Hello! Sorry it took a while to track this down.
I must admit that I was a bit surprised- though I anticipated dark(er) stories when I issued this challenge, yours was definitely one of the darkest responses I've seen.
That said, I can totally see this happening to someone in the post-war period. The idea of feeling lost and a general feeling of depression that's so overpowering that it consumes everything.
"She couldn't just box up the war and put it on its shelf and be glad it was over. Because it wasn't." These are probably my favorite lines from this piece, because to me they sum up the entirety of what I was thinking about when I was reading the last few pages of the Deathly Hallows.
This piece was really beautiful, and really thought-provoking. Report Review
I just read The star listener a few minutes ago, and it's so weird because this story just shows another side of Hannah. It's a good and well-written story, and I really loved it.
In The star listener you see Hannah from Susan's perspective, and she seems so strong and brave, and she acts like a leader. I believe that's how people around Hannah see her. But in this story, you see that Hannah have struggles of her own. You see the side she doesn't show most people, because I think she sort of feels like she needs to stay strong for everyone else. She feels like she needs to be brave and keep everyone together, because everyone depends on her to do just that.
In this story, the war is over. You can really see everything she struggled with during it. She feels everything I expect someone would feel if they survived a war. It's like she in some ways died in that war, because she will never be the same person again. It's obvious that the memories from the war is haunting her, and they will probably do that her whole life. And you just can't help but empathize with her.
You also have some really good quotes. I loved several of them. The quote: "They had all known what they had signed up for, but they never really expected to die for it" is just so true. You can sign up for something that's dangerous, and when it ends badly for you or someone around you, it still comes as a shock. You just don't expect death, and especially not when the victims are so young as the ones in the HP war.
My favorite quote, however is: "The end might have happened. But that doesn't mean it's ever really over". That's just so true. It's never really over, because you'll always have the memories. You'll always remember what happened.
Okay, so I have said enough now. I think it's quite obvious that I love your story. Sorry for this extremely long review. Hope I made it obvious how much I loved this story. 10/10
- Your Secret SantaAuthor's Response: Yah, i think a person can only be so strong for so long and she spent so long being strong for the war that eventually the demons she kept at bay showed up at her doorstep. I don't think that images from the war will ever leave either, they will always be there and eventually i think it gets better but I'm not sure if that sort of thing would ever really leave a person. No matter how strong they seemed. This is just shows an extreme end of how far a person can crumble.
Thank you so much for your beautiful review! I appreciate you comments so much! They made me feel over the moon! Seriously! Report Review
Hi there! I'm from the Holiday Review Swap!
This is indeed an amazing piece of writing. I always love stories centred around minor characters, particularly those which have something to do with the war and your fic really appealed to me. You've really gone deep into Hannah's broken and grieving thoughts to paint a most realistic picture of the traumatic effects of war and violence on a survivor. Your characterisation is wonderful and deep, and the relationship between Hannah and Ernie was profound, full of unspoken things, and made even more impactful by its understatedness and their shared experiences.
Your use of language and imagery is also very lovely and vivid, and there is a very dreamlike feel to the whole story. ...what it would feel like to be up there and to take a cloud by its hand and spin round and round till all she could see was a watercolour world bursting around her. Ahh...such a breathtaking line! It's very well-described and not overdone. There were the cold stones, the clouds, the mist - everything felt very cold and abstract and unforgiving.
I loved your ending as well :D There was a hint of redemption in it, of learning to live with their experiences, of the inextricability of the past from the present. All the themes tie up nicely, and again there was lovely reference to the clouds.
Well, all in all, this is a fantastic story full of fascinating and profound insight into the life of a minor character. I've really enjoyed reading it; I think you're a wonderful writer. Do keep writing :D
-tehAuthor's Response: Hi teh tarik!
I know i still owe you a review and i promise you'll get one! A nice lengthy one as well! :P
Thank you so much for your thoughtful review! :P Gah! You were just too nice that i feel out of words to express my thanks. I'm really pleased you enjoyed this piece and found this moment in her life believable. I do like post war stories as well and i've always wondered about the effects it had on the people.
I'm really glad to hear that the descriptions and metaphors weren't overdone. That is always one of my fears is that i write way too much metaphor into my stories that the plot and story actually gets lost in those.
I'm really glad you got that from the ending. I wasn't my intention exactly but i like when readers interpret my stories their own way and i like hearing what it made them think or feel.
Thank you so much for your wonderful review! It was was so lovely to read :P Report Review
Zayne I loved this oneshot! The characterization of Hannah is just amazing! I love that while she lived through the war, she also died in that war. I can see how it would be so hard to move on from the war after watching people that you knew so well die. The description in this was so beautiful and I do hope that one day she gets to dance among the clouds like she wishes to do. Adding Ernie in this was wonderful as well! I love how he is there for her, supports her, and without even saying anything, he just comes beside her to let her know that she's not alone. Even though it wasn't really said, in all the actions that you gave Ernie, you could tell that he really loved her and wished the best for her. My favorite line in all of this was this, "They had all known what they had signed up for, but they never really expected to die for it." That line is just so true! I mean, they are all so young that of course they aren't really going to think that they are going to die in this war, heck they are probably thinking the exact opposite! They all think they are going to make it through the war and that nobody will get hurt but of course thats not the way that war works, unfortunately good people die in wars. I really thought that this was a beautiful oneshot and while I never read the first one, I felt I was fine reading this one on its own! Great Job!
~Slytherinchica08~Author's Response: Hey Erica!!
Thank you so much!!! I'm really happy that you like it, i'm always worried that these angsty sort of pieces will be disliked because they're boring or something. I'm really glad that you could connect with it though.
It's so true, i think that generation of kids could potentially end up really messed up because of their experiences. Their life sort of had to begin again and i don't think all of them would have known how to do that with the demons that haunted them. They their fellow students die and had to potentially aid in killing another human being themselves.
I'm glad you liked Ernie here, obviously, they didn't stick together and i think sometime in the future they do split because they remind each other of the war too much. *insert Neville comes in for the rescue* However, at this moment he's trying to be there for her, one day he'll see he can't fix her. :( I'm really glad you could feel his emotions and how hard he's trying here. :P
Thank you so much for your review! I really appreciate your kind words and i'm really glad you liked this! :P *tackles*
-zayne Report Review
Wow! Your imagery was beautiful, particularly at the beginning I could imagine everything you wrote vividly! Your piece was very thought provoking and captured emotions that I'm assuming would've been felt by all the survivors of the war. I have to admit, I never really have stopped to think about those survivors and how they had been impacted by it.
In saying this, I really loved the quote: "She could still hear Colin's cry or Waynes's gasp as a jet of green shot into their hearts." It really was quite upsetting :(
You did a really lovely job! :DAuthor's Response: Hey! Thank you so much for this! I really appreciate your compliments and kind words here! I'm thrilled that you felt i captured that survivors feelings of the war. It's one thing i'm really interested in writing and so i'm happy that i seem to have gotten it right.
thank you again for your review! I'm glad you liked this! :D Report Review
Ahh again, I loved this - just such an insightful piece in the mind of Hannah after the war. The way you portrayed her was just great, and realistic too. I really loved this: The end might have happened.. but that doesnít mean itís ever really over. yes, exactly that. And I thought this was such beautiful writing - conveys so much feeling and thought so powerfully.
Really enjoyed reading this - such a different perspective! :)Author's Response: Thanks MM! I'm so pleased that you've enjoyed both pieces so much! I really appreciate you saying that Hannah really came alive here. I also really appreciate you liking that line in particular, it was one of the first things i wrote when i started this piece so i'm glad it hit home with someone. Thank you for reading and giving me your thoughts! i really appreciate your lovely comments and i'm glad you liked it! :D Report Review
Hi, Zayne! I was so happy to see that we'd been paired up for the review exchange this month -- it hasn't been that long since I'd beta'd this, and I'd actually been thinking about popping over here and leaving you a proper review anyway. So this is a two birds, one stone sort of deal. :3 And advance apologies for the delay in getting this to you. These past few days have been on the far side of crazy!
Your description and imagery in this were lovely. The way you chose to describe things, and phrase sentences, perfectly complements the story that you attempted to tell, and that really is admirable. So often authors stick to the same narrative style in everything they write, and that can get tiresome. This sentence especially grabbed my attention:
Her eyes met his, a clash of blue and brown
That sort of reminded me of the canon books -- how, in the end, J.K. Rowling wrote something about Harry's green eyes looking into Voldemort's red ones. And it hadn't ever struck me until that moment that their eyes were the opposites of the colors of their chosen curses, and I was duly impressed. But what I'm trying to say is that someone who pays attention to that sort of detail should be commended. :)
I love the fact that you chose to write a one-shot about Hannah, too, simply because she's one of the many, many minor characters in the Potterverse that just needs expanding on every now and again. We've got dozens upon dozens on James II/OC stories, but this is the sort of story there needs to be more of! I'm really glad I got to review this story properly, and definitely enjoyed it just as much the second time around. Thank you for writing this!Author's Response: I know! I was excited to get paired with you, though a bit ironic since you had just beta'd this thing. :D
I was really wanting the description to reflect her feelings and what she was going through. I was hoping that it would make the emotions come alive for the reader. That was the most important part of this story i feel was to just get inside her head and to really explore something a bit more gritty.
I feel the same way about writing in the same narrative style. I get why many people do write it in one specific way, probably because they can do it well or it's the only way they know how to write and they were rewarded for it. There isn't anything intrinsically wrong with that because if you can do it well, why change? But for me, i think telling the story of your character is more important than telling that story through your own perspective, if that makes any sense.
I really love minor characters and i really appreciate you saying that because i'm not as interested in writing about stories that have hundreds of stories about them but would rather give voice to those who have none. Thank you for reading Jane!
-zayne Report Review
Hello there! This is DarkRose from the forums here to review for you! :D So, let's go over things:
Grammar/Spelling: I'm pretty sure you didn't make any errors here, so we can move on from this quickly. :] What a relief.
Characterization: I think you wrote Hannah beautifully. She was so realistic, so hurt. I could really feel how she felt and it moved me quite a bit. I'm definitely favorite-ing this story.
Emotions: THESE were perfection. I felt transformed. I felt like I'd been moved into a different world and I could almost feel Hannah's shallow breathing through her words. She's so hurt and she was strong for so long, and no one can hold on to that forever. You did an AMAZING job on portraying how she was feeling.
Plot/"Does It Make Sense": I definitely think the story's plot was moving. I always wonder why more people don't try to tackle post-war feelings like this. You did terrifically. I did have to reread a few parts to keep up with the clouds metaphor, but I think it made sense overall. If readers pay attention, they won't get lost.
Style: Your style was gorgeous here. It's not often that I really feel connected with a character, and you pulled that off. I admit myself impressed. :] Having read the beginning of "All That Glitters," I know that your style is always good. So, keep it up!
This was a very well-written story. I think you'll do wonderfully in your challenge. Good luck and thank you for dropping by my review thread. It was a pleasure to read this.
--EmilyAuthor's Response: Oh my, thank you so much for all your compliments! I'm pleased you really felt Hannah, i wanted to to be so present and wanted her emotions to really just sort of bounce off the screen. I never expected it to be as much and really thought that this wouldn't make any sense and no one would really feel her. I didn't think my words would be able to accomplish that but i'm beyond flattered and pleased that you experienced it like you did.
I'm going to rework the clouds them in a bit, i realize that i may not have quite gotten there with them but i'm happy that you got it.
Thank you so much with all your compliments i'm beaming with joy every time i read your review! Thank you so much! Report Review
Hi! Mirasoul here, from the forums.
Wow. Just...wow. This was exceptional. Your imagery and metaphor use made me feel as if I was the one dancing among the clouds, grabbing hold of them, evaporating into mist...You paint beautiful pictures, you know that?
I don't really have any criticism of this. I guess my only qualm would be Hannah's brief dialogue. It seems a bit cheesy, cliche to me, you know? If it had been a thought she had rather than something she verbally spoke I wouldn't be pointing it out, but it seems so...artistic. Too artistic to be spoken, in a way. Does that even make sense? Anyway, you don't have to change it; that was just one minor little thing to me. Otherwise this entire one-shot is absolutely beautiful. I especially love the glimpse of hope you added in with the last sentence. Reminds of the famous Dumbledore quote: "Happined can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light." :)
~MirasoulAuthor's Response: Eeks thank you for your kind words!! *blushing* i'm so amazed by your reaction to it that i had a smile on my face for ages. I'm glad you enjoyed the picture i attempted to paint. ;)
Ah, i guess i get where you are coming from with her dialogue. I was probably too caught up in the rest of the narrative to focus on her original voice. If i can think of something better that is more real i'll try to add that in as well.
Gosh though, thank you for your lovely words and i'm so pleased that you enjoyed it. *hugs*
zay Report Review
Hi Zay! I'm here with your requested review :)
I love the complexity you've extended to Hannah here, which is something I can always appreciate with a minor character. In a way, you also gave some to Susan by contrasting the two, which is very interesting. I thought it contributed a lot to the emotion that permeated this piece. To answer your question, I do think you painted Hannah's emotions in a poignant and realistic light. She seems to be suffering from a classic case of survivors' guilt, if I interpreted things correctly, and you did a wonderful job of showing us how painful that experience can be. I could really feel like she's got nothing left except the memories of those who are gone forever, and along with them her innocence and her belief in the pure curiosity and wonder of magic, having seen its true form. I thought the line about how she and her friends knew what they were signing up for and yet didn't really expect to die was especially compelling. The students all wanted to fight back and help their hero, and yet for many of them it was the last decision they ever made, and their families are left with the knowledge that those children are gone forever.
I really liked your imagery, especially how the cold from the stones seeped into Hannah's skin and chilled her along with the memories she can't erase. In fact, if this had been my story, I probably would have called this "Cold Stones" or something along those lines. I felt like the story made sense, but to me, the last line didn't have the same gravity as the rest of the story, and it didn't fit well for me as a result. So if I were to make a suggestion, it would be to go back and try to integrate the cloud theme (and/or the dancing theme) a little more throughout the piece. One way might be to focus more specifically on clouds when you're talking about the heavens toward the beginning of the story, but that's just one idea, and this is naturally just my impression of the story.
All in all, the flow here is nice, and I didn't spot any major technical errors, which is always good. I think this was a nice contribution to the body of work concerning the aftermath of the war, especially with your creative use of minor characters. I really enjoyed having the chance to read it! :)
Nice job! I hope this review is helpful!
-AmandaAuthor's Response: Thanks for taking the time to do this Amanda! *hug* I really appreciate you words and you've really nailed the feelings that Hannah was going through. I'm pleased that those shone through in this. It's always something that i'm interested in is the pure emotion in some of those really intense moments of the series. I'm amazed at all the things you picked up with this, some of it i hadn't even consciously tried to write. I love when readers find their own interpretations in stories :D
You've also nailed the very thing that i was worried about. I wasn't entirely sure if I got there with that theme. I actually played around with a title very very similar to your title. I chose this one simply because it played nicely with the story that it bounces off of. But i will be going back to make that theme more prominent! I love writing and exploring minor characters and Hannah has always been particularly interesting to me. Thank you for your thoughts and words again! Seriously, i appreciate them so much!
-zay Report Review
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