Reading Reviews for Where There's Smoke
  
12 Reviews Found

Review #1, by MischiefNotQuiteMannaged George

12th July 2014:
Reading Georges thoughts on discovering his twins death, is incredibly moving. It's touching how George distinguish's himself from Fred, but still sees himself as FredandGeorge, it just shows how close the two individuals were. I can feel how completely devastated George is, and how he feels that he cannot go on without Fred. I think George was incredibly strong to decide to continue to fight despite his loss. It was touching to read George coming to the realisation that Gred and Feorge no longer exist and that its just him. The power and determination that his grief gave him his heartbreaking. I really look forward to reading your takes on the other Weasley men!

House Cup 2014 Review!

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Review #2, by MischiefNotQuiteMannaged Percy

12th July 2014:
House Cup 2014 Review!

I really enjoyed reading this chapter. I can feel just how much Percy regrets leaving his family, and how much it tears him up. I can understand how much the ministry means to him, and why it's his safe haven (especially after living with Fred and George). His love for each member of his family is so incredibly deep. The comparison between the Weasley family and a chain is so powerful. its heartbreaking to think that just after Percy rejoins the family and mends the chain, that the chain will soon forevermore be broken by the loss of Fred :'(

I really like how you started this fic off focusing on Percy, since he is such an underappreciated and complex character.

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Review #3, by The Misfit Percy

1st January 2014:
Hello, Maggie! I'm here for the TGS review swap, sorry for the delay! ♥

I really loved the way you portrayed Percy! It was so heartbreaking to read about how his family rift began, but I think you depicted it well. Instead of twisting all the blame onto the Weasleys for making him an outcast, or portraying him as a pompous fool, you showed Percy as a beautiful character - a human with flaws, who made mistakes but who genuinely believed in what he thought was right. Your characterization is absolutely splendid!

I loved the way you depicted Percy overall, and I really like the friendship between Percy and Aberforth. It was lovely to read, and really explains how Percy managed to get to Hogwarts during the Battle in a canon way, which is a plus! Also, I find the thought of him communicating with Aberforth to get information on his family adorable - it shows how much love he has for his family, despite their differences. All the feels ♥

I did notice a couple of slight inconsistencies though - firstly, why Percy would have gone all the way to the Hog's Head after work for a drink? We know he could Apparate, but that's still difficult to do for long distances, especially if he was drinking alcohol which could impair his ability to get home. I think a little backstory would be nice - perhaps he was afraid of seeing people he knew in the Leaky Cauldron / Three Broomsticks who might judge him for "abandoning" his family and wanted to go somewhere where no-one knew him? Also, I seem to remember him telling the Ministry where to "stick the job" which isn't shown here, although that's not a major issue, it's just something I thought would be really nice to include to help tie this chapter into the books as a missing moment :)

Overall, I loved this chapter. It was super-lovely, with a wonderful, realistic portrayal of Percy and the way you explained everything was fantastic, as it ensured that this could fit really well into Potterverse. You have a really good first person narration, and it came across beautifully, and I'm really pleased to have had the opportunity to review this! ♥

-Isobel

Author's Response: Hi Isobel! I haven't forgotten about this review exchange, and this review is so helpful. I'm so sorry I'm just now responding to it, but here I am!

I'm really glad you enjoyed Percy. His family situation really made me sad in the seventh book, and I saw it as a failure on both sides to listen and communicate well. So I tried to portray how difficult it would be without casting all the blame on one party. From your comments I think it seems to have worked pretty well, so thank you for that reassurance!

The Aberforth thing sort of came to my mind out of nowhere, but it made a kind of sense to me. I did sort of wonder how Percy would have come to know about the battle, and if he would have gotten information from an outside source. Aberforth seemed like a good link between Hogwarts and the outside world.

Dan actually mentioned the location thing as well when he came by, and I'm really happy you brought to my attention again. I've been meaning to throw in some explanation for why he went to the Hog's Head, somewhat along the lines of what you suggested :) Haha, I think I just assume everything in the wizarding world is close together? But it's good to have a reminder of the logistics of everything. When I go back and edit I'll be sure to make that part clearer.

Thank you so much for reviewing (even if it was a million years ago, haha.) Your comments are always so helpful and encouraging! I really appreciate it, Isobel! I'm glad we got the opportunity to swap :)

--Maggie


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Review #4, by 1917farmgirl George

18th August 2013:
Not fair. So very much not fair.

You didn't mention when I started this story that it was about THAT event! I have policies about reading about THAT event - ie, I don't do it. Not very often.

But, by the time I found out, it was too late. I was sucked in.

And now I'm sitting here crying like a weirdo, because it doesn't matter how many years have gone by since I first read THAT event, I'm still not over it.

Seriously though, this was so hard for me to read. Probably because you nailed my Fred and George, and not a lot of people can do that. You described their differences, and their sameness, EXACTLY how they are in my head, and my stories, and my cherished Harry Potter books on the shelf.

A George without a Fred...it just hurts. I will never forgive JKR for this. I just can't.

Your writing was flawless and flowed and I could just feel the pain tearing George apart here. So, while I'm mad at you that I'm now an emotional wreck, thank you for posting and sharing this.

Author's Response: Oh Farmgirl, I'm sorry! I didn't mean to make you sad! Well, actually, with the subject matter of this sorry I suppose I did. And I completely understand wanting to steer clear of The Event; it just breaks my heart to think about. But regardless, I'm so happy that it spoke to you.

I was very, very worried about my portrayal of George. I don't know what it was; I guess since we never really see him living in his head in the books, it felt almost wrong to write him in such an introspective moment. But it means the world to me that you thought I got the twins' relationship right, especially because I know what a Fred and George lover you are :) Coming from you, that's a high compliment.

These reviews have been so wonderful! I'm sorry I didn't respond very quickly, but I loved getting them. I have another installment planned for this, and I'll be sure to let you know when it's up :)

--Maggie


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Review #5, by 1917farmgirl Percy

18th August 2013:
Oh Percy...

I have always had such a soft spot for Percy, maybe because I can see a bit of myself in him. Not the leaving one's family part, but the stiff, uptight, rule-following side. Not something I'm proud of, but it's there.

This story just about broke my heart, reading how you describe Percy feeling about his family. I'm always reading or telling stories from the other side of the coin, the rest of the family poking fun at their funny, uptight brother... It's really not as much fun when you turn it around and look from his point of view. It's actually rather heartbreaking and makes you realize the Weasleys, as much as I love them, are not perfect. It takes to sides to drive a wedge.

I am so glad that Percy came back. That he chose his family and saw that he was in over his head.

Thanks for this great story that really made me think and tugged on my heartstrings at the same time.

Now, on to George.

Author's Response: Rest assured, you're not the only one with some Percy in them. I've got some too, and I've also always had some warm fuzzies reserved for him :). I think most people do tend to see Percy as an object of ridicule, because that's how Harry sees him and we're looking through that lens as we read the books. But I wanted to explore a defining moment in his life (or my imagining of one, anyway), and make him a real person. And since I like him, I wanted to show him redeeming himself :)

Thank you for this! I'm so happy you enjoyed it :)

--Maggie


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Review #6, by StellaRose George

18th August 2013:
Wow--I'm speechless! This is really great magnolia_magic!

This quote really hit me the hardest for some reason:

'It was strange though not to be thinking for two.'

I love how you incorporated this into the story. The one little difference they had and how it was much more noticeable after the death of Fred. The part at the end where you mentioned that he was unsure if it was himself or Fred talking was great too. They were always considered almost one person so the idea that George would think he was hearing Fred is a nice idea.

No cc on your characterization-I think you nailed it. Your take on how George handled grief was really realistic and I like how you added the random student's death as a way for him to 'stop seeing red.'

I've never read anything from George's POV about his twin's death so this was very interesting. Keep up the good work!

Author's Response: Hi! Wow, I'm so glad you enjoyed the chapter! I was really, really uncertain about my characterization of George--I thought I might have missed the mark with him. It's such a relief that you didn't think that was the case.

It was hard to imagine what it would be like to lose a twin, but I ended up thinking that it must be like an extension of yourself was gone. So I tried to get that idea across with this chapter. I'm so glad you liked the line about thinking for two; it made me sad to write, but it's how I imagined George might feel in this situation.

Thank you for your kind words! I really appreciate the swap, and I'll be waiting for updates on Truth Will Out :) Thanks again!

--Maggie


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Review #7, by Lady of Tears Percy

9th August 2013:
I'm here with your review!

Can I just say I forgot how much I enjoy reading about the Weasley family? I forgot what great characters and stories still like within each of them, especially those we didn't get to see very much of.

I thought Percy was characterized well. I felt comfortable being inside of his head. The thought processes he went through seemed to fit just fine for what happened in canon.

The only thing I wanted more of was fire, a little Gryffindor spark in Percy. I felt like you were almost there, but I think the backstory overwhelmed that a little. Not a lot, so don't worry. :) I didn't mind it being short, and I thought this was completely thorough, but a little more focus on the end instead of the past history might have done that.

I really, really enjoyed this and I hope you keep working on it!

-Lady of Tears

Author's Response: Hi! Thank you so much for the review! I'm working on the third and final installment of this, and I wanted a fresh perspective before I came back to it. You were extremely helpful!

I'm glad the flow of thoughts felt natural, and that you liked Percy's characterization. He's actually been the easiest to write, so I'm hoping the other two chapters will have good characterization as well :) (You may find yourself with a re-request or two :) )

I do tend to be a very backstory-heavy writer. And I see what you mean about having a little more punch there at the end. I'll have to work on that; thanks so much for the suggestion!

Thanks again for the wonderful review! This was just what I needed :)

--Maggie


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Review #8, by HeyMrsPotter Percy

28th June 2013:
Review tag!

I really really liked this :) I envy anyone who can write in first person, so first off well done for that!

I think you captured Percy really well in this. I liked that even though he acknowledged the fact that he'd been an idiot by choosing work over his family, it still took a lot of thought to get him to make the right decision in the end and leave his precious ministry. It's exactly how I imagine he would have come to his senses and join the war.

The part with Aberforth in the pub was a really nice touch to this and I liked that he kept his promise to keep Percy informed, even in the midst of the war.

This was really well written, I didn't spot any spelling or grammar issues. The only thing I would have liked to see is Percy telling Thicknese that he was quitting his job, like he told Fred he did :) Other than that it was great!

Author's Response: Hi! Thanks so much for coming by to review!

I love writing in first person...in fact, I have trouble writing any other way! I'm really glad you liked the narration. I wanted to show my imagining of how Percy would have gotten to the point of joining the war effort, since it wasn't really explored in the books.

Now that you mention it, the part about Thicknesse would have been super funny to add! I might have to start thinking about another oneshot soon :). Thanks again for the wonderful review!

--Maggie


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Review #9, by CambAngst Percy

26th June 2013:
Tagging you from Review Tag!

What a neat idea! I've read a fair number of stories that deal with Percy's conflicting emotions about his relationship with his family during the years leading up to the war, but never one that actually follows him through the dark times. To me, you did a great job of capturing all the little things that make Percy the Prefect tick. Every bit of the story is consistent, grounded in the character we know from the books and very well written.

From the start, you nailed it on providing a great backdrop for the odd combination of affection and disaffection Percy feels toward the rest of his family. He really was a cat of another color. The quiet one, preferring his books and his studies to the louder, more physical pursuits of the rest of the family. But at the same time, he's not one to simply fade into the background. Percy has dreams and ambitions, well above those of his brothers and sisters. He wants to stand out and be appreciated for who he is, and that's not easy in a family of 7 kids. Overall, a brilliant setup of what's to come.

His gradual transition from supporting everything the Ministry did and represented to realizing the truth was handled well. You touched on the key events along the way and you did a great job of explaining the trap that Percy found himself in -- wishing that he could reconcile with his family but unable to do so without risking their safety. Not many people think a situation through to that level of detail, and it's really commendable.

I loved this line more than anything else, I think:

They were at the forefront of things, as I had expected. I could just see them; Billís strong presence giving everyone confidence, Fred and George laughing the fear away, Ginny bursting for the chance to prove herself. -- So well done and so true at every level.

I think the only thing of a substantive nature that I can suggest is that Percy's relationship with Aberforth needs to be fleshed out a bit more. It's not that I have a hard time buying into it, I just think that you could have filled in the background a little more so it doesn't seem like such an unlikely circumstance that the two of them would have developed such a report. It seemed a bit odd, for instance, that Percy would have traveled all the way to Scotland to have a drink after a hard day at the Ministry. Maybe if you'd clarified that he didn't feel comfortable in the bars in Diagon Alley because he didn't want to see any of the Death Eater sympathizers he worked with at the Ministry? This felt like the shakiest link in an otherwise beautifully constructed narrative.

My other favorite line:

Two things were important. I had lost one, and given the other away. -- So glad that Percy was able to see that when it mattered most!

I really, really enjoyed reading this. You have an uncommonly good insight into this character and it came through so well in this chapter! Great job!

Author's Response: Hi, thanks for coming by! I've heard so many great things about your work, so it's such an honor to see this review!

Wow, I'm so glad you enjoyed the take on Percy. He's a character that I've always been interested in, so I wanted to attempt to get inside his head a little. He's just as opinionated and principled as the rest of his family, but he focuses it in different places, I think.

I kind of went through his whole life story really quickly, so I hoped that the really pivotal moments would come through well. My focus was mainly on what was going on inside Percy rather than outside of him, but I was worried that it would come out to stream-of-consciousness-y. (Is that a word?) But in any case, it's good to hear that there was a story progression about this.

And I'm glad those lines stood out to you! The first one you mentioned, when Percy is thinking of his siblings, almost didn't even register with me as being important when I was writing. That's why I love getting reviews...it's fun to see what struck some people more than others :)

That's a great point about Aberforth, and the logistics of getting to the Hogs Head from the Ministry. I think I just kind of assume that everything in the wizarding world is close together? And knowing absolutely nothing about the UK probably contributes to that. Thanks so much for your suggestions to fix it!

Thank you again for the wonderful review! The second installment is in the queue as we speak, and you've inspired me to get working on the third. I'm so glad you stopped by!

--Maggie


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Review #10, by 800 words of heaven Percy

18th June 2013:
REVIEW TAG!

This short story collection looks super intriguing! From the summary, I'm thinking that we'll get to see a new side of the Weasley men, which is exciting.

I like that you've opened with Percy's story. I think he's often pushed to the side because of the choices he's made. I really loved the way you've characterised him. You can see why he was sorted into Gryffindor - his pride, his ambition, and the way in which he recognises what's most important to him - one quality that I've always considered to be sort of the definition of being a Gryffindor.

Your choice of Aberforth as the "messenger" is also very interesting, because he's also quite an ambivalent character. The way you've plotted their relationship has a very interesting dynamic - one that doesn't seem like it'd work, but makes sense on further thought.

This internal recount style is also very appealling. Are the other two stories written in the same style, or is each defined differently? Either way, I'm looking forward to seeing where this'll go!

Author's Response: Hi! Thanks so much for coming by! Sorry it's taken me so long to respond, but I definitely loved getting this review :)

I really wanted to try my hand at writing Percy, because like you said, he's so often overlooked. I'm glad you enjoyed him! I felt like his good qualities needed to come through.

The Aberforth thing just sort of came to me; there wasn't really much thought behind it, but it seemed to fall into place. Haha, don't you love it when that happens? :D

I'm planning on writing the other two in the same style, and I hope it works well. Percy's voice seemed to lend itself to this kind of writing, but I'm not sure about the others. We'll see though! I hope you enjoy the updates when they come.

Thanks again! This review really made my day! :)

--Maggie


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Review #11, by forsakenphoenix Percy

4th June 2013:
I love the idea of this story and this was such a fantastic first chapter.

Percy has always been a fascinating character for me. It was strange, considering how close-knit the Weasleys were, to see this prim, proper man bound to his duty to the Ministry and not his family. I think you really explored his character very well in this chapter. I was pleased to see how Percy viewed himself as the odd one out, how that drove him to bury himself in his work, to be the best at something for once in his life.

"The emotional distance became physical." I loved this line. I'm not exactly sure why, but it really drove home how estranged Percy became from his family.

It saddened me when he saw his father telling him about the Ministry's downfall as a means to undermine his success. Poor Percy.

I really enjoyed the addition of Aberforth's note to explain Percy showing up to the battle and how he gave him a choice. While he said there was "no choice" behind him going to Hogwarts, he still had to stop and think about it. That just speaks volumes of Percy's character. He ISN'T reckless like his brothers but his loyalty to his family runs deep and that ties them all together.

You did a fabulous job with this and I'd be happy to read the remaining chapters when you post them. Just let me know when they're posted!

Also, I LOVE the summary. It's short but makes an impact - perfect. :)

Author's Response: Hi, and thank you so much for reviewing! I'm really glad I got to read your story as well...I love your work :)

I've always found Percy really interesting too. I imagine it must be really hard to feel constantly left out of your own family, and I wanted to portray Percy in a more sympathetic way than Harry sees him in the books. I see that "outsider" mentality driving a lot of Percy's decisions. But at the end of the day the Weasleys are a tight family who love each other, and I wanted to show Percy's end of that here. I'm really glad you liked him :)

Normally I struggle with summaries, but for some reason this one came easily. Haha I guess things just flow sometimes.

I will definitely be letting you know when I update this--thank you so much for the offer! I really appreciate you taking the time to swap with me. This review made my day! Thanks again!

--Maggie


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Review #12, by KiwiOliver Percy

4th June 2013:
Hey, KiwiOliver here from the forums :)
I know this first bit isn't really a chapter review, but I love the story summary! It's strong, bold and enticing!
I think you pulled off Percy really well in this chapter, he's proud, has high opinion of himself, but we can still see the fact he's been hurt. In the original books we don't really get Percy's POV and I think you've done him justice here.
I'm glad that he missed his family, it would be inhuman not to, but like I say, we never get to see that side of him, so props for that.
The transition from before he realized to after is extremely smooth and well done.
The ultimatum note from Aberforth was a brilliant idea, off the top of my head I'm pretty sure it's not mentioned in the book how Percy knew what was going down, so that was a good idea. Especially since it makes Aberforth look like he has his brothers personality and compassion!
I love how you brought it to an end in a nice pace, it wasn't Percy rushing to get there in blind madness, he took his time and decided, and on the last line, he came to the biggest decision of his life. (Which by the way is summed up in a brilliant line).

Overall this was a very well written chapter, I'm not an expert on grammar/spelling but I don't spot any clear mistakes. It flows really well and doesn't have any unnecessary detail.
I hope my review was okay, I'll be checking back to see the next installments :)
KO

Author's Response: Hi, and thank you so much for the swap! I'm so glad you enjoyed this, and I'm really happy I got to review your story as well :)

Glad you liked the summary! It was one of those things that just flowed out without much thought, and strangely enough it ended up working. Haha, sometimes the best things come without a lot of effort :P

I always kind of felt bad for Percy because he was so misunderstood. But he still made some pretty bad choices. I tried to make him sympathetic and still realistic. I'm really happy you liked him! And I'm happy you liked the ending; you're right, he's a person who would think the decision through, and I'm glad the ending reflected his personality.

Yeah, I'm not sure it was mentioned either, so I just sort of made something up :) Even though Aberforth is kind of gruff, I still imagine he would have helped someone out who was in trouble.

Thanks so much for this lovely review! It was definitely better than okay :D I really appreciate your time, and hopefully I'll have the next installment up soon!

--Maggie


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