You are SO mean!! First, I think that they're together forever and everything is rosy, THEN there's a hiccup but its OKAY they'll fix it. NOW - I don't know what to do with myself! Ronaaa, I want to cuddle you and make you not sad, and I want to pet Oliver on the head and somehow set them up all over again just like at Hogsmeade.
But I suppose that despite how utterly heartwrenching this chapter was, it has shown that Oliver wasn't just using her. Which is some comfort. But now, he needs to get down off his high horse, and Rona has to really try, and I mean REALLY try (*shakes fist at Rona*) to get them to work. Her last line actually cut me like a knife, it was so resigned and painful :(
I have to leave for work in approximately 8 minutes, so I won't be able to read the last three chapters right now, but hopefully later! Except, I don't really want to read them, because then it'll be over... :( *cries*
Laura xxxAuthor's Response: I can't guarantee anything can be rosy with three chapters left! Or two. Or one. Or even the end 8D That is how I roll.
I always *always* want to pet Oliver on the head. But yes, everyone needs a hug and Hogsmeade right now :c
It was terrifically hard to write this chapter, I remember. It was my first angsty bit. My beta friend held my hand the whole way. I wanted to show what I thought fights in relationships really are like; so often they're just tiny miscommunications, things unsaid, and both sides being unreasonable.
Eep, I hope you can read the rest soon! Not the brightest chapter to end on 8D
Sorry about the really long delay between reviews. :( I feel so bad about it! It's been almost 2 weeks since you requested! I've been so busy and sleepy recently - I think its the un-English hot weather! But here I am, hopefully with a solid review to put your worries about this chapter (and the next) to rest.
I really, really liked this chapter. I think probably so far it's one of my favourites. Sure, it was shorter than the others but it was a length that complimented the rest of the chapters. It was like a breather, or, (Ok, I'm about to quote Gandalf) "the deep breath before the plunge". I don't think it came across as stunted or forced or anything - because I know you've mentioned that you found this one difficult to write. I guess if I really looked into it, I could sense a hesitation with continuing with the heavy plot lines, probably because of the things you've indicated - that the material wasn't fresh in your mind. Don't dwell on that though! An ordinary reader wouldn't pick up on that (because you won't have told them that in 'critique focuses' (; hehe) and instead it just feels as though the dynamics of this story are just very, very well timed.
I've said before that you do a wonderful job of consolidating the relationship between Avrille and Severus, but here you exceeded that by a million percent. This wasn't clouded with actions scenes or a menacing plot to switch to; instead you've given us a hefty, enjoyable and tangible snapshot of them together instead of it being a passing phrase to set the atmosphere (which in the context of the other chapters wasn't bad either!). It was very, very comforting and inviting, and yet coupled with the sense of foreboding Avrille feels at the end it was exciting too. Especially as I haven't read the story that precedes this, I found the mention of bits and bobs that have gone on before really helpful and insightful, such as about Severus' family. (I really do need to read it!!) It colours the story so much more because this isn't stand alone and brand new, in a way - its something returned to and repolished and picked up. But I think that's one thing that is so effective in this story - the characters have a background and history from their trials that went before this. Especially in this chapter, you drawing on that, on events that went before this, you've managed to keep the flow going and have tied this chapter in really well.
Agh, you attention to detail again astounds me so much! I wish I could write like you! There are so many parts of this, even if it's something one of them mentions, that makes me think you've covered every possibility for the way they might act and talk, and decided on the best one and made it match the story. The way Sev and Avrille interact is just amazing. And I love the way you write Char. Do you have children of your own? I would be so bad at writing toddler scenes, but you make Char seem so small and fun and curious, just like he would be.
Okay, so right now, take all of those worries you have about this chapter being inconsistent and put them in your hand. Gather them up from floating around your brain and squeeze them into a ball. Are you doing it? Oi - no, actually do it!! I don't care if you look silly. Got it? Ok. Then - chuck the ball into the nearest bin.
This chapter was brilliant, Renny! Honestly :) it flows on from the next one just as perfectly as I knew it would even before I clicked "Chapter Five - Avrille".
:D Laura xAuthor's Response: You really need to stop apologizing about the "delay" in between reviews :) I have no right to complain (not that I want to at all!) when you're doing me such a huge favor offering your time and advice. It sounds like you're really busy this summer, so I appreciate it even more.
So I normally don't indulge in annoying net-speak, but OMG Gandalf quote! :) It's been too long since I've read LotR. I should remedy that. I'm so so so glad this chapter came across just as how you thought it did, as a breath before the plunge. I'm sure you can guess just from knowing stuff from the OotP book that some tough things are in store for my characters, and I definitely wanted them to have at least one solid happy memory to look back on when things get difficult. This was pretty much their last chance to do whatever they want before Umbridge descends on the school. I feel like her arrival at Hogwarts is really the moment where stuff starts to get bad in canon. Voldemort coming back a few months earlier was horrible of course, but Umbridge's presence at Hogwarts removes that sense of security a lot of people in the story had. Like Harry, Severus and Avrille both view Hogwarts as their home, not just a place of employment, so it's going to be even more difficult for Severus in particular to not even have that to come back to after dealing with Voldemort.
Ugh, so glad as well this chapter didn't read as forced at all. I felt like I was banging my head off of things trying to write it. I knew exactly what I wanted, but finding the words was so hard. Probably cause like I said, I have an 18 month old little boy. He's amazing for source material but leaves me sort of unable to do anything except lie on the couch and watch tv once he's in bed. I don't think I would have been able to write babies or toddlers (or the way moms feel) accurately before having a baby myself. It's one reason I'm so glad I waited four years after finishing the last story to start this one. It worked out so coincidentally (random fact, the date used to calculate my due date ended up being Avrille's birthday and I was due on Severus's birthday! WEIRD!) If you ever want any insight into the toddler mind, let me know ;) I actually ended up not exaggerating too much when I wrote Char likes to climb bookcases *face palm*
As far as details, thank goodness for the internet. I've never been to England sadly, so I had no idea what the Hampshire coast would look like. Hopefully it will come across as realistic in the slight chance anyone from the area ever reads that :) I always really liked that property I thought up for Severus's family to have owned, so it was fun to expand it a bit.
Ok, doubts have been binned. Now I just need to get in a writing mood again. The chapter after this one got written in less than two weeks, so I got sort of paralyzed by how fast that was and haven't even started the next one. I feel like I can move forward now, even if it's slow and slightly torturous to me like this chapter :)
Thanks again so incredibly much, Laura. It helped me immensely to have an objective review of this chapter. I hope you like the next one (and aren't too offended if you're a Sirius fan). If you don't mind in the future, I'll keep putting in for a review when I get a chapter done. Your feedback has been invaluable! Truly! ~Renny Report Review
No, no, no! Two fluff chapters in a row are perfect perfect perfect! ♥
Omg, I don't know if I want to read the next chapter, because I'm so scared that something will go wrong. I also vote that something magical should happen at a later party...and also, I think Oliver in the towel from the previous chapter should be his permanent attire. Just some suggestions, you know~
Hahaha, love this fic, and I can't wait for moreee :)
Laura xxxAuthor's Response: There are seven chapters of landmines left to go through! Only seven, -cough-
Indeed, there can never be enough Oliver-in-a-towel ;D never. never ever.
♥ Report Review
- I love that there's a new plot thread, with thoughts of a later career and such. I love that you've tied it in too with stuff you mentioned earlier on. I get the impression Rona is burying her head in the sand a bit, but this wakeup call was brilliant - because she is good!
- OLIVER. just. Oliver. I can't even. And. Ugh. THEM. together. PLEASE make it happen! :'}
Laura xxxAuthor's Response: OH YES, the other thing I stuffed in the kitchen sink - career choices. It was especially because I was on the cusp of college when I was writing, so it was pretty much what was on my mind at the time.
I would say that since I love fluff, that your second point would be likely, but then I realized I actually have a terrible track record of getting my couples together ;D But you shall see! Report Review
Haha, I loved this whole chapter. "In Which Oliver is Sensitive". I think I'm head over heels for both of them. I have literally just swept through six chapters...this is so darn good!
I kinda like that everything each character says is pretty much a big fat lie. It makes the story so much more interesting, because they're both as bad as each other! Little monkeys. I was surprised when they made up - but I love you and I love this a million times more now that I realise they probably won't ever PROPERLY make up, haha! ;D it was nice to see Oliver actually be troubled by Rona though - girl power, in a way!
Can't wait for moreee :D xxAuthor's Response: Bahaha the web of lies was too much for me, believe it or not. It was what I had the most trouble with every single time I edited this thing, because I would swear that it didn't make sense!
All of my characters have a serious problem with apologizing aha. This is a complete reflection of myself. I would rather shove cake at people and hope it makes things better xD
♥ Report Review
AHH. I don't quite know what else to say other than AHH and OMG and OLIVERWUT?!
This was such a good chapter, and I think I am officially in love with this fic. :D
Oliver is so creepy but he's also so shmexi and it's like...gah. This review sucks. I want to read moree! This is awesomee!
xxxAuthor's Response: LOL CREEPY AND SEXY. Actually all of my leading men are creeps, now that I think about it. Well, there is definitely no perching on windows.
♥ ahh I'm so glad you like it! ^__^ Report Review
Oh Oliver! In response to your a/n, yes, I do like him! A lot! Especially as in your banners he is Tom Hardy... - melts -
Another great chapter! The tone was flirty and cheeky and so funny - see you after a few more!
Laura xxxAuthor's Response: TOM HARDY ♥ it was very difficult finding pics of him that looked young enough that also did not scream of the '90s. But he is a doll, so I persisted 8D Report Review
Well, I've heard a lot of good things about this story since I've been reading fanfiction, and have never really had time to read it - until now! I'm so excited to carry on reading, though, because this was such a great first chapter :)
I know you said at the beginning that this is getting on a bit in age now, and you've majorly edited it, and also that its different to your writing style, but actually, I really did enjoy this, and I don't think any of those things matter at all. This was so fun and such a fantastic way to introduce this fic, even if you feel it is older now :) I love that you've introduced Rona totally legitimately. Usually, I'm a bit wary of OC's - but Rona...I like her a lot! She's cringy and she's got a temper and I just know she's going to make me laugh LOADS! I love her relationship with the Quidditch team. She kind of reminds me of the mother hen :) I also love Oliver in this too - the way he doesn't refrain from making the situation any more awkward than it has to be, and goes right ahead with making Rona look silly. I like that they're not instantly and madly in love or anything - rather, a conflict makes for a good read! It's gonna be so cool to see how you make them really soften to each other and find some common ground - asides from being Quidditch fanatics of the opposing teams.
Aside from the characters and the way this is so funky and colourful, your writing style does really stand out here. I was majorly impressed while reading this and actually thinking in the back of my head ways I could improve my own writing. This sounds very effortless and you don't overload with info or anything - it's perfect! I am really excited to read some more :)
Laura xxxAuthor's Response: OMG LAURA. OMG. LIKE OMG. OUT OF NOWHERE ♥
I always get so mood swingy about Game. I've had times where I hate it and times that I get super nostalgic and want to squish the whole cast. But every time someone pops in and reviews and I take a peek at the chapters, I can't help but love it all over. They're my first cast :3 and kind of a kitchen sink of all my stories. Looking back, Game was trying to write in everything that I liked - ensemble casts, stubborn-arrogant-competitive people, liiies and plot twists, adorkable leading men, smexy leading men *cough* - things that I've learned to refine in later stories.
Heh, Rona's awkwardness is all my own 8D she has my tendency to say things I know I shouldn't say, at the very worst times. There is no brain-to-mouth filter. Also the same wee obsession with upper arms and Charlie Weasley ;D
Eeep, I hope you enjoy the rest! Report Review
I stumbled across this and couldn't leave without reviewing. This was beautiful, really truly. Short and sweet and so wonderful. The tone of this was gentle and soft and so full of love. Thank you for writing this, because I was so swept away with this. It was honestly so lovely,
Laura xAuthor's Response: Hey dearie!
You are more than welcome! I had fun writing this, mostly because I was in a very whimsy mood and thought to use it to my advantage. I'll admit, I thought it was a bit too flowery in places, but I'm glad you enjoyed it!
Thanks for reading and sorry it's taken me so long to get this response up! Report Review
I haven't read much of this story in a while, so it's great to finally have some time to myself and read some more! I did worry at first that I'd feel a bit lost getting back into this story, but actually, saying that, it was great and so familiar to be reading this again. The alternating POV's in each chapter are as ever super effective and really colour this story all the more. Sev is just.awesome :) You said that this is one of the chapters that you wrote fairly soon after having a lot of the material at hand, and I could really tell, such as with the previous three, too. Everything is so thought out and I feel as though you just haven't missed anything. Little things like Dumbledore being kicked out of the Wizengamot...you've paid a lot of attention to this and it totally does pay off! I will most definitely look out for any changes (if there are any!) in the next two chapters, though.
Everything about this chapter just flows so well and I can't ever express how addictive this story is! It's so solid and so well written. Are you secretly a published writer?! Because if not, you should be. You manage to make everything sound so impressive and vivid, even if all that you are describing are puddles of mud or the summer weather! Genuinely, this does just astound me, and I don't care how silly I sound. In comparison to some maybe more artsy one shots or something, this may not be the most abstract, but the quality of writing and the imagery is just as bright and striking and amazing! And, after all of that, the way you always bring things back to Avrille and Char - it reinforces this homely feeling about this story and about Sev. This is a story that feels so real to me, and I'm sure other readers will agree because there you've managed to achieve this awesome balance between amazing creative writing and a solid, believable and continuing story. And gah, just Sev. Sev the family man. It's a side we have never had the chance to see and strangely it suits him. I think that's why I love this story so much! As well as one trillion other reasons...
Teehee, indeed I am British! There aren't any obvious slip ups with Britishisms, apart from near the end Avrille referring to the sofa/settee as the couch. But then, that's subjective I guess. Some British people might call the sofa the couch - and it is only a little thing anyway! Something I did grin at though - Dumbledore eating a crumpet. I don't know why this image amused me so - I guess because it's SO English ("crumpets and tea, ma'am?") and the word is just...quite funny sounding anyway hahaha! Maybe I'm a big kid, I don't know. But no, there was nothing here that actually needed correcting. Rather, you were actually educating me while reading this! Your use of vocab is just so impressive. There were words being used here that I didn't even know existed and they sounded as though they fitted just place perfectly! I've just made myself sound really dumb, haha, but oh well! It is always great to read a fic and be constantly impressed and to not have the narrative feel forced or repeated at all. Do you revise chapters before you post them? I have an awful habit of just writing and going 'ugh fine that'll do' and posting it :P I really shouldn't though. But yours - I get the impression you do really mould and care for your chapters, as I've mentioned in previous fics with the amount of incredible detail you have with your plot and characters. It is so inspiring!
The plot is progressing at such an awesome rate - I can sense that at some point Severus is going to get tied up in where his responsibilities lie. Already he's stepping in dangerous territory and has been for years, but now that Avrille's involved in the Order it makes Order business so much more HIS business, if that makes sense? I've always been interested to see how Voldemort really would talk to Sev and how equally he would consider him. I loved the part with the two of them - sure, Voldz does think that everyone is inferior to him but it was interesting to have him actually considering and listening to whatever Sev was saying. It was very believable. For all of his cunning and evil powerful ways, I guess Voldemort would have had paranoia as a weakness and would try to compensate that threefold with people like Sev feeding him information. There are so many new insights that this story has given me!
So, I'm going to sign off for the night and hopefully will be able to see to the next two very soon. For some reason (even though it's the summer holidays!!) my life has just exploded with busyness! I apologise for the wait for reviews though, :( but I can't wait to get on to the next ones, especially as you requested the most critique there. I didn't want to rush them while I'm feeling a little sleepy. I can't wait to get back to them though! If I leave Sev and Avrille alone for too long there'll probably be another baby on the way!!
:D Laura xxxAuthor's Response: Hi Laura! Sorry it took me a couple days to respond. I've been kind of "meh" about being online the past few days, probably because I'm very "meh" about writing at the moment in general, but as always, I really appreciate your review!
Yeah, like I think I said, I wrote most of these first four chapters in two weeks (!!) at the start of NaNo last year. I think it helped to flow better since I did do it all at once, and that's why I feel a bit like I'm floundering right now writing new material.
Oh gosh, blushing over your compliments :) Funny how you mention the stuff about the weather and the mud puddles because I specifically remember writing those sections (and being a little stuck on them). I usually have to go back and insert some descriptive details here or there because I tend to get caught up in the flow of the action and dialogue.
"the way you always bring things back to Avrille and Char" --Thanks for noticing that! That really is the main backbone of this story. No matter what they go through in the war against Voldemort, I want it to always come back to this idea that home and family is the most important thing in the world
I *think* the couch thing is ok because Avrille is actually Canadian. I'm not 100% positive if a Canadian would say couch or sofa. I've never had a Canadian comment on her word choice, but even if they did I have a bit of leeway since I had her do all of her schooling around the Boston area (Salem Witches' Institute) which is conveniently the general area I'm from originally... so I'm covering my bases by saying maybe she picked up on some American slang as a teenager ;) But crumpet is definitely such a funny word!! They're really yummy, though. You can get them at some specialty stores here in the US. Good when grilled with honey! Thanks for specifically reading for the Britishisms! I have a beta, but she's American too, so she probably would miss the same things I would. When in doubt, I try to imagine Alan Rickman saying something. Granted he's not how I picture MY Severus in my head, being the more "canon" Severus to me, but it still helps.
Oh man, you are SO not dumb! I'm pretty sure I'm probably around 10 years older than you, so I've just had more time to read, read, read. I'm constantly always checking a thesaurus when I write as well because often times I know the gist of the word I want but can't recall what it is. And I will admit I am definitely an editing addict. I was really nervous posting these first four chapters when I did since I had never done a WIP before. You can imagine I edited the heck out of them, probably half because I was stalling.
I find the Voldemort/Severus interactions interesting as well, hence why I like to make excuses for them to talk alone together. I was always curious as to how Severus went from being the "he will be killed, of course" Death Eater from the graveyard to being virtually Voldemort's most trusted follower. Obviously killing Dumbledore had a lot to do with it, but he had to have been slowly working his way up to that point this whole time. I agree that Voldemort probably had paranoia being one of his greatest weaknesses, or maybe strengths since it did keep him in power for so long. I don't think he would have ever truly trusted anyone. More like he took a gamble, like "it's about 90% likely Severus is loyal to me," and it turns out he was wrong.
So once again, thanks so much for your time in reading and reviewing this!! Please don't rush or push yourself. I know all about crazy busy days. Hence why I just haven't felt like writing lately. At least the review challenges are making me stay active in HPFF and TGS cause I'm determined to do all of those suckers. Hmm, I wonder if you'll win feature reviewer! I went to nominate, but someone beat me to it ;) Good luck! You totally deserve it!
~Renny Report Review
Oh, this was so heartbreaking! :( I love Neville one thousand times over and this was so painful to see him and Hannah so upset. But at the same time, you've shown their relationship to be so strong, so lovely and determined. Not being able to have a child is so inexplicably difficult to cope with, and I really understood that from this piece. Yet, it was comforting to see them trying to deal with this together. I imagine Neville to be the perfect husband and hopefully eventually the perfect father, and you've shown many of his canon, appreciated traits here; his unconditional love, his understanding...it made this strangely beautiful, so that we can see the strength and pain ordinary couples like Neville and Hannah have.
Your writing style, as ever, as always, is astoundingly beautiful. The pathetic fallacy worked ever so well in this piece. It made me think that maybe a higher force was at work, and that ultimately this childless couple cannot defy natures decision not to grant them with a baby. I could really feel the power of the rain in this, too, like the heartbeat to this one-shot. It would be interesting to see a follow on piece, I think mainly because I love them both so much!, but standing alone it is still so striking and effective.
Theres much happy lovely fluff about Neville and Hannah, and so in a way something like this is really welcomed. It makes me see them in a more human way, rather than fictional characters, and for that I think you have done a really amazing job here. Thank you :) this was beautiful.
Laura xxxAuthor's Response: I don't even know how to respond to this without making myself a completely unrecognizable melted mess. BUT I will give it my best try, because this review is just... gah. It blows me away. You are so, so kind. I cannot begin to thank you enough.
I think I've said this before, but, in my mind, compliments on writing and style are the absolute best a writer can get. At least, they are to me. So thank you so much for commenting on that. It's something that almost every writer works to improve as they continue to write, and... gah. Just... thank you.
There's a lot of happy fluff, to be sure, but the challenge here was to write with just one line of dialogue. While it's possible to write fluff with just one line of dialogue, I think it's probably harder to do, so I stuck with the angst. Besides, angst is what I do best. :P
Thank you, again, for the marvelous review. Your kindness and generosity never ceases to amaze me.
xx Rin Report Review
The review challenge over at TGS has opened up so many doors to fics I probably wouldn't have had the opportunity to read otherwise, and this was one of them! I am glad I read it though.
I really liked this, because it was so simple and so cute. The idea of Cedric hiding away his crush for Oliver is actually really appealing, and I can really see this working with later on in the books too. The pairing is still completely unexpected, but it's sort of nice. You're taking HP and making it your own! :D It's not too over the top nor is it downplayed - I think you've captured the balance between lust and curiosity and attraction really well. The lust part is really important, because I guess Cedric and Oliver would be at that age where they are finding themselves so to speak. I don't think this was in anyway unbelievable. Maybe if he was madly in love I might've raised my eyebrows, but he's not, and you showed us that really well.
Even though it was short, your wonderful writing style still manages to shine! :D the way you've developed both of these boys, too - it's just amazing. Like Oliver, and how he's so preoccupied with life after school and how he's got to be good at something...I thought it was great to have this backdrop to this piece. I really like the way Cedric is so rational too. He doesn't dive in at Oliver, but he really considers the moment and measures what he wants to say.
Overall, I thought this was brilliant! :D
Laura xxx Report Review
Yay, you updated, and this chapter was a killer! I seriously cannot wait for more now! You always leave these chapters on such a good note, I can't NOT read more!
I really liked that there was like, all sorts of variety with this chapter. Snape's memory(/evil dark magic scroll-induced memory)...:( his past is so interesting and I think it makes him so misunderstood. You expressed his subdued anguish about their drinking problems so well, by likening it something eleven-year-old Sev found familiar. It was nice, too, that despite him not getting on with Petunia he feels almost loyal to her, not liking it when his mother badmouths her. I suppose it is true though - it's okay moaning or disliking something or someone, but as soon as someone else agrees with you or says it it suddenly doesn't feel right anymore. His relationship with his father is also really subtly expressed here too. It's almost as though his father is afraid of him for doing magic. Severus' past is something that makes him so unique and it is quite rarely that it's really taken into account in fics.
As for his feelings about Lily - oh, I don't know what to think! I don't think he does either. His indecisiveness is kind of welcomed here, though. I respect him for sticking to his staying away, because time apart probably is what is best. No, the italics are fine! I actually really liked them :D to me, they don't confuse things later on in the chapter at all, so don't worry :) nor was this chapter confusing - it felt very well timed and as always well written. I adore the fact that you threw Madam Pince into the equation - "That's called hubris, Professor." hahah! It makes me think of Snape less of a loner and more of like...a team. Or something. It's nice that they're looking out for each other, however badly I explain it.
And, oh! The last bit! Wow, you've totally taken Voldemort's narrative on! It's something I aspire to do but am too scared to :P this last part was just super intense and super effective! The way he is just observing it all, like an animal waiting to pounce on its prey. It makes me think of those times in canon and in OoTP when Voldemort just lets himself into Harry's mind as and when, planning this elaborate lie about Sirius. He is crafty, and this is another thoroughly convincing example of it. And the last line, "This body was failing." BODY?! She is a girl, not a...thing!! Very Voldemort ;) but also, very epic!! I really can't wait for more, now that this horrible possessed connection has been made. I'm worrying about Lily one thousand times more! Darn, I wish she wasn't so caring sometimes! This could very easily end with disaster :(
Laura xxxAuthor's Response: Thank you for setting my mind at ease about the chapter not making any sense XD I was worried there lol. I'm really glad you liked it and epically sorry about the cliffhanger; I'm trying to finish the next chapter and have it online before too long.
Voldemort is not an easy character to write for but it's fun in a demented way - :D Maybe I need my head examined but that's part of the fun of fiction writing!
Lily has really dug herself quite a hole here... :( We shall see what happens! Thanks again Laura! Report Review
I apologise for the delay in getting to this chapter! This fic has been on my mind though, and I'm glad to finally get the chance to read this chapter and review it!
In comparison to the last chapter (I think that's what is really effective about this fic - all of the contrasts) this one was again rather sad and reminded me of how things used to be so rosy and carefree, really reiterating the way that the war has changed everything, right down to the dynamics of the characters. What was most striking and really actually quite sad was the way Lee had been seeing Indira for quite some time, and George just hadn't noticed and hadn't been told at all. The loss of Fred has really cut him off from, well, everything. Everyone has been so preoccupied with trying to avoid the topic of Fred that they haven't included George in anything, and in a way George hasn't included himself either.
Saying that though, I loved that he was making progress in this chapter, even if it was just that he had his window open. The George in these chapters is so different to the George who will be involved in the earlier bits - but with Angelina he's slowly being brought back. I love the way she appears just when he needs her most, and I love that he's able to remember his brother fondly rather than in solitude. One of the things you asked me to look at was the progression of time in these chapters. I really like the alternation, I think it works really well. So far though the whole timeline thing has worked fine - I haven't found any flaws with it at all, or nothing that is glaringly obvious. I like that time isn't a big deal with George's chapters, because it just reinforces the idea that he's entirely lost within himself and getting over this loss. Angelina's, on the other hand, were very time-centred, just thinking about the Yule Ball looming in the distance! I guess that's another contrast between the two - something else that colours this fic :)
I thought as well I should just throw in that the dialogue in this chapter, too, is very well written and to me is rather flawless. I love that you can really sense Angelina's hesitation after she's made George jump like that by going into his flat. It was also really nice to see George brighten a little bit with the teasing of Lee - even if he didn't really feel like it much. It makes me think that sometimes what he says is just another guise put up so he can act like nothing has ever happened. The last moments with Angelina, though - they felt very natural and very, I can't think of the word. I'll go with right. They felt very right. :) The bit with Lee, though, I did really like. It reminded me that after all of this he is still a young man and he is still going to be amused and well, intrigued by a leggy girl in his friends flat. Gosh, honestly, this fic has just made me think about George in a whole new light - I really do feel so bad for him, because really he is so young.
Laura xxxAuthor's Response: Hello!! Sorry it's taken me so long to get around to responding to these reviews -- I read them all as you posted them and appreciated them immensely.
Ahh. I haven't had anyone yet point out how sad it is that George hadn't known about Lee and Indira -- though I will say that they have kept their relationship underwraps. ;) I knew that if George was going to go through he and Fred's things, Angelina would have to be there... but it was very important to me that the start the process on his own without her... and she just aided in the project.
Thank you so, so much for these reviews! Report Review
This was so wonderful, it really was. I adore Alice in Wonderland and I love that this is based on that. Everything has a kind of Wizarding twist on it, like the Black Heir and the sorting hat..it was really unusual but really creative and enjoyable. I also love that you mirrored Carrols writing style, and the simplicity of it, because I felt as though I might actually be reading his book! This was so fun, though, but then really suddenly grounding at the end when I didn't expect it to be.
You tied in the last part with the rest really well, and it broke my heart a little bit! Throughout this piece there's a sense that Alice is kind of detached from it all, just like in the books, but it all makes sense once you reach the end. Basing this on Alice Longbottom was pure genius - you've made something beautiful and made an adventure out of something that in actual fact is horrible and heartbreaking in truth. It was amazing for Alice to have a real part and adventure.
I really did like this - it's opened my eyes to all sorts of styles and other ways of approaching fanfic. But most of all, this was just touching and sweet, and a really really good piece.
:) Laura x Report Review
I've been meaning to read this since forever, and straight away it looks like so much fun! I'm so glad I've finally been able to jump into it, because I have heard so many good things about it! I love Fred, he's so funny and a great narrator. Everything about this first chapter is just so carefree and fun, down to the dramatic language and the hilarious situation.
I really like the way you've introduced us to the characters without going overboard at all. Each character is so unique and it's neat that they have their own roles and their own way or responding to each other, even if it is cheeky. I also really like that you've tied this in with the way families are really close in the wizarding world. I mean, his grandmother was super cute, but the reference to aunt Hermione and stuff - I can just imagine that family reunions are chatty and so full of life :D
I like the way this has a lot of dialogue, too - mainly because it's a radio show :P - but also because it lets you get really hooked and lost with it, so you feel like you're there. I love the way there are many-a gags and all of them come across as perfectly charismatic, but the fact that there is this carefree bubble makes me excited about later chapters and what is going to happen to kick this novel off :D
Laura xxx Report Review
I couldn't not review this, because I enjoyed it so much! And so, because I ruined the original plan of focusing on the later chapters, I promise I will make it up to you with even more reviews!
It was really refreshing to have this from Angelina's POV, and to take a step back from George's sadness into the past, literally where everything is giggly and fun. The contrast couldn't be starker. It makes me sympathise with him one thousand times over. Angelina, too, is just all the more lovely and endearing, and I love how close she is to Alicia, too. Little things, really, but it makes this first Angelina chapter really lovely. The atmosphere was so much lighter and humorous, and you have done a really great job at capturing the teenager spirit, what with the sarcasm and the way everything falls back to getting a date! One other thing I really liked was the way, although they were worried about the Yule Ball, no one actually mentions the Triwizard Tournament, and how huge it is. It's like, in the face of dresses and boys, everything else is not worth thinking about! :D It was believable, so don't worry. I mean, I even forgot Cedric was in their year (I know, I'm useless!) so having you include him was kinda great at really showing how thorough this is :)
In terms of narration, I love the way you include little bits and pieces to really include us in Angelina's narrative and really help us visualise it, such as when she spilt ink on her parchment. It was only a minor thing but it's bits like that which make this feel real. Your use of language is to be envied, because like I said in the last review whatever you write does sound so effortless yet really well thought out. Your pauses and punctuation are compliment all of this. One example of many many many effective lines: "Lora frowned, picking a custard cream from the assortment. She nibbled at it and chewed for a minute." I know it's like, the most random of quotes ever, but if it was me I probably would have gone, '..from the assortment, and nibbled at it for a minute', but the way you linger on it and put a break between the clauses makes us linger and reminds us how Angelina is like, hanging on for her to speak! God, I'm such a rambler. But I assure you, it's bits and bobs like this that add to this chapter and make it so vibrant and realistic. (I can't believe I picked a quote about biscuits...)
Okay, so I am going to try and make this last part of the review at least slightly helpful and hopefully constructive, but it will probably end up not being so. As you pondered in the review thread over dialogue and breaks, like in the last review I thought I'd take that into consideration. It strikes me all the more, though, how natural and laid back in this chapter the dialogue is. There is an enthusiasm and a perkiness to everything each character says to one other, and compared to the last chapter there are a lot less breaks for narration between speech, which in actual fact matches the tone. This just really heightens the way at this point in time everyone can be casual and easy to talk to, because nothing has gone wrong. In fact, to me GoF is the heralding book for all things evil and Voldemort, so it's really striking that you've started here, in such a happy place where things can only go wrong :( It is breezy though, and it is magnetic. Your jokes are funny, and as I said at the beginning there is something very refreshing about this point of view.
Ah. I think somewhere between trying to be helpful and complimenting this chapter I got confused! This was a great chapter though, and I am excited to see how everything unfolds!
Laura xxx Report Review
I was really excited about getting round to reading this fic as soon as you posted, because I do agree with you: there are not enough George and Angelina fics! I think the atmosphere in this first chapter is awesome, and you've obviously worked really hard at maintaining it, in an effortless sort of way. I really feel for George, right from the word go, because even the first line suggests that he's resigned and is so weary. I can't possibly begin to imagine what it is he is going through. His reactions, too, are perfectly timed and so in tune with the emotional upheaval he is experiencing. I've seen him in oneshots and what not to be quite funky and funny, but I always think to myself that that part of him died with Fred. This line, here, really touched me: "It reminded him that he was a twin, that he had always existed as a part of a whole and that he had never been an individual." It's so true, and it's something that resonates through this chapter, because he seems a little lopsided and low, with his quiet pauses and reluctance to speak. I admit, when he walked out of the pub I was a little taken aback, and I liked that I was, because it showed me how fiery and in a way unpredictable he is. I guess going out in the first place was like testing the waters, and him trying to place where he was on this healing process.
Narration between dialogue is one of the things I hate trying to get right and consequently suck at. It is really difficult to get right and not overdo it so I don't blame you for having it as one of your critique focuses! Here though I really do think you have done a good job, because not once did it make the dialogue jarred or broken, except when it needed to be. Sometimes there are thoughts or actions that need to be explained in between flowing dialogue, but you pick up the dialogue well anyway. I think it fitted in really well with George and the way he is sort of extra sensitive and more considerate of things around him and what he is doing. Sometimes, as well, you don't focus on George but focus on what's around him, like when Lee was making his toast (very funny and very touching, by the way, even if he was sozzled!). There is this sense of detachment, as though he's witnessing it all and isn't a part of it. I know it's only really the first chapter, but I don't think the breaks in the text are bad at all. As with narration between dialogue sometimes a physical separation is needed. The break was actually really effective after the part with Ron. It made me gather my thoughts for the next section, just like George would be collecting his, preparing to be brave in the bar. See, you needn't worry! :) To me, this is a really balanced and well-timed first chapter.
Characterisation, too, has been done really superbly as well. I love Ron, the way he's ever-watchful. Just from reading the books we know how close he is to his brothers, and I think that came across really strongly here. The fact that he is the first one to visit George and in a way intrude upon his solitude was really touching, but in typical Ron fashion arrived just as George was leaving :P I also really like Angelina here too. In the books, there is a natural chemistry between her and the twins, so to the reader anywho she's a really attractive character. I love that she's playful and not afraid to make George smile, compared to all the cautious eyes on him before. It really feels like she's the one that is going to save him and make him happy again, returning him to how he once was.
This really was a great first chapter, and I shall be leaving you a few more reviews either tonight or in the coming nights :) :)
Laura xxx Report Review
Another perfect chapter ♥
I think I love Avrille 100x more than before, just because she is so gutsy and so real. She's not defined by Sev alone at all, but is so her own person, and you've just magnified this independent feeling you've placed around her in the previous two chapters. At the same time as saying that, the way they make up at the end here, and mirror each other in their dialogue - so lovely. It reinforces the way they're one at the same time. I also love the way you have covered so much in this chapter but it is all just so entirely legit, and not rushed or anything. Woohoo, as we are canon nerds, I adored the way you paid so much attention to the headquarters! I felt like I was reading all over again when Harry first sees it, but from a different angle. Thank you, thank you! I think my imagination is about to explode withe excitement! The transition from GoF to OOTP is seamless, by the way ;)
The way you slip in little bits about Char is awesome (like Dumbledore giving him the liquorice), and it makes him so much more involved and reminds me how integral he is to the story and every decision Avrille makes. I guess that's a really important aspect, as with Sev, like we saw in the last chapter. Molly too, totally coming into her element with the child was lovely. Like I said in the last review, you working with canon - it's just amazing! I totally laughed out loud at Sirius, just because it's so rare to see him lose his cool like that. The exchange of words between them was honestly SO funny, just like a comedy sketch or something. Nice work!
This chapter felt a little different to the others though, but not in a bad way. I sort of liked that Avrille was being a little deceptive, and that her boundaries with Sev were shaken. They are such a strong couple, but the fact that they did almost fall out is so important. There's no better way at showing a character's loyalties to one another than having them fear for another's life. It makes me wonder about what other trials they are going to face, and reminds me that this isn't a fluffly romance at all. In some respects, I felt Avrille was being foolish in joining the Order, but when it comes down to it, for the greater good it is better to support the good guys than stand around on the sidelines, especially when it is something as important as this. I really did sympathise with Sev though, and I found myself itching to hear what he thought about Avrille joining to Order from his point of view - which of course made me read on. I wonder whether you will touch upon that in the next chapter :) I saw what you said in your last author's response, about how you viewed the books in a more adult way. Again, I can really see that coming across here, such as your attention to Char, but also the way you handle their emotions. Life experience shapes things we write, and I can honestly feel that in this fic. Every emotion is so developed. I mean, it's not just like, fear, love, horror, funny - you've intermingled them all. Just like real life :)
I'm looking forward to the next chapter, to seeing what Sev is up to! Nice work though, lovely. This is a real winner of a story! And, omg, no way do you have to nominate me! You're so kind - I just like rambling on after reading chapters and hopefully making writers feel a little more inspired! :D
Laura xAuthor's Response: Hi Laura! Sorry it took me a couple days to respond. It's a little harder to get online when I'm not at home with my own setup. Thanks for reviewing this one, too! I'd love to put in a request for the next three if it's cool with you, but I want to wait a few more days in case anyone else on TGS wants to jump into your open slots. I don't want to be a request hog :)
Squee! I'm so glad you like Avrille! I tried really hard to make her a strong, independent woman. I didn't want her to get all love-sick and passive once she and Severus got together. I also think she needed to be tough because it really is very hard to be a single mom to a baby/toddler while your husband's off working (believe me, I did four months of it, so I know!)
I get very canon obsessed when I write "real" places and events. You have no idea how many times I referenced my GoF book to get the timing just right for the third task scene (like "Would enough time have passed by now for Harry to have dueled Voldemort?" Stuff like that.) So I did the same thing with headquarters. I think I did a bit of a mixture with the movie set and how it was described in the books because if I remember correctly, a couple things like where the kitchen was seemed different once or twice in the book.
"it makes him so much more involved and reminds me how integral he is to the story and every decision Avrille makes."--Thank you so much for noticing and pointing that out! It's been kind of weird writing Avrille in this story because she has different levels of responsibility so I have to keep that in mind while writing. I can't just have her run off somewhere to do Order business whenever she feels like it since she needs to consider things like a babysitter for Char or how her actions could potentially put Severus in danger. It's been slightly limiting in a way, but strikes very close to home for me.
I'm going to throw modesty to the wind and say, yeah, that part with Sirius was hilarious. That was a scene I literally had in my head for YEARS, so I wanted to get the wording just right. Hopefully it also softens the blow when I'm a little harder on Sirius lately. I don't know if you're a raging Sirius fan, but I hope if you are you keep in mind whose point of view the story is in later, so you don't get too mad at me ;)
I felt I needed them to have a bit of conflict now, because in the first story things were very "new love" where they never had a fight, you know? But having a baby and being in a war's bound to add a little bit of stress, not to mention both Avrille and Severus are very stubborn people.
And you're GETTING a nomination, so deal with it! :D I'm kind of glad you're a rambler because as I'm sure you can tell with my own responses, I am too! Thank you so much for the review and insights! You're the best!! ~Renny Report Review
You know, for all the apologies you give about your chapters being long, I really, really don't mind :) I almost didn't review this and wanted to skip straight on to the next chapter! I love this story so much already.
Having Severus' viewpoint here instead really changed the tone and made it much more real in a way. When I think of all the things that have happened in these past two chapters, from both perspectives, makes me so excited to read on and see what else is going to happen. Severus also refreshed my faith in their relationship, in a way assuring me that they do work well together. The last part of this chapter was especially intimate and really loving, because it wasn't just lust or anything - it was perfect to see that Avrille is safety for Sev, because he needs it.
In terms of canon, reading this has made me love Sev so much more than I ever have done in the books. By the end of DH I got that he was the good guy and that he'd done something amazing in being a 'double agent' but I didn't really dwell on it, but reading this really brought it home, just like reading about Cedric in the previous chapter. When I think about the times he would have to have mentally prepared himself over and over again and submit himself to the torture and jeers of the Death Eaters I have so much respect for him, and I know I wouldn't have really thought about him like this if it was not for this. You've made him so strong here, and I honestly believe that he was, because at the end of it he is just a man, not a super human baddie/goodguy. It's like you've taken the Harry Potter books, and shaken the childish naivety out of them and turned them into an adult series all of a sudden. I just love this, I really do.
For the one-thousandth time, your writing has blown me away, because you tell the story in such an effortless way. As I said a moment ago, I just wanted to keep reading on and on, because I am so absorbed by this! I especially loved the way you wrote Voldemort; I didn't even bat an eyelid at anything he was saying because it was all so canon and I really believed it was coming from him. Often some things are a little 'off' with canon characters but no way with this fic, and you've done such a super job at making the baddest of the bad guys so darn believable.
One last thing before I dive into the next chapter - I have so much respect for you in terms of sheer Harry Potter knowhow! Little things really stood out for me in this, like the way you used to correct name for the Strengthening Solution, and the way Sev was concerned he looked like an 'Inferius', and the way I kinda almost felt as though you'd memorised the floor plan for the Riddle's house ;D I know it's silly really, but the way you know and remember and include all these little details from the books makes this feel as though it is just a continuation from JK and makes this fic so enchanting :) You've done a really, really, super duper good job.
See you in the next review!
Laura xxxAuthor's Response: Well, I'm really really glad you don't mind the length because it was really against my gut instinct to cut them up to shorten them. :)
I really enjoy writing Severus. Like I said in my previous reply, I'm much more into canon events than making up a lot of my own, so I really enjoy filling in all of the missing moments for him. There are a lot, too! Especially with all the spy stuff since obviously Harry wouldn't know what was going on. One of the main parts of the books that always stuck a chord deep within me was when Dumbledore asks Severus when they're in the hospital wing at the end of GoF (and I'm paraphrasing here): "You know what I must ask of you. If you're ready, if you're prepared..." and then Severus answers "I am," instantly without even batting an eye. Even before we knew for sure he was good, his bravery always impressed me so much. That part means even more to me now when I think about that in reference to my own story.
Anyway, trying to not ramble too much. I'm glad the love scene at the end was ok. I'm definitely NOT a person who just throws them in left and right to make it "mature" or anything. There's only one scene in the first book, and it was only there because it was very integral to the plot. What you said about Avrille being his safety is exactly what I wanted that to be about.
It's probably because I didn't start the Harry Potter books until I was in college, but I've always been way more interested in the grown-ups in the series (hence why I will never write a story about Harry or the other kids). Going through some big life changes myself like having a baby brought a new dimension to the canon events and really helped me to appreciate how scary and dangerous the books are when you get past all the silly jelly beans and everyone wearing cloaks. Even the first book has some scary, effed up stuff in it if you think about it logically.
Wow, I'm so happy to hear Voldemort came off as believable. He was one of those characters I wasn't sure about writing. I kind of wanted to keep Ralph Fiennes in my head, but then I would get this more book-description Voldemort pushing his way into my thoughts, like the high cold voice and red eyes. It was weird cause I love Fiennes so much (even his awkward Voldy hugs).
Yes, I'm a huge insane Harry Potter geek. Granted some things I probably looked up on the Lexicon (which I hate to use cause of the lawsuit but sometimes it's a necessity when you're stuck on a fact). I really do work very hard to make everything exactly like the books like capitalization (though I realized there were some I missed, like Wizarding should be capitalized so you have no idea how much that's bugging me!) and dialect with Fleur and Hagrid. I'm actually re-reading OotP right now and smacked my head when I read the Strengthening Solution is supposed to be turquoise. I decided to keep it read on the assumption Severus improved the "official" potion and made it better for his own use ;) So since I'm crazy about canon details, I really appreciate it so much that my "work" shows :)
Thank you a billion kajillion times again for your reviews! They're really just the best (and I know "someone" who will be getting a featured reviewer nomination from me this month for sure!!)
~Renny Report Review
After reading many of your fics in the past I was really excited to start on this one, and as this is the first chapter I really hope you'll find my feedback helpful.
I loved the start of this chapter, the way you carried on the suspense about the proposal, before Harry mentioned it so casually. It really was super effective, and I actually grinned to myself when Harry mentioned how he proposed to Ginny - cutest ever! Through this I've got a really lovely image of Lysander - the fact that he wants to settle down and he's not nervous or awkward around Harry is really nice and really unique. I imagine he's quiet but bold, and he must really love Lily to do all of these things for her. Their relationship, too, is one of the things that struck me as being really genuine and realistic, even just through little things, like the way you allow them to respond to each other. Sure, drama is good, but sometimes it's comforting and perfect to have a couple so made for each other too.
I love the way too that right from the word go we're being plunged into this adventure, once we think it's going to be all fluffy romance! Both of them are so adventurous and keen, so I can tell that their characters are going to compliment the direction you choose to go wit this story. And eep, the strange cave/alter! I got a little freaked out while reading this. I know its a bit childish but I think I will always be scared of the dark, so to have both of them thrown into this creepy cave was pushing me to my limit, haha! But no, in all honesty it was really excited and so different to what I had expected. I do have some CC though, and that is that I kinda felt as though it needed a little more description about the staircase cave, and also maybe about the first cave too, and them swimming as well. It would have also have been awesome to linger a little longer on their moment on the beach together, because it would make their discovery all the more contrasting to the quiet, romantic evening Ly had planned! :D Without though, this is still a really strong first chapter, and I am really intrigued about what is to come!
Most of all though I loved the way you lured us into a false sense of security with the proposal, before, wham! adventure time :) As of right now I have a hold on the characters and what they are like, which is a fab place to leave me at before the next chapter, as well as the element of mystery wanting me to read more too :) Can't wait for more! Good luck with the update :)
Laura xxxAuthor's Response: OMG Laura! I love your reviews so much. They are always so full of detail and sometimes have me in a puddle from your gushing.
Let me tell you, that whole cave scene, SO NOT PLANNED. It really was supposed to be all fluffy and about the proposal but as I wrote, it became less and less likely that Lysander would have the opportunity to propose.
As for why there wasn't much description about the cave, well, to me, caves are all quite the same. But I can definitely see how adding here might add to the story. I just didn't want to bog down the reader with too many details as they could probably picture a cave and a staircase however they liked.
Anyway, as always, love the review! Report Review
I was so unbelievably excited when you posted in my review thread saying that you had updated! I love this fic - it's so unique, and as I've said a trillion times before I can't wait to see what's going to happen.
One thing you did mention was that you were worried about the continuation of the characters. I really feel like you have carried them on really well, though, so you needn't worry at all :) Sirius is still a little bit lost and naive, and I liked that at the beginning of this chapter he still wasn't quite a part of the group, but was slowly getting there, despite a few days passing. It was actually really good with continuing the feelings on from the last chapter - I think if he'd miraculously fitted in all of a sudden it wouldn't have felt natural, but it does, and it keeps the tone just so. James and Remus, too, are the same headstrong and reliable boys as they have been before, but I really liked that you're adding more as you go, but still keeping them a little seperate from us. Their little group is really enigmatic but it is really effective and comforting as well. The way they still don't quite trust Sirius 100% was really realistic, but by the end of this chapter definite progress has been made.
Aside from characterisation, I think you have picked up on what you've already written and continued this really well overall. I don't know about you, but sometimes I lose the tone or flow of something I'm writing and feel a bit weird going back to it. I don't think it showed at all here though, and the way there was such consistency feels as though there hasn't been a break in writing this next chapter at all :) I'm starting to really love the alternation between Sirius and the castle ongoings, because it keeps everything really fresh and interesting, and also the way the scope of characters you cover is so wide. Narcissa meeting Lucius was honestly such a brilliant part to read - I know a lot of people imagine it to be fluffy and perfect, but here she reminded me of the cat that got the cream, and was super smug about it :)
Not only do you continue and carry on the story so beautifully in this chapter, but there are so many emotional and sentimental moments in this chapter that add to it as a whole. This is just so well written it makes me jealous, (I'm trying to work out just how you do it!!) and the dynamics are perfect. I can't wait for the next one - you've left this on the perfect note.
Laura xxx Report Review
Hello! It's Laura from TGS - just thought I'd drop by and nose around on your authors page :)
This was so awesome, and I really, really enjoyed it! You created this awesome image of Cho - headstrong, determined, but still nursing a faded hurt. I love that we finally get to see how gutsy and passionate she is. I guess previously she's always been masked in a girlishness because of Harrys crush on her. I love Cho and Cedric as a couple, too, and you captured her feelings about him so very very well here.
The action, too, was so intense, and everything you described had me itching with anticipation - I just wanted here to be safe! I'm so bad at anything remotely actiony haha, so high five for you, for making this so effective. Your choice of words was so brilliant, even little things like 'thrashing' and such. It makes this piece so much more animated! And also, well done on addressing the prompts! I'm not really a part of the House Cup this year - kinda wish I was - but I think you did a super job here :)
See you later! :D
Laura xxxAuthor's Response: Hey Laura! Feel free to nose around all you like! :)
I'm glad you liked how I wrote Cho because I wasn't sure at the beginning if I'd made her a little too strong. When I thought about it, though, we don't really see much of her in the books. We know she's pretty, clever, dates Cedric and Harry and defends her friend and cries a lot the year after Cedric dies. Well... that's actually fairly normal, you know? I wanted to sort of explore her a bit more than that and this kinda just came out. Cho and Cedric! Oh, they're so perfect, I agree! :D
Thank you so much! I hadn't written a single action scene for ages before I wrote this, so I was a little worried about it... particularly the dragon. I mean, it's a dragon. It burns things. And eats things O.o Not much there to work with...
Thank you so so much for the lovely review - and hopefully you'll be part of the House Cup next year! :)
Aph xx Report Review
Okay, so I thought I should just let you know. When approaching this review, I made notes. ACTUAL notes. This really was a chunky first chapter! :D Saying that though, it was incredible, really truly honestly. This part of GoF is one of my favourites, because it is so intense and magical and heartbreaking. I love reading perspectives aside from Harry, too, just because it heightens the moments all the more and just..GAH! This was just so epic!
Okay, first up on the agenda for this review: I have written in a little notebook page entitled 'Renny - N.E.M. ch1': "'Hi' - lol! - colloq. - foresh. gah! good summ.". I understand if you cannot make heads nor tails of this, because it took me a moment to understand my ridiculous short hand too hahah! But basically, I scribbled these bits almost instantaneously with reading about the first three paragraphs of this, because I was swept away with the effectiveness of your writing and I didn't want to forget all these points I wanted to make! I LOVE that you started with dialogue, because it was so funny, bringing us closer to your character, and combined with your really colloquial and hilarious, casual "Hi." I know that Avrille is going to be an awesome narrator, and that there are going to be relaxing touches of humour later on, too :) It just adds to the whole cosy, mumsy feeling of the first section of this chapter, what with Char being freakin' adorable too.
You mentioned when posting the review request that you were concerned about your prequel fic, and whether or not you'd brought the readers up to speed. Well, you have! I assure you I haven't read your previous fic (though I probably will do now!) but I feel confident with my knowledge from what you've given me here to kinda grasp the characters and their circumstances a little better. Do be pleased with your summary, because it is effective, and somehow not overbearing, either, which is always good. At first, I couldn't quite get over Severus married with a child - it just felt a bit funny to me, but no, by the end of this chapter you'd eased me into the idea, mainly because of the fact that he is really quite canon too :)
Your actual writing style is so strong and so descriptive. This fic kinda reminds me of Mary's 'Unwritten', and honestly, you should see the amount of fangirling I do over that fic. You set up the scene so effectively - less is more! - which really adds to the 'actiony' feel of this fic. Yet, although you have done this there are some really beautiful descriptions scattered in there too, which make this chapter magical. I love this; "The first stars were just twinkling to life in the magenta-splashed violet sky above." It's so simple but SO gorgeous! With all of these elements combined, I was honestly so absorbed in this first chapter. My sister came in to ask me something - I waved her away without even lifting my eyes from the screen!
As I said before, I really like it when fics are set in surroundings and situations we know. I didn't really know what to expect from your request (but that's the fun with having a thread!) and was so excited when I realised when and where it was set. At first I thought it was another Triwizard Tournament, like, post-Hogwarts, because I didn't know if your previous fic was totally AU or anything, and was like, hmm, well this will be interesting, but as soon as I read the name 'Ludo Bagman' I swear my heart danced, and I was just like, NO WAY NO WAY IS THIS GoF!! From that moment on, I was won over by this fic :D It makes it so much more magical and so much more intense to set this somewhere we know. Truth be told, I adored this so much because I kinda felt like a Hogwarts student watching this all unfold from the stands ^.^
As well, you have captured the canon characters SO (note: 'so' is underlined twice in my notes) well! The Beauxbatons students, the Durmstrang students, even the teachers we already know. They all worked in total accordance with one another, in exactly the way I knew that they would have had JK included them in this part of the GoF. I don't really know how to explain it, but I just, I don't know. Honestly. The canon characters were just rad. Somehow you've impressed the way they are upon me so well and I can't even pick out why that is - I am so, so, SO impressed! It made this chapter just that little bit more awesome!
So, as the Hogwarts student waiting in the stands that I am, the intensity of the maze was so incredible. I went cold when I read that Fleurs scream was heard, and the first star had been shot up, and when Fleur was brought out - AH. It suddenly all turned snappy and instinctive, and I wanted Avrille to just be able to see and know what was happening because I really needed to know too!! The atmosphere was amazing and I was completely and utterly captured by it. And, God, when Harry and Cedric come out :( It was like the final release of pressure, and my heart broke all over again like it did in the books. My only constructive criticism to you in this first chapter would be to make his death more striking and, I don't know, in a weird way more sad. I just think, you've fantastically built up this incredible tense mood and he's there, they're both there, something awful has happened, and it would just be so traumatic to witness. It's so macabre with the band playing, too. I only really thought of this because of the Slytherin Prefect's response and attitude wasn't as I expected, I don't know why, and in a way she is telling of the rest of the students. Maybe I'm just sinister and weird, haha - MAKE ME CRY. Bahaha :P But in a way I needed to feel as though time had stood still and through the confusion there was realisation of the horror, too.
Eep, oh man I'm so sorry, only 218 characters left! The last part, in brief: Sev and Avrille are perfect and like magnets, and I love that I can feel their relationship and love. Gah, 28!! So much more awesome left to come!
Laura xxxAuthor's Response: Ok, I think the lost reply went something like this: WOW! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR REALLY LONG, WONDERFUL REVIEW! I appreciate you taking a look at this chapter even though it's so long.:D I wrote the preceding story like this one alternating Avrille's and Severus's first person POVs, so I couldn't end this one before I was done with all the stuff Avrille had to say. I felt like all of this needed to be from her POV since we know Severus's side from GOF, and I try to steer clear of retelling events from the books since JKR already did that so masterfully :)
I'm so glad you liked the beginning of this story because I always feel very guilty requesting reviews instead of just receiving them spontaneously. However, since this was my first attempt at posting a WIP instead of a completed novel, I really appreciate feedback, *especially* from lovely readers like you who are knew to my writing so coming at it with a fresh set of eyes. So really, thank you!
I'm really glad you like Avrille! I think anyone who has an OC main character, especially one paired with a canon character, is nervous about how readers will take to her.
Good to hear the summary was adequate, and also that you were able to get over Severus being married. That would be pretty jarring without having the lead up of the first story. I think it would help if I explained my version of Severus had more of a big brother/little sister relationship with Lily before they fell out over her relationship with James since I wrote most of the first story before DH came out. I could never imagine canon Severus EVER being with anyone except Lily (hence why "Unwritten" is so AWESOME! Right?! Right?!?! I'm really honored to call Mary one of my closest HP buddies online, so to have my story compared to hers is really amazing!) The only other difference with "my" Severus (besides mine has amazing hygiene since I say so) is that his father was a wizard. Having him be able to do magic was really important to the plot of the first book, and having made most of THAT plot before HBP came out, Severus just had a different childhood in general, coming from a more wealthy, pureblood background, though his father lost all the money to alcoholism.
Alright, pressing on. I like surprising people with the time period, because I really don't think there are a ton of actual Hogwarts-era fics out there. I guess I am the same as you where I love reading a different take on events we already know. I can see the appeal of Next-Gen to people since you can do whatever you want, but personally if I'm doing that, I'd rather write original fiction. I fell in love with HP because of the Hogwarts years, and I like to stick to them. It also makes it a bit harder, I think, to fit an OC in. It's like a big puzzle and really cool! It's funny you mentioned AU since I used to have an AU tag on the first story because of Severus's past, but removed it since it's really alternate Severus, not alternate UNIVERSE, you know? And I worked way too hard to make the first story flawless with (pre-HBP) CoS canon to feel right calling it AU. This one might get an AU for events at the very end, but we'll see when I get there.
I want to throw out an extra HUGE thank you for the CC you mentioned about Cedric! You have no clue how helpful that is. That's something no one has picked up on before, and what you said makes so much sense. I think I was so focused on Avrille's worry about Severus that I totally neglected how emotionally devastated she would be by Cedric's death. I think she probably would have known Cedric a little bit from her own brief time teaching and then later helping the kids out unofficially with homework and studying when she was pregnant and stuck in the castle with Sirius "on the loose." So once I'm home, I'll definitely take a fresh look at that part and see what I can come up with.
Thanks a million times over for this review. It helped me so much! ~Renny Report Review
This one shot was really, really lovely. It was so unique from a many of the things I've read on here - it felt kind of like a pep-talk, and it was really encouraging and inspiring too. I agree with everything Victoire, and you, have said. This line, here, "Oh, so beautifully human and flawed." is just super duper, because there is something so special about being human and about needing people close but really wanting to know them first. We can't win. Well, maybe we can. When we find the right person. It was really enlightening as Victoire has gone through this kind of...turmoil? - or hardship, or realisation (yes, I'll go with realisation) but she's come out the other side all the more strong and really knowing herself. It's just really effective and really magnetic.
Vic's narration is really entrancing, too, because she's not overly flowery and this piece isn't so poetic that I don't know where I stand. It's realistic, she's saying it how it is, and the fact that it is so down to earth makes this really attractive. Right from the beginning we slink through these thought transitions, from rhetorical questions to almost mantra like perspectives, witnessing how she grows in confidence in what she is saying. I have felt like this before, and I have asked these questions. I really truly believe that friendship, not loose-ended lust or admiration, keeps a relationship going, and I say this after being with my boyfriend for three years. It is honestly so true though, because you do blossom and you do live and forge these life experiences as Vic (and you) has said and you need to have a strong basis and room to grow and spread out if need be.
I really did like this, and as I said before, it is just so unique and really, really heartwarming!
Laura xxx Report Review
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