I read this before the voting, but I didn't have time for a review, so I'm back again! I'm so happy you were able to turn this into a unique perspective from the eyes of the dragon. I'm pretty sure no one else has done this!
For the challenge, I thought you did a great job with the prompts, specifically with the dark detectors. I wasn't able to figure out what to do with those, but what you did with them made perfect sense.
The ending was so sad, how she didn't make it, even though the wizards were trying their hardest to do what they could. The connection she had with the human called "Neville" was touching. I could really feel that she trusted him with her baby and could let go in peace.
A very unique take on this challenge! This was a great read!Author's Response: Thank you so much darling!
The ending made me sad too :(. But it seemed to be the best way... But charlie (heart throb) Weasley will take good care of Calla ♥
Jami Report Review
Hey! So I meant to review this before now, but I failed because I am lame. *hides* I'm here now - I know the task is over, but who doesn't appreciate reviews whenever? :P
I don't think I've ever reviewed one of your stories before, so I'm going to give you fair warning now: I'm kind of the mechanics queen, so please don't take my comments to mean that you're not a good writer.
Along those lines:
There were some points where the way you worded things just felt a little awkward to me. In the first few paragraphs, you referred to witnesses to the storm a few times (all that was brave enough, very few remained, the surveyors that were left). It wasn't really clear to me whether you were talking about objects or people when you were saying that. If it was the former, I think that you ascribed too many human characteristics to them, and if it was the latter, I think that you needed more detail to establish that you were talking about people. Does that make sense?
Similarly, when you started talking about the baby trying to sleep through the storm, I felt like you were treating it as being far too self-aware, especially for an animal. Dragons don't seem to be particularly smart in the HP universe as a rule. There was just something about She had tried to sleep through the rage of the thunder in particular that felt like it didn't really fit a baby's pov for me. She had been woken up by the rage of the thunder would have fit with her age better, IMO.
I also felt like you could have included more about Delilah physically than you did. You showed her thoughts about her baby and about the humans and about the storm, but you didn't really tell us much about how she was feeling. Given that she's a beast, I would have liked to see more of that - as is, it felt a bit too much like I was reading about a human, if that makes sense. I love the choice to write from the pov of a dragon, but I wish that you'd depicted her perception of the things around her in a way that really shows how different she is in terms of how she sees the world. I'd expect her to be a lot more primal than she was, especially given how injured she was.
I'm going to stop there, though, lest I come off as hypercritical of a story I really did enjoy.
As I mentioned, I really loved the choice you made to tell this story from a dragon's pov. While I do wish that you'd gone a little deeper with the fact that she's so different from people, I do want to emphasise that I still thought you did a nice job with it. The description throughout the story definitely helped to set the mood, both in terms of the surroundings (especially with the storm) and in terms of Delilah herself. You frequently referenced her breath, her wings, etc, which meant that I never really forgot that you were talking about a dragon. It helped give your story a different tone than any other story I can think of reading on the archive, which is a terrific thing.
And this story was creative and imaginative beyond your choice to write from the pov of a dragon. There were a lot of little details about dragons that you worked in - the uses for their blood, the internal bleeding - that were really well-done, and helped to give this story a real sense of originality. I loved it.
And as far as following the prompts goes - I can understand why you decided not to include the details about Neville's wand - it definitely would have come across as out of place. The way you used the prompts you did use was terrific - the mentions all flowed into the conversation well, and the way you chose to interpret the "feature" prompts was terrific. You crafted your story around them rather than try to just squeeze them in, and it really showed.
Sorry - this is definitely on the short side of a review I'd usually leave for a chapter of this length. House Cup and all that. You're in my house, you get it. :PAuthor's Response: Short side??? Oh goodness! Thank you so much for such a wonderfully detailed review!
My thoughts regarding the dragons are pretty different than others, I think. They were around for so much longer than the wizards, I just find it hard to believe that they wouldn't have done some massive mental evolving. I guess I'm a bit like Hagrid in the sense of thinking of them closer to humans than senseless beats.
I've been bothered by that storm section, also! Thank you so much for bringing it up, it has reminded me to take me editing pen out. I hate the editing pen.
I am so happy that you also see my issue with the wand. Despite me feelings on Delilah being very intelligent, there would be no way to get to Neville's wand through her naturally.
Now that this challenge is finished I think I want to edit this and will definitely include more physical descriptions! Now that my word count isn't so important ;).
Thank you so much for this lovely review. You have given me a lot to think about for the next time that this story is edited.
Hey there! So I figured that my first review for the second task should go to my BLLL partner and voila! Here I am.
Alright, well I just want to say that I really like how this is told through a mother dragon's point of view. I've never read a story like that before and I'm very impressed. I really enjoyed that first part with Delilah and her baby. Her reaction and dedication to keeping baby Calla safe was so beautiful and emotional. It was so very human, and until I read the description of her covering Calla with the wing, I thought that this might be about Hannah Longbottom and her child or something.
There were a few typos I saw, for example:
Neville shuddered at Charlie's words, but his yes remained glued to her.
I believe you meant eyes, right?
And oh my, break my heart why don't you? Poor Delilah. Just when I was really starting to get attached to her and she dies. Taking pages out of Miss Rowling's book, now are you? Haha, but no seriously. You did an excellent job with her character, and it's amazing how you managed to make a dragon a character. The only thing I wish there was more of, was an explanation as to why Neville was there in the first place. But since this is a one-shot that was mainly focused on Delilah, I guess it's not that important.
Anyway, very lovely job you did here and go Gryffies!
-Camila :)Author's Response: Thank you so much for the lovely review ♥ this was a very fun PoV to write the story from.
Delilah :( I was sad, also. But I couldn't figure out any better way to end it :(.
Thank you again so much BLLL partner ♥ Report Review
Greetings from the Gryffindor Common Room!
I must compliment your originality! I've been trying to mak my way through the challenge entries, and this is the first on I've seen to be written from a dragon's POV. It was very interesting the way you pulled it off, and th dragon came accross as a majestic and protective creature rather than the fierce predator we're used to seeing.
Charlie and Neville's roles in the story were perfectly executed as well, and while their actions were brief, they showd a lot of insights into their characters.
You made excellent use of the availible prompts, but the story feels like you planned it out like a regular story rather than just stretching one around the prompts.Author's Response: This review is so great! Thank you so much! I actually do love this story quite a bit because Delilah is such a courageous mother. All of her instincts are focused only on protecting her baby.
Anyway, I'm so happy you made it to my story! I'm doing the same as you and trying to leave me reviews for the rest! I ended up not even voting because I couldn't get through all the stories!
Thank you again so much for this amazing review ♥ Report Review
Ah that was incredible. It was so beautifully written and so sad too, the way you described the emotions running through Delilah was incredible! :) Author's Response: Thank you so much darling Report Review
This was such an A-mazing story! What a great idea to show this story through a dragon's eyes. Especially a docile one. One that has been taken care of by Charlie. What a wonderful read it's been. So touching and so funny at times, when Neville kept repeating the odd names they had found for the dragons.
The prompts blended in incredibly with the rest of the story. A very well handled challenge!Author's Response: Thank you so much for this wonderful review, it made my day!
It hurt my heart to have Delilah die at the end, but at least Calla will live safe and sound!
Thank again, darling!
Jami Report Review
I'm going to be honest with you Jami because you're my buddy. This story is the best I've read yet. O M G! *cry* It's sooo emotional and touchy. I love it. I love the beginning and the ending, and also the context of course. I really wish people would stop looking for points and vote for the best story. Even if they don't and 135 story gets it, I'm going to advertise this because this is that amazing. I have no freaking words to explain how amazing it is and I'm not exaggerating!!! I love it Jami and I love you for writing such a great piece :D And the prompts were used smoothly. No mistakes whatsoever.
*hugs*Author's Response: asjdfjdf. That's what you just made me feel. I can't describe it. This review was so, so amazing. I can't believe that people really have liked this story, to be honest I thought the fact that it was told through a dragon would really turn some people off.
I had so much fun writing it from this PoV where an amazing creature depending on only her instincts. She was such a fun character to write, and her dying at the end did make me very sad :(.
There just didn't seem to be any way to end it other properly. Delilah got her baby to safety, she got to have the presence of humans she knew cared for her at her last moments, and Calla will live healthy and safe.
Thank you so, so, so much for this amazing review. It has made my day. I can't believe how much you liked this one shot. *hugs* *hugs* *hugs* Report Review
This is so sad but so amazing at the same time.
I'm in tears right now because I feel so moved by the love you've conveyed between a mother and daughter even within this short story. I just can't believe how amazing you've done this. I can't believe how you've managed to put a mother's love into words so effortlessly either. Its just perfect!
It's so different, so unique and so captivising all the way through. You included your prompts so effortlessly that I really didn't even notice them as I was reading through which shows your skill in embedding them!
Just wowAuthor's Response: This was such an amazing review, thank you so much for your kind words!
I'm happy the prompts were part of the story!
I hope you liked it being told from the Dragons PoV! It was very odd to write something from such a new perspective!
Thank you again!!
Jami Report Review
So I had just written this really lovely review for you and the blackhole of the archive ate it. :I
Anyway, I hope take two is just as good.
This is hands down one of my favorite entries I've read from any of the houses. A dragon's point of view! Gah. A /little/ bit envious of that genius. And what a dragon she is!! She's so strong and loyal and full of a wisdom that almost feels ancient. She is so protective of the little Calla (which, can I just say, sounds adorable and a half... I want to cuddle with the poor orphaned dragon. D: ) and is so self sacraficing.
So many stories in this challenge have really featured the terrifying strength of the dragons, their viciousness and such... but you have depicted an entirely different strength, a quiet strength. And it is stunning.
Charlie. Weasley. Be. Still. My. Beating. Heart. I swear I'm in love with him... in a non-creepy, if he wasn't a fictional character sort of way. I think Delilah's assessment of his character speaks volumes to who he is as a person. She senses his intentions, and feels his respect and love. One of my favorite quotes of all time is "you can tell the heart of a man by his treatment of creatures who can do nothing for him" and it really, really applies to this charlie and his huge heart.
I really really respect that you didn't feel the need to include all of the prompts into this story. This story, as a result, is it's own entity. It feels incredibly organic and genuine. Gah. So. many. feels.
You did a spectacular job with this and you (and your house) should be very, very proud of you.
xoxoAuthor's Response: Oh my gosh, I now write every review on my Pages processor because of that. My reviews for the my review thread get very, very long, and I will not risk them! haha!
Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a second though, between you and Sarah, I am nearly a puddle of tears. This review is definitely going onto me, 'review to look back at when I feel like I'm a horrible writer,' list. I LOVE Delilah. If I could have anything right now, it would be her as a pet/friend.
And Calla, really? Can you imagine having that little kitten sized thing running around wanting to play?? Ahh!
I am happy that you like my different portrayal of her as a Dragon, I couldn't bring myself to write anything about a monstrous creature trying to destroy Neville. I wanted a noble creature that only wanted to protect her baby. And your review has really made me feel like that came across loud and clear :)!
Ummm you are talking to an Sirius obsessed person over here, don't worry, your Charlie crush is far from creepy in my mind ;)! Seriously, I live vicariously through the OC that I ship Sirius with in Before They Fall. Charlie is almost just as yummy. A strong, fearless man who is gentle enough to have animals coming to him for rescue? Yeah, I'll take it.
I am kind of kicking myself for not including all the prompts, because I know ultimately to be considered for a best overall entry, it would have needed them. I just couldn't bring myself to it do it though. There was no natural way to fit in Neville's wand with this amount of words. They have two dying Dragons; they aren't going to sit there and talk wand specs.
Thank you so, so much. You are amazing, along with this review Report Review
Hello, fellow Gryffindor!
I can say without a shadow of a doubt that this entry is the most creative one I've seen. A dragon as the main character! I was absorbed from the very first line, reeled in by the atmosphere and storm and your lovely narration; you introduced the babe and I felt such pity for a child left all alone in the rain. And then we saw the mother, who was going to scoot close to it but didn't want to hurt it, and I was on tenterhooks trying to figure out what was going on. Imagine my surprise when you mentioned that the mother had wings!
Such inventive writing! You used the prompts in ways no one else has done, and unlike many of us, you didn't cram in all of the prompts because you wanted to retain the integrity of your story. Adding the wand details would have been superfluous, and would have detracted from this story. I'm glad you didn't sacrifice that for points.
I also appreciate that you didn't make the only human Neville. Charlie and MacFusty evened out the attention on that front, with Charlie arguably even more prominent than Neville. Still, Neville is heavily featured, so you fulfilled that prompt while still making it entirely your own. You have tremendous skills, definitely something to envy.
I did catch a few typos here and there, but they didn't distract much. This story, more than any others I think I've read for the Cup, has heart and depth to it. It could exist without the challenge, on its own, and that's one of the many reasons why it's my favorite entry.
Really, really well done. :)Author's Response: I had so much fun trying to figure out when to actually slip in the fact that these two were Dragons. I was unsure about the wing part, because I have gotten the feeling some readers tend to skip through a bit and not exactly pay the closest attention, so I didn't want that very important line to be missed. But then I thought, 'what the heck, if they skim over it, it's their fault' haha.
Anyway, your review for this was amazing. You have no idea how wonderful you made me feel. I started out wanting to get all the prompts in, but I literally ran out of words. And I just couldn't handle taking anything out. Everything in it is important to the story, it makes you understand Delilah and help you know what she's already been through, what her main concentration is. After some serious debating, I figured this story would be up long after the house cup was over, and it was worth it to keep it as the one I really loved.
I was wondering if Neville actually was considered as being featured, but then I decided since he was the one that really made the promise to care for Calla, he had to be important, right ;)?
Something you envy? Have you ever read your writing? Crazy girl.
Okay, I'm done gushing, you are amazing and your review made me the happiest person ever.
Thank you so much!!
Well, this was just beautiful. I’ll start with a few bits that I thought were particularly gorgeous:
‘Miles below the heart of the storm lay a small babe huddled into a ball, shivering and shaking every so often when the noises reached her delicate eardrums’ - this image was perfect. My mind’s eye literally swivelled down from the heart of the storm and zoomed down through the rain to the little huddled dragon (although at first I thought of a human baby, you sneaky writer!)
‘She moved quietly to her baby, unsure of how best to lay alongside her flesh and blood without further disturbing her. After a moment of contemplation, she chose to curl up behind her, and threw a large wing over the tiny body.’ Another beautiful image, and I adore the way Delilah has to think how best to be gentle. Just lovely.
‘She used her powerful, dark wing to push the baby behind her, wrapping her tail around the small body. Calla squealed in protest, but she was able to calm her by slowly swaying the large, purple tail back and forth.’ - This reminded me of Dumbo’s mum, (that scene always makes me cry) and it’s just lovely (there’s that word again!)
Those are just a few of my favourite moments in this story.
Just one thing, really: ‘Very few remained witnesses to this chaos’ - this sounded odd to me. ‘Very few remained to witness this chaos’ or ‘Very few witnesses to this chaos remained’ might flow better.
I like your use of the Dark Detectors, it seemed very natural that Charlie etc would use them whilst trying to care for a wounded dragon. Also, very nice use of the uses of Dragon’s Blood!
It was really enjoyable to see Charlie Weasley as a teacher, I’d like to see that again! Your characterisation of Charlie was really good!
So I’m mad at you now. I don’t like feeling sad… And, basically, this story made me feel so sad! You did so well at making me care about Delilah and Calla and then you depicted how much the men cared about the dragons so perfectly that I felt sad for them as well as the poor dragons.
Seriously, tragic and beautiful. I love that Delilah remembers Charlie from her childhood, that he’s been a reassuring presence more than once in her life.
This was brilliant, you should definitely write more stuff like this. You’ve done Gryffindor proud!Author's Response: I'm so thrilled that I could finally make you mad! Now you know how I feel when you trick me into thinking you're going to skip the entire train scene! And when you pretend a dragon egg is a baby!!! That's what you get, missy!
I'm happy you cared about Delilah and Calla, I really loved them, I now want a kitten sized pet dragon! I really didn't plan on her dying, until I got there. Then it just seemed like the only real way to close this. She did her job, she got her baby to safety, but she's been through too much :(!
Charlie was hard for me to write, I had a difficult time separating him and Bill in my head... :S
Thanks for this amazing, amazing review my wonderful Athene / Sarah / Whatever Dan (cambangst) name for you being misleading was.
Really though, you made me non Edward glow ;)! Report Review
Well you already know my opinion on this wonderful story, but the edits have made it even better! The first section I think is my favourite part - the description of the storm is lovely and the POV of the dragon is authentic and realistic, as well as being about base instincts such as the protection of her baby. I just love it!
The section where the humans turn up is great. Neville and Charlie's charactisation is spot-on, and the subtle but not overwhelming introduction of the OC acts as a helpful prop to the story line. The emotions of the dragon and how she reacts to the humans is really awesome, and how she gradually accepts their help is really nice to see.
Of course, the ending is so sad - I thought she was gonna be okay, so to have her die is so shocking and sad :( at least the baby lives, carrying on her legacy I suppose. The level of detail you put into her wounds was great too.
Well, I love this story, it's official. GO GRYFFINDOR! Well done *hugs*Author's Response: The ending is sad, huh? :(. There just didn't seem to be any other way to end it. Calla will grow up safe and happy though, Charlie will be sure of that :)! He's kind of a heart throb, isn't he?
Thank you so much for this amazing review, I am so proud of our entire house!!
Jami Report Review
Excellent job. Really a unique viewpoint too. Couple of things I noticed while reading.
'made even more intimidated by the'
should be intimidating
Nice work on the bag on the shoulder, flows much better that way.
Overall, even better than when I read over it yesterday. Still runs great and just draws you along as you go, you want to finish it. Really great job.Author's Response: Hi darling, I did edited what you pointed out :)! Thank you so much for this wonderful review!
Our entire house has been so supportive of each other, it's wonderful to see!!
Jami Report Review
Hello, darling! I'm making my way through the Task 1 submissions for our illustrious house, trying to help out where I can. Of course, you've already gotten most of my feedback, so I'm mostly just here to gush and fangirl squee. I really owe blueirony for introducing me to that term.
I really liked the sort of rudimentary sentience that you wrote into the dragon's point of view. Not fully human, but keenly attuned to her surroundings and well aware of the dangers confronting her and her baby. It was a nice way to imagine such a beautiful, noble creature. Not some dumb beast like the poor dragon imprisoned in the bowels of Gringott's.
You know what I really, really loved about this? You didn't bother trying to work in the prompt with the details of Neville's wand. I've read half a dozen of these, and people have struggled so much trying to make that sound natural. It's really, really hard to engineer the circumstances where such technical details sound even remotely natural. It usually just sounds gratuitous. Bravo for not being such an obsessive completist!
It was heart-warming to see Neville discover his affection for the baby dragon at the end. The mother can die on a contented note, knowing that she delivered her baby to safety.
I think you nailed every one of the prompts you chose to include. Nothing sounded out of place. Everything flowed nicely and the story was really engaging. It didn't feel like it was written just for a challenge.
Alright, I'm done squee-ing now. You know I loved it.
Gryffindor! ROAR!!!Author's Response: That stupid wand. I tried. I tried to get that in, I tried to get all the dragon breeds in.. It just wasn't happening. The wand's only chance was at the mentions of dragon poaching and how useful their heart strings are, and for Charlie to say, "oh, Neville, isn't your core heartstring?" then have Neville correct him and give what it is. Didn't fit. Two Dragons are dying. Would Charlie care what Neville's wand is? No.
Then with the breeds, it just wasn't natural. It came down to the fact that I was two words away from the mark, and I really couldn't take anything out without feeling like I was compromising the story line. And when it comes down it it; this is a story. I would have loved to be one of the people that said, I used all my prompts!
But it wasn't worth ruining my lil Dragon one shot over. Anyway, thank you again my dear for betaing/opinion/everything wonderful you do.
I really do imagine these Dragons as just that: beautiful, noble, special. Think how ancient they are, if they hadn't evolved enough in this world to understand most things, they wouldn't be around still. Stupid poachers. I'm going to mention to PETA to start adding Dragons to their protected list. ;)!
Thank you so much for your review! And for not chasing my with Izzy's pitchfork because my impatient nature ;)!!
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