It's me at last! :)
I noticed you were worried about religious themes! I don't think that's something you need to worry about, though I've totally been there. I was nervous when I posted my one-shot with religious themes, but in the end, I got pretty positive responses to it. I'm really excited that you chose a religious song for this challenge; I thought it was a pretty brave endeavor.
To begin with, I absolutely love the way that you've made Hugo the peacemaker. The way you describe his relationship with each member of the family was very enjoyable and sets the scene with a great characterization.Your story is so well-written, and it looks like you did a lot of research for this one-shot, and I really respect that. Your story really moves forward even though most of it is narrative.
"someone was always bound to be caught someone else snogging someone somewhere they shouldn’t be. " - That was a little bit confusing. I understand what you were getting, but the wording was a little bit difficult to interpret. Also, I was confused as to who would be kissing. They were all family, after all, unless there was infidelity going on.
"behind the desk pouring over the sc" - poring is the word you're looking for :)
(I'm just getting nit-picky here, but it's because your story has left me without much else to say.)
Absolutely lovely! I really enjoyed this story. It was so heartfelt and lovely. There are some little mistakes, but I was so wrapped up in the wonderful Christmas feeling at the end that I didn't even take too much note. Great job!!Author's Response: Helo!
I'm so glad that you gave me a religious song to work with. I think that, overall, they are easier to really incorporate the true meaning of christmas into for obvious reasons. I was nervous about it, but thought that on a whole, it turned out well.
I fell in love with Hugo while writing this. His character is so under-written across HPFF. It's wonderful to know that you enjoyed his character. As a whole, I'm thrilled to pieces that you liked this one-shot. I didn't do much research for this fic, but am tickled pink that you think I did. :)
Oh... that sentance. Yeah. It was awkward. I know. :( I meant that the younger cousins were bound to catch the older cousins hidden away somewhere snogging their significant others or another cousin's significant others. (Similare to James catching Teddy on the platform) I am a fan of Molly/Teddy and could imagine a bit of infidelity. Nit Pick away!!! Criticism is always wonderful... I'll be sure to fix that up as soon as I can. :)
Thank you so much for such a wonderful challenge and fur leaving such a wonderful review. They were both lovely!
-Melissa Report Review
Hi Melissa! Look, I'm finally reviewing you story! (sarcasm) But seriously, I'm sorry this took so long.
I really liked this! I thought it was so sweet. The description you went into with this story was phenomenal! I really enjoyed how you described his thoughts on the Weasley Family Christmas Gatherings - I could practically see everything in my head!
Another thing I liked was how you developed the story and the way you used this Christmas carol in a very non-religious way, even though it's a Christmas song. I know some people might have been offended if you made this all about God and Jesus, but you were able to twist it in a way, so that this story was just about the general feeling of Christmas - about love and giving! I really enjoyed the moral of the story, because a lot of times people get caught up in their own problems and forget that a lot of people have it worse off.
I think the only negative (ish!) thing I have to mention about this story was the grammar. I found that you had a few misplaced commas and I noticed a time in the beginning when you had the word "threw" instead of "through." But really, those things can be fixed with a beta :)
Like I said, you did a wonderful job with this fic! It was a very sweet, enjoyable story, very fitting with the holiday season! I wish I read this earlier!
KatrinaAuthor's Response: Hey Katrina! Yay! It is quite alright. real life happens.
I'm happy that you enjoyed this story. :) I tried really hard to paint out the scene with my description, so your compliment means the world to me.
I didn't want to bombard readers with an overtly religious theme, so I tried to do the story as secularly as possible. I'm glad that the moral still came through despite this.
ah. Grammar. I had a friend read over it quickly because my beta wasn't able to read it. I really should clean it up. *Guilty Face*
Thanks sooo much Katrina!
Melissa Report Review
Hi! Thanks for requesting ^_^ Sorry it's so late.
You asked me to touch on characterization and flow. The characterization I thought was very good. They seemed like stereotypes, but I think that's what you need for a story like this. The plot has already been determined, since it is a Christmas carol that has spawned from the biblical story, so the characters you used for the Harry Potter take on it need to be sort of flat. Your Harry Potter characters are stand-ins for the real people, so they can't really have too much mind of their own. Does that make sense? Also, I think it's good that the characters weren't too intensely dissected because the point of this piece lies in the idea of it, not the characters. The point was about Christmas, not about Hugo or any other character's PERSON.
Speaking of Hugo, he was a brilliantly constructed character. Although I said he wasn't as important as the main idea, which I still think is true, it was very easy to feel his emotion. I especially liked the bit at the beginning when he was reminiscing about how much he was missing. You described what he was feeling very well, and it was easy for me to sympathize with him. Good job.
The flow was also really nice. It had lots of nice transitions. I think what helped the flow was that it is based on a story that actually happened, so because it's essentially just a rewriting of the real story, the flow was better. Readers are sort of expecting what's coming next, so the story kind of reads itself, like you said it wrote itself. =)
Overall, a really touching piece. I really enjoyed reading it. Thank you for requesting!
.:.Ilia.:.Author's Response: Ilia,
First off, thank you for reviewing this. Late is always better than never. :)
Secondly, I do know what you mean about the characters. They are more like actors playing a pre-determined role than their own people. That being said, I'm very glad that Hugo came through well. He is of a very specific personality in my mind. It is good to know that he was easy to sympathize with. :)
Once again, thank you so much for taking the time to leave such a lovely review.
-Melissa Report Review
OH MY GOD. That was pretty wonderful. So lovely. Are you going to expand? That would be really interesting, if Hugo rocked up out of the blue with a foreign woman and her baby, all "Hey Mum and Dad, I'm home!" Really beautiful. It's just really unfortunate that the one person I know called Miriam was really unattractive and socially awkward :-(Author's Response: Hey Lucy! Thanks for the review. :)
It's wonderful to know that people are enjoying this story. Originally, I wanted to expand this into a short story. That's still up in the air though. It does present really interesting dynamics though. :-) Aww... I'm sorry that the name Miriam didn't work for you. lol. haha. I just used it because it's the Jewish form of Mary and well, what with the story, I thought it was appropriate.
Melissa Report Review
Sorry it has taken me a bit to get around to your review, holidays are quite busy and finding time to read all in one sitting seemed sparse. But I am here now. Oh, yes, this is Collette from TGS, if you didn't know already!
I enjoyed reading this, I was curious how it would be, following the Carol, that is. And i enjoy it! As to your concerns as to it being 'cheesy', I don't think I would say it was so much, if you know the carol, you know how it goes. But Christmas time is the best for a bit of 'make-you-smile-warm-your-heart' stories!
I liked Hugo, the poor boy never gets written! He is so often forgotten. I think you did him a believable job. He was very endearing and sweet. A Good mix of what I could assume from who his mum and dad are.
I think your descriptions were great, they were very strong. I was able to clearly see the setting in which Hugo was. Great Job with that!
Nice job, I enjoyed reading this! I hope you had a Happy Christmas and have a lovely New Year!
ColletteAuthor's Response: oops. I thought that I had responded to this already. Better late than never I suppose.
I'm glad that you found this one shot to be enjoyable. I completely agree with you. Hugo never gets enough love. It makes me very happy to know that you picked up on his character so well. I intended that he come across as a sweet and endearing boy that was the perfect mixture of Ron and Hermione. :)
Yay! I feel that descriptions are my strongest facet of writing. Sometimes I fear that I use too many descriptions. I'm very relieved to hear that it was successful.
Thank you so much Collette!
Melissa Report Review
Hi there! This was a great one shot; I totally forgot what it was based on until you mentioned Hugo bringing Miriam into the stable. You connected the two tales well, and the last sentence was absolutely perfect. I'm not a very religious person myself, but I enjoyed your story. You brought everything together, down to the tiniest details, seamlessly.
I was a little aprehensive when I saw how long this was, but I quickly forgot about the length. Hugo was a good, realistic character, and I liked your descriptions of his family traditions. The name out of a hat present giving was genius, and Hugo's morals at the end of the story were very true.
I found some minor grammar mistakes here and there, but other than that it was great. Very sweet, nice, and just in time for the holidays.
~lllbAuthor's Response: Hello! Sorry for the long delay in responding. Life's been quite hectic and reviews got away from me a bit.
I'm very happy that you enjoyed this oneshot. I was hoping that the reader would become engrossed in the story and forget the cheesy immatation of the christmas story underlying the entire story. It is jaw-dropping to hear praise for my haphazzard combination of the two worlds.
I was very nervous about the length of this story. I'm glad that it was enjoyable enough not to notice. I'll be sure to look for the grammar mistakes and clean it up.
Merry Christmas and thanks for the review!
Melissa Report Review
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