Once again, you blew me out of the water. I am seriously in awe/incredible jealous of your writing talents because you have something special. I don't think Cho is necessarily an easy character to write, because we don't know all that much about her in canon, and the portrayal we see of her is sort of one dimensional.
Which is the beauty of one shots like this. I think this is in a way one of the best things about fanfiction: taking the characters that JKR gave us and making them better, more believable, more loveable and sympathetic, especially in the cases of minor characters like Cho. Because in this, Cho isn't just the girl who won't stop crying with a traitorous friend. You gave her life and made her somebody that I care about, which I really admire.
Again, something that really stood out to me here was your style, which is still beautiful. You manage to get a lot of emotion across in a fairly short piece, which is impressive (and something I myself struggle with, if the length of this review is anything to go by). It's brief, but it doesn't feel short, if that makes sense. It's still a fulfilling read. (also, I am 300% more impressed when I read that you got this in 5 minutes before the deadline. you go girl)
I like the way you structured it, with the three sections. It provided a nice flow for the story, and I liked how each connected back to each of the tasks - the first, dragons; the second, the lake; the third, the maze (and Cedric's death). Clever and very effective!
Moving on to characterization: as I think I mentioned before, I like the way that you've written about Cho here. You show her progression from a brokenhearted girl who's trying to cope with the death of a loved one to a woman who is not only brave and strong, but brave and strong enough to admit when she is not, if that sentence even makes any sense. But I do feel like there was a noticeable maturation, which was nice.
And again, your imagery and descriptions really helped bring the whole story together for me. You have these completely beautiful sentences that just beg to be read over and over again and that make you sit there and think. Seriously. I don't know how to describe it other than completely wonderful and amazing and can I please be you?
Favorite quotations time!
"And that year at Hogwarts, there would rule a dragon with pretty pink talons and the wickedest fire she would ever know." Seriously the best description of Umbridge ever - it's completely spot on and just perfect.
"Better to die with the living, girl, than to live with the dead." Life lesson: listen to slightly suspicious looking characters in bars who give wise advice.
"On some days, she will grieve, but the other days, she will fight. And she will find, in the sleepless between-nights, that there is little difference between the two." There are no words to describe how much I am in love with that quotation.
I know that writing for the House Cup could be difficult, but you pulled it off flawlessly. I didn't notice you sticking in the prompts at all; they all seemed to be naturally put in there. This is a gorgeous piece of work and I am dying and oh my gosh I feel like such a fangirl right now but I am not ashamed. So. There you go!
♥ Happy holidays!Author's Response: I wish I could've expanded this oneshot further after I speed-wrote it for the competition, but the muse ran dry unfortunately :p I love fleshing out the minor characters JKR gave us, and I've written a few minor character stories now, and I was worried they'd get a bit samey, as I didn't want to write a whole bunch of characters triumphing their fears with a feel-good ending. I wanted Cho to discover her strength, but at the same time, not enough of it, and there's a tragedy to the fighters just as much as to the dead.
The sections -- oh how I wish I could've expanded them! I had this whole running metaphor comparing Cho's struggles to the tournament, and that's what inspired this :D I sort of dumped all the initial parts that I thought of into this oneshot and skipped all the transition xD
I also cannot imagine Umbridge as anything but a dragon in a wee furry pink coat now, because that is an accurate description, yes it is. And Aberforth isn't slightly suspicious looking! He's highly suspicious looking.
You are far too kind, Holiday Hippogriff :3 I've been so flaily over your reviews. I shall fangirl them, yes I shall. Report Review
Hello! So beautiful... It was nice going behind Cho Chang, to really see what made her up. I think a lot of people feel that she was a weak character and only caused Harry a lot of trouble, but I think this one-shot shows that there's some resilience in her. I love the honesty of her character. Her fears, her realisations and eventual (perhaps somewhat disillusioned) overcoming of it.
A real round of applause! (Hope you got those 135 points!)Author's Response: Ah, thank you! :3 It was terribly rush-written, but I wanted to post it anyway. There is definitely some resilience - and we see that when she joins the DA - but I wanted to make sure that I didn't write her as a fervent fighter, because I don't think that's who she is, but also that it's *okay* that she isn't. I certainly am not. Sometimes I see people putting Cho below the ranks of others for not being as "strong" as, say, Ginny, as if being afraid of war means weakness. There's a whole rant in there, heh. Report Review
Well heller there! I thought I should stop by and read something of yours, now that I have the time. Chemistry is killing me with loads of homework, and honestly, she (the teacher), reminds me a hella lot like Umbridge. The motherly-cooing voice, the humiliation, the EVERYTHING! She bloody hates me.
Anywho, I love this one-shot of Cho. Usually when fics with Cho Chang come in, people are a bit "biased" and make Cho a rather unlikable character. I mean yeah, she was a bit insufferable in canon, but Merlin's Mandrakes, the girl lost the guy she loved! And she was confused too, like any other teenage lover could be if their boyfriend got killed. They find comfort with someone else and get confused. (At least, I think that's how it rolls? Media confuses me... -_-)
But anyway, I'm getting off track...again. The point is, I love the depth you gave to her character. Her emotions and internal conflicts are raw and feel realistically real. You didn't make her seem like that clingy, insecure chick that wanted to hold on to Harry. You made her into the girl that was grieving and was constantly reminded of him. And I applaud you for that.
Everything flows so smoothely, it's utterly amazing how you laced everything together. And I couldn't help but snicker at this part:
"And that year at Hogwarts, there would rule a dragon with pretty pink talons and the wickedest fire she would ever know."
Would I be correct to guess that was aimed towars our dearest Miss Delores Umbridge? I mean, I can't imagine any thing else it would be referring to.
And all-in-all, to wrap my review up, this was a great one shot and I loved it! But that's not surprising isn't it, considering the fact that I simply ADORE everything I've read from you so far! :DAuthor's Response: Ewww D; a real life Umbridge? she literally the voice of evil why why why is there a real life version (also heheh I see your hella, fellow cal resident).
I know! That's exactly how I try to think of it. She is remarkably sane for a 15 year old who just lost her boyfriend, all things considered! Granted, JKR doesn't have time to give Cho all that screentime to show that, but I didn't like how she constrasted Cho with Ginny, as if Cho's actions aren't brave in lieu of what she went through. I think Cho could have been an amazingly strong character, given that chance.
I wrote this so fast for the challenge, literally up to the deadline. There's so much I wanted to add but at the same time, I kind of forced my muse for this so I never ended up going back to edit :P hehe so I'm glad you found it smooth!
And indeed, that would be Umbridge ;) Can't you imagine her as exactly that?
Thank you so so much! ^__^ Report Review
I was glued to the screen the whole time. Your writing is incredible. The way you characterize Cho made me actually like her, which is weird for me. Even though I'm a Ravenclaw, I've always sort of not liked Cho Chang (don't shoot me!). This story was so flawless though, and you the way you gave Cho so many depths really resonated with me.
Through your description, I could really feel her sadness and how quiet and confined her world had become since Cedric's death. I love how you describe how Cho's classmates's stares "faded to worry then pity then indifference." And, really, everything, from the bobbing quills to the daydreaming was very well written. I think I could re-read this a million times. Great work! You're a really excellent writer.
AetherAuthor's Response: Ah, thank you! :) I haven't really looked back at this oneshot since the House Cup, and it's nice to revisit it.
I didn't like Cho until wrote her pov for the first time, about two years ago, and it changed my views on a lot of characters in the books that never really got their chance to shine or be more than an annoying side character. They are all veterans of the war.
Thank you! I love thinking of description for oneshots; I don't get to write as dreamily elsewhere ^__^ I'm glad you enjoyed it! Report Review
Oh, Cho. I love that you guys picked her because I think so much can be done with her character. Using the dragon theme to connect Cedric and Cho seems a bit obvious at first glance, but something about the way you've written it takes that away. I love the way that Cedric's death continues to haunt her, sending her into an endless stream of "what if" scenarios, and keeps her from being present in her real life. I love also how you used Aberforth's wisdom to push her along and help her turn her grief into something more powerful. Beautiful.
-AmandaAuthor's Response: The idea i started with was the Triwizard Tournament 'haunting' Cho the year after, and how the three tasks pop up in her life. I wish I had more time to flesh it out! The idea was too good to resist though.
I wanted to shy away from the traditional idea of strength in that she doesn't fight for some noble reason, but because she grieves. It's coping, and maybe even a little bit of vengeance.
Thank you so much Amanda! :3 Report Review
i really enjoyed this. I loved the way Cho was written and the way she viewed different things. I like how this was written during the year after Cedric died it brings a lot into perspective about what Cho was going through.
Overall this was well written and definetly something i will read again.Author's Response: Thank you! :) I've not very familiar with that sort of grief Cho must have gone through, but I tried my best to write it well. Report Review
Hello - just a quick note to say that I thought this was a wonderful piece of writing, and a great house cup entry. I hope you are proud of it - you really should be:-)Author's Response: Thanks! :) I hesitated in posting it, because I hadn't finished it to the extent I wanted to, but seeing everyone else's entries made me go, what the hey? and press the new story button. Report Review
I enjoyed reading this story. It had a flowing, dream-like quality, which is something I enjoy and that nearly always pulls me in like I'm floating through an otherworldly stream.
Yeah, there's some purple prose for you. :P I don't really know how to describe what I mean. Anyway, I thought you did a nice job of working the prompts in. That bit about what Cho thinks is a Foeglass around Aberforth's neck was creative. I haven't seen anyone do anything like that yet to work in the mention! Also, I think Aberforth was a good person for Cho to talk to, even if the conversation was limited to just a few brief words.
Nicely done. :) This was an enjoyable story to read.Author's Response: Hee I appreciate your purple prose fully ♥ I was trying to sneak in the prompts as subtly as possible (Umbridge was a stretch of stretches). I literally had a checklist of the prompts and was just squinting at all the places I could sneak one in through a metaphor.
Thank you! Report Review
As I've come to expect from you, anything you write is beautiful and wonderful. This is no exception - the writing is just so brilliant - you really manage to tell the story. You also managed to incorporate all the prompts so effortlessly. I think my favourite bit was Aberforth's advice to Cho - I just really felt like both of their characters were so canon and realistic in that moment.
I liked the three different sections: dragons, drowning, death, but I felt that it was missing a little something to connect the three sections and make it into one story. I felt like they were three completely different stories that didn't work together as well as it might and could have? (- but maybe that's just personal preference. However, I really liked that it kind of did link together in the title: Fire, Water, and Dust, but I would have liked to see it linking more in the story too.
I liked the "features a dragon" prompt, even if it took me awhile to realise it was Umbridge :P And that year at Hogwarts, there would rule a dragon with pretty pink talons and the wickedest fire she would ever know. It makes a lot of sense, though I'm not sure if that really 'features' a dragon as it doesn't seem to be an important element of the story, but hopefully it does.
By the way, I'm in love with your banner - the colours, and it's just absolutely gorgeous! All in all, your writing is just brilliant as always, and always enjoyable to read. A really nice fic! :)
- MMAuthor's Response: Hey! :3 I'm terrible (TERRIBLE) at canon, so to hear that they sound canon is like a big PHEW moment for me.
That's actually the exact problem I had with this story and why I hesitated in posting it, because I had scrambled to finish this until 15 minutes before the deadline. They totally sound like three different stories to me too, and I am sooort of inclined to fix that in the future, but at the same time, I wrote this on absolutely no muse and ended it with absolutely no muse :P But everyone was posting stories and I wanted to join in ;A;
Baha, I suppose I was hoping, 'Weeell, Umbridge is kind of important because she's the silent big bad in the background' but yes that's like a stretch of stretches. Yoga doing yoga. Thankfully, my own points don't matter xD I was just stubborn about hitting all the prompts.
♥ eee thank you so much for reading! Report Review
That was quite amazing! I love the way you tied in the prompts so that they seemed to flow together. And I just love the bit with Aberforth. It's good to know that he's not always forgotten ;) Great writing! W.W.W.W.W.!Author's Response: Thank you! I was really fond of Aberforth in canon, so I'm glad I was able to write a little of him :) Report Review
Hello there! It's DarkRose from the forums. :] First off, the banner on your story is gorgeous! Just thought I'd mention that! You made our Ravenclaw sets, right? Those are wonderful too! :D Now, on to the actual story review:
First off--WOW. Really, wow. This was absolutely spectacular. Definitely, by far, the best story I've read for this challenge so far. Wonderful, wonderful job. I loved how you worked in the prompts. I loved the metaphor of Umbridge as a dragon. I adored your style throughout the whole piece. It gave the story a sort of...heavy quality. Weighed-down. Sad. Mourning. Absolutely perfect for the topic. You handled Cho's sorrow wonderfully. I loved the way you wrote about her "fears." The line Aberforth had about "dying with the living" versus "living with the dead" was one of the best lines I've ever read in fanfiction. I'm going to favorite this story once I'm done reviewing (what a rare thing for me to do!). And it earns one of my ridiculously rare 10/10s! You did wonderfully. There's nothing I can suggest on how to improve it. :D You did Ravenclaw proud!
--EmilyAuthor's Response: I did! Thank you :) It's so fun seeing the set around the forums.
Ahh, I'm so glad you like it :3 I didn't have much of a muse as I wrote this - I just liked the idea of having a story where Cho's life mirrors the Triwizard Tournament - so it was a bit of a struggle to get all the way through it. Aberforth's line is definitely one of my favs, and one of the reasons why I wanted to keep going with this fic.
♥ thank you so much! Report Review
The varying genres that you can straddle (let alone the varying art forms) always amazes me. While the writing might be sparse, I think it works for what you’re trying to convey here. The prompts were woven in quite nicely, unnoticeable really as being prompts unless you looked for it.
Normally, mopey Cho gets on my nerves, but I like how you approached it here. She’s got the sadness about her (which btw, Comb her hair, blacker than ravens, in mourning since the day she was born. - my favorite line, so poetic yet not) but she’s also got a bit of spirit. Which is always good to see.
xCharAuthor's Response: Eee, thanks Char :3 I didn't want to make Cho into something she isn't. She was, well, mopey, but she had reason to be mopey and I'm sure she didn't *want* to be mopey (and her actions in joining the DA are pretty good indicators of that), so I wanted to give her her story, as sparse as it is. Report Review
Short review for youu, because well, you know I adore your writing (this was no exception to this) but 24 entries. 2. 4. holy wow. I have been trying to bridle in my feels and keep reviews at a managable length. /trying/
Anyway. Woman, you're crazy. I know you said that you were worried about the semblance of consistancy in this one-shot, but really you shouldn't be. This is like the tri-task tournament of Cho's soul. Crey. It's gorgeous. The opening dragon task was my favorite -- with the pink dragon and alskdjfowie and gorgeous imagery and language, but the second scene contained my favorite part. You did such justice to the character of Aberforth!
This is wonderful and you are crazy. LOVE YOU.
xoxoAuthor's Response: MELL ♥ hee you are too kind. T'was a good idea with a sputtery muse. I'm so glad you like it though :3 And Aberforth has always had a slice of mah heart, so extra cheers for finally being able to fit him in somewhere.
LOFFS. Report Review
Merlin, Gina o.O This was brilliant - no, beyond brilliant. I'm trying to find a flaw, just because - nope! Still fantastic and flawless and ohmygosh, I loved this. Everyone had different takes on Cho, and while yours was Hogwarts-age and still mourning, she was still brilliant. I love how she was still brave even when she was so sad, and the addition of Aberforth was surprising but not unwelcomed, and comparing Umbridge to a dragon! You threaded the prompts through the plot effortlessly and just ... wow. Amazing. 10/10
~ LinnAuthor's Response: Eee thank you ♥ you are too kind about this wee mess. You probably know full well by now how I like the small moments of bravery or even the not-really-that-brave bravery in all my fics xD Report Review
IT'S GINA X CHO. MY FAVE PAIRING OF ALL.
Ooh, I really like this. I mean, I've gushed about my Cho feels to you before but I really like when you write Cho. You infused her with a new warmth in this. I love that it's about dragons but also not really. Because of course it would make sense that Cho would regret not stopping Cedric some way or another. And I love this because it's used this long list of totally random things you had to slip into a one-shot - dragon, Sleeping Draught, random details about the wand - and made it into a personal story about a human being and not just a laundry list.
Also, I love that line about Cho living up to her wand - especially that whole 'timid' line. Eek. Perfect. And Aberforth getting all philosophical on Cho as she was in the Hogshead because the psychology of that hadn't really struck me before - that she would be joining the DA for Cedric's sake. I always kind of thought it was maybe because she fancied Harry now but noo it's CEDRIC. Stop giving me Cedric/Cho feelings this late at night ;___; Forever doomed first love.
I also loved how she feared dragons and drowning - nice allusion to the tasks with Cedric fighting off the dragons and saving her in the Black Lake. But she didn't fear death, which is because she thinks it's quick and feels like the people left behind suffer more. Perfect way for her to rationalize Cedric's death. AND AVADA KEDAVRA AS A SLEEPING DRAUGHT. Urgh. All the parallels between this one-shot and the Triwizarding Tournament are subtle but so well done. And have I mentioned that using Umbridge as a dragon is like the best thing ever? She better qualify as a dragon, honestly. And not just in the metaphorical sense. It was a nice way to tie in something Cho was remembering to something that was happening currently.
Baww. I hope you write more Cho. Or at least that Cho has a nice appearance (or ten) in Capers. I'm (obviously) rooting for Ravenclaw after they had the good sense to make her the House champion, but so far, after Lily's entry and yours, I'm so impressed. :3Author's Response: CELESTE YOU FINALLY GET MAH CHO even though it is so terrible and rushed ;-;
I had a little list on the side of the doc, and I'd check off all the things as I wrote them in and omg, it was the most satisfying thing ever.
AND AS WE HAVE DISCUSSED, it's so strange because I always thought Cho joined the DA fight for Cedric :3 that is a headcanon that's stuck with me. She's someone who isn't inclined to fight at all previously, which is something she struggled with while in the DA, and her effort despite that is something to be admired. HARRY WAS A TOTAL REBOUND~
I was kind of thinking of all the scary thoughts one might have when a loved one dies ;-; And all the nice-but-not-so-nice thoughts.
Umbridge is a dragon with pink nail polish. Truefax.
CHO DOES SHOW IN CAPERS FOR A BIT, but Bea's PoV most likely, so she'll be Mum /lol/
♥ FANK YOU CELESTE YOU CRAYY Report Review
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