Reading Reviews for Sunset Inn
15 Reviews Found

Review #1, by SunshineDaisies Sunset Inn

15th May 2015:
I was so excited to find this! Iíve been thinking a lot about Bertha lately, sheís such a fascinating character, and we hardly know anything about her. Definitely a fun one to explore through fic. I love the way youíve interpreted her here. It would be very easy to play her off as a ditz, or else make fun of her in some way or another. Instead, you made her a very real, relatable person. She isnít a caricature, sheís a character. Itís always lovely to read something with good characterization, itís even better to find good characterization of an extremely minor character. So this is the epitome of lovely, really.

I think the way you describe the scenery and her travels is just gorgeous. You can tell from the words you choose that Bertha thinks the landscape is amazing, you can almost feel her excitement. I got that little hitch in my breath that happens when you see something stunning for the first time. In fact, the description throughout the piece was fantastic! It was so wonderful to read.

I loved the way the plot played out here. From the beginning, we know this trip isnít going to end well for her, but how it all plays out stays a mystery right up until the end. Even now, you havenít given us the whole story, youíve left quite a bit to the imagination. (And you know, I think Iíd prefer to leave what follows unimagined.) I really liked how you focused the majority of the story on Bertha and her adventures, creating the character first so we have someone to root for. And giving Bertha a final happy moment :í(.

The flow of the piece felt very natural, which I think is impressive because again, it would have been easy to just toss Peter in without really explaining why, or giving the two a proper reason to bump into each other. It very easily could have felt forced or awkward, but having them stay at the same hotel (the only place in town to stay!), made the whole thing really plausible.

I think my favorite part was the Sunset Inn itself. I think itís very clever and sort of morbidly beautiful to have Bertha staying at the Sunset Inn before meeting her own personal sunset. sigh

Overall, a really, really wonderful story! Thank you for sharing!

(On a side note, I think this really showed your own passion for travel. It seeped through the screen and really added a lot to the story. Itís also fairly obvious that you did research Albania, and I really appreciate the respect that shows toward other countries and cultures. In sum, youíre ace keep it up.)

Author's Response: Katie! Ah, it's so exciting to see a review on this story because so many people just kind of bypass it, especially since it's about Bertha Jorkins (like who is she? That random character that was mentioned for about two lines?) and I find her so intriguing! So it's really exciting to have this read by someone else who's been thinking about her too! I'm SO glad that you think she came across as a real character rather than a caricature - I wanted her to seem real and for people to relate to her and feel more about her death than what they maybe did before.

It really means so much for you to say that about my descriptions! I (unfortunately) haven't visited Albania yet but I did a lot of research (and I'm so glad it showed) and looked at all the different pictures I could find of it so that I could describe something vaguely accurate - and it's such a beautiful country that I really want to go there now! And seriously, I'm thrilled that my passion for travel came through even a little bit here - I honestly love travelling and discovering new cultures, but I hadn't even really travelled anywhere properly when I wrote this, so it's really cool to know that it came through even then (*blushes at how sweet you are to me*).

You understood exactly what I was hoping for with this story - a sense of adventure and travel and excitement for Bertha, giving her a wonderful time before the inevitable happens. It doesn't make it any better, but a little bit easier to know that she got to experience this amazing place before she died. I'm really glad that you liked the plot and the way it flowed, too.

Ah, you're the first person, I think, to pick up on the links between Sunset Inn and Bertha's own personal sunset, and I honestly can't tell you how excited that makes me! I may or may not be doing a little happy dance in my seat because of that :P

Thank you so much for this fantastic review - it really means so much from a writer like you, and that you chose the story in the first place and left me such a sweet and thoughtful review on it. Thank you! ♥

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Review #2, by MissesWeasley123 Sunset Inn

23rd September 2013:
*mopes in*...

Yeah, I know. Throw tomatoes at me. Eggs, books, your dirty laundry. Throw whatever you want. I've done something worth it...

Okay. Confession time. *sigh*


So, if you figured out what I wrote there, hopefully you aren't too mad at me, since I stupidly pressed "backspace" and the page went back and this is my second time typing this.

Sian, your sense of imagery is flawless. The way you work with words is so...pleasant. So, beautiful. The more I read your work the more I fall in love with it.

Yes I'm totally not doing my homework, no I don't care.

You've taken something so minor and made it into something so grand. Believe me when I say that whenever I go back to read GoF and Bertha's mentioned, my mind will drift off to this. Your detail to canon and to every little nook and cranny of this story amazes me. But then again, perfection is something you're known for.

You stayed true to Bertha's character, and made her even more despicable for being a gossip and all around loudmouth but yet someone to pity. You just make a reader feel so much it's just.. whoa.

I think this line struck me in every way possible, and I'm sure it made others feel the same also:

"Hello, Bertha. It's been a long time, hasn't it?"

Like, wow.

That was so impactful, because we all knew what was coming next. And it took my breath away m'dear ♥.

Lovely work as always...


Author's Response: Nadia! ♥

Haha I'm not going to blame you for not reviewing anything earlier! The fact that you've even read this is great, and now you've stopped to leave a review *hugs*

You know how much I love writing about minor characters and fleeting moments in canon, and when I finally got to write about Bertha I was so happy. And I can't tell you how much it means that you'll think of something I've written when you're reading the books! Psh, I'm far from perfect, but thank you for the lovely compliments :D

Bertha's character was so fun to write - I genuinely think that she's one of the favourites I've written so far. There's so little about her in canon that I had a lot of freedom, but I wanted to include the little details we do know to anchor it into the books.

Yes, that line! Before I even started writing this I knew that it would end with that line, and I'm really pleased it made an impact like I wanted it to. Thank you for the amazing review!

Sian :)

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Review #3, by Anne_noymous Sunset Inn

13th August 2013:
I like this story although I must admit i found it a little slow at the beginning but when it picked up it grabs your attention.
You have done a very god job getting this character's character and i also like the subtle hints you give (spoiler alert) to the memory charm, i like how you described how it affects her, i just think you could have made a bit more of it for instance how she is now very forgetful.

Author's Response: I'm glad that you enjoyed it! The story was written as an entry for the house cup competition over on the forums, so there was a lot more focus on Bertha actually travelling than anything else here. I'm pleased that you liked my characterisation of her.

The memory charm was something I wanted to subtly hint at, but I did wonder whether I'd included enough reference to it, so I'll definitely take your suggestions into account. Thank you very much for the review!

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Review #4, by Jchrissy Sunset Inn

2nd August 2013:
Oh! I don't know what's wrong with my brain, because I had temporarily blanked out on what happened to Bertha. It clicked where this was leading when she mentioned the name also being in Albanian and oh my gosh my heart just dropped.

You work in an awesome amount of details and give her a real personality in such a short length. The fact that she enjoys traveling by muggle means, and not because she think it's this odd thing that she wants to concur but because she genuinely seems to like it, was such a great detail.

You really showed your ability for descriptions in this chapter without over doing them.

The sentence about the Ministry not being happy with her if they had to explain her miraculous survival was so bittersweet. She has no idea at this point that she isn't going to survive much longer, and the cushioning charm 'just in case' was the least of her worries. Oh Sian, now you've given me all these sad feels. Hmph :(

The easy way she goes about it, her normal thoughts about taking pictures and just going about her business, lures us into such a false sense of security. Then when she spots Crouch Jr (was that him or am I totally confused?) and Peter walks in, it all just drops and we just want to crawl in the story and save her.

This was a really lovely way to use the HC challenge, especially since this story doesn't need the travel prompt. It can stand perfectly well on it's own!

Awesome job, lovely!

Author's Response: Oh, I'm sorry for making you sad! Even if it kind of was what I intended to happen when people read this...

Bertha is hardly mentioned in the books so I had a lot of freedom writing her, and I wanted to give her a likable personality and make her seem real. I'm pleased you liked the descriptions as well!

I know! I'm mean, aren't I? But I figured that Bertha didn't know what was going to happen and for her this day was an adventure. I grew to like her character a lot with this (which is strange, since I wrote it) and I really wanted to make her last day one that she really enjoyed.

No, you're not totally confused! That bit was purposely ambiguous as well ;)

Thank you for the awesome review, Jami! You're really spoiling me here!

Sian :)

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Review #5, by SiriusAura92 Sunset Inn

19th July 2013:
You really have a knack for these "background character" stories. I really wanted you to carry on just a little bit further as to how Peter and Voldemort got the information about the Tournament out of her. I think you would have made a really great climax out of that, though the cliff-hanger was still nicely done.

In all, fantastic description, nice characterization and a great story.

Well done and keep it up

Author's Response: Hi!

Haha I think that stories about minor characters are basically becoming my niche :P I love writing them because there's so much to explore with their personalities.

I can understand why you wanted this to carry on further, but I really felt like this was the right place to end the story - readers already know what is going to happen, and I wanted to let Bertha enjoy her last day of freedom and life before her terrible ending. That's not to say that I couldn't write another story about it!

Thank you for a brilliant review!

Sian :)

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Review #6, by Erised Sunset Inn

14th July 2013:
Hey Sian! Returning the lovely review you left me for the HC for another challenge! *hugs*

So this is an awesome entry. Seriously! Firstly you picked Bertha Jorkins which I'm pretty sure I haven't seen anyone else go for, so points for originality there. I thought that you portrayed her character really well even if she is pretty much a blank canvas - I really like that she enjoyed Muggle travelling despite the scoffs of her colleagues. Her reasons for travelling are really nice too, and it's nice to see someone who is a little 'different' and who breaks the norm from her society.

Your descriptions were really nice too, especially the one where Bertha can see across the mountains. Beautiful! I really felt as if I was there sitting right next to her because I could picture everything so clearly in my mind. It almost sounded like another planet because can Earth be that beautiful? Totally loved it!

And then, you totally change the tone and raise the tension of the story with those last few paragraphs. Of course we all know what happens to Bertha in canon, so I definitely felt a shiver go down my spine where I realised where this fic was going. The dark twist towards the end really makes the story shine and I thought that you ended it perfectly. It sounded almost menacing with the promise of bad things to come. Such a powerful last line!

You did an awesome job with the prompt Sian and you should be really pleased with this, well done! :D

Author's Response: Hi Jenny! *hugs back*

I think that this might be the only story about Bertha Jorkins on the archives, but she was great fun to write about! I'm pleased that you liked my characterisation of her in this, with her passion for travelling and being someone a little 'different'.

The descriptions were something I put a lot of effort into with this because I had a clear picture in my mind, and I'm so pleased that you could imagine it too! Sometimes I am amazed by just how beautiful earth can be! :)

The ending was where I always envisioned this story finishing, but it didn't help that I grew quite fond of Bertha writing this and didn't want to write about what happened next. It's quite dark in comparison to the rest of the story, but I'm really pleased that it came across how I intended.

Thank you for such a lovely review, Jenny! ♥

Sian :)

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Review #7, by ginerva_molly_weasley Sunset Inn

13th July 2013:
You are sneaky with all those cliff hangers at the end! You give the real sense of foreboding of what is going to happen at the end with the gloomy start but then go off to say she survived one things leaving us truly twisted and turned with this story.

I love the idea that she likes muggle transport. It is a popular theme among the wizards and I do like to see it among some of the old wizards not just the new generation because there would have been people interested in the muggle society even back then so its nice to see you included so much into it particularly the cable cars. Also when you save her on those cable cars well I thought everything was going to be safe for her but you dont work like that!

And Peter... Just wow Peter. Why would you leave it on a cliff hanger like that? We all know how the story with Bertha ends but I want to know how it got like that, did she run or just she just accept her fate? I'm do intrigued.

Write more please!

Author's Response: Haha sorry to be so sneaky!

I'm pleased you liked to see Bertha using muggle transport! I really wanted her to be able to enjoy her last day of life and have an adventure which not many wizards would have experienced. Plus, it was fun to give her a hobby that she could enjoy, since we know so little about her character.

Oh, I'm sorry for the cliffhanger! I think I got a little too attached to Bertha and wanted to give her some happiness before her horrible ending - that's not to say that I won't write about her again!

Sian :)

Sian :)

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Review #8, by AC_rules Sunset Inn

13th July 2013:
Hey there Sian!

So, I'm really trying to work out whether this is the first story of yours I've read, and I really think that it is. And now I'm certainly questioning that decision because this was absolutely great. First, I really loved how smooth the whole story was. It had that smooth quality that makes the writing a pleasure to read in itself, beyond the plot and the characters and such (which were all great anyway), but just on a writing level.

All the lovely details here were really great and it makes me want to hit your authors page and just absorb it all up, cause the whole thing was just awesome. It was a really interesting idea, too - another bit of the wizarding world that I can fill in with a head canon.

Anyway, brilliant entry!


Author's Response: Hi Helen!

Can I just tell you how excited I was to get this review from you? Because for someone like you to compliment my writing is amazing and now I can't stop grinning like an absolute idiot.

I don't really know what to say in response to this, because I'm finding it a little hard to write a proper reply, but thank you so much!

Sian :)

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Review #9, by Athene Goodstrength Sunset Inn

13th July 2013:
Here from the HC part-ayyy!

Well. Wow. This is such a simple and brilliant idea for a travel-based story that I nearly kicked myself for not thinking of it myself - but then I'm glad I didn't, because you've written this so well that my story would have had to die of shame.

You do an incredible job of looking at the small details, allusions and nuances in canon when people talk about Bertha, to create a character who seems exactly right. If anything, you humanise her, because she seems to be an almost bumbling charicature from the way she's talked about in GoF. Her Muggle infatuation is a stroke of genius - as we already know how dismissive people are of Arthur Weasley's 'eccentricity', it's quite believable that her own interest in all things Muggle would lead other witches and wizards to think of her as a bit of a joke.

I'm really glad that you chose to focus on Bertha's last day of freedom... it's much more poignant than if you'd shown what happened to her next. The ending, with Peter, was both chilling and thrilling.

Your grasp of the canon events surrounding her disappearance, and subtle mentions of Mr Crouch's behaviour changing etc. are a joy to read. I love fics that have clearly been written by someone who really knows and respects the HP universe.

The writing itself is excellent, with a wonderful grasp of language (I smiled at 'animalistic'), and lovely use of imagery.

I looked for something to give CC over, but couldn't find anything! Haha.

Having looked at the other reviews, it would seem you are something of a master of minor characters, so I'm definitely keen to read more of your work!



Author's Response: Hi!

How is it possible that you've managed to make me blush with the first few lines of your review?! You're such an amazing writer that this review is an enormous compliment!

Bertha is so briefly mentioned in canon and I really couldn't resist writing about her for this, and I'm pleased that you liked my characterisation of her! I always want to add a lot more depth to those minor characters and make them seem real, so I'm really happy that I seem to have achieved that here!

I think I grew a bit too attached to Bertha to go on and write about what actually happened to her afterwards. I felt like I was kind of able to give her a bit of happiness before she died, and that's why I chose to end it where I did. It's great that it seems to have worked!

Your compliments on my writing here have made my day! This is such a wonderful review and it's hard to answer it without just gushing at you, but thank you so much!!

Sian :)

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Review #10, by patronus_charm Sunset Inn

13th July 2013:
Hi Sian! Iím so glad that you chose Bertha to write about as your stories about minor characters really do shed more light onto them!

I really enjoyed Berthaís characterisation because though she was depicted harshly in the books you made her into a really nice person here and that made my heart all warm and fuzzy. I really felt bad for her too because she was just trying to enjoy her holiday having a nice time in the forest and on a cable car and all that happened to her.

I really liked all of the description too because it really made me feel as if I was in Albania. The two things I enjoyed a lot were the badly written sign and the lack of conversation so having to resort to hand gestures. Those two little things really made it work because I could feel her annoyance yet that little bit of excitement and having to grabble with body gestures.

The fact that she used muggle transport was really cool and Iím really wishing she hadnít been killed now because I would have loved to have seen that conversation with Arthur.

You built up the suspense when she neared her hotel really well! When she got into you really lulled us into a false sense of security with her having a nice meal and then bam Barty Crouch junior appears and Iím suddenly on edge I really loved her confusion at that point because you knew and I knew but it was just a question of whether Bertha knew because I could sense the memories beginning to push through.

Peterís arrival was really great. The emotions there fitted it perfectly with the confusion, fear and surprise all melded together really well. Then that last line he said and then we knew that was probably going to be one of the last things she might ever hear. I never really thought much about Bertha before but now I see how tragic her life really was. I really enjoyed reading this one-shot, Sian!


Author's Response: Hi Kiana!

I'm so pleased that you liked my characterisation of Bertha! I grew quite attached to her writing this story and I wanted her to have a nice time on her holiday - it felt a bit like I was giving her a last day of happiness, writing about this.

The description was something I put a lot of effort into in this story, because I wanted readers to be able picture the images I could see. The hand gestures are something I always seem to see when I'm abroad, so I thought that it would be fun to include them as well. I'd have loved to see the conversation with Arthur as well!

I did want to lull you into a bit of a false sense of security when she was having her meal, and I'm glad that you could sense that the memories were trying to break through when she was in the inn. And then Peter arrived - it was so hard to do that! I'm glad that you thought the emotions she felt there fitted with the occasion, and it's just horrible thinking about what happened to her, isn't it?

Thank you for the great review! ♥

Sian :)

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Review #11, by maskedmuggle Sunset Inn

13th July 2013:
Hey there!

This was such a fantastic story, particularly on the original setting and how Bertha Jorkins was the main character. I've never actually read any stories with her in it, so to read about her travels was certainly very refreshing and interesting. Although I think we all know what happens to Bertha.. it was great to read what was happening before.. and seeing Peter walk in just felt very ominous. The way you ended the story would normally have felt like a cliffhanger.. wanting to know what would happen next.. except we of course already know what happens next. It was a great way to end it though!

I loved how Bertha mainly travelled in a very muggle way. The descriptions and her internal thoughts while she took the cable car was very interesting to read. I just really liked getting to know Bertha - getting to know some of her background and what kind of a person she was. Great plot and well written - it was very detailed and effectively descriptive :)

- Charlotte/maskedmuggle
House Cup 2013 Ravenclaw

Author's Response: Hi Charlotte!

I haven't found any stories about Bertha Jorkins either, but I have a strange fascination for minor characters and I was excited to get the chance to write about her for the cup. Haha I kind of avoided writing the ending as I got a little too attached to Bertha writing her; since everyone knows what happens to her, I thought people couldn't hate me too much for leaving the story like that!

I'm pleased that you liked the way that Bertha travelled and the sort of person I characterised her to be! Thank you so much for the lovely review!

Sian :)

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Review #12, by Violet Gryfindor Sunset Inn

12th July 2013:
When I saw that this story was about Bertha Jorkins in Albania, I was caught between anticipation over how you would end this story and the desire to read slowly, taking in Bertha's final moments of enjoyment. Those latter moments are beautifully written, her journey in the cable car - however perilous - described in incredible detail, making the landscape come to life from its sublime views to its unique inhabitants. You bring out the theme of travel perfectly in this story, particularly in the cable car trip, but also in the other subtle details, the things that Bertha observes in the hotel and village, as well as in the way she functions around her ignorance of the Albanian language. So many of the details you've included may seem banal, but they're so central to the life of the tourist, who is always discovering and rediscovering things - everything feels new and strange. I even loved the added touch of the incongruous name of the inn - it's exactly the kind of name that people use to attract British and American tourists, and I couldn't resist having a little chuckle when I saw it.

Apart from the travel aspects of this story, you also do an amazing job at characterizing Bertha. You subtly answer the question of "why Albania" by making travel her hobby. It said so much about her that she goes to all of these places, engaging with the Muggle world in a practised manner that one rarely sees in the magical world (except with Muggleborns and halfboods). Learning these things about Bertha only makes it harder to come to terms with her death - you make her a person who would be easy to get along with, someone who thinks of sharing her experiences with Arthur Weasley and who doesn't think twice about doing Muggle things. She does them for her own enjoyment without judging Muggles. No wonder Voldemort felt it necessary to murder her - Bertha's ideas are very forward, looking past the conflict to see a world where magic and Muggle can co-exist.

Wow, I think I'm reading too deeply into your story. My apologies. Needless to say, I very much like your characterization of Bertha. It was a pleasant surprise to see someone take this much care with a character who is only vaguely referenced in canon.

At first I wasn't sure why Peter would go to a place like the Sunset Inn, knowing full-well that he would be recognized - his picture must have been plastered all over the papers after his death - and then it hit me. He was waiting for a witch or wizard to appear, and the fact that Bertha is a Ministry official only makes it better. No wonder he's so pleased when he greets her. It blows any possibility of his having been an unwilling tool of Voldemort to pieces. You give him an interesting amount of agency - it's chilling and it fits because only someone this conniving could have so easily betrayed the other Marauders. His meeting with Bertha would have found him at a high point in his life, with finally someone relying completely on him, placing him in a position of power... there's a lot here, and Peter only appeared in a few paragraphs!

Every story I read from you is extraordinary, and this one is no exception. Amazing work!

Author's Response: Hello! Sorry that it has taken me so long to respond to this wonderful review, but every time I see it I'm amazed and can't work out how to respond - I hope that this is coherent!

I'm really pleased that the theme of travel did come through in this story, because I was worried that there wasn't quite enough. I had a lot of fun imagining Bertha's travels, though, and especially the cable car journey! The details like the language barrier do make travelling a lot more difficult, and I wanted to show that - I think everyone has experienced those sorts of difficulties at some point! I'm pleased that you picked up on the name of the inn as well - I wondered if people would! There was a bit of a symbolic meaning to it as well, but I think that might have been me adding too much to it :P

I can't tell you how pleased I am that you liked Bertha! She's a character that really grew on me as I wrote this story - I think that was part of the reason I ended it when I did, to give her one last happy day before her horrible death! One of the reasons I love writing about minor characters is because of how much I can explore with them, and since she's only briefly mentioned in canon I was able to almost create Bertha from scratch. I tried to give her character as much depth as possible, with hobbies and ideas. I'm so happy that you liked my characterisation of her!

Peter was a hard character for me to write, because I've seen him portrayed in so many different ways and I'm not sure if I even have a fixed opinion on him yet. But I don't really think that he could have persuaded Bertha to join him on 'a walk', knowing full well that Voldemort would kill her in the end, if he was completely unwilling. Realistically, he could have let Bertha leave and tell people if she wanted - he couldn't appear in public anyway, supposedly being dead. That's definitely the way that I chose to characterise him here, and I'm so happy that you could see so much in the few paragraphs he appeared in!

Thank you so much for this incredible review - every one I receive from you is so insightful and perceptive and they're a pleasure to read. This really made my day!

Sian ♥

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Review #13, by HeyMrsPotter Sunset Inn

11th July 2013:
So as soon as I saw your post on the forum saying you'd written an entry for the house cup, I just HAD to come and check it out because, as you know, I just love your writing :)

The fact that this story is about a minor character already has me excited, they're my absolute favourite and Bertha Jorkins is a first for me :)

As always, flawless description. "The landscape was a tapestry woven from countless shades of green, the solver thread of a river running alongside a shock of violet flowers." Seriously, how do you do it?

I love all the small details in this, the muggle money, the awkward conversation of grunts and hand gestures, the little mention of Arthur. They give the story so much depth and make it feel real :)

The ending was brilliant too! I wonder was the man she thought was Barty actually Barty Jnr, there too meet Peter? Your description of Peter was brilliant and I loved the part about his friends.

As always, you've written a beautiful and captivating one-shot. I'm ridiculously envious of how well you write and I would boycott your stories out of sheer jealousy if I didn't enjoy them so much!

On a side note-fancy switching houses and joining hufflepuff? ;)

Author's Response: Hello again! Sorry it's taken me so long to reply to this wonderful review!

I've never seen Bertha Jorkins in any story either, but when the house cup challenge came out she insisted on being written for this. Eek, I'm so happy you like the description in this piece! I put a lot of effort into it here, because I really wanted people to be able to see the pictures I had in my own mind when I wrote it.

No, please don't boycott my stories! Then I wouldn't get any more reviews like this that make my day, and that would make me sad! Thank you so much for all the lovely compliments on my writing - I want to reach through the screen right now and give you a massive hug!

Haha I'm very flattered that you'd want me, but I'm sticking with my lions! ;)

Thank you again for this amazing review!

Sian :)

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Review #14, by FredWeasleyIsMyKing Sunset Inn

11th July 2013:
Hi Sian!

Eek I loved this so much! You've done such a great job with giving us this insight on Bertha. Your so great at taking these kind of missing moments and giving us a great story. I really enjoy reading them.

Your descriptions in the first section were amazing. You paint quite the scene, I had vivid pictures of everything that was happening in my head so well done on that.

I really enjoyed the personality you gave Bertha, we really know so little about her so this was a great insight to what she may have been like. It was quite a change from the way Sirius and Bagman describe her from what I remember but it was totally believable. Although, I did like the bit about gossip you got in there.

I thought the way you wrote about her struggle with her memory was perfect and exactly like I would have imagined it to be. The little niggle that she couldn't quite put her finger on. I know you were worried about that but I honestly couldn't imagine it any other way to how you've wrote it.

When Peter came into the bar the mood of the story really changed. I could feel myself tensing up in preparation for what was going to come. I love how you ended it though - leaving us to once again fill in the blanks. I feel so sorry for Bertha!

Just a few bits I didn't think quite sounded right:

'Bertha wasnít quite sure when her passion for Muggle travel had first started; her pureblood parents, while they had never supported You-Know-Who in the war, had no interest in how the other half lived.' The bit after the semi colon doesn't quite sound right, I'd maybe try 'she was a pure blood, and while her parents had never supported you-know-who in the war, they certainly had had no interest in how the other half lived.' Something like that :)

' and she hurried through between the scattered houses and shops that formed the village. ' the through between doesn't quite sound right there.

This is such an awesome one shot though! I really really enjoyed it :) thanks for thanking me! Even though I don't feel like I did much!

Lauren :)

Author's Response: Hi Lauren!

I'm so pleased that you like Bertha! I know that she did seem different to the mentions that we have of her in canon, and while I still wanted her to seem familiar - hence the bit about gossip - I kind of created my own version of her for this story.

I was so worried about the memory problems she would have, and it's extremely reassuring to know that you think I did that right! I know the ending might have been a bit of a cliffhanger, but I didn't want to have to write about Bertha meeting Voldemort, so I thought I'd leave you to imagine it!

I've edited the bits that you pointed out and hopefully they sound a bit better now. Thank you so much for this wonderful review!

Sian :)

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Review #15, by CambAngst Sunset Inn

11th July 2013:
Hi, Sian!

Oh, boy. The moment I saw the name Bertha Jorkins, I had a strong sense of foreboding. I haven't even gotten past the summary and I already NEED to know how this one ends.

I liked your ideas about the difficulties a British witch would have traveling abroad. It seems like most magical folk already struggle a bit when they have to navigate the muggle world. Then you throw in the language barrier, dealing with different currencies and doing it all while obeying the Statute of Secrecy and it all starts to feel like quite a chore. Which is sort of comical, seeing as how she still has the ability to do magic. It's the ultimate First World Problem.

This is the second story I've read where the main character is happy to have traded the weather in England for something warm and sunny. Methinks that my ancestors made a pretty good decision when they boarded that boat. ;)

There was a sense of wonder flying thousands of miles in comfort on an aeroplane that Bertha simply didn't have when she rode a broomstick. -- I love the different perspective here. Clearly she wasn't flying on Ryanair or easyJet. ;)

All throughout the story, I loved the depth and fullness that you brought to it. Stories written around a specific theme for a challenge usually feel very bare and kind of rushed. They hit the specific notes that they're supposed to and they don't typically go much beyond. Your story was so full and well-developed. It didn't feel like you were in a hurry. That's a pretty rare thing, and my hat is off to you!

Even at the inn, you took your time and let the scene play out. Bertha Jorkins is just a name in the books. A faceless Ministry employee who happened into the wrong place at the wrong time. You gave her so much more in this. She came alive, a real person with likes and dislikes and odd tendencies and a back story that helped to define who she was. I liked her approach to people-watching and the little narratives she constructs around the different people she sees in the bar. The man who looked like Barty Crouch also made for a very natural-feeling introduction of her role in the Ministry and in preparing for the QWC and the Tri-Wizard.

Pettigrew! Please excuse the visceral reaction I always have to that cowardly, back-stabbing rat. Regardless, you did a great job with him. His physical appearance was perfectly consistent with the deterioration he would have suffered from so many years living as a common rat, broken and demoralized by the consequences of his betrayal.

Your writing was terrific in this. I didn't see a single typo or grammar problem. Great job!

Author's Response: Hi, Dan!

I've wanted to write about Bertha for a while, and this challenge seemed like the perfect opportunity to do it!

It is the ultimate First World Problem, isn't it? I think Bertha quite enjoys the challenges she faces travelling as a Muggle abroad, especially before English was such a popular language, because it makes things more of an adventure for her. It was quite entertaining to think of the problems witches or wizards would encounter travelling in the Muggle world, because we're so used to all of it!

Haha I think your ancestors probably did make the right decision, although I can't complain about the weather we're having at the moment! ;)

Can I just tell you how happy this review has made me? It took me a lot longer than normal to write this one-shot and I was so worried about the story feeling flat and one-dimensional, and Bertha's character seeming under-developed, and you've given me a lot of reassurance about that!

We know so little about Bertha from canon; like you said, she's a faceless character. The people-watching seemed to fit with the little we know of her, interested in gossip and other people's business. I'm so pleased that she came alive here!

I have the same reaction - I normally can't stand him in any post-Marauders story! I'm really happy that his appearance here seemed to fit with what he's gone through over the years, even if you don't like his character.

Thank you so much for this review, it's really made my day!

Sian :)

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