Wow! This is fantastic.
Wait...that makes me sound surprised that it's so good, which I'm not because well, you wrote it. But I wasn't sure what to expect from the summary and then you give us this piece about Petunia and it's kind of stunning in how much emotional turmoil you've packed into so few words.
I actually figured out it was Petunia when Lily's face flashed across her mind and she started freaking out. Or, well, I had an idea. I don't know it all sounded to me like she was freaking out about her son having magic in his blood like her freak sister, plus the first part about the baby having fists like dinner rolls - it all sounded like Dudley, heh. Then you confirmed it as I read more, about her wanting to dive into his veins and scrub the magic out with lemon-scented soap.
The words you chose and the pacing, the sentence structure, it all added to Petunia's frantic madness. It's a little disconcerting to see how obsessed she's become with the idea that her son is a wizard. There is nothing there that even indicates he possess magical abilities and yet she thinks there is. Crazy woman, and then poor Vernon, who thinks he has this perfect, plump little boy and he comes home from a long day at work to be dumped with a hysterical wife. It's all sorts of crazy.
But obviously you did a wonderful job writing this. The details were perfect and Petunia's characterization was spot on. I really think this is excellent. Well done.Author's Response: Haha, don't worry, I wouldn't be insulted even if you were surprised. But THANK YOU for picking up on Lily (or at least considering the possibility that it was her) early on and deducing that it could be Petunia. Most people don't realize it until I call him "Diddykins," which is fine, but I definitely hinted at it before that.
She does get hysterical rather fast, doesn't she? That's partially intentional, partially because I was rushing to write this the night before the challenge deadline. ;) I keep intending to extend it, maybe flesh it out in parts, but no one else seems to share my concern that it's too short and almost rushed. I guess it helps that Petunia's rushing through the story herself, making ridiculous assumptions and working herself up.
Anyway, thank you for the lovely review, I'm really glad you enjoyed it. Despite its rushed conception, I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. Report Review
I thought the story was really good! The descriptions were fantastic and I instantly recognised that this was about Petunia because of this paragraph: Now she wanted to dive headfirst into his veins, with her dishwashing soap and crisp yellow sponge. She would scrub his blood clean and his body would run on soap suds, fresh and vaguely lemon-scented. She would flush the magic right out of him. She would wring out the sponge, back in the kitchen, and only a bit of frog spawn would ooze out. (This is my favourite part!)
At first, I thought 'oh thats gross! who would do that?' and realisation hit home and I'm like 'Petunia! Its Petunia!' which then was later confirmed by the her use of 'Diddykins'
I think it is Petunia-like to worry about whether her child would be a wizard or not and be scared of it. You really captured her thought very well, and I can just so imagine Petunia saying and doing all this. Great job!
Recenseo 2012Author's Response: Hello! Thank you for dropping by, and don't let my late response make you think I don't appreciate the random review. I'm sure you're aware that those are hard to come by these days. ;)
I'm glad you liked the descriptions, because I don't necessarily consider those my strong point. However, with this one I was so focused on making it sound like Petunia that I worried less about the actual wording, and I think that worked in my favor. I tried to mix a bit of vulnerability in with the classic Petunia that we all know and love (or hate).
Thank you once again for the review!!! Report Review
I was looking through your stories, trying to decide which one to read, and this one just sort of jumped out at me. The title is creative, and the description really drew my attention. So I clicked and started reading.
Now honestly, Iíll admit it took reading about half of this before I realized who the main character was, which is strange because the characterization you have of Petunia is really accurate. You capture her thoughts and feelings, the fearful battle in her head about her sonís fate. You really bring light to that and give Petunia a lot of great emotions. I have honestly not read many stories [if any at all] about Petunia, but this was an excellent one to start with!
I have to say, I especially like this line: 'She would scrub his blood clean and his body would run on soap suds, fresh and vaguely lemon-scented'. It really gives a good perspective on Petuniaís feelings about magic. It sounds like one of her thoughts, when she looks at her infant son.
~GrimmerzAuthor's Response: That's all right, that you didn't get it right away. You weren't meant to, really, just let the story develop and take it's time. I'd never written Petunia before this, but when it occurred to me that she might be afraid her son would turn out to be a wizard, I realized how natural a fear that might be.
Haha, that line's gotten a few mentions in responses. I wanted to get in her clean-freak attitude somewhere in there, because it was pretty distinct in the books, so I'm glad you liked it.
Thanks for the lovely review! Report Review
adorable! i love the description of baby dudley at the beginning!Author's Response: Thank you for the review! Report Review
GAH THIS IS SO EMOTIONAL.
...errr. Well. I had to read this twice to really get all the hidden awesome-ness out of it, and I'm very impressed. Your characterization of Petunia just metaphorically blew me out of the water. She is very, very canon, even if this is an AU story. It's daring, and many people can't pull that off, but you did it spectacularly with a wonderful canon-ish-ness.
FAVORITE QUOTE TIME!
"She would scrub his blood clean and his body would run on soap suds, fresh and vaguely lemon-scented."
This just portrays the rather obsessively clean side of Petunia quite well, and her somewhat outlandish desire for normality, if you know what I mean...?
"He would be dragged from her! And taken, no doubt, by a stringy boy with greasy black hair and sallow skin."
This shows how Lily's leaving affected Petunia, and I just loved this line.
Great job! :)Author's Response: Haha, I'm glad it got you a little! This could be seen as AU, certainly, but it's not impossible for it to be a missing moments. One of those times the Dursleys had a brush with magic then wiped it from their minds completely rather than confronting it.
Glad you caught those quotes, I did enjoy writing them. That was me trying to get around the whole "no background info" rule. :P Thanks for the review! Report Review
Although it took me a moment (as I believe was intended) to realise that this was Petunia (and maybe the comparison of Dudley to food was my biggest clue :P ), when I understood it all fell into place. I think that of course not having background information is a difficult thing to do when writing a story--it's hard not to want to clear things up or explain and just tell your mind (or fingers...sometimes for me they actually do most of the work) to just write and not worry about it. I think because I recognise all of the places here where I would have been tempted to add some information and you were able to abstain I am pretty impressed by your writing ability :)
And you already know that I am. While it's hard for me to feel sympathy for Petunia (I'm not sure if that's what you intended), I do get into her panic. I can seem to feel what she must feel--the hate for Lily, the worry, the almost-paranoia--and that's probably the most skillful thing about this piece, other than your general language and such, because I don't want to feel what Petunia feels, but you make me do it anyways.
I know you said you're going to edit, but I still think this is a good piece :)
-lilyAuthor's Response: This challenge messed with my head, it really did. I actually had to sit there for awhile and decide what qualified as background info, and what was just common sense. I eventually gave in and let the reader figure out for him/herself who the main character was.
I'm not Petunia's number one fan, but I understood her so much more when DH came out. Whether you feel her sympathy, her panic, or despise her, I'm fine with that, as long as you got into her head.
Thanks for the nice review, always appreciated since Valentine's. ;) Report Review
Even though you said it was rushed, this was really good.
I loved the description of Dudley's fingers. Dinner rolls!! That made me laugh so much and it was only the first paragraph! :D
I think you portrayed a scared Petunia very well. I've always thought that Petunia would have been wondering whether Dudley may have inherited the magical genes. And I think that she may have even had dark thoughts and worries about that. I think you captured her panic and hysterity well. :)
I particularly liked this line: 'She would scrub his blood clean and his body would run on soap suds, fresh and vaguely lemon-scented'. It sounds exactly like something Petunia would think of, being the obsessively cleaning woman she is.
If I had to pick something out, I'd have to say that I thought it was quite an abrupt end to the story, Then again, I can understand that since it was 'in the moment'.
Great job! :)
-Sophia xAuthor's Response: Dinner rolls... Yeah, I'm a little shaky on description. ;) Glad it got you laughing, though.
The more I wrote this, the more interested I got in Petunia. She, Snape and Lily really evolved into complex characters by the end of DH, and it was nice for her to be the protagonist for once. And people do tend to forget she was an obsessive cleaner, so I felt like it had to be in there.
I wrote this and wrote this and wrote it and when it came time for things to wind down, I definitely had some trouble wrapping it up. I'll take a second look at that. Thanks for the review! Report Review
Well, I really enjoyed this. It was a little short though, I felt you had room to develop it more and to delve deeper into the emotions felt by Petunia and maybe even Vernon's.
But, I really liked what you have written, it flowed well with good description. You have a vey nice stle of writing and other then the length I think you did everything really well!
I liked your characterisation of Petunia, I felt it was very canon. Well done! :D
Hannah xAuthor's Response: It was definitely too short. I wrote it the night before the challenge's deadline, because I was too stubborn to give up on it. One of these days I'll add to it, certainly. I'm glad what was there flowed, though. Thanks for the review! Report Review
well, you never fail to wow me, that's for sure. Your narrative is, as usual, flawless and I get more impressed with everything you write. I can recognise your style from a mile off - I'm not sure what it is, but there's something very unique and original to both your plot and writing that stand out a mile off from anything else.
It was lovely to see Petunia's fear, because I reckon that must have been at the back of her mind nagging away for years of Dudley's childhood. I don't think anyone knows how the genes work so for all she knew, Dudley could be magical.
Excellent stuff :)Author's Response: I have a style?! *gasps* That's so wonderful to hear! It's hard for me to notice that sort of thing in my writing, because, well, it's my writing. I'm not sure if it needs any more explanation than that. ;) Either way, I'm flattered. It took me forever to find an idea for this challenge, but once the whole fear of magic thing popped into my head, it seemed very fitting. Like I should've thought of that from the start. Anyway, thanks for the lovely review! Report Review
Oh my. Just kind of accents how crazy petunia is doesnt it? This was really good to be honest for just writing it before the deadline! I enjoyed reading it! :) All her emotions and turmoil and everything was great! :)Author's Response: Thank you for the review! Petunia can get kind of crazy at times, hopefully I captured some of that hysteria. Report Review
Wow, this was so, so original! I've really never read anything like it. I think it was a great fit for the challenge, too, because the way you wrote it established our interest in the character before we realized who she was. That was a very clever choice, because a lot of people have all these preconceived notions of Petunia, and would have already made up their mind about her by the second sentence. As it was, we were forced to see from her perspective before we knew who we were feeling sorry for, and that was just very, very impressive writing.
I can't get over how unexpected this was! Honestly, it is such an interesting moment toe xamine that now that you've pointed it out, I find myself really thinking in depth about it. How must she have felt? If she was really, truly scared of magic, she must have been terrified her son could be magical. But somehow this never occurred to me before. And the way you wrote this story is marvelous, too- I loved the metaphor about the cleaning, it is so perfectly Petunia. Really just an excellent examination of a perspective I had never given any thought to before.
Amazing job!Author's Response: I'm definitely the kind of person that would judge Petunia, or Cho, or Lavender before reading on. They're the kind of characters that you grow to dislike, without realizing that they have better sides too. Petunia especially is not received well, while for me, after DH, I saw her in a completely different light. The sort of light I tried to bring out in this story. ;)
When this idea popped to mind, after many, many others, it clicked. Without much planning, I dove right in and just kept bringing the fear to another level. It felt right, once I sat back and announced it finished. I added a few bits in to make it more Petunia-ish (though the cleaning part made it in from the first draft) submitted it, and went to bed. I was so determined to make that deadline!
Thanks for the lovely review, and for second place prize! I was so pleasantly surprised. :D Report Review
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