Reading Reviews for Holly and the Mistletoe
14 Reviews Found

Review #1, by Oregonian Holly and the Mistletoe

21st March 2015:
Hi, Jenna. This is Vicki/Oregonian, writing you a review for the Slytherin House Review Exchange. I chose one of your older stories because it had fewer reviews than some of your blockbusters, and because I was attracted to the subject. The psyche of the house elf is fascinating to explore in depth, or to speculate about, especially since JKR introduced to only three house elves—Dobby, Winky, and Kreacher, if my memory serves me correctly, and all three of them had distinctive personalities.

Your writing style is lush with details; there is no terseness at all, and therefore the story moves slowly, even risking moving too slowly, but you manage to avoid that problem, partly because the subject and the characters are not so frequently written about, so they hold our attention. Since we don’t know, from canon, a lot about the thought processes of house elves, the details make these enigmatic beings more vividly alive for us. I will have to read some of your other stories and see if this is how you always write. I, on the other hand, have to fight against being too terse, and I use the examples of writers such as you, for the purpose of infusing my stories with evocative details.

A couple of things I noted: the berries of holly are red, but the berries of mistletoe are white, and you seemed to be saying that mistletoe berries are red. And in your third-to-last paragraph, where you say “…the cries of humanity wringing in her ears…”, I believe the word you want is “ringing”.

Your final three paragraphs cover a lot of time and development quickly. Dobby is dead. The war is won and Holly thinks that perhaps there is freedom somewhere in the future for her. Holly is free, wearing a new red dress and daring to leave the greenhouse. Left unspoken is why she embraced this new freedom, when she was reluctant about it previously, while Dobby was still alive. Given what we have seen of her personality and character before, we readers are left to fill in the blanks about how this change came about.

This was a delightful story, fun to read, and implying that a similar change of heart and of living status may have been happening all over the British wizarding world in the wake of the defeat of the Dark Lord. Thank you for writing.

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Review #2, by 1917farmgirl Holly and the Mistletoe

20th March 2014:
Gah! I'm crying so hard right now I can hardly see to type this review.


This was the most moving thing I've read in ages. I don't even know how to tell you how much this story touched me, and I wish I wasn't doing this for a battle review because I'm not sure I can string five coherent sentences together after that stunning, incredible fic.

I don't know how you can be so creative and so talented at the same time. I want lessons. I want to know how to make my own writing reach out and grab someone the way this story just did to me.

I think I was about 4 paragraphs in when I realized this story was about house-elves, and I right away started alternately praising and cursing (that was the jealous monster in me) your creativity. And about one paragraph later I realized exactly WHICH house-elf you were writing about, at least one of them, and then I knew my heart was going to break.

You know me and my love for the twins, and how much Fred dying just killed me - but the honest truth is that Dobby's death shattered me even more. I BAWLED for a long time after he died. There was just something so innocent and perfect about Dobby that made his sacrifice that much more noble and meaningful and awful at the same time. Seeing it here, through little Holly's eyes just...I don't know how to describe it. It made it more awful, and more incredible, and noble and... He, more than any of them, REALLY lived and died to make the world a better place.

I love Holly. I love this story. It's going in my favorites as soon as this review is done. This alone completely made it worth me staying up tonight to finish my reviews.

You are one talented writer and don't you ever forget it!

- Farmgirl

Blackout Battle round 3 review 20/20.

Author's Response: Hello! :)

Oh no! :( I'm sorry if this made you cry! I blame JKR for killing Dobby, I always get quite emotional thinking about him. :(

I'm so pleased you found this moving! It really means a lot to know the story gave you an emotional response. And thank you - you're pretty creative and talented yourself, my dear! ♥

Hehe, I didn't want to state outright that they were elves but let the reader figure it out for themselves. I'm so glad that worked for you, and that you had a moment when you realized it was Dobby. I just couldn't resist putting him in. And I agree - Dobby was just so pure, and so new to his freedom and enjoying it - cutting his life off when it seemed to have only recently truly started was one of those horrible effects of the war. He did! He fought and sacrificed so much, and he would do it all again in a heartbeat.

I'm so glad you liked Holly as well! I just thought she was so quiet and adorable and I just wanted to give her a hug.

This review is just beautiful, thank you so much! I really appreciate all your lovely thoughts and loved reading your reactions. Thank you! :D

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Review #3, by LilyEPotter Holly and the Mistletoe

1st March 2014:

I had the smallest suspicion that the story was about Dobby when he spoke about his master and was fairly certain when he boasted about being free but I wasn't certain until near the end when he spoke about the war.

Her reaction to his boasting was cute and sad at the same time. That he was so caught up in telling her about his freedom that he wasn't paying attention to her or her reaction.

How saddening when Dobby didn't appear that one Christmas and Holly couldn't even ask her family if they could learn what happened. As she worries about Dobby, her family continues on with their celebrations without a care in the world.

That is so sweet! Dobby and Holly standing underneath the mistletoe. So precious and then heart-break when she learns that Dobby is gone. It's even more poignant when Holly finally decides that she wants to be a free elf.

Gryffindor vs. Slytherin Blackout Battle
Review 2 of 10

Author's Response: Hello! :)

Yes! I didn't want to make it too obvious that this was about Dobby and house elves, but I'm glad you noticed with the clues.

I agree, in a way Dobby wasn't quite ready to understand Holly and where she was coming from. They had very different experiences in servitude, and Holly's was quite mundane but not always unpleasant, so it's hard for her to see where he's coming from.

Aw, I know! :( I felt so sorry for her writing that, and it felt like one of the scenes which shows how hard it is to be a house elf and not be respected by the family they work for.

I'm glad you liked the kiss, and the ending! :) It was inevitably going to be a little bittersweet, but I wanted Holly to have the promise of a happier and more free future.

Thanks so much for the lovely review! :)

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Review #4, by adluvshp Holly and the Mistletoe

25th January 2014:
Hey! Here for review tag!

Aww, this was one of the most adorable pieces of writing I've ever come across. Dobby and Holly is indeed a very cute couple and I loved reading your take on the two. It's an idea that wouldn't have ever come into my mind and yet you've taken the concept and crafted it into this beautiful plot and woven a masterpiece out of it.

I loved your characterisation of Holly, she was so sweet and cute and I really felt for her, and the way you used your descriptions to tell us about her and her life, it was very nicely done and struck a chord with me. Dobby was adorably written as well, and I enjoyed seeing him through Holly's eyes. It never occurred to me but yes Dobby was a courageous warrior among the other house-elves who'd never dare think about freedom or fighting in the war etc.

The entire concept of the mistletoe was also very nicely written and maintained throughout the one-shot, and i especially loved the ending, that Holly finally got to be a free elf too and before Dobby's death she experienced the magic of the mistletoe for herself too.

The one-shot had a very poetic feel to it and the flow was smooth and over all writing was just beautiful. This really made me smile. Great job!


Author's Response: Hello! :)

Aw, thank you! :) I'm so glad you found it adorable, it was quite fun to write. I'm glad you found the idea unique, I never thought I'd be writing a house elf love story but it was really lovely to work on. :)

It's great to hear you liked Holly and you felt for her! I thought that her life would have been very mundane and boring, and loved the idea of Dobby lifting her out of that. I felt that while some house elves might have found Dobby to be too excessive, he was certainly a pioneer in house elf rights and I loved thinking how he might impact Holly.

Ah, I'm pleased to hear you liked the mistletoe! :) It worked out as quite a useful symbol, and I was quite glad that Holly won her freedom and got to know what mistletoe was like for everybody else.

Thank you so much for the beautiful review! :) It was so lovely and really made my day.

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Review #5, by 800 words of heaven Holly and the Mistletoe

11th January 2014:

Um. What even. My emotions. They are everywhere. I don't know if I should be happy because this was just such a sweet story, or cry because DOBBY AND HOLLY OMG.

When I first started reading this I was like, cool. She works in a greenhouse and there's this dude who obviously fancies her and they're gonna have this super sweet romance and that's awesome.

BUT THEN THEY TURN OUT TO BE HOUSE ELVES. PLOT. TWIST. I was really proud of myself for figuring this out really early on. I think Dobby mentions something about how their masters don't deserve better and Holly's really scandalised, and at first I thought this was a period romance, but then I think Dobby feels really ashamed, and then the penny dropped. HOUSE ELF ROMANCE. BEST.

I think I figured out it was Dobby when he comes in talking about revolution and freedom. There's only one elf who fights for freedom, and that's Dobby! It's so sweet to imagine that he has this secret love whose stuck in a house made of glass, growing a parasite on her namesake. Talk about intense metaphors. So amazing. I loved it!

AND THEN THEY KISS. I was so incredibly happy! I almost cried tears of joy, no exaggeration. Dobby makes me insanely emotional, and then you add forsaken romance to the mix and I become this puddle of emotions on the carpet.

AND THEN HE DIES. But she's just so PROUD of him, and she knows that one way or another, everything worked out okay, and that's just beautiful.

Thank you so much for showing me Dobby in a different light. I never imagined him having any other passion than freedom and Harry Potter. This was quite enlightening, and my view of Dobby has been changed forever.

PS: I totally ship it.

Author's Response: Hola! :D

Ah I know! I was so sad after writing this, but then also happy that they ever existed... well, existed in my head at least.

Haha yay! Okay when I wrote this I was really hoping people would have that plot twist moment and be like OH! That makes me really happy. I didn't want to make it too obvious, so kudos to you for figuring it out! :) House elf lurve. ♥

Yes! Ah, Dobby. He really was one of a kind. I'm glad you liked Holly's existence and all the metaphors hehe.

Tears of joy are good! Forsaken romance is just the saddest thing. :( I know what you mean about Dobby, he was just one of those really pure and adorable things and then he died and I think many people's childhoods shattered at that moment. And for Holly, something changes for her too.

Aw yes, I wanted to give it a little bit of an uplifting note, and he didn't die in vain, and his death gave Holly strength. :) I'm so thrilled you found it beautiful. :)

Oh you're welcome! :D I loved writing it and giving this fresh view of Dobby, and giving him some romance. Thanks for the beautiful review, it was so kind and entertaining! :) ♥

PS: As everyone should.

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Review #6, by UnluckyStar57 Holly and the Mistletoe

3rd January 2014:
Hello! I'm here for the Eighth Day of the Twelve Days of Reviewing.

Oooh, this story gave me chill bumps!! I figured out that the unnamed elf was Dobby about halfway through the story, but the ending still brought a few tears to my eyes. (It doesn't help that I just finished rereading DH. His death is still on my mind!)

Just... everything about this story!! I love that it's about house-elves and not humans--that's so brilliant and creative! Your descriptive powers are amazing, and I really enjoyed reading about Holly the house-elf, who seems like an old friend, though I didn't know her before now. In short, this whole thing is positively marvelous! Consider it "favorited" by me! :D

Good luck in the Duel!


Author's Response: Hello! :)

Ah, I'm sorry if it made you sad! :( I agree, Dobby's death just felt so painful and unnecessary, and I'm glad that came through here through Holly's story.

I'm glad you found it creative! :) I thought about writing about humans but felt like experimenting with something a little more unusual. It was a lot of fun. Aw, that's how I feel like Holly too, I love how you described her as feeling like an old friend. :)

Thank you so much for this lovely review! :D ♥

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Review #7, by BookDinosaur Holly and the Mistletoe

3rd January 2014:
Hello Jenna! I'm here for the Eighth of the Twelve Days of Reviewing Challenge, and because I'd read this and knew that I should leave a review haha. ;)

Ah Jenna, are you trying to break my heart? I mean, I know reviews should be in some sort of order, but I just can't, I need to get this out. I know that Dobby died, but gah this was just too sad! And then the last line, And in that moment, as his spirit watches her move into the boundaries of the sky, they may both claim, as he so dearly longed for and ferociously fought for: to be a free elf. it was just so beautiful, I have tears in my eyes. Did you want to make me cry?!

Okay, now I've got that out. *deep breath* I absolutely loved this oneshot. I think you got the characterisation of the house-elf just perfect, I loved the little 'oh yes' and 'oh no's you threw in, it's exactly how Dobby talked and Holly was just so beautiful, so innocent, at first, but then as Dobby visits her she grows and starts to change and then at last she becomes a free elf and it was just so touching.

And I loved how you wrote Dobby, it was just so perfect, how he encouraged Holly for her freedom as he encouraged the Hogwarts house-elves to take their freedom, how he was disappointed in her.

I think house-elves are underrated characters throughout the series, and I''m so glad you chose to write about them. I think, by writing this, you managed to tell us that wizards and house-elves are more similar than we think, because they can love. And like Dumbledore said, isn't love the greatest magic out of everything?

The only thing I can think of here for CC (and it isn't even important) would be that Holly used a couple of similies about crusaders reaching Jerusalem and even just holy blood, and I don't know how she would know anything about that?

I think that beautiful, prose-y kind of stylistic writing I've been commenting on really came out in full force here. It was so beautiful to read, the whole thing flowed so naturally and prettily. I'm so jealous Jenna, how do you do it? Gaaah.

All in all, this was an absolutely beautiful piece of work that's definitely going into my favourites list. ongrats on getting an entry into the Duel, I'm sure it'll do really well. :D

Author's Response: Hi Emily! :)

Aw I'm sorry if your heart was broken! I know, Dobby's death is just too awful, and writing this made me very sad as well. I'm glad you liked the last line though, even if it was in a sad way!

I'm really pleased to hear you thought it felt like a house elf was speaking, as I wanted that to come across. I've never written about an elf to this level of detail before so I'm really happy to hear it actually felt somewhat authentic. It's great to know you appreciated Holly's transformation and the grief she has to go through.

I figured Dobby would want the best (in his eyes) for Holly even though he didn't get the best reception from the Hogwarts elves. Holly takes a little more time in actually daring to want her freedom, and I figured Dobby would be a little impatient at this. I thought he would have been proud in the end, and it broke my heart a little that he wasn't there to share her freedom with her. :(

I agree! House elves really have an awful lot in life, especially those who spend their whole lives toiling away from society like Holly or with abusive masters like Dobby. I'm glad you found the message that house elves can love and are like humans come across as well, and that was what I really wanted to say with the story. In some contexts, I hoped the story could be read as being a love story between two humans as well.

That's a really good point! Hmm, I'll have to go back and think about that. Perhaps she would have read some of her master's books, or it's the narrator talking.. I was sort of thinking a bit of both, that Holly may know more than she seems. :)

Aw thanks! :) I'm very flattered you like the language, I loved writing this and putting it into Holly's voice and head.

Thanks for this beautiful review, Emily! :D I really appreciate it! ♥

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Review #8, by MissesWeasley123 Holly and the Mistletoe

2nd January 2014:
*drop is the jaw*

Ahem. For day 7 of the 12 Days of Reviewing.

JENNAA. WHOA. I think this story is like, cute, but on the next level. THE ELF LEVEL.

This story is just too sweet, honestly. Everyone forgets about the house elves. This is like, my cute OTP now, right next to the Sorting Hat and Luna's Hat :P

You wrote it wonderfully. Not once was it surreal or immature. Though they were elves you treated their love with such care which I really respected. You showed such a beautiful story with your words, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Also, a million points to Slytherin for creativity because whoa.

Dobby is da man tho. He is perfect. If I were an elf, like, total elf-babe is Dobby. He's amazing. He has always bene so sweet, but... this was really, really great. I loved him in this. The last sentence made me choke, because it was beautiful, truly:

And in that moment, as his spirit watches her move into the boundaries of the sky, they may both claim, as he so dearly longed for and ferociously fought for: to be a free elf.


Okay, so brilliantly written.

Author's Response: Hello! :)

Can I just say how much I love your reviews- they're always so spirited and make me giggle while responding. :P I'm so happy you found the story cute on the elf level - clearly cuter than any other level!

WHAT, there's a pairing between the Sorting Hat and Luna's hat?!! Can you please write about that- old Sorty deserves some romance as well! *dies*

I loved writing the elves and how tragic and innocent Holly was, and I'm so happy you found it did them justice. :) Haha, I have no idea how this story came about, but I'm glad you found it original! I seem to have this weird draw towards romances between unexpected creatures/objects/Dementors, in one story.

I know right! I bet Dobby had all the more radical lady elves falling at his feet, but I feel like he would like someone who is so sweet and kind like Holly. I loved that last sentence, it gave me all the Dobby feels as well so I'm so happy you enjoyed it! ♥

Thanks for the perfect review, lovely! :D

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Review #9, by momotwins Holly and the Mistletoe

25th December 2013:
Awww house elf love! Oh they're so cute! You wrote this really well, really brought them to life. Holly is a great character, and you did well with Dobby. I love the idea of him having a little elf girlfriend. Super cute. Loved this story, great job and merry Christmas!

Author's Response: Hello! :) Aw, thank you so much, I'm so glad you liked it and found the little elves cute. I loved writing Holly (I've always wanted to write a house elf story!) and giving Dobby some romance around Christmas.

Thank you for the lovely holiday review, and merry Christmas to you as well! :)

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Review #10, by monstrosity Holly and the Mistletoe

24th December 2013:

Ah, this was such a sweet story that I couldn't resist leaving a review. House elves are such underrated characters in fan fiction so I'm glad that you wrote a one-shot revolving them. And such a lovely one too. I really adore your writing style and the effortless way you mix dialogue and description. Very few writers manage to do that and I envy all those who do :)

When I read in your summary that you were doing the mistletoe prompt I was expecting an overly mushy and fluffy fic. However, this was elegantly carried off and showed a whole new angle to love. Love isn't only about sweet nothings, secret admirers or boxes of chocolate. It's a feeling that gradually blossoms from the heart and wraps around someone like a comforting blanket always reminding a person that they are never alone. I think that you brought that out very well.

What you've also shown is that love isn't restricted to humans or wizards. It can also apply to other magical creatures and ends up acting like an equalising factor in society.

I think that you've analysed human nature and emotions so well in this story. It was all very realistic. I really enjoyed watching Dobby and Holly's relationship bloom just like the mistletoe Holly tended to.

I particularly loved the last paragraph of the story. It was wonderfully worded. The mistletoe not only represents Dobby's love for Holly, but his love for freedom. I really enjoyed (I must have repeated this word so many times, but I really mean it) reading this story :)

All the best for the Winter Writers' Duel and Merry Christmas!

Author's Response: Hello! :) Can I just say this review was such a lovely surprise, thank you so much! :D

It's so lovely to hear you liked the story and how it was about house elves. I agree, they are very underrated, and I wanted to give a house elf some love around Christmas as well as they really deserve it. Thank you for your comments about mixing dialogue and description: sometimes I worry that I put in too much description and not enough action, so hearing you liked that is really lovely. :)

For the mistletoe prompt I really wanted to write something original and unusual, and so this story was created and I'm happy to hear you thought it explored a new angle. I agree completely, and for Holly love is something which empowers her even in the long absences and, as you said, reminds her that she isn't alone in the world.

I'm glad you pointed that out! The wizarding world is funny since there are all these humanoid creatures with speech and emotions and opinions. I agree, it is like an equalizer, since house elves' love would be just as deep as a human's love. I'm so happy you picked up on that as I found it quite important. :)

Wow, you found it realistic? That is such high praise! :) I love your link between watching their love bloom as well as the mistletoe, it's just a lovely way of summarizing the story. I'm happy you found that symbolism in the piece, and enjoyed the last paragraph: I felt it was very important to end the piece on a hopeful note. :)

Happy holidays to you too! Thanks for this beautiful review, it really was wonderful ♥

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Review #11, by ReeBee Holly and the Mistletoe

23rd December 2013:
Oh my god!! That was amazing!!

Ooh, before I start, I should probably tell u that this is for our review swap! It's so late! In so so sorry! Reality has been a pain recently!

Anyway, amazing! I didn't expect it at all! I started off a bit doubtful, you know, a bit so so at whether this was going to be another Cinderella story. Don't get me wrong, I love Cinderella, but, not my favourite type to read :) but, it was FANTABULOUS!!

I apologise in advance for the lack of CC.

Hm, the description! God, it warmed me up from the inside. I'm out side when I'm reading this (trying to make every spare moment count), and god, I'm feeling the warmth in my stomach- comparable to that of hot chocolate. That's all due to the description- the whole thing was so warm! Well, I guess that's a bit of CC, maybe trying to make where Dobby doesn't visit sound a bit colder? But, even without that it was gorgeous!

Then, the characterisation was perfect! Exactly like a house elf! All the timid and shy nature! And Dobby, even he was so in canon.

At the end! Ah! So sad- but I love the fact that it's a happy ending and how Holly isn't sad and mopey! The dress she wars! The description was amazing!

Anyway, I loved his and wish u luck in the duel! Thanks for a great review swap!


Author's Response: Hello! :) Don't worry about the timing, this review was definitely worth waiting for! :)

Ah, I love surprising people with stories! :) I'm so glad you liked it despite the early misgivings. It is a bit of a Cinderella story in some way, though she doesn't get to marry the prince figure! :(

Aw, I'm so happy to hear you liked the description, and that it made you warm- comparing stories to chocolate is always a high compliment. :)

I'm glad you found both elves in canon- I loved writing them and the shy and quite innocent personalities which they bring to the table. Dobby is amazing and I loved having him play this role for my little Holly, and I'm happy you liked him!

Yes, it was Christmas and although I knew Holly would be sad it seemed right that she would learn from Dobby's sacrifice and rise to find a better life for herself. I'm so happy you liked it, and the description. :)

Thanks so much for this beautiful review! ♥ It was great swapping with you too! :)

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Review #12, by toomanycurls Holly and the Mistletoe

21st December 2013:

If you had asked me what I'd think about a house-elf romance, I'd probably not be that into it. After reading this I'm wondering why there aren't more sweet, heartbreaking stories out there about house-elves and their romances. I feel horrible because before reading this, I never considered them to have emotions as acute as a person's (despite it being brought up in the books that they do).

I can imagine how impressive Dobby must have been to other elves. His radical ideas and confident demeanor surely set him apart from other house-elves that would come to her for wreaths and holly.

This line was wonderful: feel warm inside at his lovely smile, the thin crooked teeth like miniature piano keys, the folds of skin making way for his eyes to crinkle with pleasure. Even his skin was fine, and she longed to touch it.

^ There's more emotion and longing in those sentences than I've read in entire chapters before. It's simple and light and utterly perfect. It's understated imagery but gives me the emotion to see and feel what Holly is going through/seeing.

When Dobby came in and announced his freedom and that he could see Holly/anyone when he wanted, oh my heart broke. I've wondered before how house-elves procreated and if they got married or just were put together. For the most part, my thoughts weren't too in-depth. The idea that they were both longing to be together but couldn't when they were both enslaved and then she couldn't when he was free just tore at me. :( It was even worse for me when Dobby stopped coming every year. Holly's desire to ask about him and her master's response perfectly showed the horrible life of house-elves and their treatment.

Their kiss melted my heart. It was beautiful and long overdue between them. It also felt so innocent to me.

Holly's freedom at the end, after Dobby's death and the end of the war, it's such a perfect ending. Of course I'm sad that she is not able to enjoy her freedom with Dobby but she'll carry on his legacy forever.

Your use of tending to the holly and mistletoe was just wonderful. Holly's own magic seemed to be quite strong but it was limited to her single-purpose by her master. In the beginning she was almost protective of her cage and enslavement - it was deslightful to see her growth to be able to cast off her cage and enslavement for a happier and fuller life.


Author's Response: Hi! :)

Ah, I'm so glad you liked this story despite it being a little unusual! I know what you mean about not thinking that they have emotions, but I wanted my story to tell a reasonably unique story about mistletoe romance and somehow this just came into being. House elves are for the most part quite rational and having feelings and emotions like humans, so I felt it only fair that they would fall in love as well!

Ah I know, Dobby would certainly be a breath of fresh air for somebody like Holly. He was such a great elf and I'm sure that while some elves would think he was insane, there would be others like Holly who were impressed and excited by him.

I'm so glad you liked that line: it was one of my favourites. Hearing the emotion really came through is really high praise, thank you!

That's a good point about how house elves might get married- I imagine that for the most part they wouldn't have much choice. I know, poor Holly. :( It just really doesn't seem fair. I'm glad you liked the bit with the master and it showed how unfair her life was as while her master would be a big part of her life and it would be difficult to speak ill of him for her, he would have still been a typical wizard and not really cared to help her out.

Yes, Holly was very attached to the greenhouse, in some ways because it was all she knew. I'm glad you saw that progression in her, and her moving towards a better life for herself. Being free wasn't enough: she really had to want to feel free.

Thanks so much for this beautiful review, Rose! ♥

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Review #13, by teh tarik Holly and the Mistletoe

20th December 2013:
Awww, this is such a lovely entry for the Writers' Duel! I absolutely adored Holly and the quiet tender relationship between her and Dobby. Dolly! ♥ And such a unique story as well, capturing the often marginalised perspective of house elves. I absolutely loved your opening paragraph and how your description of half-parasitic mistletoe, and its history in the magical world...botany and ethnobotany are right up my alley, so naturally Herbology is my favourite subject at Hogwarts and I really loved reading that opening bit. (I think holly and mistletoe usually grow outdoors, but they could possibly be cultivated in greenhouses, I dunno, anyway, they definitely can be grown in magical greenhouses!)

I love how you've portrayed Holly's life of servitude, the routine, the monotony, and yet among all the flatness of her life, she still finds some small kernel of contentment in tending to her plants in the greenhouse. It's a lovely metaphor by the way, the greenhouse; there are so many ways to interpret this, whether Holly is the plant growing in the greenhouse, longing for some sort of freedom from her dull life and yet possibly unable to survive the harsh conditions outside, and that this same life of toil and endless service is also one that shelters her. Or maybe Holly is the greenhouse, sheltering those plants and providing them with the conditions that ensure their growth and flourishing...

Anyway, I ramble. I love how you've brought Dobby to life here, his exuberance, his excitement, his sheer joy at having found his freedom. He's a lovely contrast to Holly, and I think they're both attracted to each other because of their differences; despite Holly's initial disapproval of his ways, she has so much affection for him, and she definitely sees the good in him.

I love how symbolic his death becomes, and how Holly rises out of her old life to claim her freedom from her master. There's a lovely political undertone in this, and it's not overdone and just there, which is great, and really fitting for a story about house elves. The ending really gave your fic so much more depth than the usual fluffy Christmas romance story, and I loved it.

Well done on this fantastic entry! Best of luck with the Writers' Duel; I'm sure you'll do marvellously. :)


Author's Response: Hi teh! :) Wow, thanks so much for this incredible review! :) I was feeling a little unsure about this story but your review helped remind me why I liked it and wrote it. :)

Aw, Dolly! What a perfect name. I really liked writing it and coming up with this take on the mistletoe prompt, and I'm glad you liked the slightly unusual and very sweet and innocent romance. Ah I'm glad you liked the descriptions of the plants, and good to know that them being grown in the greenhouse does make some sense. :P

Holly is such a wonderful creature, she's so ordinary and simple but also has this acceptance and care for the plants which I enjoyed exploring. I really enjoyed reading your interpretations of the greenhouse, and how it could mean many things. In a way, she both wants and is afraid of freedom, because she's always lived in a life of servitude and doesn't know how to want anything beyond that. She takes pride in taking care of the plants, and feels guilty or uncertain for wanting something more.

Adding Dobby to the story and having him have this influence on Holly was one of the latter things I thought of. It's so great to here he was brought to life here and well captured, thank you! :) I agree: for Dobby, Holly is the sort of kind, simple person he appreciates, and Holly finds him enthralling because of his kindness mixed with his radical beliefs.

Yes, I thought that Holly learning to leave would be a good ending and nod to the changes I always imagine Hermione implementing for house elves. I'm glad you found the subtle political message effective, and found that the story had depth. :) I really wanted it to be different from the classic Christmas romance and be a little unique.

Thanks so much for this amazing review! :)

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Review #14, by Jet LaBarge Holly and the Mistletoe

19th December 2013:
Very well written. Deserves a review.

Author's Response: I'm very honoured that you enjoyed it! Thanks so much for the lovely review! :)

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