Hey, it's me (obviously), finally getting around to reviewing the entries for the horror/dark challenge.
So, I'm going to kind of be reviewing as I read this - possibly not the most clever idea I've ever had - so apologies if I don't make sense at all.
Minerva's characterisation is pretty damn good here; she juggles a fierce desire to love and protect people with her moral principles, and doesn't quite manage it as much as her later self would have. I've basically just got all that from the lines:
'You know what he is now.
You know what he wants.
Absolutely perfect, then, so far.
Tom, too, is looking pretty in character so far, which from the tiny tiny number of Minerva/Tom fics I've read, is pretty rare. The almost stream-of-consciousness-y way you've chosen to present how Minerva hears and interprets the gossip about him is lovely: those whispers are insidious, and they have powerful implications which put Minerva into a very difficult position. (Or, y'know, maybe I'm just overanalysing a few lines. I dunno.)
That said, I'm not sure I understand what Tom's motives here are in manipulating Minerva. Is he trying to mould her into what Bella later becomes? If so, he's chosen the wrong person to do it to, and he should probably be able to work that out by way of whatever of his Legilimency he's managed to develop. If he just wants a strong magic user on his side, she's not worth the amount of effort that he has to put in to getting her.
If he actually means what he says, well then - that sounds like fun. I'll stop speculating now and get back to reading.
"Insanity becomes you, darling."
is gorgeous. A bit melodramatic, sure, but then Tom is a bit melodramatic, so it works.
That break-up - oh, darling. Your imagery there and the depth of emotion is just really well done. As was that last line.
Technical bit: you've got a few typos, mostly things like confusing 'its' with 'it's' and the like.
Anyway, you should be proud of this, because it's gorgeous. Thank you for entering this into the challenge! :D Report Review
Brilliant. Simply amazing. I am always impressed by people who can take the Minerva we know from the books and show her as she might have been in younger years. Somehow this one seems the most accurate that I have ever read. I can totally see this girl becoming the Minerva we know - all gruff and stern and no-nonesense but obviously caring. :D Brilliant. Report Review
It's been a while since I've read Tom/Minerva, even though I love the ship. I was looking forward to see what you did with the ship, and it was definitely worth the wait. :D What's great about this story is that it leaves one thinking afterwards - I keep finding myself looking back at parts to revisit the imagery or language. There's just so much going on in this story, and it's been exciting to pick it apart.
It's a complex ship to not just write, but also to conceptualize, as you've demonstrated in this story because there's plenty of tension between the characters as well as between the characters' desires and their... I can't think of a better word: destinies. That especially comes through in your portrayal of Minerva, who fights with all her will against her desire, and what I love about her characterization here is that paragraph when she creates that metaphorical barrier around her heart and spirit. It's normally such a cliched thing for a romance, but you recreate the cliche by making it feel like an arduous process, like someone building a bunker. It underlines both her fears regarding his power (over her, over anything really) as well as her own weakness for him, despite all of the things he's proven to be. She can't change her feelings, but she can repress them, which suits her canon character perfectly.
It is mostly a story about Minerva, but there are also some very interesting aspects to your portrayal of Tom. That paragraph near the end when Tom speaks of his love stood out because the mixed pain and hope in his eyes has nothing to do with love - it's the pain in recognizing that his power has failed, that she's beyond his grasp. He tries to win her back with cliches, relying still on the thing that had initially drawn her to him, but he doesn't see how she's armed herself against that very thing because he's so wrapped up in himself. It fits Tom's character, but it's also something sadly and startlingly realistic.
One thing you do need to do with this story is check for typos - there are a couple of small ones that, while they don't interfere with the story itself, do pose a distraction to readers. Otherwise, it's an excellent story, and it'd be wonderful to see you post more Tom/Minerva. :D Report Review
I really like the idea of this story. I like how you include how women like to try and fix things, especially people. This person says they are what they are, and we can immediately take that as a challenge to make them better. But as shown here, it doesn't work. Instead Minerva ended up being manipulated, and not always for the best.
I enjoyed that Minerva saw Tom for what he really was and stood her ground with him. I do wonder whether he really meant what he said, about needing her. But maybe she was right to push him away. You say she gave him the final push that turned him into the monster he became, but it seems like he would have become it anyway whether she loved him or not, because he doesn't understand what love is.
I did notice some little things though. In the beginning, where I think you mean to say "pity and despair," you actually say "pit." And in the paragraph where you describe what Tom Riddle's become in italics, I think you should separate each statement with some sort of punctuation so it's easier to understand and follow. A little later on, you also say "as she spoked she dreamed of him." Spoke is the past tense of speak and doesn't need the d at the end. While this is a really good story, I think you might benefit by getting someone to beta it for you.
But other than those minor things, this was a really lovely story, and very thought-provoking. I think you did a wonderful job developing the plot and I even enjoyed the ending. I especially love the bit about how, while he was clearly the worst thing for her (driving her mad and all), that he made her better; stronger as a person and a witch. This was really good.
xxEnigmaticEyes16 Report Review
This was great! You never really think about it but McGonagall and Tom would have gone to Hogwarts together because they're really close in age.
I mean, I realize it now but it's just that it's so weird to think about but technically McGonagall and Tom would've gone to school together.
What I love about this is that in the books, McGonagall is very strict and such and until Pottermore, you would really have no idea of why she was the way that she was so. This would've been a great way for a reader to have some idea of how McGonagall became the way that she was.
Tom Riddle is also totally believable because he does sound charming like it's mentioned that he is and he sounds caring but just from the things that he says, you can tell that he's not all what he seems and that he's not charming at all.
I'm sorry, I just loved the characterization in this story so damn much, I can't help but gush about it.
So, basically, GREAT JOB! Report Review
Wow, this was really very well-written. I love angst, and I really enjoyed reading this. I've never read Tom/Minerva before (not a fan really) but still, I liked it.
Minerva's emotions were shown well. I could feel her dilemma, her pain, her resolve nicely. Tom seemed a little OOC to me, I find it hard to imagine that he can "love" anyone ever, or he can go to Minerva and ask her to save him, he just doesn't seem that type of person to me. I find it hard to accept that Minerva could have loved him and saved him, I think Tom was beyond saving anyway.
But nevertheless, your story was well-written and despite the OOC-ness, it was quite okay. The concept was unique, and the overall narrative was intense. The ending was powerful as well.
(AditiDraco95) Report Review
That's a great story line😛 Report Review
Hey I'm from the review battle!
I love reading Tom/Minerva stories I just always forget to look them up so I'm glad that I came across yours! I really enjoyed reading as I feel you portrayed the characters brilliantly!
I also loved the way you showed that Minerva could have created a whole new wizarding history if she had just tried to carry on helping him instead of giving up like everyone else had.
It was really believable that she left him as you showed that as he's so incapable of love their relationship could never have worked.
Go team blue!
patronus_charm Report Review
Hey, its Gabbie here with your requested review! Coming at you pretty quickly too, if I do say so myself so, since we've never spoken before, its nice to meet you! :D
So, to be honest, I have heard of this pairing loosely on the forums but have never given one a chance. I just found the thought of Tom and Minnie (Cutest nickname ever by the way) to be the strangest thing. And yet, after reading this, oddly addicting adn I can see why you liked writing them together! Those first few opening sentences were so powerful, I really loved how you set up the rest of the chapter. It gave me a sense of a twisted desire that couldn't be understood by Minerva and that was a side of her that I'd never seen. I really enjoyed it, to be honest. To see her losing her inhibitions and actually listening to Tom, being fooled by that smile...it read like every girl's thoughts at some point. I think everyone can relate but not quite in the way Minerva can at having the man she loves turning into a monster right befor her eyes. Loved it! :D
There were like, two grammar things in here with "she as built," and "spoked" but they were minor. I would say, that, though you might want to go and take care of a few run on sentences (I make a ton of them myself so I really can't talk) since her thoughts constantly shift on to a different topic. But other than that, I thought this was lovely and so achingly sad, considering that I felt that she still loved Tom, underneath it all. His plea for help has me wondering, was he being honest? Had he come to her as a last result? Had she let him down by not helping? Argh, the questions...you've got me wondering on where you're going to go with this! :D
I really think that you should keep going, is such a different pairing from the norm. :D I'll see you on the forums, yes? And I'll most likely gush about you on my review thread so be warned. :D
Much love and thanks for the great read!
Gabbie Report Review
Reading this one-shot was bit like watching a poisonous flower to bloom. So pretty, yet so deadly. It was quite chilling and enthralling. =)
I loved how you made Tom Riddle so smooth and suave, the master manipulator of the highest caliber. And Minerva, so strong and yearning for knowledge, yet realizing how step by step she was gently led into the spider's web.
I haven't read Minnie/Riddle fics before, but this was definitely worth the try. While I usually see their personalities being as opposite each other as possible, you made me believe in this toxic love.
Your writing was spellbinding. I loved how you spun the words and sentences into something almost poetic. There were so numerous carefully crafted sentences, which blinded me with their beauty, that it's hard to decide which one was my favorite. Maybe right in the start where there were those rumours about Riddle. Or simple 'Insanity becomes you, darling.'
It was a lovely read. I will definitely check out your other works as well. =) Report Review
Woot, first review! :D I couldn't resist when I saw that you'd just got this validated and all that jazz. I've read a couple of Tom/Minerva's and while I don't think anything much would have happened between them (he's just too heartless and she's a little too strong to be taken in by him, I've always thought) it is, as you say, the possibility of them clashing which is so appealing.
I love the way you've made Tom so effortlessly manipulating and yet charming and able to switch from one to the other with a click of his fingers. I also love how you've included references to the Lord Voldemort he becomes with the twisted, cruel smile and his faithful minions. He seems almost more than Voldemort because he's still focused, he's just less obsessed and, in a way, more dangerous.
Minerva was great. I love the idea that she was taken in by him at first, but then realised what he was to and what he was about and stopped and walked away. It's really interesting that you've chosen to say that he helped her improve and get more powerful (it's also an interesting take on magical power - I haven't seen a lot of people before say that it could be improved) and use her talents to great effect.
If you continued this or did something similar or whatever I'd love to see you include Dumbledore or other students, and branch it out from just the two of them, if you do, because people's reactions or non-reactions could be interesting depending on what they know or suspect. While this was lovely and focused, it didn't have much else to it, if you know what I mean. Also, I'd love to know where this fits in in the timeline - are they sixth year or seventh year or what? It's not hugely important, but some hint as to their age would be great.
That being said, I love how you haven't set it in any particular place and have focused on what she's done to him and how they've effected each other rather than anything else. It makes the story feel so much more intense. I also liked how you had it in her pov but allowing us to see so much of him as well, and the characterisation and pacing were both really, really good.
I really enjoyed this! :)
Aph xx Report Review
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