Reviewer: ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor
Date: 02/16/11 14:07
Chapter: Is it any wonder I can't sleep?

Hello!

I’d like to first say that you and I are in the minority that enjoyed the dance in the tent scene in the movie, so I knew right away that this would be a brand new extension of your fabulousness. However, I have to confess that I’m rather torn, because even though I adore the movie scene in question, honestly, your version makes much more sense. XD

One of your shining qualities as an author has always been your ability to not only keep a character true to canon, but to supersede that underlying basis and add a new, equally plausible dimension. For example, we know the dance never happened in canon or that there is no evidence that it did, but you wove so many gorgeous canon details, such as Harry trying to imagine that his fingers were stroking red hair, not brown, and feeling Quidditch robes and not rough, serviceable fabric. At first, I will admit that I wasn’t sure if Book!Harry would ever have the jewels to ask (well, demand) Hermione to dance with him, but once the sequence proceeded, I felt his need to alter their cold reality — change the facts, as it were — and the song gave him inspiration.

I think the song, too, was a brilliant addition. Normally, at least from my experience, song fics often suffer from lyric overload, but the few interwoven lines just seemed to come at the right time and the right place to add just that little bit to the story. The lyrics were just so well-suited to the mood and theme to the song that I decided to YouTube it and listen to the song whilst reading. It was, of course, a great idea. The song’s rich melodies and auras match up well with the emotive properties of the story. You make your selections well. Well done, you!

The amount of description that you put into such a short piece was phenomenal. In one paragraph, you managed to paint a vivid scene and set up a metaphor for later in the story. I could have been watching this scene happening in my head and it wasn’t lacking in the slightest in sensory information. How you did this is a mystery to me, and I am so in awe of your ability to do so with such brevity and fluidity. In particular, this part was striking:

She stares at him, her eyes half-closed, before sniffing softly and taking his out-stretched hand. Harry picks the wireless up from the armchair and carefully places it on the side table before pulling her close against him. She lets out a huff of breath and their eyes meet.

In three sentences, you convey Hermione’s feelings at the time, as well as what Harry is doing, all while not missing a beat. It seems like a random point in the fic, but it’s indicative of how you do it so gracefully. I don’t have to ‘read between the lines’ or interpret things; you set up everything, and all one has to do is let one’s mind absorb the subliminal details and not even realise that it’s happening.

I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t start reading this with the preconception that this was a Harmony piece and would be one of our favourite things — a pocket of non-canon/what could have been encased in canon. It was that, but not what I’d expected. There was not that overt shippy undertone that made me think that there was anything but grief and wishing things had gone differently between them, and in a way, it’s far more beautiful as such. It’s not something written to spite canon and to show that certain ‘delusions’ could have happened; instead, there is a peace, or ironically enough, a harmony, between the two, where Harry was daydreaming about Ginny, and Hermione finally said that she missed Ron, indicated that she cared about him on a different level. It was just so lovely.

All in all, if I had known that all that kept you from submitting this story was the lack of a title, I would’ve beat down your door and made one for you so I would have got to read this before now. Thank you so much for your fabulous work and letting the rest of us be a part of it. I look forward to future submissions from you. Simply splendid.

~Jess



Author's Response:

What an epic review! My jaw literally dropped when I opened this up. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave me this. It was such a pleasure to read. And yes, I did squee out loud. Please don't hold that against me xD

First of all, yes, I think we are a minority. Although, my friend Bronwyn LOVES than scene and she is a canon shipper. My mum is a total Harmony shipper like me so she loved it, too. LOL. I remember when I saw the film for the first time, I was really surprised that my version was so close to it. I think you get the same feeling of loss and abandonment and that longing for lost innocence. I love that you can take it either way, though. You can see it as something more than friendship if you want, or you can take it as a platonic moment of shared friendship. This fic is more the latter but I'm glad you still enjoyed it as such! Thank you :)

As for the song, I deliberately went through songs that were released around the time the Trio were on the run and as soon as I saw Eye I knew that it would be perfect and not just because I'm a huge Smashing Pumpkins fan. There is something about that song that really matches the melancholic feeling I imagine Harry and Hermione to feel. Also, when I wrote this, I tried to match the pacing to the song in real time. Of course, it sort of ran away from me but I'm glad that you were still able to see that structure as you read. When it comes to songfics, I believe that the lyrics should be there to add to rather than distract from the fic so it's good to know that they worked here. Again, like the structure of the melody, I tried to incorporate them within the prose to match the pacing and atmosphere.

As I said to Lori, I never set out to write a romance with this. I deliberately wanted to show a tender and platonic moment between Harry and Hermione. For me, they are as much of a pleasure to read as any good Harmony romance. Of course, people are able to interpret it as such but I like that a canon-carder can read this and still like it. I love how you describe the 'harmony' between the two. I really enjoy exploring that bond between the two of them that is sometimes ignored in fear of coming across as delusional. Whether there is a possibility of romance, Harry and Hermione are still really close friends and they have some great moments together in canon. This is more of a missing canon moment. Something that could have happened without taking anything away from Ron or Ginny.

Thank you so much for this review. It really made my day :) It means a lot to me that you liked this fic and that you took the time to write me that whopper is even more special. Sorry if this reply is a little convoluted and incoherent at times. I'm a little giddy from grinning so much. Now, I'm going to brush my teeth, wash my face, get into my pyjamas, and curl up on the couch and read some Katie/Oliver. Perfect plan!

Julia xxx

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