I AM SO SORRY FOR TAKING THIS LONG! Life just caught up with me and I've been sick and working and sleeping and - and - and I'm so sorry! *hides*
In some ways I always hate reading your stories, mostly because it makes me feel so inadequate as a writer and I love it more than my own writing. This was gorgeous. It's like, you can write anything and make it believable. I mean, Daphne and Dean? And it was just perfect.
There were so many aspects to this story that I loved. First of all the writing. It's stunning. You description is envy-worthy. It has such a delicate feel to it in some way. You write with such care, describing minuscule details. I mean, you described the candles again and again throughout this whole piece. It's very poignant and almost like poetry in some parts - which I adore.
For her, the years have stretched and bled, are wrinkled and destitute, silent.
Just. Gah. I am so jealous.
Haha I almost laughed when I read about the rain. It's such a romantic setting isn't it? Standing in the pouring rain, delivering the punch line to the story. Haha. I kept on seeing Audrey Hepburn in my mind, standing in a dark alley in her beige trench coat. Your description just makes it perfect and I'm a sucker for dramatic settings in the pouring rain :P
I loved the symbolism with the candles and with the window. I loved Daphne. Her sorrow and misery was very quiet and not as dramatic as many writers tend to depict characters in rage/sorrow/misery. I really think you've painted a very true picture of her as a quiet pureblood girl, rising quietly, but surely against her fate.
The words hover soft and round like stones on a churning ocean floor, lacking the malice and animosity she had once intended.
And the title. I didn't realize it until the very end, which makes it even more brilliant, that it fits. It's not often I go aha! in a story and I really did with this one. It all fell into place when Daphne says her last line. That was so, so powerful. Really well done.
There was such a small amount of dialogue, which is really powerful - in my opinion, anyways. It was exactly what I thought it should be: short, to the point and real. There are so many authors who make characters blubber about anything and everything, when in reality it's much more powerful when almost nothing is said, yet everything is said.
It's such a sad story, yet it's subtle in its misery - does that make sense? I have no idea how to describe it otherwise. It was so perfect and poignant and I loved it as I always do with your writing. And I am so, so jealous of your talent. Great job. Report Review
Hi there! Here with your review after taking AGES - so sorry! Life totally caught up with me.
You know, you're one of those authors whose stories I read and I feel inspired to write something myself. And that's a wonderful gift to have. Not a lot of authors inspire me like that. Because it's not the plot that inspires me as much as it's the writing. Your writing is so raw and perfect.
I loved the repetition used in this. I thought it was brilliant and gave a very tragic feel to an already very sad piece. It's very poem-like, which is why I love it even more. It flows so naturally and has a delicacy to its writing that I envy beyond words.
As for your concerns:
The bits in italic are not jarring at all, I thought the build-up was perfect and the transgression of their entire relationship/lives was perfect as well and really touched my heart. The only thing I didn't like was the repetition of hold that thought, actually. It wasn't very disturbing, but I did feel that I would have preferred it without. However, it's such a small thing and the piece is magnificent either way.
I thought the parallels between the house and their relationship to be beautiful and it broke my heart when they were trying to repair their house (read: their relationship) and they began and got going, only for her to lose him. I thought this was such an honest portrayal of a relationship and of love. It was written very subtly and delicately and I adored it beyond words.
These are some of my (many) favourite parts:
- Maybe they realize, together or separately or somewhere in the grey in-between, that the excitement isn't vital.
- Imagine that the house grows old; the roof slumps in and the shutters come off their hinges. Let's say they watch it decay, very slowly, as each day rolls in and the paint fades away with each coming sunrise.
The ending was perfect!
- And the windowpane chirps like a cicada.
Just. ahsjwqiqksksl. Perfect.
This is a little gem and I'm so pleased you asked me to review this. Just... Give me your talent? Please? So, so good.Author's Response: Oh, thanks! I had completely forgotten about this request, actually (because I really do have the memory of a gold fish). I'm completely flattered!
I don't even know how to respond to this - I feel like, again, we're just going to go around dancing and throwing flowers at each other because we both think the other is an awesome writer. :P I mean... comments on writing, to me, are the ones that I keep closest to my heart. I cannot even begin to describe how happy you've made me.
Thanks for easing my fears about the jarring-ness of it. I think sometimes I over think things like that, and flow is always something I try and keep at the forefront of my thoughts. So thank you! I was a little unsure about the "hold that thought" aspects also, but I was really trying to emulate Richard Siken, and he has little lines like that in his work as well. So I kept them, and I've received some good comments on them, but I totally appreciate that you could find them distracting - I think I'll keep them there, but thank you for voicing your concern!
Oh, that's so funny that you say that about the house repair paragraph, because in my mind, that's actually one of the weaker ones in the piece. Thanks for mentioning it!
Honest portrayal: that was exactly what I was going for. I am completely thrilled that you said something about it, because... gah. It was just one of my main concerns, you know?
Thank you so, so much! I am just over the moon about this whole review - honestly, it was perfect. Thanks for reviewing! You're fantastic.
xx Rin Report Review
Hi there I'm (finally) here with your requested review! So sorry for taking this long. Life suddenly caught up with me :)
I really loved this. First of all your writing is impeccable (as always), the piece seemed to flow effortlessly, and the composition of the piece was flawless. I loved how the beginning and the end reflected upon each other and I loved the thematic/symbolic meaning of mapping and being a map which played into the story throughout each section. Magnificent.
I loved the characterization of the two - especially Remus stood out. His vulnerability and the loneliness he feels was very well portrayed. Sirius and Remus's relationship was so sweet and heavy at the same time? Which you somehow made go together and made it all so perfect.
Sirius was heartbreakingly real. The section with him after Azcaban broke my heart. Hardly anyone portrays him as a broken man after going to prison and I thought this really shone.
In general, all your flashbacks worked really well. They were relevant, yet to the point. I could tell the difference between past and present easily enough so no worries there. The only one I had trouble placing was actually the last one. I know it's after Sirius's departure, but I can't figure out if it's after Sirius passed behind the veil or after James and Lily's deaths or when it is. It did not ruin it in any way, but it wasn't as clear as the other parts. The last line was perfect, by the way.
This was my favourite part out of all of them:
If he peers closely enough, eyes squinted and slightly cross-eyed, he can still trace the echoes of a hand (that belonged to a man who was not quite whole but somehow loved him anyway), fingers outstretched as if guiding him like a compass across this vast, empty space on his map he's labeled 'loneliness'.
- So as for your concerns if Remus's grief comes across as realistic? Sweetie, you have nothing to worry about. Just... gah. Perfect.
So yeah, this was a very enjoyable read and I really loved this. Report Review
Hi there! Back for the TGS review-swap!
Once again this was a great chapter. Your description is very well done. I thought Siobhan and Lucius were an odd pairing, yet you make them work. Their conversation flowed really well. You have a talent with dialogue.
I loved how Lucius still has to remind himself to refer to the office as his office instead of his father's. And his mother's snide remark: your father used to keep his desk tidy. It all hints to the struggles of Lucius: his mother not approving of his methods and Lucius's struggles with the task given to him. Very well done.
Lastly, the conversation between Lucius and his mother. It was so well done. You have a natural gift with dialogue, it flows effortlessly. I loved how many things were revealed without any description: the job, the marriage and his parents' marriage. It reflected very well on Lucius's predicament. I mean, you revealed that Lucius does not care that much for Siobhan, nor was the marriage of his parents one of love. I adored it.
Once again, very well done! You should definitely be proud of this.Author's Response: Hello!
Oh yes, very odd indeed. The reclusive Slytherin and the quirky Ravenclaw. But yes, I agree with you they work very well together. A reviewer mentioned that they think it's going to be difficult trying to get the Lucius/Narcissa pairing to sell.
Our Lucius still has a lot of problems. It has been a while, but he still hasn't gotten used to everything as yet. Naturally, Adeline doesn't help him much either, does she? I'm glad you picked upon those things, they will be very important in the future.
I wondered about revealing those things so early in the narrative, but we'll see how they work out. His job, or lack thereof, could be important and so does his parents' marriage, but obviously I can't reveal why yet :P It's interesting that you look at his relationship with Siobhan that way. It wasn't my intention to bring it across like that. Hmm.
Thank you so much for leaving all these lovely reviews. I'm so sorry I took so long to get to them.
Lia Report Review
I'm back for the second chapter!
yup, it's decided. You're amazing at writing description. Especially of nature? :P I'm really impressed!
I hate Livia. And then, I love her. She's so well crafted. So aristocratic and just how I'd imagine a spoiled brat being. That she'd ask about the will 12 hrs after the death is horrible and yet great. Also how his mother is concerned with their seating-arrangements in the middle of a funeral... tsk.
I loved little Sirius - he was such a darling. Very different to see Lucius worrying about his nephew, but I suppose it makes sense as Sirius hasn't rebelled yet.
I loved the introduction of Narcissa. You can tell he's immediately drawn to her. I also liked the relationship between Narcissa and Bellatrix. It's very different to how I'd always imagined it, and yet somehow it fits?
I loved the ending and thought it very intriguing. Can't wait to read more! So really well done, the writing's phenomenal and so is the characterization of the characters.Author's Response: Hello!
I'm so, so sorry I've gotten to these so late. I've been really busy lately - I felt like a headless chicken most days. And on top of that, the response for chapter one was the wrong one. So, I'm responding for both of them in this one.
I'm glad you liked the setting. Everyone who's reviewed so far thought it was great, so thank you. There's something about a storm and a very big house that resonates the air of mystery ;)
Well, the story was set a few years after the take over, but his feelings about it haven't changed. He's 24 years old and hasn't quite lived his life. Instead, he took care of a massive household since he turned 17 - which isn't at all fair. Ooh, that's an interesting point to catch - I never looked at it that way.
I love pureblood stories. There's so much more to them than really meets the eye, so it's nice that as a writer I can explore that. They really try hard to be 'sensible', don't they? But it doesn't always flow with the times. Poor Lucius caught in the middle of it all, but as canon shows us, he turns into that.
To tell you the truth, I was nervous about tackling this, because it's Jane Austen. But the more I got into it, the more I realised how similar these characters really are. So, yes this is going to be fun :)
Description has been finicky for me. It's a struggle between writing too much and writing too little. However, I am glad you like my attempts :)
LOL. Don't worry, I hate her too, but I love writing her. It's a treat to be a bit nasty on paper sometimes. She has fit Fanny Dashwood's character perfectly though. Tactless. Exactly! Pureblooded and snobby, exactly how they should be. Adeline has her moments though, but Livia is ten times worse.
Hee. Sirius! You could tell he's on the road to rebellion though, he isn't particularly fond of his Granny. Times will change for all of them though.
I loved, loved writing that scene. It's not the most traditional of introductions given their backgrounds, but it's one that really sticks because on Lucius' part he realises that they are very alike in terms of situations. But very different when it comes to family dynamic. Bellatrix and Narcissa have always been close - yes. I agree with you though. In canon the roles are reversed, but Bella isn't one for mollycoddling, and Narcissa might probably suffer in silence.
Anyway, I'm really glad you enjoyed reading this. I'm pretty thrilled at the responses this has so far.
Thank you so much! Report Review
Hi! I'm here for TGS review-swap! :)
I loved the setting and the atmosphere you've created. It really stood out and I loved the description of it. It gave a rather creepy atmosphere and I found it very lovely. The writing is very good as well and the flow was excellent.
Meeting Lucius just as he's taking over the castle and taking responsibility is also really intriguing. I loved the duality of his character: that he was trying to be an adult and then playing around with the food on his plate. Idk, I just thought it showed his character really well, so probs for that! You've shown a very different side to him as well, which is refreshing! I can't wait to see what you do with that.
You really nailed the pureblood-family dynamic, too. All the prejudice and "sensible talk" - it was all quite well-done. I've always loved this part about the purebloods: the expectations, the things unsaid - so naturally I was eating it all up. Really well done! I love a good pureblood-story :P
I love that you're converting a Jane Austen classic. I really can't wait to see where you go with that.
Your description really shone in this chapter and established the scene very nicely. So overall, a great first chapter - I'm intrigued!Author's Response: Hi again, Becky :)
Nope, I don't mind at all. I do the same thing sometimes.
When I first got this pairing, I really didn't know what to do. I didn't know where to put Lucius, and obviously he'd be paired with Narcissa somehow. But, like you, I got some of the symmetry later on. For example Andromeda and Marianne are quite similar - so similar it's scary. If you read on, you'll get to see :P
Really? I would not have thought that at all. If anything, I thought some things were missing from it. That's what I love about reviewers and their opinions! Siobhan, I think, is proving to be a very interesting character. She's very clever, though not at first glance. Having such a great dynamic with Lucius already only adds to the drama of it. If they're so smitten however will this ship sink? It does raise the bar, and so far Lucius/Siobhan are winning.
Thank you for reviewing!
I loved this. I adore choppy-flow-type fics like this one and I loved your imagery. The grieve in this piece is hauntingly real and it broke my heart over and over and over again. Absolutely magnificent. I can't believe you could portray so much emotion in mere 500 words. The repetition of his photograph, the tilting of his head was perfect, it ended this piece in a wonderful way.
This sentence is just one out of many, many, many sentences I adored:
Her grief drips and trickles out of her, and she cannot begin to patch the leaks.
Just, gahhh. Beautiful work.Author's Response: ASDLKJ. I cannot even begin to describe how flattered I am, and also how surprising this review was! I'm a huge fan of unexpected reviews - thank you for leaving one!
I'm actually really pleased that you liked the choppy flow, because I was a little worried that it might have been a little too detracting from the overall piece, so thank you for mentioning that.
Again, thank you so much. To receive praise from an author I personally admire, too, is just wonderful. I hope you have a lovely morning/day/evening! Report Review
I'm really not a Cho fan. I feel like I should get this out of the way before anything. Because this? This was wonderful - marvelous and all fifty different kinds of perfect. I loved this. Each part was connected to the previous one and there was a beautiful continuity to the entire piece. I loved how the wand started and ended the tale. I mean, the wand reflects the wizard and this was sort of Cho finding herself, wasn't it? That bit made the entire piece come together perfectly. I adored that Harry and Cho weren't madly in love and the fact that she wasn't awed by his fame. It was believable this way and I felt sorry for her - for the first time ever. You gave her depth and she wasn't just a crybaby all the time - or the girlfriend of the dead Hufflepuff.
I loved how Cedric was with her even after his death, it was heart wrenching and I actually fell in love with their relationship. I think you've just made me like Cho Chang? I didn't think that was possible, but she's so strong in this piece - and rational. A true Ravenclaw. Really well done.
These two bits gave me chills:
She still saw him while she slept sometimes, a phantom fighting dragons in the night.
Perhaps that was what it meant to love someone - to forgive them.
I loved this. Very well done!Author's Response: I was never a big fan of Cho myself; I guess I never gave her much thought before. But when faced with the challenge, and given the opportunity to think about her, I enjoyed trying to find out who the real Cho was - like you said, more than just a constantly crying girlfriend of a dead Hufflepuff.
I'm glad you liked the wand - when we got our wand information, I immediately loved it and knew I wanted it to feature in the story. Wands really do reflect the wizard, so I sort of wanted her wand to reflect her growth in a way.
If I've made you like Cho Chang, then I must have succeeded in some way -so I'm quite happy about that. I think I've come to like her in my own way, too.
Thanks so much for such a lovely, lovely review - it really means a lot to me. ♥ Report Review
this... this was absolutely magnificent. First of all, cudos for writing such a great story in just 500 words. I could never do that. And even within these 500 words, there is so much detail. You really did well with this one.
This paragraph did me in:
I apparated to the forest for the first time in April, the air heavy and my shoulders hunched from something stuck between despair and denial. The evergreens towered over me ominously like guardians to the Underworld, tiny beads from the rain the night passed greeting me, clinging to my robes as I pushed past the branches. They decorated the cotton, rich like pearls. As the light faded, the great trunks seemed to have clustered together, as though they were cowering under their canopies, children beneath their blankets, hiding from the approaching night.
The description of the forest where she lays was haunting and beautiful, as if the protagonist's entering a new world. There's some sort of fairytaleish, dreamlike sense to the air, of an undiscovered world. It came together nicely with how the protagonist was feeling as he/she visits her resting place for the first time.
Also, the repetition at the beginning and at the end was very powerful:
If I close my eyes and I lay where you lay, we are almost touching.
First off, that sentence is gahh heartbreaking - but it seems that the protagonist has to assure himself/(herself?) that Bertha Jonkins and him are still close, that she isn't totally gone. I loved how you made it the tale of the brother and sister. Of how there was a balance that couldn't be restored. That demonstrates the effects of war perfectly, how family's are affected by war.
I liked how there wasn't that much focus on the protagonist, but more like on the side effects of Bertha's doings - her childhood, her foolishness and eventually her death and how they affected the siblings. There is a bitterness in the protagonist's words, and yet so much love for her as he lies on the ground to feel closer to her. Also, this is the first time he's gone to see her on her travels, on her last travel. That was kind of neat. And the napkin bit... Brilliant.
I loved this little piece, especially the fact that it was about Bertha Jonkins who is probably the last person I'd ever read anything about, but now that I did, I can't see why I ever thought it boring. This was magnificent, dear. 500 words of pure brilliance. Well done!
(This is nearly as long as the one shot... hehe sorry! :D)Author's Response: Thank you so, so much for such an amazing review! Ohmygosh, just thank you, I am so flattered right now!
I am so glad that you liked this. Of all my pieces I think it is this one I am most proud of, which is saying a lot because normally I hate everything I write :P I really wanted to create like a numb and hollow atmosphere about this, and really make it all about Bertha and emphasise the loss in it. I picked Bertha because there's so much to her that is just never explained and her death has to upset someone, even if Ludo Bagman just scoffs and makes jokes about her... I loved the challenge too, because normally I don't write things that are very long anyway, and it made everything seem very neat and tidy :) Oh god, I'm rambling, because HONESTLY, I am just overwhelmed and so flattered. Just, thank you so much!
AHH. THANK YOU. Laura xxx Report Review
Sorry for the delay in reviewing this, I've been absolutely swamped by finals and life in general, but I'm here now! (; It's late, though, so I apologize beforehand for any incoherency on my part!
I can't believe I put this off for so long because this was absolutely gorgeous, dear!
Your imagery is drool-worthy. There is no other word for it, I wish I could pull something like this off. Just the first lines, which set the atmosphere are breathtaking. I've never read something with this strong imagery, it felt as if I were there. You established the setting flawlessly and powerfully.
I loved the setting; a dark, looming night at Hogwarts. Very film noir - which was probably what you were aiming for, I'm guessing. And your description of Hogwarts was spot on. It's so different from how people usually describe the castle, but this description rings true, somehow. The ghosts haunting the place, bearing witness to horror and dark secrets. It's a different take on Hogwarts; a darker one. But it's also a more realistic take. I loved it together with Moody and the misty night. It created a spooky and mysterious atmosphere and it all came together rather nicely. Also, the lack of dialogue at the beginning was very powerful, so Moody in a way.
Your characterization of Moody was spot on, I couldn't tell the difference from JK's Moody and yours, I loved how it takes place just after he lost his leg. There are so many things that confuse me, though. The letter, McGonagall and her relationship with Tom Riddle, the last sentence Dumbledore says to Moody. This is a great opening chapter; I'm definitely intrigued and can't wait to read more. Every passage flowed beautifully as well. This was a joy to read.
I also loved the references to different events we've read about in the HP books. A lot of authors skip these things as it takes research and effort to make it all come together, so I was really pleased to read this. The references to Hepzibah Smith's murder and the various times Voldemort seeks the position as a teacher made this entire piece very believable.
Overall this is absolutely gorgeous. So great job, my dear. I loved Moody and I loved the imagery - gorgeous, gorgeous. Well done.Author's Response: Oh, no worries about the delay. I'm always slow in getting through my reviewing list, for much the same reasons as you - school is meant to eat our souls, I swear. But anyway, thank you very much for reading and reviewing this story! I really enjoyed reading yours, and it's wonderful to hear that you enjoyed this one too! ^_^
I'm really happy that you liked the imagery and the setting. It was so much fun to write those and just go all-out with shadows and darkness - it meant for a very different perspective on Hogwarts, far darker than I imagined, but it helped get me in the right mood for the story. It's great that you found it realistic - I was worried that I was going overboard with the noir-ish imagery - but you're right that with the ghosts and the castle's history there's something real about this kind of description. Hogwarts can be a very scary place, and with this story, I want to explore that potential to see where it takes me. :)
It's fantastic that you like this portrayal of Moody. I've loved writing him for a while - it must be because he's a detective, and I read way too many mystery stories - so hearing that he's spot-on canon is a great treat. :D
Haha, so many questions, yes. That's the fun part (for me, not for readers, that is :P). Because this isn't going to be a long story, I have to pack more plot elements into each chapter, so there's very little introduction - the ball starts rolling as soon as Moody arrives. It is, however, a relief to hear that things flowed together to produce a strong opening chapter. I've got it right and just have to go on writing from here. :D
Thank you again for this review! These exchanges are wonderful ways of getting new opinions and reading new authors, and it's been a pleasure to hear from you. ^_^ Report Review
I liked this. I mean, it's depressing - like really depressing. But it's also somewhat what I would expect life to turn out for them - possibly anyways. I think it's quite possible that they won't be able to figure out how to settle into a mundane, normal every day life. Especially Harry since he's never really had a family. So I liked this. It depressed me a lot too, but it was truthful. Bitter. Loved this:
- Her words were unsure and low, but it doesn't matter how you say the word "divorce." It still sounds like "destruction."
- The weekly tradition had started as great fun. It made them feel civilized and grown-up. They had all known that they were really still just kids, fresh-faced, and twenty-one.
But now, as their own kids scampered around in the next room, they couldn't pretend anymore; it had gradually become the real thing.
The bitterness and the sense of growing up was just very very fitting and real. The main question that seems to reverberate through the air is "is that all our lives were? Is this it?" I loved that. Good job. Report Review
If this is what happens when you're lacking sleep, you should never ever go to sleep! Because my dear, this was gorgeously written. I've always found it so difficult to write description and you do it beautifully. I think I'll read a few others of your stories because this is one of the best written pieces I've read on this site! Now I've gone all depressed, because I won't ever be able to write like this, ever. God, this was beautiful.Author's Response: Thank you! Ha, when I lack sleep, all kinds of randomness comes out and I swear that accounts for most of the stuff on my author's page. In retrospect, this one-shot tend to embarrass me when I reread them, but thank you! Your review made me feel much more at ease about it!
Lovely, just lovely. Great story. I loved the small quotes at the beginning of every chapter and Harry was just too sweet in this one. Like a little grumpy child. Great work xxAuthor's Response: thank you, I'm glad to hear that the story's ending didn't disappoint then! Report Review
I loved the chapter once again. I know some of my reviews (well, really most of them) have been short. But I just wanted to review all of the chapters in order to give a bit more of a review count. :) This story is great and you should never stop writing.Author's Response: ahahaha, I truly do appreciate it, means a lot to me to read the reviews. it's so wonderful, thank you. Report Review
Wonderful yet again, just wonderful my dear!Author's Response: thanks, darling Report Review
This is amazing. Nothing short of amazing, really. Great job. xxAuthor's Response: ahahaha, now you really are giving me far too much credit, but thank you! Report Review
Aww I absolutely adore Harry/Hermione! :) YAY!Author's Response: so do i! lol xo Report Review
Wonderful yet again xxxAuthor's Response: thank you :) Report Review
I cannot believe how little attention this story is getting. It's amazing. Wonderful as always, my dear . xxAuthor's Response: thank you!!! that means the world to me :) Report Review
Great chapter as always. Keep up the good work!Author's Response: thank you, dear :) Report Review
I love how subtly you write. It's quite stunning, really.Author's Response: aw, that is so incredibly kind of you, thank you so much! Report Review
I love this. Your characterization of Hermione is just spot onAuthor's Response: that's debatable among reviewers, tbh, lol Report Review
Oh!!! I love Harry in this. He's just too sweet. Hate the cliffie, though! :)Author's Response: hahaha, sorry? lol Report Review
Wonderful chapter once again!Author's Response: thank you :) Report Review
I loved this, this is really good! Keep up the good work!Author's Response: thank you so much Report Review
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