Tagging you from Review Tag!
You probably thought you were rid of me, didn't you? Never! I've just been waiting for the correct moment to strike.
A whole chapter about sixteenth birthdays. It was an interesting theme to overlay on the events that take place here. It was clever to interject a little bit of muggle-born culture into the mix with Paisley's reaction to turning sixteen. Her reaction is much more in line with what we're used to seeing in real life, right down to the way that her younger sibling seems a bit jealous. And it set up one of the funniest dry one-liners of the entire story:
“You!” Trelawney swept over to their desk, her taloned finger pointed dramatically at Paisley. “My girl, today you celebrate! My Inner Eye tells me you, why, today you become a year older!”
Both girls stared at her blankly. Paisley’s luminous birthday balloons bumped against the desk. -- That was awesome! Brilliantly understated.
You kept the events surrounding O.W.L. and N.E.W.T. exams very true to the books, which I liked. The poor Fifth Years seem to be constantly walking that fine line bordering on either a physical collapse or snapping mentally. Fred and George are a useful pair to have around at a time like that. From the moment they descend from the dormitory on their birthday, they're sucking away the tension and replacing it with delicious silliness. Even the teachers seem to get caught up in the dissipation of stress.
Poor George. He's just all kinds of awkward in this chapter. As frustrating as it is to watch him flounder and flop in every romantic situation -- and believe me, it's **very** frustrating! -- I think you're doing a really good job of capturing the way that a very non-romantic teenage boy struggles with trying to act on his feelings. Especially one like George who has the additional handicap of being a twin and not dealing especially well with difficult things that he must do on his own.
The "almost kiss" was one of the most painful things I've read in a while. Not painful because it isn't written well, mind you. Quite the opposite. It's painful because you've gotten me so invested in these characters and it's hard to watch the two of them struggle like this. George had the perfect line and everything: "Not freak out." I mean, it's not Shakespeare or anything, but I thought it was perfect for him. And he blew it. Lost his nerve at the last minute and pulled up when he should have closed the deal. Come on, Georgie, get it together!!!
It seems like the two of them took a big step back in their relationship, which is completely understandable. Apparently that's the pattern with these two. Every time they get close to a breakthrough, something pulls them back.
The letter from Stanley Meadowes continued to build the tension around the death of Brienne's mother. It opened up a new avenue of intrigue and a new level of tension. I had assumed all along that Dark Wizards and possibly Death Eaters were involved, but now we know that they're on the loose. This bodes poorly for Brienne.
It was very sweet of all of her friends to take a break from their exams and celebrate the birthday that she seems to have more or less forgotten. George is still being so hopeless. If you like a girl, you don't go in on a gift with your brother! You get her one yourself, you big dope!
And you leave us with a cliffhanger! Missives from beyond the grave...
I saw one itsy-bitsy typo, which is pretty darn good for a chapter this long:
It wasn’t as euphoric as the parties usually thrown after Quidditch games, but it was excited all the same. -- exciting?
So I seem to recall you saying that this is the penultimate chapter. It seems like a lot of exciting things are on tap for the next one, then. Can't wait!Author's Response: Hi! Ha! What a great thing to find when you've had a long day! A review from you!
I thought the birthdays was a good way to give a little attention to Paisley and the Twins, and I didn't want to ignore the main character's friend's birthdays like J.K.R seemed to do most of the time.
Something I also didn't want to ignore= their exams. Exam season is currently going on and while I don't have to do them anymore (thank the heavens) my brother and friends are, so I can pick up on their horror and use it to my advantage xD
Brienne and George just can't catch a break xD They are both so awkward and shy in this aspect of things, and their feelings for each other just make it harder for them! Hopefully one of them will get over it soon and become close again xD
While the romance is pretty big story-wise, her mother's murder is most important, and is most on the forefront of Brienne's mind. Maybe that's part of why they haven't got it together yet xD
Thanks for spotting the typo! My beta already let me know about it, and the correction is in the queue xD But thank you for letting me know anyway :)
This is indeed the penultimate chapter. But there is a lot more to come, so no worries. It will be me that you can't get away from before long xD
Thank you for the lovely, long, stupendous review! Report Review
You know, I don't really hate Tasha at all. People find themselves in bad situations. It happens. When it does, they do the best they can under the circumstances. The story holds together just fine when you tell it from her point of view. She was young and embarrassed and probably terrified of being rejected. From her standpoint, it made more sense to try to go it alone. For me, how I feel about her will depend on what she does from here on out, not what she did before.
Xavier's reaction to things seemed about right for a guy who, because of his profession, doesn't really need other people's support. At least not in the way of needing a place to sleep or something to eat. He took his time and worked through things in his own way. Not the world's most constructive way, mind you, but I guess it works for him.
The meet-up in the park was really cute and well-executed on your part. I loved the way that Ethan just buried his face in Stewart's shirt to begin with. That's the perfect reaction of a 2-year-old who senses that something big is going on, even though the adults are trying to play it down. As Ethan starts to open up, I liked the little similarities you drew out between him and Xavier. It really helped to tie the situation together.
It was nice to take a little break from Al and Lexi's story for a chapter and focus on your other characters. Even better, I think, because Xavier's situation has an obvious bearing on Al's own. It's one of those "there but for the grace of god" kind of moments for Al where he sees how differently things could have gone for him if he and Lexi hadn't chosen to stick together.
I noticed two small typos that you might want to take another look at:
"I have son," Xavier replies quietly. -- a son
It's a completely open question, anyone listening would never know what he means, but we know and we impatiently for Xavier to answer. -- we wait impatiently
Otherwise, it was very well written. Everything flowed nicely and it was a smooth, easy read.
Well done!Author's Response: Hey!!!
I'm glad you don't hate Tasha. She didn't know Xavier that well and made a choice she thought was the best at the time. She's a good person, I will say, so I hope you'll like her when she comes back. :)
He's stubborn. He needs to do things himself, no matter what. Including sorting through his own head. If that meant being alone (well, hiding at his sister's - but she would have left him alone) then he isn't going to apologize. It's just who he is. Much to Al's dismay. :P
I'm glad you liked the park scene. As I've never been in this situation before, I had a bit of a worry over whether people would like it or not or if any of it was right.
It was odd, but nice, writing about another character, even if it was still in Al's PoV. To see wants happening in the lives of others. I'm glad you liked the little break. And yes, it definitely give Al some I sight into how things could have gone. He would have hated the idea of not seeing his kid every day.
I'll go fix the typos. :)
Thank you for leaving such an amazing review!
Sam. Report Review
Hi, Jami! Hope you make it through this without falling asleep. ;)
I loved the first section with Sirius. He isn't adjusting well to this whole "boyfriend" thing. You do such a great job of capturing the flip side of his intense, obsessive personality. Sometimes it's humorous, like this chapter. Sometimes it isn't pretty, like when he tries to attack Regulus. Sometimes it's painful to watch, like when he confesses his role in the Evans's death. Throughout it all, you've been consistent in showing the ups and the downs of being Sirius Black, without glossing over the bad parts.
Good food, a beautiful girl, and some snogging. It all sounded brilliant, so why was he stomping about acting like he couldn't stand the thought of it? -- Poor Sirius. He's so unaccustomed to good things happening that they make him feel uneasy. You did a good job of capturing all of his jitters, and the way he reacts to those feelings of unease is classic Sirius. Pretending that he doesn't care or need anyone else ia a perfectly natural reaction for a guy who spent most of his life putting up walls to protect himself from the people who were supposed to care about him.
He'd never tried to impress anyone, not willing to cover up the rougher edges of himself. But still, the idea of Belle being unhappy with their plans for the day had caused a sort of cold dread in the pit of his stomach, even if he didn't want to admit it. It wasn't fair that the girl could get under his skin the way she did. -- That's how love works, my friend. It's hard to pretend that you don't care when you actually do. :)
Belle really is perfect for him, isn't she? In short order, she puts a goofy smile on his face, sets his mind at ease and decides on a way to spend their day that's much more in line with what he wanted to do in the first place.
Then things get tense... Among the many things that Sirius Black doesn't deal well with, the possibility of losing anyone that he genuinely cares about is pretty high up on the list. It sends him into a very irrational mode. Fortunately, he has Belle there to watch over him and keep him more on the level than he might otherwise be. I am so impressed, by the way, that Belle is able to run like that in heels! Especially across an old castle floor that's probably made of slightly uneven flagstones. I think it's fair to say that a lot of people would have been on their way to the hospital wing with some combination of a broken wrist, ankle or face before they got anywhere near the one-eyed witch.
He took a breath, trying to think. "We should be hidden enough with the Disillusionment charm. If we get up there and something is wrong, if they - the Death Eaters - have taken over, just get back into the tunnel and run."
"Not until we find ze group." -- Silly Sirius, when are you going to learn? I loved every moment of Belle throughout their entire adventure. She's bold, brave and motherly. Also very clever when it comes to planning ahead, which obviously isn't his strong suit. They compliment one another so well.
Dumbledore... wow! I love it when he delivers one of his grand displays of magic on an unimaginable scale. If I was following the events correctly, he shielded himself and possibly the village, then unleashed a barrage of offensive magic against the Death Eaters? Awesome stuff. Marauders stories need more of that.
Sirius's parting thoughts continued to build on the running theme of the chapter. He has a problem treating Belle as an equal, but I don't think it's because he doesn't think of her that way. He's over-protective and scared to lose her. The funny thing is that I'm sure James feels exactly the same about Lily. He just conceals it better in the heat of the moment.
I felt terrible for Lily and the others as they waited things out at breakfast. The tight relationship you've created between McGonagall and her students isn't something I see very often in Marauders fics, and I really like it. Her strong personality adds to the story in so many ways. She helps to balance out Dumbledore and his rather laissez faire approach to the health and safety of his students.
It's sad to see the Ministry turning a mostly blind eye to the reality of Voldemort's rise, but it fits well with what we know of the historical details and the way that the Ministry has always been portrayed to work. I liked the various theories about why the Ministry wasn't doing anything, especially Frank's.
"But then I think about Bellatrix. The way she looked at me, at both of us, and I realize people like her don't do both. They don't just work by day and go murder people by night. It's everything to them." -- Lily hit on a really good point there. Dumbledore's Order will always be at a disadvantage in that way, because their goal is to be able to live normal lives. So when they're not fighting Death Eaters, that's what they do. They go to work or to school and lead normal lives. Sigh. That was depressing to realize.
Durmstrang. Grrr... I want to throttle him, but since I can't, it's nice to see that his carefully manicured facade is starting to unravel. He doesn't seem to be able to pay attention to people very well. I though it was grimly amusing that he actually checked to see that her bloodline was pure, even though he's just dating her to maintain appearances. If you're gonna be a lunatic, I guess you might as well be thorough. Ooh, and the Dark Lord is still making him pay for the fiasco in Swansea. Unlike Bellatrix, he doesn't seem to welcome the pain.
He's scary, though. He's been subjected to enough brutality at this point that I imagine he's capable of doing some pretty awful things and feeling no remorse. Good thing that Lily and the others are onto him.
So many neat things happened in this chapter! Sirius and Lily are both feeling so well-rounded after the past few. I can't wait to see who you focus on next!Author's Response: Dan! Midnight reviewing answering.
Sirius has so many sides, and I feel like including those is such a fun part about writing him. Especially in this situation where it's not angry Sirius but bratty Sirius. Although Angry is still really fun to write..
He really isn't adjusting well to the bf thing, but at the same time I don't think anyone expected him too. He has his friends and his basically adopted parents, but to step out past that and really get close to someone like Belle, and understand that he can get close to her while still being himself, is so much harder. Poor guy just needs a cuddle.
Belle is a woman of many talents. And I think we're both aware that I've translated that talent of mind directly too Belle, so I'm going to take your comment about being impressed as a personal one ;).
Yes, you followed Dumbledore's actions perfectly! It's fun to think about the ways he may have been different fifteen years prior to meeting the HP group.
I think you're exactly write about James and Sirius's actions. James knows Lily can protect herself, but he also knows he couldn't handle losing her. He's realized though he has a better chance of getting them out safely if he just goes along with what she wants and he can still keep an eye out for her. Sirius doesn't think about that. Instead he would spend ten minutes arguing with Belle about it if the group wasn't there, and by that time they could have both been finished.
I don't think I meant to give then such a close relationship when starting out, but it's really evolved that way and I do like it. I think maybe because she realizes they'll be working together soon, it's easier for her to sort of want to keep a closer eye on them. And she's McGonagall *wub face.*
I was thinking about the Order and how/why James Sirius and Lily would not work and devote all their time to it, and I think that really ended up being the most logical explanation. Because most people can't. And they need more people that can, because for every step forward they take the DE are setting them two back.
Dan, I already let you punch Christophe through Sirius, now you want to throttle Alrek?! :P
And as we've already been over this -- yes Dan, I've picked up your subtle hint on who you would like me to focus on next ;).
Thank you so much for another absolutely amazing review and all your awesome support ♥ Report Review
Wow. Emily goes through some pretty intense highs and lows in this chapter. It seems like she and Heather will have a lot to talk about at their next session. :-/
First off, however, congratulations on creating the most cringe-inducing vision of Madam Puddifoot that I've ever read. No wonder the boys of Hogwarts take their dates there as an absolute last resort. You deserve some sort of literary award for coming up with "permanent-wave-quaffed-within-an-inch-of-its-life". :p Also, what is it about witches and wizards and their ability to eat enormous quantities of food without ever gaining any weight? Now that's magic! Apparently it takes an entire lifetime of gluttony to end up fat, ala Slughorn.
Our little round table is crowded with so many pieces of china crockery that I can barely see the cream coloured lacy tablecloth beneath. A delicate sugar bowl with a rosebud pattern painted on it sits next to a small crystal vase of real roses, which seem to be softly humming. I pour some milk into my coffee from a delicate milk jug and stir it with an antique teaspoon, enjoying the soft tinkling sound it makes as the spoon hits the side of my cup. - That paragraph really stuck out in my mind. You did a fantastic job of building the atmosphere in the tea shop with little details like this.
The anecdote about the box of quills was a nice lead-in to the first in a series of difficult moments that seem to have led Emily to her ultimate breakdown. It started off so innocuous, a really funny mistake of the type that seem to happen with great regularity in the magical world. And then there's the cold splash of reality. George Weasley. Which unavoidably turns her mind to how "Fred and George" has become just "George". Again, I really loved the way that you paced things. You moved gradually from Emily's recollection of the twins to her memories of working with Arthur.
I remember the way Arthur’s eyes would glaze over with sadness when he thought nobody was looking, but I often noticed it because I’d always thought his eyes looked like my own when they did that. - That was a really lovely line, and it said something pretty profound about both of them.
The story about the Hogsmeade visit gave us another really good look at the person Emily used to be. She was so full of life and she was obviously fascinated by everything about the magical world. Then she shares a seat with Cedric -- a bold move for a girl that age, really -- and the feelings kick into overdrive. I really, really hope she gets that back before the story is over. At least some of it, anyway. You definitely have me rooting for her!
The clothes shopping expedition seemed like a brief high on the roller coaster ride of this chapter. Emily actually did something for herself. Something that apparently she hadn't done in a long time. She seemed to feel good about herself for a little while. Maybe she even gave a moment's thought to having her scars -- the physical ones -- looked at. And then there was this line, which I couldn't stop thinking about later: I wrap my arms around her, allowing myself to enjoy for a brief second the comfort of the embrace. I don’t get a lot of hugs these days and the physical contact is like a drug. I don't know what you had in mind with that, but to me it said a lot. She's craving these things. Part of her desperately misses her old life full of hugs and laughs and small indulgences. But something is holding her back.
Nice little detail with the winged boars. It did a good job of segueing into what was coming.
Emily's descent into her breakdown was tough to read. Not that it wasn't written beautifully, because it was. It's just that I could feel the crash coming. A few words here and there made it apparent that things were heading in a bad direction. I could feel things continuing to build until we got to this point: My heart feels like it’s beating too fast and my hands are tingling, though they’re not really shaking, more like vibrating; I just don’t know what’s wrong with me but I try not to think about it, because I’m getting a little bit scared. I think she should have been more scared at this point, but I get where she's coming from. This certainly isn't the first time she's dealt with feeling anxious. I love the physical symptoms you added to this. They did a lot to make it gripping and real.
From there until the end is just heart-breaking. The nightmare about running from snatchers -- I assumed they were snatchers -- was short, but very vivid and tense. Again, the small physical details added so much to it.
Emily's physical state when she wakes up was horrible to imagine. She seems to be in a sort of psychological paralysis. I sort of wonder how McGonagall knew she was in trouble -- elves? -- but no matter how she knows, it's quite fortunate that she does.
So Emily is still blaming herself for everything at the end, it seems. That's even more sad. She and Heather have a lot to talk about...
I only saw two little things in this chapter that might be typos, but I read a lot of it on my phone, so my nit-picking skills weren't as strong as usual:
“It’s a bit kitschy and tacky, but the coffee’s really good.” She adds, stirring in a lump of sugar before taking a sip. -- I think you need a comma after "really good" and the next word should be lower case if it's meant to be a dialog tag.
“Shhh, it ok,” McGonagall’s voice is so soft that it doesn’t even sound like her. -- it's ok. Also, "ok" sounds a bit informal for McGonagall. Maybe "alright" instead?
Overall, this was a brilliant chapter. It was one of those where it doesn't seem like too much is happening at first blush. But the more you stop and think about it, the more you actually see. I love that sort of writing, where the story gets deeper and deeper. Well done!Author's Response: This review made me blush...literally blush! Readers quoting my own story back to me? Oh that makes me all tingly inside :) And wow...such a long review too! Whoah!
I'm glad you like my take on Puddifoots. I always feel like it gets a raw deal in FanFic because Harry didn't like it so most of the authors present it as this really awful place. But the thing is, I reckon it's probably this nice (albeit oddly decorated) little teahouse with great cakes. I've always believe there would be great cakes. And describing that woman's hair was far too much fun. I could see it in my head and described exactly what I saw!
I'm glad the little Fred/George/Arthur cameo worked alright, I want to slip in little moments with these characters we know because even though the story isn't about them, they are still there in Emily's world and her life. After all, she would have had classes with Fred and George and on some level they could have even been friends.
I like the memory in this story, it's such a carefree, happy one and I got to resurrect the next-gen fluff writer in me to compose it :) I also wanted to show how strong Emily is. In her adolescence it came across as a leader among friends who was brave enough to share her seat with a boy in the pub when she was only in third year, and now that she's older it's evident in the way she's holding her life together, trying to get help and dealing with her grief from the war.
The end of this chapter was tricky to write. I wanted it to go from this gradual, odd feelings of sadness at the start to this rapid descent that picked up incredible speed until she crash-lands at the bottom. The reason she comments that she only a 'little bit scared' is because she doesn't really know what's going on and she's still trying to justify it in her mind. For all she knows, she's just a bit tired or had too much coffee or got food poisoning or something. Deep down she knows something is off, but it's almost like she doesn't want to acknowledge it because that will make it real.
With the whole nightmare/breakdown incident, I wanted the reader to feel a little uncomfortable to get into the reality of what's happening. The anxiety and fear is so overwhelming that Emily has no control over its influence on her for a while. It's frightening and maybe a little disturbing, but it's real, and as difficult as it can be to read and write, I wanted to give it a shot.
Thanks for pointing out the errors, I think you're right about McGonagall saying 'alright' instead of 'ok'. Ok doesn't really sound like her, does it?
Once again, this review was just amazing, it made me smile and blush and just feel all round fuzzy inside :) Thank you so much! Report Review
Here I am, Bec. I'm reviewing the last chapter. The last chapter, I say! I believe it's obvious what needs to be done here. :)
Poor Emily! I really felt her pain when she was trying to get over her nerves and face her first class after returning from her extended holiday break. You didn't rush your way through the narrative, which I thought was nice. It really allowed the tension to build and let the reader feel some of the crushing anxiety. Anticipation of a difficult thing is almost always worse than the thing, itself.
Aww! Newitt seems like exactly the thing that she needed at that moment. Seeing him happy and healthy and glad that she was back must have done wonders for Emily's state of mind. He seems like a really good kid, you know, for a Slythern. ;)
McGonagall is still coming across really well in your story. She's doing exactly what I'd expect her to do under the circumstances: she's keeping a close eye on Emily, but she's not being pushy or demanding anything. She's just asking the right questions and letting Emily work through her own problems. I'm looking forward to the Animagi lecture. I'm not sure exactly what you're playing at with McGonagall's question to Emily, but somehow I think the ability to change into an animal might relieve some of her anxiety issues. Maybe I'm just over-thinking that.
The session with Heather was really well done, the best part of the chapter, I thought. As Emily's facade crumbles in response to Heather's question about whether she enjoys her work, I thought your pacing was fantastic. You just let it happen very gradually and very naturally. And once Emily really starts to be honest, Heather just stays out of her way and lets her own thoughts drive the direction of the conversation. But at exactly the right moment, she jumps back in to help direct Emily toward one of the real sources of her depression and anxiety.
You mentioned that you left teaching to pursue a different dream, and I wonder whether you ever struggled with internalizing the successes and failures of your students the way that Emily does. Or perhaps knew somebody who did. It's only natural to take pride in your work, but when your "product" is the education of a human mind, I guess you have to be very careful about how you define success and failure. Heather made some good steps toward helping Emily to understand that, but I suppose it's going to be a much longer process before she fully accepts it.
A pet? Hmmnn... interesting idea! Not at all sure where you're going with that, but I'm wondering whether it will tie in with the Animagus idea.
Yay, Timothy's back! And he seems to be as witty and charming as we remember him from the party where Emily was smashed. He really brings out the social side of her, which seems like a very good thing. And I love the name of his new pub. I would definitely frequent a place like that.
I can't think of a thing to recommend with this chapter. It was a solid step forward in developing your plot and your lead character and it seems as though you spun a few small plot threads that could have legs. I'm looking forward to seeing where you go with them!Author's Response: There's a new chapter up :)
I was really happy with the opening of this chapter, I wanted to show that anticipation and also have thins not turn out as bad as Emily thought they would. Anxiety has a way of making things seem so much worse than they really are.
I'm glad you're still liking McGonagall. I hadn't thought about the whole being an animal equals less anxiety thing, it's not really the direction I was heading, but it's an interesting thought! I think McGonagall just sees it as something for Emily to focus on and something she believe the younger woman is capable of. I suppose it's also a vote of confidence in Emily that McGonagall thinks she has the ability to become an animagus.
lol...I read back through that last chapter and I think you're interpreting things differently to me because Emily was definitely not 'smashed' at that party! :P I love the name of the pub too, I thought it sounded like something a wizard or witch would name their pub :)
Thanks for another great review, I'm looking forward to your thoughts on the next chapter :) Report Review
After so many chapters focused on Lily, James and their friends, I liked taking a step outside of that circle and seeing what's going on in the wider wizarding world. OK, maybe "like" is too strong of a word, because it seems like an awful lot of what's going on is bad, but it definitely helped to broaden the story and keep the students' seventh year in context.
Between classes, Head Boy duties, revising, keeping their eye on the Slytherins, and trying to snog Lily every chance he got, Quidditch had been one of the last things on his mind. - Ah, James! I love the competing priorities. He's not letting anything slide, though. When does the man sleep?
Lily told him she didn’t want a gift /.../ but he didn’t know if he was supposed to believe that or not. - I feel his pain. You women, always telling us not to do anything special for Valentine's Day / anniversaries / your birthday / Mother's Day... and then never letting us live it down if we actually listen! I bet Frank and Sirius want to hex James for dragging them into the middle of this. But I do love the workmanlike approach he's taking to being a boyfriend and the joy that he seems to take in the positive outcomes.
Quidditch is an incredibly complicated sport, even when nobody's actually flying! I always thought it was weird that a team could conceivably lose every match and still win the cup if they put up huge scores in all their losses. I wonder if there's a rule against replacing your Keeper with a fourth Chaser and maybe having your Seeker join the offense until somebody spots the Snitch? Sort of like pulling your goalie in hockey, but doing it as a strategy for the whole game. OK, I'm really over-thinking this...
Poor James. I know his brain is probably full to capacity between school, Quidditch, Lily and spying on the sneaky snakes, but it was really funny how he couldn't remember the name of the girl Rukin brought to the game. I see Durmstrang is still hanging around like some sort of rash. Whatever he's going to do, I just wish that he would go ahead and do it. I don't like him hanging around, being creepy. Get away from Lily, Durmstrang! RAWRRR!
"... He could have invited us straight into Voldemort’s... house? People like him don’t really live in houses, do they? Lair? Lair sounds better." - Bwaaahahaha! That was brilliant! Followed almost immediately by: Ethan looked at James like he’d inhaled a bit too much broom cleaner, then just shrugged. Funny as those lines were, I loved the fact that James was getting extra-protective of Lily. Like I said, priorities!
You gave us just enough of the substance of the Quidditch match to set the atmosphere, although that scene was obviously more about what was going on in the stands. Recently I've been thinking a lot about what James and Lily might have done for careers if the war hadn't driven them into hiding and tragically shortened their lives, and playing professionally seems like it would have been a good fit for James. Aside from the attention James is drawing, I thought the star-struck younger girl with the Omnioculars was a clever touch. Never bad to take a second and remind us that the Marauders were royalty of a sort within Hogwarts.
Ooh! Looks like Durmstrang's facade is starting to slip just a bit. I suppose the fat helping of Crucio he was served for Christmas must have left him feeling a lot less friendly. But even with Lily feeling so creeped out, she's determined not to spoil James's "moment". Gah, they're both so selfless sometimes! It's a beautiful thing unless and until it gets them killed.
Does this Violet girl want to get hurt? Because she's doing all the right things if she does. Lily had a very good sense of restraint in this, but Belle doesn't seem to suffer from one of those.
I love your Moody. The fact that JKR was writing a children's book really limited what she was able to do with him, I though. Aside from transfiguring Draco into a ferret, she really kept a tight leash on him while he (or the fake Moody) was at Hogwarts. You're able to turn him loose and allow him to be his crude, cantankerous, profane self. Well, at least until McGonagall cuts him off at all the key moments. ;) All of the back-and-forth between the two of them cracked me up, actually. They're already sparring over Frank and Alice, and it's probably only going to get worse once Moody discovers that James and Sirius are talented duelists.
And your Gideon and Fabian are like a reflection of Fred and George from a different age and era. They don't quite finish one another's sentences the way that the Weasley twins do, but you can tell that they're basically inseparable. They also have the razor-sharp wit and the mischevious streak that even forces McGonagall to suppress a grin every so often. It struck me as I was reading this that there was probably even another layer to Molly's pain after the Battle of Hogwarts. Losing Fred must have brought back horrible recollections of losing Gideon and Fabian. :(
“It seems as if there’s always something worthy of worrying over, doesn’t it?” - Well put, Dumbledore, well put.
Another brilliant chapter! It seems like things are really accelerating downhill toward graduation now. So many sad things coming. I'm determined to enjoy the fun moments when they happen!Author's Response: Dan!
So, when I go through my unanswered reviews and scroll from the bottom to stop, I always know if it's about to be a Dan review by the fact that I keep scrolling and scrolling and scrolling.. ;).
Nope, James can't let any of those priorities take a back seat. Though he may be giving himself too much credit when he thinks that he's been revising...
You MEN need to get it through your poor little heads that we don't want something if we have to ask! We want you all to pay attention and know what we want, and then get it all by your selves and be big boys and not have to be told. Are you writing this down?? :P
I think that the most annoying canon fact is the one that James won the cup as captain. Without that, I am positive I'd have had an attack during a match by now so I'd never have to write about it again. Now I know why JKR made so many excuses during the books not to have it. I thought of something so similar! I was wondering if Violet could act as a second Keeper to stop them from getting any points, and then when they up enough she could start actively looking for the Snitch. Of course if Hufflepuff's seeker saw it, she'd have to go after it. But come on, they're the Puffs. :P
James's perspective always puts me in a more humorous mood. He's not someone who can remain serious for too long, so getting to jump into his little messy haired head is always fun.
I'm happy I gave enough of the Quidditch match sort of feeling without having to go on and on about it. I think James probably would have been a big interest for the scouts, but I think he'd have ended up teaching actually. Haha. I can see him playing for a year or two then realizing he just loved it too much to make a career out of it. He wanted it as a hobby, and he wanted to spend more time with his family and friends. Then he'd have taken over the DADA teaching position, and he and Lily would have lived in a sweet little Cottage in Hogsmeade. She'd come by the school occasionally if she got off work at St. Mungos early and meet James there, and all the students would talk about Mr. Potter's hot wife.
Ohhh Dan why did they die :(. Now I'm all pouty.
Your review made me want to write the next chapter so badly. You always get me so excited about what happens next in this, haha. But I need to work on Bella--- you're a bad influence Daniel. Bad bad.
I'm so happy you liked Gideon and Fabian. It was hard for me to figure out how to write them without making them too much Fred and George. But the fact that they were in a more serious situation helped.
I'm so happy you liked this chapter ♥ it was a million times easier than the newest. Haha. Maybe this story should be strictly told from James's perspective :P
Hi, there! Tagging you from Review Tag.
Bad may be a strange word, but its reality is undeniable. It can mean many things and, throughout Pansy’s life, it switched meanings frequently. -- I think you had me with that statement. It's very accurate for the first 18 or so years of a person's life. Everyone has a desire to dance on the edge, one that they manage with varying degrees of success. And that edge moves quite a bit as we grow up.
I loved the contrast between Pansy and her uptight, proper mother. All rebellion requires something to rebel against, and you gave her the perfect foil for her younger years. The idea that Pansy views herself as something almost elemental, above the petty concerns of mortals like her mother, was a brilliant way to set her up for her future badness.
The sneaking off, the pranks, the exhilarating freedom from all civilizational constraints became more difficult to hold on to. But she gave herself to the role completely, making sure to laugh the loudest, punish the hardest and then to hide behind the sweetest, most privileged smile of all. - Sigh. Our little girl is growing up, isn't she? Acting like a pre-teen hooligan isn't enough for her any more. That would make her silly, not bad.
I really liked the idea of Pansy's theme song, and how it seems to adjust itself to help her feel in control of whatever situation she finds herself facing.
The imagery of the mansion that she never wants to be a captive in was a good reinforcement of what you set up from the outset. I really like this version of Pansy, to be honest, in spite of her prejudices and flaws. She can't bear the notion of becoming yet another whinging, fretting pure blood wife, trapped by the social niceties that they're forced to endure. She needs to be bad.
I had a lot of mixed feelings about the ending. And it has nothing to do with the morality of what happened between her and Draco; that just seemed like one of those things that happens all the time between boys and girls of a certain age. The conflict that I felt was more between the image of Pansy as "one of the boys" -- what she wants to be with all her heart -- and the way that the boys look at her. The way that Draco more or less uses her. And it isn't, I don't think, that Pansy isn't a willing participant. After all, she's too bad to allow another person to use her without her consent. The little detail of the spider web on the chandelier brought it all together, oddly enough. The fact that she focused on it tells you a lot about where her mind is at what should have been a very special moment in her life. It's a little hard to explain, but I think this was one of those sad little moments that come with growing up, where the girl who's always "one of the boys" comes to terms with the fact that no matter what, the boys will always have designs on her in a different way. I don't know whether that made much sense, bit that's what I was feeling as I read it.
I thought you did an awesome job of getting me bought into Pansy as a character and really connected to her feelings, even if I couldn't explain them very well at all. She's not an easy character to feel sympathetic toward, but you really accomplished that.
I saw one small typo as I was reading:
Pansy never gave it much thought, but she knew that there was no privilege in upholding rules when it were others that made them. -- I think it should read, "... when it was others that made them."
I really, really liked this. Well done!Author's Response: hey there!
Thank you so much for such a thoughtful review!
I charged this one-shot with quite a few possibly conflicting themes and emotions. Althought I did feel that, together, they created a picture of the trouble of growing up, I wasn't sure others could tune in...I'm so glad to see that you picked up on what I was trying to say :D
I think my main motivation was to explore what bad really means for a teenager, and it isn't easy to put into words...I don't think i came even close. Bad means to be different and strong, but it also means to be vulnerable, lonely and at times utterly reprehensible and lost. I always felt that Pansy, especially the one in the movies, positively radiated this tragic cocktail of teenage desperation.
The scene with Draco wasn't inteded as a purely negative event, and I am glad you saw it that way too. Scenes like that happen in real life only too often. It's one of those things that either makes or breaks you on your way to becoming an adult. As a teenager you believe you can be whatever you want, the world revolves around you. But, gradually, the illusion has to die somehow...A different character might have emerged in better shape from this than Pansy, but in my interpretation she remains innocent and childish for a bit too long due to the contrast between her inner world and the outside reality. The scene with Draco was intended to be the first step towards her becoming one more of thsoe sad disappointed adults...
XD very sad stuff haha. But, well, Rowling admitted she hated Pansy and so we know the character was never designed to win.
When I was writing the Draco scene especially, I had to think about women in politics. You are completely right to point out that a girl can be "one of the boys" for a while, but ultimately she will be the Other, first a foremost a girl and then a human being. Sadly, that's just how our society is built.
Sorry for the rambing, haha, but your review did get me thinking and I was so happy to see that the one-shot made sense to somebody :P
thanks for the review and see you around on the forums! Report Review
I loved the family Christmas. The whole thing was so warm and wonderful and just all-around recognizable and normal. You did a great job of making the whole series of events feel familiar and easy to relate to. I remember visiting my family during the holidays after college, when I had a "real" life far away from where I grew up. A few of my cousins were starting to have kids and it always felt a bit strange being the unmarried uncle from far away. Emily's experience really resonated with me.
You named the dog Astro! I had to do a double-take on that one. I ruv roo, Reorge!
Claire was a nice addition to the story. When a character decides to embark on the path to recovery, I think two things always make the decision seem more realistic. First is a catalyzing event. We saw that in the last chapter. Second is a mostly impartial third party to give the character a shove in the right direction. It's just one of those things that seem to happen in life. It was nice to see Emily opening up and being honest with Claire -- and honest with herself, possibly for the first time -- about what she's been going through. Honesty is always the first step.
I thought you did a brilliant job with Heather, from beginning to end. I have read one or two other fics where characters see a Healer who specializes in mental health. More often than not, the Healer is portrayed as being sort of an eccentric or even a mystic in some cases. There's always this new age, other-worldly quality to them. Sort of like a mix between Dumbledore and Trelawney. I much prefer what you've done with Heather. Her approach was so much more measured and realistic. She didn't diagnose Emily on the spot based on first impressions. She didn't have any clever tricks to get Emily to instantly divulge some huge, traumatic event from her past. She just asked basic questions and listened closely. For some reason, I really liked the fact that she took a lot of notes. It was a very down-to-earth, reassuring detail. Aside from that, she's sympathetic, but not doting, and she's straightforward without being harsh. She's a very well-rounded, realistic character.
Emily's reactions were also really good. She was somewhat guarded at first, not wanting to seem like too much of a mess in front of the Healer. But at the same time, there's a reason that she's there. She wants to get better, so she doesn't allow pride or fear to get in the way of answering the Healer's questions. And she doesn't have some off-the-deep-end reaction to Heather's conclusion that she's suffering from depression. It seemed like a relief to find out that her suffering is real, that she isn't just over-reacting to the same sort of problems that everybody has.
Poor Emily, holding up the wall at the party. I've definitely been in that position a few times, myself, but it seems like it's a lot harder on her. She really used to be a social person, so it's saddening to see her reduced to such a wallflower. Not many people would have had the social confidence to look back on a past relationship with an older, very desirable boy like Cedric Diggory and sort of brush it off as no big deal. I thought that said a lot about the person Emily once was.
Ooh! Is that a romantic interest I see developing? I'm not really the world's best when it comes to critiquing romance plots. I know what I like and what I don't, and at this very early stage of the game I like the dynamic between Emily and Timothy. He has a quiet sort of confidence about him, and he brought out a flash of something similar in her. For just a moment, she felt like her old self, and that was really nice to see.
The only thing I saw in this chapter that struck me as a little strange was the situation with the alcohol. Alcohol and depression are a volatile mix, so I was sort of surprised to see her down what sounded like really strong drinks and then be in a better mindset. Every person handles alcohol differently, so it's probably not a big deal, but I do remember thinking it was sort of risky.
I saw one measly little typo, as well:
“It’s alright Emily, we don’t need to go in to it now,” She says and automatically let out a breath I didn’t realise I was holding. -- "She" shouldn't be capitalized, since it's a dialog tag.
Just when I was feeling bummed about being out of chapter to read, you posted another! Be back soon!Author's Response: Wow! What a review! :) Where do I start to respond?
I could have spent so much more time on the family Christmas but I knew it wasn't really necessary so I reigned myself in. But it was hard because it was so nice writing the family scenes. I love the idea that with everything else going on, Emily has this normal, loving, unaffected by war, muggle family. Just adds to the theme of duality she's developed in her life.
Astro! Oh my goodness, I had this entire back story about Astro, that involved anecdotes about how Emily and Owen loved watching the Jetsons when they were kids and when Astro was a puppy they would pretend that they were in the future. And there was something in there about Emily making comparisons between the futuristic technology of the Jetsons and magic when she first went to Hogwarts. But I ended up leaving most of that out of the story because it wasn't really relevant to the rest of the plot.
Claire was also going to be a bigger part of the story, but her being a muggle and not knowing about Emily's magical abilities just made it too complicated. So she is just a person to push Emily in the right direction, but I think it still works. I think it also worked to have her confide in someone completely removed from all of her problems because she knows she will get an objective view.
McGonagall is probably the only character who gives me more grief than Heather. I really wanted Heather to be real and genuine and someone you could believe that Emily would trust. I felt that it was best to base her on a muggle psychologist because I developed my own headcanon about healing being quite far behind medicine in terms of mental illness and the magical healing therapy practises being influenced by muggle psychology (feel free to ask if you want the detailed idea I came up with). So to me it made sense that Heather would be modelling her techniques on a muggle psychologist, which is where the whole talking/listening/note-taking concept comes in. I, too, have read some 'interesting' interpretations of therapists or counsellors in fanfic and they always seem to come across as negative or slightly crazy characters who don't understand the poor, complex main characters. I didn't want that, I wanted Emily to benefit from the help of her healer, because in reality, psychologists/therapists/psychiatrists/counsellors actually do help a lot of people with rather serious problems.
Emily really was a different person, and it's funny, because in my head I see her as two complete people: who she was and who she is now (actually 3, now that I've planned out the ending I see her as who she will be too!), but because I'm trying to reveal her old self slowly, I forget that you guys are only catching snippets of her old life. She really was a different person. Although Cedric wasn't really an 'older' boy because they were in the same year at Hogwarts. Timothy was a year older though.
Speaking of Timothy, this isn't really a romance story, but I am planning to include a little romance because I think that's just a natural part of life, plus it always adds a nice dimension to the story and gives Emily something else to try and deal with :P
The alcohol issue is an interesting one, and whilst it can have a seriously adverse effect on people suffering from mental illness, it does vary from person to person. There are also a lot of other factors that impact on mood and temperament even within people suffering from mental illness. There are plenty of people suffering from anxiety and depression disorders who are able to tolerate alcohol just fine. That being said, I wouldn't say the alcohol is what put Emily in a better frame of mind, her interaction with Timothy is what affected her mood.
Thanks for pointing out the typo...I seem to have made that mistake a lot lately, not sure where I've picked that habit up from :(
Thanks again for the amazing review, I love hearing your thoughts! :) Report Review
Hi, Elenia! I'm so happy to be back for another chapter of Gwen and James. A quick read over the 9 reviews that beat me to being first indicates that I'm not the only one. I've missed you so!
Ah, the eternal search that one special article of clothing that makes the outfit. I like it when you let Gwen be a little girly sometimes. Not too much; nothing out of character. But every so often it's neat to see her have a girly sort of moment where she wants to go shopping with Victoire.
Besides, it was Joshua’s fault that I was this late – sort of. He kept me from getting enough sleep last night, which resulted in me falling asleep on my couch and waking up only fifteen minutes ago.
Yes, definitely his fault. -- Ha! Good to see that she can rationalize the problem away.
And then James is back. Ugh, I don't know quite how to explain my feelings here. The part of me that wants to see her stand up for herself and move on with Joshua feels like she took a whole bunch of steps backward in this section. The part of me that wants to see her and James live happily every after and raise a clutch of little broom-jockeys -- and thinks that Joshua is part of a conspiracy of some sort >:( -- was cheering for the two of them as they talked and hugged and did lots of adorable James and Gwen things. Let's slow down and take it a bit at a time.
Both parts of me were glad to see her give him less than a warm reception. After all, he ditched her for a week without so much as a word of communication. It's just not a cool thing to do to a friend, let alone somebody you have any sort of feelings for. It was good to see her stay strong for at least a little while and not just launch herself into his embrace.
Seriously Gwen, do you have any self-control when it comes to him? -- Apparently not. And then he tells her at once the best and worst thing he could have said about his whereabouts. He was seriously bumming around Freddy's place, drinking himself into a stupor? I could feel the ambivalence steaming off of Gwen's head and shoulders as she tried to process that one. On the one hand, at least he wasn't slumming his way though the muggle clubs of Britain, picking up a different girl or girls every night. On the other hand, this makes it pretty clear that he did not want to talk to Gwen during that week, seeing as how he could have done so at any time. And he pretty much removes all doubt as it becomes apparent that he still isn't ready to talk about Kat on any level above anger.
No, not a prude. Just not comfortable talking about your sex life – because it doesn’t involve me.
Argh, go away, stupid thought! -- Hi, my name is Dan. And I have a problem with quoting too many of my favorite lines when I review a chapter. ;)
And then... and then... and then he nearly tells her! And don't even bother trying to deny that he was about to tell her that he has feelings for her. I wouldn't believe you, even if it was true. Which it isn't!
Stupid Joshua! As you can see, the "Gwen and James happily ever after" part of me is solidly in control at this moment. You did it to us again! You brought the two of them right to the bleeding edge of a capital B Big capital M Moment and then you completely denied us! You horrible, awful tease! Why, oh why, do I willingly do this to myself???
Alright, calm down. Because there's more. Seriously, what is up with Joshua? I get that he works a lot and I get that he's fully aware that James is a pre-existing condition where Gwen is concerned and his relationship with her is never going anywhere if he doesn't accept Gwen's friendship with James. I get all that. But the reality is that she is being kind of a lousy girlfriend here. One thing that I wish we could see is more of what the dynamic between Gwen and Joshua is like when she's not in the midst of one of these James-driven crises. If they have an awesome relationship and spend lots of time together otherwise, then I guess I can understand Joshua being casual about the occasional issue popping up with James. Otherwise, I feel that much more suspicious of him...
But I wasn’t going to let him do it this time, so I changed the subject. “What were you going to say before Joshua interrupted?”
“Oh, nothing important,” he responded. - :( That is all I have to say about that.
Well, well, well... Interesting to see James hitting it off rather well with Joshua's sister. That introduces a new and interesting wrinkle into this love... um, triangle? Square? Pentagon? How many sides does this thing have nowadays, anyway? I love that James dumped a girl in the middle of the Great Hall, on Valentine's Day, just because she couldn't deal with Gwen. That's what I call inseparable! Gwen's reaction to the apparent chemistry between Melissa and James was so telling. What will she do if the two of them get together? Melissa isn't another one of James's dime-a-dozen bar tramps.
The whole blushing conversation was an interesting little power play between James and Joshua, I thought. I liked that it was so low-key. But it was also very apparent that James was trying to assert a form of dominance. Once again, Joshua doesn't really take the bait. Hmmnnn...
And once again, James wusses out on his chance to be honest with Gwen about his feelings. What a baby! I have no idea how long he can keep doing this, but the longer he waits and the more Gwen falls for Joshua, the harder it's going to be when he finally comes clean. This idea of him being a better person is obviously long overdue, though. So it wasn't all bad.
Oh, it is so nice to have you back! We've all waited and waited for this, and it was a fantastic chapter to get back into the swing. I can't wait to see what you have in store next! Report Review
HI, Ral! I'm back again for more!
You're doing a really good job of balancing the mystery aspect of your plot with the love story that's developing between Rose and Scorpius. We've now had a couple of chapter to see the two of them interacting off on their own. They're definitely kindred spirits. Both of them seem like deep thinkers, and they're both strongly motivated although they seem to lack direction. They're excelling for the sake of excelling, if that makes any sense. Not necessarily because they love what they do. They also have some distinct differences. Rose is very analytical while Scorpius seems more instinctive. Rose's emotions tend to flow freely while Scorpius bottles things up until he bursts. Compliments and contrasts... I see the two of them having a passionate if tumultuous romance.
It was really interesting to see Rose through Scorpius's eyes. At times, she seems sort of like a refuge to him, a person he can turn to with all the thoughts and feelings that he's unwilling to share with the rest of the world. There's a maternal quality to the way he sees her, but he also sees the frightened, uncertain little girl that she can be, as well. Your Rose is a marvelously subtle and complex character!
The fact that they didn't wake up and have an immediate "Oh, CRAP!" reaction really helped to separate your story from a lot of the Next Gen romance stories I've read. Rose and Scorpius are a lot more mature and comfortable with themselves than usually I see them.
“I wish your father could see you now!” he said through peels of laughter, his eyes shinning.
“Be careful what you wish for, Malfoy. I don’t think it’s good for your health, my father seeing me climb out of your bed. - Yikes! That is going to be a touchy moment, isn't it? Poor Ron. He always winds up being a goat of sorts in Scorpius/Rose stories. I'm really holding out hope that you can do something more interesting and nuanced with his reaction.
The rest of their conversation is also revealing and adds to the characters you've been gradually building. Rose worries about whether there's a future for this relationship and Scorpius spends a fair bit of time just trying to get her to accept him for what he is, without analyzing him down to the cellular level.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Sirius's brief appearance. It's wonderful and kind of sad, the way that you've given him a bit of new life.
I noticed a few typos as I was reading, probably a little more than I'm used to in this story:
The sight of her, peaceful and relaxed made him smile. -- I think you need a comma after "relaxed".
How am I to know you won’t walk out that door today and asked to be reassigned? -- ask
I already let you in, you’re just to busy staring between the lines to see it. -- too busy
He needed to have his wits about him, especially since they were no where closer to solving the case. -- nowhere
When the emerged from his room and went downstairs, he saw Rose in the kitchen door, leaning against the frame. - When he emerged
“Love, if I make it out alive today, we’ll talk until you use up all your words!” he said and opened the door, Disapparating on the front step. -- "Disapparating" shouldn't be capitalized.
Overall, a very enjoyable chapter to read! I'm looking forward to seeing some more progress on your mystery in the next one!
P.S. - I'm betting on Draco for the mystery man. :)Author's Response: Dan! So sorry for taking ages to reply to this! Once again I am so happy you liked this!
I wanted to slow it down a bit, call it a calm before the storm if you will. I've had some very helpful hints regarding that from a reader ;)
One of the reasons I wanted them both to be adults in this story is the fact that as an adult you have a better understanding of who you are and the choices you make. If this had been set during their Hogwarts years, their reaction would probably be different, but they are both adults and they own up to their choices.
Oh Ron! I know he is the sore spot in so many Rose/Scorpius relationships and I think his reaction will surprise you. At this point, it's more about the fact that Ron is his boss than it is about the whole Weasley-Malfoy grudge.
Ouch! Oh the typos! I guess I'm making up for all those other chapters! In my defense I changed laptops and this new one is still a little strange for me! I'll do better next time! Promise!
P.S. - IF you are right, I'll be sure to bake you some cookies! :)
Thank you so much for the review and all your feedback in general! It really means a lot to me! Report Review
So here I am, finally at the end. I have a lot of general things to say, but I'll save them for the end. To start, I'll just say that you really had me going with the entire first section of the chapter. I was completely convinced that Viktor was a dead man.
But that's getting a bit ahead of myself. Your Hermione was beautifully done. At the outset, you described her so well:
Those large brown eyes, always wide and alert. That look of practiced control, which never seemed to fully mask the current of emotion that lay just below the surface. For Krum, the resemblance between mother and daughter was haunting in its exactness.
And what I found impressive about it wasn't just the the descriptiveness and how true this statement was to Hermione's character. What I found most impressive is that fact that you really delivered on your premise with the way that you wrote her. Her words and her mannerisms all fit perfectly with that description. Even her actions at the end of the day, although we don't find out how much so until after the jump.
As for Viktor, Rose was his life, and without her there was no future for him. - I thought this was a really powerful statement. Taken out of context, it probably would have sounded kind of cheesy. But in Viktor's case it's profound. In a world full of people who either hate him for what they perceive him to be or are only interested in him for the things that he's done, Rose was a person who understood him and all of his shortcomings and loved him anyway. She was something that was actually worth living for.
I really liked Albus in his brief appearance. You can feel the doubt and apprehension radiating off of him, even though he's determined to carry out the task that's been handed to him.
And then they're both still alive! Actually, I wasn't sure about that at first. I've read more than enough afterlife scenes in HP fics, so I had that thought in my head for a while.
It took me a little while to fully figure out what Viktor tried to do for Rose, but once I did, I was in awe. I think we've known for a few chapters now exactly how important she is to him, but what really blew me away was the thought that went into what he tried to do. His analysis of her circumstances and the reality that would have faced her -- under incredible duress, I might add -- was amazingly prescient and accurate. If people learned that she killed Regina, even in self-defense, she never would have known peace again. The act of killing changes the world's perception of a person, no matter the particulars. I am so impressed by the way that you tied it all together, because I'm 99% sure that if it was me, I would have simply accepted the self-defense angle as an easy way out.
You did an amazing job of writing poor Rose's fractured, partially obliviated recollections of what happened in her flat. I thought it had the perfect feel to it. This paragraph was brilliant:
The memories were nothing more than fractured pieces of light and sound. It was like trying to view the world through a broken mirror, smashed into a million tiny pieces until the images were no longer recognizable. Only there was one thing Viktor hadn't been able to completely obliterate from her mind: the feeling of warm blood dripping through her fingers.
One more amazing excerpt and then I promise I'm through:
"I von't let you go to prison, Rose. Not even for a single day. It would crush you. Kill you."
"And it won't do the same to you?"
"There's a lot less of me left to kill."
How do you even do that? Those three lines are incredible. I'm so jealous it's sick!
I loved the fact that it was a team effort to spring Viktor from prison. Hermione, Albus and likely other unnamed parties took a huge risk to make sure that Rose didn't have to watch Viktor waste away in Azkaban. For quite a few chapters now, it's been really heartwarming to watch the way that certain members of her family, the ones who really know her and care about her the most, figured out just how much she cared for Viktor.
I honestly don't know how I feel about Viktor's final revelation about Regina's pregnancy. I understand that it gave Rose a certain form of closure and it ascribed a more human motivation to Regina's hatred of Viktor. Maybe it's me, but I liked her a little more when she was just around-the-bend-and-off-the-deep-end crazy. It's a matter of personal preference, I suppose.
OK, I lied. One final excerpt:
Maybe time just finds new ways to make you bleed. - That was poetic!
And then they ride off into the sunset together. Or take a portkey or fly on a broom. Whatever. The End. Absolutely beautiful.
Let me get the couple of typos I saw out of the way really quick:
... when he’d arrived with a message for Hemsely... - Hemsley
If I want to use it while away the hours on a beach somewhere... - ... use it to wile away...
I really had no idea what I was getting into when Jami talked me into reading your story, but I'm going to have to send her an extra-large bundle of cookies or cupcakes or chocolate. Maybe all three. This was one of the most amazing, unique, well-written and all-around inspired stories I've ever seen in the HP fandom. I can't say enough about your creativity and sophistication as an author. Thank you so much for this brilliant story.
And now, I can go read the sequel!Author's Response: I'm a little sad to respond to this. I've so enjoyed reading all your reviews.
I'm so happy you liked Hermione here. She was a total last minute add to the chapter. I was just planning on having Albus come in, picking up right where the prologue left off, but I felt it needed something. And since I only skirted around the whole Krum/Hermione thing, it seemed a good way of giving that mini-storyline some closure. Hopefully it serves a couple of purposes: to let the reader know Rose is running off with some measure of support/permission from her family, and to sort of set up the idea that we are all capable of sacrifice for the people we love.
I tried REALLY hard to stay away from cheesy and over-sentimentality throughout the story. I don't know how well I managed, but hopefully, like you said, this line works in the context of the chapter. Krum is done with the bravado and games. Rose was his last shot at happiness, and he really doesn't see a future for himself without her.
I'll admit, I had to play around a lot with how to make what Krum did for Rose work... at least, I HOPE it all works. I struggled with how to make it believable that Krum felt compelled to take the fall for Rose and not just support her through whatever police inquest she'd have to face. In the end, I hope that the fact that Krum has been through a trial, been the subject of speculation, has some measure of blood on his hands, etc., makes him credible on the topic. He thinks by doing this, he's allowing Rose to put it all behind her and be free of Regina.
In my head, I see everyone but Ron sort of playing some hand in the escape... though most without admitting it to anyone else. In addition to Hermione and Albus, Heart gives them the money in a form the Aurors can't easily trace. Peter makes sure Rose has the bracelet so she knows how much she means to Krum, etc. I thought that way, the reader wouldn't feel so much like Rose was trading her friends and family's happiness for her own.
I'm not sure how I feel about Regina's pregnancy either. It was always "head canon" for me, but I went back and forth on actually including it in the story. I'm of two minds on it really. I think a villain that's just totally nuts can be a cop-out. But I also don't like overlooking the innate evil of some people and thinking every character that "goes bad" has some tragic past.
Yikes! Misspelling your own characters' names is a big no-no. Thanks for pointing that out.
Thank you so, so much for all the lovely reviews. I really am beyond thrilled that you enjoyed the story. It was a lot of fun to write, and I feel like I learned a lot through the process. There are still a lot of things I don't like about my writing, but I do feel like I'm heading more in the right direction than when I started the story. Thank you again for taking the time to leave so many wonderful and thoughtful reviews! Report Review
I learnt pretty quickly that unless you want to be summoning the Bloody Baron every five seconds, it’s best to humour Peeves as much as you can.
One of the things I love most about this story is how you manage to capture that "Hogwarts feel" from the first three books, before the plot turned darker and became less focused on the trio's school experience. You are awesome at pulling in fun little canon details and creating very natural feeling classroom moments. I especially liked your Peeves and the way that Emily deals with him. No matter how insecure she feels about her teaching skills, it seems pretty obvious to me that she knows the ins and outs of being a Hogwarts teacher pretty well.
Once again, you did a really clever job of showing how the magical elements of Emily's life are balanced against her muggle heritage and family. Her parents seem about as normal as the parents of a young woman can be. They worry about the same sorts of things, make the same sort of "eye roll" comments and generally dote over her the way that any empty-nesters would over their youngest child. Her father reminded me of the way that Hermione's dad is usually written where Ron is concerned, doubting her ability to use simple muggle gadgets. Although it seems that unlike Ron, Emily is actually capable. Lastly, the fact that her brother was once jealous of her was another little detail that helped to make the picture feel complete and realistic.
The Slytherin boy in her class, Newitt, really helped to show how some things have changed and others have not in the years since the war. I can't imagine any of Harry's Slytherin contemporaries being so friendly with a mudb... err, muggle-born, even if she was a teacher. Their little running joke about the silly examples he slips into his essays was a really nice detail. There's a genuine sort of connection there. Again, I don't think Emily is nearly so bad of a teacher as she thinks she is. However, Newitt is also headstrong and too confident in his abilities. So there are definitely still Slytherin traits in Slytherin House.
Emily's flashback to Cedric Diggory's death was chilling. You wrote it really well, and the fact that you gave me so much time to get immersed in Emily's character before it happens made the impact that much stronger. I don't know whether you've ever been around someone suffering from post traumatic stress, but the physical and psychological symptoms you described -- the way she loses herself in her memories, the devastation, the way her body just sort of collapses -- all sounded very realistic.
When you brought her around in the Hospital Wing, I thought you did a good job of easing us into the scene. Putting Emily in a confused state and letting her work things out for herself was a great way to emphasize the way her episode left her feeling.
You wrote another great McGonagall scene in the Hospital Wing. She wasn't gushy or mothering or overly upset, but she makes her concern apparent in other ways. She's also very patient, letting Emily explain things at her own pace.
“Well it’s been a few years, but I have been known to teach the odd Transfiguration class myself, you know.” McGonagall raises an eyebrow and I can’t help but smile. -- I loved that line. You write her dry sense of humor so well!
As silly as it might sound, this passage stuck out in my head: She pushes the table closer to the bed so that I can reach it. I lay my legs flat again and pull the table so that the top of it stretches across my lap. To me, the fact that you remembered that her knees were pulled up to her chest and you took the minimal time needed to point out the needed change shows just how good your attention to detail is.
In the last section, I liked the way that you used a lot of small facets of Emily's journey home to keep filling in the picture of her emotional state. The way she avoids everyone on her way out of the castle suggested to me that she's having a hard time dealing with her problems.
I'll keep heaping on the praise about small details, because I love them! You took the fairly mundane act of apparating to her parents' home and turned it into something I really enjoyed reading. Her thoughts on the distance balancing out against the familiarity of her destination shows how much thought you put into things. And I liked the way that she picks a safe place like the tool shed instead of just popping out of nowhere into the middle of the street or scaring her parents half to death by popping into the living room. You think these things through so well!
The banter with her parents felt so warm and loving and natural. All the small things, like her father's hug and the smells of her mother's cooking, really added to that sense of welcoming and familiarity. Her mother found a new facet of her appearance to comment on, which was amusing. But in the end, she's home, and that's all that matters.
Just so this review gives you a little more value than shameless gushing, I'll point out a couple of things I saw:
“It was like I was there again, at the triwizard tournament.” - I think Triwizard Tournament should be capitalized.
“Thankyou Minerva,” is all I can say. - Thank you.
One other thing I noticed near the beginning of the chapter is that you have several really long sentences. This one stuck out in my mind because the whole paragraph was one long one: They take a little longer than usual to stop talking and turn their focus to me, but since they were just out in the corridor being serenaded by our resident delinquent poltergeist, and it’s only a few days until holidays, I can understand their restlessness.
Overall, your writing was great! I had no problems getting immersed in the flow of the chapter and it was all really vivid in my mind. I really love this story!Author's Response: Wow, this review gave me such a boost! Thank you so much for everything you said :)
That "Hogwarts Feel" is one of my favourite things about the whole Harry Potter series. I really think it's a huge part of what makes the books so successful, that fantasy world that Hogwarts is. I am crazy about Peeves and I'm pretty sure he's made an appearance somewhere in every single FanFic I've written. He's just incredibly fun to write and adds a real element of whimsy to Hogwarts. I think that being so young, Emily still finds Peeves to be amusing as well as annoying which is part of the reason that she takes such a clever approach towards him.
I thought a lot about Emily's parents, because I wanted them to be as real and as normal as possible. Her relationship with them is a loving yet has that regular level of dysfunction. Her parents don't mean to be overbearing but, well, they're parents :) I think they also feel the gap that magic put between them and their daughter more than Emily realises, but they want to support her because they know deep down that she could never give up magic. I also wanted her to have a good relationship with her brother, but I think it's pretty likely that when one child in a multi-child family has magical powers, there are going to be envy issues.
Andrew Newitt was this gift from the muses. In my plan I'd originally just written that there was an accident in the classroom and a student got hurt but then when I started writing, Andrew just came out of nowhere and I'm thinking he might play a bit of a bigger role in Emily's story.
I'm glad you thought the whole cedric-memory-breakdown thing worked well, I was so worried that it would come across as over the top or unrealistic. One of my good friends actually suffered from PTSD so I'm using some of the things she's told me about her experience but I'm also taking ideas from research I've done and my own assumptions so I'm hoping it all comes together.
*Phew* McGonagall is still working. Good. I'm a bit worried with some future chapters that are coming up with her in them but we'll see how that goes.
Ok, the detail thing. I'm actually really touched that you complimented me on it because I'd always thought of it as me being super neurotic. Even when I'm a reading a book, my imagination sucks up every single detail, like I'll be reading a book and someone will sit down, and then later they'll be standing and I'll freak out and think "When did they stand up!?!?" And I'll have to go back and find where it's written that they stood up. Yeah...just a tad neurotic. So I tend to be pretty picky about details, I think they're important because they're what make a story seem effortless. The apparating thing bothered me so much I posted a topic about it in the help wanted section on the forums! I was checking out maps and everything to see how far Hogwarts would be from Swansea!
Thanks for pointing out those mistakes, I must have been a lazy editor the day I posted this because they're such silly mistakes too. I'll go in and fix them. I'll also keep an eye on sentence structure, I know I can get a bit carried away sometimes when I'm writing. I also have a semi-colon obsession :P
Thanks again for the awesome review, I'm glad you're enjoying the story!
Yay, a big Sirius/Belle chapter! I hesitate to say "The" big Sirius/Belle chapter, because I think they have a couple more big milestones to go. But they made it through the fight, and I bet that's a huge thing, especially for Sirius. He seems like the sort who isn't in the habit of sticking it out through the tough parts of a relationship.
By the way, I've been keeping score. So far, we've had two big James/Lily chapters -- maybe 3, depending on how you score the Christmas one -- and two big Sirius/Belle chapters. How about a big Frank/Alice chapter? Granted, their relationship is farther down the proverbial road than the other two, but I don't think that makes them any less deserving of tingly, heart-warming feels. Am I alone on this? :p
Back to the chapter. I loved the progression you take Belle on over the course of this chapter. She's so grumpy, and withdrawn at the start. It was a cute but poignant touch, the way that she's going to take all morning in the bathroom just because she can. I have half a feeling that her desire not to be pestered about her relationship with Sirius plays a role in that. Even while she's being kind of immature, she's still motherly, though. It seems like a big part of the reason she's so upset with Sirius is the fact that he nearly threw his whole future away on a single moment of rage and vengeance. She's such a complex character. I love her!
While I'm at it, by the way, I loved her thoughts about James and Lily and how the two of them reacted to their brush with death. It was heart-warming. And the quick little aside about Lily's memory blanket protecting her from the nightmares was a fantastic reminder of just how fragile their happiness can be.
Alice halted in place, positioning her hands on her hips. “Sorry, Isabelle. You might be able to lie to yourself, but lying to us isn’t nearly as easy.” - The relationship doctor is IN. Have I mentioned lately how much I love Alice? Her anecdote about Frank struggling to get his head back together after the attack on the Bones family was a great counterpoint to Belle's situation.
I was glad to see Sirius make the first move to try and put things right between himself and Belle. I doubt that was easy for him. Coming from a nest of angry pure blood nutters, I'm thinking that life hasn't conditioned him to seek out conflict with people who are angry at him.
“Let’s walk,” she heard herself suggest before turning her body away from him. Her feet moved on their own accord, her mind too focused on trying to keep her blue eyes free of the emotions swelling up inside her. She didn’t want this − any of it. -- Aww, poor thing! She's so torn up inside.
The funny thing about Belle's character is that I've never really thought of her as being weak. Since her first appearance in the story, she's had that fiery temper and no-nonsense attitude that make her seem like a very formidable person. Nobody that you want to trifle with. Then we got to know her story and find out who she used to be and where she comes from. And I still didn't think of her as being weak, but it introduced this enormous vulnerability that we didn't know about before. We saw the person that she once was and is determined to never be again.
I think that she just took another big step away from ever relapsing back into that frightened, easily manipulated girl who was easy prey for her parents and Christophe. The determination and conviction and fire in the belly that she shows while arguing with Sirius was an awesome demonstration of just how far she's come. What was it that Dumbledore said about it being harder to stand up to your friends than your enemies? In this chapter, Belle stood up to the man that probably means more to her than anyone else in the world. And she did it without letting her temper really get the best of her. This was a huge chapter for her.
Sirius finally let some of his own walls down for her. I really liked the way that he shared one of his biggest anxieties with her. It seemed like a very personal thing. He's definitely the sort who likes to pretend that he doesn't care what other people think of him, and he's probably tell you that you could think whatever the hell you wanted if you told him that he was just like his family. But in reality, that's the part of himself that he fears most.
The way you ended their section was brilliant! That Hufflepuff girl had better watch out!
It was really neat to see the whole group sitting down to try to piece together who passed word to Voldemort about James and Lily's trip to Wales. Everyone seemed to contribute in their own way, and I really liked how you managed to give so many different characters a bit of the spotlight in this one. It's too bad that Lily was so preoccupied with her feelings for James during the Quidditch match! Otherwise, it would probably dawn on her who it was that knew about the wedding. :(
Frank's rationale -- well, Moody's rationale as told by Frank, I guess -- was really clever and totally true. Voldemort demands just as much from his Propsects as his marked followers. Nobody gets in for free, and once you've expressed an interest there's no way out.
Lily has such a huge blind spot for Snape. In this case, she's actually correct, but she really can't be as sure of that as she feels.
I am really excited to see where the story goes next. As I look back, it's really hard to believe that 26 not-at-all-short chapters have come and gone. It just doesn't seem like the story has been that long! Great job!Author's Response: I'm here I'm here! And I should absolutely be ashamed of myself :(! Sorry I'm being a slow poke this week and taking a week to respond.
Hahahah well with that sort of convincing argument, how could I deny you the tingly heart warming Alice and Frank moments :P. Really though, I will try and get their chapter in soon. Scouts honor. Although I was never a girl scout so I'm not sure if me saying that actually means anything.
I love what you said about Belle taking so long in the bathroom just because she can. That's exactly what I wanted to get across. She knows she needs to shake a leg and get to it, but she refuses to even let that rush her. She's going to stand in front of that damn mirror until her heart is content, haha.
I really hadn't planned on turning to Alice to help Belle get her head out of you know where and think things through, but it just felt like a tradition that I couldn't break, haha.
Your 'awww poor thing' made my heart all happy, haha. She sort of feels like a little kitten who keeps hissing and hissing but you know all the kitten needs is a few cuddles to feel all better.
I love that you pick up on all the tiny things going on around/through Belle. She isn't weak, we all see that, but she's convinced herself she is and that's why all those bad things happened. The fact that you realize she's reclaiming such an important part of herself with standing up to Sirius and making sure she's heard, makes me so happy I just want to hop up and down. I'm at the book store though right now, and I think that may be frowned upon.
I'm really happy Frank's regurgitation of Moody's information made sense. I wanted them to sort of lay off the idea of it having to be a Death Eater but wanted them to have a convincing reason. We know they aren't going to stop speculation everyone, but at least I've managed to make it clear through Frank that the Prospects might have more of a connection with Voldemort than the group things.
26 no-at-all-short hahahahah. Ain't that the truth, Dan. And I couldn't have anyone better to share these last nearly 200,000 words with!! ♥ Report Review
Hi, Ashley! Thanks for pointing this story out.
More than anything, reading this really took me back to what things were like before Deathly Hallows came out. All of the guessing and uncertainty, the things that we all thought about certain characters... it was neat to suddenly jump back into that mindset. I didn't become a denizen of HPFF until after it was all over, so it was neat to get this glimpse into the past.
You did an awesome job of blending Harry's bitter sorrow and anger into the theme of the song. Especially at the beginning, when he's racked with grief and trapped in the place he hates more than any other in the world. As the song and story moved along, I thought it was interesting the way you twisted the lyrics a bit to make the hurting less of a byproduct of self-destructive behavior and more of a deliberate act directed at Voldemort, Snape and all the others who helped to bring about Dumbledore's death.
Going back to the things that we all -- mostly, anyway -- used to think before reading Deathly Hallows, I loved the comparison between Dumbledore and Snape in this. Dumbledore was written as the kind, loving, inspirational would-be savior of the world and Snape as the evil, deceitful, manipulative villain. Funny how much greyer things turned out in the end, isn't it?
OK, because it's me and you know that I nit-pick like there's no tomorrow, I did see one typo, I think...
All had ever done was inject a certain sanity and grace into horrendous situations where nothing but treachery could be found. - All he had ever done...
This was such an awesome stroll down memory lane, not to mention very true to the song. Thanks for sharing!Author's Response: Dan, I honestly can't believe you came over here and left the first review on this story in 2 years. hahaha :)
I long for that time, back when we didn't know what was going to happen in the 7th book and everything was kind of a blank canvas as far as the future was concerned. I have such fond memories of that time and it was really fun to be in fanfiction back then. Although now we have next gen and all that fun stuff.
I have a hard time reading this story :) I wrote it and it was the only rejection that I ever got- because I wrote the s word and labeled it 15+. :P I should have known better! I chose to use NIN lyrics, but I think that I would have preferred now to use Johnny Cash's because I think his song is much more haunting. That being said I think when you look in my reviews a lot of the debate in it is whether or not it is Johnny Cash's song or NIN, I think because this was only a few years after his version came out.
Ahhh you found a typo! I need to edit that. I will do that some day :P I will I swear. I don't think I've edited this one since '07 haha.
I really thank you for your words on my sticking to the theme of the song. I feel like a lot of song fics do that, and it's nice to have kind words on a story that was written so long ago :)
I don't know if I could write Snape OR Dumbledore like that any more to be honest with you. I feel it's best to just leave it alone at this point :P
thank you so so so much again, I really appreciate your thoughts on this!! Report Review
Tagging you from Review Tag!
Wow! This was an absolutely chilling piece. I'm not in the habit of feeling badly for old Lucius. Everything that ever happened to him, be brought upon himself. But it's hard not to get pulled into the despair and terror that you infused this story with. I wouldn't trade places with him for anything.
I thought it was a little amusing, in a twisted sort of way, that he dreads the visit of a Dementor. It seems pretty obvious that their proximity is already affecting him. The depression, the lethargy, the nightmares... all of them sound like effects of having lots of Dementors close by.
His refusal to cry as a symbolic act of defiance, the thing that he chooses to focus on so as to show that he has not been broken, was a good choice. He seems to be fairly broken in most other respects, but until the Dementor approaches him at the end, he refuses to cross that one, final line. I thought this line was an especially clever emphasis on the point:
Wiping an unshed tear from his eye with the back of his dirty hand... - Denial. It isn't just a river in Egypt.
The happy memories that he tries to cling to as a defense mechanism made perfect sense. But the nightmares quickly punish him for his small conceit. The dream sequence was pure horror. You did an awesome job with that. I loved how the nightmare mixed elements of the memory with his current reality. It was all so twisted and surreal!
And then the Dementor comes to visit him for real, and he finally breaks. I felt sad without necessarily feeling sad for Lucius in particular. Maybe just a little. ;)
I saw a couple of typos that you might want to take a second look at:
He didn’t think he could take more of those terrible dreams he dreamed, but he could not lay wake forever either. - lay awake?
Lucius’s eyes open wide as he struggled for air, a burning sensation searing his lungs. - opened wide
A massive figure, cloaked and dark dark was standing in the frame of the entrance, silhouetted ominously against the bars. - you doubled the word "dark"
Otherwise, I thought your writing was lovely. The words you chose and the flow of the story complimented the dark imagery beautifully. Very nice job!Author's Response: You can't imagine the puddle I melted when I saw your review! Thanks so much for it! I'm only sorry it took me so long to respond to this :(
I wouldn't trade places with him either! For a long time I haven't been his fan either, but I have this memory from the movie Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 when he's sitting at the table and Voldemort asks for his wand. He gives it to him and Voldemorts snaps it in two. The way he jumped there, at just that sound, made me wonder what could have possibly happened to the once proud man we've seen in the earlier books/films. Basically this was the premise for my one shot :)
When I was thinking about his characterization, crying was the first thought I had to portray that exact same of defiance you talked about. Crying would have been the maximum proof that he was indeed broken and he could not allow that. To maintain his sanity he HAD to believe that he was still in power somehow, that he still held control over something. Glad you caught that up ;)
I'm SO happy you liked the dream sequence. I was unsure if I made the transition from dream to reality believable enough or in a flowing, natural way. I really was nervous about that part!
Thank you for pointing out the typos. Be sure that I will re-read the story once again and correct them! And thanks a million for the review. I loved it! Report Review
Tagging you from the Review the Person Above You thread in the common room!
This was a really neat "coming of age" story. I've read a lot of different versions of how Lily and James managed to overcome their confrontational past and fall in love. Nearly all of them involve James finally deciding that it was time to grow up and put the childish frivolities of his past behind him. This was an interesting take on the moment that took place.
I liked the nerves that James was feeling. This is a big moment for him, and not just because it involves Lily. For a lot of rich, popular kids like James, the refusal to take anything seriously is as much a defense mechanism as anything else. They're frightened of the possibility that the could fail miserably if they ever actually tried to straighten up and apply themselves. Making things even worse, there's a war brewing and, as his parents have correctly surmised, James and his schoolmates are going to play a major part in determining the outcome. It's a really heavy time, and you did a good job of incorporating it all into James's mindset.
Even though we don't get to find out what's going on inside Lily's head, her reactions seemed spot-on to me. I chuckled a bit at the notion that she thought James had stolen the Head Boy badge from somebody else. And once he gets her over that hump, her first thoughts were for Remus, which I thought was really sweet of her. I'm not really sure whether Lily would have known about Remus's disease or not at this point, but it doesn't matter so much. Everything you wrote about her, especially the way that she was looking at James at the end, felt like Lily Evans.
As I was reading, I saw a few things that you might want to take a second look at:
With a shaky hand, he lifted his sleeve and checked the watch that hugged his sleeve and the little hands told him there were still thirty-five minutes until eleven. -- Did you mean to say, "hugged his wrist"?
Even though Mrs. Potter had insisted, Sirius could wait until his graduation to move out; her protests were ignored, a situation that proved, in the long run, as in right now, for the better. -- This sentence is, um, challenging. ;) I don't think you need the first comma. The semicolon should probably be a comma, and maybe the last part would sound better as: "her protests were ignored. In the long run -- and especially right now -- it had worked out for the better."
Of course, he said to himself, of course it would be here. - would be her.
“Lily, I did not steal the badge. It is mine, it came in my mail and I am the Head Boy!” - To me, this sounded much too rigid and formal for something James would say. I would contract "It is" to "It's" and "I am" to "I'm".
Overall, this was really clever. A neat little peek into one of those missing moments that had huge repercussions for the future. Nice job!Author's Response: When I got the prompt for the challenge I kept thinking about what could happen at that moment. And I decided that at 17 one would have the maturity to understand that if one must work with somebody for school, one does it!
Lily's reaction was something I just pictured her saying at that moment. It's the disbelief that makes you search for the logical explanation at that moment. I think it was said somewhere in the books or on Pottermore or somewhere that Lily and Remus were friends and she was one of those who knew about his condition even before she and James got together. I am happy you liked my Lily!
As for the typos and such, thank you so much for pointing them out! As for the last sentence, which you said sounded rigid, it was made that way on purpose. I saw James explaining to her like you would explain to a child.
Thank you so much for the review! Report Review
I really, really love what you did with the First Year lessons in this. I can see Emily's point perfectly. There can't be anything quite like the excitement and awe of young kids who totally new to the subject, some of whom (muggle-borns) are seeing complicated magic for the first time in their lives. The way that you wrote the kids was perfect. Their eagerness to please and earnest competitiveness were brilliant touches. Emily obviously connects with them very well.
Again, I thought you did a really good job with McGonagall. Even when she's trying hard to be nice to Emily and supportive, she's still so intimidating. I liked the fact that she seems genuinely concerned about Emily, that was very much like her. Also the measured words of encouragement. I hope we get to see more of the two of them interacting. I imagine McGonagall would have a lot of advice as to how Emily could better connect with her older students.
Finally, I enjoyed the way that I could sort of feel Emily's hair coming down as she enjoyed an evening at the Three Broomsticks with her friend Michelle. Drinks aside, I thought the company really had an impact on her. Spending all of your time in the company of children will definitely wear an adult down over the long run. I see this with my wife every day when I come home from work. ;) You need to interact with other people your own age or your social skills start to degrade and you'll quickly find yourself in quite a rut.
Suggestions? I think I would have liked to see Emily and Michelle talk a bit more about their respective lives, and especially about Emily's. I assume that a part of Michelle's role in this story is to help Emily come to grips with her own need for companionship. More of that may be planned for future chapters, but this one felt a bit slow on the character development front.
I'm going to just stop commenting on your writing, OK? If I don't say anything, just assume that it was brilliant! :)
Back soon for chapter 4!Author's Response: Yeah, that lesson with the first years was really easy to write. I imagine the majority of the first years, and especially the muggle-borns, would be super-enthusiastic about their classes at Hogwarts. And I thought it was important for Emily to have the reprieve as well, because it demonstrates that she is not only good at teaching, but deep down she actually enjoys sharing her talents with these kids.
I think there's so much of McGonagall we don't see and after reading about her back story on Pottermore, I think there must be this kind, motherly side to her that rarely gets seen. She wants to be a mentor for Emily the way that Dumbledore was a mentor for her and helped her through her own suffering.
I definitely agree about the whole spending time with people your own age thing. The fact that she's become so reclusive has contributed to her change in personality. She's forgotten how much fun it is to be young and Michelle is starting to remind her of that. I really appreciate your thoughts on Emily and Michelle sharing more about their lives and I'll definitely take that in to account, although how I envision Michelle is this link to Emily's former personality rather than the person who draws the real issues out. I want Emily's journey to recovery to be a team effort of sorts, there won't be one person who magically saves her from everything, but rather a tapestry of influences help Emily to look at things differently and find happiness again. I see Michelle as the one who encourages that young teenage girl in Emily, the one who takes her out dancing and shopping and makes her giggle. Michelle isn't trying to 'save' Emily, she's just befriending the girl she remembers Emily to be and that will hopefully draw aspects of that girl out of Emily. On it's own it does sound a little superficial, but when it's hand in hand with the other people that will step forward to help Emily, Michelle actually becomes a vital part of Emily's healing. I hope that makes sense. But you're right, I could review some of the character development with Michelle - I don't want her to become a one dimensional character on page because she's quite vivid in my mind. Thanks for the suggestion :)
Thanks again for reviewing, I'm planning to write another review for you once I've replied to mine so you'll be seeing me again soon :) Report Review
Funny, how old friends can snap us out of the doldrums of adult life for a little while, isn't it?
You definitely continued to add depth and substance to Emily in this chapter. Aside from major-league feelings of inadequacy, she also seems to be turning into a bit of a recluse. It isn't an easy thing to do inside of a castle filled with around a hundred people, the majority of whom have a built-in incentive to kiss up to you, but she's pulling it off pretty well.
Certain aspects of teaching seem to be universal, regardless of whether you're in a magical school. I suppose there's no easy or quick way to mark essays, even with magic. I'd never really thought about it before, but for someone who teaches a subject that's required for all students and nearly all years like Transfiguration, that must amount to a huge amount of homework to grade. When do these people sleep?
But I digress. Having Emily reminisce about going to Hogsmeade as a student was a great way to introduce some more back story and character development without it feeling forced. And I think that getting her out of the castle for a while helped your narration out. A change of scenery is always good when you want a character to be pensive. You've obviously put a lot of thought into what it means to be a muggle-born wizard or witch. Her fascination with Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade reminded me of the wonder that Harry always felt when he visited these places in the first few books, before things started to turn bad.
I thought the character Michelle was a great foil to help Emily continue to draw out her feelings about her life. Michelle seems to have a lot of things in her life that make Emily uneasy, possibly even a bit jealous although she isn't eager to admit that to herself. At the same time, Michelle also expressed a lot of admiration for Emily and her achievements in life. It seemed like Emily came away from the conversation feeling like her life might not be quite as bad as she's been thinking, but that there are obviously things that she's missed out on because of the need to hide during the war and her work/life balance since the end of it.
Once again, I thought your writing was fantastic. I couldn't find a single typo or grammatical problem. You really have a knack for writing with a nice, smooth, regular flow that's easy to follow and immerse myself in.
Great chapter! Back again soon...Author's Response: lol...I love your comment about 'major-league feelings of inadequacy' I think that sums up Emily's feelings about her teaching abilities pretty well! And Emily is definitely hiding from the people around her, partially because she doesn't want to think or talk about work too much, partially because it's exhausting and partially because she just wants to run away and hide. When she's around other people, she also has to put this mask on, the mask of a person who is fine and happy and that takes a lot out of her, so it's easier to avoid people sometimes.
Teaching is a challenge, and for Emily, who is so depressed, it just becomes this huge unclimbable mountain she can't get past. The saddest thing is that deep down, Emily does actually enjoy teaching Transfiguration.
I'm glad you picked up on the muggle-born thing, I think there are a lot of aspects about being muggle born that are glossed over in JKR's books, not in the sense that she wrote it badly, but in the sense that there were a lot of things that just weren't pertinent to the story she was telling. And I want to explore a lot of those 'gaps' with Emily's story. One thing JKR did brilliantly, was describe the wonder of seeing the magical world for the first time as a muggle-born witch or wizard, and I was hoping to capture that similar feeling with Emily's memories.
There's definitely a bit of envy with Emily and Michelle, although not really enough to cause a rift between the characters, it's more like there's just enough to make Emily feel a little bit more depressed. Michelle is someone who suffered through the war but as a pure-blood who was able to be relatively sheltered during the war, she hasn't suffered the trauma that Emily has. She is a lot like Emily used to be and that's working to Emily's advantage because Michelle is something of a catalyst to lure the old Emily out into the light.
Thank you again for the great chapter, I really appreciate all of your thoughts. Thanks again! :) Report Review
I absolutely loved the cold, distant, Victorian relationship that you created between Bellatrix and her father. One of my favorite recurring themes throughout Before They Fall has been Bella's obsessive need to be in control. She's all about mental and physical discipline. This was such a nice vision of where that all-consuming passion for control came from. Everything about her interactions with her father, his associates and his underlings was about suppressing all of the behaviors that come naturally to a ten-year-old child and being Cygnus Black's perfect pure blood daughter. She was so extreme in her determination that it was almost creepy.
You have already collected Sirius, Bellatrix and Regulus in BTF and now I think you've added another Black family member to your cupboard of perfect characters. I thought that the way you wrote Cygnus was terrific. It was all about the small details with him: the way that he only acknowledges Bella when they're alone, the pride that he takes in her rude, dismissive treatment of the hostess at the restaurant and the way that he uses his very rare compliments to feed her need for perfection. Topping it all off, once the sun rises on a new day, yesterday's triumphs are old news to him. Bella is right back at square one.
In spite of the fact that he's a complete and utter bastard to her, Bella obviously lives to please him. Again, you've reinforced a precedent that we see again and again in BTF. I'm not sure Bella has any idea how to live for herself. It's as though she smoothly transitioned her subjugation of self and desperate need for approval from Cygnus to Voldemort without missing a beat. Poor Rodolphus never even factored into the equation, it seems.
The ugly conversation Bella and her father share about muggle-borns was the final element that you incorporated, and it filled in another important facet of her (deranged) mindset. Her hatred of those who don't come from a pure blood line obviously comes directly from her father. The viciousness of the comments they make was breathtaking. I am almost frightened to read what comes out of her mouth when and if this story reaches the aftermath of Andromeda running away with Ted Tonks.
I think that's mostly all of the good stuff. Just to keep it all balanced, a few typos and other things that I noticed as I was reading:
Students that think just because they posses a wand they’re as good as you... as good as the few amount of pure-blood families we have left. - "few amount" sounds a bit strange. Maybe "small number"?
She was not addressed for the remainder of the meal, therefor not permitted to speak, but she didn’t mind. - therefore
Belle let her mind wander and began thinking of what the next few days would bring. - Bella. (Freudian slip? :p )
She supposed it had a lot to do with all that she’d learned that day, and couldn’t wait to tell her sister’s that she’d gotten to attend a business dinner with Father. - "and she couldn't wait to tell her sisters that..."
As she neared the dining room and Cygnus’s became recognizable, - "... and Cygnus's face became..."
I'm sure you're laughing at me right now. No, I can't turn it off.
Anyway, I'm really enjoying this story. It adds even more depth to her twisted, terrifying character. It's really fun to see how her head got bent so badly. Nice job!Author's Response: Dan Dan Dan!!!
I've really think Bellatrix had to have some sort of daddy issues. Not that she wouldn't be crazy regardless--- either a person has it in them to murder others or they don't--- but I do think that Cygnus's treatment of her, or more so the fact it was just as easy for him to ignore her as it was to pay attention, started the ball rolling for her to need a certain kind of approval.
I don't think Bellatrix could have been *just* that devoted to Voldemort. We saw over and over that she cared nothing for her own life and everything for how valued she was by Voldemort. So having her start those feelings young in a less of an extreme scale felt right. Her father's approval is the only one she seeks until Voldemort comes along. And we'll of course see how little Rodolphus got tangled into all this.
I'm so happy you liked Cygnus! He wasn't as hard for me to write as I thought he would be... I think I was just in that right mindset at the time. Mwahaha.
Thank you for the typos &hearts, and yes, i was laughing at you. Hahaha. But you know, in that loving sort of way ;)
I'm so happy you're enjoying this new little project so far! Report Review
That was a really interesting and very different take on Regulus's short and tragic life. Being one of those tall, dark and brooding sort of guys, he's not exactly a rare commodity in stories around here. This was the first time that I'd seen a story where he became a Death Eater for love rather than his parents' twisted sense of values, however.
This is probably horrible to admit, but when you described his relationship with the mystery female character the first thing that popped into my head was the whole discussion of "friendzone" that presaged the April Fool's Day prank. The second thing was the sham marriage that Rodolphus Lestrange shared with Bellatrix. Whichever one you want to hold it up against, I think the point is the same. This girl never really loved Regulus the way that he loved her. In the end, her only true love was for the Dark Lord and the power that he represented in her mind.
I know you said that this chapter hasn't been beta read, but I really didn't see very many things that need to be fixed. Here was the only typo I spotted:
Now here I was her standing before me, with the Dark Lord next to her. - here she was standing before me?
This was a neat idea and you did a good job of executing it. The only thing that struck me was that it isn't clear whether he's already taken the locket horcrux when he confronts his former love, and if so, whether she was part of the reason that he decided to betray his master. I thought that would have added something, but then again I'm a stickler for completeness. ;) Report Review
Hi, there! Gryffindor Monthly review exchange is going down!
I thought this was a really neat start to a story. The idea isn't something I've ever seen before. Post-Hogwarts is my favorite era to read because there are so many interesting possibilities and directions to pursue in the aftermath of the war. Every character who survived would have had some sort of story to tell, considering that the entire wizarding world was being rebuilt from the ashes. Your main character should have a really interesting view into what happened at Hogwarts in those intervening years.
And that's not the only reason she's interesting. I really liked Emily's back story. I do agree with your author's note that there was a lot of it. Perhaps you could have held onto parts of it and worked it into the narrative or dialog of future chapters of the story. But you're four chapters in already, so I think the chances that you'd want to go back and rewrite everything at this point are fairly slim, so I'll leave it at that.
I really liked the idea of her being a muggle-born witch who seemed to have more than a couple of close brushes with danger during the war. I really hope you give yourself more chances to explore those events and the effects they had on her life and her mindset as the story unfolds. In her current situation, she seems to be in quite a rut. I wonder whether the malaise she find herself in has anything to do with the relative lack of excitement and challenge in her life, compared to what she went through to survive the war?
Let's see, what else? The opening scene was absolutely brilliant. The way you took her so low and then, with the question about using the loo, you managed to take her even lower. I also thought you did a really good job of capturing Professor McGonagall's voice. It's not an easy thing to do. Not at all. But you wrote her commendably.
The reason I'm focusing so much on your plot and characterization is that I couldn't find a thing wrong with your writing. I didn't see a single typo and everything flowed beautifully. Your word choice was really good and nothing sounded awkward or singsongy. The chapter had a good mix of dialog and narrative -- especially for an introductory chapter. Once I settled into the flow of the chapter, it was really engrossing and it was over before I knew it!
I was really pleased to draw you as a review exchange partner this month. I see you around the forums a lot and you seem like a really active, really interesting person. I'll be back for chapter 2 soon. :)Author's Response: Thanks so much for the review :)
I hadn't seen anything quite like this either and I wanted to look at what the ramifications of the war would be like for a regular witch or wizard. At the same time, I was also curious about how the wizarding world dealt with the treatment of mental illness...not like what happened to Gilderoy Lockhart or the Longbottoms, but actual depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress etc. Wizards might have advanced healing techniques but they aren't immune to psychological pain.
Yeah, there is a lot of information in this first chapter, but it's really only a base for the information about Emily. It's a kind of starting point for our understanding of her situation, but I'm not sure what I could take out. There will be a lot more information being revealed about Emily as the story progresses too.
I think the muggle-born aspect is so interesting, because it creates this automatic tension between the two worlds a witch or wizard is forced to live in. It frustrates me when an author has a muggle born witch or wizard but then practically ignores the muggle aspect of their life. I wanted to include some interaction and connection to the muggle world for Emily, which will come up in later chapters. But I also thinks it makes an interesting backdrop for her experiences during the war...which will be explored further as the story progresses :)
Oh I'm glad you like that opening scene. I wrote that a long long long time ago and it just sat there on my hard drive as this random plot bunny until one day I got the inspiration to write the rest of the story! Oh and McGonagall...I am so worried about her. She's going to be a fairly regular part of this story so I hope I do her justice.
There will be more action in the coming chapters, but I hope you still like it :) Thanks again for the great review! I was really happy to get you in the review swap too! Report Review
I saw this story on my beta reader's favorites list and it caught my eye. This is one of my favorite eras and genres to read.
For an opening chapter, I thought you did an excellent job of pulling me in. I love the fact that this story seems -- at least so far -- very focused on Ron. Far too often, he gets the Second Banana treatment in these stories. You brought his character out with amazing clarity and depth. The emotional torment that he's suffering was written so well, it all felt amazingly genuine and gut-wrenching. Also, very true to his book characterization.
Hermione was also a joy to read. I thought you captured her voice, her over-analytical streak and her emotional reactions beautifully. All of the supporting characters felt well-developed and in character. The only ones that seemed a little strained where Harry and Ginny. The way that Harry was blaming himself felt a little flat and not quite as tormented as I would have expected while Ginny's rebuttal wasn't as vehement as I would have liked. Not a big deal, but I thought I'd point it out.
Overall, a very nice start. Can't want to see what else you have in mind.Author's Response: Hello!
Firstly, thank you for taking the time to review. I love this genre as well. I'm so glad I was able to pull you in - that was certainly the objective. I think Ron's feelings get left out of things a lot, so I really wanted to focus on him. I'm glad you picked up on that :)
When I read over this story to continue work on the next chapter, I agree that Harry's feelings weren't as tormented as they should have been. I find that when I write Ron/Hermione, I always try to fit Harry/Ginny in as well (naturally) and end up doing one relationship justice and the other not so much.
However, I'm thrilled you've enjoyed the beginning to the story, and hope you continue reading. Thank you!! Report Review
Out of all the chapters of this story, I'm finding this one to be the hardest to review. It's tough to even know where to start. This was the chapter where everything came crashing together. Every character, every event, every stray plot thread -- well, every one that I can think of, anyway -- they all converged in this unbelievable roller coaster ride of suspense, fear and "oh my god, so THAT's why ABC happened way back in chapter N!" I think it's going to be incredibly hard to review this without sounding like a gushing, squeeing mess of a fanboy, but here goes. I owe you a good faith attempt, but I can't promise much.
The way you wrote Regina was absolutely terrifying. She was cold as ice, but imbued with the same false sweetness I remember from her first appearance. Her maniacal hatred of Viktor was combined with a win-at-all-costs compulsion and a fiendish sort of genius. She was going to take absolutely everything from him and then leave him to take the fall for it. Rose's life was nothing more than a tool she was using to cause him pain. I felt like I was seeing shades of Jami's Bellatrix, but with a more controlled and focused strain of sociopathy. What makes it even worse, at least to me, is that Viktor's only "crime" was disappointing this horrible, shallow, fake, manipulative person by turning to an out-of-control lifestyle that she probably drove him to by being such a b... um, bad person. That's how I'm interpreting things, at any rate. Maybe he would have found that lifestyle no matter what, but I'm sure she didn't help.
Poor Rose held it together better and for much longer than I would have expected. I loved all of the physical details that you used to convey her terror, anxiety and even anger.
I am completely in awe of how you wove all of these seemingly unrelated plot threads together into Regina's "master plan" to destroy Viktor. The overdose was especially brilliant. If it was me, I probably would have given in to the temptation to drop some sort of hint, some little bit of information so I could come back and waggle it in the reader's face and yell "gotcha!" later on. But Regina's not like that. She leaves no evidence. And she knew Viktor so well that she knew that he'd have drugs hidden somewhere in the flat. She's so frighteningly single-minded, it's crazy!
And then all hell broke loose. You couldn't have pulled me away from my computer while I was reading the last quarter of this chapter with a logging chain and a bulldozer. From the moment that Rose lunges at Regina until those awful final six words of the chapter was one of the most amazingly tense, suspenseful action sequences I've read anywhere on HPFF. I could feel my heart pounding when it was over, and then I was instantly empty.
This paragraph hit me like a kick to the stomach:
But that was as far as she got before she felt the impact and the pain overtook her. A horrible, ice-cold fire that spread through her back and arms. It took her breath away, stole the spell from the tip of her lips. And for a moment, even made her forget who she was. It was just pain.
I have nothing to offer you in the way of constructive criticism for this chapter. Nada. Zippo. Zilch. It was absolutely brilliant. Please accept this nearly irrelevant typo as my small attempt to brush a stray bit of dust off of your masterpiece:
But Regina had gone suddenly quite, apparently having said all she intended to on that matter. - quiet.
And with that, I'm almost at the end. I'll do some more gushing in my review for the next chapter, but please know that I mean the following with complete sincerity: This is one of the five most incredible chapters I've read on HPFF.Author's Response: I have to start this off by apologizing for the delay in responding. A review this nice deserved a prompt response, but I shall do my best to try and make up for it now.
I tried so hard not to leave plot lines dangling out there! Since I don't plot much of my stories in advance, there were a lot of little bits here and there that I threw in along the way without knowing where it all was heading. That this chapter didn't feel like a total free-for-all is a minor miracle.
Jami's Bellatrix is awesome, and I do think Regina has some of that same psychopathy. She just channels it all into this one venue. She doesn't even really hate Rose -- she doesn't see her as enough of a person to bother hating. From my end, I didn't really see Regina as a cause of Viktor's problems in the past; I think he would have been on the same path with or without her. But she definitely didn't help, and I certainly don't think he really did anything to bring this about. He could have been a perfect husband and she would have found some reason to hate him. She had crazy inside of her -- he was just a trigger.
One of my regrets on this story is that I didn't drop more hints to the reader. I tried several times but it never came together. I tried to have Rose walk in on Regina in Krum's flat, tried to send an Auror there on an anonymous tip, have a mysterious package delivered. I even wrote out a whole scene in the last chapter where Krum and Rose arrive at his flat to find it ransacked. But I couldn't make any of it work. I always wanted the ending to be a surprise in terms of the villain being Regina, but I wish I'd threaded more of a feeling of outside danger throughout the story.
Wow, just... thank you! This was my first attempt at any real level of violence. I didn't want bloody or gory, but I was aiming for tense and real. If anyone saw my internet search history for the day I wrote this scene, I'd probably look like a psycho myself! Who knew stab wounds feel cold, not hot?
Thank you for such an amazing review. I'm really a little speechless that you liked the chapter so much. I'm sorry again for taking so long to reply. Please know it wasn't a reflection of my appreciation for your comments! Report Review
Hi, there! I'm annoyed with myself. I tried to catch you when you were the last post in Review Tag, but then you weren't any more. So the heck with it. I'd rather read something I enjoy.
I'm really starting to get into your AU version of the wizarding world. The idea of Harry as a long-suffering father of a son who's fallen into the clutches of the Dark Lord is one of the most original things I've come across in quite a while. And you keep layering additional nuances onto your premise. It's very complex and interesting. The idea that Devlin is a werewolf adds even a bit more difficulty and conflict to what I assume will be a very tricky family reunion. If the social status of werewolves among the wizards of Britain remains an issue -- and with Voldemort having a pack of them as part of his forces, I'm sure that's not helping -- then I can see it being very difficult for Harry and Alex to convince Devlin that he's better off leaving the Dark Lord behind. All in all, a very interesting story you're setting up here.
Geoffrey seems like a really intriguing character, too. It's pretty obvious that he's attached to the boy, both magically and at a personal level. They share the difficulty of having lycanthropy, but it feels like more than that. He seems to feel paternalistic toward Devlin, but also somewhat in awe of the boy. He has such a disciplined mind -- an obvious plus when trying to survive among the Dark Lord's treacherous followers -- that I feel as though there's a lot more he has yet to say.
Alex came off as a very powerful, very intelligent and very intuitive witch. Definitely not somebody to be underestimated or trifled with. She seemed to compliment Harry really well. She's much more direct and insightful than he is.
This chapter felt kind of rough, like it could use a good scrub. The first part, especially, had a lot of typos and issues around verb tenses. At times, it felt like you were trying to write in the present tense, but you kept slipping back into past tense. Then about a quarter of the way into the chapter, you fell into a rhythm and everything flowed really nicely. I think it would really help to clean that first part up, because it made it a little harder to get into the flow of the narrative.
I'm glad I stopped by. I'll try not to be as long before returning!Author's Response: Okay - the idea that someone TRIED to catch me on the review thread made me grin for an hour. I am pretty sure my co-workers wondered what the heck was up with me when I got back from break!
I love it when someone says my story is original! Oh, if you like the whole Devlin as a werewolf thing, wait until you learn HOW he was bitten! That'll be a fun angst-filled treat for you. ;) It's interesting you would jump to the social status of werewolves, because this will play a part in the story as we go forward, but not at first. I won't speak to Devlin's knowledge of the werewolf-social-status issue, either, because it will play a part as well.
Geoffrey is one of my favorite character's to write, honestly. He is definitely more than he appears to be - perhaps more than HE knows he is, since he, being an adult, is obviously very aware of the issues of being a werewolf.
"She seemed to compliment Harry really well." EEE! You're the first one to kinda say "they seem believable together" and so I reward you with the stupid grin again.
She is much more like Devlin, which is to say she is much more like Tom Riddle might have been. We'll learn more about her origins and upbringing as we go forward, but first the focus will be on Devlin.
About the roughness...yeah...I admit I kinda copied and pasted the first part from the original version because I couldn't think of a better way to begin the chapter, then took it in entirely different (and way better) path than before - which is probably where the writing improved. So I totally agree and cringed a bit when I did a quick re-read before replying to your review. Thanks so much for picking up on that flow issue though - I will be sure to try and improve it.
Feel welcome to come back very soon! I won't complain. ;) I'll try and play the review thread more often again, too.
I'm really not sure why you ever took this story down. It's short, but really moving. I thought you captured Neville's character perfectly in this. You did a great job bringing out the things that motivate him, his own heroes that he tries to live up to, his loyalty to his friends and the deep need that everyone had to simply see the death and suffering end. It's not heroism in the classic sense of the term, but it definitely works.
I thought the sword was a nice metaphor for his attempts to come to grips with what he'd done. He wasn't willing to let it go while he was still trying to process everything. It was almost as though he was afraid that if he relinquished his hold on it, he'd suddenly be plunged back into the horrors of the war.
Then Hannah comes along, and she tells him some things that he needs to hear. She helps him put the pieces into place inside his own head. And by reassuring her that the war is really, truly over, he is able to reassure himself. Once he reaches that point, he's able to let the sword go. It's all real then. Nothing is going to change things back to the way they were.
I saw a couple of small typos that you might want to take a second look at:
If not for Professor McGonagall quiet strength and Madame Pomfrey’s secret healing potions, none of the scraggly band of Gryffindors would have survived. - McGonagall's quiet strength
It’s over now, isn’t it?” she whispered, - missing its beginning quote mark.
Aside from that, your writing flowed really nicely. Once I got immersed in Neville's mindset, it was a smooth ride to the end.
I thought this was really well written. It made me want to explore more of your writing!Author's Response: Dang that copy and paste! I sometimes forget to edit the mistakes out when I change things. I will definitely go correct those typos. Hate those. Thanks!
You got exactly what I was trying to get across with Neville in this story. I love when a reader picks up the parts I wrote and gets the same message I intended them to find. Thank you so much for the review! ~GW Report Review
Terms of Service
categories & genres
short story collection