Hello. :) I figured I'd come by and give a larger review at the end of the story rather than bits and pieces for each chapter. Hope that's all right with you.
One thing I think you really got here were the little details about being a kid. A lot of the things you described Fred and George doing were things I remembered doing myself (is that a good thing?!). I was always that kid who didn't run to my mother unless I had bones sticking out, because I didn't want her to get mad at me, so George's splinter situation made perfect sense. As did the notion of stuffing the contents of your room into your closet; whether it's the closet or under the bed or in your siblings' rooms, I feel like that's one thing many of us have done. It's always good to get relatable bits in there.
I would have liked to see more surprises in this story. The ending was brilliant; it all lined up perfectly, that Charlie thought they were pulling a prank, and to tell two boys (especially Fred and George) that they can pull whatever they want on their birthdays and get away with it is hilarious. It makes perfect sense. That is the sort of logic that I love to see as a reader, because it's so believable it feels like I should have known it beforehand, yet you made it sound new. It's also one of those details that works perfectly for HP fanfiction. However, The other surprises of the story didn't feel as surprising to me. For instance, you could tell the moment they handed Ginny the whipped cream that it would get everywhere, just because that sort of thing has been done many times before. I'm not against using it, because it's great for building suspense, but you could play off it more, and get more material out of it.
You got the theme across of the importance of age and growing up to little kids. Ginny kept saying "Not a baby!" and Fred counted the seconds down religiously, and it felt like the world would open up for them once they were six, from the way they talked. All the bits and pieces there came together, which was nice to see. And yet they kept proving that they were not that mature, or responsible, or really any different from before. It was the classic, cute kid story.
I do hope that the whole growing up, every second counting was the repetition you were going for, because that was what I clued into. There were a few times when I wondered if I was on the right track.
You did a pretty good job with Fred's voice as well. It felt legitimately like an almost six year old, the way he focused so intensely on things and made assumptions that anyone older could see were unrealistic. It sounded quite authentic.
On the whole, a good job with this one. It felt real, and my favorite part was by far the ending. Thanks for joining my challenge, hope you enjoyed it!Author's Response: Wow, thanks for the long review! I don't mind at all that you put it all at the end. :)
I agree with you that there weren't a lot (if any) surprises in this story. I suppose that a lot of people expect "surprise" in a Fred and George fic, because they are known for their pranks and pranks are supposed to be surprising. Honestly, I wasn't going for the element of surprise, but I do think that perhaps a little more of the unexpected might have strengthened the story as a whole. I also agree that I could have drawn out the ending a little more, because I didn't take complete advantage of the setup. That's something I'll have to definitely keep in mind for future projects. Good point.
I was going for the "cute kid story" vibe, so I'm glad you saw that. And yes, the countdown was the repetition I was going for, so it's good that you picked up on that, since that was the point. Haha! I hope it wasn't too too subtle...
I'm so glad you thought the little kid voices sounded authentic and that you liked the ending. I did enjoy your challenge and I did enjoy writing this! Report Review
I already knew you wrote Luna particularly well, but this just confirmed it even more. There are so many bits and pieces to Luna that are hard to put together sometimes: her lack of attention to things she finds unimportant, her eagerness about those things she does like, her ability to make the sort of assumptions that others can't, her easy acceptance of oddities, her loyalty to her friends... I think I could continue listing, but you get the idea. :P I saw a little of all of those and more here, which was delightful. As someone who isn't a big fan of small talk, I often come out with half a sentence then backtrack to what I was actually going to say, so I could relate to Rolf here and was pleased that Luna could too.
I also liked Charlie's appearance. It's always nice to see a friendly face, and you did well to have him spur on Rolf's curiosity about Luna and her connections. It was interesting to see Luna as the war veteran in Rolf's eyes, and Harry the celebrity, as those aren't the first words that pop to my mind when describing those two. However, both are accurate, and it put a bit of a twist on how I saw them here.
And I especially adored the last line. I love seeing those sort of connections that really bring two halves of the story together and show how they're both separate and entirely relevant. Pressing the snooze button on the alarm clocks lined up perfectly with Rolf's reluctance to ask her out. If you press snooze, the alarm clock inevitably goes off, and I was never too worried about Rolf and Luna's relationship. Obviously there was a question, otherwise there wouldn't have been any tension in the story, but the snooze theme still worked.
The only part I felt was a little lacking was when Rolf exited the last lecture and wondered if he'd ever see Luna again. If he already had as strong feelings for her as you suggested, and knew it was the last lecture, I would have expected at least a half-hearted plan to speak to her afterward. Then, when she didn't show up, some real disappointment that his big, final chance was crushed. The story was fine without it, of course, but I was under the impression he really wanted to see her more and I was left wondering a bit.
Anyway, it was a lovely story. Luna's characterization was certainly the highlight for me, although the whole thing was really sweet. Nice job!Author's Response: Thanks for such a lovely long review! Wow! The compliment on how I write luna is really amazing! And I'm glad you could relate to Rolf as well.
Hehe, Charlie. Sometimes I just can't resist adding him somewhere. I think he's made a couple of other short guest appearances in my stories, apart from where he has a more major role. I just can't resist him.
Um, I've got to admit that I never thought about the snooze theme as that big in the story. It just seemed like a funny name and from the point when they finally got together, which is why I gave the story that title. Also in the story it sort of served as something light that helped them to talk in the end and that made them or Rolf not get too scared at the starting to date and moving forward in the relationship thought. In this story he is sort of more a man of action and straight forward things, who might be a bit romantic but finds that bit scary at the same time. So a good laugh helps him out and sort of shows that it will all be all right from here on. But yeah, after that rambling, what I'm saying is that I didn't really realise that there was a sort of snooze in how he was slow to ask her out, but you're right in that it fits. :)
You're probably right about the fact that something could be added to the story when Rolf is not sure if he will se Luna again. I should read that bit again to see what I thought. But I think that in my head it was something like that he was a bit distracted at the moment and didn't quite get as far as a plan. Or maybe he just somewhere in his mind thought that he will come across her in the fairly small wizarding circles. Anyway, if that's just in my head it doesn't help the story, does it?
I really appreciate the review and the advice. Thank you! :) Report Review
So I'm finally here with your review, as promised in my challenge. :)
One of the things I liked about this story was how you delved into the two characters and their love. When Cho said that Cedric had made her her a better person, I felt how much that meant to her and what it spoke of their relationship. But she also admitted that she was not perfect, that she did not know everything, when she said that she wished she could have said she knew their perfect love would die. To me, that was a pretty good display of maturity, even if the Cho we know is always crying.
Even if you didn't mention at the end that this was for the "Find Your Style" challenge, I still would have seen that that was what you were going for. In many cases, I think it worked. You had some beautiful lines in here, and they wove plenty of images. My favorites were these: "The serpent of her uneasiness wormed its way through the throng, leaving its seeds of doubt behind to take root in their minds" and "their love had been forged in fire, set in cool waters."
However, there were still moments when it seemed, to me, that you were trying a bit too hard. For instance, some of the words felt more out of a thesaurus than anything else, and a little out of place. This is only how it came across to me, remember. These are a few of the places I'm thinking of: "The present was merely transitory for him, a respite before he ascended to his destiny," and "her life was not yet ossified." The difference between these and the ones above, which I liked better, is unnecessarily large words. My favorite images were conjured up with simple words in complex arrangements, not complex words in simple sentences. This may be a personal preference, but it's worth mentioning.
But the repetition, the main reason I'm here, was spot on. I think one of the reasons I put up the challenge was because I love that moment in a story when everything clicks, when what's already been said in bits and pieces lines up and the story falls into place. I don't think I'm alone in that, and thus the challenge was born. Here, my aha moment was in this line: "And they never lived in the past." It all made sense from there, even though you'd been saying the same thing all along. It turned it from a sad story of a boy with potential to a hopeful story of girl who will continue the boy's practice of looking ahead instead back. It's comforting to see that by remembering Cedric, Cho can both respect him and move on at the same time. The repetition really turned the story around, which was great.
So, overall, well done. It was an enjoyable story to read, and about as happy as a story about death can get (unless you're into comedy, I suppose :P) Good luck in "finding your style," and thanks for joining my challenge!Author's Response: Hello!
Thanks for the review-sorry it took me so long to respond.
Definitely, this Cho is more mature than the girl in the books. This was intentional, partly because I think this is set when she's older, but also because I feel like Cho really was upset at Cedric's death and needed to come to terms with it.
I'm glad you liked the language, for the most part. You make a good point about simple words in complex sentences being more affective. While I didn't use a thesaurus when writing this, ossified maybe is too clunky for this story. I think I see your point about it sounding out of place.
The line you mentioned was what I had intended for the turning point in the story to be. :D I think you've got it just right: it does go from memories to looking to the future at that moment. I really found it fun to try to put repetition into your challenge, because, while it is something I do naturally, here I tried to think about where it would be most effective.
Thanks for posting such a wonderful challenge! And I'm glad you enjoyed this piece. Report Review
Hi there. Once again, you've demonstrated that you really know how to take a common occurrence, such as a mother-daughter relationship, and make it feel warm and new. This chapter caught the multiple sides both Ginny and Molly have: the energy, temper, adventurous trait, mothering quality, tenderness, and exasperation I've seen in both of them at various points in the books. You took all that on in a short chapter, and certainly got it across.
The details were by far what I liked best about this chapter, which makes sense, because in describing an everyday relationship the details you choose are what will make it extraordinary. The idea that one needs to match a knitting spell with the correct needle is brilliant, and you'd think that everyone would stumble across the the line "sooner fly on a broom than use it to sweep" all over hpff, yet I've never seen it before and it makes perfect sense. It takes talent to take an idea like that and make it seem both new and also so right you're surprised you've never encountered it.
At first I was disappointed that you were painting Molly to be the sort of mother that wants nothing more than to dress her daughter up and use her like a doll, but that evaporated quickly. I can definitely believe that thanks to Molly, Ginny already knew how to tickle the pear when she got to Hogwarts, and it speaks a lot about how Molly lived her life. And all that from one sentence! Amazing.
Another line I adored was this: "I can't help but think that it was the Weasley in him that made him leave but the Prewett part of him which brought him home." Wow :D It's a strong statement, and again, totally believable. There's no doubt that Weasleys have an issue coming back once they've left (Ron in DH, anyone?) and I can see that they'd get that from Molly. Arthur's a bit gentler, sweeter, perhaps easier to mislead, so it has to be Molly that brings that strength to bow your head and admit your wrongs.
I'll pause in my praise to point out this typo: "Molly Weasley either has eyes in the back of her head and can smell a lie a mile away." It looks like that "and" should be an "or," otherwise the "either" is unnecessary. ;)
Finally, as it went on I grew wary that you were focusing so much on Ginny and Molly's relationship, considering your summary indicates a story about the men in Ginny's life. But I should not have doubted you, because you transitioned perfectly into reading the eyes of the one you love, and I couldn't agree more. One could argue that you might want to hint at that earlier, and I'm sure you could, but it worked either way. Above all, you made this prologue work beautifully: it set up Ginny's background and how you want us to see her, yet it obviously ties in with the rest of the story, so we'll know where you're coming from. It's rare to see one of those.
I'll continue onto future chapters when I get a moment. I was not at all surprised that this was a well-written start to a story: it's why I dropped by your page in the first place.Author's Response: Wow, you leave the most gorgeous reviews, you know that? I would expect such a detailed review if I requested one on the forums (if I was lucky), but to get one like this out of the blue is a real surprise. And a lovely one ,at that!
Thank you for saying that you liked the little details in this! Some of them were hard to come up with because we aren't really given a whole lot about the relationship between Ginny and Molly so I had to make a lot of guesses as to the things that they would have in common and the things they would disagree across. So for you to think that this worked well with the books is a huge compliment.
I don't think that Molly was simple a mother hen. Yes, that was a huge part of her but I think that we were only really shown her motherly concern because of the circumstances the books were written in. She had seven children and there was a war so of course she would have been worried and concerned about her family's safety. However, I think that there is more about her which is why I tried to show the other side of her with how she told Ginny about the pear. I'm glad you liked that!
I'm blushing at how much you liked the Weasley/Prewett sentence. I honestly didn't think it was anything really that special but the way you are going on about it would make anyone smile, so thank you!
Thank you for also pointing out that typo! I completely missed it and I will edit it in once I get around to editing. I'm horrible with editing (I still have typos to fix that were pointed out to me years ago in some of my other stories) but I promise I will get around to it!
The rest of this story will focus on the men in Ginny's life and I understand what you mean about me hinting about the eyes earlier and I will have a think about it! I think part of me wanted to make sure that, yes, I do have the eyes of people you love as a theme to the story but not make it glaringly obvious. I want it more as an undercurrent than an in-your-face theme so I was hesitant at putting too much in the prologue. I will think about what you have said, though!
Thank you so much for all your praise, this review really picked me up and put a huge smile on my face.
Joop. Report Review
First off, I think you fulfilled both challenges nicely here. I'll go into my own in a bit more detail, but you really used the figurative language to your advantage as well, and it certainly transformed this from what could have been a angsty love story into a meaningful one. So bravo on that.
Another area you did well in was characterization, specifically, the bits and pieces that make a character real. The line about Marlene being in the Order so that she could live with herself said a lot about her, and I can easily see others feeling the same way. You could write a whole novel about that, if you wanted: the not-so-selfless reasons people joined the Order. Another part that stood out was when Marlene's mother asked if there was news of Marlene's brother, and Marlene resented it, because her mother only made it hard by asking questions she knew the answers to. That speaks a lot about the hope Marlene's mother clung to, and also how Marlene saw the situation.
As for the repetition I challenged you to include, that was also handled well. It introduced an extra layer of tension into the story, that time was ticking away and would only hold out as long as the weather did. A lot of stories here take The War with a capital T and W and let it hang in the background and just let the reader make all the assumptions that go along with it, but you really brought the situation to the forefront by emphasizing how brief Marlene's safety really was.
It was interesting to watch Marlene's inner conflict, not the more obvious one over Gideon, but concerning the temperature. As you made clear, the cold was safe because it kept the Death Eaters away, and she obviously took comfort in the cold. But she was also attracted to Gideon's warmth, and as much comfort as she took from the cold, it still made her physically uncomfortable (such as when she made the comment about her hands cracking open). I'm not entirely sure if or how much of that you intended, but it made sense to me that she would be conflicted; all people are, in some form.
The only part that made me step back and say, "Really?" was when Marlene whispered, involuntarily, for Gideon to stay, and he didn't notice. Then she couldn't figure out if she'd actually said it. Now, I talk to myself all the time (don't laugh! :P) but it's not like the words slip out of my mouth without my permission; it's just part of the thought process sometimes. So personally, I found it a bit hard to believe that Marlene would accidentally ask him to stay. I could have bought her thinking the words, or purposely asking him, but I wasn't so sure about having a bit of both.
Occasionally it seemed like you were juggling one too many things: you had the figurative language tied into the repetition, you had her missing brother, sick mother, history with Gideon, and then Marlene's general state of being. For the most part you did well, and it's certainly a believable situation, but there were parts where it felt like you were just looking for plights to pile on. For instance, the beginning was more focused on her mother and brother, then you switched to Gideon and never looked back. You could've mentioned how she wished her brother were in the house to look after her, and woven that into wanting Gideon there, for instance.
But, to sum things up, you did a nice job here. You took a lot of the issues with the war and poured them in characters that I had no trouble relating to, because they felt quite real. You also brightened up a sad story with a bit of romance, which is always a pleasure. Well done.Author's Response: Thank you so much for such a lovely, detailed review. I really appreciate it, and I'm sorry it's taken me a few days to respond.
I read back over the story after I read this review, and I could completely understand what you meant about the missing thread connecting Marlene's feelings about Gideon from her portrayal throughout the first part of the story. I'd kind of meant to put the bit about her brother making her feel safer, but I ended up skipping over that without really realising it.
I went through and edited the story a little to make that transition smoother and to deal with Marlene not being sure that she spoke at all (because you're absolutely right, that was silly of me). Hopefully it will be much stronger once the revision gets validated.
Thank you again for the review. You have been so, so helpful, and I'm very glad that you enjoyed the story. Report Review
You know Moody so, so well. I know you've written quite a bit of him outside this story, but even so, your respect for him comes out both in Lily and just in the depth you went into him here. When he drank from his flask to test Lily, and visibly relaxed when she failed to take advantage of him, I was absolutely blown away.
I actually lied in my last review. I said I'd be loud about any suggestions or criticisms, and I already broke that promise. Last chapter, I kept waiting to see how Lily and Moody's relationship was different than the prior chapter, if thirty fewer years would mean he knew her less. It was obvious Moody was a different man, but I found only slight examples of them knowing each other less well. Here, however, it is now far more obvious, so I need not have worried. ;)
Lily is increasingly fascinating. In addition to Moody, you've also developed her very well. She's very human, with her contradictions (wanting to be alone but also tying herself to Moody as she tells herself this), her worries, her confusion, and her bits of self-loathing.
This still rings if Rebecca, I can see, what with the way Moody left all his late wife's things just so and her presence that bothers Lily. And is her excuse for leaving. I suppose the big difference is that here, Lily knows he loves her.
There are so many things I love about this story. I love that you had three moments here that left me breathless: the chase up the stairs (we all love a good chase, don't we?), the kiss (of course, the kiss! And I wasn't expecting one so early on, though now I realize I should have, what with their huge history that only Moody knows of) and also the introduction to major consequences. I was so focused on Lily and Moody that I forgot that her time traveling could unravel the conclusion we waited seven books for, the death of Voldemort. It's all just incredible. Incredible.Author's Response: Thank you again for coming to read this story! It's wonderful to follow along with you - it's very helpful for me as I try to think of the best ways to write the two final chapters. They're planned, but I want to get them just right. :D
I'm glad that you like my characterization of Moody. Looking back, I have written him a lot, all in smaller roles, but he keeps reappearing. He's one of those interesting characters in the series that I'm continuously curious about. Trying to find a satisfactory answer to my questions about Moody just hasn't happened, though, so I've created my own headcanon. :D I like your use of the word "respect" because, when I think about it, I do respect him, both as a detective-like character and as a person dealing with a psychological condition. People call him mad, but I've never been sure enough to agree - a serious case of PTSD sounds more like it. I like being able to explore characters such as him in greater detail to fill in the blanks - it's the draw of fanfiction. :D
It means a lot that you like how Lily is turning out, especially since, unlike Moody, I've never written her in this way before, nor any other character. Although she's literally had it all - a happy and supportive family, a good time at school and good friends - but there's always been something missing for her: a sense of purpose. The problem comes from inside of her rather than from the outside world, which makes the first person perspective more important to this story.
*squees* Your compliments! They're amazing! I wasn't expecting something so many of them, and I appreciate them very much. ^_^ It's funny because I've been purposely including cliched romance elements because I've never written a true romance before - one of heart-stopping drama and swoon-worthy moments. Every other pairing I've written is fractured in some way, either pulled apart by circumstance or constantly having to fight to stay together. But there's something about Moody and Lily that's just meant to be - they're constantly pushed together and don't even try to resist it. It's a wonderful experience to write this kind of story - an indulgence equivalent to eating lots of ice cream. :D
Thank you so much again! Report Review
So here I am again, slowly making my way along. I read this chapter in bits in pieces, so I'll just chat a little about some of the ones that stood out for me. :)
Firstly, I can't believe Lily's been going back in time for at least thirty years of Moody's life. Well, I can believe it, but that's a long span of time for them to cover. And because she remains the same age, it means the adventures must come one after the other for her. It's so odd to try and balance the two in your mind. Time travel is tricky business, but you're handling it well so far.
It's also fascinating to think that Lily is the cause of Moody's true madness. If that's what you were going for. Because it makes perfect sense that Moody would go mad watching Lily come in and out of his life for thirty-plus years, and it's as original an idea as I've ever seen.
Yet another good wrinkle was the introduction of Moody's late wife. I've read Rebecca far more recently than Jane Eyre, and I see the connection. I'd love to know why he married her and more of their relationship, and how Lily plays into it all. It's not exactly a common situation. ;)
So, once again, great job all around. If I find anything worth suggesting I assure you I won't be quiet about it, but until that day I'll just keep heaping on the praise.Author's Response: Bits and pieces works very well - I do it all the time, too, mostly because of a lack of time, but that's the fun about fanfiction; it never has to go back to the library on time. :P It's fantastic that you've come back to continue reading this story - I really appreciate being able to hear from you!
The strangest and perhaps most difficult part of this story is the way that Lily doesn't age at all while she's travelling through someone else's lifetime. Yet although she's not aging, she is developing because of the amount of time that she travels through; she changes considerably, and that's what odd about the schematics of this story, but I'm glad to hear that it's working out. :)
It would be maddening to have someone continuously appear in your life who doesn't change while you keep growing. It's a pretty common plot in science fiction, when I think about it, so I knew the basics of how it should work. It doesn't happen in fanfiction very much for some reason, though Doctor Who has done it, as have a lot of books I read when younger. However, making it work for Moody is the challenge: fitting the whole plot into his background in a way that's canon - taking his character in the books and pulling it apart slowly as I move further back in time.
I can't say anything else about the plot, though, if you'll excuse me. :P I look forward to hearing your opinions on how things develop! Thank you again for reading and reviewing this story! Report Review
This was really cute. I guess I haven't read too much fluff recently, but I still enjoyed it. Perhaps my favorite aspect was how you got the classic kiss in the rain to be, well, not so classic. :P It was sweet and quite original and both your characters were very likable.
You tied the whole thing together nicely with the bit about the daydreams, at the beginning and end. It gave the whole thing a nice, finished feel to it. And the pie comment was brilliant as well, since the reader didn't miss a beat but if you weren't in the main character's head then it would sound absolutely ridiculous.
The whole thing was relatable as well. We've all had those daydreams of the perfect moment with the perfect person, and often those are during inconvenient times such as school. So when Stephen started wriggling his fingers and your main character decided he meant rain, my heart went out to him. Out of curiosity, what did Stephen actually mean?
The only thing I can possibly think of that may have needed work were tiny bits of your wording. The sentence I'm thinking of in particular is, "I could nearly see the light on the lake again, when my name being said called me abruptly back. " Placing "said" and "called" next to each other is a little awkward, so rearranging that might make it sound better. Even "I was called abruptly back when I heard my name" would do it. And there were other absolutely minuscule things, like "The golden tipped waves lapped" might sound better with one less syllable, such as "The gold-tipped waves lapped."
It was a sweet read, overall. Well done. :D Report Review
Hi there. I understand that you were writing this for the sake of writing, in the pre-NaNo hype, but it had its ups as well as its downs, and for the most part I think you did pretty well.
First of all, you got inside Bellatrix's head nicely here. I can see her saying "my lord" instead of Lucius, I can see her forcing her child on Lucius and leaving him to deal, and had she had a son, I can see her despising him as much as she loved him. I can even see her sleeping with Lucius, or anyone she pleased, because she was unsatisfied with Rodolphus. Her actions and thoughts were entirely in character.
I do feel like you could have devoted even more detail to this. It's less than 2000 words, and encompasses quite a span of time. Had you wanted to, you could have delved far deeper into this relationship between Bellatrix and Draco. Mother-child situations can get quite complex, as this one is, but you did not speak as much for Bellatrix as you could have. In fact, if you wanted to, you could cut out the entire first scene when they're in bed and focus solely on Bellatrix's choices and interactions with Draco. I personally wanted to see if he ever learned he was her mother.
I'm not a huge fan of pairing up two characters and giving people different parents than in canon, but you dealt with the subject in all seriousness and did it justice. You had a good handle on Bellatrix, as I've already said, which made the story for me. I thought Lucius could have been a stronger, more confrontational, because even though Bellatrix is aggressive he'd always assumed that he's in the right, which makes for an interesting interaction. However, it was mainly about Bellatrix, so that's nor really worrying. You moved things along and kept the plot flowing, so it never grew tiresome, and had a few choice words that really nailed it. Nice job.Author's Response: Thank you for your review. I did try having an "in-character" Bellatrix as well as one that was slightly out so she could fit into the premise of my story. It's very true that there could've been more detail on the story. I personally don't have a high opinion of Lucius but I can see what you mean here. Thanks! Report Review
Wow, very interesting. What I liked best here was the intimate relationship Alastor and Lily clearly had, yet she saw it as an outsider. You portrayed that very, very well, just in the way he treated her, though I could also see how at ease she was with him. They've also already got that connection with their two crippled legs, a good point. Have you by any chance read The Time Traveler's Wife? There too, a time traveler appears at different times in a girl's life, so that she knows him long before he knows her.
As with everything of yours that I've ever read, this was well written, flowing, very comfortable to read. You've combined a good idea and sympathetic characters nicely. You promised such a story in this one chapter, with Alastor's brevity, and if I wasn't hooked long ago this would have sealed the deal.Author's Response: Oh, I'm glad that the relationship showed through even though Lily really didn't know what was going on - it was very one-sided, yet at the same time I had to tell it from Lily's point of view, so it was a challenge to get that intimacy across. That they're both crippled in much the same way also helps, at least on Lily's side, because finally she's come across someone like her, and that gives her a closer connection to him than she's had with anyone she knows since her accident.
I have read parts of the Time Traveller's Wife, and the idea is sort of similar - I more based this story's timeline off of the Eleven/River romance in Doctor Who, in which the characters live through each other's lives in reverse. It's a very interesting concept to explore.
*blushes* Thank you for those lovely compliments! It means a lot to hear them from you and that the story has hooked you in so effectively. ^_^ Report Review
Hi there. So far, you've done a nice job with this. You've created a comfy atmosphere in the Three Broomsticks, a nice main character, and you got some familiar faces in as well. You kept people moving, conversations going, and it all added up to a good start.
I do have a few suggestions, however. Firstly, wonderful as the atmosphere of the pub is, there were a couple times when it went little over the top. I don't doubt it's a good place to be, but a pub is a pub, and whenever you have serious drinkers you have to expect some sort of disturbance. I think it would have been more believable if Rosemerta mentioned keeping an eye on the rowdiest drinkers, or making sure the students didn't try to drink anything if they were underage. Also, this line felt a bit too good to be true, to me:
"I smiled contentedly from my position behind the counter. I could tell it was going to be another deliciously rowdy night. As well as delighting my customers, the tempestuous atmosphere inside the pub also made me to feel so alive."
I get that Rosmerta likes her job. In fact, I'd be disappointed if she didn't, considering how long the Three Broomsticks has been there. But I don't know of anyone, even people who adore what they do, who doesn't get tired after a long day, or have some other worry on their minds, or something else. That line made her life sound a little too optimistic, I think.
My only other suggestion is to lead up to her conflict more. You devoted so much time to introducing the pub, that I assumed the trouble would be with Death Eaters, as Caradoc seemed to be hinting. When she began crying because she was lonely, it really came out of nowhere and threw me off. If you set the reader up for that earlier, it would be a great ending to a chapter.
Other than that, it was good. It was well written and flowed nicely, and as I've already mentioned it was engaging as you flowed from one conversation to the next, encompassing all types of people and relationships. You also included some good details, like baby Fang and the boy asking his grandfather why he wasn't dead yet. Overall, it was an enjoyable read.Author's Response: Hello! Thanks for reviewing. I'm glad you think I'm off to a good start with this!
I agree with you about keeping an eye on the rowdier drinkers-that's a good idea. But the point of this story is sort of to show the relationship between her and the pub. The Three Broomsticks means the world to Rosmerta, and she will do anything for it. She is optimistic!
But you're 100% right about how I should have lead up to the loneliness thing, and probably shouldn't have given away anything so early on with teh Death Eater's thing.
Thanks for a great review!
LWG :) Report Review
For me, this had everything a first chapter should have. An interesting character, one I can sympathize with, as well as a bit of a conflict that hints of adventures to come. Your style is engaging, and provided just enough detail for the reader to get submerged in it. On top of it all, you have what looks like quite an original idea. I enjoyed it immensely.
From just a couple thousand words, I can see into Lily's relationship with her mother, her despair at a childhood long gone, how she stands compared to her brothers. The message she found in the vanishing cabinet, "You will find what you seek inside," was particularly enchanting. The prospect of diving (or I suppose collapsing, in Lily's case) into another world with the promise of finding what you're looking for is so incredibly appealing. Especially if you don't have a solid idea of what you're looking for. I'm interested to see what Lily seeks; this promises a wonderful story.Author's Response: Oh wow, even after some time has passed, this review still gets me feeling all squeeful and bubbly - it's such a wonderful review, all of the ones you've left are, and I don't know how to thank you enough. :)
First chapters are a challenge, aren't they? Though I'm glad I hit the spot with this one - the story was very much an experiment at first and I wasn't at all sure how it would turn out. The plan was for something much smaller, but it's long out of my control now. I worried that, because of the later change in plan, this chapter would sound restrained and I planned on editing for language and style a bit. I still might, but it takes a load off my shoulders to hear that it's a successful introductory chapter with all its details and clues of what's to come. Lily is a fascinating character to write, and I'm glad to hear that readers are finding the same of reading her. Thank you! :D Report Review
Hi there, just stumbled upon this and thought I'd give it a read. It was a sweet story, well told, and Luna was perfect. That's exactly how I would picture her in the cell, with a story as a present, and how I'd imagine her response to Ollivander's lack of a story. Her household seemed like a really warm place to grow up in, which made it all the more sad when she added on the part about her mother dying. Still, she tacked on the typical Luna optimism, which was sweet. Overall, a nice Christmas story, I enjoyed reading it.Author's Response: Thanks for reading and reviewing :) I really appreciate your comments about Luna. She's one of the hardest characters for me to write, and I'm always a little terrified that I'm going to mess her up. I'm really glad you enjoyed it. Thanks again! Report Review
Hello! I have to say, I think this is a really good idea. There are tons of stories examining the adventures of the Weasley grandchildren at Hogwarts, because there are so many possibilities. But it's never occurred to me that the youngest would have to send off cousin after cousin, every single year, with a mixture of envy and sadness. It's a good premise for a story.
So I don't expect you to run off and delete this chapter or anything, but I do feel the need to point out that you could probably have done without a prologue. As the story is focused on Lily and Hugo, it's not necessary to go through every single year that they sent off cousins, going into detail over every one. You could have achieved the same effect in a few paragraphs, and the reader would have felt sorry for the kids, etc etc, and you could've moved on to the real story far more quickly. That said, this was a quick chapter, and you kept the descriptions brief, so it wasn't like I was tearing my hair out with boredom. You did it quite well, but I wanted to point it out.
I have two nit-picky suggestions as well. First, it's a general grammar rule, as far as I know, that with numbers one to ten or one to twenty (depending on who you ask) you write out the actual numbers. After that, you use real numbers. Slapping a "1" in the middle of the text is a bit distracting, just as trying to write out one thousand nine hundred eighty-three is. So perhaps with Lily's ages it would be a good idea to write out those numbers. And second, when Lily spoke at the end, I got what she was saying and all, but it sounded a little too adult for a ten-year-old girl to say. "Intend to accomplish," "use as an advantage," and "raising hell," all jumped out at me in particular. I'd suggest taking a second look at that and using simpler words.
Sorry if that seems like two huge paragraphs of criticism, but really, they're just technical things. The writing itself was compelling, your characters are likable, and as I've already said, you've raised a good point about how the youngest feel left behind. Overall, it was a good chapter. Well done!Author's Response: Hi! Ahh thankyou, I always just wondered what it would be like for the two youngest of the clan, when everyone had gone off to Hogwarts. There are so many Hogwarts-era ones, aren't there? It would be hard for them to hear about the amazing stuff going on!
Thankyou, you are definitely right :/ A year on from starting this, I can see how it was un-needed and long-winded. I think I wanted to establish the ages of the cousins at the time, and to really show how abandoned they were, but it was kind of unnecessary to do so in such a blunt manner.
Argh! I'm not sure how I've managed to overlook this, you are right - it doesn't read well. Also, I agree with you about the little speech at the end; it's not very likely language for a ten-year-old to use!
Haha no, it didn't seem like that! It's very helpful, thankyou so much for taking the time to help me! Report Review
Another interesting chapter. Once again, a solid narrative from Lucy, and I got a good laugh out of stereotypical Shelly. I was waiting for a true Hufflepuff. So far Lysander is well done too, although I hope Lucy gets to know him as a person soon, rather than just a chatty, enthusiastic Ravenclaw. I've no doubt you have that planned, though.
I see this is where the plot starts moving, introductions are over, so it'll be amusing to see where this whole dragon thing goes next, and how far Lysander takes it. So far, an entertaining story and the humor is promising. Nice job.Author's Response: I figured there has to be at least /one/ typical Hufflepuff in each batch, right? :P And yep, Lucy will get to know Lysander better over time!
Lysander's definitely holding on to the dragon idea. :) Thank you very much for the review! Report Review
This was an enjoyable first chapter, and for me Lucy's voice was the key. Her narrative was quirky and funny and though it could have drifted into the typical cliched, sarcastic girl, you did a pretty good job of keeping Lucy away from that. Her preference for an easygoing project is something anyone can relate to, because we've all had that class where we just want to coast through and move on with our lives. Her friendship with Heather is amusing, and her fears about her sister are believable. A lot of the stuff I liked were just the little things, bits and pieces Lucy added that made me smile.
I know this is more of a humor fic, but I'm hoping to see some character development in the next few chapters. There's rarely only a resentment of a sister, only disappointed parents, only a girl with a sense of humor and a fear of magical creatures. Those are all the first layer of characters or emotions, and there are always memories and dreams and opinions that form multiple layers. I'll be interested to see where you take these characters.
A quick note: trust the word "said." I noticed a lot of other verbs, which is fine, although unless they are the first things you think of, it's usually best to keep "said." When you use too many other verbs, it's distracting to the reader and they get the tiniest bit caught up. Same with adverbs. Some are good, but when you have "meekly," "warily," "halfheartedly," "brightly," etc, all one after another, it has the same effect as too many different verbs: more distracting than helpful.
Overall, nice job.Author's Response: Thanks for the review! I really, really didn't want Lucy to end up being super sarcastic or cliched, so that's good to hear. I guess I just sort of want her to end up being believable - which, I guess, is probably a common goal for writers!
I do have plans for character development - it might seem slow going at first, but hopefully it'll come. Character development is one of my favorite parts of writing and so hopefully that will show as the story goes on.
I definitely have always struggled with how much is too much and how much is too little in regards to the word "said" - so thank you for the advice! :) I'll give that a try.
Thank you very much for the review! Report Review
I really liked this! I was impressed with the level of detail you included; everything made perfect sense, from the different types of Muggle Studies students to the little bits and pieces like "Franklinstein" and novelty pencil sharpeners. It was amusing and yet seemed quite true to the books, if from a humorous point of view. ;)
Despite Archibald's blunt hypocrisy and criticism of children, it was easy to like him as he was the lesser of two evils compared to the students he had to teach. I was about ready to punch Hugo down; he seemed like the student who would always raise his hand and ask if there was homework, just in case the professor forgot.
Perhaps the only thing I thought it may have lacked was a third type of Muggle Studies student. The zombies and the nuts made sense, but I was under the impression that there were also a few Muggle-Borns in the class looking for an easy Outstanding. Like Hermione, although she was admittedly filling up her schedule more than looking for a good grade. But you get the idea. I'm surprised there wasn't at least one student who fit that category.
Otherwise, well done. It was a silly, enjoyable read.
lllbAuthor's Response: Thank you very very much! Obviously this was never intended as anything more than me messing around whilst mocking both muggles and wizards - but I genuinely enjoyed writing it so I'm really glad that I'm not the only one :)
Oh, Archie. I certainly wouldn't want to be a teacher. I think Archibald will be thinking on a similar line come a few lessons time...
I'll be sure to add some muggle-borns into one of the other classes :)
Thank you very much!
-AC Report Review
This was very, very good. You have an easy style of writing; you say what you want to say, no dodging or overly-flowery language, but it's clear you put some thought into your word choice as well. It pays off. For every word I saw that I wasn't sure I'd put there myself, there were ten others that I thought were perfect. It's a practice that gets easier with time, and you're doing a good job with it.
There was a lot to like about this chapter. There were the funny bits, like Lee's remark about Dementors and balls, and the oh-so-obnoxious Libby. The more serious part, which I absolutely agreed with, was that people worrying over you and eyeing you while you mourn make the situation worse, even if they only do want to help. The contrast between Angelina and George's other friends made sense: it's a lot easier to be around someone who knows what you're going through than wondering how to help someone. I thought you handled that aspect well.
The whole chapter flowed nicely, despite being maybe a bit longer than your average chapter. The only suggestion I have is to avoid redundant adjectives and adverbs. In several places, you added unnecessary words that felt out of place, like you were trying a little too hard to get a point across. Here are a few examples:
"...settle on the robe slung unceremoniously across the dirty-clothes hamper." If a robe is slung over a hamper, the picture is unceremonious enough without the reader being reminded.
"A speculative concern radiated from his eyes." If you're concerned about someone, we already know you're trying to figure out what's wrong with them, so the "speculative" is implied.
And finally: "As a result, he had been purposefully forcing himself to ignore the bits of parchment." If you're forcing yourself to do something, you're not doing it by accident. ;)
Feel free to disagree, and it's a nitpicky sort of thing, but they continued to pop up so I figured they're worth mentioning.
Overall, this was an enjoyable read. Likable, relatable characters with a bit of humor.Author's Response: Oh Adverbs (hides beneath a very heavy pile of rocks)... they are my downfall. I have a bad habit of sort of strewing them about all over the place. Normally, people don't notice, so it becomes a self-reinforcing behavior. Some are intentionally there, and other seemed to have snuck in. I will definitely reread and possibly edit at some point.
I'm thrilled that you enjoyed this chapter and took notice of my word choice. You have no idea how much that means to me. I am an incredibly slow writer because I sit and debate over word choice for far longer than I should. lol.
As for the chapter length, I have prewritten the first seven chapters of this fic and on average they are about 3500 words. It may be a bit long, but I think that the word counts suit the material contained in the chapter. As the story progresses you'll see that it's a very discrete timeline and that I can't split chapters. I'm trying very hard to keep the chapters at about this length.
Thank you so much! I really appreciate the critique and am glad that you enjoyed this chpater. I hope you read more of the fic! Report Review
Hi there! Just stumbled upon this and found it quite enjoyable. I also found I had a lot to say, which is uncommon. Let me start out by saying that I enjoyed it. ;)
It was so easy to get not only into Ron's mind here, but also get a glimpse of Hermione's. From the first paragraph, you had me wondering what was wrong, why Ron was so stressed out, and had me feeling sorry for him. When you went onto the confrontation with Hermione, I saw and understood his anger, after such a long day, and appreciated how hard he tried not to snap at his wife. Learning of Hermione's hormones coupled with my prior knowledge of her, I also found it hard to judge her for her remarks. In just a few paragraphs, I was convinced enough of them to hope that they could work it out. And isn't that what stories are built on? Hope for things to work out?
It was also interesting that you mentioned both of them knew exactly how to get on each other's nerves. Ron even went so far as to say it was what he did best. It made me stop and wonder, if that's what they're best at, are they really meant to be? But, as I said above, by that point I was already hoping for their reconciliation.
And, finally, as I scrolled back up to the top after finishing, I saw the quote again and had to pause. Again, I wondered if they were meant to be. Despite your happy ending, the quote almost promised that things weren't over yet, that the story continued beyond the last sentence. And then Ron also said that talking with Hermione could wait. The two fit well together.
I caught one typo, I think: "he was very quickly reaching the limit of his patience and could she please shut the bloody help..." Should that last word be hell?
The only thing that held me up was reasoning behind the ending. Of course I was delighted Ron had the guts to approach Hermione, though I couldn't help but wonder, why now? He'd already said that they fought all the time, and that he always regretted it but couldn't make up until days later. Was this the straw that broke the camel's back? Am I missing something?
I think I've wondered and paused and scrolled up and down enough for one story by now. Great job with Ron and Hermione: they've been done a thousand different ways before, but you definitely captured their bickering love.Author's Response: Oh, wow. Just... wow. This is the longest review I have ever gotten which I have not requested. I can't believe you went into such depth and detail, thank you so very much for taking the time out to do so!
That's such a compliment that you were able to get into Ron's mind, as well as Hermione's. What I was trying to get at in this story is that neither of them are wrong or right. Neither has more power over the other. They are just a scared couple who are about to have a baby and things have been tense.
I have had a lot of issues with Ron and Hermione as a pairing. The bottom line is that I really don't feel it in JKR's writing and fanfic has, by and large, disappointed me because it has always been built on the tension that JKR wrote. I never felt that tension. But what I wrote here is what I imagine them to be like in the future. Yes, they are very good at getting under each other's skin, but they still do have the deepest love for one another. Their relationship is just very volatile.
I think this story does continue on beyond the sentence. This was supposed to be the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back, as you pointed out. The way I vision them in this is that they have been having fights along the way but they have never really addressed them fully. I imagine that they would sit and talk everything out after this fight. But the hug at the end was them just seeking comfort from one another, especially after they have both been under so much stress.
You do raise some good questions, though. You aren't missing anything at all. I think I just did not explain the backstory of this well enough. I tend to do that - I love writing small snapshots of time and I forget that the reader doesn't know everything that I am thinking. I'm sorry if you were at all confused!
Thank you so much for writing such a long review. Receiving any review is a gift but it is so much more when the reader is able to really tell me what they thought as you have done. You have cheered me up in ways you will never know.
Joop. Report Review
It's an interesting idea, to take the Black family as is, just shifting them from wealthy purebloods to royalty. It's a bit to get used to, but it's manageable, and one can certainly imagine them as arrogant rulers.
I have to admit, I've never read Hamlet, and only know the smallest bit about it. However, the premise of the story so far is interesting, with one murder in the first chapter and another planned for later on. As Sirius is our protagonist, I can only guess that he will make it out alive, but it will be interesting to see.
So the plot is interesting, the characters have apparently retained their personalities from HP world we know, and the only thing that caught me up well was the dialogue. It worked here, and you've clearly given some thought as to how princes and princesses would speak, but in some places it gets a bit stiff. Perhaps try not to be afraid of the word "said." Most of the time, characters are just speaking, and anything else only draws the reader's attention away from the conversation and onto words like inquired, muttered, proclaimed, for a few examples. Sometimes it also helps to read your story out loud (it helps with the prose as well, not just the dialogue) to see if it gets awkward anywhere.
Overall, an enjoyable read. It looks likes it's shaping up to be quite the dram, and you did well with this first chapter.Author's Response: I thought it was a simple shift - considering the Blacks thought themselves Wizarding royalty to begin with. That's the point of an AU, after all. :)
I haven't read Hamlet in many years, to be honest. I'm hoping Violet Gryfindor will help me out quite a bit in regards to that aspect of the plot. Though hopefully this story will be based very loosely so I won't have to worry about sticking to the storyline all that much.
Yes, he will make it out alive. No one's plans are fool-proof and Cygnus definitely has some fools doing the job for him. ;)
I'm trying to retain most of their personalities but I may have to tweak some things a bit to fit in this universe. I have had people mention numerous times, not just in this story, that my dialogue sometimes comes across as stiff. I don't notice it which is probably why it seems natural when I write it so thanks for pointing it out. I will try harder to make it seem less so. I do feel that it is important to retain some of that stiff royalty way of talking though as that's what this story contains, you know? Honestly, I don't even notice that I don't use 'said' very often. I guess I'm used to a lot of people harping on writers who use it a lot and so I've tried to steer clear of using it as much as I can. I find that you can get a lot out of the tone of the conversation from the dialogue descriptors and often times a simple 'said' is not necessarily the best word to use in those situations. I'll work on it though in the next chapters!
Thanks for the review! Report Review
Hello! This was a good start to a story. For all the Romione shippers out there, Hermione and Ron are very different people and you approached this falling out of love quite well. Hermione's thoughts are rational and believable.
The only part that stuck out, for me, was the first paragraph. Hermione has always been a very logical thinker, and rarely or never judges things by appearances. I understand that there can be an expectation for men to know their almost-fiance's ring preferences, but considering Ron's cluelessness and Hermione's reason, I find it difficult to believe she would care so much that Ron got her a gold ring instead of white-gold. Irritation yes, but as a final straw sort of thing, maybe not. Just a suggestion. ;)
Thought at first I was concerned that this would a typical feeling-sorry-for-myself first chapter, you added that bit about the end and cleared up any worries. It keeps the reader's interest, and just has a nice sound to it in general, with the phrase "engagement ring sitting in her pocket" ringing in your mind (no pun intended!) after the chapter's over.
So well done, it was a nice read and I'll check back in a bit for chapter two.Author's Response: Thanks for the review and your thoughts. It's always nice to know that things are believable and my characters thoughts are rational.
The gold ring wasn't the final straw as such. It was more the final confirmation that Ron didn't really know her at all, even after seven years. She had been with him so long and could tell you everything he liked or didn't like, but he wouldn't be able to do the same for her. She realised that she would always be left disappointed, but it didn't have to be that way. I'll have a read over and see if I can make this clearer. Report Review
Another good entry here. :) I found this line the most interesting out of the whole chapter, it occurred right after Severus commenting on missing Lily for three years: "Some Slytherin he was." This sentence, for me, summed up Severus at this point in his life. He was a Slytherin, at least part of him wanted to be, but he had a heart of the sort that many Slytherins lacked. Just the fact that Severus had to say something like this speaks of his character.
It was a smooth chapter, the ending flowing nicely into the beginning. I was surprised that Snape had already figured out Potter would be able to protect Lily; I thought it would take many more years, and a bit more acquired wisdom, to come to that. But nice job, on the whole, I enjoyed reading it. Report Review
I was surprised that you showed Regulus and Sirius as friends in this; I always got the sense Sirius thought Regulus was a little brat. However, according to your take, that could have grown after seeing his brother joining the Death Eaters later in life, and watching him turn into his enemy. Either way it was interesting.
I still enjoyed this new view, and the fact that it was Regulus who originally posed the idea. It was a believable circumstance, and the note at the end was a nice touch. Especially with its parallels to a certain other note signed R.A.B. of even more significance. A good read, nice job! Report Review
I see the ending, and I see the beginning. :P What I liked most about this chapter was that the Marauders clearly didn't know each other well yet, and that's a side of them we don't often see. Sure, they were friends from the get-go, but it takes a long period of time to know someone from the inside out, and you showed that here. They sought each other out during their free time, Peter helped his friends practice, but Remus still didn't know what position Sirius played and still felt awkward during silences with his friends. That's something more than a few writers forget, so well done! Report Review
Hi there! I know this is under construction, but I'm still slowly making my way through it. When I saw in in the BvB thread, it was the perfect chance. Besides, the last review is from about five months ago.
My favorite part of this was the Wanted poster, definitely. Those types of things usually exist only in the fantasies of 15-year-old-girls. I hope Alice was tickled pink, since we didn't really get much time to see her reaction.
Which brings me to a suggestion: detail. I don't know if I said this in previous reviews, so my apologies if it's repetitive, but I see so much more that could be in here. Anything from descriptions of setting and people to the students' reactions, and, as I already mentioned, Alice's thoughts as well. Her flashbacks are extremely interesting (this one was heart-breaking!) but they are only one piece.
You have such likable characters, and an interesting soda can comparison that's turning out quite nicely, so the only things that I personally see as needing some work is the actual technicalities. Detail, as mentioned above, as well as perhaps a bit on flow. Here, for instance, felt like a few too many choppy sentences:
"The rest of the day passes in a blur to me. All the classes are the same. The teacher drones on until it's time to do the activity. How interesting.
It's not until dinner that the tone of my day changes."
It's worth pointing out, anyway. ;) If you do come back to this (I know how it feels to have a story you like but can't get around to rewriting!), what would you change? What would you add? What don't you like about it right now?Author's Response: ahaha Sarah, you didn't have to review this at all! I've definitely been putting off rewriting this story, and honestly, I don't know if it will ever be done. When I started this story, I didn't really have anything planned out. And I definitely agree with you - detail is lacking in so many places. Gah, what was I thinking when I was writing this story?
I think if I came back to LaSC I would change the wording of many things, for one. And I would probably change a bit of the plot - I'm a bit stuck right now as to what direction I should go with, or where it was going in the first place. And I don't like how my writing is choppy, like you said. Plus, some of the parts in this story seem a bit cliche to me that I'd like to change. I think I need to go over my characterization again because it's not really well defined at this point. I just jumbled everything together and hoped for the best. x__x Obviously the best plan.
But thank you so much for your helpful and thought provoking review! ♥ You are always so encouraging about this story despite my pleas that you review something else xD
--jordan Report Review
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