Another nice job here!
One of the things that hit me most strongly in this story was the scene in which Cho described the Third Task. Not the aftermath, which we know so well from the books, but the calm before it. As someone who has reread the book countless times, and seen the stress of it all through Harry's eyes, it was shocking for me to see it portrayed so lightly. And I loved it. I got this image in my head, of a mild summer evening, a laughing couple... Because that was how it was supposed to be. After the horrible events of that night, it was really nice to get such a clear view from another perspective.
I also liked the idea that no one else could protect Cho but herself; it fit, because clearly she bore scars after Cedric's death. That line also made it real to me how much Cedric meant to her. Overall, you did a fantastic job of not only getting into her head, but getting ME into her head!
I think what I took out of this was that you can't have love without happiness, but you can certainly have happiness without love. That was what Cho realized, was it not, when she created her first Patronus?
And of course, you really wrapped things up so nicely at the end! I've seen a lot of forced connections, on hpff and elsewhere, but the way you drew Ollivander's words together with love was really well done. You really drew your themes together in those last few sentences, and it worked. The wand, the love, the friends, the dragons. They were all solved.
Bravo, my friend, and happy holidays!Author's Response: It is a bit strange to think about it from another perspective? Obviously the books focused on Harry and that was the lens that we saw everything from, and there was so much stress surrounding the events of the third task for him. But none of the other students were really aware of that, were they? It had a whole different feeling to it for the others.
I think that Cedric did mean a lot to her. Even if it was her first love, that doesn't lessen the importance of it, and I wanted the loss to feel real. I think in a way, Cedric's death did make Cho realize that she had to stand up for herself and fight her own battles. And if I've gotten you into her head, then I feel as I have succeeded to some degree, so I'm quite glad!
That's exactly it. :)
Glad that it seemed to come together! I was hoping to bring some closure to her. And love does seem to play such an important role in the series as a whole - it is such a powerful thing, and there's a lot of different aspects to it.
Again, thanks so much for reviewing! ♥ Report Review
I'm really not a Cho fan. I feel like I should get this out of the way before anything. Because this? This was wonderful - marvelous and all fifty different kinds of perfect. I loved this. Each part was connected to the previous one and there was a beautiful continuity to the entire piece. I loved how the wand started and ended the tale. I mean, the wand reflects the wizard and this was sort of Cho finding herself, wasn't it? That bit made the entire piece come together perfectly. I adored that Harry and Cho weren't madly in love and the fact that she wasn't awed by his fame. It was believable this way and I felt sorry for her - for the first time ever. You gave her depth and she wasn't just a crybaby all the time - or the girlfriend of the dead Hufflepuff.
I loved how Cedric was with her even after his death, it was heart wrenching and I actually fell in love with their relationship. I think you've just made me like Cho Chang? I didn't think that was possible, but she's so strong in this piece - and rational. A true Ravenclaw. Really well done.
These two bits gave me chills:
She still saw him while she slept sometimes, a phantom fighting dragons in the night.
Perhaps that was what it meant to love someone - to forgive them.
I loved this. Very well done!Author's Response: I was never a big fan of Cho myself; I guess I never gave her much thought before. But when faced with the challenge, and given the opportunity to think about her, I enjoyed trying to find out who the real Cho was - like you said, more than just a constantly crying girlfriend of a dead Hufflepuff.
I'm glad you liked the wand - when we got our wand information, I immediately loved it and knew I wanted it to feature in the story. Wands really do reflect the wizard, so I sort of wanted her wand to reflect her growth in a way.
If I've made you like Cho Chang, then I must have succeeded in some way -so I'm quite happy about that. I think I've come to like her in my own way, too.
Thanks so much for such a lovely, lovely review - it really means a lot to me. ♥ Report Review
Hello - what a great entry for the house cup! You showed a real journey for Cho, and I loved the way you explored her changing perceptions of love. I also enjoyed redemption for Marietta! Your use of the prompts was clever, and very smooth, and overall, I think you did a great job. Well done!Author's Response: Thank you! I'm glad you like it. :) I enjoyed writing Cho's journey, so I'm glad you liked reading it. Report Review
Hey there! This is DarkRose from the forums, here to review. WOW! Absolutely spectacular job. This is one of the best stories I've read (I've said that to several people, but us Ravenclaws just seem to really be doing wonderfully, so I mean it!). I was worried at first that the flow of this story would be disrupted by the jumping through time, but I quickly realized that it wasn't. You actually handled the jumps really well. I LOVED how you talked about the different types of love and about how Cho was "facing her dragons." I love that they were metaphorical dragons, rather than literal ones. You did such a wonderful job bringing the emotions in this story to life. I got the chills at some parts. And I really loved the ending. It was sweet, but empowering. This was just a great, intense, exciting, touching story. You did wonderfully. :D
--EmilyAuthor's Response: Thank you! I'm glad the time jumps didn't seem to disruptful - I was a bit worried about that, but with a word count and time restriction, I did my best.
I originally tried to think of a way to have real dragons feature, only to quickly realize that it wouldn't work out, so I decided on some metaphorical ones instead! I'm glad you enjoyed the ending - I wasn't sure how it was going to end until I actually wrote it, but I think I'm pretty satisfied with it. :) Thank you so much for such a lovely review! Report Review
It seems like quite a few authors chose to take the route of an action-packed story for this task, so it was a nice change of pace to read a slower, less action-oriented piece in between. It was also interesting to read the little blips of Cho's thoughts regarding each task and the things that came after as well. Even though this was written in third person, while reading, it really felt like I was in Cho's thoughts, so good job on that.
In particular, I liked the last segment, where Cho realizes it is time to fight at the Battle of Hogwarts. I liked that she went to see Marietta as well before she took off. That was a nice touch.Author's Response: Action definitely isn't my strong point, so I did steer away from that. I'm glad that even though it was in 3rd person, you still felt connected to her, as that was my intent. :)
Thank you for reviewing! :) Report Review
Wow. I thought this was truly amazing. There is just something in this fic that really stops me as a reader and makes me go wow. Initially, with all the prompts: I had a few ideas: dreams and memories were definitely at the top. I tried to write a Cho memory lane sort of fic but I concluded that it would just be boring and too cliche. However, the way you wrote all the memories of Cho here really made for a fantastic story and it was so interesting. I really did enjoy this!
Really brilliant writing and ideas - I loved the fig - unity and balance and how that tied in later with Marietta fighting as well. I really liked how Cho explores what love is and comes to a really nice conclusion. And I was especially impressed with the Triwizard Tournament memories - I'm glad you didn't focus entirely on that and have Cho be the typical can't-stop-crying girl. I really loved this line: "Or all three of them, the sounds of three different heartbreaks melting into one mournful cry that shook their souls." So beautiful! I mean, the writing throughout this is really awesome.
The way you incorporated the prompts was really good too! Sometimes it felt a little out of place: especially the dragon's blood bit - I can see you tried to make it fit but it still felt a little like it was in there just because it had to be. There was a big gap between the first and second memory (one minute she's a young and wide-eyed girl, the next: in love), but I suppose for time and word count's sake it wouldn't have been practical to include more memories. And I guess, also for the plot (there's not many significant moments between the first to second memory). It was nice that the plot moved on so well from the Triwizard Tournament to the Battle. All in all, I really liked this! You managed to make all these memories into one fantastic story. Well written! :)
- MMAuthor's Response: For whatever reason, this was the only format I could think to use for writing this entry, so there you go!
When we got our wand information, I absolutely loved it and just had to work it in somewhere. :) And I did really want to try to avoid showing her as the constantly crying girl - I felt like she deserved better than to be shown as just a 1D character.
aha, yes, some of the prompts definitely fit in more naturally than others. :) If I was writing this for something other than the challenge then some things would definitely have been left out, but oh well! Same with the timeline - there was some more that I'd have liked to add in, but time/wc constraints meant that I couldn't.
Thank you for such a nice review! :) Report Review
That was amazing--I loved your breakdown of the different types of loves, and how you equated conquering dragons to facing fears. It is beautiful writing. Great job!!Author's Response: Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! :) Report Review
I LOVE IT!! It’s just so perfect in fulfilling the prompt of flourishing in the face of adversity. I think it’s just about the most perfect story so far that I’ve read to fill it out . You brought me from first time love to despair to grief to confusion and finally to hope and the fact that life does move on and things can get better.
Wonderful format and great progression of Cho. I really actually liked her and felt for her which, surprisingly, wasn’t an easy thing for me until I started reading all our ‘Claw submissions :P
Anyway, I’m so glad you wrote this! We’re going to have a hard time choosing a Best Overall for Ravenclaw with some of our awesome submissions! :)
And you did this at 1AM!! I bow to your greatness *obsequious bowing occurring here*
xCharAuthor's Response: aww, thank you! ♥ I was quite excited that that was the theme, and I had fun running with it. Life is full of so many different emotions, but in the end, I do believe that everything works out for the best so... yay, optimism! -thumbs up-
Ha, I have to admit that I've never really thought that much about Cho - but all the Claw submissions really inspired me!
Thank you very much! haha :) Report Review
This is an extraordinary one-shot! And very good use of the prompts aswell, not a single one of them struck me as misplaced.
It is a very well written story. With so many time shifts it could have easily become disjointed but it all came together brilliantly from beginning to end. And it was a joy to read your characterisation of Cho and to see her grow up and learn a little more about herself. Well done!Author's Response: Thank you! I did try to do my best to put in all of the prompts, so I'm glad they didn't seem too obvious. :)
I'm also glad that the time shifts seemed to work for you - I hoped that they wouldn't be too jolting, because I really felt that I had to cover a large period of time in not-so-many words. Thank you so much for leaving such a lovely review! Report Review
. . . I would like to report that I have goosebumps head to toe. This is so--haunting and beautiful and ugh, all the feels. The idea of fleshing out what love is, and looking at Cho as a woman of love first and a friend or lover or fighter second, is really quite an amazing idea. It seems deceptively simple, but in the end I think it's what makes the last section so powerful. Because everyone is fighting for the same thing and you realize it's all love. And I'm so happy that you allow Cho to grow up and let her dragons leave. It's funny, I can't seem to write entirely happy endings and my own story isn't nearly as kind to Cho as this one is--but, I mean, I'm not sure what I'm saying anymore, just that there is this beauty and peace and desperation and grace to this story that I am truly admiring and still, I think, digesting.
I have heard so much praise for your writing before, and this has only confirmed those rumors ;) In a way I feel you have given Cho real humanity--the ability to be multifaceted and sensitive and strong, and, if you can believe that I'm saying something is better than that, what's better than that is that you haven't fallen into the traps inherent to this kind of story. You have written this without a shred of sentimentality, which is so brave of you. It's the only truly fair treatment of Cho--without decoration, without wanting your words to do too much, without trying to make us feel all the world has been taken with her. You've been honest and real about her and you've shown us parts of her life in such a smart, effective way--they aren't overly determined--they're all important, certainly, but the connecting thread in them isn't what happens in each moment, but the things about Cho, and how she is learning and growing and who she is. There's something about that that makes Cho the thing that connects all these moments and I'm just sitting here thinking, wow, if only we all felt this way about people--that we recognized this potential in everybody to be timeless and faithful and strong and forgiving and good. I think what you have presented in this piece of writing is literature's true ability to make people better than they were. And I don't just mean the character of Cho Chang--I mean me, and other people who are reading this, who have become sensitive to a character in ways they hadn't realized they could be sensitive, who are left thinking and reflecting on the world around them, and who want to be someone like the hero you've presented.
I can't really tell you (believe it or not!) just how good I think this is. For now I'll just leave you with this review, and hope that's somehow an indication.
laughter echoing long after the joke had passed.Author's Response: I haven't had a chance to be on HPFF properly to answer this before now but thank you for leaving this review which is just asjkl;fas
I didn't know where this story was going until halfway through or so, and then it sort of just ended up the way it did. The idea of love is so prominent in the HP series, and that's something that I really enjoy - it's very multifaceted, and I think in the end, it does very much shape who we are as people, so it felt fitting to try and show Cho in that way.
I don't tend to do particularly well with writing not-angst, haha, but I did want to try and provide some sort of closure for her. After everything she's gone through (and the bad rep she tends to get in fanfic), I wanted her to be able to move on. sappy author moment!
I don't think I can find the right words to respond to that last bit, but wow- thank you. As an author, my favorite thing to do is to try to get into my characters' minds, and to try and represent them as truly as possible. If I can even achieve half of that, that's enough for me. So thank you so much for your kind words - I don't think this is an adequate response, but this review really and truly made my day. You are wonderful. ♥ Report Review
Good grief I really need to read more of your things. I don't even think I have the words to describe this. It's so complete. The whole story comes full circle and gah. I think you did an admirable job at bringing a sort of understanding and redemption to a character (who I love) but takes a lot of flac in the ff world. I was honestly shocked when I came to the end and realized that you had used all of the prompts. They fit so seamlessly into the story that I didn't even notice it. This is hands down my favorite entry I've read thus far. Great job!!
MelissaAuthor's Response: First I wanted to say that I'm awfully sorry that it's taken so long for me to respond to this - I haven't had a chance to be on HPFF for a little bit, but this review absolutely brought a big smile to my face. I'm so glad you liked it; this was the first story I've written in a long time, and so getting a nice review really made my day. Thank you so much! ♥ Report Review
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