Hi, WT! I'm here with your review request :)
This chapter was full of all sorts of fun and interesting surprises. Right off, I really like the idea of Eileen as a seamstress. We don't know much about her as a character yet, but that's a really unique profession and kind of suggests some things about what kind of person she might be. Automatically I'm thinking of someone who is a bit of a loner, maybe a bit quiet and reserved. Independent and self-sufficient perhaps, which seems in line with someone who runs their own shop. Anyway, it's something I don't see a lot in fanfiction and that definitely makes it stand out to me in a positive way.
We didn't get a lot of internal monologue from her here, so I'm interested to get in her head a bit more, but I like what you've set up so far. I couldn't help but notice the somewhat detached or perhaps skeptical attitude she has towards children. She seems very aware of the burden Hannah faces with all those mouths to feed, and the line about Viola always adding "another child to her personal Quidditch team." I love the way you've started very subtly inserting the issue of kids, since of course we know who her son will eventually be.
I also like the groundwork you've begun to lay regarding her family's past. The mention of the clock being a rare family heirloom, where her vault is, and of course the line: "The darkness that surrounds the Prince family is not a topic that Eileen discusses with anyone." It's great that you've begun to hint at a deeper backstory while still holding back so much to create an air of mystery.
And of course the mention of the muffliato charm. So clever!
And I know it's just a small line, but I really liked this one: It looms in the distance, the white marble glowing despite the lack of sunshine. It creates a great visual image without needing a ton of fancy language, and it also hints at the magic sort of inherent in the building itself.
I can only think of one small area of CC to mention. I couldn't get a good read on Eileen's relationship with Fabian. They know each other, clearly, but are they friends? Does she perhaps have a bit of a crush on him? Is it a business-only relationship? Old friends from school? She comments that that he's the "most handsome man she's ever seen," but that's about it. If I was talking to a really good-looking man, I might be flustered, unless we were longtime friends and his handsomeness was old hat. Anyway, I know it's an early chapter and you don't want to backstory dump all over your readers, but I couldn't really judge the emotion of the scene since I couldn't gauge the chemistry between the pair. Casual? Flirty? Like brother and sister? All business? Did his mention of a date make her jealous, or did it make her want to roll her eyes? Just something to throw out there...
Otherwise, another great chapter. With the high-intensity of the prologue, I like how you can step back and ease into the heart of the story while your readers know there is big action still to come.Author's Response: Hello AW! Thank you so much for reading and reviewing! :)
I'm stoked that you like Eileen's profession. It is very important to me that Eileen is an independent and strong woman, even for this time period. I think that often times in fanfiction authors forget that these people have to have jobs and money to survive. I think the realism of her profession is essential to my story. As you say, it gives us insights into her character.
Rather than rushing things, I'm trying to create Eileen in such a way that is appealing and appropriate. I feel like many authors, fanfiction and original, rush their characters and characterizations. As humans, we come into our own slowly, not in the first chapter of our lives. So, I think you'll really like Eileen as we get further into the novel.
You are the first one to notice Eileen's issues with children. I've set this up, not so that she hates children or even dislikes them, but does not wish to become like many of the women of her time period, Muggle and witch. She wants the security and enjoyment she receives from a job before even thinking about a family which really is an anomaly if we're thinking historically.
I'm really glad you like the little hints I've been putting here and there, aka groundwork. I'm very much trying to keep to my own style while taking a few pointers from JKR. I want this to be a good novel! :P
Ah yes, the charm! One of my favorite parts of the novel.
And I'm so happy you like that line, I really am. I purposefully set up each description in this (it takes a long time, actually) and I love that you love it!
You know, honestly, that's not something that I've given much attention to. Fabian will be a minor character, appearing here and there, but I didn't think about laying the groundwork of their relationship. Thank you so much for mentioning that! The next time you guys see Fabian, you'll be sure to get at least a snippet of the back-story so that it's all well-rounded and whatnot.
Thank you so much for the wonderful review! I cannot wait to see what you think of the upcoming chapters! :) Report Review
Happy Review Battle!
I totally agree -- Colin Creevey is a wonderful minor character, and this was a lovely tribute to him. He's a bit like the younger brother Harry never had, always following him around, wanting to be just like him. He falls into that perfect zone of adorably annoying early in the series and then brave in his own right by the end.
You had some wonderful lines here. Two that really stood out to me: ...he was underage, though this past year had been more than enough to turn both him and his brother Dennis into adults... AND ... it was easier to think of himself as a soldier when he did...
What deep and poignant thoughts! So many of the students in the final battle are caught between being children and adults. They are old enough to know what side they want to fight for, but still not old enough to fully internalize the risks... and with so much still ahead of them. Very sad and very touching. And the word "soldier" holds so much meaning on its own. Part of me is proud for his bravery, and the other part is sad for him not really knowing what he's about to sacrifice.
The last line was great too. Hogwarts becomes the call to arms. It's such a neat way to look at it, especially since the battle for the wizarding world is sort of condensed down into this one battle at Hogwarts. It's still so sad what happens to Colin, but at least he goes down fighting for something that meant so much to him.Author's Response: Hi, Becky! Sorry this response is a bit tardy, but I do try and make it a point to respond to all of my reviews, and I'm really pleased to have one from you to answer. :) I'm happy that you enjoyed the story, too!
Colin is one of those characters that I've found gets painted with a biased brush in canon, much like Fleur. Harry thinks he's a bit obnoxious, and maybe he is, but there's a lot more to him than just a little kid dogging his idol all around the castle. I do think that he is incredibly brave, and very loyal; he's one of the truest Gryffindors in canon, in my opinion. He comes into his own as he grows up, too, and let's face it -- most kids are pretty annoying in their early years. ;)
One of the things that strikes me most about the final battle is how much it did age the people who participated in it -- and Colin wasn't even of proper age, not to mention being a Muggle-born. He was an adult and a proper soldier in the moment he chose to fight for the castle that was as much his home as Harry's, and I can't help but feel fierce admiration for that bravery, like you said. He was willing to die for the place that took him in, a stupid little kid, and gah. I have so many feelings for Colin, when I take the time to analyze them.
Thank you for this review! And again, I'm just really happy you enjoyed reading it. ♥ I appreciate it very much! Report Review
I told myself I wasn't going to do anything aside from write today, but I read this chapter last night and wanted to post a review while it was still fresh in my head. At least that's the excuse I'm going with...
What is it with bridesmaid dresses? The whole process is torturous for everyone but the bride. Though I suppose that could be said for most wedding preparations. It's nice, though, to see you turn Daphne and Astoria's relationship on its head a bit. I don't read a LOT of stories focused on these two, but when I do, they seem to more often than not portray Daphne as the demure one, with Astoria being the one with a touch more fire and passion. I like the idea of switching that up. Astoria does show some good gusto later on in the chapter, but in his current state, Draco needs someone with a cool head more than anything. Of course, I'm not sure it's totally fair to judge the true character of a woman in the middle of planning her wedding, so I won't be too hard on Daphne here.
Hmmm... I'm disappointed in Astoria's mother. Not it the way you've written her... I was just hoping for more from her for Astoria's sake. I get the sense that she might, in another time and place, be more inclined to encourage her daughter to seek out true love, but perhaps she's just not quite ready to let go of the "old ways," particularly in world that seems to be moving on without them. But I'm not ready to give up on her yet. I'm holding out hope she'll see the light.
Oh, and...As far as his hygiene... well, I'm certain his mother will see to that. My favorite line of the chapter!
I was surprised to see Astoria lay her cards so fully on the table. Up until the letter, it felt a bit more like she and Draco were dancing around the idea of being a couple, but she pretty much comes out and tells him here that if he wants her, he better be prepared to move and move fast. Good for her!
I'll admit, I'm a little disappointed to see Draco as put together as he is. After the end of the last chapter, I was expecting to see him slip back into a much darker place. Clearly he's no longer abstaining, and that alone is a slippery slope. I just thought we'd get to see you kick him around a bit more. But perhaps that says more about me than your story, so I won't press the issue :P
I did like the way you've brought us back to the scheming of Draco's former friends. Obviously, I'm not sure how it will all play out, but I can see how both this element and his relationship with Astoria are heading for a nasty collision... perhaps at the wedding itself? And I loved Draco's line: I wouldn't know. My family tree has fewer grafts. Zing!
Just a couple of typos below. Otherwise another great read. Oh, and what you said in your author's note about knowing what you want to happen but not being able to come up with the words... I feel like that with EVERY chapter, so you're not alone!
-- Once they reached the safety of Astoria's bedroom, the Madame Pinking started the laborious process of extracting her from the cumbersome dress. (no the before Madame...?)
-- Her mother swept back across the room and gently cradled Astora's face between her hands. (Astoria's)
-- I wanted make sure that you found out directly from me, and that you know that none of this was my idea. (wanted to make sure)
-- He admired the deep, amber color and complex aroma before downing the drink in a single gulp. (possible POV change? I suppose admired could be a substitute for looked at/studied, but it reads here a bit like we jumped into Blaise's head for a moment)Author's Response: Hello, again!
First off, thanks so much for the edits. Much appreciated. Amazing the things that you miss even when you stare at a chapter for days before actually posting it.
I've never had the pleasure of being fitted for a bridesmaid dress -- I wore a prom dress to a party once; that's a whole different story -- but I get the impression that around 90% of all bridesmaids secretly loathe the whole process. Daphne, in particular, has chosen some true horrors of late 19th century women's fashion to inflict upon her bridesmaids. I'm not sure I think of Daphne as fiery. More just excitable, moody and pretty self-absorbed. Astoria is definitely the more reserved of the sisters, but she has her own excitable streak as you see later in the chapter.
Astoria's mother is a product of her upbringing. At some level, she wants to break free and allow Astoria the freedom to follow her heart, but she's just not there yet. It's a big leap for her, seeing as how everything she's ever valued in her life is a function of her family and her social status. That doesn't make it right, but at least I hope you can see where she's coming from.
Poor Emery gets picked on a lot in this chapter. He more or less deserves it, though.
I think Astoria is so upset and her mind is being pulled in so many directions by the time she writes to Draco that her emotions are pretty much laid bare. Madame Pinking does have a point. Even if the experience is boring and uncomfortable, being part of a wedding does tend to make a young, single person think. Astoria wants to find for herself what her parents stumbled into through dumb luck. She wants to love and be loved, and she thinks that Draco is The One to make that happen for her.
I don't think of Draco as being "put together" so much as he's holding it together at this point. Rather tenuously, at that. You'll see more of it in the next chapter when he has his chat with Gamp, Flint and Zabini. Aside from his drinking, he's having a lot of problems controlling his anger at this point. Draco's problems, Lucius's scheming and the insidious plans of his old friends are all starting to converge, but I can't exactly tell you where it all ends. That would spoil the surprise.
Thanks so much for the review! You're always so thoughtful and detailed. It really makes my day! Report Review
Surprise! I closed my eyes and picked a story and it was this one, but I'll be over to read some of your Oliver story soon!
I'm mostly going to go through the chapter in order, hitting on your AoCs as we get to them chronologically, but I apologize in advance if it's a bit disjointed. I actually read the chapter over two days so I'm having to try and decipher my own scribblings :P
Being a boyfriend was complicated, but James couldn't deny loving it. I just loved this line. He's falling into the role so well, but it's nice to see that while his affection for Lily comes naturally, knowing how to be a good boyfriend is a whole other matter. I also really liked the line Lily really had been born a Gryffindor. James always gets the credit for being the "true" Gryffindor of the group, but there has to be more to Lily than kindness and loyalty or she'd have been sorted into Hufflepuff. It's just a small line, I know, but I thought it was sweet.
I thought you handled the match perfectly. You've had some Quidditch before that you skipped over, and while I certainly didn't feel this needed a FULL account of the game, I liked that you didn't completely brush over it. I thought you tucked in just enough to hit the balance between looking like you just didn't want to write it out and boring the readers with an account that was longer than necessary. I thought you managed it perfectly.
Should I be worried about Polly? I feel like I should be worried about her. She's too adorable, but I'm afraid you're going to be a really cruel author and kill her off as a casualty of war.
I'm totally buying the way the suspicions are unfolding regarding Alrek. Using the Quidditch match as a way to jog that memory for Lily was very clever. Since we as the reader already know it's him, having them looking everywhere BUT at him would feel like you were intentionally dragging it out. I think this is perfect. They've made a very believable connection between what might have been said in his presence and what happened with Bella, and while they aren't ready to chase him down with pitchforks, they are bumping him waaay up the suspect list.
Aw... I loved the arrival of Gideon and Fabian and the way they rile up Moody the same way Fred and George might. I really enjoy when you write from McGonagall's perspective. You have a very nice way of humanizing her. And this is just another aside, but I really liked the line That allowed more time for someone to find a hole and break into it. I love this sorts of things -- the ones that get your brain churning on the inner (and often messy) workings of magic. And I think what Dumbledore said covers it all: we must allow him control of his own future, or we're no better than Voldemort's side.
Okay, last point. The characters. No, I don't feel the characters have been "created," if you mean in the sense that they do and say things that only meant to serve the plot. I think you've kept them true and consistent throughout. Though I should also add that I don't think creating characters to serve the plot is always a bad idea, as long as there is internal consistency and logic in why they do what they do. When it comes to characters, my philosophy is the messier the better. Real people are complicated, and characters should be to. Good guys should, on occasion, do mean, spiteful and foolish things, and bad guys who might not mind killing you can still me nice to their mothers and help old ladies cross the street :P
Ooops, I got a little sidetracked there. Sorry about that. I spotted some typos. Not sure if they'll fit. Anything that doesn't, I'll pm you. Another great chapter. I can't believe we're getting to the start of the end. Please don't kill Polly, okay?!?
-- Consequently, had to tell Frank and Sirius that they were expected to take their dates somewhere lovely, as well (I think this is missing a word)
-- James went through the calculations in his mind: They beat Slytherin the first match, Gryffindor scoring two-hundred and thirty points to Slytherin's ninety. (lowercase they)
-- Neither of those teams worried James too much, it was mainly Hufflepuff he was concerned about. (comma splice)
-- "No." He said firmly. ("No," he said...)
-- But no one is alone with him and, unless we somehow learn... (is to be alone)
-- Violet jetted through the air, her entire body forming to the the broom with the Hufflepuff... (double the)
-- ...but something about the way he'd been looking at her, the color of the dark blue... (eyes? is this missing a word at the end?)
-- "Polly, you were bloody amazing out there." The deep voice said followed by a sharp cough from McGonagall. (out there," the deep voice said)
-- Mr. Prewett and Mr. Prewett, if you would all care to take seat... (to take a seat)
-- I believe they aware of certain aspects as it is (they are aware)
-- He doesn't know what we are by name, but he understand that there... (he understands that)
-- He deserves to think through the offer presented by My. Henniway. (Mr)
-- Mr. Potter's future isn't he only that's been discussed this evening (isn't the only one that's)Author's Response: Hiii! It was so hard for me not to respond to this review the second I saw it yesterday. I swear, works main goal in my life is to try and cut into my HPFF time :P!
It was a lot of fun getting to play back inside James's mind for a while in this. As much as I love writing from Lily's perspective, James is just really a ton of fun for me. I'm so happy you liked watching James sort of struggle with the actual being a boyfriend role. It's definitely still new for him :P! Though I think he has a lot easier of a time with it than Lily being a girlfriend...
Ahh I'm so happy you liked the match! I realized I couldn't actually take us away from it like before, but that didn't mean we had to be paying attention the entire time :P.
Polly is sweet, isn't she? Um. I don't know how to answer that question. She serves an important purpose during the next book. That's all I'm saying :P!
I really didn't love bringing Alrek into the list of suspicions, but then I figured having us know and having the group *kind of* know, but not really, would be a good balance. Like you said, if I wouldn't have looked at him it would have felt too drug out. I worried that jogging Lily's memory during the game felt too planned, so I'm really relieved you liked it!
The more I wrote McGonagall's perspective the more comfortable I get, but she still takes a million times longer to write than anyone else. Balancing the part of her that I think would be very caring with the woman we saw in the books is always a struggle for me. And you know how much I love jumping into those messier magic parts. If I wouldn't have actually been trying to entertain people with this story, it probably would have ended up being a 31 chaptered fic of nothing but classes and spells :P!
Ahhh I'm so happy the characters feel natural still!! Now that you mentioned it, I just realized how many I did create for a certain purpose, but I don't want them to feel like they only have that purpose. Though you don't know what those characters purposes are yet, so maybe I'll bring up this AoC after we get there. haha. I don't know if that paragraph made any sense :P.
Haaha I love your sidetrack moments. Especially the idea of a killer heading out and doing his thing then getting home and kissing his mom goodnight :P
Yay thank you for the typos! Those have already been edited in. Should i send you best unofficial beta in the word cupcakes??
Thank you so much for another absolutely amazing review, Becky! ♥ Report Review
Has it really been more than month since I reviewed? That's shameful. Thumbs down for me. Oh, and congratulations on finishing your 5K! Running is one of my least and most favorite things to do... depending on the day :P
I really like Isadore. If Astoria is the heroine from a Jane Austen novel, Isadore is the slightly less insightful but always up for a bit of good gossip best friend. She offers a nice balance for Astoria, and a good character for her to play off of. She's a bit more shallow than Astoria, but in her own way, far less naïve. She's interested in the drama of it all -- the sneaking around, the scandal, the snogging. It's all very teenage-girl of her. Astoria, on the other hand, is wondering if Draco is her "one true love," and seemingly blind to the fact that while he did what he did under threat of death, there were a lot of people on the side of good who did what they did in SPITE of the fact that they might be killed at any moment. It's very enjoyable to watch as Astoria tries to figure it all out.
Oh, and the line: Bad ideas were so much easier to spot when they came from somebody else's lips. Brilliant... and so incredible true!
Hooray for Snape! I love when he pops up in a story. I can't help myself. He'll always be my favorite. Aside from that, in the context of the story though, he makes a great addition. He really does have good perspective on the issue. He knew what Draco did and why he did it. But he also isn't one to give credit where credit isn't due. I loved his line: To truly be evil requires a courage in one's convictions that neither Draco nor his father will ever possess. A compliment and an insult all tied up in one pretty package. In other words, Draco isn't malicious, just spineless. So Snape!!
Well, I can't say I'm surprised at Lucius, though he's an idiot if he hasn't learned his lesson by now. And poor Draco. All that hard work down the drain. The fall is so much harder the second time around.
And can I just say how much I loved the line: Dark curses had a way of consuming strong emotions, leaving him feeling pleasantly numb. What a cool concept. It's almost as if dark curses take something from the caster without them really realizing it. It's almost like a drug that leaves a high, which is really only the byproduct of it killing off brain cells. There has to be a story in there somewhere!
Okay, I'm going to offer a bit of CC, which you can take or leave as you see fit. I noticed something in this chapter -- a tendency to "announce" the impending dialogue instead of just jumping right in. A few examples:
-- Isadore interrupted her silent contemplation, lowering the tone of her voice and sounding very serious.
-- A tense moment passed before McGonagall's clipped Scottish brogue filled the silence.
-- She heard him snort in response before continuing.
-- As soon as the door closed behind the Headmistress, her father fixed her with a glare and spoke in a low, angry voice.
-- Lucius laced his fingers together and forced a smile onto his face before speaking.
Variety is the spice of life, and of course, a long conversation with no narration is also a problem, but personally, I think it might punch up the scenes of bit to allow a bit more uninterrupted back and forth in the dialogue. I think the breaks are mostly unnecessary, and I'm not sure if you do it intentionally, but you almost never string together more than two pieces of dialogue without a narrative break. Anyway, just some food for thought to do with as you wish. It was just something I noticed and thought I'd pass along.
Just a couple of typos. Otherwise another lovely chapter. I can't wait to see the repercussions of Draco's fall off the wagon.
-- They stone gargoyle regarded her with a disinterested expression and spoke before moving aside (The stone)
-- If it is your wish that she no longer participate our visits to Hogsmeade, that is your prerogative (participate in our)
-- This was one of those times where it was essential to be a a good pure blood daughter (double a)
-- Yes, I want you to make well reasoned decisions (well-reasoned)
-- No longer will be be forced to endure the petty torments of blood traitors and mudbloods (will we be)Author's Response: Hi, there!
First off, thanks for the typos! I went through and corrected them all. And I completely understand what you mean about "announcing" dialog. Writing in this style of separating the dialog is driving me insane. Once I finish this story... never again! Well, unless I feel like it. ;) But even then, I will be careful not to "lead in" to the dialog.
Isadore winds up being a sort of mirror that Astoria can stare into and see some of her own less desirable traits. It helps that Astoria has a friend like Isadore who's a little shallow and self-absorbed and dramatic. Astoria can see those bad traits more easily in somebody else. And you're right, Isadore is more worldly than Astoria, particularly when it comes to the opposite sex. That's about to become a pretty big deal in chapter 10...
Originally, I had Dumbledore offering a bit of advice to Astoria. But it dawned on me that he really had no significance in her life, while Snape was both her Head of House and Draco's "protector". So it made more sense to use him. I thought that line sounded so much like Snape, I fell in love with it right away.
Yes, Lucius is a total idiot. And the problem is that the entire family is already skating on such thin ice that even Lucius's pathetic attempt to regain his "relevance" as a force of evil could land them in big trouble. So Draco is understandably furious.
The bit about dark curses draining away unpleasant emotions was an idea I came up with while I was writing CoB. It clicked really well for me, because it cast characters like Voldemort in an interesting light, I thought. Maybe the reason he had to keep using the Killing Curse again and again was to temporarily ease the pain of his shattered soul? Whether or not it makes total sense, it became my theory and I'm sticking to it!
Thank you for such a thoughtful, thorough review! I love readers who can see the forest and the trees, so to speak. Report Review
Hi, WT. I'm so sorry it's taken me this long to get to your review request. Hopefully I'll be able to make up for it by posting something helpful!
I have to admit, I'm a bit of a sucker for a good prologue. As a general rule, I'm not big on flashbacks in the middle of a story, but I love the way a prologue allows you to "cheat" a bit by throwing in some information that otherwise might not really fit into the overall flow of the rest of the story. Of course, maybe you're not planning on telling a linear story at all, in which case the point is moot and please ignore it. But since your summary lists this as an Eileen/Tobias story, I assume we'll be jumping forward in time quite a bit at some point. Anyway, my (very rambling) point is that I enjoyed your choice to start the story where you did and am interested in how it will tie into the other characters 500+ years in the future.
And while we only spend a little over a 1000 words with them, I liked your characters here too. While not generic, they are familiar in a way that sort of lets the reader slip easily into the moment and instantly worry and care about the outcome. It will be interesting to see what happens once Eileen and Tobias enter the picture. Snape is one of my favorite characters, and I can't think of any stories I've read personally that center around his parents.
Just like with a well-written prologue, I do so love a good ending. Instead of offering clues, Penelope's letter only offers questions. And the last line was great -- not only the mention of the word "curse," but also that it is continuing. It opens up so many possibilities of what's to come. I think there can be a tendency to associate a good chapter ending with an out-and-out cliffhanger, but I don't think that's true, as you prove here. It isn't always about leaving the reader guessing what will happen in the seconds and minutes that follow, but teasing them about where the story is headed next. I love surprises in a story, but nothing is more frustrating for me as a reader than to feel as if I have no idea where we are headed -- that we're just wondering through random moments in time with nothing stringing them together. Already I get a sense that you have something lying underneath to push and pull the reader through the chapters.
Since it's so early in the story, it's hard to offer too much CC. But in an effort to provide some (hopefully) helpful food for thought, there were some elements of the chapter that, to me, didn't seem to fit with the time period. I'm not an expert in history my any stretch of the imagination, but the use of contractions in the dialogue felt a bit off for 1400. Also, I assume given the time period, her lack of wealth and the references to a Lord Alfred, that Ursula is some sort of serf...? If so, I'd be surprised if she had the ability to read and write, or have the supplies to do so in her house. It isn't a huge deal, obviously, and I'm not sure how important historical accuracy is to you. But since you said you were open to all areas of comments and suggestions, I thought I'd mention it.
Sorry again for taking so long to stop by. Please feel free to re-request anytime!Author's Response: Hello AW! Please don't worry about the delay! I'm a very patient woman! Besides, I know that things can get very busy!
Yay - a reader who likes prologues! I was a bit nervous about dubbing this as a prologue, to be honest. I know that many readers don't like prologues and just want to get to the "good stuff" but that's not how I roll. This chapter is essential to the story, as will be every other chapter. The novel will be linear in the sense that Eileen & Tobias's story will develop chronologically, but there are going to be multiple pieces and stories beyond that - so basically, nonlinear in the traditional sense! I'm so excited that you enjoyed this chapter. It's not going to come together immediately, of course, but as the novel progresses, you will see how everything begins to tie together.
So happy you liked my characters! I'm really trying to focus on making well-rounded, plausible characters. I feel like my other stories have neglected characterization in lieu of descriptions and imagery. Eileen & Tobias are my OTP and so writing this is basically my fanfiction dream. I know many, like you, love Severus and so I hope I do his parents justice!
You are so perceptive - I love it. I like to leave my readers with a sense of frustration, but the frustration that leads to a need to know more. I want you to be intrigued and eager to know more. There definitely is something underneath all of this that, I believe, will be a good plot twist - the driving force is something I don't think many people will be expecting and I really hope to keep up the momentum toward that eureka moment.
You know, I honestly didn't think about that. I was so careful in my planning and writing, that I neglected the idea that Ursula wouldn't have the supplies or the ability to read and write. Such good CC and yet, I have no idea how to change it. The letter is, unfortunately, a crucial part of the story. I like to be as accurate as possible, but I think I might have to let this slide - frustrating! If I come up with something, I'll definitely change it. Thank you for mentioning it! I appreciate it.
Thank you so much for the wonderful review! I enjoy thoughtful readers/reviewers who just know their stuff. Thanks again! :)
Shelby Report Review
I know I've said it before, but Jami, your writing is improving so much!! I'll get into all the nitty-gritty in a sec, but I just have to say, without question, you did some of your best writing to date in the Belle/Sirius scene. I'm just so full of happy squeees for you right now!!
That out of the way, I'll have to be brief on the rest. My notes on this one are already pushing the character limit :P
You set up the Belle/Sirius confrontation wonderfully. The end of the last chapter left me feeling like Belle was being a bit immature, so focused on how the boyfriend who usually treats her well got caught up in the moment and acted like a bit of a jerk. It felt real and true to character, but it kind of made me want to roll my eyes and tell her not to be such a drama queen. In relationships, you have to let some things slide. But you did a lovely job of humanizing her throughout the chapter and reminding us that she brings a lot of baggage to the table. She's going to be extra sensitive to these sorts of slights, and if Sirius wants to be with her, he's going to have to learn to recognize that.
I thought this line in particular really captured where she was coming from: And it wasn't that she wanted to be upset, it was that she simply couldn't be anything else. Your feelings are your feelings, and sometimes you just have to feel them! As the fight progressed, I had a little trouble pinpointing what was bothering her most. That she needed him more than he needed her? That he blew her off? That he thought she was too fragile to handle the situation? She seemed to have different reasonings at different times, so that might be something to relook at, but you still did a great job at making us feel for her and showing that she has even more depth than we might have thought.
The war wouldn't last forever. Another one of those gut-wrenching lines you like to sneak in on us. In a way, none of them ever really see the war end. All of them are brought down by Voldemort in one form or another. So sad!
Mr. Moody. For some reason, this made me giggle, hearing anything aside from Mad-Eye used before his name.
Okay, getting back to why I thought this scene was some of your best writing: A gust of chilly wind came darting in. Despite the temperature, she continued down the aged steps with Sirius a few paces behind her. The fat, icy drops fell onto the hair she'd spent so long brushing, catching in her lashes and blurring her vision. What a great, smooth transition from one location to the next. Just the perfect amount of description to set the "new" scene. And ...she thought as she stepped aside to let the bodies and brooms go by. Bodies and brooms. What great alliteration!
Forcing myself to move along here... Eek! I'm so sorry if I'm in your head now! I don't even like having myself in my own head most of the time :P Seriously though, the whole scene was very well laid out. You set the scene to establish who was there, but pretty much kept it at that. I thought it worked really well. And I didn't think it was at all "too convenient" that they don't suspect Alrek yet. They are clearly focused on known or suspected DEs, which makes the most sense since there isn't a shortage of suspicious characters lurking about :P
Just a few other quick notes on the scene. I loved the mention of the sleeping potion. It's great that you aren't letting the notion of Lily wanting to be a Healer slide, even without referencing it directly. And I LOVED the mentions of Snape. I know, I know... but the line: Sure, he probably didn't say the curse, but who do you think brewed the potion? So good, Jami!! I love that idea - of him being this creepy boy at school who has not only the inclination but also the ability to poison people without being caught. Not to mention:
Severus did make it clear that the Dark Arts was where he wanted to be, but she knew without a fragment of doubt that he would never let her walk blindly into death.
Come on! Are you trying to kill us here, knowing how what he eventually tells Dumbledore leads directly to her death?!?
Okay, I have to stop now or I won't be able to fit in the typos below. Really, it's such a treat watching you grow as a writer with each passing chapter!
-When James told them what was on his mind, she herself had started thinking only of who it could be and what she'd do to them when she found them. (not wrong, just awkwardly worded)
-Alright alright (Alright, alright)
- ...Alice added as the girls began their walk down the the Great Hall (down to the Great)
-Her feet moved on their own accord... (OF their own accord is the more common phrasing)
-One girl whose name she was wasn't certain of, but recognized the nearly black hair, eyed Sirius as she walked by. (One girl whose name she was wasn't certain of but recognized by the nearly black hair... OR One girl whose name she was wasn't certain of, but who she recognized by the nearly black hair...)
-But I didn't want be there for what I wanted to do to Regulus (missing a few words)
-I don't know Belle (know, Belle)
-His anger she could handle, she could stay just as angry for probably longer. (comma splice)
-"Okay, well, we'll leave him listed," Lily deciding (decided)
-And they're all seventh years, with more chances to over hear us than any other Slytherins (overhear)
-Lily's turned her head, meeting Sirius's eyes. She'd accepted the way they used to treat her former best friend, though she'd still never let them forget how childish they'd been, at least she'd moved past it. (Lily turned her head... friend, AND though she'd)
- ...Belle said, sitting up straighter in her cocoon of blanket (cocoon of a blanket)
-But I do think we need to keep an eye on where all the Prospects all are (delete 1 all)
-"And this, my friends," James began, his voice full of pride. "Is the Marauder's Map." (of pride, "is the...")Author's Response: I am so annoyed right now. I had this review about 85% replied to and then accidentally did the two finger swipe on my Mac and made it go 'back.' And when I went forward, the review was gone. RAWR.
Re do! :P
So when I saw this review first I was on a work call and it took all of my self control not to just completely ignore the person on the phone and read your review instead. Those last ten minutes or so of that phone call was brutal knowing I had a Becky review just waiting for me to read.
I can't even tell you how happy it makes me that you see improvement in my writing. I've felt so down on it lately, and reading this review made me feel a zillion times better. I think it's hard to telly our own improvement. I mean, I know I"m getting better in my own head with knowing what to do/what not to do, but you actually being able to see a difference is just a huge deal to me. Thank you :hug:
I'm so happy that this chapter humanized Belle more and sort of justified her more dramatic reaction in last chapter. To be honest, I struggled with what you commented on about not being able to pinpoint what was bothering her the most. I kept changing my mind with what she'd be more upset about and couldn't decide which one to focus on, so I decided to just throw them all in a pot together, haha!
That line about her not wanting to feel that way was one of the few of mine that I actually like. It's pretty rare that I go, 'hey. I really like that.' with my own writing, so knowing that one stood out at you makes me so happy. I think the fact that she's allowing herself to feel all this in the first place is a huge step to her own emotional recovery and stability. But that might just be more in my head than anything else :P
How sad is it that all of them die before they see the war to an end? Remus gets so close to making it through...
You know when we're in those tough situations and sort of just think, 'well, it has to get better eventually.' I can't imagine how many times they said that to one another during the war. And how many times they reassured each other that it will be all over soon. Knowing that never happened just makes me so sad. I want to mark this story AU and say that Voldemort died of a terrible freak lightning bolt strike :P.
I always giggle when I type Mr. Moody too :P. It just seems to proper for him :P
Okay, what I am about to say may sound relatively creepy. Err. I apologize for that. I'm a bit of a reviewer stalker though. Especially if I really like those person's review and have read a story that they've reviewed.
But anyway. I saw you'd reviewed a chapter of Wolf Calling that I read, and in that review you talked about transitions a bit. And it made me want to change mine up a bit to make them quicker but still easy to understand, and yeah. This transition that you pointed out with them going outside, when I wrote it I pretty much put you in my head to try and get it short and sweet but still enough to set a scene. Hehe. Sorry, I know I'm a creepy review stalker.
No! Stay in my head!!! It's so nice with you in here :P
I'm so happy you didn't think that not suspecting Alrek was too convenient! It just didn't feel like it belong here. And I KNEW you'd love the Severus bit!
Both getting the boys more negative opinion and watching Lily defend him was really fun for me. Keeping him... alive I guess... in this story and not making it seem like he's just disappeared is important to me. But I also don't want to make it seem like he's a big part of their every day life or anything.
NO ONE HAS POINTED OUT THE IRONY OF THAT LINE. The line about Severus would never let her walk blindly into death. I'm so happy that you did. You always pick up on everything. You're so awesome *reaches across state lines and hugs Becky.*
Thank you for the typos! Going to edit them in right now! And thank you so, so much for giving me back the confidence I've been lacking the last few weeks ♥ Report Review
Wow, Lia! This was really well done. I haven't read your other two Illogical stories, but that didn't detract from my enjoyment of this in the least.
There was something so tender about this whole piece. You set the tone right from the start with the soft touches and stolen glances. It was sweet without being overly saccharine. And I thought you hit a perfect balance between angst and fluff: not really one or the other, but pulling the best elements from both.
I haven't read a lot of Teddy/Rose, but your characterization of their relationship was really interesting. Some of the lines that really popped out at me were: Her eyes were wide with wonder; the little girl with pigtails who used to hide from you wasn't quite gone yet. And also: It seemed you missed the boat on learning how to be the last. It's easy to see how Rose could end up in this sort of relationship -- living out her childhood crush. But it's REALLY interesting to imagine why Teddy seems to keep finding himself in relationships with younger women. And the Not quite line after seeing the word Love on the mat? Brilliant!
You had some other lovely lines throughout. Mentioning Rose's "dry eyes" during their break-up -- those two words say so much about how she feels about their parting. And I love how that scene ended with him mentioning Scorpius. I imagine if I'd read the other one-shots first, I would have seen that coming, but for me, it was such a great twist! Speaking of... the final scene was great. No wonder Rose reacted to Teddy turning his eyes grey! Oh, and the line: You were never really that close, but there were times when you told him things that his father never could. I don't know if that was touched upon in either of the other one-shots, but I love the thought of Teddy, even casually, filling some sort of fatherly role. But then again, I've always been intrigued by the idea of how good or bad a father Draco would be to his son.
Okay, enough gushing... To balance it out, I'll offer just a small bit of CC. There are a few sentences throughout that are a bit awkwardly phrased. Part of the problem is some missing commas. Make sure that if you are using a conjunction to combine two COMPLETE sentences that you have a comma in there -- not just to make them grammatically correct, but also for needed clarity. It makes things a lot easier on the reader and helps keep the focus on your wonderful story.
I'm so glad we got paired up for the swap. This was really a great read! Report Review
Hi, Vena. I saw your story on the Recently Added page and thought I'd take a look.
Arabella is a really interesting character. She certainly has a lot of disdain for the Ministry and this trial. It really makes me wonder what happened to bring her to this point. I imagine most people would be scared if falsely accused of murder, but clearly Arabella has been through a lot to be so emotionally detached. You've set up an air of mystery -- not only about what really happened to her in the past and to her parents, but also what life will be like with the Malfoys.
Your descriptions really caught my eye too. You painted some very vivid and unflattering pictures of Arabella's accusers -- from the fat fingers to the wart to the oversized teeth. It all added to the sort of ugly, derisive way Arabella views the proceedings. Really good job there.
Oh, and I particularly liked the exchange: Still got a bite in you, I see. Don't worry, the Malfoys will soon slice that out of you. / Not if I sink my teeth into them first. Report Review
Trying desperately to catch up on a little reading and reviewing this week. It's amazing how easy it is to fall behind!
This chapter was definitely the one I'd been waiting for. I'd been all ready to read about them having their first real heart-to-heart in the last chapter, but those pesky Ratcliffe had to go and spoil everything. But before we get to all that...
Yikes! You did a fantastic job of capturing Draco's injuries. Perhaps a little too fantastic. Feeling dizzy and sick is just the worst! But that aside, this opening scene really demonstrated an interesting dynamic between the two. Draco is a man of contradictions. He's so resistant to even the slightest show of help or support, yet he's very introspective and willing to be open with Astoria about how is feeling. It's fun to watch Astoria try to navigate it all and keep up with him.
I think my favorite moment from this opening bit was the line, "It seemed that the Slytherin in her was giving some serious thought to taking him up on his offer." I love that Astoria has at least some measure of self-preservation hidden inside of her. She's going to need it if she tangles herself up with a man like Draco.
I really enjoyed the way you worked Bellatrix into Draco's confession. While it's obvious that he's been scarred by many of his past experiences, he still manages to keep some perspective and humor about certain things. "Then we flooed to the Ministry and she put her wand to Mr. Twycross's head and told him that his signature was either going to be on my license or his own death certificate, his choice." This is a perfect example. Under normal circumstances, death threats against Ministry officials would be a big deal. But in light of all he went through, this has almost become the kind of humorous story he can share at a dinner party.
Draco's answer to why he didn't run away was very revealing. A Malfoy doesn't run from danger. This is, of course, very ironic seeing as the Malfoy men proved rather cowardly in the books. It's really Narcissa who risks danger to save her family. I guess maturity is bringing out more of her traits in him.
I loved the little aside about Wormtail. What a rat-like thing to do -- conjuring up fake money. I wouldn't be surprised in the least if the spell only lasted a few hours and ends up leaving the recipient shortchanged.
The time had come to spend some of that credibility on a worthwhile cause. Astoria really has fallen hard for Draco, hasn't she? There is such an innocence at that age. She may in fact be totally right about him, but her lack of any real doubt isn't something a lot of adults could replicate. Which leads me too McGonagall...
I love how Astoria's response to McGonagall's question is "We had tea, after we fled Hogsmeade. And we talked." Of course! Obviously that would explain everything :P Astoria is definitely very mature for her age and a good and caring person, but next to McGonagall, she looks like the young, naive girl she really is. Though I do like that at the end of the conversation, we're left with a feeling that McGonagall has something to learn from her. I still like the way McGonagall is keeping Draco on a short leash. She knows what kind of person he use to be and she has a responsibility to keep her other students safe. But I also like that Astoria is right when she says people can't change if they aren't given a chance.
Oh, and good for Hermione too! No matter how much she dislikes Draco, I like that her anger with him doesn't erase her sense of right and wrong, or her desire to make sure that all parties are given fair treatment.
I spotted one typo. Hardly worth mentioning, I know, but...
-- She punched him on the arm, trying to look serious as she dabbed her her eyes with the sleeve of her robes. (repeated "her")
Also, there is one line in the opening scene where you seem to slip into Astoria's POV while the rest is in Draco's POV:
-- As much as she tried to stay cross, Astoria found it infectious.
Last, if you're interested in opinions on the issue, I like the idea of grouping action and dialogue in sections like this: Astoria arched her eyebrow at his revelation. "Did you actually take the test?" I feel like I might have read somewhere you were trying differing formats (or maybe I'm just making that up out of thin air), and I feel like you grouped things this way in CoB. I used to do it the way you're doing it in this story -- using separate lines -- but a reviewer suggested I switch. Looking back at it, I find grouping it is less disrupptive to the flow and has the added benefit of acting like a dialogue tag, identifying the speaker without using a version of said. Anyway, just throwing that out there for whatever it's worth.Author's Response: Your reviews are never easy to respond to. So much good feedback! I really have to wait until I have time to sit down and think and respond intelligently.
I'm really glad you enjoyed this one. I had been waiting for a way to get the two of them off by themselves that didn't feel contrived. So I'm pleased that you found it worth the wait.
Draco took some pretty hard knocks in Hogsmeade, so there was no way that he was going to pop right back up and dance a jig. Still, he's too proud to let Astoria be openly sympathetic toward him. But she's clever and intuitive for her age. Pretty soon, she's able to figure out how to deal with him. And she's not so altruistic that she doesn't give at least a bit of thought to what's best for her. I'm glad you picked up on that.
I don't think I could write a story about Draco without involving Bellatrix in some fashion. Until she came along, he didn't really have any idea what Death Eaters were all about. His father is quite genteel, after all. But I think she quickly laid to rest any romanticized notions he might have been harboring about the Dark Lord and his followers. She's cruel, vicious and completely crazy. And the fact that he survived his time with her definitely put a bit of a different spin on things for him.
I'd like to think that Draco became more like his mother and less like his father as he aged. I'm still pretty much in awe of what JKR was able to do with Narcissa's character in her very brief appearances in the books. She went from being a snobby pure blood trophy wife to one of the stronger examples of what it means to be a mother. I still hope that she and Andromeda were able to reconcile at some point. They probably had more in common than they realized.
I'm pretty sure that those notes turned back into napkins at some point, by the way. ;) Hopefully not until after the proprietor counted the till at the end of the day.
Astoria is very smitten with Draco by the end of this chapter. He's so very different from the boys that she's grown up around. He's been through hell and back, and it's given him a quiet sort of strength as well as a profound vulnerability. Based on her limited experience, he probably seems like a beautiful, blond character from a teen romance novel come to life. Don't worry, she'll see some of his flaws before the story is all said and done.
I felt like I was walking a really fine line with McGonagall in this chapter. It's way too early for her to let bygones be bygones, but I also wanted to show that she's still able to consider the possibility that she misjudged him. Especially when two people whose opinions she finds worthwhile -- I won't go so far as to say that she accepts them at face value -- are telling her similar things.
Thanks for spotting those problems. I went in yesterday and patched them up.
Ah, the style of writing dialog. That was a decision I made back when I started writing this story. And to be honest, I wish I'd never made it. It makes writing painful at times, and I know it's given some readers real difficulty when it comes to keeping track of who's saying what. That said, I would really need to go back and rewrite the whole thing if I decide to abandon it. I may make that decision someday, but for now, I just want to finish writing the story. I appreciate the feedback, though.
Thanks for the long, detailed and insightful review! It was really helpful. Report Review
I loved the wrap-up of all the various characters' fates. It had a wonderful movie-montage feel. I think my favorite is the idea of Rocke reading in his cell, thinking about the Weasleys. That and the thought of Mimi and Victoire in the same room together.
It was nice to see that Scorpius' show was a success, and to hear him praised, even if it's by someone as transparent as Yuvia. It's so easy for his life to seem overshadowed by Rose, but this just goes to show he's holding his own just fine, thank you very much. Even if his baby calls him Mama...
"How did you like New York, Rose?"
"Aside from the people trying to kill me, it was rather good."
I'm pretty sure that's how we all feel after a day in the city. As long as you don't mind being run over by cabbies, elbowed in the face getting on or off the subway, or being screamed at by a homeless person wearing only one shoe, New York is great!
An excellent end to an excellent story! I don't know if you plan to write more in the series, but you did a wonderful job on this. It was my pleasure to read. And in all seriousness, you have an immense amount of talent for writing fun, energetic stories with interesting plots and memorable characters. And you do it all with such apparent ease.
Congratulations on finishing ANOTHER story!!Author's Response: Writing the wrap-up is fun. It feels so classic mystery-novel ending to me. Since these novels are patterned after the Stephanie Plum books, I have to do it! :) Mimi and Victoire together would be epic. Imagine Teddy Lupin's face. XD
Scorpius is finally finding his career footing. He's a better portrait artist than he is landscape artist, he just needed his niche. And Rose of course being the narrator usually focuses on herself instead of on him. Poor guy, he's very long-suffering being with her. And his baby does call him Mama, though in fairness, his baby calls everyone and everything Mama, even the Lupins' dog.
That is totally New York. Don't get killed and you're fine. Every time I've been to NYC, I've seen wacky things. Gotta love the city. I want to go back actually, I haven't been up there in a few years.
Thank you so much! I'm really glad that you enjoyed this one. And thank you for the lovely comments on my writing. I would like to do some original stories soon, just sometimes there's HPFF in your head that needs to come out first, kwim? I know you do ;) Thank you! Report Review
Okay, I won't be mad that this took you so long to post if you won't be mad that it took me so long to review. Deal?!
Haha! Anita and Ambrosia's opening banter was perfect. Funny and disturbing all at the same time. That's not an easy note to hit, but you nailed it perfectly.
I think this line is why I like Rose so much: I wanted her safely behind bars, preferably behind a dragon first and then some bars. She really has so little malice in her. As long as all the bad guys go to jail in the end and she gets to go home to Scorpius, everything else is water under the bridge. She really is the perfect narrator.
"He's only joking. We've accepted any number of awards." Priceless! For some reason, I could so imagine Brennan from Bones saying this :P
Everything is wrapping up so nicely, though I do like that you let Stanis escape. Might we see him return again in a future story...? Having Rose partner with her parents has been such a hoot. Somehow I feel she wouldn't have to twist Ron's arm too hard to get him to join her again in the future. And maybe Hermione too, though she might not admit to it.
*Sigh* I've so enjoyed reading this story, even if you effortless writing style always leaves me green with envy!Author's Response: Haha, that reminds me of my favorite AVPS gif of Professor Lupin coming in and going "I'll ignore that some of you were late if you ignore that I'm the latest." XD
You know I love the funny. It's hard to do funny and scary at the same time. I'm glad it turned out all right.
Rose really isn't at all malicious. She would much rather nobody died or got hurt, and everyone got home safely.
Oh I loved writing that line. I can just see Hermione saying it. I'm glad you liked it! She is a bit like Brennan, isn't she?
Some of the bad guys got away. Stanis, and Anita. I never rule out future stories. I don't have another novel planned right now, though. I think Harry and Ron would probably catch Stanis if he ever came through the UK.
Thank you so much for the review and for the compliments! I'm really glad you enjoyed the story :) Writing Ron and Hermione so much was probably my favorite part. I do love them. XD Ron's a hoot. Report Review
Hopefully it goes without saying that the time it takes me to leave a review is not a reflection of how excited I am to read a chapter. But just in case ... consider it said. Also, I'm finding that my writer's block is starting to bleed over into reviewer's block, so if this seems shorter than usual or I seem to only be zoning in on your AoCs, know that it's totally a "it's not you, it's me" sort of thing :P
I thought you picked the story up again at a very natural point. Having this all happen on the train does make a lot of sense. Sure, it could have happened back at school, but then James would have wasted the chance to discuss his suspicions with all his friends present in one place, and it would have been a lot harder for Sirius to confront Regulus since they aren't in the same house or the same year... plus that pesky added complication of teachers always hanging around.
The bit with the snitch was a great added touch. Not only was it sweet, it also provided great continuity with the previous chapter. The snitch kept us grounded in place in the story even as we moved forward in time and space. The only transition that felt a bit abrupt to me was the move to Sirius's POV. Obviously the page break helps a lot, but we didn't have any "time" inside Sirius's head to help ease the transition. We are just sort of BAM! in the new moment and new POV. It's not really the starting of the scene with dialogue... Maybe just the need for some sort of acknowledgement that Sirius had been having his own life throughout the first scene, like... Sirius, who'd spent the last two hours since leaving King's Cross Station alternating between sleeping and playing with a strand of hair that fallen loose from Belle's ponytail, stopped his fidgeting as James's voice filled their now silent compartment. Obviously just a suggestion, but hopefully that at least helps illustrate what I mean.
I found everything James was feeling to be very natural. It doesn't really matter how in love he is with Lily, he's still young and it isn't at all surprising that he's nervous... even if he knows how good they are together. I think it's a perfectly human reaction to worry that you'll lose the thing you want the most, especially if you've waited a long time to get it. And I know you don't like Snape (:P) but I think you're right to continue to include some references to him. With everything that's passed between them all and their suspicions about his ties to the Death Eaters, his name is bound to come up from time to time.
I'll admit, I kind of thought the thing he was anxious to tell his friends was his continuing unease after Bella's attack. Since that was an important part of the scene immediately preceding this, I was anticipating that would tie in somehow. Not that I didn't enjoy the revelation of what was really bothering him. Of course, we know Alrek's part in all this, but I still hadn't really put together that THEY hadn't put together all the pieces with what was and wasn't said in the letter. James is so clever, isn't he?
For some reason, I really enjoy watching Sirius fly off the deep end. I find it... oddly gratifying. He's got a good heart, but he really is the loose cannon in the group. I'm not one for promoting violence, but it's not hard to want to see Sirius wipe that self-satisfied smirk off his brother's face. And can I just say, I loved the line: "This isn't the way we're going to handle it," James whispered. So cool. So collected and commanding. What a great moment for James.
You asked about the buildup and cause, and honestly, I'm a little torn. The resulting fallout with Belle was totally understandable. Of course, it would be nice if she was willing to be a bit more mature about it and understand this wasn't really about her, but her reaction and the offense she takes here seems very in character. And I do get where Sirius is coming from. He's got a lot of anger, not only over the attack but in his life too, and he's looking for an easy target to focus his rage. I think your line He'd wanted so badly for it to be Regulus, to make someone pay for what had almost happened really says it all. He wants both someone to blame AND a reason to lash out at Regulus.
That said, he literally doesn't even give anyone else a second thought. I can totally buy him reacting on very flimsy, circumstantial evidence -- not waiting around for solid proof. But I feel like he has no proof at all... are there no other students with the DM, or anyone else known to be talking to Bellatrix? If that's actually true, making that clear or even having Sirius trying to convince the others my bringing up these facts might build that sense of "cause" you mentioned. Again, I REALLY liked the scene a lot and I totally agree Sirius doesn't need a lot to nudge him in this direction, but since you asked about it, I do think there is room to give his leap to judgment a bit more oomph.
Okay, perhaps not such a short review after all! Sorry again for the wait!! Just a few typos below...
-- "Get out here, now he ordered Regulus, his fingers aching to clench into fists and give the boy what he deserved for ever getting involved in this life (now," he ordered)
-- Did he think the threat of getting in trouble was was worth walking away, despite the fact that he’d almost lost his... (double "was")
-- Her tone had changed just enough that it was clear she was daring them to say anything negative about the future Death Eater. (not really a type, but saying "future Death Eater" sounds a bit like a omnipotent narrator aside. Maybe "wannabe DE" or "negative about the boy Sirius had no doubt was on his way to becoming a DE.")Author's Response: Hiii Becky! I hope you've broken through your writers block! I got so angry at this story Friday when I was trying to plan a few things, that I think it was the closest I've ever came to wanting to say heck to it all and never touching it again. I probably sound a tad dramatic, huh? Hahah but really, I was mad. I feel better about it now, so I hope you feel the same about Undertow and are ready to shower lovely chapters on me!!
Yes, those are exactly the reasons the train made the most sense to me. I'm sure James was eager to tell his friends, so why he'd pass this up I wouldn't know. And, like you said, having Regulus in such a close proximity made it a really easy choice.
I totally see what you say with bamming Sirius into his perspective. I thought something felt off but couldn't really place it, and that's absolutely it. Thank you so much for pointing this out. I'll edited it to give a smoother transition as soon as I finish this reply!
I agree about him being bound to come up. Severus, that is. And am happy that it seems right in here and my dislike of him doesn't bleed over too much. And at this point in his life, he's a lot easier for me to like than adult Severus. There's a part in the next chapter about him that Lily says, and I think you'll really like that, hehe.
I've been so excited to have James put together the fact that Bellatrix knew too much. Originally it was planned to be a chapter ahead of this and occur at Christmas. When James started saying something to Lily then cut himself off, that's what it was going to be. But then it felt like he'd want to keep that day happy, and I didn't want to write him telling her than retelling the group. Sometimes having eight characters is a pain in the butt. Haha.
I'm so with you on enjoying Sirius flying off the handle. As much as I love him, I think it's important to show there is a man who's capable of murder in there. Did he actually murder Peter? No. Are any of us convinced he wouldn't have? I don't think so.
I like the idea of giving Sirius's anger a bit more oomph. You're full of fun words today, missy. He's the only one the group knows of that's been marked, but that's addressed a bit next chapter. I think maybe having Sirius start explaining why it has to be Regulus, but more talking to himself and already too set on his own theory to listen might be what I need to do here. Okay, now I'm basically talking to myself through this response. haha. Sorry :P.
Thank you so much for another absolutely amazing review ♥ I'm headed over to rerequest! Report Review
Oooh, I really liked this chapter. I think it set up a lot of potential conflict for the rest of the story!
As a fan of Louis, I was sorry to see him get such a cold reception from his new colleagues, but from a story perspective, I thought it was a wonderful addition. Miranda seems like a handful, and there are so many ways you could take her character in the future. Quentin was no treat either, but his comments were valid. Louis is pretty young and inexperienced, and they have a serious job to do. I'd be worried too about if he was up for the task.
On a similar note, acknowledging Louis' potential shortcomings is a great way of keeping him grounded as a character, and I know characterization is one of your AoC. He's clearly young and smart and advancing quickly in his career. But reminding the reader that he isn't perfect and still has a lot of hard work ahead of him helps keep him likable and feeling like an "everyman" sort of character. I also really liked the way the negative comments from the group almost seemed to give him a boost of confidence, even if only for a brief moment. He got a bit defiant in his own head, thinking, "I've paid my dues." Of course, he goes back to second-guessing himself right after, but maybe this sort of need to prove himself to the group will help him grow.
Overall, I think you're doing a really good job with Louis' character. And even more than that, I love that even your "background" characters all have very strong and distinct personalities. It really leaves the reader with the impression that any of them could return at a future point in the story and play some sort of pivotal role.
It was really nice to see some more of the family here too. Having a werewolf amongst them, especially one so young, really adds another layer to Louis' work. I wonder if/how that might unfold in future chapters. I can't help but suspect there might be more crossover down the road... Maybe I'm wrong, but I feel like there is a lot more to come plot-wise. I know Louis' work will play a major role, but I can't help but think there is something more brewing underneath...?
In terms of CC, you might want to give the opening paragraphs another look over. There were a few tense changes again, which break up the flow. Two sentences that caught my eye: I'm not exactly sure whether he would actually be in his office, though it was worth a shot AND I'd been counting down until my supervision was over and when it finally was I'm caught off guard because it was no longer the number one thing I was looking forward to.
Also, and I think this is just a typo, but you have one of the group in the lab looking in a telescope. I think you might have meant microscope.
I'm sorry again and again for taking so long to get to your reviews. If I didn't totally drive you off, please feel free to request again anytime. Report Review
I'm so unbelievably sorry how long it's taken me to get to your reviews. I'll bypass the round of excuses and just dive in!
This chapter really feels like you're really hitting your stride with Louis. He's continuing to grow as a narrator while still staying true to what you established in the first two chapters. His wit and somewhat self-defeating humor make him really likable.
I'm continuing to love the slow introduction of new characters. Shelby is a really interesting addition to the cast. Even if she doesn't return much later on, her brief appearance really gives some depth and background on Louis, but you've done it in a way that we the reader hardly realize it's happening.
The same goes for Lily too. That's one of my favorite thing about next-gen stories -- seeing how authors bring in familiar characters in unfamiliar ways. I like how she's a bit aggressive with Louis. It's nice to see a blend of personalities, and it's a good fit given her profession. Speaking of...
The plot is continuing to develop nicely, and I'm really glad to see Louis accept the job. That sets up a lot of possibilities down the road. But I'm really intrigued to see how, if at all, the newspapers/media might play into this. Clearly the werewolf bites are big news in the community. I'm wondering if public hysteria or werewolf prejudice will come into play in future chapters.
The only "major" issue I spotted was a slip in tense in the paragraph that starts: We reached the ER on the Dai Llewellyn ward and I follow Thomas... Also, in the line, "I can't say exactly whether Jonah will be stable enough to answer questions, especially since he's only six," Louis said. You switched to third person POV there.
Other than these two things, another solid chapter. Great job! Report Review
Oooh, great first chapter! You really managed to capture a lot of vivid emotion in the span of just a few hundred words. I really enjoyed the way you just jumped into the moment without any back story. I'm sure that information will come, but these two moment in time are really captivating.
I can totally relate to the conflicted feelings Hermione is experiencing. Even without knowing what brought her to this moment, I remember what love and sex and relationships were like at that age: confusing and all-consuming. The uncertainty, the feeling of isolation in the middle of a crowded hallway... And the line, "The feeling of not knowing was overwhelming..." So true! Sometimes the anxiety of what may happen is the worst of all!
Anyway, I just randomly stumbled across your story and wanted to take a quick second to tell you I think it's off to a great start. Good luck with the next chapter! Report Review
Fine, I guess I'll just have to settle for being review 499. So close!
Awww, what a cute chapter. It's full of so much warm, fluffy goodness. Sure, it's a bit "slower" in the action/plot department but you really tapped into the relationship side of things. James and Lily's romantic relationship got some attention, of course. We can really see them growing more and more comfortable with each other with every chapter. But also Lily and her girlfriends at the start, making breakfast together. And the adults and their relationships to each other and to the kids. Even that little hint of Lily having a serious moment with Remus "off camera" -- confiding in him about her concern for James. Very well done all around :)
I thought the Christmas presents were adorable. The blanket was so creative (both for you and for James). It's been clear throughout the story and directly in this chapter that James wants to protect Lily. He can't really protect her from her nightmares, but he's created something that can. And Lily's gifts were just as sweet. I don't remember if you mentioned her being a painter in previous chapters so the picture was definitely a surprise. But the snitch felt very natural -- Lily would be just the kind of person to take something a person likes and somehow make it very personal.
But seriously... "We all put loads of our happy memories in the blanket, so you should have enough to last a lifetime." Saying a "lifetime" when we know how this ends? Are you trying to make us all cry?
I think my favorite part of the chapter had to be Mrs. Longbottom trying to fatten up Alice. I never really put it together with her being Alice's mother-in-law before this moment. That can NOT have been fun for Alice, no matter how sweet a person she is. The way she idolizes and compares Neville to his father, you just KNOW no woman was good enough for her Frank.
You mentioned Lily's fear -- or lack there of -- in your AoC, so I'll hit on that. Personally, I didn't have a problem with the way you had her handling it. She's already been through one major trauma, and this time everyone survived, so she does have some level of perspective here. Sure, not everyone might deal with it all so well, but she does have a point about at least it all being out in the open now. Wasn't there a scene a few chapters ago where her and James sort of talk about waiting for something to break (or am I totally making that up?!). This is sort of a natural extension of that. Plus you offset it nicely by having James struggling with it a little more. Having them both bounce back relatively quickly might have felt a bit off because people process things at different speeds. So in a way, knowing he's having a bit more trouble letting go makes Lily's reaction seem more natural.
Okay, the lack of length in this review is making me feel like I must have missed something. Oh well, I'm sure I'll be back to hitting the character limit soon enough. It must be April Fool's Day hangover :P
One typo: It was a fact that could still break her if she let it, but she learned to allow the agony sweep through her then shooed it away.
The there is a missing "to" between agony and sweep, but the tense also feels a bit off here. Maybe... but she'd learned to allow the agony to sweep through her before shooing it away.
And this isn't really a typo, but at one point during dinner, Lily things, "Maybe she'd ask him what had been wrong tomorrow or something." But doesn't Lily already know what's going on? Remus just told her he blames himself when bad things happen. She does it again towards the end of the chapter: "There's been something wrong with you today. I know that what happened to us was... well, I can't even describe it. But James, if you keep blaming yourself, I'm going to start getting angry." She says there's been "something wrong," like she doesn't know what it is, but then the next sentence she says exactly what's wrong: that he's blaming himself for what happened. Anyway, you might want to take a second look and perhaps clarify that Lily either knows James' mood is a reflection of his guilt/internal blame, or she doesn't know and he has to explain that here at the end.
Gah! I'm caught up!!! I get to start reviewing "live." I'm so excited!
Wonderful chapter, as always. Guess I'll be waiting for next Saturday just like everyone else to find out what happens next.Author's Response: Okay let's try this again with the response that was actually meant for you :P
I'm such a sucker for writing these slower more character development moments. I love writing the big ones, but then these little ones make me feel so fuzzy. And I've really been missing time with just the girls together. My sister just got engaged, but I'm all the way over here on this side of the country, so if more girl time feels come in you'll know why :P
I was so lucky that Christmas present idea come to me. To be honest, up until I actually got here, I had no idea what James was going to get Lily. And I'm usually such a huge planner! I don't even know where the blanket came from now, but I'm incredibly glad that it came from somewhere haha. I love what you said about him finding a way to make sure she's protect in nightmares! Can I hug you?! I'm hugging you.
The only time Lily's painting has been mentioned before was back during a flashback. She was painting a picture of Ireland after her and Petunia got into a fight before she left for Hogwarts. I always meant to bring it back up, but I just kept forgetting. Haha.
BECKY. THAT LINE ABOUT THE LIFE TIME. No joke, I almost lost it. I swear so many instances in this story I just want to throw a toddler fit kicking and screaming and tell the universe that THEY CAN'T HAVE LILY AND JAMES. I'm happy that line made you sad, too. Look, I'm turning us both into big babies.
You don't think Augusta would have been a fun mother in law?! Wait... I'm confused. Aren't ALL mother-in-laws the BEST THINGS EVER? Sorry. As you can tell, I'm not quite over the visit yet. hahahha. But I love what you said about no matter how sweet Alice is, and no matter how much Augusta loves Alice, she'll never let Alice feel completely perfect for her wittle baby boy.
Hahah no you aren't totally making that up!! There was a scene a few chapter back, The Order where they were talking about just that. About wanting something to happen so it could all be over with.
One typo?! I'm giving myself and Dan an award for that. Hahah
I can't believe I didn't stop what you just pointed out in your last paragraph. Thank you so much for pointing that out. I'm going to edit that up to make it seem more like Lily does know but just really wants to hear what's bothering James from him.
And you're on Live review time!! I can't believe how much of this story you've reviewed. Can I come to your lovely state and just squish you??? A lot??
I'm headed over to TGS to drop my AoC off! Yay! Report Review
Tag! Oooh, a werewolf story! How could I resist?
You've done a really great job of diving straight into the action here. Throwing Dominique into the heart of this dangerous situation really captures the reader's attention and has us caring for her right from the start. It's definitely a great way to kick off a chaptered fic.
I really liked the way you set the scene first before dipping into the backstory of why Dominique was out in the middle of forest during a storm. It makes you feel like you're right there with her in the cottage. The wind, the rain, the worn furniture, the howling of the wolves. It's all very ominous and adds to the sense of danger. It's nice to get some information on why she is there, but too much might have broken the tension of the scene.
It's an interesting twist that these werewolves are seen as mostly docile. And the mention of Hermione's work with werewolf legislation... It seems like perhaps attitudes towards werewolves have changed in the years since the war. I'm interested in how that might play out in future chapters and if this attack on Dominique will have any impact on the way people view werewolves these days.
You might want to be on the lookout for some awkward phrasing. For example: When she had first realized that her three-day-stay would be evolved into a week, she hadn't minded. "Would be evolved" is a bit off. "Was evolving" or "had evolved" are a bit more traditional phrasing. Same with "...they also told her point blank that they couldn't hold any responsibility for their actions when they turned." The more common phrasing would be "they couldn't be held responsible for..."
Other than that, this was a really exciting start to your story. I'm glad I caught you in the review tag thread :)Author's Response: Hey! Thanks a lot for reading and reviewing, I am sorry for the late response!
I am pleased you liked the 'action', and that you think it was a good way to start the fic.
Its a relief that you liked how I set the scene first before going into the backstory. I was worried it might be too much info, but I guess it's okay.
Well, in the further chapters it will be revealed as to why this 'docile' werewolf attacked her ;) Changed laws don't necessarily mean changed views though, but well, we'll see how it all plays out as the story progresses.
Thanks a lot for pointing out those awkward phrases. English is not my first language (though I am quite well-versed with it) so I tend to make some mistakes time and again. I'll definitely take your comments in consideration and edit =)
Thank you for all your thoughtful words, I am glad you liked this! Report Review
This story is turning out to be really fun and easy to read! I love that Molly said no initially to the date. I wanted her to say yes after reading the first chapter, but this set-up was even better than having her agree straight out. From what we've seen of Molly so far, she takes her job very seriously, so I can see her declining the invitation so as not to appear unprofessional. But I'm so glad you managed to get them together anyway.
The detail with the waitress was a really nice touch. I loved the line, "Luckily, he seems quite oblivious to the attention and she sashays away, swinging her hips so much I'm surprised she doesn't fall over." It's great to see that even your background characters have some dimension.
Molly is so blunt! I love that. I love how she just comes out and says she agreed to the date because she felt sorry for Cyrus, and how she rejected his training center because it was a stupid idea. She isn't trying to be mean, but she doesn't sugarcoat the truth, does she? It was nice to see some insecurity and uncertainty from her though too. Sometimes quirky or humorous characters can be a little one-dimensional or cartoonish, but Molly clear has some depth to her. I liked that you included the subtle references to her family's fame. Clearly it's something that bothers her on some level and could be an issue if she gets into a relationship with someone else who's very well known.
Another cliffhanger of sorts! I love when authors end chapters in a way that leaves the reader guessing. My only "CC" is that I was a little surprised to see Cyrus wearing a dragon skin jacket being that he likes dragons so much. But other than that, this was another fun chapter. Hopefully I have a chance to tag you in the review thread again soon!Author's Response: Hello!
Well, Molly couldn't really have said no to a date with Cyrus, could she? But her job is very important to her and she doesn't want to seem unprofessional, so she wasn't going to say yes straight away, either.
Yes, Molly is blunt - I like to think that the filter between her brain and her mouth doesn't always work! I had a lot of fun writing that, because I'm generally far too polite to say what I'm really thinking. She does have insecurities, and that was one of the most important things for me writing this. I really wanted her to seem realistic.
Her family's fame is one of her issues, and it's part of why she doesn't have a close relationship with her family. It's not really that she resents them for being famous; she dislikes the attention that she gets just for being associated with them, rather than for what she's done. It's very rare that she meets someone who understands that she wants to be liked for herself rather than her family.
Oops! I never actually thought about the dragon skin jacket! I'll probably edit that, but until I get the chance, I'll say that Cyrus only wears dragon skin clothes if they come from the shedded skin of a dragon? That's probably not a very satisfactory explanation, but thanks for pointing it out!
I'm glad to hear that you're enjoying the story, and thanks for the review!
nott theodore :) Report Review
Hi, nott. I'm here for the review tag. Just as a quick side note, if you plan to keep posting in the review tag thread, it would be helpful to the other members if you included a link to your author's page in you signature :)
This was a really good first chapter! I'm a huge next-gen fan, so I was already excited to take a look, and this didn't disappoint. You've done a lot to set up Molly's character here. She's got a lot of sass but also a good head on her shoulders. First person is a really intimate narration style, so it's extra important for the reader to want to be in the head of the narrator, and with Molly's wit, I can already tell this is going to be a good style match.
There were lots of great little tidbits throughout the chapter. I loved the name "The Unspeakables" for a band. Very clever! And the matter of how to address someone in a business situation is so true to life. It really can be awkward at times. I think my favorite line of the chapter was: I didn't realise when I was getting dressed this morning that I was going to need sunglasses for this meeting. Cyrus was laying it on pretty thick there, and I'm glad Molly isn't the type of girl to be won over by a few flirtatious smiles.
It was nice to see that Cyrus seemed to really care about his petition though. He comes off a bit arrogant and very aware of his own charm, but knowing he has a passion for something besides himself gives him some depth right out of the gate. It makes me hope Molly says yes to the date.
Overall, a very nice chapter. The writing was clean, you've introduced some interesting characters and you've left the reader wondering what will come next. A very nice start to your story!Author's Response: Hello!
Thanks for the suggestion to include the link in my signature. I'm still new on the forums but I've added it in - hopefully it will help!
I'm so glad that you enjoyed this chapter! Molly's character seemed to write herself for me after a certain point, and I'm glad that I managed to get her wit across.
It took me ages to come up with the name for Cyrus' band. I can't tell you how long I sat saying random words to try and choose one that sounded right, so I'm glad you like that! And yes, Cyrus was laying it on thick, but Molly is all business when she goes to work, so she's not likely to give in to looks and charm on something so important. I have to admit, that line is one of my favourites too :)
Cyrus does really care about his application, and I really didn't want him to seem as shallow as most celebrities often come across. He didn't have to go into dragon handling when he left The Unspeakables, so he has to be pretty passionate about it to take on the risks of that profession.
I'm really glad you enjoyed this chapter, and thank you very much for the review! I hope you find time to read the rest of the story!
nott theodore :) Report Review
Ooops, accidently posted this under my staff account. Let's try this again...
Astoria is really starting to grow on me. She's a bit of a cool cucumber, reserved and proper and a bit hard to warm up to, but I'm liking more and more with each passing chapter. She's got a bit of a Jane from Pride and Prejudice feel about her -- that sort of conducting herself properly air, keeping too much emotion from showing on the surface. She's got these sort of throw-back to a bygone era ideas about how to conduct herself that really speak to the way she was raised.
Awww, I loved this little nod to Harry and Ginny. Even in this brief glimpse, we can how much more of a free spirit Ginny is than Astoria and how free she is in expressing her affection. It makes for such a lovely contrast to how I'm guessing Draco and Astoria might be as their relationship progresses.
Draco's initial reaction to Ron's aggression was perfect. Very "here we go again..." This boy can't go anywhere without getting his butt kicked. Of course, Ron's behavior was atrocious here, and I don't like seeing him act this way, but we're seeing this all through Draco's eyes, so it's understandable that Ron comes off as nothing more than a bully.
The actual confrontation was really great. I've seen you write a few "combat scenes" now and you've got a real knack for them. I am very happy that Ron came out on top though. I think there is a tendency for people to write him as an oaf, but he is an Auror, or maybe an Auror-in-training at this point in his life. Either way, he should be good at defensive (and offensive :P) spells.
Hermione's line about the pair acting like children was great. It really dispelled the tension. In the moment, Draco is focused on the fight, but when it's all over, they both walk away looking a bit like idiots.
Oh boy. Another butt kicking! Draco seriously needs to think about investing in an invisibility cloak. But mostly I'm just annoyed this gang showed up and ruined their date. I was looking forward to some more Draco/Astoria interactions. Oh well, I guess that just means I'll have to come back for another chapter really soon!
I spotted a few typos. Other than that, another great chapter.
--So why don't you take your your shiny little Ministry badge and go bother somebody else? (take your shiny)
-- He struggled to reign in his temper, recalling McGonagall's warnings about the consequences of any sort in incident (sort of incident)
-- The time it took to shrug off the confusion was rarely worth it you were in danger (it if you were)
-- Granger stood in front of him,offering the handle of his wand. (him, offering)
-- He was vaguely aware of the pain in his chest as his arms and legs flailed about and then the hard cobblestones of the street knocked the air our of his lungs. (air out of his)Author's Response: I don't really care who reviews from what account, but I could see how the implied endorsement might be an issue. Anyway, I'm thrilled to see you back again so soon!
Astoria and Draco are both at a phase in their lives where they seem to spend a lot of time trying to work out the conflicts between what they were raised to believe and the new reality that's staring them in the face. In Astoria's case, she's been raised to be a proper, respectful, somewhat deferential girl who maintains a lot of facades. Coming from that background, I thought she would have very mixed feelings about seeing Harry and Ginny engage in such an open display of affection. Disapproving, but also more curious than she'd ever admit.
I wasn't especially nice to Ron, the way I wrote him in this chapter. He definitely comes off like a bully although, as you say, the story is told through Draco's eyes. But I don't think that Draco's perception is all that far off from what a dispassionate observer would have seen, assuming you could find such an observer in the emotionally charged, post-war world.
I love writing dueling scenes. Why have all these amazing abilities if you're not going to use them? And I don't think there was any risk of Ron losing to Draco. Ron was too angry and too determined to win, while Draco just wanted to get away from the whole situation. Throw in Ron's nascent Auror training and it wasn't even close to fair.
Ah, Hermione! I really loved the opportunity to bring out a little flash of that bossy eleven-year-old, at least for a few moments. But then Draco messes up. Badly. And she lets him have it. Truthfully, even he would admit that he deserved no less.
You'll find out some more about the Ratcliffe family (the old witch and her two sons who were attacking Draco) in the next chapter. Suffice it to say, they have a grievance with him and neither side is completely in the right.
Thanks so much for pointing out the typos! Not many reviewers do, and now I can edit and see my chapter-read count update with a clean conscience.
I'm really pleased that you liked it. Thanks for reading and reviewing! Report Review
Good for McGonagall! I probably should be feeling bad for Draco, as it's clear from the opening that he's struggling, but I can't help it. I'm totally with her on this one. If I was in her position, I'd have objected to his returning too. Draco made his choices -- granted, they were made under duress, but regret doesn't absolve you of all consequences.
Sorry, just had to get that off my chest. In all honest though, I thought McGonagall's reluctance to have Draco back and the restrictions she put on him were incredible believable. I have trouble with "8th-year" stories sometimes because they gloss over this issue. I thought you handled the set-up really well here.
I loved your use of Slughorn in this chapter. He's the perfect "escort" for Draco. He's too... what's the word? Cowardly? Oblivious? Whatever it is, it keeps him from making any real comments or judgments about Draco and his past. And it introduces just the smallest amount of humor. Slughorn really is one of those characters who doesn't seem to learn and grow. He lives through a war and I still imagine he's most interested in any damage befalling those ingredients that were "quite difficult to obtain."
Oh, Luna. She really is one of my favorite characters. You did a wonderful job capturing her character here. She's got enough confidence in herself now to step up and intervene in an argument but seems to hold no bitterness for what she's been put through. When Draco asked himself why she came to his defense, it really says so much about him as a person. He really, at least at this point in his life, doesn't understand the idea of doing something simply because it's the right thing to do and not because a person is obligated to do it or hopes to gain anything from it
I do have one question though about Draco. What's his motivation for returning to Hogwarts? I know in the last chapter he tells Zabini he's thinking about going back, but he never really says why. It's clear that being back is hard for him, and added to that the indignity of being shuffled around and kept separate from the other students. But he doesn't seem to question his decision to return, which makes me think it's something more important than a few NEWTs. Is he doing it to make his parents happy? To right some sort of wrong? To punish himself? He hasn't expressed any specific career interests (unless I'm forgetting something) that require him finishing school, so I'm wondering what's pulling him back...
Another great chapter. I'm sorry it took me so long to stop by again. I don't know what happened to the last four weeks of my life. Can't wait to read how the next encounter with Astoria goes.Author's Response: Hello, again!
So I truly, **truly** loathe stories that over-simplify the aftermath of the Second Wizarding War. So many people were hurt or killed, so much was destroyed and the psychological impacts on the survivors must have been horrendous. So to imagine that Draco Malfoy of all people would be welcomed back to Hogwarts with open arms just seems ridiculous to me. I don't think anyone on the "good" side of the war except for possibly Harry really understands much about what Draco and Narcissa went through. So, no, McGonagall isn't one bit happy to see him and she lets him know about it.
Slughorn, to me, is so glad-handed that he's not even willing to be judgmental toward an outcast like Draco. And he has a lifetime of experience when it comes to pretending to enjoy other people's company and making polite conversation. Plus, being Draco's former Head of House, he seemed like the obvious choice to play chaperone. That said, he doesn't do a very good job of it, does he?
I love writing Luna, but at the same time it terrifies me. She's like love and modern art: you can't define what makes Luna sound like Luna, but you know it when you read it. So I'm very, very pleased that you thought she sounded right. I don't think bitterness is an emotion that has any meaning to her, because she lives in the present. At least that's how I always interpret her.
Draco's motivation for returning to Hogwarts is so that he can prepare to sit a few N.E.W.T.s. He believes that finishing his education will help to show people that he's serious about putting the war behind him and not letting the rest of his life be defined by his family's former allegiance to the Dark Lord. When Astoria's father ordered her away from him in Diagon Alley, it made an impression. He doesn't want to be viewed as this horrible person for the rest of his life, but he also isn't quite sure how to go about "fixing it". So finishing his education seemed like a good albeit small first step, I think. He does not, at this point, have any specific career interest other than helping to manage his family's fortune.
Please don't apologize. We're all busy and I'm tickled pink that you enjoy this enough to want to keep reading! Thanks for the awesome review! Report Review
Yay! You're writing again, or at least re-writing. I'm so happy for you!! I really hope you find your joy for it again.
I didn't read the first version of this, but this version was absolutely adorable. There is something about Ron as a father that fills me with all sorts of fluffy feelings. I loved his uncertainly -- afraid he wouldn't do or say the right thing to Hugo, or that Hermione would handle it better. But just being honest with his son was the perfect parenting win!
And doing it all over a chess game? So sweet. I love that it's a game the two can share together, and the way Hugo sees his dad as a hero is heart-melting.
Lovely, lovely one-shot, my dear. I hope this is the first of many new or re-posts for you.Author's Response: Thank you so much. Now that I've got myself straightened out, I have the urge to get something written. I just don't have the time to devote to new ideas quite yet. This was one of my favorites, posted back in 2008. It had some awkward areas I wanted to correct, so I thought it was a starting place.
I always wanted to see Ron get some of the hero worship he deserved, and his son seemed like the perfect solution. While he still has his insecurities, I thought it would be refreshing to see Ron finally secure in who he is. He's not the Chosen One, but he is important. Thank you so much for reviewing!~GW Report Review
So I was going to apologize for not getting to this yesterday like I wanted to, but then you snuck in a new chapter a day early so I'm feeling a lot less guilty :P
I really liked this opening scene. It served as a perfect transition. It isn't really important for us the reader to see what happened right after the attack. We only care about if everyone is okay. This was a great way to keep pushing the story forward. And I really liked that you saved more of the details of the attack and the injuries for the second scene. Just like we want to know if the characters are okay, Lily's top priority is finding out if James is safe (totally adorable!). Everything else can wait until after that.
Speaking of the injuries... I thought you did a great job handling all the medical details here. That's definitely been a running theme throughout the story -- blending muggle science with the wizarding world. Human anatomy is human anatomy, right? And in light of Lily's desire to be a healer one day, it makes sense that, especially when you're writing in her POV, that those sorts of details would stand out to her/would be something she'd want to know.
Only one small detail in the healer scene stood out to me as a little off. The healer doesn't show any hesitation about sharing all these medical details in front of a room full of people. In a muggle setting, a doctor wouldn't usually do that, at least not without the healer's express permission. Same with sharing the details of James's injuries. I wouldn't normally bring up such a small detail, especially since not everything in the wizarding world is the same is in the muggle world, but since you've clearly done so much to meld the two together, I thought it might be something you'd want to consider. Maybe having the healer hesitate to elaborate until Lily gives her the go ahead...
The Potter's stance makes total sense. Of course they want to protect their son and all this friends, but they are old enough to know their own limitations. If they aren't physically able to fight, they may do more harm than good getting involved in other ways. I don't know if this played at all into the way you wrote the scene, but it really serves as a great hint that the "old regime" is over. Dumbledore shares a lot more with the kids than he does with the parents. It's a real passing of the torch.
I thought you choice to go to Regulus instead of Bella was absolutely perfect! You're right, it would have felt way too much like a repeat of the previous chapter. Besides, her viewpoint is biased. Regulus is a great narrator for filling the reader on what's really happening. But you did it in a way that still made the scene about him. He wasn't just a front for you author giving the reader the info they needed. And yes, to hit on your AoC, it definitely feels like this is only a minor set-back in the grand scheme of the war. We know from what Regulus heard of her mumblings, James and the gang are far from safe. I am curious if you'll address why Bella didn't immediately take James and Lily off-site of the hotel. Unless that was addressed in the previous chapter when Bella is discussing the plan. But I remember wondering that during the attack itself.
Last point from your AoC. IMHO, you've really hit a great rhythm with your descriptions. I think descriptions tend to decrease in frequency as stories continue, once they've been used to set the mood and tone, but I also think you've come a long way since those early chapters in narrowing down what's important to tell. For example, you hardly described Lily's hospital room at all in the opening scene. This was a smart choice. We all know what a hospital room looks like. Even if the ones in the wizarding world are totally different, it really doesn't matter. As a reader, I can do all the work myself. Same in the following scene. I know I mentioned in previous reviews about the "positioning of character." There were a lot of characters in this scene, but their locations remained relatively vague -- which was totally appropriate. And if they *were* mentioned, it was done so casually, as part of the scene -- as opposed to having to set the whole scene first before getting "down to business."
On a technical note, there are still a few of those unneeded commas. I didn't post them all, but here are a few:
-- She made the mistake of glancing in the bathroom mirror as she walked past, and was half terrified of her own reflection.
-- She reached for his hand, and found a small amount of comfort in the fact that it was warm.
-- Lily felt James's hand slip into hers, and squeezed it tightly as the healer cleared her throat and continued.
On the last one, it isn't really clear which one of them is squeezing the other's hand. And the rest is just typos.
-- She bit down on to her lip, ignoring the exhausting, and kept going. (exhaustion?)
-- Her fingers shook she pulled back the sheet on the bed and climbed in... (shook as she)
-- Don't leave me James (comma after me)
-- ... Professor Dumbledore greeted, nodded somberly at her. (nodding)
-- She dropped off those for both of you both (pick one both; either is fine)
-- But even with that, the injures were severe. (injuries)
-- However, the second wasn't working quickly enough, and a Muggle medical specialists was called in. (specialist)
-- She supposed the man probably wasn't often surrounded in a bunch as demanding as hers (surrounded by a)
-- They're strong and capable, and all we can do now is give them every ounce of knowledge we posses to keep them safe / Olivia knew it was silly, but she felt a small pang of jealousy for the kind of vigor he seemed to posses. (possess, not posses)
-- He would let all that drown from him (drain?)Author's Response: Becky! I've eaten an M&M, so I might make a little more sense now. We'll see if that chocolate got my brain working at all...
I'm happy you agreed with my decision of getting us to the aftermath. I'm working on picking what's important to see and what isn't, because we're too close to 200,000 words for me not to start wrapping this up in the next ten chapters or so, haha! Actually by my outline's calculation, we have 13 left of this book. Then book two starts after graduation. And, um, I have no idea why we're on this subject. Stupid chocolate.
You know what's funny? I had the Healer asking pretty discreetly if either of them minded discussing this in front of anyone else, then for some reason I thought it was unnecessary. I'll definitely edit it back in since it stood out to you. Thank you ♥
Oh I'm so happy the Potter's stance makes sense! That's what I've been worrying about most lately. That's really what I was trying to show. This is some of the first steps into the younger ones getting involved, and Dumbledore treating them more as adults than ever before. Though that doesn't mean they'll all want to be apart of it at first... Hehe.
Regulus ended up really being a lot of fun to write in this. OH YES! Here it is! I knew you asked about why Bella didn't take them away immediately!
Okay, I'm unsure if this will ever come out in the story. But the conversation between Voldemort and Bellatrix about what to do when she had them was basically to get them, and convince James, maybe Lily. They're no good to him as prisoners or anything to get information out of. He wants James on his side, or he wants him dead. But on his side is better. So her job was to bring James, ready to receive a mark, to him. And of course she'd already decided to kill Lily just because she loves the power. I'm not sure if that makes sense outside of my head, though... if it doesn't would you mind PMing me and telling me? And I'll try and play with it in the story to make it make sense?
Ahh I really work on not positioning my characters now!! I'm so happy that's showing! Thank you so much again for all your amazing feedback. I'm going to need to find the perfect chapter to dedicate to you in this story...
Thanks again, Becky ♥ Report Review
Woohoo! My 50th review of 2013!!
Awww, what a cute (is that the right word?!?) opening to the chapter. This was a perfect "just being young" moment. I remember enjoying more than a few nights like this when I was that age. There was a lot of tension in the last chapter, particularly for Belle and Sirius. They all deserve the chance to unwind a little. You are really good at making sure all the characters get some love and "screen time," but I do really like this quartet.
You said you were aiming to add some humor to this scene and I thought you did a great job. Best line of the chapter for me: My cheeks aren't working! You hit the nail on the head with that one. Brilliant!
Well, look at you adding a little steam to your story! You know I have no objections to that :P So often in James/Lily stories, we only ever get to see James as the pursuer, so this definitely flips that around and brings something new to the table for them. And I agree with what you said in your request. I do think alcohol can go a long way to lowering even a very careful person's inhibitions and push them (or give them the excuse to go) outside their typical boundaries. But I do think there are some conditions on that, namely how far outside the norm a person acts and the amount of "refreshments" they partook of. To the first, I don't think Lily is really doing something here she doesn't want to do (or at least a part of her wants to do). I think you laid a bit of the foundation for that in the last chapter when she was in the bathroom. But I was a little unsure as to her level of impairment. You have to be pretty far gone not to think about the people lying a few feet away, but yet she doesn't seem to have any trouble with the rather serious conversation that immediately follows. Does that make any sense?
Okay, I know you didn't ask about it in your request, but I loved the "mini" Bella scene. How her relationship with her husband worked was always a canon fascination for me, so I enjoyed this scene a lot. I really have nothing more to say on it other that her irritation is as amusing as it is terrifying.
I actually didn't think James acted too old in this scene at all. I thought their back and forth here was very natural and age-appropriate. I loved the cute banter at the beginning. It goes a long way to show their growing comfort together... far more than anything physical they could share. My only "complaint" is that you didn't show any of the wedding! I was totally looking forward to reading how humorously terrible it was going to be :P
Wow, what a final scene!! Of course it was stressful enough, you silly! Lily's half-dead and James just dived in front of a curse. I'm stressed just typing about it! I thought Bella was perfect. She isn't AS crazy as she'll be after a dozen years in Azkaban, but she's pretty darn nutty. She's clearly already in love with the power she has to inflict pain. And of course, James did everything she should have. We know Harry is like his Dad, and Harry is excellent at getting out of these sort of situations. Clearly James is frantic, but he doesn't lose all ability to reason. Trying to shift was an excellent idea, even if it didn't work. Overall, I thought the characters and the tension all hit a perfect note.
My only CC on this scene would be some tiny technical aspects. One, at the end of the scene before, the characters are apparating arm-in-arm, no? So wouldn't her arm slipping out of his be a big deal? Wouldn't that leave him behind or make him panic before she failed to respond to his call in the dark? Or maybe that's just how I picture apparating... Second, I might suggest setting the scene a little earlier. It isn't until the third paragraph we know they are still in the hotel room. If it were me, I'd mention it between sentences two and three, but where ever you might want to put it, I'd consider adding it earlier.
Well, I think that's all I've got on this one. Finally managed to get back under the character limit again! If you want/have the time, post your AoCs for the next chapter and I'll try to get to it tomorrow so I can (gasp!) finally be caught up before a new chapter gets posted. Lovely chapter. Can't wait to see how the characters work their way out of this terrible mess!
Oh, and just a few typos this...
-- One of the boys finally declared that it well past bedtime... (declared that it was well past OR declared it well past)
-- She arched her own body into him, her mind begging for his hands to keep toughing her, to keep exploring. (keep touching)
-- His parents seemed to know everyone on the face of the earth; he'd seen more, "I do's" than most preachers. But the Evans Dursley wedding was easily one of the worst. (no comma after more, and I'd do Evans-Dursley with a hyphen)
-- As she took a step closer to him, he could see a some sort of sick pleasure shining in her eyes. (he could see a sort of sick OR he could see some sort of sick)Author's Response: I feel very honored to be your 50th review of 2013 ♥ how crazy is it that it's actually 2013? haha!
I'm so happy you think I do a good job at giving all the characters a good amount of screen time. And I'll admit, I love this quartet too. I try and not favor them over the others, but it's hard sometime. They, Belle especially, has a really important part in this book so I'm always careful to make sure I'm keeping readers interested in her. Or at least trying to. But I do worry about not giving Remus Peter and Frank enough screen time. It's a big group... haha
Hahahah I really liked the cheeks line not working, too. I've never done exactly that, but I have had those instances where my legs don't seem to be working. Haha
What you said about Lily not having any trouble with the serious conversation that followed. I'll definitely tweak that up a bit tomorrow, and of course I'll credit you for your help!
I'm really glad you liked Lily as the pursuer. It was fun to make James be the one that has to slow things down. Poor guy, he has some good self control. And I'll admit, I read a few scenes of OTE as well as the staff tutorial to be absolutely certain I wasn't going to far with this :P
Bella always manages to steal scenes, doesn't she? I actually have a short story in the makings of her and how she ends up the way she is. Or more... how she discovered the kind of person she is. If this group would ever let up on me maybe I could work on that a bit more! :P
I'm so happy you liked that last scene! Getting to watch James and his reactions, or I guess let them play out, was so sad but so fun. It's like... I don't know. Well, you understand. It's like you're writing it, but they're doing it, and you're getting exciting while they're doing it (or scared I supposed) and yeah. I'm sure it's how you felt doing the scene with Rose and Regina in the her apartment. Am I making any sense? I've had two days straight with the future in laws. If I'm not, I really can't be held accountable :P
I like the idea of setting the scene earlier, and again I'll credit you for your amazing help ♥
Also-- I didn't see it now, but I can swear you asked why Bellatrix didn't take them straight to Voldemort. Maybe that was in your next review. I'll hit submit for this, then answer it over there if it was there. Again, two days straight with in laws. haha.
I don't know if I say it enough, but you're feedback really is invaluable. You find those reviewers you request from that you just want to bottle up and never let go. That's you. At this point, you're the only one I still request. Oh, and Roots when I'm able to catch her! But you give so much amazing feedback, and I always look forward to seeing what you enjoyed and what you think I can improve on.
Thank you again, m'dear! And I have to admit, I've cheated with After We Fall. I read all the current chapters on our drive to Buffalo to pick up the in-laws from the airport. Because for some reason they wanted to fly into there *insert eye roll*. Anyway, I'm excited to review those these next few days when I'm at work and finally get a bit of quiet time!
♥ Report Review
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