Another Christmas gift of a review for you! ♥
I've never read a story from Fudge's perspective before, and you wrote it so well I'm not sure how many others I might be able to read without making unfair comparisons (unfair on others authors' part -- certainly not yours!). I think you captured his emotions perfectly -- the guilt, the despair, the hurt. And there was still a small part of him, I think, that perhaps was holding on to the man he had been for the past fourteen years, because he didn't know how to be anyone else. He is no hero -- not by a long shot -- but I sympathize with him all the same, and it's a testament to your writing that I can feel those sorts of emotions towards characters I normally wouldn't.
Your imagery, especially, was so wonderful here; the cold and the rain fit perfectly with the story you were trying to tell. I think this may have been my favorite line (favorite two lines, actually, it was quite hard to pick) --
Once upon a time you wouldn’t have dreamed of such things but circumstances change people, they certainly changed you.
Still, you saw your drawn, tight face on the front page of the Daily Prophet and the cold, black letters above your head, so accusing, so true.
The bit about the letters being cold and black, in the second sentence, rings particularly true, because it almost parallels the water image you give us, too. And it could also symbolize how unforgiving the press is bound to be where Fudge is concerned. In their eyes -- and in truth, really -- he flat-out lied to them for a year, just because he himself was in denial, and the betrayal must be rampant.
Another lovely piece -- you are an extremely talented writer, and I'm very glad I'm getting the chance to go through so many of your stories! I am even more excited than before to go on to the next one.Author's Response: I'm horrible. It's almost a month since you wrote this for me, I'm so sorry - school has eaten my soul.
Fudge is a character not many people go near - certainly not as a main character either. He's usually the annoying one shuffling around in the background in Hogwarts Era political fics. He isn't a character I'd usually give a thought about writing either, but here he is for all of you to see. This setting creates the atmosphere for him to feel all those things. If I wrote him reflecting on this years later, the tone would be much different, more bitter. He was about to be sacked, everyone hated him, he was at his wits' end.
'I think he was holding on to the man he had been for the past fourteen years because he didn't know how to be anyone else.'
That sentence right there, speaks volumes, and I really couldn't agree more! I've noticed that some people don't adapt to change well, and it's no different for Fudge. For the past fourteen years, he's been living his life as he saw fit, now with Voldemort's return it threw a wrench into it. He was the type of man who wrote letters to a school teacher when he was unsure about making decisions, how on earth was he supposed to cope with this one? I even felt sorry for him in the end, he was defeated.
Ooh, interesting choice of favourite lines! The first one about change is something I mentioned earlier *points upward* it really rings true to almost everything, and I suppose most people can relate to it. It's what I consider being a victim of circumstance whether it was in your control or not.
For the second line you chose, when I wrote it I thought about the cameras going off at the beginning of HBP and the black and white images of people at the front page of the Daily Prophet. It did a lot to add to the startling value of it (if that makes any sense). I agree with you about the press' unforgiving nature, especially with those words. I don't blame them either, not when it comes to something as serious as this.
Aww, thank you, Jane :) I'm happy you're enjoying my stories so much.
this is about the seventh time i've started this review. it's just so difficult to explain how utterly brilliant this piece was.
alright, first off - i love how it wasn't a romance or family or friendship oneshot. i love how you've taken Cornelius Fudge and turned him into such a pitiable character. i love how realistic it all is, how it's short and to the point. i love the language you've used, i loved the poeticness of that last line and OH MY GOD I LOVED IT ALL.
seriously. there isn't a thing i didn't love about this little oneshot.
Hyenni101, Slytherin (:Author's Response: Hey Hyenni!
Go Slytherin!!! *dances*
Sorry I took so long, I wasn't able to answer these reviews at home. I'm thrilled that this little piece had such an effect on you - it means I did something right :P
That's something that makes this so different from most fics I have in my list or fics that I've read. No pairing, no family issues, nothing. It sort of shifted from a personal aspect to one that fits most of the word.politics. I'm not saying that it's not a personal thing to some people but the theme on a whole is something that everyone can relate to. Quite an interesting one considering the world's past and its leaders.
It's strange how people can point out things to me about my characters that I would not have noticed. I wasn't writing this in the intention to feel sorry for Fudge, I was writing it to show what his guilt turned him into. I guess it works both ways.
This review really made me smile! Thank you so much!
Lia Report Review
How very interesting. I haven't read a fic with Fudge in it before. What a part to take in setting up the Wizarding World for failure by lying. I liked how you explored this premise and the dark thoughts that whirled through the man's mind. I can imagine him feeling like this.
xCharAuthor's Response: Hi Charlotte!
I'm so sorry for the late response and first let me thank you for having me in your challenge. It was great!
I just thought it was fitting, you know? A closer look into the life of a disgraced politician on the eve of his sacking. Naturally he would be going over in his mind all the things that he could have done differently. It's rather unfortunate, really. But most people can see the realism in it because it's reflective of the world's past. It makes me wonder how all the others felt after their own destruction.
Thanks for reviewing!
Lia Report Review
Dude. I have gotten to read two great one-shots about minor characters in two days. Basically, this is the best birthday present ever.
I like the angle you took with tis. Fudge is a hard character to get into get inside of and I think you did that excellently here. That lurching feeling you get when you're caught in a lie, I like how you used that. And the river. I kept thinking he might throw himself into it and it kind of chilled me.
The murky waters below you moved ever so slowly now, making the tiniest of ripples as it passed you and you wondered what it would be like to become one with it, to go wherever it took you, to be far away from this miserable place. Once upon a time you wouldn’t have dreamed of such things but circumstances change people, they certainly changed you.
Those lines were so well written. I read them over a few times and they really made a good picture in my head.
Enjoyed this so much! What a great snapshot!
AnnieAuthor's Response: Annie!
I'm really glad you enjoyed this and read it on your birthday!
You're the only person who picked up on that! I tried to make it as subtle as I could though. But yes, that's exactly what he wanted to do - throw himself over the edge. Probably because of shame and the extreme guilt he felt after all that had happened. Circumstances really do change people whether they like it or not. It's what makes this sad but also makes him even more of a coward for wanting to give up. Maybe he wasn't as strong to begin with.
It's a rather sobering story with a very unfortunate character. Those lines were my favourites to write (hopefully that doesn't sound too morbid:/) Those and the very last line.
Thank you so much for your review!
Lia Report Review
Seriously, I'm in awe at how that even came to you because he's a hugely underwritten character and you pulled it off brilliantly. The weakness, the selfishness, his insecurity, they all just ooze off him as though this is a moment that's slipped out from an unpublished chapter of JKR's.
I'm not the world's biggest second person fan. I feel I've said this before (for Illogical, perhaps?) but you manage it really well and the flow of the story detracts from the perspective, which is definitely the best way to deal with it.
I do pity him. I pitied him the books too, especially by the time HBP came around. I completely empathised with him here. Really, what do you do for the best in a situation like this? The lies - and the severity of them - are so ... politician-y and I feel I shouldn't pity him but I do. Pity in the way I pity Gordon Brown.
Anyway, I thought this was a lovely piece of writing. You executed it really well and Fudge's character was absolutely spot-on. I didn't like him but I most certainly had some sympathy for him and I think that's - in canon terms - just what I'd expect to feel for him.
♥Author's Response: I really don't know; the plot came first then he followed after. This was supposed to be written for Rin's Man on a Bridge Challenge last summer. Whenever I think about anyone standing on a bridge, staring down below I automatically think of a brooding, angst-filled character, lamenting about trumped up corruption charges or something. I tried to find some disgraced politician in HP fanfiction but the only one I discovered was Fudge.
Yeah, I know. You have said it for Illogical. I tried not to have it all 'in your face' because with a plot like this, it wouldn't have sat well with most people.
I re-read the first chapter in HBP before finishing this story just to get a feel of what Fudge was going through at that point. That's a good question and unfortunately, it doesn't have many answers. If any at all.
Well that's just it, isn't it? Politics. You have the weight of thousands of lives resting in your hands and when you slip up, the thousands aren't going to be very forgiving. After a while, you do feel sorry for them, if only a little bit.
I don't mind the rambling, I like the discussion :)
Thank you so much, Rachel! It means a lot to me :)
You know how some people don't like the second person perspective? I am not one of those people. So let me just say: YESS! YOUR USE OF SECOND PERSON ROCKED MY WORLD AND I LOVED IT.
Ahem. But srsly. I love it when people use second person as effectively as you did here. It adds a certain element of interest, I think.
Also, the one-shot in general was very well done, I thought. I love that it's about Cornelius Fudge, because really, how many stories about him are there? Minor characters, ftw. And all the descriptions were extra lovely and it was just really cool how it sort of floated between the physical reality around him and the thoughts inside his head.
I really enjoyed this. Great work. :)Author's Response: Hahaha, thank you! Oh yess I know. Meh, people have their own tastes, I suppose but seriously, I love second person too. Yes, I agree. There's this effect that second person perspective gives a story...something that I can't find a word for and believe me, I've been trying.
No, not many at all which surprised me. Many people probably forgot he existed. I'm still stunned that he came to my head after hours of searching for a suitable character. But in the end, he just fit.
Thank you for reading and giving such a lovely review. I'm really glad you enjoyed it so much :)
OOoh I think this is so interesting--I of course never liked Fudge, the way I think it was intended for us to feel, but I think you've done a wonderful job fleshing him out here.
I find it fitting that in his last hour (or you know what I mean) he actually discovers what he should have ages ago--that he made a mistake that put the entirety of the wizarding and muggle community at danger because he is a politician. It's something that makes your skin crawl.
You did a wonderful job with this :)Author's Response: Hey Aiedail!
I always thought he was a bit weak actually and not quite sure about what he was doing. So unlike the public figure I expected. It made writing him a very interesting experience too.
Yeah, I know what you mean. It was his last hour in a way. That always happens, doesn't it? When the entire world has gone up in flames because of something you did, it's only then that you realise what you could've done differently to avoid it. It's always the smallest mistake too :/
Thank you for reviewing! Sorry I took so long to respond to this!
Lia Report Review
This is such a wonderful little gem! It's filled with so many elements I don't come across to often in my reading: Fudge, second-person POV, political intrigue. None of it really my go-to when it comes to fanfiction, but I can't begin to tell you how much I enjoyed this regardless! I think what I like most about it is that Fudge's thoughts and actions seem so real here - this could so easily be any one of countless disgraced Muggle politicans. The ability to take something magical and make it so relateable is part of what makes this so good. That and, you know, the flawless writing and wonderful imagery that you use to paint the story with. Well done!
-MaryAuthor's Response: Hi Mary!
As I've read these reviews, this fic has a whole long list of components that are rarely seen, minus the second person aspect. I'm glad you enjoyed it in spite of it all.
That's what makes this so relateable to so many people. It can be easily applied to the lives of many politicians put in a similar situation. Especially the chief ministers/presidents of nations. I'd like to think they had this amount of remorse after their time in office when they sit alone. Even if they don't show it in front of a camera. It's one of those things that makes them human.
Thank you so much for your review!
Lia Report Review
A Fudge fic! I've never seen a fic written about him before. He's always a minor character. To read him as a major character is something very new - I'm already very excited.
'Now he only gazed at you from behind those half-moon spectacles with pity and that hurt you the most.' - I thought that sentence was very powerful. Fudge's terror and regret is very clear from these few opening paragraphs - you've done a fantastic job of establishing his character.
'It was like a chain reaction, knocking down the first and onto the second until the only one left standing was you.' - this, wow - so powerful. I actually feel a certain degree of pity for Fudge here. I can really sense his dread - it's a mark of how well you've written him that I can.
I'm very glad I came across this - exploring Fudge's character must have been a hard task and you pulled it off very well. I loved the use of the second person; it gave the narration an accusatory tone, which really fitted the piece. I really enjoyed reading this - thank you for writing it! 10/10 ♥Author's Response: Wow...the author of flailing Scorpius has come to review me! *is stunned/honoured/so many other things*
Ah Fudge. He wasn't a character I was fond of or particularly bothered about. I suppose most people feel the same way. I saw him as a weak man who wasn't capable of making many decisions. After something like this, with the entire population against you and most likely receiving harsh criticism from the foreign media is enough to shatter whatever resolve he must've had over the years.
I wanted to address his relationship with Dumbledore here too. From that line you posted, it's something I imagined the old headmaster to do. Certainly he got angry and frustrated but now to see the fallout, I think he couldn't help but feel sorry for Fudge as most of you have.
The whole concept of the domino effect was important. It's one of the things I thought about while coming up with the plot. Everyone involved - those ministry officials who knew and were involved in the cover-up, those who tried to persuade Fudge otherwise. All of them were brought down, starting with those at the bottom, knocking over the middlemen before you finding the top officials. There was nowhere left for Fudge to hide after all this.
I just imagined what other politicians would've felt when trying to develop his character.
Thank you so much for reviewing! I'm glad you enjoyed it :)
Lia Report Review
Oooh politics! I think what makes it particularly chilling is that I could imagine any modern politician thinking this to himself (with slightly less Voldy involved, perhaps). I pity him; it certainly doesn't absolve him from guilt, but I pity him. His voice is absolutely perfect, the perfect kind of imagery. The pressure, the grip on the railing (on anything), the fear.
Lovely ♥Author's Response: Yes. Yes, that is exactly it! I pretty much wrote an essay for TallestTower just now regarding all this. From all the comments it makes me wonder how much the disgraced politicians feel about their wrongs - Nixon, Blair, Brown.
I picture Fudge as such a broken man after the Dept. of Mysteries fallout, who finds it a task to hold his head up. He didn't handle it well at all. If you pity him then I did a good job.
Thank you for reviewing :)
Lia Report Review
Fudge! Fudge is such an ignorant character throughout the books. He seems so oblivious and selfish, and of course, he is all those things. And yet, when he finally realised the truth - that voldemort had returned - one couldn't help but pity him a little, he lost all his bravado and for a moment a regretful, guilty character slipped through. And that's the character you've so effectively brought to life in this fic! Fudge's character is swamped in idiocy, and he almost seems like a little boy in his uncertainty once he realises the truth, and perhaps that might only annoy people furthur but I think in fact it allows for a little sympathy. I really liked this fic, if definately gave you that chance to sympathize with him. Fudge is a character that was never meant to be a hero, but he was never a real bad guy either- and you brought that out so well. The way you described his relationship with Dumbledore was spot on and the second person worked incredibly well. This was quite touching actually. ♥
Gramatically, one thing I did notice was in the last line it should have been burned instead of burn, but it's not a major problem in my opinion, I just know some author's appreciate things like that being pointed out.
Really well done, I've never read anything like this before ♥Author's Response: Ah Fudge. I think all politicians start off with good intentions but then they easily fall to the allure of money and are easily manipulated by people who do not have their best interests at heart. The thing about this fic is that everyone can relate to it - it happens ALL the time to the majority of politicians. Fudge was unfortunate as he fell prey to Lucius Malfoy's silver tongue (among others...not that I blame them *swoons*.heh, sorry)
He really is lost! I agree with you on that - mind you, that's how I always saw him...as a sheep, even if it does sound a bit harsh. But he always struck me as a puppet. Whenever I read, especially after GoF, I always wondered how he became Minister of Magic. But denial has a lot to do with it as well.
I felt sorry for him after the media onslaught. The first chapter of HBP brought that out, he said it was the first time in all his years that everyone agreed on something when it came to his sacking.
His relationship with Dumbledore was another reason why I wondered why he became Minister; he wrote to him about everything!
Oh yes...that. You have no idea how much time I spent on that. I even debated it with someone and we agreed in the end that we'll go with that tense. I'll change it though and I don't mind you pointing it out.
I really enjoyed reading and responding to this review. I appreciate the discussion.
Lia Report Review
I like the second-tense, I think you did it very well.
And Cornelius Fudge! Now that's refreshing. He's barely ever written about, and this is the first story I've ever heard of where he's the main character.
I like the emotion in this story. I could definitely feel Fudge's regret and shame, and the weight of all his lies. You described the consequences of his actions remarkably well and also realistically - but in an almost poetic sense. Cornelius's situation is the product of his own blindness and ignorance, and he must reap what he has sown.
So weak, so foolish, so helpless. I cannot pity him.
I like this bit right here:
No one wanted to face the horror again but his spectral appearance in the middle of the Ministry set fire to everything. If you wanted your proof, there it was.
It feels like someone older and much more wise than Cornelius is narrating the story, condemning him and watching as he leans against the railing and loathes himself. Now that I think about it, I sort of imagined Dumbledore telling this story. A reproaching, slightly angry Dumbledore.
Well done! :)Author's Response: I would swear to you that there were other Fudge fics about, just not as many as the others, you know? But when everyone posted saying they'd never seen one I was stunned. Granted, he isn't the most popular of characters - barely remembered.
Fudge has done a lot to harm the people who put him in power by being so weak and blundering, I imagine he would've felt the gravity of it all when it came to light. Actually, most people (I hope) would feel similarly. Can you imagine having thousands of people furious with you for something that you might've said or did? There's always that devastating state of regret after something happens, something that you could've avoided. You always look at how things could've gone differently and that's what I was trying to bring across.
I like those lines too! That scene in OoTP was like a lit match to everything, wasn't it?
I'm glad you mentioned that - it gave me something to consider with this and when writing in this POV in the future. I didn't put much thought into who the speaker was, I just wanted to get down the words. Dumbledore would be a good choice, though - I agree.
Ahh, this was lovely. Thank you for your review :)
Lia Report Review
It is really refreshing to read a story about him. He is such an important character in the HP series -- setting up all the political unrest and such. This was a fabulous little one shot. Of course we all know that Fudge messed up, refusing to believe truth. But this little peek inside his head was so interesting to me!! I really loved it.
Also. Second person?!!? It worked fabulously. I only noticed it in retrospect.
MelissaAuthor's Response: Hey Mel,
Haha, yes.Fudge. When I first came up with this plot, I thought a politician would fit it perfectly. I was looking for one who was caught up in some sort of scandal, someone other than Fudge because I wanted an uber-obscure' person but I had to settle for him. He surely did a lot though, didn't he? So many things could've been avoided if only he wasn't in denial. But if only, right?
When I saw this review the first time, I went to re-read the one-shot and I agree, the second person POV doesn't jump out at you as it does with other things. I'm glad you liked it despite my choice of perspective, I know many people don't.
Thank you for your lovely review! I really appreciate it :)
Wow, you did a really nice job with this fic! Fantastic writing and grammar. I'm ash, by the way. I think you portrayed Fudge fantastically. Seriously. I was incredibly impressed with your style of writing. It was very gripping and your imagery was stellar. It's great to know that there are still authors out there who can pull off a good Fudge fic. =D
Nice one! 9/10!
AshAuthor's Response: Hey Ash!
Thank you so much. Haha, that's good to know too, even though I don't think there are many of us that even bother to attempt writing him. I really didn't think many people would read this so your words mean A LOT to me.
(My name's Ash too but you can all me Lia :)
Lia Report Review
OH MY HNGGG... I LOVE ME SOME SECOND PERSON. It's such an interesting point of view to write from. It really draws the reader into the story as - well, at least I did - genuinely thought that the narrator was talking to me. Kinda creepy, but all kinds of cool.
I really, really love this. I have never seen a Fudge fic on this site, and I really, really like it. He's such an arse of a character in the books - he's naive and power-thirsty and just an all-round git. He's also a pretty minor one, and I love minor character fics.
You've got a great handle on the whole second person shindig. The style can sometimes cause massive complications with tense and that, but you've done really well. Your descriptions - of the river and Fudge's pain and the bridge - was all pretty flawless. Grammar was good too.
EEE I JUST LOVE IT. IT'S SO POETIC.
WELL DONE. ♥Author's Response: Hattie! Thank you so much, lovely! You made my night. I'm so glad I can get to read through these now because I've had such a horrible week this has made it so much better.
I'm so happy to see so many people loving this especially the second person aspect of it .
That's exactly what I love about second person too! It gives the fic a certain feel - if I could think of the word, I would most definitely tell you. It's the whole point of second person, unfortunately that's not what a lot of people like, especially if the character has done something bad. It's sort of along the lines of pointing fingers.
Haha. No one likes Fudge. To be honest, the only time I paid him much attention was in the first chapter of HBP. I do agree with you though, he always appeared as the bumbling, incompetent fool. He isn't written about either, so yeah he is VERY minor almost forgettable, I suppose. I love minor characters too, they're so much more fascinating than all the others.
I dunno where my love for this perspective came from but I just liked reading it. I'm glad you liked how it turned out, it was a major alteration on what I'd written before. I always liked the idea of standing by a bridge and brooding. It's something that's so incredibly descriptive and well, beautiful about it.
I'm really glad you enjoyed this story, Hattie. I really appreciate your words (and your squeeing :D)
Wow. A brilliant story about a little-known and little written-about characher. Amazing insight and characterisation, and excellent command of second person. So glad I came across this story :)Author's Response: Hey! I'm really glad you liked it. This is so true, Fudge is barely written about, if at all. I've taken a strong liking to second person just because of how it sounds when I read it. I'm glad you liked that part about the story too, not many people do.
Thanks for reviewing!
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