first o m g: Apricot and her parents and the graveyard. That whole bit about being robbed of their bodies, of the graves collapsing and the earth wanting omg lily HOW. And then her scene with Charlie later is too sweet. Ughh i want everything to be perfect and good and have them frolic through dragon fields forever and forever why is this so short ;A;
I kind of teared up a bit reaching the end ;A; it all fits together now! AND SO WELL. The whole fairytale and with Charlie's current adult life and just asflkhg. Like, I knew where the fairytale was going, but the way you wrote it, I felt like I was experiencing it for the first time (I mean I am, but you know, LIKE I AM AWED ALONG WITH PERCY AND CHARLIE).
this has been the perfect gobble for fic for sunday early early early morning ♥Author's Response: I JUST DON'T KNOW WHAT TO SAY. I thought of what good children might say to console each other; someone I know had proffered the idea to me of a patch of land having feelings, and this happened.
YOU CAN BLAME VOLDEMORT FOR HOW SHORT THIS IS O K
awww tears! I get this strange lump in my chest when I get to the end; I've read it a couple times now raking it for typos.
What I really wanted to convey which I think your keyboard smash understands (clearly) is how people are always sort of the same no matter what happens. Charlie's remembering this story that his mum's had the foresight to tell him while he's young and the war is still far off, his singing Celestina Warbeck, his mum's favorite singer, all was trying to convey that the past and the present and, yes, future, all converge on Charlie Weasley and while he still has this choice of what to do at the point I end this fic, we /know/ what he's going to do, because who he was as a child is still who he is now, and the lessons he learned then are still with him and still matter. His heart is basically with his family.
I'm so glad you read this and have been so kind about getting others to read it as well (or trying :P). Thanks for your reviews, Gina, I have enjoyed and appreciated them all! ♥ Report Review
“Don’t tell me not to shout at you, I’m climbing through dragon intestines!” rolling, lily. I am rolling.
Ohhh, that was a beaut scene healing the baby dragon D: i scrolled back up and i was like omg it was really just a few paragraphs? because I had like a WHOLE EPIC SCENE IN MY HEAD for this and it was the best THE BEST this is the best lily.(delirious fic rush speaking). It's like you had a dragon keeper at your side that you consulted. Is this your secret? DID YOU KIDNAP CHARLIE WEASLEY?
omg and then the NEXT SCENE asdaldgjga. Dandelions and metaphors that they can't understand. I was wondering so much about the seeds last chapter because i was like -squint- did I miss something, but then I read this part and I was like SO PERF.
(psst, it's heyday not hay day)
running out of words to say so I am running to the next chapter.Author's Response: That is quite a valid point! I was just thinking of myself--like, hey, if I were crawling through another living thing's intestines I wouldn't be taking any sass from anyone ever. Neither would Apricot apparently.
With really intense scenes like this, they often just--appear to me, and then I do my best to write them as well as I can. I sound like a broken record after replying to all the reviews on Adventure because that was literally that /whole/ fic. But I think giving you the details of my having gotten this information would be ILL ADVISED BECAUSE KIDNAPPING ISN'T SMILED UPON IN MY COUNTRY.
I feel like the seeds are a bit of a stretch but nobody said Mrs Weasley was an award-winning author! I am glad you like it though :3
wooo I did manage to change heyday. I mentioned this before but I am completely unsurprised that you knew how to spell this. I am also completely unsurprised that I, myself, did /not/ because I don't know how to spell anything.
THANKS FOR YOUR REVIEWS UR DA BEST ~ Report Review
Charles. Charles. Yes.
something most people would say looked like a dog but something Charlie knew was what a curious, young dragon would do before blasting you with whitehot flame, his way of making sure you’re worth of his presence. THIS GIRL IS TOO GOOD.
Baww omg all this fairytale stuff is just toos shaweet. also just luzing at them. Charlie pulled the covers up to his chin again; they had gotten wrinkled because he had been punching Percy so much.
And I WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT EVERYWHERE OH FINE I'LL CLICK NEXT CHAPTER.Author's Response: It has been pointed out to me several times that Apricot = dragon. Things make a lot more sense to me after getting these reviews.
I do enjoy fairytales. I can't honestly remember how I thought of this one--I remember just writing and Serenity Hill blabbing out of my pen and then, well, here we are.
♥ ♥ Report Review
ahem right, so I am here finally HELLO LILY.
oh my god they are ADORABLE. "Can they at least have a law that makes people take baths?” AND THEN Even at four years old, he could never let anybody have complete control over a situation, even telling a story. Lawd, if everyone could just write the Weasley boys all day every day.
he could be the one to be shuttled off to safety, to warmth, to house-elf laundry service. yess, omg you don't understand how much I love this Lily. Ever since I was little I have dream of House Elf laundry service, just the idea of putting clothes into a tube and magically getting them clean so that he appreciates this, YES. YES x 1000.
dumping pumpkin juice--imported from home--over his hair, to “preserve the colour of it. and I love this girl SO MUCH.
that whole section by the way BEST PASSAGE OF TIME EVER. in love. so in love.
sassy Mrs. Weasley double yes. do not mess with the pregnant Percy, these are life lessons for when you marry Audrey.Author's Response: HELLO G I N A~
I love the Weasley boys! I like to think Mrs Weasley would have let them get away with little boy things. Percy, though, would always want to do things the "correct" way and that unfortunately includes taking baths.
I hate doing my own laundry (so I hardly ever do) and so I appreciate the idea that there is an army of willing House Elfs who want to do it for me, I just can't get to where they are, which is really unfair for both parties.
Apricot is really pugnacious and I don't know if /I/ could be friends with her but Charlie gets a kick out of her companionship so hey.
I like to think Percy will learn the hard way with Audrey. He seems to take that route in every other aspect of life.
♥ Report Review
I think this is the most poignant line I have ever read in a fanfic: It is always the hard things in life that strip us of our most salient, knowable characteristics, that turn us into strangers under unrecognizable names. I had to pause after reading it and let it soak in.
I really loved this story...reading about Charlie, Apricot, Romania...how removed they are from the world. It's kind of like Romania and with the dragons was their Serenity Hill, where nothing could touch them, but like The Wizard, they have to go back to the real world and join the fight.
Apricot too seems a little more reserved in this chapter, less wild and dragon-y, more human. It's such a lovely contrast. And oh my god, the line about her parents and the graveyard mourning the loss of their bodies. Your imagery is so powerful. I am honestly in awe at these beautiful complex stories you weave.
This was perfect, and I'm glad I read it. Now I just need to read more of your work and leave you more rambly reviews about how awesome you are and how jealous I am of your talent.Author's Response: UGH, you made my heart hurt! BOOO MISSY, BOOO. But also ♥
You're exactly right, though, you Ravenclaw, you! ;) All the things that could be parallels between Charlie's life and the Wizard's are, just like all the things that could possibly be sexual innuendo in Shakespeare /are/.
More human. Isn't that fabulous in stores and such a hardship in life? I remember when I wrote that bit, my English TA at uni came into class and told us about her creative thesis, and part of it was told from the perspective of a graveyard. I was thoroughly creeped out but also very pleased. Later in the quarter I produced a line in a free-writing exercise that she said was in one of /her/ stories. The chance of that is so extremely, wildly small, that I still take pause when I consider it; and obviously, I tell the story at every opportunity.
Ahaha, you're seriously one of the most gushing reviewers I ever had. I should give awards to reviewers and then be like, jk, MISSY FOR ALL THE AWARDS. This was such an encouraging batch of reviews on a story I was a bit iffy of to start out, I appreciate them and YOU so much ♥ Report Review
ohmygawd, this line...so tiny and insignificant but it makes my heart swell. She knew there were two. Mollyy, I love her.
Okay, also. The beginning! Can I just saw that if anyone could get me imagining going into a dragon's belly to find twisted intestine and how the anesthetics don't quite work as well...it would be you. YOUR IMAGINATION. I want it! I loved that whole part, imagining Apricot with half her body inside the belly of a dragon and the smell of dragon blood and watching the baby waking up from the anesthetic and maybe witnessing its first flames. So, so lovely.
I love Apricot and Charlie's easy relationship. They're both a bit rough around the edges but Apricot kind of talks enough for the both of them, letting Charlie be his quiet self, and the letter from Bill telling him about Cedric. I just about died. He was just so silent and contemplative and Charlie.
I am curious about the Wizard, though. If he tried the potion on himself and he's on Serenity Hill...how does he get back to the real world to bring more people there? I wonder if he'll get lost in time, in the perfectness of it, and forget about the war. Hm. I'm sad there's only one more chapter left but I'm eagerly awaiting the conclusion of Mrs. Weasley's tale as much as little bitty Percy and Charlie.Author's Response: I had a very mushy feeling in my insides when I wrote that line. It's so amazing, how words carry things; more so, perhaps, how I felt something and it made it into those words at all. It is a pretty simple sentence--but I think we both have canon and the fates of those babies buried somewhere in our subconscious, tugging on us at the thought of a good, funny, nurturing woman pregnant with them.
THis is one of the scenes I did /not/ see coming, but which came out of, at the same time, a desire to make this story less than glossy. I realized quite soon into the second chapter that it could become saccharine. Sentimental. So I thought about what they would even be doing in Romania at all--what would dragons need or want that they couldn't get on their own? This came to mind. And then I got REALLY into it. How often does one have the change to write about a dragon in surgery? What the smell of dragon blood might do to a person? I became fascinated, and thus, well, HERE WE ARE.
I am usually the friend who has a friend who talks enough for the both of us, so I admire Apricot in that way, and her sensitivity to Charlie's habits. And then, that she knew how much it meant to him when he got the letter--I don't even know, I don't know if I've thought about whether or not Charlie had ever told Apricot about the Wizard's story, but I guess it's just become so much a part of /him/ over the years that he didn't have to tell her. He does what we all do with a good story--we absorb it and live it, each in our own ways.
I hope that you picked up answers to your questions in the last chapter, but just in case not, I'll do my best to answer here :) Basically he has to wake up. The potion, in my head, works like an extremely effective sleeping draught, and remember this is only his first batch that's made it to a stage that can be tested, so it's already a bit unstable and unsure. But yes, he'll have to wake up. And what if he doesn't? At least he'll be happy, I suppose ;)
Thanks for your reviews, Missy. FOR REALZ. ♥ Report Review
Okay! Things make a lot more sense in this chapter in terms of the non-linear story line. I AM NOT CONFUSED ANYMORE, except for a minor detail, but in this chapter and the previous one you say April a couple of times and I'm not sure if you meant to write Apricot?
Anyways, so, yes the childhood story time is still precious. The imagery with the blue flame = gorgeous. Just so unbelievably pretty. And Molly describing Serenity Hill. Oh my god, just it sounds like such a beautiful place and I want to be there and be safe and walk around barefoot. Perce is still super sweet and I love how Charlie elbowed him for breathing too loudly. Oh, boys...so lovely.
Like I said, I finally understand Apricot now and I love her interactions with Charlie. She is such a fascinating character and she's almost dragon-like in her qualities. Like this line, "Apricot's roar of fury was short and sharp...". She's kind of fierce and wild. I love her and I love that she calls him Charles. And the end with his name tag and his fingers blotting out the letters, making them real just oh my gosh, your words! How do you come up with these brilliant descriptions? You are a genius.Author's Response: jah! godt. And also not good, ugh. So in my last review response you know how I said I wrote these characters before? WELL her name was April then, and I went through and thought I'd gotten all of them changed. ALAS! I'll go back through v. soon and fix that, THANK YOU FOR POINTING IT OUT. But I am also glad that the non-linear stuff is making more sense ;)
I feel like a broken record at times, but I imagined Serenity Hill without a story for it. I think it was so beautiful and perfect that I really felt the rest of the imagery had to live up to it in a way, plus, I was using this fic as an exercise in description. Apparently with some amount of success :P
Also I know that /I/ wrote it but I just laughed out loud at the idea of Charlie elbowing poor Perce for breathing too loudly--it is SUCH a kid thing to do and so stupid but great. Ah, I love kids.
You're not the first one to point out how much Apricot is like a dragon but you are as right as everyone else. I didn't even /realize/ this when I was writing it, I just wanted to give some element of reality to the quirky OC trope, and she happened. She is quite wild, you're right, but I think also softened by her attempts to be civilized, whenever they happen, and her love for Charlie. They're really best pals at heart, kind of soul mates. I'm thinking of writing a short story collection of theirs, because I think they deserve more of my time, but then, I look at my page and weep because all the WIPs.
This isn't an uncommon experience, but at my elementary school, which was extremely small, our teachers made plaques for our cubbies. They were usually hand-written. I remember once leaning down to mine--I was number 5 in the class, and it was small--and having the notion that if I covered up the letters on my name, or half of it, nobody would know whose cubby it was. Completely flawed notion of course, but I remember pulling a finger off the dot on the "i" in my name and thinking myself its grand permission to exist. There's something that has stuck with me the same way the story of the Wizard has stuck with Charlie, I think.
YOU ARE A GENIUS. You're too kind, Missy, thank you so much for reviewing and I'm glad you're enjoying it so far! Report Review
I don't know how you do it, but I always feel speechless after reading one of your fics. It's kind of delicate-like and there's this peaceful calm to your words and maybe I'm just worried I'm going to burst this bubble that your words and worlds have created around me. I dunno, but I like it.
I am forever in awe at your ability to paint scenes. Seriously. The bit with Charlie on the hill, laying in the grasses that are like a green blanket, everything is so vivid and beautiful and you put me there, with your characters. It's takes a brilliant writer to do that and you continually amaze me.
Plus, oh my gosh, your Charlie is so perfect here. A mixture of that quiet intensity I've always imagined him to have and some of that reckless bravery that allows him to work with dragons (because um, crazy? Did you see those dragons in the Tri-Wizard Tournament? Why would you want to work with them?)
Also, baby Percy who constantly asks questions and Mrs Weasley telling them a bedtime story while she keeps a watch on her knitting. So precious and lovely. Just, I love Percy and Charlie there, all dirty and eager.
I must admit I'm a little bit confused about Apricot, but I'm hoping to figure things out as I read more, which I will. Right now. :)Author's Response: MISSY.
It was such a lovely surprise to see these reviews, and of course as they are amazing, they also made me extremely happy :) I'm sorry for the wait in responding to them, but LIFE. Alas.
This fic came out of me calmly. I think it's one of the only fics besides Adventure where I knew probs 90% or similar of what I was going to write. That may be why there is this calm aura about it, although to be honest I really was trying to make something about it peaceful so that it kind of grated against the knowledge that war was breaking out in Britain.
Wooo! I tried very consciously to focus on landscape and detail in this fic, but particularly the place, because I received the advice in school that I sort of needed not to neglect it. So, voila! And that was only appropriate in this fic because, well, it's all based around the idea of geography--how does literal distance from a war affect how distant you really /are/ from it? And your family? Are you really so far away from them, even thousands of miles away? I'm quite pleased that it was easy to picture, though; when I think about this fic, I see my original picture of Serenity Hill but more so the computer I typed it on at work (yes, I wrote three of these chapters at work! while I should have been working! Not sorry, though) and the google doc I was typing it into. And I see the banner. I don't know why it doesn't have the whole of that visual imagery--probably because I need to read it again.
This is one-hundred-percent my head-canon Charlie. He's quiet and kind but also, DRAGONS. Hello! You've got my thought process down pretty well, haha.
Percy was really fun to play with, here. I felt a little unfair to him because I was mostly shedding unfortunate light on his most pertinent characteristics--the fact that he feels like he must control, know everything, etc, which ultimately failed him during the war in the present; but I also think I tried hard to make them like real children, so I am relieved to receive your feedback :P
Apricot, yes. These are shortish chapters for me so, I had a bit of trouble with her right at the start. I wrote my first ever short story for school with Charlie and Apricot and then I made them into "Muggles" so I could turn it in for a grade, so I already knew them quite well before I started this and sometimes I forget that readers will need a bit more info. So I hope that got through in later chapters.
Thanks so much for your review(s), I appreciate you taking the time!!! x Report Review
I'm kind of speechless. I loved it, I really did. Just wow.Author's Response: Wow thank you! I'm so glad that you enjoyed it, it was good to write, and I feel that it is a pretty self-sufficient and, if I can say this, somewhat unique story :) Thanks so much for reviewing!! Report Review
Oh, what a beautiful end! Thank you for writing this, lovely, really really truly thank you. This was wonderful, and I feel inspired.
I've missed reading your fics, because I know what a brilliant communicator and writer you are. Keep at it. Here's to hoping that this summer will be filled with many more of your beautiful chapters and new fics :)
Laura xxAuthor's Response: asldfkjasdlf saldkfjheirghkjfhlasdjkf a;sdfoertuhyriosad fasidufh ! !!!
I'm at a bit of a loss; I can only say thank you, so, so much for reviewing and letting me know what you thought of this fic! It was a bit of an iffy thing for a while and I am surprised but so pleased that people have liked it as much as they have, and have given me so much lovely feedback!
I am hoping to update many stories this summer, and I am sure along the way there will be one-shots or two-shots etc, because my brain is a breeding ground for fic, ofc.
Thanks again ♥ ♥ Report Review
again, another really beautiful chapter. I love the tone and atmosphere of this fic - its so gentle and brash and subtle all at the same time. I had never really thought about Charlie's life in Romania at all before. I always just imagined him to still be the tall, beaming brother Ron describes him to be. There is so much more to him. Of course he is caring and loving and deep. I really love that you've fleshed him out so much.
I don't think I can stress enough how lovely the switching or narratives is. It makes me think that deep down Charlie is still a little boy. It draws such a huge contrast to the innocence of bedtime stories and this horrible, looming presence of evil in adulthood.
This is so wonderful,
Laura xxxAuthor's Response: Again hello!
I'm so glad at what you say about the tones because that, to me, is Charlie himself and he's the lens of this fic--though I think that's pretty clear because we're going back to /his/ childhood continually. Romania is something I had written before I researched it because I was being so true to my vision--I remember, before posting, I realized, WAIT I HAVE PLACED THIS BASE CAMP IN ROMANIA AND DESCRIBED THE LANDSCAPE AND I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT ROMANIA ACTUALLY LOOKS LIKE HALP. So I googled and voila, there are hills and trees and dust in Romania so it ended up okay. But that is just a story of my panic attack for funsies.
And of course I am touched that you so easily believe the Charlie I have portrayed. Though I'm not sure he didn't exist and I am not just tapping into the voice of his that I have always heard.
I'm really glad that you like the switching narratives, too! That is a good way to put that phenomena in a phrase. You have summarized my hopes for this fic in a sentence as well: "it makes me think that deep down Charlie is still a little boy." That's basically the entire point--he's still who he was then and he still has the moral and spiritual viewpoints that he had then. I wanted that connection to be somewhat explicit because I don't exactly tie everything up in Charlie's present life perfectly in the last chapter, so I am hoping that people who read it know that the Wizard is basically who Charlie is going to become, and /is/, to a certain extent.
Again, I'm so pleased you're enjoying / you've enjoyed this fic and thank you so, so much for the lovely reviews!!! ♥
Hey again lovely,
yeah, to me the alternation works fine. It's easy to pick up the continuation of Mrs Weasley's story. At first I was a little lost with Charlie/Apricot, but it makes a lot more sense in this chapter. In fact, its really rather effective. I love how there is this massive differentiation between peaceful story time, about this wonderful place Serenity Hill, broken suddenly by Apricot's shrillness. She's a really interesting character.
Again, I'm eager to get on to the next chapter - this fic is really rather lovely!
Laura xxxAuthor's Response: Hi !
I'm glad it works for you; you're obviously a great reader and I was hoping some great readers would come and read this fic trololol.
Yes, I took a while to build up to the Charlie/Apricot stuff, I think. I can't say why. You know how when you already know something so well that it's always conscious or rather, always subconsciously present, it's hard to figure out how much to say without being too much, and then things can get a bit understated until you reach a balance? I /think/ that's probably what happened here. I think I noted this in the author's notes but I had had this story played out in my head for a long, long time before I actually got to writing it down. So it was hard for me sometimes to realize what I hadn't yet physically written.
Apricot, Mel has pointed out to me--Witnesstoitall, that is--is a human embodiment of a dragon itself. And if logic is anything then here's a small proof for us all:
Apricot = Dragon
Charlie loves Dragons
Charlie loves Apricot
It all works out, clearly. But yeah, I had fun writing her--she's pretty unlike me in her boldness but her strangeness and randomness is something that I as a person and writer both also share, so it was fun.
Thanks again for your reviews, Laura, it was such a lovely surprise to receive them :D Report Review
this is a classic example of me stalking your authors page until I find something mesmerising to read. I think I love everything about your writing. So, don't ever change, ok? :)
Charlie is such a beautiful, deep character. I really think he has so much potential as a man. He is strong and quiet and brave and a million and one other things. You've captured him perfectly in this first chapter, not to mention silly swotty Percy and Mrs Weasley as the perfect mother. I still have a lot of unanswered questions about this fic, but I'm sure they'll be answered in the upcoming chapters.
I can't wait to read more :)
Laura xxxAuthor's Response: LAURA HI-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I ! ♥
Haha you're so kind to me--honestly the hope is always to get better, isn't it, but I still hope that I may be able to retain whatever it is about my style that intrigues you. For a couple reasons--mostly because who doesn't want to write something YOU like? And also because I love your reviews, heh.
To me Charlie is really this basket of contradictions--he always seemed a bit quiet and reserved but we also have the information that, one, he went to work with /dragons/ which is the job of a crazy person or at least the job of someone with the potential to be a crazy person--and, two, that he used to be a star Quidditch player and captain. The dragons and Quidditch go together fine but I was mostly intrigued by the quietness and calmness that I had also picked up on from the series. So this was a thing of intrigue but also a serious brain-child fic, like, I don't know what that means but it all just sort of happened.
Percy is hilarious to me. He's a really tragic character but I imagine he was really an amusing child. There's something pathetic and humorous about someone who tries to do the right thing all the time but ends up not doing it despite the effort.
And, yes, Mrs Weasley is really what JKR gives us as the perfect mother and, what's better is that she's the head of this household--she's the best parent ever basically. She's not just the compliant housewife, like Petunia, although I personally feel Petunia likes that job and the boundaries of her social status are like a safety blanket. Anyway. Mrs Weasley is a strong but gentle, loving mother. I wanted to establish her also as intelligent, humorous, and creative, because sometimes I feel that JKR played up her battiness a bit too much. Though we loved that as well, I'm sure.
At this point you've already read the rest of the story; I hope that what questions you had were answered sufficiently! Thank you so MUCH for your reviews, they were so lovely to receive and I apologize for taking so long to get to answering them. -Lily Report Review
Ahhh I loved it! I repeat all of my previous comments. It really didn't need anything else, bravo :)
-OliveAuthor's Response: Hello again! Thank you so much, I'm so pleased that you liked it. I was a bit worried that readers might not find this to be a good ending point but I'm glad you found that it was.
Again, I really appreciate your reviews! Always made me smile :)
-lily Report Review
I love this so far already. The language and imagery you use really is beautiful- Serenity Hill is a fantastic idea. You've explored Charlie really well, and I like your OC too. Reading on now to find out where this is going! :)
- OliveAuthor's Response: Hello, Olive! I have enjoyed receiving your reviews for this story, it was a strange and sort of feverish venture for me. I started writing it in the winter of 2011 and then, as I'm apt to do, I let it sit about half-way through the second chapter. I picked it up again this last spring and I just had a weekend of writing. I blasted right through it and finished it up in a day, and miraculously I think it worked out.
Probably because it's come from a place in me of concern for relationships and /place/ in a story. I also think the whole dragon thing is really amazing, I wish I'd gone into a bit more detail about that. But I'm glad that you've enjoyed my characterization of Charlie and Apricot--they're head canon to me, now haha.
Thanks for your reviews!!
-lily Report Review
When they were younger, to get through it, they had talked about how the graveyard was probably sad that it had lost two of its finest, bravest bodies, that Apricot and her brother, Ernst, had not been alone in their pain, that the earth was crying with them, that all of the graves would collapse because the soil was so moist and the earth wanted, badly, to protect what it had left.
^ Oh. Oh. Heartbreaking. Terrible. Just...terrible.
You really ended on such a high note. I loved all four chapters. I think that's a hard thing to do, to be able to create an entire story in less than five chapters and still make it understandable without having to write more and more so we're left with all the answers to the questions we might have.
Life is hard but it goes on. You just have to keep fighting. I think out of everything I enjoyed Molly's part in this the best. Even when she wasn't involved in the other parts I still felt like what she was saying and what she was trying to teach was still there, silently weaving around the two.
Wonderful job!Author's Response: I think you're the third person I've run across who's mentioned that this story is less than five chapters--I never really thought about it like that before, that it's some kind of particular feat, but I guess in a way it is. TO me a story has never necessarily been something I've looked at as needing to answer questions, though I personally think/hope I'm getting better at making a more comprehensive story which doesn't leave you guys with as many, haha.
You've basically summed up the story's motivating lessons, if I can call them that. Molly was always present--I tried to contrast her gentleness with Apricot's craze, but in a lot of ways they're both extremely bright and huge presences in Charlie's life that work with him in similar ways; they both care for him and he cares for them both and they are reminders that there are some things in life you have to do something about, that you absolutely must protect. Part of the reason that I wove Molly's story--and it is /her/ story, she's made it up to tell to her sons, and we see how differently it affects Percy's life if we look to canon--right into the chapters instead of having it all in one chapter on its own is so that it has that effect, that she's always present. Because she is, I think. Charlie has carried her story with him, as well as his love for her, all the way to Romania.
Thank you so much for your reviews, and I'm so sorry it took me so long to respond to them, school got a little crazy for the last couple months. It always made my day to see that you'd left another :) Report Review
Oh, Charlie. Oh, Apricot. Oh, Lily. ♥ This review will probably be of poor quality, and I heartily apologize for it, but I didn't think it fair to leave you hanging until Tuesday for a review. I told myself I would only read a bit of this, and then pop off to sleep -- and what seemed like milliseconds later, there came the end! 'Twad magic. :3
I agree with your author's note wholeheartedly: This story stands for itself, and contained within less than five chapters, less than ten thousand words, is a story that speaks, and it speaks of one of the truest depictions of a relationship I have read on this sight. Love is not flowery proposals and declarations, midnight rendezvous spots in the pouring rain; love is knuckle-hills and flobberworm hair and the warmth exuded by a very old dragon. I love the way you told this story, because it is like the way you tell all your stories -- it is lush and picturesque and very you. :)
Molly's story, too, played to this -- there is no true idyll in life, no everlasting Serenity Hill, but life prevails. And that's what this story's about, isn't it? Life? (Look at me, being all deep and ponderous. Can you tell it's late?) And then, of course, it never got too serious, balanced out as it was by Apricot's sass and Percy's adorable quirks and juice-that-is-not-juice. Oh yeah, I caught that. :)
Such a beautiful, beautiful story, Lily. I can already tell you that this will not be the last time I read it. ♥ Thank you so much for writing and posting this -- I'm honored to have read it!Author's Response: Oh Merlin, and here's me rolling in a month and a half later to respond to your review -eyeroll- You're too good to me, but we already knew that! Also, I've never received a poor-quality review, LEAST OF ALL from you. Pshaw, I say.
I'm basically still overcome with FEELS at your second paragraph. TO say that this is one of the best relationship stories you've read on the site is absolutely UNBELIEVABLE--seriously, I don't believe you, but I'll thank you all the same ♥ I think love is living your life with someone. The idea that you don't have to be perfect, you just have to /be/ and let someone else /be/ with you. I also hold to this personal philosophy that people are where they live, I mean that they /are/ the environment; I believe that a certain kind of person doesn't have any boundaries or real edges at all and that they're part of everything, though they find a center in their body. I think that's why landscape moved its way to the center of my imagery in this story. I think it's probably in all of my stories, too, to an extent, in the way that an author is /always/ made present by her work.
PONDEROUS=clumsy/chubby, though I know what you meant. Oh, merlin I'm laughing so much, MY CREYS, you are so funny and late-night reviews are my absolute FAVORITE. Also on that note you're totally right about everything. There is no pervasive, lasting, worthwhile serenity hill. AND YOU'RE RIGHT THAT WASN'T JUICE U SO SMART~ -claps-
I'm so so so so so so so so so grateful as always for your encouragement and kind words; you mean a lot to me! ♥ Report Review
I know I haven't stopped in to leave you feedback about the prior three chapters, but trust that I've adored them all with increasing intensity. There was something magical about this world you weaved. Even though two decades or more seperated the telling of the tale of the wizard and Charlie sitting on the back of Old Bean, it all felt like it was happening simultaneously on a whisper of fresh air floating from Romania to England. It was whimiscal, even in its handling of serious subjects and as a whole read much in the same manner as Molly's story had. There was a moral there, and I'm not entirely sure I can put it into words, but this story made me think -- it took me to another place and allowed me to see the world around me through the soft greens and yellows of your 'serenity hill' and the rolling hills of the dragon preserve. That is the amazing thing about writing, I think -- the unique and personal experiences and opinions that the reader adds to the words that the author wrote. The relationship between reader and the written word gives literature it's power.
I'm not sure why exactly this story affected me so, but I felt at peace reading about Charlie and Apricot and the brother the second. I think knowing that it all ends up working out, gave me comfort in following along with Charlie and his processing of the changing world. The character of Apricot complimented him so well, she seemed to me to be the embodiment of the dragons he loves so much. The fairytale that Molly weaved for her children, I think, served the same purpose for young Percy and Charlie as this fic as a whole served for its readers. That parallelism made this short story special.
Thank you for writing it and for sharing it. You're fabulous.
xoxoAuthor's Response: MELLL LLL LLL LLL ♥
You stopping by at all is all the feedback I need or could possibly ask for, don't be silly! It's really interesting to me to hear people's opinions on this piece because it's so NOT romance, but in a way that's what makes it the most romantic of all to me. It's two people living their lives and doing that with each other. Sometimes that's the sweetest thing.
To me this story is something that really defined Charlie. He's still a kid, too, surrounded by family; annoying younger brothers, a good mother. I'm so glad to hear that this brought up imagery for you because that's something I really was trying to do. When I think about this story I see the word document I wrote it into as well as my initial idea of serenity hill alone in a black surrounding world, peaceful and beautiful but ultimately insufficient. And I definitely agree that "the relationship between the reader and the written word gives literature its power." It also gives a writer and reader both immortality, I think, as well as a story.
Yes--the important thing to me wasn't to show you exactly how Charlie got back to Britain, because we know he will. I think even without going back to canon and his presence in the Order, we'd know it. The wizard does the right thing so it follows Charlie will, too. I wanted this to be sort of the in between times, which I think I mentioned in the first line of the first chapter. And, of course, the brilliant reader you are, you've made my desires reality--that the story of the wizard to Charlie is Charlie and Apricot's story to us, that life follows patterns and that literature ultimately is something that enriches our lives.
thank YOU for reviewing, it means so much to hear from you (h) Report Review
Oh Alas. Does this mean there's only one chapter left?
I might just cry. Or not ;)
I've never read Charlie characterized so well, his strength and will are great through your lines. I love Apricot, she's slightly crazy I feel, but she's special and I'd definitely love to meet her.
I really like these scoops in Charlie's life, it's always interesting to learn about dragons and such. It's also nice that he isn't entirely isolated with the outer world.
Though my favorite parts, I have to admit, are the bedtime story ones. The imagery is warming, and they're all so well captured in words; the mother and the two opposite fighting/loving boys. It's extremely enjoyable and I can't wait to see how the stories will entwin at the end!
Wait, scratch that, I CAN totally wait. Forever if you want. I just don't want it to end! What will happen to Apricot? Will we know both of their situations during the war (and the dragons' xD)? Won't they ever get together or something? :,(
You've really painted us the perfect Weasley portrait, yet he's no Mary Sue which is always a good thing.
I actually waited to read this chapter time after you posted it, stopping on all these little details you place to make the brilliant puzzle (it can't end!), and when the time comes (haha sounds like ages like that, which is comforting anyways ^^), I'll re-read the end to capture all of them.
I truly love your style.
Sorry for rambling.Author's Response: Alack! Alack! 'Fraid so :(
I hope you don't cry, but I'd understand if you did. I have sometimes felt so sad at coming to the end of stories that I have cried, too.
I'm so glad you like Charlie and Apricot! They are very different but somehow, and in a way I couldn't even understand when I started this months and months ago, suited for each other. Apricot would be a fun person to meet. I feel like it wouldn't matter you hadn't met before, she'd be very friendly if she took a liking to you. Which I bet she would ;)
Don't blame you for liking the bedtime stories most. In ways they're the safest but also the most mysterious. It's kind of a woah---wait moment for me because I'm telling you all a story about a woman telling her children stories. Story-telling inception if you will. And you must because I'm proud of myself for that metaphor :P
Haha, I hope that whenever you make it to the last chapter you will feel, as I do, that the story ends there but it is satisfying, still. I'll see what you think hopefully! I don't think the story explicitly answers all your questions because, to be frank, to me the story wasn't about those things--it was about Charlie and how he makes the decision to go back to fight in a war that he believes in fighting in and how he loves people so much that he becomes their protector. He and Apricot are sort of tacit in their agreement that they're a couple but it's not passionate. They're like very, very close friends who love each other but they're not quite romantic.
Thank you for your review! Also, never apologise for rambling, it's always fun on my end to read :) Report Review
The next chapter is the last one. I'm looking forward to it but a bit sad that it has to end so soon. I think my favorite part about this is the bed time story, the way you have Mrs. Weasley tell it almost makes me feel like I'm there. I'm right next to Percy, waiting anxiously to find out what happens next. I'm there peering up at her, mesmerized by her words.
And since they're really your words I suppose I'm mesmerized by you.Author's Response: Baww don't be sad! I am thinking about writing a companion short story about Charlie and Apricot at Hogwarts. STAY TUNED.
Aw shucks. Don't quite know what to say; nobody's ever called anything about me mesmerizing before :P Report Review
I decided that I didn't want to leave this review hanging, because it was still buzzing about in my head, determined to not leave me alone. So I decided to swing by and leave you a (hopefully) semi-coherent review tonight!
This is basically one of the best Charlie/OC stories I've yet read (and I went through a phase where I read any I could find!). And I feel supremely confident that I would say that even if I didn't know you outside of this review box, because you have a very gifted way of writing people, of getting inside their heads. When I'm reading about Apricot's interactions with Charlie, they feel so real, like they're people I actually know, or would like to know. They go beyond characters on a screen, and not a lot of people can do that. I have a large amount of appreciation for it. :)
I love the bits you've thrown in -- the yellow flame and the letter about Cedric and the copper cups of porridge. They help ground the story, and I think that's what I was trying to say above -- when I read a story of yours, I'm not reading, I'm there. And I love that, in writing. I can tell you work hard to do that -- or maybe it's natural -- but it really shows.
And as a quick note -- sprinkling the bedtime story through this? Pure genius. You write wee Charlie and wee Percy with such squee-worthy cuteness! ♥ And of course bedtime stories must have morals; they are not complete without one. ;)
I cannot begin to tell you my joy that you came back and finished this. The world would have been a touch drearier without it, you know. Fantastic chapter, as always, and I am very much looking forward to the fourth (and, alas, the last) chapter! ♥Author's Response: You're so nice to me!! I love semi-coherent things. As you should know, having read a lot more of my stuff than is fit for the public eye, heh.
UM YOU ARE TOO MUCH. STAHP EET.
To be honest, I think it's because writing people is a way of looking for myself and trying to learn about other people. It's funny--I love to write about people but it's very hard for me to be around them in reality, and accept them in reality as well as I do in my stories, in the great overarching name of literature. I really do try to carry over this empathy for people when I think about it into life.
There's this theory that I hold to more and more fervently that is not my own, but that of the rather brilliant William Gass--we're reading him in class and he's tough to read but beautiful--no description in writing, just creation. It had been a specific problem of mine, to ground a story--I like to get philosophical right away in stories--or at least used to like to get philosophical right away in stories--so I worked on it specifically. I hope I am not amiss in saying that what you see here is the combined product of my practice and luck, that occasionally dips down to collect me up.
The bedtime story is the story of this story--that doesn't make sense but, it's the backbone, if you will, from which the ribcage fans up and out, the ribcage of Apricot's personal narrative, and Charlie's, in the present.
And yes. I learned so much through bedtime stories about goodness that I sometimes feel my degraded character should shuffle herself over to the dusty bookshelf to read some more about puppies with more than one cookie rather than these newfangled killing or morally ambiguous stories.
I CAN'T EVEN RESPOND TO THE LAST PARAGRAPH FOR ALL THE WELLING UP OF THE JOY OF MY HEART ♥ Report Review
Apricot sometimes made fun of him, but only to Charlie: my brother works with a bull rehabilitation center in Madrid, and he thinks those are scary! What a cry-baby! Wah wahhh.
^ Bahahaha! THOSE BULLS ARE SCARY! I went to Spain and my tour guide was like, 'Want to see bull fight, eh?' I said NO but then instead of seeing it live I had to watch it on the TV and I just wanted to go crawl in ball and cry. SO TERRIBLE!
Anywho! I cried a little when Molly was telling them what 'serenity' means. I just wrote a one-shot with a character named Serenity and it just really described her beautifully. What connections!
Oh, and I don't think it's confusing. I understand the time jumps, you know? I actually REALLY like it because it gives this kind of 'Oh no, where is she going next?' type of feel.
FEEL BETTER! GOOD LUCK ON YOUR EXAMS! I'll be here patiently waiting for the next chapter. :DAuthor's Response: I am also terrified of bulls. At least by the ones that go crazy! Apricot is crazy herself so fear is a bit lost on her. Also, I have to wonder what kind of conditions people keep the bulls in that they can be provoked so easily. I've worked with cows (funny sounding but so true) and they are not, by nature, snarling ferocious I-would-love-to-carve-you-through-with-my-horns animals, though cartoons would tell you otherwise.
I'll have to check out your serenity! I think it's just the power of the word. To me it is more important and less attainable than peace--it comes with something attached that I think it takes great patience and discipline to tap into. Hence the potion to induce it, rather than a spell.
I'm glad you liked the sections I used and that it wasn't hard to follow for you! :) Well. I know you've read some of my more--crazy--pieces so I can understand the slight wariness haha.
Thanks so much! I got better quickly and exams were, well, not great, but I'm still alive :P Thanks for your reviews, they always make my day!! Report Review
The blue flames from the small jar on the bedside table cast the illusion of stars on the ceiling, and walls -- Oh my gosh, this is so beautiful. I literally took a moment from my reading and just sat there with my arms hugging myself because that is straight-up gorgeous imagery. And I am forever jealous. ♥ I WANT TO SEE THE WORLD AS YOU SEE IT.
Charlie elbowed Percy in the ribs for breathing loudly. -- And again with the fabulous characterization of small children! I was giggling so much at this my dog came over and poked my calf with her nose. Which was very wet and cold but she likes to be in with the cool kids, and apparently cool kids giggle.
And I'll take another really brief moment here -- that bit at the end, about Charlie's nameplate and how his fingers made the letters disappear and reappear? I reiterate: I want to see the world as you see it. ♥ That was fantastic!
I already love Apricot. And I think it's because she legitimately breaks the mold -- she is completely unlike every other OC I've ever read. You make her different enough to be relatable, and by definition that makes her even more likable than she already would have been (because, of course, Charlie likes her, and that's good enough for me!). She's got such a strong, admirable feisty personality, and she's such a good match for Charlie. I'm a bit in awe of how well you've characterized her!
I don't know about others, but it completely makes sense to me that the story's flipping between snippets of Charlie's life, and an old bedtime story. :3 I caught onto it without much difficulty, so no worries on that front, Lily! I just. I love this story so much already and I cannot believe there are only four chapters. AND THAT MEANS IT'S HALF OVER, OH MY WORD. THAT WAS A HORRIBLE REVELATION I JUST HAD.
You could always write more. I wouldn't mind. :3 I cannot, cannot, cannot wait for updates on this! This story is so good! ♥Author's Response: Gah. I'm sorry it's taken me forevs to respond! It's just this is so pristine as a review and my response can only muddy it up. But here we are.
UM OKAY. I worked really hard on physical description this year throughout creative writing classes so it's the best news ever to hear that my imagery is working for youuu~ I mean, I was always pretty detailed but it's more of the internal/metaphorical detail that is random but issues forth if unchecked. #writergirlprobs
But anyway. The world in here is mostly crazy so I'd say this is a rare concatenation of a lucky solemn moment and ability to write like the wind. And you know that I did as I was updating you.
Small children are awful. Like I love them but they have the strangest motivations. I think I am a small child still so it's not too hard to "get into character" huhuhuh. All da kool kids giggle, yo!
The nameplate sort of came out of nowhere and I was like, okay brain, I can work with this! I don't know if it's so much seeing as perceiving; but I won't get into that. And again. Do I even need to tell you how crazy my brain is? You should not be jealous or, if you cannot help it, don't be /too/ jealous. (Ahem.)
Apricot was sort of unconsciously shaped by the dragons around her. There are only certain types of people, and this will sound v. obvious, who will give up their lives to go live with dragons. I figure one kind of person would probably rather be like dragons herself. So here you are. Also Charlie seems so mild to me, so there should be something to temper his normalness. Relatively speaking, of course.
I was pleased to hear that the "crots" worked well for you. They did for me, too. I was tempted at first to write out Mrs Weasley's story lineraly but then I realized how much of it was being shaped by the present lives I'd written, even though basically the whole story derives its power and cohesion from the bedtime story bits.
Bahhh. I tried to leave it open-ended enough that it never really ends, though. I'm so pleased you like it ♥ Report Review
Lilyyy! ♥ I can remember reading bits of this story, many months ago -- and, in fact, I'm fairly confident that I read the entirety of this first chapter -- and every now and again, it would pop into my consciousness and I would mourn the world's lack of Charlie and Apricot. And now I'm so, so glad that it's finally manifested itself for the world to see! (Taking one more brief moment here to drool over your banner. SO GORG.)
I already love the way you've got Charlie characterized -- in my admittedly narrow mindset of his personality, it's perfect. He's a quiet Weasley, perhaps quieter than all the rest of them (with the dubious exception of Percy), but there's a sort of innate strength to him. And it's so easy to glean that just from the bits of him we see here. I simply adore the fact that you opened up with his views on the world and his reflections upon it from the hill -- there's a sort of indescribable, warm feeling that creeps through me at that. It's just seriously good writing.
And the bedtime story! Oh my gosh, how cute is that? I mentioned this briefly, but now that I've read it with fresh eyes, I know that it was massive inspiration for at least a bit of "Growing Up Weasley". I can't imagine how my brain let that fall by the wayside because it's so crystal clear to me now -- but anyway. You completely nailed the childlike perspective, and I'm just in perpetual awe of how you can switch between so many things, drama and humor (and yes, even a bit of romance!) and still maintain your distinct LILY voice.
I am legitimately so excited for this -- well, you remember my earlier metaphor, which I will not repeat here for the risk of sounding as if I've lost my marbles. ;) And I also suck forever because I've stopped and started this review about ten times, and I wouldn't blame you if you never spoke to me again. BOTTOM LINE. I am legitimately so excited for this story, and for Charlie/Apricot, and I cannot even begin to express it properly. Onto chapter two! Brilliant job so far! ♥Author's Response: It has been many, MANY months. (I wrote "mothers" the first time instead of months HALP.) But I finally blitzed through it last sunday and I am still, ofc, ironing out the edges, but I'm generally really happy with how it turned out. I'm thinking of writing a Charlie/Apricot ROMANCE FOR REALS one-shot, we'll see.
I'm so glad you like Charlie! I always really liked him throughout the books, he was so friendly and quiet and strong. I see him as very, very invested in his work, so this personality comes from a work-centred personality. You obviously have to be quite brave and a bit mental to want to work with /dragons,/ so I tried to play that up with how he works well with Apricot.
Also that feeling you say you get, the warm etc, is perfect, because it's everything I want from this. It's a story about hard things, but also, it's a story about love and childhood and goodness, too, I think :3 For my birthday last year, my sister bought me a journal with a bible verse from, oddly enough, Lamentations on it, about how good God is etc, and I was thinking, that's really a strange thing. The book is /called/ Lamentations, but there's this verse in there that's totally alight with hope and joy. I wrote the opening pages of this story in that journal until I needed to switch to typing. I don't know if that sheds any light on the tone for you, but to me, it makes sense.
I'm really rather proud of myself for the bedtime story, and prouder still that all these months later I still remember what it was and was able to finish it haha. I think because all my writing stems from things that are important to me, whether it be accepting crazy people (humor) or really steeping in the emotional charge of a moment (drama), so that is the only thing I can possibly imagine that could translate my voice as it does. I don't think of myself as someone who writes genres, just stories. More that I write about people, you know? I know you know.
YOUR METAPHOR WAS COOL BEANS. Also I'm laughing so much right now. ALSO HOW COULD YOU EVER SUCK AT ALL. You are perfecta. I am excited for YOU to read this, I really do hope you like it and thank you so, so much for reading. Your feedback always means so much to me! ♥ Report Review
So, okay, one of the first things that attracted me to this story was how you described the landscape on tda. Like, it was totally obvious that you were a brilliant writer from just the way you were describing the colours and the mountains and oh it gave me shivers.
Your writing has this really beautiful touch to it - it's quite soft and sweet sounding but at the same time is also quite solid and strong. I don't know how you pull it off but it really works.
And okay, me being a creeper aside, i just wanted to tell you that i'm really getting into this story and that I now look forward to Fridays even more!
-MarneyAuthor's Response: marney! i'm absolutely overjoyed to hear from you, one because everyone is squeeing over your banner and i hope that because you're here you're seeing that, and second because i sort of find validation in my creeping on you through your being here. i don't know if that makes sense at all but erm there you are.
i had to go look at my request after this because lol i was literally just trying really hard to give you a good material/landscape (AHEM) to work with. i'm really glad that you've said this though, one because i love getting complimented, and two, because focusing on the exterior world has up until this year been something i did not think about except when it was like, i don't know, a frozen lake with magical plants in it. so this story was me really trying to get landscape into it. ahem.
what you say, the softness of it but also the strength, is exactly what i wanted. ARE YOU A MIND READER BECAUSE I THINK YOU ARE. ♥
feel free to be a creeper anytime, though, and i look forward to seeing you around... . . .. . yep.
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