow. Whatever else I might think about Viktor Krum, the guy has big brass... erm, let's just say he has no problem calling life as he sees it. Sadly, he's probably right in this case. He has so much more experience when it comes to this sort of thing than Rose.

The way that Rose's heart -- her desire to stop being the safe, boring creature of habit that she'd become and genuinely live her life according to her own desires -- overrules her better judgment at the end of this chapter was heart-warming in a "love conquers all" kind of way and horribly troubling in a "that poor girl is so screwed" kind of way. It seems that Viktor does have a bit of a noble streak, but his own heart is getting the best of him as well. I hope for the best for both of them, even though I'm 90% sure that isn't going to happen. :(

Anyhow, here are a couple of small things you might want to take another look at:

And right now theyíre thinking youíre a girl from a good home and a nice family who was all too happy to toss her morals aside to grab herself the inside scope on this little book deal sheís got going. - the inside scoop

Talk about the tea calling the kettle black. - OK, so I spent about 5 minutes on google, thinking, "this is some really common British expression that I've just never heard before." That happens to me about once a week on HPFF. Most of what I found, however, was about a blog post trashing Abercrombie and Fitch. So I'm just gonna flag it and you'll have to tell me whether you meant to say that or not.

Reginaís warnings still rang fresh in her mind, and the humiliation of having her privacy striped away by the press was like a fresh wound, threatening to rip open anytime she thought about it. - her privacy stripped away

So I'm really curious what it was about this chapter that didn't turn out the way you wanted, because I thought it was really good. Highs and lows, highs and lows... Poor Rose must have a hard time keeping track of whether she's happy or sad sometimes. Me, of course, I'm just happy that I have more chapters to read!

Author's Response: I'm so glad you liked the physical description of Regina. I try to avoid going too overboard with what every character looks like, but with her, I thought it was important to establish that she's physically intimidating -- enough so to make Rose insecure -- but that there was also something off about her, like a wicked queen from a fairy tale.

Surgical -- I love that description! Rose and Krum go back and forth a lot, and though he's really skilled at it, Rose can hold her own. But she really isn't any match for Regina because Regina won't play fair. Krum will tease but Regina goes for the kill.

I'm so happy you singled out the line about Liddy. Regina does have her own motives but she isn't wrong about this one. At the same time, I really don't see Liddy as a bad person. She likes feeling needed and important, and is probably more selfish than she wants to admit, but she isn't out to hurt anyone.

Haha, I can't argue with you on Krum. He isn't one for being tactful if he isn't in the mood, not to mention arrogant. But that doesn't make him wrong... It's interesting what you said about Rose too. My goal (whether I was successful at it or not) was always to have the reader root for Krum and Rose as a couple, but the feedback I've been getting, particularly around this point in the story, is that people are sort of half-hoping they can make it work and half wanting to slap Rose upside the head and tell her to get out while she can. I like the idea that there are more layers to it (even if I wasn't smart enough to add them intentionally), but I worry that it weakens Rose as a character. Hmmm... some food for thought on my end, I suppose.

I'd love to tell you that the tea/kettle is some super cool expression, but alas, it was just a mistake on my end. I guess I was going to write teapot but that's not even the right expression either *forehead slap* Anyway, I fixed it and the other mistakes, so thank you for pointing them out.

I think I was so unhappy with this chapter because I'm a big chicken and ended up cutting the big emotional reveal I had planned in my head. I wanted Krum to say something important to Rose, but every time I tried to write it, it felt super cheesy. I thought it said something important about his character but I just couldn't make it work. *sigh* But I am VERY happy to hear that you liked the chapter anyway.

*Phew* Sorry, that was another long reply. Is there any way, really, to respond to reviews without coming off like a total narcissist?!


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Review #41, by TheMarauderChick Chapter One: Prologue: The Man In The Suit

2nd March 2013:
Wow, I really like where this is going!

I swear, when the guy first said 'Ms. We . .' I thought he was going to say Ms. Wednesday, not sure why XD

This angle you've taken on Krum is really interesting. I've always wondered what happened to him after DH. Did he ever find a girl? Whatever happened to him? Di he vanish into thing air?

He's obviously done something bad to land in Azkaban, and I want to know what it is!!! It also makes me wonder who exactly would want revenge on Krum and how far will the go? (obviously pretty far)

This first chapter adds alot of suspense and relaly makes me want to know what happens next. Really nice job!

-Sankavi ^_^

Author's Response: Thanks, MC. I'm glad you liked it. I always wondered what happened to Krum too. He couldn't go on playing Quidditch forever, right? And I'm really happy you found the first chapter suspenseful. That's definitely what I was aiming for.

Thanks for the review!


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Review #42, by CambAngst Chapter Thirteen: Mr. and Mrs. Ron Weasley

26th February 2013:
Hello, again! So first off, awesome way to end the chapter! Like anyone isn't going to keep reading after seeing that. In fact, as soon as I'm done writing this review... ;)

Before I dive right into Ron and Hermione, I wanted to mention that I really like what you've done and what you continue to do with Hugo. He seems like a great combination of hard-earned wisdom and slightly goofy little brother. All of the challenges he must have faced when coming out into a family that's pretty sharply divided at times between the doggedly traditional (Ron) and the super-over-enthusiastically progressive (Hermione) really come through in his pep talk to Rose. He's well rounded in his limited appearances and seems like a really good guy to have around.

I don't think you could have done much better writing Ron and Hermione. Rose has driven them both far out of their comfort zones, both in general terms that would bother any parent -- having to deal head-on with their daughter's indiscreet sexual escapades -- and on a topic that's obviously very personal for both of them. Your Ron was brilliant, trying to recuse himself from the entire, ugly matter but failing utterly when his sarcasm and temper get the best of him. Then Hermione was unable to stop herself from taking the bait. I loved it! This is how Ron and Hermione have dealt with difficult situations for as long as they've been friends. They turn on one another and fight and argue until they wear themselves out to the point where they can slow down and think rationally again.

Poor Rose is stuck in the middle of the storm, but she seems to be used to it. It was as if Rose had suddenly gone invisible. I think that one line sums it up perfectly. The argument stopped being about Rose about two rounds into the fight. Now it's just Ron and Hermione, doing what they do best.

I thought it was sweet, the way that you let Rose and Hermione share the sort of mother-daughter moment that seemed to take both of them back to a simpler time in their lives. It appears that things will never be that simple again. Gah! I was so bummed that Hermione ducked the question about her relationship with Krum. Not surprised, really, but bummed.

The balance of the chapter sort of eases into the big finale. One more line that I had to highlight as I was reading: Still, she had to admit, the manís ability to deny reality was astounding. Nobody can ignore the unsettling parts of reality quite like Ron!

So why on earth is Krum's second wife visiting Rose? This should be very interesting indeed!

Before I wrap this up, a couple of minor typos:

She felt the red-hot glares of her co-workers burning into as she passed through the halls. burning into her

Facing her parents was nearly as bad as sheíd expected, at least not at first. - wasn't nearly as bad?

This is getting so exciting, and all of the major players seem to be coming together! Back soon...

Author's Response: I'm so glad you're continuing to like Hugo. I tried really hard to keep him from becoming a stock character, and I also didn't want him to feel too similar to Albus. I hope they each bring something different to Rose, and I thought it might be fun to have him as the wiser of the two siblings, being the younger brother and all. He's already been on his journey to find himself and can guide Rose a bit as she goes through her own now, but still with that irreverent air of a little brother.

Hooray! I'm so happy you liked Ron and Hermione. This is the first time I've ever written the pair center-stage before and I really wanted to find that balance between being true to who they were as teenagers but also acknowledging that people mature and mellow as they age. I don't think they have a bad marriage, just a tumultuous one. Fighting IS what they do best. They just manage to make it work anyway.

And I'm so glad you like that line!! It's really the foundation of how I see Ron. Sometimes it's a good trait -- being in denial probably made him able to go through all he did with Harry. And here it keeps his temper in check. But it does put a wall up between him and his children, which is sad but hopefully true to life.

I was afraid it might feel like I chickened out a bit on the Rose/Hermione scene, but the truth was, there really wasn't much to say. I don't have in my head that anything happened between Hermione and Krum beyond what we saw in GoF, so it would only be a rehash to the reader. Also, I thought it actually might feel a little lame -- like a non-issue when said aloud. "Oh, he sent me a few letters and we went to a dance together. We kissed once or twice when I was 14, but I never liked him all that much." Not really a scandalous story, and it felt like it might almost diminish the oddness or potential creepiness of the situation, which I think stems more from what does Krum want with the daughter of a girl he used to like than anything else. Anyway, hopefully it didn't feel like I skipped something important there, though I do wonder...

Thanks for another amazing review!!


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Review #43, by CambAngst Chapter Twelve: Some Bloke

20th February 2013:
Hello, again! You know, some day in the not too distant future, I'm going to run out of chapters to read. And when I do, I'm going to be sad. How say really depends on how the story ends, but at a minimum I know I'll be bummed about coming to the end of the journey. This story is so good. I can't believe that more people aren't reading it; well, reviewing it, anyway. It's tough to gain a following, I think, for a Next Gen story that isn't one of the angsty-teen-drama-unrequited-romance-premarital-pregnancy-happy-ending affairs that seem to dominate the genre. This one is definitely a hidden gem.

Your opening is another great example of something that I think I mentioned before: you really can write nearly any story you want on HPFF without violating the rules as long as you're clever about it. All of the little insinuations and suggestive details that you worked into this really stimulate the reader's imagination to the point where not much is left to the imagination, if that made any sense at all. I especially loved Rose's "solution" to Viktor's problem of banging his head on the ceiling and his reaction to it. I thought that one little moment spoke volumes about both characters.

Rose was happy. For the first time in a very long time, she found herself letting go - not overanalyzing everything, not playing through every possible scenario in her head. - I love this moment for her. Again, it says a lot about the person she is compared to the person she wants to be.

Krum sat up, pressing his finger to her lips, silencing her. "You don't have to ask my permission to speak to someone, Rose. You're your own person. I don't control you. Do you understand?" She nodded. "Good. I donít ever want to hear you make that mistake again." - OK, I'm sorry. I think this is going to be one of those chapters where I spend a lot of time quoting your own words back to you. But I particularly liked this paragraph because it neatly highlights what I'm starting to think of as the two sides of Viktor Krum. On the one hand, his words tell Rose that he values her for her independence, yet in the very next sentence he's making demands of her. To loosely paraphrase: "These are the things I like about you; I forbid you to change any of them."

She sort of turns the tables on him with the conversation turns to "that bloke" Albus. He's not the only one who's allowed to keep secrets and spring them onto her.

Krum shook his head. "No, it's not. But it's important Peter doesn't know that." - I have the strangest feeling, as though this will turn out to be important somehow...

The rest of their conversation had a nice, easy sort of feel to it. They continue to play their little cat-and-mouse game with information about Viktor's life, but that's just become sort of endearing at this point. My big take-away from that are that Viktor does have a spot to run to if things really get bad, but it isn't the most pleasant of options. No wonder he prefers living in London on somebody else's dime.

I really love the role you've given Albus in this story. He's become "that friend" -- I think everybody had at least one in their early-to-mid 20's -- who's basically a screw-up but after some life-changing catastrophe he/she suddenly creates at least the appearance of pulling their life together and turning into a responsible adult. And it causes all of his/her friends to stop and rethink their lives. "Wow. We're all getting older. So-and-So used to live for one night stands and holiday weekend benders and now he/she is getting married and having a kid. What am I doing with my life?" But first, another line that I'd be remiss not to point out:

"What have you been doing in there? And what's that smell?" - Ewww!!! ;)

Dang it, you figured out a way to keep me from using any more quotes in this review: Heart filled them all full of non-12+ words! I said it before and I'll say it again, he's a beautiful bastard! He's already figured out the business angle on this crisis in his head and he's not going to pass on the advantage, even at the price of Rose's reputation. He's full steam ahead, strike while the iron is hot. For his character, I also liked the way he was so belittling of her. Like it never occurred to him that she was anything less than a sucker for Krum's manly charms.

Looking ahead, I'm very excited to see what happens when she arrives on her parents doorstep. I'm not quite sure whether Hermione will rationalize the whole thing and be clinical about it or turn into the freaked-out, over-protective mom, but it will be awkward either way. Which should be a walk in the proverbial park compared to how Ron responds. ;)

Lovely chapter, as always! I'll be back soon!

Author's Response: Thank you so much! I'm so glad you're liking the story. I'm terribly self-conscious when it comes to my writing and tend to assume people are just saying they like it to be nice, but it's great to hear regardless. And I'm pretty used to the low read/review numbers (and I'd probably only half the totals I do now if Jami hadn't been so nice to recommend it to people), but I guess that goes with writing unusual ships. People aren't all that crazy about my Lily/Scorpius story either :P

I'm glad that line of Rose's stood out to you. I think it's easy to see what Krum gets out of the relationship, but I thought it was important to show that Rose is really getting something in return -- a chance to be outside herself a bit.

Quote away! It worked on Rose :P Seriously though, I'm glad you liked that part. I see Krum as working mostly on emotion. He likes that she's independent, but he also likes that she does what he tells her. It doesn't bother him that he's inconsistent, but it can be hard on the people around him.

Viktor's house does return in the future, though in retrospect, probably not as much as it should in the overall story arc.

I kind of like Al too, if that isn't terrible to say. I definitely know a few of them myself. More than that though, I wanted SOMEONE in the story to remind Rose and the reader that life exists beyond what's happening with Krum and the book -- my feeble attempts at a sub-plot.

Hahaha! That line... Originally it was meant to refer to the cigarette smoke smell that clings to smokers' clothes, even after they quit, but as soon as I wrote it, I realized what it looked like. I don't know what it says about me that I kept it in...

I know Heart can be a little much as a character, but I really don't see him as a bad person and hopefully that comes through and gives him some dimension... even when he is doing things that border on the despicable.

Thanks again for the wonderful review. I can't wait to see if the Ron/Hermione bits live up to expectations.


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Review #44, by CambAngst Chapter Eleven: The First Mrs. Krum

15th February 2013:
Wow! My hat is off to you. Very few writers have the skill -- or the courage -- to write stories for HPFF that pack real heat. It's such a tricky balancing act, keeping your writing ToS-compliant while conveying passion and realism. I thought you did a great job of dancing that fine, red line. The first section of this would make a great tutorial on how to write love scenes for HPFF.

I liked the mix of satisfaction and "oh, crap, maybe I shouldn't have" that you mixed into Rose's thoughts. She's obviously put herself in a very dicey position. Professional ethics would doubtless tend to frown upon biographers sleeping with the subjects of their books. At the same time, it seemed like she truly wanted this, in spite of the consequences.

At first I thought Krum's words and actions on the morning after seemed a bit odd. He worked pretty hard to land Rose, after all. He opened up a bit of himself that very few people probably ever get to see. But once I heard Libby's warning to Rose at the end, it cast Krum's actions in a whole new light. He seems like the sort of man whose mood can change at the drop of a hat. He also seems to have the ability to turn his feelings off and on like a light. Doubtless a very helpful defense mechanism when you're famous and surrounded by many people who pretend to care about you. I pity him, in a way. Compared to somebody like Rose, who's rapidly losing herself in her desire for him, he's missing an awful lot of the experience.

And now we have another mysterious stranger who has some interest in Krum. For a guy who hasn't been famous in a really long time, he sure seems to attract quite an entourage of shadowy characters.

I loved the entire conversation between Rose and Libby. You managed to add a lot of depth to Krum's character and introduce a whole slew of new questions at the same time. I'm starting to feel like I need an organizational diagram of some sort to keep track of who has what sort of past history with who. Krum is now tied into Brooks by marriage, Heart by way of his ex-sister-in-law and, oh, by the way, to Rose based on his very brief relationship with Hermione. I feel like you're twisting the different threads of your plot tighter and tighter together and something has to pop sooner or later.

This was my favorite line in the whole chapter: ďViktor is... like a flame. He burns bright and hot Ė drawing you in, filling the darkness. And then suddenly, itís gone...the warmth, the heat. And youíre left in the black, cold and alone.Ē

At the same time, it isn't easy to put the things that Libby said into a black-and-white context. There seems to be little doubt that she's a social climber. For her to be so warm and gracious -- not to mention very happy to spill -- toward Rose when her housekeeper clearly viewed Rose as a lesser entity, it made me question her sincerity just a bit. She was also so blase about their divorce. For the moment, I'm taking her warning with a grain of salt. I doubt that I'm going to find Regina McFey's observations much more credible, for some reason.

I was kind of impressed that Krum would give up his cigarettes for Rose. Then again, the man is a former pro athlete. He's used to sacrificing physical comfort to achieve a goal. You are doing quite an amazing job of keeping me guessing. Rose is the one person where I never feel the need to guess. For better or worse, she's found something that makes her happy. So she's going to enjoy that for as long as it lasts.

So I'm not even sure whether I'm allowed to point out the first typo I noticed in a 12+ review. I think I'm safe enough if I just say that it should have read "in the air" instead of "in there air". PM me if you need clarification. ;)

ďAll rightt,Ē she said, grabbing her purse up off the counter - not sure whether that extra t in rightt was meant for emphasis.

The spins of the books were perfectly aligned - spines

ďI wouldnít say the too are close now, but back then...Ē - two instead of too

This was another chapter that started off kind of slow and then once it got rolling I couldn't look away from the screen. You grab my attention and then pull me along for the ride. It feels like big things are about to happen and I'm really looking forward to it!

Author's Response: Thanks for the hat tip! I've been telling members for years there is a lot of room to play in the site rules. We just don't need an anatomy lesson ;)

I'm glad you liked Rose's mixed reaction. I tried very hard to keep the emotions here grounded. I mean, these aren't teenagers the morning after a party in the common room. Still, these things can be tricky at any age. Not to mention the added issue of the book. I hadn't thought of Krum's reaction as odd in light of how hard he had pursued Rose, but it's a good point. I guess I just saw him as keeping things close to his chest. Plus, it's been a while since he's spent the night with a woman he actually WANTS to see the next morning. Hopefully Krum's less than stellar ability to effectively convey his emotions will be a continuing theme.

I'm glad you liked the chat between Liddy and Rose. I thought it was important to let Rose and the reader see Krum in as many lights as possible, and Liddy was just a lot of fun to write. Krum keeps so much to himself, it was fun to have a character who just sort of lays it all on the table. I don't think she was lying here -- maybe a bit self-delusional about her own innocence, but she means well. And hopefully all the family connections aren't too over the top.

I love what you said about the story keeping you guessing but Rose being relatively constant. That makes me super happy. I want the change in her to be slow and gradual. If her character doesn't feel consistent, that would definitely not be good!

Thanks for the review -- and the typo spotting. I got the non-12+ one just fine ;) Thanks again!


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Review #45, by Dark Whisper Chapter 21, Epilogue: Rose Weasley

14th February 2013:
Arithmancy Wiz,

Well, here we are... the end of a brilliantly written novel.

Hermione and Krum... well I can't say that I didn't wish for more of these two... something said of their past. There was only a hint and bit of a smile at the memory of "being young once." *sigh*

You wrote this so well, that I honestly didn't know if Rose was alive or dead. I didn't know what kind of story he told that Hermione knew was a lie and I thought Albus was going to kill him for Rose's death, especially when Krum said he didn't think he had it in him.

You left me full of questions and answered each of them at the very end. The thought actually crossed my mind that Viktor just might jump off that cliff... thank God that was not the case. It was heartbreaking that he did everything to protect her so that she might live without the same dark clouds that loomed over him for years. I'm thankful to you that you allowed them to have an ending that kept them together. You gave them a chance in life... with plenty of money. He could've refused and ended their relationship for her own good, but I'm glad he didn't. He needs her.

Well, what else can I say, except that it has been a true privilege reading and reviewing your story. You gave us this amazing depth of your characters, true believable characters, each of them with their own personalities, mannerisms, and backstories that intertwined impeccably well. From Heart's foul mouth to Brooks and Hugo's unfailing professional support to Albus's amazingly deep display of faith and friendship. You showed us the love of Ex-1 and the hate of Ex-2, even suit-man ended up having a name and his own loss of a brother. Rose was adorably sweet and smart with her youthful naivity and most certainly her 'not knowing what is good for her' mentality.

And lastly, you expertly penned Viktor Krum. Your characterization of Krum was perfection... flawless. And I do not use these words lightly and I do mean what I say. It was precisely how I see him and everything that I wanted to read. He is a lover and a fighter, secure and insecure. He is a womanizer and a gentleman. He is an addict, but in recovery. He has hurt people and has been hurt. He is guilty and regretful. He has made mistakes, but pays for them as well as takes the blame for things that are not exactly his fault. He has been rich and poor. He has experienced extreme highs and extreme lows. He was a boy who left home to take on world fame only to return as a man who has had enough of it. He tells the truth, but is a liar. He was hot in his youth and is still hot at 53. And finally, Viktor Krum is... after all that has happened... still a good man.

What more could a fan of Viktor Krum's possibly want or ask for?

Congratulations on finishing this, your first novel. You have talent and it is no wonder that you are so involved in this wonderful HPFF writing community. Your story had a great plot, followed a logical track, and you successfully pulled your readers along with smart chapter endings. You did everything right and then some.

Bravo! I throw long-stemmed fragrant red roses at your feet for your outstanding romance novel that you expertly injected with mystery and tragedy. Can you hear the applause? Take a bow. I don't give out my roses to just anyone. :)

It was truly my pleasure to read your story.

Happy Valentine's Day,
Dark Whisper

Perfect 10/10

Author's Response: Hermione was a last minute add to this chapter. I probably could/should have done more with her, but I afraid it might feel like I was shoving too much in at the last minute. I'm glad the opening was a bit confusing. I wanted it to seem like Rose had died and Hermione and Albus were there to settle the score. One last little bit to tie in with the opening chapter...

The very end was one of the few things I decided before I started writing. It didn't seem right to have them go through all this and then waltz off into the sunset. It would be too easy. They'd been through too much for a perfectly happy ever after. But I wanted to leave them with at least a fighting chance.

I'm so glad you enjoyed all the characters, but especially Krum. Everything you said is just...gah! More than I could have hoped for. It's Rose's story, but he really is the one with the most dimension, I think. My first attempt at a Byronic hero-esk character, one of my favorite literary staples.

Thank you so much for all the lovely reviews you left for me. It was such a treat to log in and see so many new reviews, and posted so quickly. I'm beyond thrilled that you enjoyed the story. I had a lot of fun writing it, and it means so very much to me that other people might enjoy it too, in any small way. Thank you again!


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Review #46, by Dark Whisper Chapter 20: Regina McFey, Part II

14th February 2013:
NO! I knew I hated her... that Lucius-like witch with her false pity. It's horrible!

At least we know a bit more of Krum's story and who creepy suit-man is. Gigi is the one who is absolutely derranged.

And poor Rose is the one to die? Awful and they both know he would blame himself. Whaa!

He really is a good man. Boo hoo!

Hurry, Viktor!

And here we are... only one more chapter. Oh, my goodness... I'm sprinting to the end, but I don't really want it to be end.

Excellent climactic chapter...
Dark Whisper

Author's Response: As terrible as she was, Gigi was super fun to write. I'm glad you, erm...hated her :P Not something I usually go for in a character, but in this case, I think it's a probably a good thing! And hopefully the backstory on the man in the suit wasn't too much.

Only one more to go! Thank you so, so much for all the wonderful reviews.


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Review #47, by Dark Whisper Chapter 19: The Intruder

14th February 2013:
Ah, and Rose rightly deserves that hang-over of hers. And how awesome of you to write Krum, "Are you really going to question my expertise in this area?" LOL! Love that line. He would be an expert by now, wouldn't he? He would have much experience and would know the best remedies. I'm so glad that he was there for her.

I knew Heart wanted scandal to sell his books. Yikes.

Now that the book is coming to an end... Viktor seems worried about their relationship. Awe... he is so 'vonderful'. :) I can't help but worry too.

And oh my... someone is pointing a wand at her? Who? Why? Is it creepy suit-guy?

Wonderful!
Dark Whisper

Author's Response: Hehehe, I suppose Rose had this one coming. At least she has someone around who's been there before...quite a few times, actually. And Heart...well, he just can't help himself :P

Awww, vonderful! Too cute. I thought they needed one sweet moment before all hell brakes loose.

Thank you as always for the review!


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Review #48, by Dark Whisper Chapter Eighteen: Mr. and Mrs. Albus Potter

14th February 2013:
I love your description of Krum's reaction the night before. He offered no defense, just agreed with her assessment. Loved it!

Weddings... I just love them. I love Harry having a conversation with Viktor. He didn't seem judgemental. And of course, Viktor wouldn't dislike Harry and has respect for him. Glad it happened and he wasn't shunned or ignored.

Her parents' reactions were right on. Hermione and Krum... awkward.

And oh, that dance. Weddings tend to bring up the possibilities of the future... a touchy subject when the two might find themselves on opposing ideas of what that future might look like. It's precisely where age, marriage, and children could be the end of them. Dangerous territory if you ask me and perfectly realistic as it was bound to happen eventually.

And now we are at yet another heart-breaking end to one of your brilliant chapters.

She is drunk, but he refuses her advances. His blunt confession about all those women is a bit harsh, but I was more than happy with his wonderful reason... he wants all of her. With experience comes wisdom and he is so right in this matter. It is chivalrous of him. Even though she might not understand it, he is awesome to turn her down on this night. I love your Krum! Outstanding characterization. I know I'm repeating myself, but it cannot be helped.

Amazing,
Dark Whisper

Author's Response: Weddings! I know it's not exactly the most original setting, but I couldn't resist. I really thought Rose needed at least one person there who didn't think she was crazy, and Harry seemed a good fit. After all he's been through, I'd like to think it wouldn't really occur to him to be bothered by it all.

I thought the same thing... weddings do tend to drag up unaddressed relationship issues. Even if they don't solve their issues in one go, I think they've been through enough at this point to be able to talk about these sorts of things.

I'm so glad you liked the ending. After what they'd just discussed, it felt important to establish that Krum does love Rose, even if he doesn't want to marry her, and also that Rose was really back in the relationship 100%. I couldn't imagine him just blurting out "I Love You," but his heart is in the right place, even if he's words are hurtful.

Thank you for the review!



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Review #49, by Dark Whisper Chapter Seventeen: The Man in the Suit, Part II

14th February 2013:
Ah, a sharp dressed man... Mmmhmm. Yep. I can picture it. He looks perfect, I'm sure. Ready to face whatever may fall upon him.

And Rose... there's just something about, "I'll be waiting..." that must have given given Krum something to look forward to, some hope perhaps.

I do not like weird suit-man. He is creepy and I am shocked that she didn't take the envelope. Apparently her will to not want to know overpowers her curiosity. I would've taken it and asked questions later. LOL!

It is so good to see him change as this weight lifted. Yeah!

I love your line..."it was easy to forget sometimes that he had any feelings at all." That line is so powerful, really. It's that quiet character of his, supressing feelings like manly men tend to do.

And now we see his insecurities surface and finally come out. "seeing me like that, how I might disgust you." Awe... ;(

And now she is turning down his offer for a romantic trip and is asking for space? Oh my... how devastating for him. What a rollercoaster ride of a day... low, high, low again. Poor Krum.

It is interesting that she finally realizes that she has gotten a bit lost while being with him... her life is a bit off track. But I must say that I loved the end of this chapter. Finally she was able to pinpoint things that were wrong and finally tell him that she was mad at him for what he'd done. I love that she mentioned her father in there. And of course... "You're too old for me." LOL!

And then his reaction... "Is that everything?" And then not apologizing for any of it and just giving her the choice of what she wanted..."So now what?" LOVE, love his reaction... or lack thereof.

I love it that it is so late when she finally says it... kinda like a crazy woman. :) Adorable... And finally that last question? Weddings? He has 2 ex-wives.

You truly do not have enough reviews!

10/10
Dark Whisper

Author's Response: Hehehe, a well-fitting suit is a lovely sight to behold. And I'm with you; I'd have taken the letter, but I think Rose has had enough surprises for one month.

I'm so glad you liked that line. Up until this point, Krum hasn't shown much emotion, (other than anger and jealousy), but even he can't NOT be worried about going to jail.

Yay! I'm so happy you liked the ending! I thought it was time to force Rose to evaluate her position and make it clear she was with him because she wanted to be, not because she HAD to be. And I was hoping it would be more interesting for her to acknowledge all of the problems out loud than stew over them in her head for days and weeks on end. And I'm super extra happy you liked Krum's non-response. What can he say, really? She's right about all of it. The only question is do they break up or plunge forward?

Gah! I've been having way too much fun replying to these reviews. Thank you for leaving them!!


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Review #50, by CambAngst Chapter Ten: The Voice in Her Head

14th February 2013:
Wow. I think Rose just opened up something that will be very difficult to close.

This was a brilliantly-paced chapter. From the very slow, frustrating Q&A session that starts it off through Rose's break-neck tumble into Viktor's invitation at the end, you just kept accelerating the whole way. Past a certain point, I don't think I could have stopped reading if I'd wanted to. I can't believe this was almost 6,000 words.

Krum -- I feel like I have a tendency to call him Krum when I find him frustrating and Viktor when I'm liking his behavior more. I do the same thing with Severus Snape -- really has me wondering, now that I understand what he was thinking at the end of the chapter. Does he really care about the book at all? Has the book simply become a way to get close to Rose? Thinking back to when the two of them met in the bar, he's seemed very interested in her at a personal level. His fit of jealousy when he sees Rose with Al at the restaurant would seem to confirm it. By the way, I don't know whether this was intentional or not, the way you emphasized how Al's hair was lying down was clever. That made it a lot less likely that Viktor would recognize him as Harry's son.

Just to hit on a few other themes, I love the game of cat-and-mouse that the two of them keep playing whenever Rose tries to get underneath the armor and into the details of his personal life. It seems like the two of them can go back and forth at each other for hours. And based on the timeline, I guess they probably did. Also, poor Al. He's so confused. And it seems that he came along at the perfect time (perfectly bad, anyway) to help Rose hear the ticking of her biological clock. Gah, that's a horrible thing to say about someone who's only 24! But her parents, aunts and uncles were already having kids in their mid-20's, so I guess it's whatever you get used to thinking of as "normal".

You did a fantastic job with Rose's racing thoughts at the end of the chapter. There was definitely a danger there. A strong possibility that the whole thing could have come off feeling very rushed. But because of the way this chapter was paced and the frustration and anxiety that you'd put Rose through after Krum bolts from the restaurant, it all just sort of fell into place. And don't think I didn't notice what Viktor did. He took her purse, making sure that she'd have no choice but to follow. Then he keeps warning her, "don't make me angry, don't make me angry", virtually guaranteeing that somebody like Rose isn't going to back down. He gets her all wound up and then he drops the line from her own book on her. Viktor Krum has so much game!

OK, so here are the little typos that I was able to slow down enough to notice:

ďItís nearly eight," he said, taking a breif glance at his watch. - brief

ďI want to know why came to see me that night at the Ministry.Ē - why you came to see me...

There may have been more. Honestly, I was just devouring this by the end. Great chapter!

Author's Response: First, I've gone through and fixed all the typos you've pointed out in all the chapters, so thank you. It's terrible how many there have been.

You're right to be suspicious of Krum's motives. At this point, he could really care less about the book, except that it's a good reason to get close to Rose. Al's hair! I didn't even notice that. I mean... yes, of course. I am very super clever and planned that perfectly :P

I'm so glad you liked the pair's back and forth here. I really wanted it to build the tension between them but without crossing over into just annoying. Haha, I wouldn't say Rose is in any hurry to have a baby, but I do think she imagined herself to be further along in finding "the one" by this point in her life. The fact that everyone in her life seems to have someone really does highlight how alone she is.

I was so worried about the ending here. I wanted her decision to feel impulsive but without the writing itself feeling rushed. I really didn't want a whole long internal monologue where she debates the matter, or has this long disingenuous talk with herself about how much a surprise all of this was, and how could a man like him want a girl like her. And yes, Krum really is a master at the hunt. Rose isn't really any match for him here.

Thanks so much for the review!


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