The writing style is beautifully clear and entrancing; it seems so effortlessly written. This story reads like a poem. I love everything about it. I'm usually not one for short stories, but this one changed my opinion. I wish it could go more in-depth and detailed, and maybe cover a little bit more on how she felt about Harry, but overall a great story. Report Review
Wow. Just wow.
This story has a really serene, almost poetic flow to it which is incredibly appealing, and I could almost smell jasmine in the air as I read this! Seriously. It was a really beautiful, yet melancholy, tale and I enjoyed every moment of reading.
There's a strange contrast between the sort of mystical, chinese, traditional beginning and then imagining the same characters in Diagon Alley. I really like how you wrote this though, and managed to entwine the two realities together- you truly have an amazing talent :D.
The layout is intriguing as well, and actually adds to the story a lot. I love the dragon's song as well! So magical and amazing.
This is one of the best entries I've read so far. Well done!!
-LWGAuthor's Response: Hi! I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed reading this :) I think one of the things that JKR hinted at but we didn't see full-on was how people of the magical community were just as diverse culturally as the non-magical population, and this was a good opportunity to explore that. And thank you :3
Thanks so much for your review and compliments, I appreciate it! Report Review
Hello there! This is DarkRose from the forums. I'd read your story before we voted on Best Overall, but I'm just getting around to reviewing... :] Anyhow, to start off: Great job with this and thank you for supporting Ravenclaw by writing a story for us! Yay 'Claws! Secondly, I LOVED how original your plot was! It was so interesting and well thought-out. I liked how you characterized Cho. Her whole journey was so touching. I didn't understand the ending though. :/ Why did he become a tattoo? And how did Cho process Cedric's death? I wish there had been more time to explain that, but the 2500 word limit was a bit restrictive, I understand. I did love how you wove Qin Shi into the story. And I adored the relationship between Cho and Cedric. My favorite line was probably, "We knew we loved each other when we came out of the water, hand in hand." How sweet! So, great job! Well done!
--EmilyAuthor's Response: Hello Emily :) I recognize your name.
Sure thing--though to be honest I wrote it more to write a story, you know? I feel it was sort of an additional benefit that Ravenclaw may have gotten some points ;)
I'm glad you enjoyed what originality there was to show, here! I didn't really read any of the other stories before I wrote it but I knew the prompts leaned toward a particular kind of plot and that's not really my thing. I wanted to use fairy tales as well, so that's a big element here.
I'm not sure there are answers I can give you that could clear up confusion as to the last part. I think there's a lot in a story that benefits from not being spelled out. You could say that the reasons for becoming a tattoo are up for interpretation; although I did the best I could to make it, as a symbol, consistent with the rest of the imagery and themes. I don't want to tell you exactly what it is because there isn't something that it is, exactly. You get to decide what it means to you as a reader in the context of a story which, as a reader, you also decide about. I'm not sure that even if there had been more words I would have chosen to touch on those things explicitly. There's a timelessness to not explaining everything that I liked here and am seeking to preserve with this response :)
Thanks so much for your review, I appreciate it! Report Review
Ah, SO BEAUTIFUL! It's just so. beautiful. Your writing is as amazing as always - the story you tell is amazing. Cho's memories aren't a particularly original plot, but the way you wrote it made it original. Qin Shi Huang is such a unique idea and this little dragon really made the fic so special. The way you went from the story to the present actually worked wonderfully well.
Random moments I liked:
"The first, Hornbeam and unicorn hair, nine inches, slightly springy, levitated my father into the air and pushed him through the ceiling into the attic. - just slightly amusing.
When Cedric asked me to the Yule Ball.. yes. - that whole paragraph was so lovely.
When Harry asked me to the ball, I felt sad in my fingers, toes, elbows. I felt sad in my head and my hair and wished, for a long, dark moment, I could say yes. - similarly, this was so sad (but the writing, so delicate but golden).
We knew we loved each other when we came out of the water, hand in hand. Ahh. BEAUTIFUL.
& the dragon song: so, so beautiful. Lily, you could totally be a poet!
I liked the memories and moments you chose: like Cho helping Cedric prepare, rather than her watching Cedric and crying. I must sound like I'm on repeat, but this was such a beautiful story and really good use of the prompts. You have a way with words, and I'm so glad you share it with everyone! :)
- MMAuthor's Response: aksjdhfalkjsdfh hi!!
You're always so complimentary, I feel almost guilty accepting the praise :P From what I can tell, almost none of the plot is original--I mean, I did my best to write it into this story differently than we'd seen it, but I pulled from canon and from other literature and then just sort of smacked them together. Like a tapestry of sorts. I usually am one to focus on style anyway ;)
I WANT TO BE A POET. so thank you for saying that ♥
Yeah. I'm not big on sappy moments, as good as other people can make them. I just can't write them, so I wanted to look at what I thought were more defining moments in the actual relationship--which word, by its definition, includes more than one person ;)
Anyway thank you so much for reviewing, it's always such a joy to receive one of your reviews :D Report Review
Wow. This was the last story I had left to read, and I seriously felt like I was going cross-eyed, and I just had one left, just one, and I could do this last story and then I'd be DONE and could vote, and phew!
Then I started reading. I found I couldn't rush through. This is absolutely in my top five favorite stories written for the task. I thought you did a good job of switching back and forth between the past and present, using the present to emphasize or accentuate the past. The story flowed well and had a dreamy, almost magical feeling to it. You fit the prompts in nicely as well.
I especially enjoyed Qin Shi! That was unique. I don't often come across stories that include a character's pet . . . sure, there are mentions at times, but they're not often included beyond a mention.
Nice story! I really enjoyed it. :DAuthor's Response: Wooo thank you for sticking with it and reviewing! Such dedication, for realz.
Oooh wow, that's such a compliment because there have been so many amazing stories and I hadn't even considered that mine might be one of the "best." I tried to make the plots really fit into the story rather than fitting the story into the plots, if that makes sense, and that's also why I unfortunately didn't get all of them in.
The part about Qin Shi is inspired by "the frog prince" by the Grimm Brothers--the small companion, living in a drawer :) I didn't really know where the story was going at first, just that I wanted it to feel timeless like a fairy tale.
Thanks so much for the review! I appreciate you making it all the way to me even though you were so tired :D Report Review
Ah, that was a beautiful and sad tale. Weíve seen many variations of the story of Cho and Cedricís love and his death, and I love the amount of variety that everyone brings to it. I especially like that you decided to take it from Choís POV down the road, when sheís moved on a bit and made her own life separate from that time period yet irreversibly intertwined.
I loved the introduction of her little dragon friend, Qin Shi. That was different. Also, Iíve always thought of Cho as Korean, so it was also unusual for me to read about her being Chinese. I know JKR didnít say it either way for her so I guess it works :)
Iím happy to have read this!
xCharAuthor's Response: Beautiful and sad. That's a good description :)
Yes--irreversibly intertwined. That was basically the meaning of the tattoo that stays with her, bringing her past with her everywhere.
As for Chinese--I admit I always assumed because Chang is a Chinese name...but yeah, JKR doesn't say it another way. Also I am not at all familiar with Korean mythology, so it wouldn't have occurred to me to utilize it.
Anyway, thanks for your review! I appreciate it :) Report Review
That was an interesting take on the challenge. Very well written as well. I'm kinda liking the future looking back fics some have gone with, lends to skipping about better which has helped them slip in the prompts without it seeming forced. Good job.Author's Response: Thank you for the review :) Glad that you thought it was well-written; even though this was a speed-writing challenge, that's no excuse for a sloppy story ;) Anyway thanks, again! Report Review
This such a lovely story!
So very brilliant and creative and a delight to read on both a thoughtful and an emotional level. I also really like that even with the fairy-tale element the feelings experienced by Cho are so real and unadulterated.
This is incredibly well written. Each sentence is elegant and, while on the surface they may appear simple, they convey so much. And even with all the time shifts this story fits together magnificently.Author's Response: Hello! Thank you for reviewing!! Real and unadulterated feeling, that is quite a complimentary description :)
Thank you so much for the compliments, haha. Part of their simplicity is that I felt some burning emotion behind the words and I wanted it to feel light and timeless; but I think, too, there is some magic to the successful simple sentence, and wanted that for this fic. I'm glad to hear that you picked up on what I was only hoping to achieve. And also I'm glad you thought the story "fit together," which is such an apt phrase, because to me it suggests that nothing that's here could be missing. Which is how a story should be! So, thank you again for the review, I appreciate it very much :) x Report Review
Lily, lily, lily.
There was something very whimsical and magical about this story, and it was so, so lovely. I think the thing that struck me the most about this story was the timelessness of it. Like, I don't even know... I don't think I have the eloquence to explain it. In the very first passage, I was totally convinced that Cho was the young girl sitting at her grandmother's feet, and then as the tale unfolds, I realize of course that Cho is the old woman. But really, myths and legends and fables, that is how they work... they speak outside the realm of /time/ (because really, what is time besides an invention of human kind?) and to that which is distinctly /human/.
And that is so fitting for this story, the story of the miniature dragon befriending the young girl, being her companion and friend and guide -- so well weaved through the narrative of cho's time at school.
I don't think I've ever really read a story that portrayed her relationship with Cedric in just a delicate and genuine light. It made it all the more heart breaking when he did die. D:
I think the bit about the dragon becoming a tatoo on the old Cho's arm is beautiful (I'm not totally familiar with the story and so am not sure exactly the relation of this to the story you've based this around), but it is so right. I think this line that you have the silver-haired cho say is so meaningful on so many levels:
"I often wonder--if I should have done as I did--withoutÖ"
I think this is a question everyone asks themselves in the face of successes. Why did I accomplish what I did? Would I have done so if? I found myself relating to that small phrase on a very personal level. In RL I'm not nearly so bold with my accomplishments and often explain them away... well, I studied... this subject comes easily to me... I've seen this before in an undergrad course... I just made good guesses. etc etc. I don't even remember where I'm going with this, but I thought it was lovely to see Cho asking herself whether her accomplishments are really her own or circumstances of a strange combination of fates.
Gah lily. My head is so twisted around this that I"m going to end this review. Lord knows if it makes any sense at all. This was brilliant and beautiful and I'm so, so glad I had a chance to really read it and think about it.
MelissaAuthor's Response: The funny thing is, about this story, that when I look back and read it, I feel it's plain to see it was always a dark story from the start, like, no question, but here I was writing it thinking that I'd manage to make it spiritual and uplifting. WOW. Fail.
Excuse me. You have ALL the eloquence. (NOW USE IT. haha ♥)
I didn't intend that confusion about the older woman and the little girl--that's often a problem I find in feedback for my stories, unintended confusion, alas--but in this case, I think it does sufficiently straighten out and, I sort of like the effect that it seems to have. Especially as YOU describe it, dear lord.
I appreciate the term "well weaved" because it seems that I'm rather taken with the non-linear story and, I mean, it's a bit important that it makes sense, or at least ties together. So, phew!
I know you've read at least a few chapters of what I considered to be "romance" when I was writing it. I can't do it from a place of anything but deep and imagined closeness. I can't seem to make myself describe what other, amazing romance writers can, particularly physical romance, I think in part because what I expect romance to be is so much more cerebral, which is a blessing and a curse, as it were. I think I write the philosophy of romance; which is a bit tragic, but I'll deal with it as things come.
Mainly inspiration for this came in two distinct ways from two distinct tales. One is "the frog prince" by the Brothers Grimm, in which a princess loses her favorite toy in the depths of a pond and a frog agrees to retrieve it in return for the princess's constant companionship and her willingness to grant him everything he asks of her. I changed this in obvious ways: she lets the string go on purpose, and the dragon wants to thank her so offers his assistance, which we eventually see enacted when he puts her to sleep when she sees Cedric has died. He absorbs her pain, which was the best thing he thought he could do for her, but which left her with an emotional scar--pain is a part of grieving, and she was never able to completely recover from the loss without it--and I chose to make him into a tattoo as a physical embodiment of how the past has never left her. That was my own idea, though it probably /does/ crop up in folk tales.
The other story was the one about the secret buried in earth, and growing in the crop. I read it in "China Men" by Maxine Hong Kingston, which is to date one of my favorite books ever, and which made me quite proud to be part-Chinese :) I'm not sure where else you can find it, but it's a very similar story with the same message.
I think that line wants to serve the purpose of, within the story, calling attention to just how much things matter in life, the things we don't pay attention to sometimes, like how much we studied or how easily something comes to us. There's an element of causality to the /plot/ in this fic but it's told as a fairy tale in which there is no clearly-drawn relationship to anything that happens--Cho's sudden feelings for Harry, the depth of her relationship with Cedric, even what Qin Shi does for her in the end. I know what you mean. In a way I think I believe, as the writer, it was some combination of fates, and I think that Cho does, too.
It TOTALLY makes sense because you are an eloquent bard. I'm so glad you reviewed, thank you so much!! ♥ Report Review
I am never reading another Ravenclaw entry again. It just depresses me because I know you've got this task in the bag. You guys are a talented bunch and this one is definitely among my top favorites that I've read. It's so creative and lovely and the sort of story that comes out of your bones instead of your brain, if that makes any sense at all. The whole time I was reading I kept remembering what Celeste said about you recently, how it's only a matter of time until you're published. Your style is elegant and sophisticated but also very raw, and unlike any other I've seen. You write like you've been doing it for fifty years, with all that wisdom and perspective and depth; I would love to just sit and pick your brain for two minutes and see how you come up with this stuff.
I'm definitely going to be seeing your name all over bookshelves someday.
LOVED THIS. ♥ It's so easy to imagine that it's just a normal one-shot because the prompts don't stick out. Very, very well-written.Author's Response: Haha I know, Ravenclaw did have some depressingly good stories. Now, I'm taking it as a mark of our dedication to writing that we both get depressed reading other people's excellence.
AND HOW IRONIC IS THIS REVIEW THOUGH. Seeing as how you completely blew us out of the water Moaning Myrtle left all over the floor of the girls' toilet! You're silly in the perfect way you wildebeest ♥
But now, to try to be as mature as you: bones instead of brain. That is really something I take as a compliment. You know me so this isn't a surprise but my brain will never shut off and that is my one truly great and recurring problem in life--but when I write, and I feel a story pushing up against my fingers while I work, that's really the only time the brain surrenders itself. It's a bit like practiced and regulated meditation. I'm still paying attention and actively crafting sentences, but perhaps it's because the brain is so intensely focused on this and nothing else that I feel somewhat at rest, writing.
And, gdi, how am I supposed to respond to that?!? I can only offer a guess, that, perhaps because I live by the idea that I want everything I write to be /true/, accountable only to the standard of desire and emotion in the writer, something raw occurs "on paper." And I don't know how to explain it, but I'm not just reporting what I saw on the "landscape of my soul," you know? I'm /writing/ the sentences, choosing the words, deciding if I want a transitive or intransitive verb before the subject or immediately preceding the objects. So it's both the easiest thing I do, because I love it, and one of the most exhausting, because creation is simply taxing. YOu know all of this, of course. I'm only trying to procure a response that half-way lives up to your review.
AND THAT IS MY ONE AND DEAREST WISH. It doesn't need to even be "all over," I would just like to stand in a bookstore and be able to cry because I am looking at a book I've written and published. That's it. All I need.
I'm so grateful to your review and your general encouragement. I would like you to know also that I really look up to you as a writer and as a human being and that I feel very lucky to have met you and gained your friendship. ♥ Report Review
I really like this. I thought it was very original and I liked the fact you put some Chinese elements into it. Also the way you adopted the fairy tale in your story. At first I must admit I thought the girl was Cho and the elder woman her grandmother so I was pleasantly surprise when I found out it was Cho. You portrayed her beautifulAuthor's Response: Thank you! I am a tiny, tiny bit Chinese (about an eighth), but my grandmother was half-Chinese and half-Filipina, so I have always been interested in their ancient lore and such. And the perfect opportunity arose in Cho!
I'm a big fan of fairy tales, and in a way it seems that most stories stem from them, somehow. This is one of my favorites; it's so haunting, and beautiful and sad.
I have heard that bit of confusion as far as this story goes from others as well, that it wasn't clear at first that Cho wasn't the little girl, but I'm glad that it was a good and not bad surprise to find out that the grandmother was Cho :) Thank you so much! I have had an ambivalent relationship with Cho fic and Cho as a character in the past and I found this a challenge, to write her, so I am glad that you enjoyed it :) Report Review
I really enjoyed this view of the Triwizard Tournament! And the addition of the little dragon, nicely done!Author's Response: thank you!! i enjoyed writing this, though it was quite different before i whittled it down to fit word limit :) i like the little dragon, too, someone pointed out to me today he reminded her of mushu from mulan and now that's all i can think about :P
thanks for the review, i appreciate it!! Report Review
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