Reading Reviews for Merlin! Stupid. What?
  
3 Reviews Found

Review #1, by monstrosity Brave

30th September 2014:
Hello Kevin!

Sorry for the delay, but I'm finally here for the review exchange! This was such heartwarming story and I had a lot of fun reading it.

The one thing that I really admire about the story is that you seem to retain the characters' personalities as they were described in the book. Of course, Hannah wasn't described enough to really give us a feel of who she was like, but I think that your interpretation of her was realistic. As for Neville, I really love that you did not make him Harry Potter 2.0 after the war as some writers tend to do. You made him retain that tiny bit of awkwardness that he is famous for and I think you painted quite a genuine picture of what life after Hogwarts could be like. Not everyone in the Dumbledore's army would have skyrocketed to fame and fortune after the war and Neville, irrespective of his heroic actions, could equally have a hard time finding a job that appeals to him.

Going a bit deeper into the characterisation of Neville in this story, I loved how the readers get a preview of the monologue in his head, especially when he was trying to follow Ginny's advice and failing miserably. It was the tiny things, I suppose, like the inability to have a normal conversation with Hannah without feeling embarrassed or self-conscious that really gave another dimension to his character. As the chapter is rightly christened, he managed to finally get over his nerves and, with a huge amount of courage, do what he always wanted. I also enjoyed how in your summary you sort of made a comparison between the bravery required to fight a battle and the bravery required to confess his love. It's funny how the amount is pretty much the same in both situations, right? ;)

Another character which you portrayed pretty accurately was Romilda Vane. I think that was probably the best comic relief I've read and really balanced out some of the romantic parts in the story.

I think that this is pretty good for someone who has never written pure romance before (although, to be honest, I'm not an expert at it either so I would not really know) because it flowed really elegantly without extending the really romantic bits until they became really sticky and unnatural. Your writing style is awesome as always, I guess irrespective of which genre you decided to take up :)

Hannah is somewhat of an OC because you were practically allowed to take your own perspective of who she is. I really liked her character, maybe even a tiny bit more than Neville, because she sort of comes across as a girl who is constantly getting the worst of everything and yet managing to stay strong and hope for the better. She's what I would call a typical Rowling heroine- a girl with a good, visible mix of flaws and strengths. She is witty, determined and not afraid to say it like it is. I honestly think that she's a perfect match for the Neville you've portrayed.

Lastly, I found the 'There he is again' utterly adorable. It's like one of those little catchphrases that sounds really ordinary to anyone else, but contains so many memories for the two of them. Really Kevin, you're on the John Green level in terms of writing romance, which is a great thing, trust me!

Overall, it's a wonderful piece that is short, sweet and thoroughly engrossing. I'm so glad that I had the opportunity to read it and apologies for the delay!

Author's Response: Sathya! I am incredibly sorry about the delay in responding! This was an incredible review to get in the middle of an insane week and it's really just now that I've gotten the time to sit down and give it the response it deserves.

I'm really glad that you liked the characterizations. I definitely wanted Neville to come across as not completely changed from the character we knew. Obviously he made great strides by the end of the series, but I felt like he would never COMPLETELY leave behind that nervous, awkward kid who could still find bravery within himself from PS/SS.

I think for me that's part of the appeal of Neville/Hannah (a ship I like a lot). Imagining Neville that way makes them even more complementary for me because while Hannah can help Neville be a bit less shy and socially awkward, Neville can help her find the strength and self-belief to achieve what she's really capable of. People seem to only focus on the "cool factor" of Hannah becoming landlady of the Leaky Cauldron, but it would actually be an incredibly tough gig and take someone with a special blend to pull it off and I like to think Neville had a part in helping Hannah discover that in herself.

With the bravery comparison, what's interesting is that I think in many ways confessing love is braver than fighting a battle. In reality I suppose they're just different KINDS of bravery, but it seems to me that in battle, you have less choice about whether to fight. Often your life is on the line and you don't have another option, as retreating is just as likely to get you killed. In love though there's no such pressure. You could hold it in your entire life and the only thing you've lost is a shot at something that might never have happened. But if you admit it and your feelings are unrequited it's really gutting and often unrecoverable from in terms of keeping a relationship with the person (if you had one before).

The compliments at the end - the Hannah characterization, the writing style, good Lord the comparisons to a much loved published author - you are WAY too kind!

I'm really glad you liked the story though! Thanks so much for your wonderful, detailed, and thoughtful review!


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Review #2, by nott theodore Brave

3rd August 2014:
Hi Kevin! I saw this in the recently added pages a few days ago and added it to my reading list, so I'm finally here!

This was so lovely! I really love the idea of Neville and Hannah as a couple but I haven't seen many stories that really focus on them in fanfiction, so the way that you used this one-shot to develop their relationship was really brilliant. There were so many aspects that I loved about this that I should probably warn you now that this review is going to be quite rambly!

Since this is something that you've never done before, writing something that's purely romantic, I'm really impressed by the way that you wrote it. It felt so natural and not at all overstated, which is so easy to do. This is just so sweet to read and I feel like it could easily have been included as part of the series!

I absolutely loved your explanation of how the Three Broomsticks got its name! Apart from all the adorableness in this one-shot, I think that was my favourite bit because I love it when authors put thought and effort into their stories to come up with a background that's so original! It feels like it could easily be information that we find out on Pottermore or something because it's a brilliant detail and background to how the Three Broomsticks got its name. It's just so original and really made me smile, and the way that you segued into it from the different pictures that were on the walls was fantastic too!

You know, I was kind of expecting a parody of sorts when I saw the title for this one-shot, because I couldn't think how else it would fit in, but I'm really impressed with the way that you suited it to the romance that was going on in this story!

Okay, so I think I'll try and answer your questions now instead of just rambling on about things...

The plot was definitely believable! We know that Hannah ends up owning the Leaky Cauldron eventually, so having her working as a barmaid at the Three Broomsticks is a really good way of starting her off on that path, as it's not the sort of thing you'd tend to invest in with no experience of the business before! And there must have been a way that Neville and Hannah started to get closer once they'd finished school, so to me this seems totally believable, that he'd be posted in Hogsmeade and that's how they're brought together more and more. The only part I'd have liked more explanation on was all of those Ministry abbreviations he was using when he explained what he was doing back in Hogsmeade, but it's not necessary for the story, just my own curiosity about the set up!

As for characterisation, I thought you did a really great job of both Neville and Hannah. Hannah is a character we don't see all that much of in the series, except when she seems very eager and hard-working, which is what you showed her to be, but at the same time there'd obviously been some development and changes in her personality because of the situation she was in. It isn't easy to see all of the people you were friends with at school moving on with their lives and feeling like you're stuck behind, still just struggling to make a living. That came through really well, with her self-deprecating comment about not being much more than a hard worker (I felt so sorry for her there!). Hannah's dialogue and reactions felt really believable to me, especially once she'd broken up with Ernie and the way that she acted around Neville. I think she suspected that he liked her long before he said anything, while Neville would never dream of thinking that Hannah might actually reciprocate his feelings. I also loved the fact that she'd applied to an academy for botany in France! That fit so well and showed an immediate similarity between them, so I can imagine Hannah now helping Neville plan out his Herbology lessons when he finally starts working at the school.

Neville was just absolutely adorable, to be honest! I wanted to give him a hug in so many parts of this and yes, his nerves resurfacing around Hannah definitely felt in place when he felt that way about her. I really liked the way that you began with the reflection on his bravery and the way that people had come to expect that of him, and then once he saw Hannah again all of that seemed to disappear. I absolutely loved how he stumbled over his words when he was around Hannah and then he kept trying to remember all the advice that Ginny had been giving him when it came to trying to talk to her and impress her. It was just so sweet and so in character for someone like Neville.

The ending was absolutely adorable, and I loved it! Aw, this moment is becoming my head canon now and it's just so cute with the two of them together, but you did a great job on this and I'm sorry for the rambling and incoherence!

Sian :)

Author's Response: Sian! What a wonderful surprise review! You are too too kind and I don't know what to say other than your review on this was exactly what I needed to read today! I have been feeling really so-so about this since I wrote it (I think that's my curse, I'm always feeling like whatever I've written recently is very so-so), so it was spectacular to hear that you liked it!

Even though I've never focused on them before, and I've never even read a story that focused exclusively on them before, when I first learned Neville/Hannah was a thing in canon my reaction was just - YES! I think Hannah is the character that can take Neville a little more outside himself, but at the same time, she's practical and real and will never let him lose sight of himself or the idea that if he really works he can get what he wants and be happy.

I'm also really glad you liked the Three Broomsticks origin story. Given the challenge and the fact that it's never revealed in canon I absolutely wanted to give some kind of reason for how the place got its name. It's probably me projecting in a major way, the idea of taking a chance and working hard to build a business with providing for family in mind, but it just felt so natural to me that this is how the pub came to be and that the name was a tribute to the shared sacrifice required.

As far as the Ministry jargon, I'm just going to be honest with you and say that I myself don't even remember what DWP stands for :p Dark Wizard Patrol maybe? Yeah...I honestly don't remember...

I'm really THRILLED that you thought the characterizations were good and the development believable though. I felt a little more confident about Neville, but Hannah was hard for me because while I needed her to be more outgoing and hard-working (which she definitely is in canon) she's also a bit neurotic and occasionally lacking in confidence (what with the O.W.L.s stress and eventual incident) so I was trying to capture that too. For me that's the other half of Neville/Hannah that I love. I feel like while Hannah's helping Neville be more socially confident all around and supporting him all the way, Neville is helping Hannah believe in her abilities and really building her up past those more "professional" self-doubts so she can see that she's more than she thinks.

I definitely wrestled with whether to put the advice from Ginny in there, but I decided to go with it. Obviously the epilogue shows that she and Neville remained good friends and for some reason I can just see her taking up coaching Neville about girls after telling Harry that "it's such a shame Neville hasn't found the right person yet" or similar. Shrug!

Thank you SO much for the incredible review! It was awesome and it made me feel super!


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Review #3, by Lorz Potter Brave

28th July 2014:
I really loved this story. You managed to capture be Miller's awkwardness really well and they didn't go out of character. I would love to see more Hannah/ Neville from you
Xxx
Lorz

Author's Response: Thanks so much for the kind review! I really wondered how they would be received as it's the first time I've really attempted to focus just on them. Neville/Hannah is definitely something I want to explore more as I like the idea of them a lot, so maybe I'll delve deeper in the future.

Thanks for reading and reviewing!


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