Oooh, how scandalous! I love uncommon (or at least not super popular) pairings, and this one definitely fits the bill.
It's a pretty short piece, but it still manages to pack a lot of punch. We don't often get to see this side of Harry, and knowing at the end that he's married definitely adds an extra layer. I really enjoyed the way you kept it all in his perspective. It leaves the reader wondering a bit just how two-sided this non-affair is. Is she really interested in him, or might she just enjoy torturing him in a more adult way now that they are well beyond school-age?
I really like too that you didn't try to explain too much how Harry got to this point, like how maybe Pansy had changed over the years, or how he was super unhappy in his marriage. It's just the physical attraction here. Keeping it in the moment really ups the tension -- great choice!
You mentioned in your summary wanting CC. The only bit I can think to offer is that some of your sentences were a bit on the long side. For example: Alone, we sat in the Ministry Archives, each working our own individual cases in a large hall filled with dusty tomes penned by wizards long gone that were designed to help the wizards in their wake serve and protect the magical community of today. I like the information and how it builds the setting, but it's a lot to take in from one sentence. Just something to keep on the lookout for...
Great one-shot. I love stories that jump right in and get straight to the point! Report Review
One chapter away from being all caught up! Though it's Saturday, so by the time I've finished typing this, that will probably have changed :P
This was really an interesting chapter style-wise. Obviously it was a fair bit shorter than a lot of the previous chapters, but it also had a lot more scenes, even though the time elapsed in the chapter was relatively short. That said, it still felt very in-rhythm with the rest of the story. I don't actually have a point here... it's was just something I noticed.
I thought the opening scene was very sweet. The whole "who's packed what" discussion is such a couples problem. Who hasn't been there? And I liked the idea of the Heads helping get everyone off to the station. It reminds me of field-trip day in school. Getting everyone on the bus was always a nightmare :P
The scene with McGonagall and Dumbledore was also very sweet, though with a much more ominous undertone. I'm getting the feeling that things may not go well at the wedding for reasons that have nothing to do with Petunia being a brat. Minerva really is the ultimate Deputy Headmistress. In many ways, she's far more protective of the students than Dumbledore is. Of course, he has bigger concerns, but still...
I'm always going to be iffy on flashbacks for reasons that have nothing to do with how well you or anyone else writes them (it's like you with Snape :P), but objectively, I thought the transition here was fine. It's a style/pattern you've chosen for the story, and the most important thing is to be consistent. It would be totally weird if this flashback was the only one in 130K words, but it's not. It's just the way you've chosen to explore the Petunia and Lily relationship.
And I definitely liked the content of the memory. You've fleshed Petunia out a lot more than most authors and gave her a nicer side, which I think is much truer to life. Even nasty, mean-spirited people have their moments, and with siblings it's not uncommon to see them drift apart as the age (or sometimes just the opposite, but the point is the change, not really the direction). But we know how far this relationship falls, so at some point, the scales have to tip from Petunia just being mean and jealous on occasion to there really being a wedge between the two. Having Lily (through no fault of her own) come between Petunia and her friend is telling. It sets up one more reason for her to fear people in her life meeting her sister. On one level, she's afraid they will think Lily is a freak, but perhaps on another, Petunia is afraid they will just like Lily better. I'm not sure if that's how you view it at all, but that was at least what I took from the scene.
I really liked the ending, where Lily reflects on spending Christmas with the Potters. I know she cares for James a lot, maybe even loves him at this point, but I also think this touches on the fact that she also really needs him, even on a level she's not yet fully aware of. She has a huge hole in her life now, and though he can't fill it all, him and his family can give her something she can't get anywhere else at the moment, and really, something none of her other friends can provide either.
I saved your AoC about the chapter being too slow for last since it's more of a tough one to address. The scenes themselves and even the chapter as a whole didn't feel slow to me. When I think of something being slow in a story, I usually think more of having to wade through 500 words of description on something mundane, or characters spending an entire chapter in one conversation without actually saying anything. Your scenes are always fun and easy to read. No matter what the characters are doing, I can always just sort of jump in and go with it.
But since you mentioned the chapter being a transition into the big stuff, I'm thinking maybe you were wondering if the story itself feels slow at this point, as opposed to a particular section being too wordy...? It's hard to say on my end without knowing what will be important in the future of the story, or how long the story is going to be to know if we should be nearing the climax anytime soon. A scene where characters appear just to be doing housework might actually have major plot points cleverly tucked inside (I'm thinking of like in the HP books when Harry seems to just be going to class but is really learning about something he'll need to fight Voldemort by the end of the book). I don't know how helpful it will be to you, but when I'm unsure of my pacing, I take a look at every scene and ask, "what's the point?" The more basic the answer is, the shorter the I try and make the scene, maybe even eliminating it altogether. If it's just to show the passage of time or something, a few sentences may be more than enough. If it's more complicated, like to show something important about the character or relaying information that will be needed for the plot later on, the more likely I am to flesh out a scene. And then, if I'm really trying to build tension, that's when I go for the big moments that are depicted the closest to real time. Again, not sure if that is at all helpful (or even what you were really asking about), but that's my amateur, unsolicited opinion -- something I probably give out all too freely :P
Well, that's more than enough out of me on this chapter, I think. Just a few typos I spotted below. I can't believe I'm almost caught up!!
-- "Put the students in these two," the head girl instructed, glancing over them. (glancing over at them, or glancing them over)
-- Just as the unmistakable stands of Sirius's dark hair came into view, she felt her boots slide under the snow. (unmistakable strands... and I think her boots would slide over the snow, not under, or slide out from under her across the snow...?)
-- Of course the sisters had ended up on speaking terms again, making up only a few hours before Lily left for her fifth year to Hogwarts. (at Hogwarts)Author's Response: I love how your first paragraph was so true, hahah. I posted chapter 21 then clicked my author page and there was a review!
I'm happy that even though it was set up a bit different, it still felt right with the rest of the stories.
That's exactly what I was thinking in this, is field trips. Make sure everyone has their sack lunches packed and permission slips... haha. I like giving the Heads things to do so they don't seem like they're just sort of pointlessly floating around with that title.
I really agree with what you said about Minerva. I think Dumbledore looks at the big picture, and she does focus more on the people that make up that big picture. I get so sad when I think about what she looses too... i can't imagine watching the children you've practically helped raise from age 11 all get picked off one by one :(
We've talked about before how family is never cut and dry. Petunia didn't just decide she hated Lily and the two never spoke again, so I really love getting to explore the different things that may have added up to tear them apart piece by piece.
That's exactly how I view it. I never thought that Petunia's feelings for Lily were as simple as her deciding Lily was a freak and cutting her off. We know that she wrote to Dumbledore, so we know some part of her really wanted to be able to be special like her sister. And watching her best friend stand up for her sister was a big deal for her. Sure, the girl was just being nice to Lily, but Petunia didn't see it like that. She saw it as her sister out doing her once again, and her best friend gravitating toward Lily the way she thinks everyone did. I remember my older sister getting so mad when her friends would talk to me, haha. I just amplified those feelings up a bit in Petunia's case :P
I always want to hug you when you pick up on these things. You have like a zillion mental hugs from me.
Your section on how the chapter is feeling made me feel a lot better. Because we are very, very close to a big thing in this story happening. It isn't the biggest thing of the story, but it's close to it. Your opinions ARE solicited! Haha! And I love them! I'm excited to see what you think in a few chapters, and to see if you feel like these last few more build up chapters were worth it. I think I've been really careful to make sure all of me scenes have a point, whether it's to make something else make sense or to work on my characterizations.. okay... I'm not sure where I'm going with this section of the response. Haha. But when you get a few chapters ahead, if you feel like compared to the amount of build up sort of chapters I've had and the events, and it falls flat - pretty please tell me ♥
I always feel like my responses are inadequate to your insanely helpful and detailed reviews, bu I hope you know how much I appreciate them ♥
I'm back for another dose of Draco!
Wow, what an opening. I really like that you didn't hold back on the gorier details. I'm not one for a lot of blood just for shock value, but it's appropriate here, in proportion to the horror the Death Eaters and Voldemort inflicted. It also makes for some great insight into Draco's current state of mind. He's being tortured himself, only obviously in a somewhat less literal way. I couldn't help but wonder if the vivid nightmares aren't also a symptom of withdrawal, both physically from not ingesting the alcohol and mentally, his sobriety clearing his mind enough to dredge up the things he'd been repressing.
I can't really quote most of my favorite lines from this section for obvious reasons, but I will say I loved the line, "Somebody had finished the work his mad aunt had begun." I actually found this one even more disturbing than the descriptive phrases. I don't know why, but it just lept of the page.
The only part I was a little unsure on was what the mood was supposed to be here. It's a dream, so realism isn't exactly a concern, but sometimes it felt like the wording and the intensity of Draco's feelings didn't totally match up. Like his "overwhelming dread" addressed in the same sentence as the "plush carpet." Or a sudden "dampness" on his check causing him to pause (as opposed to stopping short or halting or even jumping or recoiling). The writing was lovely but, at times, I thought it undercut the wonderful tension a bit.
I loved the contrast you created by putting the two parent/child scenes back to back. Draco and Astoria are still young enough to be reliant on their parents, even as they are working to come into their own as adults. And in their own way, each parent is just trying to do what is best for their child. It was just a nice literary touch having them one after the other with the gender rolls reversed.
Your Zabini is fantastic! Well, no, he's kind of terrible, but your writing of him is wonderful. His voice when he speaks is very distinct from the other characters, and IMHO, reads the most naturally. You're really hitting a perfect note with him.
I spotted a couple of small typos:
--Whether it was in real or in a nightmare, he could not recall, but something terrible waited in the distance. (was in real life...or maybe just...was real...?)
--He turned his back on Draco and took a could of steps, but then stopped. (couple)
--The tattered remains of a hand-knitted jumper clung loosely to his body... (This isn't really a typo but "clung loosely" is a bit of an oxymoron :D)
Well, I'm definitely getting hooked. I'm excited to see where this story is headed next...Author's Response: Hi, there!
I'm glad you like my second little Draco project. I don't know when I started to enjoy writing him so much. The funny thing is that I don't usually enjoy reading Draco stories at all, even when they're done well.
In my mind, his nightmares are driven by all of the terrible things he witnesses during the war that he hasn't even begun to come to terms with. During the months after the war, alcohol helped to keep them at bay, so I suppose that one effect of withdrawal could be that they're getting worse. At any rate, I had this very stark vision in my mind of a sort of "chandelier" of victims in a long, dark hallway. The carpet was meant, I think, to be a sort of contrast to the horrors he sees hanging above. I remember thinking at some point during Deathly Hallows what cold comfort the Malfoys' luxurious home must have been when they had to share it with Voldemort and the rest of his insane followers. And the fact that he never stops walking down the hall is just one of those things that seems to happen in nightmares, kind of like how you never think to just turn around, go home and put on pants. ;)
Horatio and Narcissa do contrast pretty nicely, don't they. He's more openly affectionate toward Astoria than Narcissa ever was with Draco, but I don't think that's any reason to assume that she loves her son any less. They're also both very concerned with family and with their children's place in society, although Narcissa was probably far more concerned before the war and far less concerned after.
I think of Zabini as a bored, somewhat disenchanted rich kid for whom the early stages of alcoholism are beginning to take their toll. Unlike Draco, the war was never a matter of survival for him. Being something of an outsider looking in, I'd say he viewed it as a missed opportunity for social advancement. And he certainly still wears the arrogance and prejudices of a pureblood scion.
Thanks for the typos and the other suggestion. I will see to them straight away!
I'm so happy that you're enjoying this! It's been a struggle, to be honest, because I'm having a hard time deciding how long I really want it to be, which in turn gives me fits with plot outlines. But that's my row to hoe. Thanks for reading and reviewing! Report Review
I'm diving right in so I don't have to trim this like I did the last one to keep it in the word count!
Yay for some Remus and Lily time. We haven't seen a moment between them in a while so it was lovely to see them share a little something here. And in answer to your first question, no, I didn't think it started off too slow. If you are really worried, there were a few spots where you could tighten up the opening paragraphs, but I loved that you started Lily out by having her sorting through the potions. And it was great to see her return to the idea of being a Healer. Often authors mention things and forget to return to them later (I know I'm guilty of it), so it's great that you don't let these little details fall through the cracks. And, of course, you also managed to tuck in the bit about the passage of time as well, which is obviously very important.
I really like the idea that Lily had at least an inkling about what's been going on with Remus. And yes, it was perfectly clear that's what was going on here. At this point, they've been friends for a few years. Plus, she's been at school with him for nearly seven, and there aren't THAT many students at Hogwarts. She has to have noticed all the classes he missed, the weird bruises and scratches. My favorite part was how you tied it back into Snape (and no, not just because I like him. Okay, maybe a little). But obviously we know from canon about the prank the boys played on Snape, so that's a factor. Plus, it's just like him to want to try and make her dislike the Marauders in any way he can. Of course that would never work on someone like Lily, but that's not the sort of thing Snape would understand. Anyway, I just thought the bits with him were a very clever way to plant the seed in her head that he's a werewolf. I think it's a much better way to handle it than (1) having James tell her, since he would never betray Remus's secret without his permission, or (2) having Lily so smart, she just guesses it. That's too similar to how Hermione figured it out. I see it that way a lot (or him just blurting it out like you say). This was more original. Lily's smart enough to put the pieces together, but she gets help along the way
Hitting your third (?) point on the list, I totally agree with your choice not to have Remus spill his secret, at least not yet. I think it's more true to life -- okay, not the werewolf part, but that sort of "I know you know my secret but I'm not ready to deal with it so let's ignore it for now” sort of moment. And it was also perfectly clear that she now knows and will keep her mouth shut until he brings it up on his own terms.
The only thing about the scene that felt a little off to me was Lily's insistence about finding out what happened to Remus. While she's hiding, she goes through her suspicious about why his story doesn't add up and maybe Snape was right all along, but she never pauses to think that maybe Remus really just doesn't want to talk to her about it. She did ask him what happened and it was clear to her that he lied, but she never asks why he didn't want to tell her what was going on. Lily is pretty attune to people's emotions, so I thought it was a little surprising that this didn't give her more pause. She does say at the end that if he needs to let himself believe his secret is his own she'll allow him that, but that she's ready to talk if he wants, and THAT'S the Lily I'd expect, but she does burst back in on him and press him pretty hard to tell her what's going on. If she really thought he was being bullied or Hagrid had wild creatures, the pressing would make more sense. She's Head Girl and might feel compelled to help her friend AND find out if there is something in the school that needs addressed, but if she all but knows that he's hurt because he's a werewolf, then I guess I would expect her to be more gentle with him -- let him know she knew what was really happening but not push him to confirm.
Gah! I'm running out of space already. I'll try to be quicker through the next scene. I love the parallels between Belle and Sirius's life stories. Clearly they have their differences, but the pair really understand where the other one is coming from. I think there has to be some symmetry in relationships. If either of the characters had lived perfect lives up til this point, they'd have a hard time understanding each other. It wouldn't be impossible, but it just all works really well between the two of them.
Hitting on your AoCs, I thought the transition was just fine. The line break was more than enough. Unlike other scenes, it isn't so important in this one when it's happening. We can assume it's around the same time as the Lily/Remus scene, but even if it's the next day, it doesn't matter in the greater context of the chapter. And yes, I thought Belle's reasoning for needing to make peace with her family, or at least close the door on them, made total sense. Some people would just rather cut them off and forget they existed, while others would need to take a stand and have their final say. Either one would be totally understandable. And I REALLY like that Sirius pushes her into it. We know from OotP he has a bit of a tendency to live vicariously through others. I imagine he'd love to have been able to tell off his family and slam the door in their faces, so I can see him pushing Belle to do it, whether or not it's the best decision for her. And I do hope we get to see him punch Christophe. I'd love to see Sirius's wild side come out. Not to mention that Christophe totally deserves it!
Dang, I'm over again. I'll PM you a few typos I spotted. Another great chapter. I noticed the next ones are pretty short. Maybe I'll even manage to catch up this week! And you're right. You got me to talk about emotions without breaking out in hives. It's a miracle :PAuthor's Response: I'm going to try *very* hard to get my response to cooperate with the maximum character count ;)
I am trying *really* hard to not mention something then forget about it. I'm sure there will be a few things, but this wasn't one! yay! I'm happy you liked her sorting through the potions and sort of dwelling on her future. I see a lot of times in Marauders fics where authors forget that this group didn't realize they'd be joining the Order. Like, their making no plans about their future. Obviously we know where they end up, but I don't want to fall into that trap where they aren't planning for their futures. Because right now, they have no idea where they'll end up. Wow, did any of that make sense? Haha
Your favorite part would be when it tied back to Severus :P I really have an issue when anyone other than Remus tells Lily that he's a werewolf, because like you said James is too loyal. And Remus does whatever he can *not* to tell people, so I don't ever want that "i'm a werewolf" sort of scene. Like you said, Lily is smart enough to piece it together, but she probably wouldn't have without the clues she already had. There will be a time when they talk about it, but it'll be under interesting circumstances. See, now I'm being all vague. Mwahhaa.
I really agree with you about Lily and how she acts. I worried about that before, but then I think I sot of let it go and figured I was only noticing it because I wrote it. Apparently not :P I've been thinking of editing this part a bit so that Lily kind of argues with herself, and decides that letting Remus know that she is there to talk is the most important thing. So she'll still press a bit, but she'll at least give it a second though. Thank you for bringing that back to my attention ♥
Ahh I'm so happy you're still liking the dynamic between Belle and Sirius. I love the idea of Sirius kind of being able to help someone whose been through too much like he has, because he knows how much having James saved him. It adds a really intimate connection between Belle and Sirius having both understood what the other lived through, and one that's completely emotional. And I think Sirius needs something like that.
I was worried that Sirius would seem insensitive by pushing her into doing it. But like you said, we learned that he does do things to live through others, and he doesn't often think too much about those repercussions. I can tell you that we will absolutely see Sirius's wild side come out. Belle's too. Really, the entire chapter is just going to be a bit crazy. Haha.
Thank you so much for PM'ing me the typos &heats; They are all edited in! Yay!
Ahhh Becky. I don't even know how to thank you so much for all the reviews you leave. Not only do you give me awesome feedback, but you ever made giving the feedback seem like a chore, which means a lot to me. Thank you so much for all your feedback, and you're so close to being caught up :O! Also, I have an OF idea that I'm going to PM you about later. It's one I want YOU to write ;). Report Review
I'm going to have a lot to say on this opening scene, but hopefully that's ok since it took up 2 spots on your AoC list! Right off, I totally agree with the choice not to depict Sirius's conversation with Belle. You're right that it might have felt redundant. This aftermath scene was a GREAT way to pick up their plot line again. To the reader, the important thing is not what she said, since we already know her story, but how Sirius takes the news, which is admittedly not very well.
It's also really nice to see a James/Sirius moment. There's been a lot of James/Lily taking center stage recently, and since this is also a story about the Marauders/their friendships, this felt like a great time for the pair to share a moment together. And I thought you struck a really great mood here: some lighter moments, some very dark moments, but all the while, a very strong sense of familiarity between the two.
The one thing I'm a little torn on is Sirius's reaction. Not the running away from Belle part. Of course, I'm disappointed that he couldn't handle the situation with a bit more maturity, but it's understandable based on what we know about him. He felt himself losing his temper and wanted to get out of there before he said or did anything he'd regret/that might make things worse on Belle. On a human level, that wasn't a great idea. On a character level, given his age and his past, it works perfectly.
But I did feel a little like within the scene itself, Sirius was a bit inconsistent. The running away I get, but then he says: She's used to people walking away from her. She probably already figured I would... If Sirius understands so well what his behavior must have looked liked to Belle, it seems harder to believe that he would see abandoning her at that moment as the better alternative to saying something nasty about her family. She'd just told him was that she's been abandoned by everyone she's ever loved, and he knows this, yet he still leaves. Or, if he's just realizing that this is how it must have looked to her NOW, in this very moment, sitting there with James, than I'd think he'd want to turn right around and go find her, not go to the kitchens. I LOVE the idea that he runs out. It makes him less perfect as a character, more human. But knowing and leaving anyway makes him selfish in a way you really haven't painted him to be.
And just as a technical note (and if I missed it, just ignore this part), I might consider adding a time stamp of some sort in this scene. We get a hint at how much time has passed later, but last we saw of James, he was in the hospital wing. Now he's chasing after Sirius, so clearly some time has passed, we just aren't sure how much.
Yay! More nasty Slytherins. I love that you continue to play with a range of baddies in this story. On one end you have Voldemort and Bella, totally evil and crazy-pants. Then you have Regulus and Alrek, these sort of middlemen, out there doing some dirty work while still maintaining a more respectable front. And then there are these Slytherin bullies, nasty in there own right without being Voldemort's trusted henchman, at least not yet. Not everyone who believes in what he's doing is out there killing people already. But that doesn't mean they aren't dangerous and scary and nasty in their own right.
It still breaks my heart that you don't like Snape, but alas, I shall forgive you for it. And I thought you did a great job with him here. It makes sense that he'd be hanging with this lot, and that despite their past friendship, he wouldn't be dumb enough to intervene on Lily's behalf in front of his friends (well, he'd probably be good enough at nonverbal spells to curse anyone who really meant to hurt her, but that's another story for another day :P). As for Lily herself, I was a little surprised she seemed so detached from Snape. You sort of tiptoe towards her feeling in the paragraph that starts: Lily did meet Severus's eyes this time. She wondered if all this was worth it... But the lines are very rational on her part. There isn't any sense of regret or longing for that old friendship. Or on the other extreme, anger at his being stupid enough to tangle himself up with this crowd, or thinking he's the worst of them all because he should know better. She's not even really indifferent, though I could see that too, if it was too painful to even dwell on it anymore, but that wasn't really addressed either. I just felt like their past warranted some sort of emotional response on Lily's part. Especially if she's then going to feel her heart break at the sight of his wand pointed at her. That tells me she still cares, or at least still held out hope he might change. And it would have been nice to see him mentioned in the last scene too. I assume he's still in the room, but Lily doesn’t give him a second thought. But of course, that could just be me wanting more Snape!
One other little thing on this scene. Lily opens the chapter by saying she just wants to be alone, but then she suddenly wants to find James and Sirius. And then she’s back to thinking, "but having a minute to just listen to the silence of the stone castle and enjoy the view." It just felt a little inconsistent.
I feel like I was extra critical on this chapter. I hope it doesn't come off that way. I REALLY enjoyed this. It's just the more we go forward, the richer the emotions get and there's more to discuss, which is hopefully a good thing. I think you mentioned that you hoped people could see an improvement in your writing. I know I sure can. Not that it started out bad by any stretch, but your mechanics continue to improve, your sentence structure is clearer, your details flow more organically, I haven't spotted an unintentionally change in POV in ages. You hardly even comma splice anymore! Really, you're just getting better and better with each post, which only makes the actually story itself shine all the more!Author's Response: Hii ♥
I love James Sirius moments. Actually just any bromance type of moments. I think IÃƒÂ¢Ã‚Â€Ã‚Â™ve already went on my rants to you about how much I hate when the Marauders friendship is ignored, so IÃƒÂ¢Ã‚Â€Ã‚Â™ll spare you another one of those :P
Okay, I hope with the changes I made I smoothed out the inconsistent feeling. But I was thinking along the lines of what you said... that he didnÃƒÂ¢Ã‚Â€Ã‚Â™t realize how it looked until James said that she wasnÃƒÂ¢Ã‚Â€Ã‚Â™t even mad, and then it kind of clicked. Hopefully IÃƒÂ¢Ã‚Â€Ã‚Â™ve made that more clear, and with changing his reasoning to the kitchens.
Bellatrix Crazy Pants. HAHA. I love it. She makes another lovely grand appearance in chapter 20 ;) IÃƒÂ¢Ã‚Â€Ã‚Â™m so happy that you like the different looks into the baddie worlds.
IÃƒÂ¢Ã‚Â€Ã‚Â™m sory I donÃƒÂ¢Ã‚Â€Ã‚Â™t like Snape!! I like variations of him in certain stories, but I donÃƒÂ¢Ã‚Â€Ã‚Â™t like the one that JKR created. BUT I hope now IÃƒÂ¢Ã‚Â€Ã‚Â™ve given his and LilyÃƒÂ¢Ã‚Â€Ã‚Â™s past friendship a bit more... significance. I really want to not leave him out in the complete dust with this story, so I am extra happy that you do like him enough to stick up for him if IÃƒÂ¢Ã‚Â€Ã‚Â™m not giving him and LilyÃƒÂ¢Ã‚Â€Ã‚Â™s past enough recognition.
No! You didnÃƒÂ¢Ã‚Â€Ã‚Â™t seem like extra critical at all! The things you pointed out all made a lot of sense, and IÃƒÂ¢Ã‚Â€Ã‚Â™m excited to see what you think about the changes IÃƒÂ¢Ã‚Â€Ã‚Â™ve made!
Aww and IÃƒÂ¢Ã‚Â€Ã‚Â™m so happy that you see improvement. ThatÃƒÂ¢Ã‚Â€Ã‚Â™s such a huge compliment, and if I could reach through my computer IÃƒÂ¢Ã‚Â€Ã‚Â™d be hugging you right now :P
IÃƒÂ¢Ã‚Â€Ã‚Â™m sorry this response seems so short, haha. But I think I said the majority of it in the PM I sent you. Thank you again so much for taking the time to stop over here ♥ I know my chapters arenÃƒÂ¢Ã‚Â€Ã‚Â™t a short little walk in the park, and it makes me so happy that you havenÃƒÂ¢Ã‚Â€Ã‚Â™t gotten burnt out or anything ♥ Report Review
Two in one day. I'm on a roll!
Can I just say how much I love it when I see authors try something new? It doesn't always work (and by the way, this TOTALLY works), but I think it's important to experiment with style, even if only to find out you're really most comfortable writing they way you did before. And I totally get the excess feelings and needing to put them into words. I'm still not quite over Krum and Rose :P
Obviously this is very unique in its style, with a sort of ethereal feel to it, but I was really happy to see that you didn't take it so far as to make it a metaphor, wrapped in a simile, masquerading as an allegory. It's probably more personal taste than anything, but I like how this wasn't poetic just to be poetic. There is something lyrical and rhythmic about the writing but without feeling self-indulgent.
I'm not sure what, if anyone or anything, you picture as the narrator here, and I like that you've left that open. For me, it almost felt like a very old Harry, perhaps sitting in a rocking chair in front of a fire, telling his great-grandchildren about those who came before. Not necessarily literally this scenario, but that's the vibe I got. The words are intimate and loving, but truthful... just like how someone these characters meant something to might speak (and I'm guessing maybe just a touch of yourself in there too). Using "you" outside of second person, or even with second-person POV, can be jarring, but I liked it here. Again, it built the intimacy and made me feel like I was being told a story by someone who really knows what they are talking about.
Each of the sections had some wonderful lines, but my favorites were whenever you addressed the darker side of the characters. It's hard to relate to people who are perfect, but people who make mistakes and try to overcome them are the ones I'm always the most interested in. Worrying about not being perfect isn't enough. You have to actually struggle against something dark and internal to really hit on that emotional investment. Here are just a few of my favorites:
-- It was either take a life, or give his own. And he wasn't willing to leave his Lily a widow, not just yet.
-- But if you were to ask him what his most memorable times here on earth were... he probably wouldn't even mention the wolf that growled at is back.
-- He'd tell you that he was terrified of the times when he could barely remember what James and Lily looked like when they laughed...
Really, this was a very unusual and touching one-shot. It's so clear from this and BTF that you have such a handle on these characters. Great job, Jami! Not that I expected anything less, of course :)Author's Response: I'm a review responding kick today!
First I have to say that I almost felt like I was cheating for being paired up with you. I'd end up reading After We Fall no matter what, because I'm already getting antsy not having a story to be obsessed with like I was Over The Edge. Secondly, I don't care that I feel like I'm cheating because I've been *really* curious to know what you'd think about this piece. I almost requested it right when I posted it, but I felt like with all the chapters I was piling on you for Before They Fall I should resist :P. So seeing us paired together made my day :P
I was thinking so much about losing all these guys at the end, and I got so sad. Haha. If you ever want to dump your excess Krum Rose feelings, feel free to fill up my PM box ;). It's so weird not waiting for another chapter of OTE.
This -- a metaphor, wrapped in a simile, masquerading as an allegory.
Look at me, reviewing your review, but I loved what you said ^. Haha. I'm finally becoming comfortable with realizing that I just don't enjoy writing millions of long winded similes all coated with description. And you've gone a long way into helping me realize that a writer not enjoying that doesn't make them any less good. Thank you for that ♥
I kind of pictured a different narrator for each part. Which is why i never wanted to tie it down to one. I know some people won't love that there isn't an exact narrator, but I'm happy that you like that I chose to leave it this way. For Lily's part, I imagined a much older lily, one that would have gotten the chance to age, talking to a much younger. Then James's, it was a group of elderly women in a cafe talking about him. Remus's was basically just himself in ghost form, floating alongside watching his life go by. Sirius's didn't have an image, and neither did Peter's. I think I got too emotional by that point to really think about anything other than what I wanted to say. I'm such a big baby :P
I'm so happy that you enjoyed this and liked my weird little style experiment. I felt really weird putting a piece up that I was so unsure about, but at the same time I was proud of myself for putting all these feelings I had into a story. And knowing that you think this experiment worked out makes me just want to hug you ♥
Thank you again for all of your amazing reviews ♥ I'm going to head over and drop AoC off at TGS, and I can't wait to get back to After They Fall. Though I'm going to have to remind myself that rose and krum will NOT be turning up somewhere in it :P. Report Review
First off, super big apologies for taking more than a week to get to this chapter. Shame on me! But I have gone through each of the concerns you listed and shall do my best to provide some helpful feedback... though I may hit on a few of them out of order.
I think the opening was perhaps a lot better than you think. I thought you did a perfect job of identifying each of the speakers. There was nothing choppy or confusing about who was speaking when. There were a pattern of formatting the dialogue tags the same way (ie., he/she said, making a physical gestures...) but it wasn't over the top, and it fell into a more relaxed rhythm once it was just the girls talking.
Speaking of... I didn't think there was too much girl talk at all. What teenage girl WOULDN'T be talking about this sort of thing with her friends? Personally, I'd much rather read a character discussing all this with her friends than have to wade through a long internal monologue where the character contemplates their relationship -- and not just in this story but any story. There is a fine line between using a conversation to ram information down a reader's throat and using a scene to move the story forward. We know Lily is close to her friends and this was a great way of showing us they now know what's going on between her and James AND to get some insight into how Lily is feeling post-kiss.
If I had any CC about the opening it would be that you might have been a bit slow to introduce the setting, especially with James's parents not having appeared in a chapter for a long time. I actually tucked back to the previous chapter to see if I'd missed/forgotten something. Of course, I should have just kept reading on, as you do state where they are about 100 words in, but those opening lines hang there a bit in space. If it was just James and Lily talking, or James and Sirius, my mind would have been better able to place the setting. They would (almost certainly) have been somewhere in or near the castle. But with William having the opening line, I'm left hanging a bit on any frame of reference for the first few lines of the scene.
I don't think skipping the match was a problem at all. Unless something happened during it that was going to be central to the plot moving forward, like Death Eaters arriving in the middle of the game or something, it's no different IMO than not depicting a class they attend, especially with it being an "end scene" kind of moment. If you'd picked up in the next sentence immediately after the match was over, it might have felt heavy-handed, but I thought it was perfectly fine as is.
You know I LOVE your Bellatrix, and it was so great to see her one-on-one with Voldemort. (And yay!! I finally got to see where that scene snippet you sent me fit into the story.) I thought you did a fantastic job with his character. I much prefer to see him in this cold, more detached way than as a raving lunatic, killing people left and right. And her almost sexual draw to him was totally creepy in the loveliest of evil ways. And I thought putting this scene in the middle of the chapter was fine, especially if the events overlap time-wise with the scenes before and after it.
The only thing that was a *tiny* bit confusing was that I didn't really know until afterward that this was all happening on the same day, so there is a little bit of that "hanging out there" feel again. From Bella's line, "I believe Alrek is informing me that both her and Potter, and only her and Potter, will be attending and staying at least a day for it," I know this is happening sometime after the opening scene, ie., after Alrek asks if Belle and Alice are going to the wedding too. But I kind of assumed the Bella/Voldemort scene was happening the next day or even farther down the road. It's a lot to have happened in the span of a few hours: Alrek sending the note, an owl needing to deliver it, Bella working out what it all means, her contacting Voldemort, him having and arraigning the time to meet with her, etc. Not impossible, of course, and it isn't an issue of it contradicted your timeline, but it was a surprise to find out that the last scene opened later the same night as scene one. I know Bella says the letter just arrived from Alrek, but there isn't really a reference to when Alrek sent the letter in relation to the opening scene. Maybe there is a way to make the overlap in time a bit more obvious to the reader...
The last scene felt totally natural!! You set the scene for public kissing (that sounds so silly as I'm typing it, but you know what I mean :P), and this follows up on it perfectly. James issues this challenge of sorts, and just as he's about to back down from it, Lily takes it one step further. It was a really sweet little back and forth for them.
I wouldn't ever know you had trouble writing this if you hadn't mentioned it. It's another really solid chapter. We know a bit more about where we are headed -- Christmas with the Potters, perhaps. And definitely trouble at the wedding. We feel like James and Lily are on track, and that hopefully Belle and Sirius aren't far behind. What more can you ask for from a chapter!? Speaking of chapters...
If you want to hit me up with AoC for the next two chapters at the same time, I'll try really hard to crank them out this weekend. No promises, but the weather is supposed to be crappy, so I'm preparing my stash of good stories to catch up on now :)Author's Response: Becky!! You have no idea how huge my smile gets when I click on a new review and see it's you. Well, you probably do know that because I'm sure I've told you :P
Don't apologize! I super apologize that I'm a bit over the top with my requesting. If you ever need me to back off, let me know ♥
That's what I kind of thought about the girl talk too. But for some reason people often seem to dislike girls being.. well.. girls in fan fiction. But it did seem appropriate to me that they'd dwell on it a bit. Because, like you said, they're teenage girls! Thanks for making me feel better about that. I was really second guessing myself.
I wondered if the setting did feel odd at first without really knowing why William was there until we get a few sentence down. I'll play around with that and see if I can get something that roots you to where we are right away. thank you ♥
Oh good, I'm glad the match-skipping didn't turn you off! I will write one eventually, but only one :P
Hahahah that's what I thought about when requesting this chapter! Was, yay it's finally the chapter that has the part I had questions about! Bellatrix really is fun to write. I hope I'll get an idea for a one shot for her someday or something, but right now just her little appearances in this are a lot of fun for me. And you saying you love how I write her as put me on cloud 9 ♥
I don't love when Voldemort is raging around all 'I'm going to murder every single person.' We do see him get angry sometimes, but for the most part we see him appear very calm while doing these terrible things. He's still a really intimating character for me to write, so I'm relieved you liked how he turned out in this section ♥
I was worried about that -- with how I didn't really make it clear exactly when this was. I think maybe I'll add an end of the last scene with Alrek actually leaving after faking ill so we'll see it. That way it would give us more immediate feeling of, wait, why's he leaving? Then Bella's scene, then 'ohhh!'... yeah, I think I'll try something like that. Thanks for getting my wheels turning ♥
The last scene was so scary! I didn't plan that, which is odd for me because I plan most of the stuff, so I always get nervous about the scenes that kind of pop up out of nowhere in my head, haha. I'm really happy you liked the public kiss ;)!
Aww Becky, I'd love to post the next two chapter AoC, but like I said, if I get to be a bit much just tell me ♥ I hope you can see improvement with each chapter, though, because I really take your advice to heart and want that to show.
Thank you again so much ♥. Also! I'm about to go in strike from the snow. Are you getting as insanely sick of it as I am?? Report Review
So I totally plan to keep reading CoB, but I really wanted to hop over and take a look at something you're still currently working on. Is this part of the same universe? I'm not sure I'm far along enough in CoB to know, but already this feels like a glimpse into the pre-CoB Draco.
I really liked how gritty this chapter started off -- that you didn't gloss over the unpleasant details of him getting sick. If this is going to be about redemption for Draco, it's obviously important to make the lows pretty low, and I'd say throwing up in an alleyway, abandoned by his friends, definitely qualifies. There were a few moments where Draco's self-awareness/ability to have deep thoughts seemed a bit at odds with how drunk he's supposed to be, but other than that, it really hits a strong note right out of the gate.
I love how the tables have been turned on Draco -- becoming the other, the one no one wants to have in their establishment. Payback is cruel, isn't it? But it sets a good precedent. If Draco is going to have any sort of change of heart, being forced to suffer (even in a small way) what he inflicted on others may be the only way to show him how wrong he was in the past.
But then the Aurors came. What a great line. So ominous. I don't know if you plan to elaborate on that, but it says a lot, and none of it good for the Malfoys. And the line about the coins being his "father's words." Brilliant. These little asides say more than ten paragraphs of narration. And wow, was Astoria reading his mind? Or did she just sense he'd been thinking about fleeing when she mentioned the fourth D?
I think you hit on an interesting point when Draco realizes that he's a living reminder of what they all just suffered through. The war is over but clearly these sorts of things don't just tie up in neat little bows at the end. I can't help but wonder, though, if he's latching on to the idea of Astoria here as a bit of a motivation for a change he knows is long in coming. He seems to have been taken with her incredibly quickly, especially for a girl he says he hardly remembers from school, so I wonder if there is more going on there.
I'll definitely be back soon to check out some more. The post-war Malfoys are such an interesting topic. It's so fun to read how different people imagine there place in the world after Voldemort's defeat.Author's Response: Hi! I definitely understand the desire to diversify, although I don't think I'll be moving on from Over the Edge until I've finished it.
So I haven't conducted rigorous studies to verify that this story and Marked are perfectly consistent with CoB, but yes, in my mind the three stories show Draco at three distinct phases of his life. Marked takes place after the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, when Draco is made a Death Eater in order to punish Lucius for his failure.
I try really hard not to gloss over anything in this story unless I absolutely have to for ToS reasons. It's a story about a guy who goes from extreme unhappiness to a much happier life, but with a lot of bumps in the road. The start of the story finds him at a very low point in his life. He basically has one foot in the gutter, and only his family's money and a strand of loyalty to his mother are keeping him from tumbling the rest of the way in. While he's at this point, he has what alcoholics refer to as a Moment of Clarity.
Payback is very cruel, indeed. And it isn't over yet...
I probably won't spend too much time going into what happened when the Aurors were questioning the Malfoys after the Battle of Hogwarts, since it's in the past, but you might see a memory or two.
Astoria doesn't read his mind so much as she just realizes that he's going to have to get home somehow. She's very practical that way, with a good head on her shoulders.
Draco is a living reminder of the war to everyone who sees him. It's a curse he will bear throughout this story. I tend to think that there were no "neat bows" for anyone who actually survived the war. Do not pity the dead; pity the living. ;) I think Draco initially sees Astoria as more of an ideal than a person. To him, it seems sort of like providence that she enters his life just as he's having this epiphany. Don't worry, they'll both have some time to explore whether he fancies her or just the idea that she represents.
I'm glad you liked it. It's been very challenging to write, mostly from the standpoint of trying to imagine all the various hurdles that the two of them would encounter along the way. The 2-year age difference is a particularly annoying detail to work around.
Thanks for reading and reviewing! Report Review
Hello again, p_c. I'm here with one of your staff reviews for the Review-A-Thon challenge.
I'm really enjoying the way you're continuing to develop Rose's character here. We get to see her interact with her friends, her parents and Scorpius -- each adding a little bit to our understanding of who she is. It's nice to see she has some dimension. On the one hand, she's clearly very close to Dom and Albus, and yet she's got a bit of an independent streak too, when she talks about not being free anymore to do what she wants to do when she wants to do it. And just as a funny coincidence, I have Albus marrying a girl named Amelia in one of my stories too!
Meeting the parents: yikes! That can be scary, though things seemed to go pretty well, all things considered. It's cute how you have Ron actually preferring Scorpius to Xander. It seems like he cares more about Rose being happy than an old childhood grudge. Obviously you hinted at the end that things weren't always perfect for Rose and Scorpius, but since everyone around her seems to think he's such a great guy, I can't help but wonder what finally drove them apart. Was it just the thing with Penny, or is there more to it...
It would be great to see some more of the present action, in addition to the flashbacks -- more of Rose getting ready for the wedding, more of her thoughts on Xander, etc. I'm actually rather curious about him. Clearly she's still hung up a bit on Scorpius, seeing as she's thinking a lot about him on her wedding day, so I can't help but wonder what kind of man Xander is in comparison.
If you're up for a little CC, I'd suggest focusing in on your use of run-on sentences. Throughout the chapter, there are a lot of long sentences held together by commas, but the comma isn't a strong enough form of punctuation to hold two or more complete sentences together. Of course, the comma is one of the hardest forms of punctuation to get right (I mess them up all the time), but if you focus on breaking up your long sentences into several smaller ones, they will not only be more grammatically correct, they will also make your story a lot more reader-friendly. I've pulled a few examples out to highlight what I mean:
-- I hated that fact, it wasn't my fault who my parents are, I didn't ask to receive their fame.
-- After all we all were pretty close, my parents and Uncle Harry used to call us the next generation of the Golden Trio, obviously without all the battling dark wizards and defeating Voldemort.
-- "You may have a good thing going on actually Dom, it's a lot less hassle, I mean remember the first time Scorpius met my parents, to say that was awkward would be an understatement," I said, and my thoughts drifted back to that eventful first meeting.
In the first sentence, each section before the comma is a complete sentence. That means you need more than a comma to string them together. You could use a semi-colon or a dash, or add in a conjunction, but as a general rule, if the sentence fragment can stand on its own as a sentence, a simple comma isn't enough. You could do something like:
-- I hated that fact; it wasn't my fault who my parents are, and I didn't ask to receive their fame. --OR-- I hated that fact. It wasn't my fault who my parents are. I didn't ask to receive their fame. --OR-- I hated that fact - it wasn't my fault who my parents are; I didn't ask to receive their fame.
The combinations are pretty endless, and the same is true for the other lines as well.
-- After all, we all were pretty close; my parents and Uncle Harry used to call us the next generation of the Golden Trio, but obviously without all the battling dark wizards and defeating Voldemort.
-- "You may have a good thing going on actually, Dom. It's a lot less hassle - I mean remember the first time Scorpius met my parents? To say that was awkward would be an understatement..."
Just remember that (most of the time) commas are not enough to hold together two complete sentences.
Thanks for selecting me as one of your staff reviewers, and thanks for participating in the Review-A-Thon. Best of luck with your story. It's already off to a great start!Author's Response: Hi, thank you for leaving such a detailed review!
I'm glad that you're liking Rose's character, as I feel she's such a complex one given what her parents are like! I'm glad that you picked up on the fact that they are in fact two sides to her, and she can be close, yet private at the same time.
That is a concidence! I didn't really think much about the name, it was the first which popped into my head, and it seemed approriate so I just went with it!
I'm glad that you liked that Ron and Scorpius got along. As I do think that Ron would be mature enough now, to put behind a school day enemy, and try and please his daughter. Yes everyone did seem to like Scorpius, and I can't really say what happened, as that will be revealed in the next chapter!
I do agree that in this chapter there isn't that much in the present tense, or that much related to the wedding. I'll go back and see what I can add in:)
Yes comma's are very tricky, and I never seem to get them right! Thank you for your suggestions on where to include some, or add some periods. It really helps, as it makes me realise where I should include them, so hopefully I can learn from it!
Thank you for such a great and helpful review! I really enjoyed the review-a-thon, and hopefully they'll be another one!
-Kiana :D Report Review
Hooray! I love me some good old-fashioned, door-busting, butt-kicking Weasley action. And it was great to see Hermione getting in on the fun too... even if a bit reluctantly. I know you were saying this was a tough chapter to write because of all the action, but it certainly didn't show. It was so well paced the chapter just seemed to fly by.
Gah! So many good one-liners too. I can't believe Hermione was able to hold her tongue when Ron pointed out the "big bull." Though it's a tie for me really between "It's a Weasley thing. You can't help yourself. We're contagious. Or infectious." -- AND -- "I thought you wore pink ironically!" Haha! Comedy gold.
I know it was just a passing detail but I loved the comment about the magical tobacco. I totally want to read something with that woven into the plot somehow. It does sort of have a "magical" quality about it on its own, and the smell would mask just about anything. I don’t know... it just got my wheels turning.
Another lovely chapter, my dear!Author's Response: Ah I get so happy when you review! There's a lot of Weasley butt-kicking in this chapter, and more in the next :) It was hard to write, I'm glad it reads well.
Ah the big bull. I can just pictured Ron's dopey grin when he saw that thing, and Hermione is focused on other things so she's impatient with him instead of taking the opportunity to snark at him XD I really enjoyed writing the conversation between Rose and Hatchcock there. Poor guy. He really has no idea what he got himself into.
I think magical tobacco would wind up used like coffee is for drugs. It would have to have a lot of charms on it, and then the smell, well. Good camouflage for contraband.
Thank you so much for reviewing! *hugs* Report Review
Hi, aqua. Thanks for replying to my status post.
I don't get a chance to read this pairing very often, so I hope you don't mind that I picked this one to review.
This was definitely a very emotional one-shot. You really tapped into a wide range of feelings in a relatively short space. The characterization of Teddy was very different from the way I usually see him portrayed, and it's really nice to see authors put their own spin on different characters. He was incredibly dark here, very selfish and possessive. It was nice to see you give him some depth beyond just "being in love." Though with that dark side, I was glad to see Dom push back and not accept that sort of behavior from him. She must have feelings for him or they wouldn't be having an affair, but it was good to see her willing to do something to make herself happy.
I did notice some grammatical errors that made the story a bit hard to read at times. I won't point them all out here since I'm not sure if you already have a Beta you plan on sending this to, but here are two repeating issues I noticed in a couple of spots throughout the chapter: (1) When a character is addressing another character by name, you need to include a comma before the name (and after if it's in the middle of the sentence). For example, the line "I am getting married Teddy Remus Lupin and you cannot do anything about that" should have a comma before Teddy and after Lupin. (2) When you have a thought that ends in an exclamation point or question mark, you don't need the comma too. For example: I proved you wrong!, he thought, should be either: I proved you wrong! he thought; or I proved you wrong, he thought; or even simple I proved you wrong (since the italics already tell the reader this is something Teddy is thinking). But you don't need both.
Thanks again for replying to my post and sharing your story with me!Author's Response: Hey!
Thanks for reviewing!
I did go in and fix the things you mentioned! I wasn't sending this to a Beta so thank you for pointing the problems out =)
Glad you liked Dom and Teddy haah
Hi, Cleo. Thanks for replying to my status update. I read the first chapter but wanted to make sure to review this one since it didn't have any yet.
This story is off to a very interesting and exciting start. It's obviously too early to tell what all is going on, but it definitely very intriguing. I like the idea of switching back and forth in time between chapters. It can be hard to pull off but for something with this much action, I have a feeling it will turn out to be a very effective style. And even before seeing your author's note, I could tell that's what you'd done between chapters one and two and thought it worked really well.
This chapter was super intense, though I loved the way it started out more slow and creepy before moving into the heart-thudding action. The idea of Albus's vacant eyes, it sent me straight back to that moment in GoF when Harry runs into Krum in the maze. And the abandoned church is such an eerie and sinister setting. And this terrible creature -- where did it come from? What does it want? How can it control people? And what can Malfoy do to help? So many questions! And having Albus re-awaken only to be killed a moment later was both terrible and unexpected. It would have been so much less cruel if he hadn't known what was happening -- but this was definitely more powerful.
You had some great lines throughout. I think one of my favorites was: As if welcoming back an old friend, the green ward burned up excitedly. I occasionally leave CC recommending authors scale back on the adverbs, but the use of 'excitedly' here was perfect. It absolutely helped personify the ward, making it all that more terrifying.
I really enjoyed reading your first two chapters. You are definitely off to a running start. There were a few typos here and there, but I'm sure you'll get those fixed once you send this off to your Beta. Otherwise, it was a great read. Thanks again for replying to my post. Report Review
This is my 200th review! (Well, not really, since I've left a lot of reviews on stories that have since been deleted, but close enough...) And I couldn't think of any story I'd rather leave it on :)
Wow, this chapter is a rollercoaster of emotion, isn't it? I'll just start at the top and work my way through. I really enjoyed the opening scene between the boys. I know I've mentioned it many times before, but I just love the interplay between them. Their relationships with each other are just as dynamic as any romance, and the back-and-forth here was great fun to read. They really all do have very strong personalities, and at times, you know that's bound to cause conflict. Of course, what they are fighting over all comes from a place of caring and protection, but they argue nonetheless.
You mentioned the Dumbledore/McGonagall scene in your post... I think I've mentioned before that I like the way you portray both characters, and that stands for this chapter too. Of course, I doubt under normal circumstances, the Headmaster and Deputy Headmistress would meet personally with students over an injured animal, but we already know the Order has their eye on these two, and I suspect Dumbledore might already have a few ideas on what might be going on at his school, even if he doesn't care to share them here. In terms of James's worry about his parents, I think he rationalizes his desire to keep them safe by lying to them very well. I do wonder a bit though why Dumbledore is so quick to agree to it. James is young so it may not occur to him, but wouldn’t not telling the Potters at least something about what happened actually leave them at risk?
The letter from Petunia wasn't at all what I was expecting. I must have forgot that Lily had used it so I was expecting it to be for James. And while that might have actually been really fun to read, this makes a lot more sense, and I thought it worked really well. I like the way you continue to develop her and Lily's relationship. It's easy to just say they hate each other and leave it at that, but family is never that simple, right? Petunia still gets to take the high-ground here, making it sound like she's doing Lily the favor by allowing her to come to the wedding (and not missing a chance to through in a few jabs about the way Lily looks or the date she might bring), but clearly Lily knows her sister well enough to see this letter for the peace-offering it really is. Sibling relationships are complicated and I think you do this one a lot of justice by having them retain some (even if partially reluctant) contact.
And now to the kiss (but first, thank you for the lovely compliment in your review request -- though I won't pretend to be an expert on writing romance by any stretch of the imagination). James and Lily is a hard ship to write (IMHO) because you don't have the luxury of will-they/won't they. We already know that unless the story is totally AU, the definitely WILL. So that only leaves you with when and how. I think you totally set the tone for the whole scene to unfold early on with James's line:
Sure, he'd spent years telling her he was mad for her, but back then it was her waves of cinnamon hair and the way she smiled that caught his attention. What he felt then was nothing compared to the way he felt about her now.
That's the perfect WHEN... when James is at the point where he loves Lily for who she is, not how pretty she looks or how nice she is to others. Of course, James has been super supportive of her throughout the story, and not at all shallow in his feelings, but that was a really sweet moment, a great set-up for what follows.
In a zoomed-out view, I thought you did a great job with capturing the range of emotions, as you said, moving from the talking, to the wanting, to the kissing, and then to the worrying. I thought the light touches of humor in the lead-up were lovely -- Lily's line "He thinks he's so big and tough, but you’re tougher, aren't you?" was too adorable! And I thought the following was the most honest-feeling moment of the entire scene:
"If it helps, I can count the girls I've kissed on one hand."
"And the girls you've..."
"On one finger."
Simple but full of meaning -- perfectly executed!
If I can critique anything, it might be that the scene lacked a little tension, or a total sense of immediacy that often comes with a first kiss. It didn't feel like James was ever quite able to get out of his own head and just be in the moment. He almost got there with lines like:
-- Every part of him that was saying he couldn't let this happen, she wasn't ready for the next step, became drowned out by the sound of his heart pounding in his ears.
-- All of the warmth that their hug had held, all of the tension that was forever pulsing between them, gave way to a heat that James could have only dreamed about feeling.
But there is still a more intellectual feel here as opposed to just letting go and living the moment. I totally agree that they would immediately discuss what just happened -- that's just the kind of couple they are. But that also serves to cut the tension. Maybe even just making the sentences in the kiss a bit shorter would ratchet up that exact instant of the kiss all that much more. For a second, maybe they could just be two teenagers snogging. I think they deserve it :P
Well, no surprises here, but this is another wonderful chapter. I can't wait to see where we go next!Author's Response: Thank you so much for stopping by to leave your 200 ♥
Your comment about their relationship being just as dynamic as a friendship made my day. I really want to show how important they are to each other. They weren't just the kind of friends you meet in school and enjoy hanging out with occasionally. I was about to go onto a ramble about how they'd have died for each other, even Peter at this point would have, but I realized I'd get all feelsy so I'm not moving on. Haha.
My head canon reason for Dumbledore not getting involved and telling James's parents is that he almost wants to test James. Not exactly like that... but he knows in about seven months, he's going to be asking this boy to become part of the order and he's giving him the respect of a man, even if he's still closer to a boy. Another reason is honestly just that I don't want the Potters involved much more, or they might as well just be apart of the Order. Haha. but the first reason sounds better :P
I regret not making the letter Lily sent to Petunia more noticeable. It's mentioned in two chapter, but briefly. The last mention of it is chapter 11 when James offers to send Beowulf back to Petunia's... maybe I can try and make that stand out more?
I'm so happy you liked the letter. There's too much canon evidence that they didn't just stop talking for good. With her being at the wedding and the vase she sent them for Christmas... so i really want a relationship, though a very fragile one, to be evident. And I really just want to keep reading this review again and again. Haha. I'm over here smiling at every new thing you say.
No ones pointed out that scene yet! The 'one one hand/on one finger' one, and I'm so happy you did because it feels like such an important part to me! haha. It was important for me not to make James completely innocent, but also far from a womanizing thing. I'm so happy you pointed it out, I was worrying that I'd made the meaning too subtle.
I like the idea of letting him just get to 'let go' and enjoy for a few seconds before they go into freak out mode... I'll definitely play with it a bit.
Thank you so much for your always insightful reviews ♥
What a great idea for a story! I've seen a few WWII-era stories before but they usually involve/focus on Grindelwald. I can't recall reading much about occupied France. It definitely reminds me of a certain Quentin Tarantino film with a non-12+ title.
You really did an amazing job stitching together a lot of scenes. It could have easily been overwhelming for the reader, especially with you introducing all these new characters, but your style really pulled everything together. And having all the characters converge (either physically or through reference) at the end really brings it all together nicely.
I loved the voice you used in this chapter. It was straight to the point but without sacrificing style. My favorite sections were Johanna's scene, with the sort of gritty, scandalous feel, and Simon's scene. The description of his soup as "two slices of rutabaga chasing each other in lukewarm water" was perfect. But each of the scenes completely held their own. And while it's still too early to feel like I "know" all these characters, it was great to see you give each of them a different motivation for fighting with the Resistance and showing the differing ways they are handling it emotionally.
Overall, this was a really strong introduction to what I'm sure will be a very interesting story. Thanks for replying to my forum post. I'm really glad I had a chance to read this.Author's Response: Hello!
Yes, that particular movie is part of my inspiration sources, though more for CIs than for the actual plot -- I found the movie a little stomach-churning, so I'm not going to use it too much.
What I love about this story is being able to see things through several eyes. So far, nobody seems to have the same favourite passage, which I find great because it's a real challenge for me to make sure this continues.
Thank you for this review, I'm really glad I got a chance to recieve it! Report Review
Hi, peanuts. Thanks for replying to my status update.
First, congratulations on posting your first story! I remember how terrified I was the first time I posted something. And to do it with a challenge like this? That's extra brave. It's easy to ramble on and on, but to write something that's short AND meaningful is really a feat.
Overall, I thought you managed to pack a lot of punch into just a few hundred words. You dived right in and were really able to tap into the emotion right away. The idea itself was really well suited to the challenge. I think a lot of people can relate to going around in circles in a relationship, so you don't really need a ton of backstory to sympathize with the characters and really feel for what they are going through.
The writing itself was also very solid. I don't know if you've been writing for a long time and just not posting stories here, but this certainly didn't read like the work of a novice author. I really enjoyed your use of the short, stylized sentences throughout.
The only bit of CC I can think to offer is technical rather than content related. Just make sure to watch out for the formatting of your dialogue. For example, with the first sentence as written, it makes it seem like the SHE that is smiling is also the one who is speaking (also, it should be a period after night, not a comma since what follows isn't a dialogue tag). Usually when you group dialogue and action like that, the reader is meant to infer that the person doing the action is also the one speaking. Also, be careful with the semi-colons. They are usually used to link two complete sentences together, but in a few places, you have them linking sentence fragments, in which case a comma, dash or colon would be more appropriate.
Thanks again for replying to my post. This was a great read. I hope you plan on posting on the site again soon! Report Review
Thanks so much for replying to my post. When I saw this Ron/Hermione story on your page, I just couldn't pass it up. I've got a soft spot for this pairing, especially when it's fluffy. And your 50th story? That's amazing. Congratulations!
This really was super adorable. Of course Hermione would stress over her wedding. Knowing her character, she'd probably have been a mess even if things had gone as planned, but with all the last minute disasters? Yikes! But of course Ron saves the day. Hermione should know better than to be surprised by how much he loves her and will come through for her in the end, but she never seems to learn. I can totally imagine her still having trouble believing he's capable of pulling this sort of thing together.
My favorite part was when Ron said he NEEDED Hermione to sit with him. It was very touching to imagine him sort of pleading with her, reminding her that this whole wedding was about the two of them and not about all the planning. It was a very sweet moment.
I only have one little bit of CC. There were a few sentences where you had some fragments held together by commas, but the sentences as a whole weren't totally grammatically correct. One quick example: Rationality had landed her in this predicament, if thinking outside of the box, even boarding on slightly insane thoughts, got her out then so be it. You really need a semi-colon after predicament, or else another word like so or but before the if. Aside from a couple of similar sentences, everything else read nice and clean.
Thanks again for replying to my post. I'm really glad I had a chance to read this. Report Review
Hello there. The link you left as a reply to my status didn't work so I hope you don't mind that I picked this story to review.
Wow, what a twist. Here I am, plugging along, thinking about all the cute and fluffy goodness that is James and Lily, and then bam! It's not James thinking all this at all. It's Remus. I didn't see that coming. I love stories that catch you by surprise and this one totally did for me.
That said, there was still a lot of loveliness here. You really made it clear how much Remus cares for Lily -- that he loves her just as much as James does. How bittersweet. And your descriptions themselves were really well done. I could practically see the light filtering in through the stained-glass windows. You did a great job of marrying (no pun intended!) the details and the emotion throughout.
I think my favorite part was actually when Sirius whispered in his ear. It was sweet when I thought it was James, but looking back, knowing he was talking to Remus, made it all kind of heartbreaking. Poor Remus, wanting deep down for his friend to understand what he's going through.
The only small bit of CC I can think to offer is to maybe scale back a bit on the abundant use of semi-colons. They are a pretty strong form of punctuation and can be a bit distracting when used so frequently. I think in some cases you might have better flow if you used sentence fragments mixed in just for more variety.
Other than that, this is a really great read. It packs a surprising amount of emotion for a relatively short piece.Author's Response: Hello! First off, I'd like to apologize for the delay in responding to this review; RL has not been my friend recently. (And it's completely fine that you picked this story to review; the link was meant to go to my author's page anyway.) :)
Heh. It's great to hear that you liked the twist and that it was successful in surprising you!
Thank you so much - I was really worried about writing the Remus/Lily ship, as James/Lily is my OTP, so it's always pleasing to hear that I wrote Remus in a way that was believable. XD And it's great to hear that you liked the descriptions!
I absolutely agree with you - that is one of my favourites too, even though it was one of the hardest to write for me considering I always feel bad about breaking poor Remus' heart.
Ah, semi-colons. I'm working on reducing them and using more brevity in my sentences, and I plan to revisit this one-shot some time to re-edit. But thank you for pointing the issue out! :)
I'm glad to hear that you like this story! Thank you for reviewing! Report Review
Hi, pc. Thanks for the post on my status update. One shiny new review headed your way...
I was really excited to see that this was a Next-Gen story. That's absolutely my favorite era to read. And what a great point in time to kick off your story, the last few minutes before Rose's wedding! I love the idea of starting a ScoRose story just before Rose is about to marry someone who ISN'T Scorpius. You've already got me wondering how these two will find their way back to each other and what drove them so far apart.
You've made a lot of interesting character choices here too. Rose clearly feels a lot of pressure to be perfect, and Scorpius isn't at all the carbon-copy of Draco he's often portrayed as. It's great that you're adding your own twist to a common pairing. And I loved the mention of the "hat stall." What a cute term!
It was great to see you working to weave in some backstory without just providing a list of everything Rose has gone through in the past. I would say that it isn't really necessary to italicize the moments since it's really clear all on its own that these are Rose's reflections, due mostly to the switch to past-tense. There were also a few instances where you were missing some commas, and also had some where they weren't needed, but otherwise the chapter read pretty cleanly.
Thanks again for replying to my post. Good luck with the rest of your story!Author's Response: Hello AW thank you for the much appreciated shiny review ;D
I'm glad that you liked the idea of the story starting on Rose's wedding, I thought it would be a fun twist especially as the person she's about to marry isn't Scorpius! I was wondering whether that would annoy people, so I'm glad that you liked it!
I'm glad that you liked the character choices, I tried to alter them from the usual ones we tend to see in the next gen era, so I'm glad that you liked it.
Unfortunatly I can't claim credit to the 'hat stall', that came off of Pottermore as Hermione and Neville suffered from one. I thought it would be a fun addition to include, and I'm glad that you noticed it, as no one else had!
Yes someone commented on the italics, now that I think about it, I'll probably remove them, as you don't really need them. It's just I've read stories where you suddenly jump to the past without realising and I didn't want that to be the case in this one:)
Commas! The bane of my life! Every time I think I finally sorted them out, they appear again! I'll have another read through and attempt to place them more approriatly, but knowing me it sill won't work!
Thank you for the lovely review, it was really helpful! Report Review
Guess who? Oh wait, it's just me...
Your story blah? Not possible. One of my favorite things about the HP books was reading all about the classes and spells. It gives the world depth. I love that you continue that tradition in your story. And you don't just give a list of information. You use the scenes to develop the characters, and that's never pointless.
I thought the spells and potions themselves were all very creative. I especially liked the detail in the potions class, and the bits with the Water Egg. That felt so very in line with the HP world. And then when Lily mentioned considering becoming a Healer, it put both the Tachycardia Curse and this healing potion in a very interesting perspective. It made Healing feel more like being a muggle doctor.
And I thought you really had another theme besides classes running throughout this chapter: the romantic relationships of the characters moving forward. There was the reference to Frank becoming less odd once he started dating Alice (too cute). The bit about the intimacy between Belle and Sirius, even while doing something as mundane as potion brewing was perfect. And the line about Belle wanting the baby being more about wanting love than Christophe was heartbreaking and incredibly insightful.
And of course, the almost date for James and Lily. What a huge step for her to invite him to Slughorn's party. And yet it felt very real. It was a "safe" invitation. She had a real reason to ask him, there would be lots of other people there, etc. It felt like a good step in the right direction for Lily, but still in character (as opposed to her out of the blue inviting him someplace romantic). And then for him to say no? That was a shock, but then you followed it up with the only plausible reason he would decline a date: to help his mates. It was subtle, but there was definitely a real push forward for a lot of the characters.
Oh, and the offhand references to Severus? Loved it! You know I have a soft spot for Snape/Lily, and I love the idea that she learned a few things from him, even if most of her potions talent is all her own. I love the idea that people *think* her affinity for the class has something to do with him. It makes me think that maybe Snape thought the same thing -- that potions was something they could share.
Can I just say how much I loved the interaction between James and the boys in this chapter? The immature and slightly crude comments were so perfect for a bunch of teenage boys. I know they've all been through a lot in their lives and are a bit more mature because of it, but still, they ARE still teenage boys!
And the cliffhanger? I loved that too. So unexpected. What does Petunia want with James, and who would attack his owl over something so mundane?
I have to admit, I'm not totally sure what you meant about pointless things in your review request. Do you mean in the physical descriptions or in the larger details? Let me know for the next review (or just PM me) and I'll be happy to comment on either or both!
Okay, and since I promised to be nit-picky this time to make up for the last review, I did notice a handful of typos. Otherwise, another lovely chapter, my dear.
-- Lily's thoughts returned to the present, causing her to stifled a yawn and sit up straighter (stifle)
-- She didn't have the same ability to instal fear in someone the way Belle did (instill)
-- That was enough to ruin every bit of control the boys had managed maintain (*to maintain)
-- She went slowly, forcing her fingers to stay as steady as a a surgeon's while the thin (delete one a)
- Potions wasn't her strongest subject, which was understandable considering Beauxbatons had focused more on the theories of potions, what maked something do what in a potion (made)
-- the fact that Belle had almost been the mother a past lover's baby (*of a past lover's)
-- Lily whispered to James as Slughurn started at the first table to look over the potions (Slughorn)
-- James and Sirius had never attended one of Slughorn's gathers though (gatherings)
-- She knew before she opened her mouth that she was about to do wouldn't playing fair.. but she had no other choice. (wouldn't be playing or wasn't playing; also, the ellipsis needs one more dot)
-- "We're going to drop our stuff off in the Heads' Quarters." Lily said in response to his curious look. (comma after quarters)Author's Response: Just you?? Yeah right. You deserve your own theme song.
I was afraid I got a bit carried away with the classes. I'm happy that you felt like it fit in with the HP world and that it didn't bore you to death. I had a lot of fun exploring Lily's mind when she's just doing something like trying to get through a long day.
I'm so happy you picked up on all the story of... backdrops of this chapter. On my outline it says, 'Show Belle and Sirius getting closer. Slughorn Halloween Party. Abigail struggling to maintain a position with the 'in' Slytherins. Werewolf time.' So I sort of figured getting them all in classes together was the best way to go about it, and indulge my obsession with pretending I go to Hogwarts :P
I had a lot of fun writing the boys' scene. Sometimes I like those better than Lily and James ones. When they aren't all tainted by their involvement of the war, before they've ever had to imagine killing someone... ugh. They were just such a perfect group of friends, you know? And getting to try and explore that is so much fun for me.
I think I just meant does this whole chapter feel pointless, haha. But you've eased my fears about that ♥
I'm going in to edit the typos right now, thank you so much ♥
Thank you for all your amazing reviews, Becky ♥ I love how you pick on absolutely everything. And now I'm going to stalk over to your request form mwaha. ♥
Rose's reflections on her dad are priceless. One minute she's thinking how much safer she feels with him around, and the next she's questioning his sanity. That's so Ron. He isn't the first person you'd think of calling in a crisis, but he always manages to come through in the end. And him goochy goo-ing Ramses while talking about being barely avoiding being murdered is the best mental image of the chapter.
Sometimes I don't know whether to feel sorry for Scorpius or not. Sometimes I think he must feel a little down on himself that he can't be more helpful in these situations, but he also seems content to just go along for the ride, knowing what his strengths are and not fretting about weaknesses, which, of course, only makes me like him all the more. And knowing that Rose knows he'd go down fighting for the baby makes me want to give a big old aw!
Yay for more Mimi! She's a hoot. "She's probably got better mothering instincts than I do." Oh, the irony! You've just got to love a good drag queen.
It seems to me like we are heading for a showdown. I can't wait!Author's Response: Hahaha... oh Rose, she does love her dad but also thinks he's nuts. She's a lot like him. Ron goes from "my wife is awesome" to "my wife is insane" in the flip of a switch. Clearly it's genetic. And Ron and his grandson XD Yeah I had fun with that.
Scorpius knows he's not a fighter, and that someone has to take care of the baby. He wouldn't be at the final showdown either way, if they hadn't had Ramses or not, because it's just not him. I think keeping Ramses safe is a big enough job that he'd feel like he's helpful enough, even though he doesn't fight. I kind of feel sorry for him for ever getting involved with Rose ;)
I had to bring Mimi back. She's just way too good a character to let her go in one chapter! haha. I do love drag queens. Drag brunch is the greatest thing ever.
Showdown coming soon! Thank you for reviewing :) Report Review
Hello again. Back to sneak in another quick review before the end of the month.
Another really great chapter. In fact, I thought this one was even better than the first. Right away, I liked Archibald. You really did a wonderful job of interlacing his back story in with his present actions. And I love the idea that he still has the family Slytherin traits, even if he lacks the magical abilities. The idea of working with the paranormal division is really interesting too. I love the idea of these sorts of covert fringe divisions being used during times of (or leading up to) war.
I'm not usually drawn to stories that change POV a lot, but I thought it really worked well here and imagine (even though I don't read it myself so I'm not 100% sure) it's probably a perfect fit for the genre. It gives the reader glimpses of all the moving parts and allows them to try and guess how they'll all fit together in the end.
I thought you did a great job humanizing Anastasia here. Sure, she's working for the enemy, but you can feel compassion for her given her background and her general desire just to make it out of all this alive. Duncan too really leaps off the page as a new character. I wasn't sure where the scene was headed at first, but it was great to see how it all tied back in with Archibald's brother at the end. And the Rotten Haggis?! As if haggis isn't already kind of gross.
The only thing I noticed CC-wise were a few rather lengthy sentences towards the start of the chapter. The one that starts, "He quickly rounded..." and "Judging by his stature..." in particular. They aren't run-ons really, but it is a lot of description to swallow in one gulp. Just perhaps something to look out for.
Overall, I'm defiantly intrigued. I'll try and drop by for one more chapter before the 1st if I can.Author's Response: Thanks for another great review, and my apologies for taking far too long to respond to it.
The squibs we see in the books like Filch always seem to end up taking dead end jobs in the magical world, but I can imagine that with at least some elements of magical abilities, they could have major advantages if they chose to pursue a muggle career, and that's something I'd love to see explored some more.
Tom Clancy's books are what first got me into this genre, and he uses the switching POV technique a lot, which is probably where I learned it from. As you mentioned, it seems to be the easiest way to tie the different storylines together.
I was hoping to give Anastasia a little more depth here than the femme fatale stereotype that she probably came off as last chapter, and Duncan is a character from my other story that I wanted to find a way to use again, so hopefully he fits in well.
Thanks again for a great swap! Report Review
I've got to say, I don't know why you were nervous about this chapter. You know I love your Bellatrix, so I was sold on this from the start. Everything after that was just going to be the cherry on top of this very evil sundae.
As you can already guess, I really loved the opening scene. It was fun to spend a few more minutes with the "others." Of course, we knew Alrek was up to something, but it was great to see it finally confirmed, and to see how deeply involved he is in what's going on. And I loved the references to both Snape and the use (or lack thereof) of the Vanishing Cabinets. You always think to include these little canon details that I wouldn't have noticed were missing, but really enrich the story with their inclusion. I mean, of course, the cabinets! They were all the rage during the first war. It makes sense he'd have asked about why they didn't use one.
You mentioned Voldemort's motivation for going after James and Lily, and I think you hit the nail on the head when you said we'll probably never really know for sure. And even if we did, it might not be all that logical. He clearly isn't the most rational villain every, or he wouldn't have allowed himself to be so singularly focused on Harry. But I do think you made a good argument for at least one reason he might have singled them out, especially while they are still so young and seemingly a non-threat. The best answer to me was what Bellatrix said on the matter: Enough about why. Your mission is not to analyze the Dark Lord's orders. I imagine more of the Death Eaters were focused on (a) establishing a society where they could assume their rightful place at the top, and (b) not winding up dead themselves. If Voldemort says a few teenagers need killed in the process, what's it to them, really?
Okay, enough about all that. On to the meat of the chapter!
First, I'll say up front, I VERY much liked the way you mixed the memories in with the dialogue. If you weren't going to go them same route as you did with Sirius's accident, it was really almost a must here. Otherwise, you would have been looking at an incredibly long monologue. Personally, I prefer this style to a full-on flashback. I don't "know" these other characters from Belle's past, so having them suddenly pop up in a flashback I think might have diminished the impact of what Belle was saying. It's not only about what happened to her that's important. It's this moment, opening up and sharing it with her friends that is part of the emotion of the scene, something you'd lose in a flash to the past. Using these sorts of lucid memories breaks up the actual talking, but it also gives the reader the sense that all of this is still very raw for Belle. She can still feel those moments, not just remember them. To me, at least, I didn't think they broke up the flow one little bit.
Gah! You're going to make me comment on the emotions, aren't you? Okay, fine. I'll give it a go, but no promises it will make any sense.
The most emotional part of her story for me really wasn't Belle's expulsion from the family, or even her losing the baby, but Christophe's denial that they'd ever been intimate. For me, that was the real knife through the heart. I don't know if that's just my personal take on the situation, but teenagers love hard sometimes, and I can imagine Belle "dealing" with the rest, even the rejection by her family. But that sort of disownment by him is gut wrenching. Of course, even if he'd stayed by her side, there wasn't going to be a happy ending here, but how does someone walk away from that sort of betrayal and ever trust again? It also felt like one of the most authentic reactions to the situation I've seen portrayed on this site in a long time. People seem to like to imagine that these young boys would step up to the task, do the right thing, when this probably a lot closer to the reality of it all.
Phew! Okay, I gave it a shot there, but once I get all the feels going, I know that's my cue to jet. Though I just realized, I didn't really offer you any CC. I guess I'll just have to double-nitpick next time to make up for it :PAuthor's Response: Ahhh. What am I supposed to do? I just want to fail around all bubbly. That's all. I'm way past cloud nine. I have to go to the gym as soon as I finish responding to this, and this review may be enough to get me through without wanting to throw a weight at someone.
I'm copy and pasting your review into a pages document so I make sure to reply to everything.
This chapter is one of those that I just feel like has so much important stuff, and those ones always get me all anxious. I'm not sure what Bellatrix would think about being referred to as an evil Sunday... hahahaa
I wondered if the Vanishing Cabinet would seem too convenient for some people, but it just made sense to me. Like you said, they were all the rage in the first war. And the cabinet that Peeves dropped when distracting... Filch I think? was the vanishing one, which is why it was broken when Draco tried to use it. So we know it was around the school for a while... AND how sweet to think of Auntie Bellatrix slipping the idea to use the Vanishing Cabinet into Draco's mind. Anyway, I'm so happy you thought that it made sense.
With Voldemort -- Exactly! Instead of figuring out more way to try and really control the world and own the wizards and witches in it, and just keeping an eye on Harry, he focused all of his attention on killing him. Come on, Voldy, didn't anyone ever to tell you not to put all you eggs in one bucket? Or.. something like that :P
Ahh I'm so happy that all felt okay! I really wanted to get the rawness of it all with, like you said, the feelings of Alice and Lily and Belle all going through it together. Or talking about going through it. And I'm SO happy you said that about Christophe. You and Sirius may be thinking along the lines. Well, not in this chapter because he obviously don't know, but in chapter 17 :P.
I don't mind the good teenage pregnancy drama, but I do get sick of seeing these young male characters half freaking out, then just going along with it. A lot of boys, especially boys like Christophe who have been born into an privilege and have never been held accountable for their actions, have no reason to think they'd need to stand up for what they did. He knew his parents wouldn't want the shame and would believe him just as much as he knew the people in his school would sink their teeth into the story he made about Belle. I end up getting pretty emotional while writing that whole part out. I just felt so bad for her :(.
AND I LOVE making you comment on emotions! I'm going to have to do that more, aren't I? heheh jk. But like I mentioned, this chapter really did worry me so I'm extremely happy that you liked it. And if I could think of any better ways to say how happy and thankful I am for your amazing reviews, I would use those ;) .
AND my 'favorites list' just told me you updated :O! Today is my lucky day!!
Hi, Cassius. I'm here for the TGS review swap!
I knew from having seen more than a few chapters of Their Finest Hour pass through the queue that you have a knack for historical fiction, so I'm really glad I'm gitting the chance to read this story. I haven't read a lot of cold-era fiction myself, so I can't really comment on the genre as a whole, but it already seems like it's to be a great backdrop for this story.
You really hit the ground running with this chapter. Vladimir is just a rich character already. His personality seems a perfect match for the harsh wintery landscape around him; cold and unforgiving. But it was also great to see some familiar names here as well. It will be interesting to see how you weave it all in with canon. Since we don't know a lot of details about this era in the HP world, it seems like you'll have lots of room to play.
There were some really great details throughout. I really liked the line:
"...the expression in her light blue eyes was colder then the Russian winter itself."
And the mention of Rasputin was fantastic. He was already known as a mystic in his time, so not such a far leap from there to being a wizard. Someone needs to write that fanfic, if it doesn't already exist.
The only CC I can think to offer here is that there seemed to be a lot of backstory, especially right at the beginning, but it certainly picked up steam once they reached the compound.
I'll definitely be back to read a few more chapters before the swap is over, so until then... :)Author's Response: Hey thanks for swapping!
This era is one of my favorite genres for both books and movies, so I kind of always wanted to try my hand at it. And it's also a pretty unknown era in HP canon, so it was a lot of fun to imagine what it may have been like.
Vladimir is kind of a transitional villain for the era between Grindelwald and Voldemort (kind of like Count Dooku I guess if you're familiar with star wars) We don't really know what was going on in canon then, and while there may not have been something on the level of Voldy, I can't imagine things were totally quiet.
Doesn't it totally make sense that Rasputin would have been a wizard? And that would be a really interesting story to write...
I kind of struggles with how much backstory to include so that the reader would understand the characters and setting, but without making it seem like a history book, so hopefully it turns out ok in the long run.
Dun, dun, duuun!
Sorry, I couldn't resist. You know things are getting good when bombs start exploding. Another excellent chapter, as always. It was nice to see a little more of Scorpius in this chapter, and to see that his showcase is going well. The interview part was excellent too. You covered a lot but it moved so smoothly. Rose was kind of on a roll in there.
And of course, yea for more hero Ron! I loved how he took charge as soon as the explosion happened without a second thought, and how insightful he was after the interview. I think the two of them should open up the Weasley Detective Agency or something. Oh, and I totally laughed at the cosplay reference -- though in the middle of NYC, I doubt most people would even give them a second look :PAuthor's Response: Hehehe. Yep, it's definitely a dun dun DUN moment there. I love a cliffhanger. Well, I love writing them, I hate when tv shows do them ;) Bombs never go amiss in a mystery story, I feel. And yeah, time to revisit Scorpius's plotline, poor guy, Rose forgets all about him when she's focused on a case.
Ron is good at his job, which is lucky for Rose since this isn't exactly like skip-tracing, more like investigation. And I think he and Hermione would be all over clearing the guests out of the hotel after the bomb. Take-charge sort of couple there. I think most New Yorkers would ignore them, yeah. lol. But not the tourists, and New York is always full of tourists. Thank you for reviewing! Report Review
Hello again. Stopping back in for another chapter.
You had some really great details in this one. The bit about the flames dancing across the logs was nice way to draw in the reader right from the start. And you're continuing to do a great job with the characters. Of course Slughorn would have had the house elves decorate for him, and of course Hermione wouldn't approve. Cormac was really well done here too. I like how you mentioned him sort of parading her around the party, like she was some sort of trophy. That does seem the sort of thing he would do.
The bit with the mistletoe was great. I love the idea that it traps people in place until they kiss. And the thought of Cormac just sort of stuck there on his own was too funny. I wonder who had to kiss him to set him free.
And it was good to see Malfoy again at the end, knowing this will eventually be a Dramione. It will be interesting to see how you eventually bring them together. Report Review
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