Reading Reviews for Guilt.
6 Reviews Found

Review #1, by BookDinosaur Guilt.

1st April 2015:
Hello again!

Oh my word, you never fail to write something so amazing that I just become further and further in awe of you and your mad writing skills. This is so amazing!

Ugh, I love love love post-war angst and this is just simply amazing. I love how you focused this on Demelza, on a Gryffindor who did something cowardly and now just hates herself for it so, so much. Her reaction to this is so realistic, you know, and I think it's just made all the more powerful by the fact that she's a Gryffindor and can't really forgive herself for that one cowardly act.

It just broke my heart when she kept reiterating to herself, again and again, that she didn't deserve any help, how she'd caused others pain and thus she deserved to have that pain inflicted on her. It's just - it's such a realistic way to think, and the thought process is almost shocking in how logical it is. The survivor's guilt that Demelza is going through is so, so realistic and believable and I love it so much. Honestly, I can't even begin to imagine what they all must have gone through, and they were all so young and the choices that they were forced to make, between conforming and being allowed to go on or rebelling and being tortured themselves - it's such a horrible, difficult choice, and I can't imagine the repercussions that it must have had on the students. I have far too many feels for Hogwarts students.

Oh, and the poor boy! Like, yes, I know the story is having us sympathise with Demelza, but just imagine, to that poor boy she must have been such a monster and just gah, that's so sad.

I adore how Ginny was the one to break through Demelza's shell and get her to go seek help, even if she was a bit unwilling - I think that a lot of authors actually gloss over the Baslisk incident and how it must have affected Ginny, and so to have the two girls bond a bit over their terrible experiences really is amazing. Ginny's such a strong character, and I think you did an amazing job showing that, especially through Demelza's eyes. I think it must have been really difficult for all the Hogwarts students, actually; because of course, they have Harry Potter and Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger and Ginny Weasley and Neville Longbottom to compare themselves to, and the fact of it is that there aren't many people capable of the heroics of the trio, or Neville, or Ginny, and the comparisons can be really damaging to their self-esteem. Sorry, off topic. :P

Anyway, this was a simply amazing piece and a brilliant first chapter that dealt with sensitive issues really well, and I keep saying this but I'm so glad that I had the chance to read it!

Easter Gift Tag Review

 Report Review

Review #2, by marauderfan Guilt.

10th January 2015:
Here for our review swap! Sorry I'm so slow :p

This was really good. I love your writing style and how well you covered Demelza's survivor's guilt and all that came along with it. It's especially cool that you chose a Gryffindor, as the way she views her own behaviour during the war is at odds with the ideal Gryffindor traits, and the fact that she's constantly comparing and finding herself lacking is just that much more powerful and emotional.

I find it so realistic that someone of her age would be suffering like this though, because she was young during the war - really, I can't even imagine being a teenager trying to fight in a violent battle and living every day with the choice of either doing horrible things people tell you to do, or standing out and being tortured because of it. It's such a difficult situation and you really showed that here, all that she had to go through, even if it wasn't on as grand of a scale as her older classmates. Ginny was absolutely right when she pointed out that Demelza had suffered just as much as anyone because of the emotional torture.

I love that Ginny is the one who eventually gets through to her and makes her seek help. Because as much as Demelza compares herself to the heroic things Ginny has done, I'd almost forgotten about Ginny being possessed by Voldemort and releasing the basilisk and petrifying a bunch of students, and what a great reminder that even those who appear the strongest aren't always that way, and Ginny and Demelza do have a lot in common in terms of being forced to do something, in their various circumstances.

This is such a powerful opening chapter and I'm eager to know how it finishes. I think you dealt with the sensitive topics in this really well and it's an important look into how Hogwarts must have been after the war - I can't imagine Demelza is the only one like this.

Great work!

Author's Response: You're grand. Thank you so much for the review and for the compliments. I'm delighted you like my writing style.

I got the idea before I got a specific character and went looking for a Gryffindor who hadn't been mentioned as having been involved in the Battle of Hogwarts, as Gryffindors get very much defined by their courage and honestly, in the books, cowardice seems to be considered less forgivable than supporting evil of your own free will, so I think a Gryffindor would feel particularly bad if they failed to act sufficiently courageously. And I very much doubt a quarter of the school would be anxious to fight against the most dangerous Dark wizard alive or willing to subject themselves to torture.

Yeah, there was a hint in Order of the Phoenix that Ginny still had issues as a result of everything that had happened with Tom Riddle and the diary, which is hardly surprising, so I would imagine she'd understand how it felt to know you were forced into doing things that hurt other people.

Thank you so so much for this review and I hope you like the final chapter.

 Report Review

Review #3, by Aphoride Guilt.

13th December 2014:
Hey there! :) So I love your darker stuff, and this just looked so fascinating - you know, the whole PTSD/trauma kinda thing, and emotions - so I couldn't resist dropping by :)

I love the fact that you used Demelza for this, and how you use the fact that she was a Gryffindor sort of to balance out the fear and the grief and the guilt and all the rest of it. I think it really helps with making it so obvious, you know, how she's suffering and that it's not necessarily a logical feeling and logical for her to want herself to suffer - like, she's so blinded by her own disgust for herself, she can't see why that happened, you know? It's just brilliant characterisation, really.

Your writing in this is so good, too - it's so evocative. It really brings all the emotions and things to light, and shows them without being glorifying or suggesting that she's right to feel bad; she just does, and there's this whole layer of concern from everyone else around her: Ginny and Professor Sprout and Madam Pomfrey. Your descriptions are so lovely, and her inner thoughts are so well written :)

The thing I really love about this is how you're dealing with such a difficult, sensitive subject - with the trauma and the PTSD and the guilty - and you handle it so well. Nothing is over done, or suggested that it's bad/good for Demelza to feel any certain way, she just does and you make it clear that it's not healthy, that it's bad for her to worry herself sick about this and stress over it, but there's no blame atributed, which is so important.

The comparisons with Ginny were great, too - I love how she holds herself up to people like Ginny and them, and feels she comes up short, especially because she's a Gryffindor. It's so sad, and really compounds the emotion.

I really love this story - it's a very heavy story, but I think you deal with it so well, and it's so beautiful despite that, with all the lovely description. It's really great; I'm so glad we swapped! :)

Aph xx

Author's Response: My original idea for this story was to write about how being forced into torturing people and so on affected a character. And I thought that a Gryffindor would be give the story an extra dimension as Hogwarts students seem to get quite stereotyped by their house's traits and I can see people feeling under a lot of pressure to live up to the traits of their house, so a Gryffindor who didn't stand up to the Carrows might not only feel guilty about having tortured people, but also ashamed of not living up to the house they were placed in.

Glad you enjoyed the story. Thank you so much for an awesome review.

 Report Review

Review #4, by The late Clarissa De Challes Recovering.

18th October 2014:

What? Why aren't you scared? Spoilsport. See, I'm pouting now.

Oh. Wait.

You can't see me. I'm a ghost. Sigh.

Well I thought the story was really amazing. Demelza was very strong, and I'm glad she was able to get better. Ginny was a superb influence on the younger girl, and you wrote her very in character with the books. I was disappointed that there were no deaths, but other than that I enjoyed it. The world needs more strong women in the world. I was perhaps, not the strongest woman that ever walked the earth but I lived in a time and a place where it was difficult to be.

I think I can relate to Demelza. I too was forced to do things that were wrong and worse, I enjoyed doing them. You brought many powerful images to my mind through your descriptions, which you wrote very well.

I'm afraid I cannot linger here much longer... Though I thank you for the chance to read this...

Clarissa De Challes

Author's Response: Thank you so, so much for this awesome review. And I am glad to see what people think of this as only one other person reviewed so far and I've added a good deal of detail to a minor canon character, so it's good to see what people think of that.

I'm glad you think Ginny was in character. I don't usually write major characters. I tend to focus on OCs or minor characters and when I do write Ginny, it's usually later, when she is a mother and through the eyes of her children or their cousins or friends, who obviously see her in a different way to her classmates, so good to hear I did O.K. on characterising her here.

And you've started me wondering about Clarissa de Challes and what she was forced to do that was wrong and what forces were brought to bear on her that make her feel she wasn't strong. One review shouldn't have be as intrigued about a character as I am.

Anyway, thank you SO much for the review and I'm glad you enjoyed the story.

 Report Review

Review #5, by nott theodore Recovering.

24th August 2014:
Hi Margaret! I saw this in the recently added pages a couple of days ago and have been meaning to get round to reading and reviewing it. I really enjoyed this chapter!

I think that your characterisation of all the canon characters is really great in this story. Demelza's more of a minor character in the series but I like the way that she takes the main stage in this story and with that you remind us that it's not just the people who fought in the battle and went through all of that who suffered afterwards. You've fleshed her out really well and made her a very real and believable character too in this story, especially with the way that you mention certain memories she has and link her into all the canon events.

I really like the way that you portray Ginny in this story too! I think a lot of people just characterise her as someone who's blunt and down-to-earth, but it's great to see this more caring side of her as well. It's good for Demelza to have someone her own age that she can relate to over these events and I really like the way that Ginny's decided to stick by her and help her as much as she can - and it's not just for the Quidditch team, either :P The way that she visits her in the hospital wing and the simple touches like spending her afternoon in the dormitory with her doing homework so that Demelza's got some company are just so sweet and in character, I think. Ginny's the sort of person that does look out for others and tries to help them when she can. I'm so pleased that Demelza's got someone like her fighting in her corner!

Hermione was really nicely written too. I think it's in character for her to try and help someone like Demelza even though she doesn't know her that well, just because Ginny's told her about the problems that she's having. I can imagine her being forgiving of what Demelza's done and understanding why she's done it, and I think that's really good for Demelza to know, that somebody is prepared to move past what she's done and help her instead. Plus, I love the idea of Hermione reading up on all the trauma responses and psychological suffering that people might experience after something like the war. It's just so like her!

You did a brilliant job of portraying Demelza's struggle with the PTSD as well. I love the fact that you didn't write it as though everything was suddenly okay as soon as she'd admitted her problem, because I've seen that in some stories and it frustrates me so much. Obviously admitting that she's got a problem is a massive step because now she can go about trying to get better, but I'm really pleased that you wrote about the fact she's still struggling to face up to what she's done and the consequences of that. I thought the way that you tied her house in during this chapter was brilliant, because she doesn't feel like she belongs because of what she's done but Ginny reminds her that she can get past this because of who she is. I really liked that!

The final section with the Quidditch training was really enjoyable to read because it's one of the only things we actually know about Demelza from the books, and seeing the way that it can be used for her to get better, and to distract from all the problems that she's been having, is great. I liked the fact that Ginny's imposed the new rule about helping people who have problems rather than judging them as well! This chapter ended on a really hopeful note and I'm glad to see that Demelza's got a sort of goal now and can look forward to something happier in the future!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Thanks so much for the amazingly detailed review. I'd say it's one of the longest I've ever got.

Oh, I hate it when a character recovers from trauma immediately once they've admitted it or fall in love or take a potion or whatever. It just seems to take from what has gone before and ruins the credibility for me. My fault is more likely to lie in the opposite direction - drawing things out indefinitely.

Glad you liked how I portrayed the more major canon characters.

Was it Ron who said at some point that going to the library is how Hermione responds to any crisis? So I would imagine that if she found herself experiencing trauma symptoms or realised any of her friends were, her first reaction would be to find out all she could about it.

I kind of felt Ginny's comment in Order of the Phoenix hinting at how she felt about being enchanted by Voldemort would give her an insight into how it felt to be forced into doing something you consider morally wrong, even if the method by which she was made to do so was very different.

Thank you so much again for the review. I didn't expect anything like that.

 Report Review

Review #6, by nott theodore Guilt.

28th July 2014:
Hi! So first of all I love minor characters and this immediately caught my eye when I saw that you'd written about Demelza and this period in her life, because I think so many people must have suffered after the war - especially the young students and everyone who had to experience hardship and pain, which was a lot of people.

I love the way that you chose to portray Demelza in this story. I feel like it's so original because there aren't many people who explore the ideas of bravery and the way that links in to being a Gryffindor. I've never really thought about it before but it makes perfect sense to think that someone like Demelza would feel unworthy if she hadn't acted like a brave Gryffindor was expected to act. Then having to return to the school knowing that you're with people who have done what was expected for them must make it even more difficult for Demelza. I really felt sorry for her.

It's brilliant that you're focusing on a character who's not suffering physically from the effects of the war (to an extent, anyway). As far as other people are concerned, she just went through the last year like all the others did and didn't lose relatives like others, or fight, so she's not got the same reasons to be experiencing panic attacks and PTSD. You portrayed Demelza's emotions and thoughts fantastically here, I thought. They all just seemed so in character but also fitting for what she's experiencing.

I liked the way that you built up the intrigue about what Demelza had actually done last year to keep me reading, because I really wanted to know. Then when she encountered that little second year it triggered the memories and overwhelmed her, and I thought that was a great way to segue into the section with Ginny.

Ginny's a really great choice to come and help Demelza! Even though there's a few years between them they know each other from Quidditch and Ginny's the sort of character who doesn't take much nonsense - she's determined enough to make sure that Demelza's alright and try and make her see that really it's not her fault. And I also like the comparisons that you were able to draw between Ginny and Demelza's behaviour, not only Demelza feeling bad for not fighting, but the time when Ginny was possessed and forced into doing things that were terrible. We see her in OotP trying to comfort Harry with that comparison so it fits really well here!

I thought this was a great first chapter to the story, and I loved your characterisation of Demelza and the way that you portrayed her suffering. Ending it on a more positive note was nice as well, because I'm hoping now that she's going to be able to start recovering, even though the process will probably be a long one!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Thank you so much for this awesome review.

This story was written for a challenge which asked for stories that were either from the point of view of a villain or else showing a good character struggling with their dark side. And it occurred to me that being forced into hurting other people, as Neville says the Carrows made people do, is bound to be rather difficult to deal with, particularly for Gryffindors, as they have a good deal invested in being brave.

So I went looking for a Gryffindor who had not been mentioned as being part of Dumbledore's Army and whose actions in Deathly Hallows were left vague.

The connection between Demelza and Ginny was a bonus, since if anybody knows what it's like to be forced into doing harm to others, it's Ginny. It was only luck, after all, that nobody was killed by the Basilisk.

This was originally going to be a one-shot, but I was short of time before the challenge deadline, so I just posted what I had and left it open for more to be added on later.

I'm currently working on a second chapter, but it's slow going, as each line has to be carefully thought out.

Thank you so much for the review and I'm glad you enjoyed it. I enjoyed your story too and am looking forward to finding out what happens next.

 Report Review
If this is your story and you wish to respond to reviews, please login