Hello Val ♡ ! Here with your requested review and ahem, apologies for taking so long yet again. I'm glad you re-requested, because this is such a unique story, very different from anything else on the archives, and I do enjoy reading this a lot.
Anyway, gah. This is a fabulous chapter. There's so much going on, and the plot is becoming more and more exciting. The scenes are short and terse, reflecting the action as well as creating a sense of narrative tension, and reading this, I was really held in thrall throughout the whole chapter. I love all the movement of the story and how the characters and the narrative never seem to remain static; the prose is light, subtle and descriptive in the right parts, and you instead of having your characters angst around, you convey their internal struggles and emotional states through their actions and reactions to each other e.g. this lovely moment between Xavier and Camille:
Xavier repeats the wand movement wordlessly, then, with another flourish, conjures a new pair that he hands Camille. Their fingers touch briefly, imperceptibly.
She smiles. "Thank you."
This was done gorgeously, Val. It's so subtle, the way their relationship or feelings for each other are implied, and yet there's so much clarity to that moment. The writing was very delicate and the words were phrased perfectly, and I'm glad you stopped there rather than carry on and run the risk of overdoing that scene.
Anyway, you mentioned in your areas of concern about emotions. There's a lot of disturbing material in this chapter: the murder of the mayor, the rape and abortion references, the characters' moralities being tested...etc. First, the mayor. That was amazingly written; it could have been just a generic action scene, Astrid handing him the poisoned handkerchief and running off, and him dying a gruesome death. But somehow you made it so disturbing by humanising the mayor, by writing those small details here and there, how he smiles kindly at Astrid and speaks well of his nephew (Jean, right?). And yet despite the fact that he appears to be essentially a good person, Astrid still sticks to her assignment and kills him. :( Gah. It's a really interesting moral dilemma she's facing, and I really like this theme that you've brought up: how the reality of war turns the clear-cut boundaries of morality, of good and evil into a murky grey area, which the characters are forced to navigate, to examine their own individual beliefs or to keep doing as they are told, "for the greater good". It's a very fitting war theme, and of course, this comes up in HP canon, so great work on this. Also, I loved that Ministry scene! All that luxury and splendour is such a great contrast to, say, Simon's prison camp. Paul Goldberg is a very intriguing character - a little shady, not entirely good. It's great that you introduced a character like him, and that all the protagonists are now embroiled in something much bigger - the reality of politics. I really enjoy fics where the political comes into contact with the personal aspect of life.
As for how you handled the sensitive topics, I thought they were very well-done. The knitting needles were a very striking and terrifying image, and I really felt for Johanna there, going through such traumatic experiences.
As for description, some of the other reviewers have mentioned this, but you certainly do have an eye for singling out memorable details of a scene or a setting, which really makes the writing so visual without going into a very detailed account of how everything looks, sounds, smells like etc. Descriptions like the chandeliers resembling pennies underwater, or the mountain elf being a creature all "knots and knobbles" (I personally loved this descriptive bit heaps :D ) are such small but striking details.
As for CC, one thing that stood out to me about your sentences was the use of adverbs. You seem to be using them quite a lot at times, especially with dialogue tags, e.g. 'Astrid questions disbelievingly', and 'Camille starts hesitantly' or Goldberg nods enthusiastically. Sometimes the adverbs aren't always necessary, because the verbs already convey the sense of disbelief ("questions") or enthusiasm or hesitance ("starts"). Too many adverbs can start to trip up the prose a bit and make your sentences a little clunky (I'm guilty of this a lot, too ahaha).
I loved your characterisations of Camille and Xavier and Jean here; they're all so real and distinctive -Jean is secretive and scheming, Camille and Xavier are both hot-headed and they interact with each other so nicely. But I am having a little trouble distinguishing Astrid from Johanna; their characterisations aren't so strong in this chapter; their viewpoints are so similar and I'm trying to think if you mentioned that they were sisters or something in previous chapters. And as this chapter contained Astrid's first mission and that horrible flashback of Johanna's, I do think that perhaps you could work on these two characters' portrayals a little more, at least in future chapters.
Also, this is not CC, but I would have loved to see that explosion Jean made in the beginning :P It would have been grand.
Anyway, this is quite a long, rambly review and I hope I've said things that haven't been too useless (it's 2am - it always is when I review). This was a wonderful chapter, Val, and I really enjoyed reading! Great work :)
PS: I notice you keep typing ' &hearts '. Is your semicolon key not working? Not sure if you already know this and I'm just being annoying, but to make a heart in reviews you have to type &hearts ; (with a semicolon at the end but without the space in between) :P Report Review
Ooh, I really like the moral twist you're putting all of this- In a way, I'm glad that your team aren't going to get away with their actions without some kind of pay-off. It could be really interesting to see how any doubts the characters might have will play out, because ohmygosh they're ruthless aren't they? I almost felt sorry for the Mayor there, he really didn't stand a chance!
Johanna's backstory was just heartbreaking! I felt so sorry for her. (And the feminist in me had a nice little internal rant about how unfair and hideous the whole thing is!) It certainly puts an interesting slant on her actions in the first chapter...
I really like how we're discovering bits and pieces about these characters, and gradually building up a picture of them all.
Definitely rooting for Camille and Xavier here! (Xaville? Camier?) The little scene between them was perfect: very subtle and understated but none the less impactful for it. I get the impression that they still have some sort of feeling for one another...?
I think I'm reserving judgement about the Minister for the time being... I know they're in desperate times, but his plan does seem pretty awful, especially in light of what Astrid reads in the file. I like the idea of mountain elves though- it was very original and the description of it sounded as if it came straight out of Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them!
I'm very intrigued by Jean's comment about Astrid too, and where that could be leading, too...
Another really wonderful chapter- I look forward to reading on! ♥
-Bethany Report Review
I love the way the story's developed in this chapter... it's all very intriguing! I continue to be in awe of the way you can handle so many main characters and have them all feel so complex, and I just love the way the drama of the group's task is unfolding next to their personal dramas...
There's something very atmospheric- almost nostalgic- to the way you write, that makes me feel as if I'm actually there with your characters. I love that way you've included the little snippets of French which make it clear that the story is set in France and the characters are speaking a different language without confusing the reader- even one like me who only learnt French for three years!
I'm very curious as to what's gone on in Jean's family so that he's happy to kill his own uncle- and from the story of the attempt to stab him, it doesn't seem like the first time! I really like how you've continued to emphasise in this chapter just how ruthless these people are, even though we're coming to like them and everything.
As I said above, I like how you're bringing personal aspects of the characters into the story. The scene in the lighthouse between Camille and Xavier was so beautiful and romantic, and I loved the way you wrote them together, so that I'm totally shipping them now! :P Having read that scene, it was so sad to see their rather less pleasant feelings towards each other now, and I'm desperate to find out what caused such a rift between them...
Your descriptions of Simon's concentration camp are chilling- you really bring across how harsh and degrading it must have been, but at the same time how Simon has just become accustomed to it and taken it in his stride. And the way he looks after his sisters is really touching ♥ I really hope that they'll be okay!
And eugh that poison sounds awful! I can't wait to hear how their attempt at his life will go, and will definitely be back for the next chapter when I get the chance! This is such a great story :)
-Bethany Report Review
Hey there- I'm here from the forums!
I picked this as I saw it won a couple of Diadem Awards, and having read it, I can say that I can definitely see why! This was just stunning!
I was intrigued right from the beginning, from that gorgeous description of Caen, and of Camille. I absolutely adored the contrast between Camille's elegant clothes, and her ruthless killing of the solider. The "Avada Kedavra" came as such a shock! But it certainly made me want to read on!
(The same thing was true with Johanna and her Imperius Curse actually.)
I loved that you didn't just explain everything straight off, but made the reader gradually work out what was going on- it's nice to be made to engage with a story like that! And I have to say that this is *such* an original idea for a story- I've never read anything like it, and I'm really interested to see what you're going to do with this scenario...!
I really liked the structure of this chapter with the snapshots of all the different characters. You seem to be able to convey a lot about a character in just few words, so I feel like a really know this group of people, despite not having been with them for long. You've also managed to give them a lot of depth- so far, they all seem very real.
Handling so many main characters can be tricky, but so far you seem to be managing it well!
I'm guessing that the link to a canon character is Astrid's to Apolline? I'm interested to see how that dynamic will play out- especially if Astrid's also part Veela...
I'm extremely impressed by this chapter! It's so beautifully written, and so original, and I'll certainly be reading on! A stunning chapter ♥
-Bethany Report Review
Hello again! :)
I really like the flashback-present cycle of the story thus far. I think throwing the reader right into the action at the beginning was very effective, and there's a really strong balance how of context and tense progress. I love how the characters make no excuses: they are the way they are, and the reason they're that way is explained in bits and pieces.
Poor Camille! The story of their breakup makes a lot of sense, and would be very hard for both of them. I wonder if Camille would have done the same for Xavier had it been her? The way he ended things with her was so heartbreaking, I don't blame her for resenting him. They were very sweet together in the tree, and poor Camille, having to see her former lover wounded like that! :(
I'm curious about Astrid, and what happened to Apolline. I thought about the dates, and since Fleur's mother was called Apolline, maybe Astrid named her daughter after her dead sister, and is therefore Fleur's future grandmother? I really like Astrid, and I think she'd be a fitting ancestor to our lovely Delacour. :)
Another great chapter, I can't wait for the next update! :) Report Review
Hello darling, so I'm so sorry about how long this review was in coming! Now that exams are over, I finally have the intellectual energy needed to give this story a smoother review it deserves! :)
Ah, where to start? I really liked... well, appreciated the thorough and well-written flashback of Simon and his family being taken. It's so heartbreaking, how so many Jews went along with the police and questioned what was happening, though they didn't fight back. I visited the Terezin concentration camp, and they talked about how it had initially been advertised as a retirement home, so elderly Jews paid their fares and went willingly to the camp, completely blind to what was happening. It's such a heartbreaking, corrupt idea of the mind games the Nazis played, and you did a really good job of portraying this situation for Simon. The reader sees the full picture, but these poor people are trapped in their own confusion.
The woman who chose to end her life was a really effective and sinister detail. I liked how you didn't go into explicit detail about what happened, but just showed Simon's limited and quick thoughts about her, it was very effective and saddening. I wonder if others would think back to that woman many months later, and wish they had done the same thing? Also, it reminded me a bit of the book "Beloved," and the horrifying, encompassing love of a mother who would rather kill her own children then let them be captives. It really makes you think. :(
It also shows, to me, why wizards would keep their existence secret to Muggles. While wizards are very powerful, they are still subject to the masses of Muggles and might not be able to out-maneuver or protect themselves from a mass. I felt so sorry for Simon's family, not even bothering to protect themselves with magic.
I love the little hints and details of the story, like counting raffle tickets and the small details of everyday reality. You're certainly a master at letting large concepts and ideas be held together by short, fleeting hints, like the single section about Simon's father being dead, and that being that. It's so little, yet says so much.
Astrid's new job should prove to be really intriguing! I loved the last line, it was very cryptic and chilling. As you can probably tell, I really love this story and how strongly and accurately you portray this historic time. The effort you've put into the details and the precise, impactful writing style really shows! :) Report Review
Hey! Here for your requested review from the forums!
This was another amazing chapter and I really enjoyed it. I read it a couple days back (when I did my previous review) but thought it'd be better to review this as a 'reviewer' than a 'reader' (if that makes sense) so I was waiting for you to re-request, and I am glad you did.
So anyway, I just re-read the chapter and it has made me really sad; so many feels! I think you have done a brilliant job expressing Simon's pain and I could really connect with him, which is great.
The beginning part didn't seem rushed at all, in fact I quite enjoyed it as it was well-written. The fear, the panic, the confusion, the uncertainty, you showed it all really well. It made me so sad that they didn't realise where they were being taken to until it was too late to run (or disapparate or whatever). What was worse was their cluelessness or their faith - they felt like they were French citizens who fought for their country so nothing could happen to them. It was exactly like how I'd expect them all to react. Especially towards the end (of that memory), Simon's behaviour and thoughts are quite believable. All in all, I think you portrayed the entire situation in a very realistic manner, so good job.
As I said previously, you described Simon's pain beautifully. The way he woke up from the nightmare/memory, and his train of thought afterwards, really conveys the turmoil going inside him and I just wanted to reach out to him and give him a big hug.
The direction of his thoughts definitely suit the context, the way he thinks back to his family and friends (and Johanna). Reading the part about Johanna's father being dead and her being called a *insert non-12+ word here* by the Nazis made me really angry and sad at the same time, and I wonder if it will be further explored in future chapters (from Johanna's point of view). Reading about Simon's dad's death and his uncertainty of his mother being alive was also very touching.
The part about Astrid going away was again a poignant moment and you wrote it well. I loved the 'group' (from now on I shall call them that) fighting like children over the piece of parchment. As I said in my previous review, you really do know how to include some light scenes amidst all the darkness which is remarkable, and something that I love about your writing. The scene made me smile, it was really cute, and then the aftermath immediately had me anxious for Astrid. I do hope the Minister doesn't try anything funny with her.
Anyway, I liked the ending bit too, how it is a change of setting and such. The way you described the school was good and I liked Astrid's reflection later on. It will be interesting how she deals with this stuff further on! As for your concern, her reaction seems appropriate enough to me, and not too distanced at all. You seem to be doing a wonderful job fleshing out your characters and portraying their emotions. It's great how I seem to be connecting with your characters too =)
Anyway, I don't want to ramble further so I'll just wrap up by saying that this was another great chapter and I really liked it. The story is interesting me more and more as I continue reading, so please keep writing =) The only little CC I have to offer you is that I'd have perhaps liked a little more detail and description in the last two scenes as they seemed a tad too rushed - more emotion, more talk, more thought/reflection would have been an enhancing touch.
Apart from that, great job!
P.S. Feel free to re-request! (And apologies for the long length of this review)! Report Review
Hiii! I've been trying to get myself here for way too long.
I'm going to jump right in and say that your ending is killing me. You realize this, yeah? Yet you decide to do it anyway, because you like killing me! yes?
I was very into the first section. The air it held of past romance, of lingering feelings. We know the marriage didn't go through, but that didn't stop me from wanting to hope just a tiny bit. Xavier's need to look her in the eye while he lies, hoping that it will stop her from seeing through it, was very realistic and his reasoning just cruel enough that he could pray she'd get over him. Or at least that's why I suspect he'd used that line.
If she thinks that he's fallen in love with someone else, that he is so insensitive and cold to fall in love and tell her so casually. maybe she'll be able to hate him instead of being broken hearted. I can't imagine that those months until she was recruited was anything but easy. Poor girl ;(.
That scene with Astrid made me really nervous. I was so afraid that they just wouldn't care, that maybe something was discovered, maybe the German soldiers were just feeling cruel. AHH thank you for not making anything bad happen. I was scared. But I liked that you included that bit. It reminded us how, even in a place where she should be safe, she still deals with never actually being completely secure. Good thing the higher officer was present.
And now this last section! You took pity on my poor little heart by giving it happy feels! Sure, they didn't really solve anything, but they're talking again. And their conversation of what could have been was both heartbreaking yet necessary, in my opinion.
And now we get back to the end. I don't think it felt rushed at all. Your story is sort of a constant revolving door of characters, and i love that, so the smaller sections fit well.
An amazing chapter, but I'm going to remain angry until I know Xavier's fate :P
♥ Report Review
hey! it's me again!
So while reading this chapter I noticed that you actually ARE narrating in real-time (meh, did I already mention my terrible memory?). Nevertheless, the sentence I pointed out in my last review still seems a bit odd. I suppose it's a matter of choice, but maybe you could replace "will" with "is going to be"? I believe that would make it stand out less. And maybe not use words like "tomorrow" or "now" in the narration either...Gah, ok I'm getting really nitpicky. Sleep deprivation does strange things to a mind...
Moving on! So I really enjoyed this chapter. First, because I think I kind of know what's going on now? Not really sure about the details, but it seems to me that our rag tag group of misfits belong to a wizard organization of sorts that is cooperating with the Muggles in a common attempt to oppose the Nazis? ...Unless they are fighting their own wizard Nazis? I'm sure this will be cleared up in later chapters, but the political environment is a bit of a mystery to me. I know this is veering way off track again, but I do want to know. So, we are dealing with Nazi expansion over Europe. How involved is the wizarding world in all of this? Are there political tensions within the wizarding world regarding whether to oppose national socialism or to support it? From what I got in the HP books, the wizarding world has a completely independent economy from the Muggle world. Is this somehow different in your story? It would actually be kind of cool if we had wizards medling in Muggle affairs. There are a few stories where Grindelwald helps the Nazis for mutual power gain, and some where he is also involved in a few of Stalin's attrocities. Oh! and don't take any of this as criticism ;) I just like to speculate and your story did get me thinking! After all, if the wizarding world dislikes the political events of the Muggle world and follows some sort of interventionist philosophy, then getting rid of the Nazis should not be very difficult, you know? (I'm sorry if you had actually implied a lot of the answers to these questions and I just didn't get the hints :P).
Oh, and I liked the mountain elf! They can steal magical powers? My goodness!
I think that's it for now, but feel free to re-request, I'd love to see where this story leads :D Report Review
hey! It's Whiskey back with another review!
I liked how this chapter was about the different relationships between the characters. This was quite necessary, considering how many names there are to keep track of :P (my memory is the worst!). It helps to know how the characters connect (or not) to eachother and pushes the reader to become more invested in their lives. And coming back to my ridiculously short attention span, I love how you use the parallel cut style to tell the story! Not only does it make it easier to get through the text, but allows each described event to appear weighty and intriguing. In a more linear structure, much of what you tell might have gotten lost or would have been skimmed through the way filler scenes often are.
Although in my last review I recall expressing some reservation about the way you line up seemingly unrelated events, I'm starting to change my mind about that, especially since there IS a structure...you have three parallel stories running side by side. The flash-back does appear a bit distracting, but I actually liked it. It added something innocent to the darkness of the rest of the chapter and tied everything together, oddly enough. Made me aware of the tragic contrast of the youth and hopes of our characters compared to what they have become. Although it was about only two of them, I felt that, in a way, the flashback related to the entire group. So good job!
In terms of CC, I did notice that you have a few rather awkward sentences where you use more words than necessary, thus breaking the rythm of the text. As an example: "Next to her, Xavier smiles slightly, but his eyes show the same reluctance at the idea of the mission he has just been informed of."
Also: this is actually a common mistake, but at some point you write "Tomorrow will be a long day." when it really should be "the following day was going to be long" or "would be long" since you arent narrating in real-time.
Additionally, I think - not entirely sure - that spells are written in itallics only when they are being cast. I might be completely wrong about thing, though.
Apart from that, I'd like to point out that I really enjoyed the dialogue at the beginning of the chapter and the scene between Camille and the girls. You generally seem to have a much better grip on the female characters - their gestures especially bring these characters to life for me. I haven't noticed the same with the male characters, but I'm sure I'll find more insight into them in the following chapters. Report Review
Hi again! :)
This chapter was heartbreaking on so many levels. First of all, the mayor came across as a relatively likeable and genial man, and while I understand why they need him dead it came across as quite tragic. For the greater good, I suppose. :( Astrid's doubts were entirely reasonable, but I like how in this story you play around with the standards of right and wrong, necessity and humanity.
Poor Johanna. :( You mananged to describe just enough of the scene to stir feelings of foreboding and repulsion without being graphic. Just the single symbol of the knitting needles, and how physically and emotionally painful the experience must have been for these poor girls, is very upsetting, but you wrote it very tastefully and smoothly.
I enjoyed the insight into the French Ministry of Magic as well, and the sort of nostalgic splendour of it. The Minister seems like a shady type, but they always are, aren't they? Stripping magic from wizards on the other side is certainly interesting, and though it seems a little barbaric, as the Minister said it is war and different rules and morals apply. I'm interested to see how they'll go about the missions.
I'm really liking Camille-she's so sassy! I loved her exclamation that Jean cannot keep her from thinking as she wished-somehow that line just tied the entire chapter together so well. In the pursuit of goodness and fighting for their country, they sometimes have to do unspeakable things as well, and maintain their free will and morality to avoid simply becoming as bad as the enemy.
Another really well-written and smoothly flowing chapter! I loved it, and I'm certainly adding this story to my favourites! :) Report Review
Hello darling, so I'm back to review the next amazing chapter of your wonderfully thought-provoking story!
Firstly, I enjoyed (well, is that the right word?) the section about Simon. His insisting that he will not be reduced to an animal status was very approapriate, I thought, considering the treatment of Jews during the Holocaust since they essentially were stripped of their humanity and identity. The little details that went into this section, such as keeping his shoes on, and the contrast with the well-outfitted Nazi, were really effective in "showing," not "telling" both the state of the world Simon inhabits as well as his individualism within it.
The part about Xavier conjuring a mattress actually made me laugh. It must be so convenient to be a wizard, eh? Feeling tired? Conjure a chair! Papercut? Conjure a bandaid! I wish I was a wizard... All that aside, however, I loved the flashback to what these characters were like before the war. It's great to see these other sides to them, as well as the contrasts like the girls giggling amongst themselves and Camille's continuing resentment of Xavier, despite there being bigger things going on around them. It makes them more relatable while showing how war changes people.
I feel quite sorry for Jean, having to put his personal feelings aside and go ahead with the murder of his uncle, for the greater good as it were. It's hard to tell how close they really were, but I enjoyed the detail about blowing fire in his uncle's face.
Simon's relief that his sisters won't get pink triangles, and thus be exposed to worse abuse, was very interesting as well. It's like he can only afford to care for his family, and cannot extend that love and pity to others as long as his sisters are safe. I feel like in another place he would have cared deeply, but in his situation he simply does not have the strength to worry about others.
I thought this was another excellent chapter and the story is so far progressing at a natural and strong pace. Great writing, really! :) Report Review
Hello! I am so sorry that it took me this long to get to your story, I was having unanticipated Internet troubles, but anyway, I'm here now! :)
Honestly I've had my eye on this story for a while but never quite got to checking it out. Now I can't believe it took me this long, since this is an absolutely enthralling first chapter. So prepare for a long review of singing this story's praises!
First of all I'm really impressed and excited that you're writing about WW2, which is such a diverse, tragic and complicated subject that can be told from so many angles. I can tell you've worked very hard at researching for this, and the fine attention to detail really comes across. I absolutely love how you've incorporated the wizarding world into the Muggle political situation, both on the larger scale in Jean's section regarding wizarding involvement and justice, but also on a smaller scale, like waiting for the siren to Apparate, and Simon dropping his wand and hoping to get it back. It's extremely interesting to imagine how WW2 would have affected wizards, especially in Nazi-occupied countries, like if the Nazis would have known about them, and if they would have resisted and fought like your characters seem to be doing.
Ah, the characters. I quite like the fragmented style of the prologue, and how each character's situation and personality details are subtly and smoothly introduced. Camille's section gave me chills, it was simple yet poignant, and set the hardened tone for the rest of the chapter. I like the Delacour connection with Astrid- that's very clever, and a nice way to tie in the HP canon.
Simon's section is so heartbreaking. I actually just visited a former concentration camp a few days ago, so mapping your story onto that experience was extra moving and upsetting. I'm very curious of what will happen to him, and even more so how he allowed himself to be captured in the first place. I'm also wondering if there are any wizards among the Nazis and/or guards and police, or if the worlds are mostly separate. I'm guessing Simon is Muggleborn, but either way his story and context perhaps intrigues me the most.
The only concern I have is that there were a lot of OCs introduced at once, but I think I've gotten them straight in my head, more or less. I think as the story goes on and I get more accustomed to their individual traits it will become clearer as well.
Overall this is such an intriguing beginning to your story, and I'm completely smitten. The concept is exciting and important, the characterization strong, and your writing style is both clear and beautiful. I'm so excited to read on! :)
Thank you so much for the swap! :)Author's Response: Ack, I can't believe I've taken so long to respond... So, you see, no need to apologise about the lateness -- we're even.
First of all, I think the fact that you'd had your eye on this story for some time is the biggest compliment you could pay me.
The involvement of magic throughout time has always been something I felt JK hadn't dwelled on very much, and this story sort of sprouted from a series of unrelated thoughts at two in the morning (like most ideas, apparently). I'm glad you like it!
Simon's section was the hardest one to write, and though I'll come across as a heaartless creature I was aiming for it being heartbreaking. Even though I've visited a camp and read books about what happened (and seen videos from the time, which is not a pleasant experience), I keep not understanding how such a thing could have happened -- or, to be more specific, how people could let it happen. Your question about his arrest is touched on in chapter four (which you now know), and I will also tell you that yes, unfortunately there were wizards amongst the Nazis as well.
Wow, this turned out to be insanely long! Thank you so much for the review :) Report Review
AW Xaiville forever!! And ooh Astrid and Max haha. And YES I totally get you about finals and revision- my mum's cut off everything till the 26th of June- when school lets out. I'm currently writing this under the covers of my bed on my phone LOL. Okay well bye :)
xox miluvAuthor's Response: Ah I do the same! Except my phone doesn't let me leave reviews so I need to hide my computer instead...
Thanks so much for the review again :) Report Review
I like long authors notes! And also the character's kidding around, it made them seem more real, you know what I mean? Jean should feel so bad about himself, considering its his fault for lying about Astrid and now she's being sent away, where Goldberg could possibly rape her or worse cuz he's a creep too, and I just ugh, the feels. Lol okay bye:)
xox miluvAuthor's Response: I do know what you mean, and I'm glad it came across as that. Jean doesn't actually feel that bad, he's just very jealous. And keep an eye on Goldberg.
Thank you for the review! :) Report Review
Me me me! I totally ship Xaville (lol)! I kind of hate the minister as a person, he's creepy. Isn't he a muggleborn though? Why is he so interested in saving the wizards? Jean kind of pisses me off as well. Not to mention if he keeps acting like this he'll ruin things for Astrid and him. Lol okay love ya bye:)
xox miluvAuthor's Response: I prefer Camivier, haha :) The Minister is definitely creepy, but he's Pureblood!
Also yes, Jean is a bit ambiguous. He's certainly not putting things in his favour with Astrid, nope.
Thank you for the review! Report Review
Is Simon in Germany? I didn't know they had concentration camps in France, if he's in France. Lol with every chapter I'm loving this more and more:DAuthor's Response: They didn't have concentration camps in France, but they did have transit camps (Drancy, Pithiviers, Beaune-la-Rolande); however, that's not where Simon is. I'd say probably Poland though, rather than Germany, but his location isn't a specific one. Consider him to be representative of everything that happened, I suppose!
Thank you for the review :) Report Review
Hi there! I literally omg love this. Its amazing, exactly what I was looking for this morning when I sat down with a cup of tea and a blanket haha. Just one thing though- can you explain Jean's part? I get up to the Anti Semitics but then after that it all went over my head lol. Sorry I'm a bit of a dunce :P Other then that, thanks, and bye!
xox miluvAuthor's Response: Hi!
Right, so Jean. Jean is the head of a branch of the wizarding resistance movement. The minister of magic, who is Jewish, was elected after anitsemitic policies were put in place in Muggle France. Therefore, the existence of the magical world was never revealed to the French government, which is why they have a lot of power.
I hope this helped? In any case thank you so much for the review :) Report Review
Yay I get the fiftieth review :D
Thereís something really beautiful about this story, and I always think that when a new chapterís posted but Iíve never gotten around to saying it. I think itís the real depiction of peopleís lives in that time and the fact itís set in France, as stories in other countries are always fun to read. Itís just got something really lovely about it and that was my chance to fan girl over it :í)
That flashback was heart-breaking, and my heart really went out to Camille. Even though she was recruited later, it probably left scars on her. At first I was yelling insults and Xavier for leaving Camille for another girl, but when he justified it with saying it was to do with the resistance it made it slightly better. It still made me have tears in my eyes over what happened to her.
Ah I figured out why I love this story so much, I think itís all the little French things and how authentic it all is. I got far too excited about Astrid writing the date on the board and just saying Mardi 2 Novembre made it authentic, thatís what it is. I can see youíve really put thought into this story and itís such a joy to read.
I thought you really caught the range of emotions Astrid may have been feeling really well. There was the joy of teaching, which was really lovely to see that she could still enjoy things during the war, and then the sadness of being away from her home and family. I really liked the spontaneity she felt when strolling down the streets of Paris and it was lovely to see she could still be carefree in a time like this.
I like the encounter Astrid had with Maximilian SchrŲder. It was nice to see that some of the Nazis could still be humane and reasonable. Even though that is really rare, I think it was important to include to show an accurate reflection of the war and I really loved it. I have a feeling weíre going to bump into him later on.
Eep the Camille and Xavier scene ♥ I was hoping that we would learn more about their relationship but I wasnít expecting to hear more about it then same chapter, so yay for that! I liked how you showed that even though they were in love, they were still had their differences. I think it was the part about Camille not wanting to have children yet and Xavier being surprised about it. It showed that even though they dated they still didnít reveal everything.
The final scene was perfect ♥ the only thing Iím annoyed about is the massive cliff-hanger you left us on. Is Xavier alright? Are they going to get caught? Will Xavier and Camille ever be together again? All these questions which probably wonít be answered for a while. Good luck with your exams though Val, and Iím glad that thereís a chance of updates on this story :D Another amazing chapter!
Wow that turned into a massive review!Author's Response: Fifty reviews already, I could almost shed a tear. Thank you for sticking to this since the beginning!
I know I shouldn't be picking favourites, but I think I've got a special soft spot for Camille. This scene was so difficult to write: I really ship her Xavier with every fibre of my body, and writing them apart makes me so sad. I totally join you in screaming at Xavier though -- the poor guy just couldn't come up with another excuse to leave, could he?
I knew you would pick up on the French! When I write this, the French comes really spontaneously and sometimes I switch to French without realising...
Ah, I'm so glad you liked Astrid. It's the first time I felt like I'd properly dealt with her character, so your compliments are even more appreciated! As for Maximilian, yes, we will indeed be bumping into him later.
So I'm going to go back on my tangent about Camille and Xavier , but you are completely correct about their relationship and I love you so much for understanding it. And for shipping them together, of course!
I felt so guilty about the final scene, I'm sorry... I swear I'll be posting a new chapter as soon as I can, which hopefully will answer a few of your questions.
Thank you so, so much for being this supportive ♥ Report Review
...I loved this. This was such a good read - my head is still in the story and I can't seem to get out long enough to properly word anything. This story was so alive - set back in history, characters that seem real enough to come out of the pages... I honestly don't know what to say. You've endered me speechless. Every bit of it - I really, really like. The flow worked so smoothly, spelling and grammar errors were all but nonexistent - everything was just so, so good. Just write forever, yes?
I must mention the characters first. They were so vivid. Each of them so unique - you barely a had to describe them, their words spoke for themselves. Dialogue and how other character percieve them is a mega part of characterization, but yiou've seemed to master it perfectly. Down to every detail, I'm getting a brilliant idea of each one just from their words and thoughts.
I love the idea. If I had to pick what I loved most, it would have to be the idea. I've read some amazing works set in history, and so far, your's is ranked right up top with them. Word War 2 had so many things going on with intricate espionage, secret plans, and some horrible, terrible things. You've managed to weave in the Wizarding World into those times, and it fits just right.
"It is not Jean's words that are terrifying, but the brief, yet definite, look of pride in his eyes at the memory of his actions." That just gave me chills. Jean is so... I can't find words. He's too big for words. That bit right there, I really, really like.
Keep writing this! :3Author's Response: Ungh I have no idea how to properly respond to this.
All of your compliments reduced me to a mushy pile of incoherency.
Okay. First off, I am so glad you like my characters. They're my babies, more than any other charaters I've ever written, and I love knowing that I'm not the only to like them.
Jean is quite a disturbing persona, yes, though I'm hoping to make him likeable as well!
Thank you so much -- this review meant the world to me :3
Hey! Here for your requested review from the forums!
Wow, this was an exceptionally well-written chapter and I loved reading it. In my opinion, this is the best chapter out of all three so far! You handled a sensitive issue quite well, or actually two sensitive issues (murder and illegal abortion), so great work on that.
I liked the small scene between Camille and Xavier! I am definitely rooting for them, haha. I think the way you have managed to incorporate some small sweet moments of romance (if it can be called that) amidst all this is commendable. Likewise, the little part where Xavier is shooed out of the room by the girls is quite cute, and again shows that there is still some love and happiness and nice moments shared between the group amidst all that is happening.
As for the Minister, he seems a very manipulative character and I don't like him one bit. He reminds me of Rufus Scrimgeour, willing to do anything to 'win'. His methods are indeed very cruel and I don't blame Astrid for thinking whether it was indeed right to join the resistance when they're going to resort to such horrible methods. You portrayed all the horribleness of the situation very well, as well as the tension in the atmosphere at what they'll play a part in.
As for Jean lying for Astrid, I am as of yet unsure of what was his motive for doing that. I don't know if he wants Astrid in his bed, that sounds strange lol, so good job on keeping my interest and curiosity piqued! I'd love to see where you take this.
As for your concerns, the chapter flowed wonderfully. The transitions were as always quite smooth, especially the one between the mayor's murder and Johanna's memory. The way you connected the two with 'the pool of blood' was nicely done. Throughout the story, I didn't feel like we were jumping from one scene to another, so over all, good work on the flow.
The chapter was packed with emotional intensity be it Astrid's, Johanna's, or Camille's in their scenes, and I liked it very much. I think you expressed all of their feelings really well and without overdoing it or moving away from the focus of the plot.
You definitely dealt with things the right way. As I said, it is one of my favourite chapters of the story.
All in all, superb job! I don't have any CC at all to give you. It was a very well-written chapter and I am eager for the next. Please do re-request!
P.S. Haha the review was definitely longer than intended, sorry xP Also, I am going to favourite this story as I am enjoying it quite a lot so I'd like to keep track of it. Please feel free to re-request!Author's Response: Hi AD!
This review made me melt like wax to a flame, so I'll try to respond to it in proper english and without squeeing myself out of my chair.
I'm so glad you enjoyed the scene with Camille and Xavier, and the small snippets of happiness. To be honest, I wasn't convinced by their inclusion -- sometimes I'm tempted to be entirely dark and angsty with this story.
The Minister is a character I still haven't figured out properly. He'll definitey do anything to win, and not just in terms of the war, but at the same time I think he does have a heart somewhere. Again, I'm really unsure about the approach I'll have to him, even though I do have a few ideas.
Oh, I'm so grateful that you think the flow and emotional intensity came across well! My forte is dialogue (I think) so I'm always unsure about pouring the characters' thoughts on screen.
Thank you so much for this review (and for the favourite), I'll definitely be rerequesting! :) Report Review
First off, this was such a moving chapter. First paragraph had me in bits, I was so distraught, and you described it so well - a really moving first few paragraphs.
Plot development is awesome, as always, and I love how cool Astrid is and how awesome the characters get to be like children - good bit of characterisation there! A useful insight as well to each character.
I love how you've added nazis in (well not love obviously, but it made it more interesting and quite inventive too!)
Killer last line as well, has me totally excited and on the edge of my seat for next chapter! Eeeek!
The flashback added so much more tone to Johanna, and makes me lover her even more. I so want to meet Simon. Also, more Camille and Xavier action please!!
Did I mention how much I love french speech in this chapter? I do. It makes it totally original and even more awesome.
Another totally cool and engaging piece of writing! Well done Val! :DAuthor's Response: I am the luckiest person on Earth to have you shower me with compliments twice in less than a week.
Astrid is one heck of a lady, that's for sure. She's essentially inspired from Fleur in GoF -- it runs in the family, I suppose!
The Nazis, obviously, are a huge part of the story. I wish they weren't there though...
Bah you are the first person to pick up on the final line, so thank you!
And of course there will be more flashbacks, and more Simon, and more Jo. And more French.
Thank you so much for your lovely review and your constant support Sophie, it means the world &hearts Report Review
Hello dear! I know I took my time with the review but I had to work up the courage to read about Simon. You have no idea how sad this whole part of history makes me. This part here "they aren't monsters" broke my heart and shattered it to pieces. Because they were. I understand they were working on orders but still... It's the same as when your mom asks "if your friends would jump off a bridge, would you do the same"?
Moving Astrid far from Caen is an interesting twist, I didn't expect that. I'm curious to see where you take it.
Once again, a brilliant chapter with heartbreaking descriptions and happenings. I'm anxiously waiting an update! Good job!Author's Response: Hi darling! I'm sorry if this chapter broke your heart. And I completely agree that they were monsters -- not all of them, of course, but I'm not going to write this trying to justify what was done.
As for Astrid, you'll see!
Thanks for the lovely review Ral (and I'm really sorry if this made you sad) &hearts Report Review
Not only is this title absolutely amazing, but also I adore how each one is in french, and how they are french!! I think how it's set in the 1940s, and it's french, is so original and awesome and lots of kudos for two settings which haven't ever been seen before.
Firstly, I think Camille and Xavier are so cute together. Their personalities slot together - they're both fiesty, and they both crae and have similar traits, but then they're also the opposites of each other, so I think they're made for each other!
Secondly, I hate the minister so much! Using house elves to take away magic? What a deliciously horrifying thing to have a story about! That's so sinister, daunting and petrifying, and yet a fantastic idea at the same time. That's so harsh, and painful! I already hate the guy - he seems way too focused on winning (which I know is for his country, e.t.c) but he seems to enjoy doing that to people! Amazingly inventive idea Val :)
Thirdly, I think Jean was kind of right about lying for Astrid - it certainly might make her look more competent and more trustworthy in the Minister's eyes, however that'll put more pressure on her, plus it's mean to talk about having favourites and stuff because they're all awesome in different ways so it's difficult to compare them all! I do believe they have a right to be angry at Jean though - he could've at least told them he was going to say that before hand.
I think that in the future, one of the gang (let's face it, Camille) might let her feelings slip and get captured and might have her magic taken from her. Then, Xavier will be all like: "we must save her!" and Jean will be all like: "No it's too late for her". But Xavier will go anyway, and then he'll save her and they'll get married, and live happily ever after.*sighs*
I just want more flashbacks from Johanna; who's kid it would've been, how she met the er father, e.t.c. More Camille and Xavier action pleeease, and I wouldn't mind a couple of flashbacks from Astrid. Ohh exciting times!!
Another awesome and creative chapter Val, mercy! Favourite quote: "C'est quoi ces conneries?"Author's Response: Ahskhfkjs Sophie &hearts
I'm so happy you ship Camivier! Writing them together makes me really mushy, even when they argue with one another.
The Minister is an ambiguous character, even to me: I haven't really decided if I like him or not. If anything, keep an eye on him -- he's going to play a big role in the coming chapters.
Ooh, how interesting that you think Jean was correct! I don't think the Minister is interested in Astrid for her mission abilities though, if you catch my drift.
Your theories are very interesting indeed. I won't say anything, but some of that is correct. Muahaha.
There will be more flashbacks, of course, and more Camivier action, and flashbacks from Astrid too :) In fact, two of those requirements are in chapter five.
EEE thank you so much &hearts Report Review
Aw that opening scene was heart-breaking. Iíve just been doing Nazi Germany in history, so it makes it even more real, and saddening about how naÔve they were about the Nazis. I think the saddest part was when they were talking about how the Nazis werenít monsters, as I just wanted to yell at them about how wrong they are.
This is a more minor note but I really loved how you chose Jewish names for them, as it made the scene even more authentic and believable.
I really loved Simonís thoughts about Johanna and his general reflections. It was so heart breaking. In fact, this whole chapter was generally heart-breaking. I think you really caught the desperation and isolation they all must have been feeling really well. I really felt for Simon, as it showed that his mental pain over not knowing where his relatives are was a lot worse than the physical one from the gash.
There I was thinking that the others were ok, and just going about their day to life and then the letter has to come and along and shake everything. I have a feeling something very bad is about to happen. First Simonís separate from them, and now Astridís forced to go into Nazi heartland and teach to them. Even though Iím scared for her, I canít wait for those scenes as it will be interesting to see the war from the German perspective.
Ooh I really loved your historical facts in this chapter. I think it was great that you included the other Nazi enemies Ė the communists, it again made it even more authentic. And then the part about the shooting practise was really chilling, and I think the fact the children had just grown used to it, is what made it even scarier. Iíve been to the Jura and I can see why the other teacher was sceptical about that being any help. Life there is certainly a lot calmer than in Paris.
Another excellent chapter Val, and it was no problem nominating you as this story really does deserve it ♥Author's Response: I'm making my way through my unanswered reviews and there are three of yours waiting which made my day, even days later.
The line about the Nazis not being monsters made me want to yell as well, but I felt like I had to include it because people really had no idea what was waiting for them, you know? Sometimes -- especially with Simon scenes -- I really feel like twisting history and making everything alright with magic, but then my conscience gets in the way and I stick my characters in horrible situations because I feel like I have to be realistic. This sounds a bit pompous, I guess, but I feel like I've got a moral duty with this story (which is something I seem to say all the time these days, but anyway).
I'm glad you found this historically accurate! The communists aren't going to be a big part of the story, but they'll have to interfere at some point.
The Jura is lovely, isn't it? It wasn't actually that much calmer because it was so close to Switzerland, but it's certainly less bad than Paris!
Thank you so much for everything Kiana &hearts
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