Reviews For The Severed Souls
Reviewer: Her My Own EE
Date: 11/30/05 14:16
Chapter: Delivering Draco

Very good chapter. I like the sympathetic Narcissa. I found it insightfule how Rodrick named himself as her Narcissa's friend. Snape showing his humanity only to his wife was wonderful. Actual understandable emotions and all. Keep up the good work.

Reviewer: Harriet Evans
Date: 11/29/05 13:22
Chapter: Changing Scenery.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, for giving us back the real Ron. That was the highlight of the chapter for me, I'm afraid. (But I am biased.) There really was so much going on. I continue to adore any scene with Narcissa in it - so much scope for amusing jibes and cat fights. And Hermione has a little crush on my favourite man, does she? Lockhart with brains? Yes, I would say she's about right. I wonder where that will lead. Very enjoyable! Thank you.

Author's Response: I am guilty of making Ron rather immature in this so far...and it took Anne to point it out to me. So we're back to the Ron that appeared in DoL. *hangs head guiltily*

Reviewer: Fantasium
Date: 11/29/05 10:51
Chapter: Changing Scenery.

Ah, the eventful Chapter 14! What can a fan do but to love it?

The opening scene completely belongs to Ron. I’m not his number one fan, but I still appreciate how you give him the credit of finding the locket, for being useful for once. His arguments about going back to Hogwarts might well be thought up because he wants to see Hermione again, but there’s nothing stupid about them at all. You show us the serious side of him, but also the humorous one: “Or round his wife’s grand, scrawny neck,” Ron laughed.’ as well as the part some would call silly, but which I think is adorable: ‘…his mind now drifting pleasantly to thoughts of Hermione.’

And then back to Carrowdore Cottage, to one of the best mornings I’ve come across. You know already how I adore the precious Snape/Snape pairing, and reading any closeness between the two is like eating Thornton’s Treacle Toffee to me. It seems like each time they touch is carefully planned and thought through at the same time as it’s natural and spontaneous. Earlier this year, I would never have thought that the line ‘…enjoying the heaviness of her against his body.’ concerning Snape would have touched my heart at all, and definitely not that I would have smiled happily about it. Although I suppose this is still true, because this is not simply Snape any longer. He’s Severus, and even if you will never hear me say that I adore him, I have certainly grown very fond of his character.

“I will never sleep in a cave like some mongrel with only rats for company,” he hissed.’ - I’m reminded of Sirius yet again, and I wonder if that’s also what Severus had in mind… I can’t remember if he knew of Sirius’ hiding place in canon, although I think he didn’t, but the word ‘mongrel’ is to me connected to the word ‘dog’, and through that to Sirius.

You’re trying to make all of your readers fall for Roderick, aren’t you? Why else would you write things like: ‘His hair wasn’t its usual well-combed self and Maeve couldn’t help thinking it made him look rather more attractive than normal.’, ‘…his half-undone shirt revealing a smooth chest that was almost, but not quite, unblemished.’ and “I promise. I will take the utmost care of my personal safety so that I can always be around to harass and generally infuriate you,” he said into her hair, breathing in the soft scent of her recently vacated bed.’ I wish I knew just when Roderick turned from someone amusing at the best but most often annoying, to someone I’d gladly snog at any time. You must have tricked me somewhere along the road, and now I can’t see a way back. *pretends to grumble* But seriously, you have really succeeded to turn his character from something great into something amazing.

“RAMPTON!” Severus’ voice roared down the stairs. “Stop trying to seduce my wife and get that Malfoy woman out of my house and to safety.” - *giggles madly*

‘Ron was sitting in the kitchen simultaneously eating a ham sandwich and playing Wizard’s Chess against the board.’ - I really like the detail of a self-playing chess board, it’s like Muggles playing against their (or our, I should perhaps say) computers, just that it runs by magic instead.

A bunker! I must say, even if it’s not very nice, that it really suits Severus. Or at least the Severus he was before Maeve returned to his life. Tidiness, lack of details, a place ready to be inspected by some official at any time. It’s feels colourless and empty, but then Maeve enters and in my mind I can see how her presence and red hair lights up the dull rooms, just as she did when she re-entered Severus’ life. There is a new reality to everything when they speak, and even if Maeve has to stay put it’s clear to me that she was meant to be beside her husband all along, and not hidden away at Hogwarts.
“I love you, Maeve,” he said, before hurrying from the room and closing the door behind him.’ - so powerful… It’s really amazing what holding back those words most of the time does to the times when they are spoken. And you don’t have to add that he said it with feeling or passion because we already know that if he does say it, it’s because he means it. I’m very glad that you let Maeve make the observation that his words would have been very suitable last ones, because as she did I’m less afraid that might be the case. I know we’re not exactly at a point in the story where Maeve or Severus would likely die, but that doesn’t stop me worrying for them, constantly.

The boys (yes, in a story where men like Remus, Roderick and Severus are so important, Harry and Ron seem like boys) returning to the castle feels better than I thought it would. In canon, I think I would be disappointed at such a plot development, but even if Harry has got a major part of this story, there are other characters I’d just as well like to read outside the walls of Hogwarts. Hermione is very good welcoming them back, and very nice of you to keep a bit of tension between her and Ron. And speaking of young romances, I’m very glad you decided to include a bit of Ginny. I had certainly fooled myself thinking I just wanted it there for things to be correct. Truth is that I’m shamelessly fond of the two together, and even if there are more interesting and original liaisons to be focusing on, a part of me is secretly hoping for things to turn out all right for Harry and Ginny.

“Although he did say something about a family crest stitched to the person’s undergarments.” - *snorts* Excellent! You know, the world of fandom has its advantages sometimes. :) I’m glad that Hermione has decided to stick to what she found out about R.A.B. even if Maeve wasn’t very encouraging. I’m sort of hoping for a secret visit to the cemetery, but of course not until we’ve had to live through another encounter with Filch…

Reviewer: Cheshlin
Date: 11/27/05 14:34
Chapter: Delivering Draco

Draco is sooooo stupid!! He doesn't realize the sacrifices that so many people have made for him. He is truly his Father's son! I hope that he gets a wake up call before it is too late. He doesn't even show his mother any respect! SIGH Oh well. I think you write him very well though. I'm glad that Maeve is going back to Grimauld Place. That way the Order can reach her if needed. My only question, is how will Severus be able to get there if Harry is secret keeper....Harry hasn't given him permission to be there. Only Maeve. It will be interesting to see how Snape gets Filch to help Harry. :) It is very interesting to see Snape help from the back ground, even though no one believes in him, except Maeve and Remus. I can't wait to see Remus when he resurfaces!!! That should be fun.

Reviewer: SusannaC
Date: 11/25/05 10:03
Chapter: Delivering Draco

draco is such a git. he's really putting his mother through it, and when she's sad over lucius too. And maeve's going back to grimmauld place,Yay!

Reviewer: SusannaC
Date: 11/25/05 10:00
Chapter: Changing Scenery.

They finally found the locket! all they've gotta do now is figure out what to do with it. i like snape and maeves new hiding place, the bunker sounds pretty secure for both of them. it feels like things are really starting to move along now.

Reviewer: NaginiFay
Date: 11/25/05 1:56
Chapter: Delivering Draco

YES! First again. Rats, I really hoped Draco was going to behave himself better...oh well. I really like how Daco almost got himself beat up by bunch of muggles. the possiblity being there was quite funny.

Reviewer: Severus Snape
Date: 11/20/05 1:32
Chapter: Changing Scenery.

I like how Ron has come back into the story a bit, I thought hed been a bit absent lately. Roderick and maeve were real sweet with each other. I think that relationship has really developed in this fic. But the best bit was Snape and Maeve going on the run together. The bunker was interesting, wonder how long theyll be safe there.

Reviewer: Eleanor_Prewett
Date: 11/19/05 15:27
Chapter: Changing Scenery.

Yipes! I was glancing back through the reviews (a frustrating and dangerous task lately, but I digress) and found that I hadn't reviewed in 4 chapters! I had no idea it had been so long and I am so sorry, Jan! Your work deserves so much better! ~Katie

Reviewer: Eleanor_Prewett
Date: 11/19/05 15:16
Chapter: Changing Scenery.

Well, well, well. A very good chapter, excellent, quite like the last one (except this time I managed to read it through all at once. I became so infuriated with Narcissa in the last chapter that I had to stop reading immediately and snapped at no less than five people in a single hour.) It's amazing your how writing affects my moods. But I did manage to finish today, after a particularly grueling dance production week and was thrilled to be able to read on. I am extremely glad Harry and Ron are back (at least for the relationships I foresee developing as I can be a hopeless romantic at heart). I'm also extremely glad Ron found the locket because I had been wondering if and when it might emerge. Roderick is simply insufferable but I expected nothing less. As for my dear friend, Remus, I'm curious as to which woman he proposed to. I think I know, but with every twist is a corresponding leap from one assumed plot line to another and I'm a bit lost as to which I'm expected for my friend. I will confess, though, that I am extremely impressed with Filch and did not expect him to be a source of imformation at all, but now I cannot see how his darker knowledge cannot be useful. Wonderful! I eagerly await the next chapter! ~Katie

Reviewer: ellidiot
Date: 11/19/05 5:42
Chapter: Changing Scenery.

Loved Rampton and Maeve's relationship and Snape's reaction to it- very in character though Rampton is still a puzzle. Glad Harry's back at Hogwarts and look forward a little HG, HR romance. Would've liked to have seen Remus though!

Reviewer: Cheshlin
Date: 11/18/05 12:42
Chapter: Changing Scenery.

Everyone is really moving around! I hope that Draco doesn't cause too much trouble for everyone. I like Rampton more and more. He is definitely two sided, but it makes things very interesting. He is still very likable. Hedwig can find someone anywhere! LOL :)

Reviewer: NaginiFay
Date: 11/18/05 6:51
Chapter: Changing Scenery.

Yay, first one. I knew there had to be some reward for staying up all night! I really loved this chapter, Maeve. Its amazing you can write two fics at once and do such a good job on both of them.

Reviewer: Severus Snape
Date: 11/17/05 2:31
Chapter: Questions, Questions.

I'm speechless. How unexpected was that??? Remus finally gets a grip. That should be fun, when he brings her back and gives everyone the good news. Loved, loved, loved Snape and Maeve's scenes, they're such a perfect match for each other. And Roderick is getting more attractive by the chapter. Great again. We've got so many things to think about.

Reviewer: Fantasium
Date: 11/16/05 10:09
Chapter: Questions, Questions.

SQUEEE! *throws arms around Jan, then around Remus and Felicia* After this chapter, I shall die as a happy woman. I could just stop reading Severed Souls now, and rest assured that everything will turn out all right. Not that I will, of course, but I could! *does a little happy dance before settling down to review*

Right, I’ll restrain myself for a bit and start at the beginning.
Remus looked down at the scratched and stained table, wishing someone else could do all the lying and persuading for a change. - how suitable to start off with making me feel the usual sorrow for Mr Lupin. He has just failed to make Maeve stay at Hogwarts, and now he’s not doing so well in getting Harry to go back there. Plus, this time he’s not just doing this because he feels like he should, no, he’s also got Severus breathing down his neck. In a way, I come to think about Roderick in the last chapter, about how Remus is also expected to be a Mr Fix-it. When he gets angry with Harry it’s easy enough to understand why and it’s anger well justified even if some of it was due to frustration. What I found most interesting was Remus’ last line in the scene: “Use your head, not your heart!” - this could just as well have been spoken to Remus himself, by Severus. There’s nothing hypocritical about it though, nor does it feel like Remus has been affected by Severus’ ways. No, I guess what I’m looking at here are just different levels of maturity and logical thinking. Remus accuses Harry of acting like a young Sirius, which leads me not to think about the differences between Harry and Remus, but between Sirius and Severus. Such different men, yet in such similar situations. It’s an interesting thought, that Severus who actually did kill Dumbledore, has more people on his side than Sirius had, even though he was innocent. I keep waiting for someone to draw the parallel to Harry, but I suppose that if it happens, it will be at a well picked moment. :) I like the fact that Harry is not giving in, he’s perfectly in character, and as is Ron. *resists urge to roll eyes at Ron*

Detail picked up from the first scene:
Tom chose that moment to shuffle across. He had been inching ever closer to them in the hope of finding out what they were talking about but as soon as they noticed him they fell silent. - why, I wonder why? Is he just interested in any old gossip, or…?

Some truly delicious Maeve/Narcissa in this chapter. I don’t think I will ever get tired of reading the two of them together, with that dialogue. But although that is interesting, it gets truly exciting when the nightly visitor arrives. It’s such a typical mark of your excellent writing, how you don’t give his identity away at once, but hold back a little to make us wonder. The Jan-descriptions are there as well, as always: The beckoning chill of the heady night swirled in on robes that were black as the darkness they had just left. and Moving with all the grace and furtiveness of a night time hunter…
After Severus looks at Narcissa, I found this part to be worth an extra thought: He found it painful to tear his eyes away and look to the other woman on the opposite side of the room. - painful? Because he’s feeling sorry for her? Or because he remembers their past together, never mind what it was like?

And, the Severus/Maeve… *sighs* They are reason enough to cherish this chapter, from disagreements to understanding, from Severus’ threatening behaviour to their sparkling love. There is so much to appreciate with their interaction, and I can’t quote all of it. I’m just reminded of why, when people talk about their one-true-pairings, Mr and Mrs Snape always come to my mind.
Narcissa’s interruption had me making squeeign noises of protest, and I covered my eyes as if it were a film playing before my eyes – that is how alive and vivid all of your writing is, you know, it turns into detailed settings and real people in my mind. Narcissa is excellent in her distress, irrational and almost panicking she reminds me of some wild animal. I’m glad Maeve stopped her husband, and that she found strength in herself to care for Narcissa when she deserved it the least.

And then, *snogs*, my Roderick appears with his witty words and once-again so merry personality to aid Maeve. What can I do but to love him endlessly? And as if his mere presence wasn’t enough, you give sudden light and hope to my ship: “They’re never too old, my darling, only too penniless.” *grins madly*

Remus! Felicia! *dies repeatedly* Dear God, I’m just such a sucker for love and happiness – it’s really rather pathetic. ;) But even if it was a tad unexpected (I’m still pretending I wasn’t shocked and dumbstruck when I read it the first time), it was not random at all. Yes, I might be a bit weak for happiness, but I appreciate it more when it follows difficulties and tough days, and the most when it’s a pause in times of trouble. I certainly don’t see a safe and secure future for anyone in this story, and love is yet another reason to worry. I used to feel rather confident about Severus/Maeve, but with other couples around I can’t really expect them all to have a happy ending. Well, whatever’s waiting around the corner for all of these marvellously written characters, I know it will be a thrilling read – because it always is when you write, Jan. :)

Reviewer: Fantasium
Date: 11/16/05 0:31
Chapter: Decided and Undecided.

Right, I won’t be grumbling about the early hour, but instead I’ll get on with reviewing. :)

A chapter with lots of interesting things, but most important to me is Albert. Yes, I’m still ignoring any previous discussions about him, and simply letting myself enjoy things as they come. I agree with other reviewers that his knowledge of the Wizarding world is very suspicious. Not only does he know where to find Hogsmeade and Hogwarts, that I could accept without further thought, but how on earth does he know the way to the Gryffindor common room, to lead Neville there? And, “normal” Muggles, or Squibs even, don’t usually tend to take command amongst Wizard folk, do they? But, in the end, what I find most interesting is Albert’s lost son. Oooh, Jan, it’s all so exciting!

This is also Roderick’s chapter. To begin with, I’m all too relieved that it wasn’t him the Death Eaters got in Hogsmeade. Then it’s the identity of his lady friend. I had sensed Jenny Fitzwilliam around the edges of the story, but I certainly didn’t expect to find her in Roderick’s company! I still think that she’s got something to do with that claiming of Darkacre, and now I wonder if Roderick has got anything to do with that business – after all, he did advise Maeve to just give it away…
From certain sources, I happen to know that Roderick might be about to be shipped. If this should happen to be accurate information, I think it’s very clever of you to present another woman who might be of interest to him. This is especially interesting if they have any other secret dealings together, but… No, I shall continue to support the idea of Narcissa and Roderick. :)
In his first appearance in the chapter, Roderick is his usual, teasing self, and yes – you’re going to have to bear with me while I once again quote some favourite lines.
“Oh, fabulous,” he breathed. “My glittering icicle is jealous. You’re too divine for words sometimes, cherub.”
“You know how to wound a man,” he groaned. “But seriously, gorgeous, can’t it wait?”
“Going to ravish me, are you?” he grinned, softly closing the door behind him. “Can’t wait.”
- this is Roderick! His dialogue is as brilliant as ever, I can see his face expression accompanying them in my mind. But, then you surprise me, because this is new, but this is also Roderick:
“Unfair or not, it’s true. What am I, some Mr Fix-it?”
“Of course I’ll help you, that’s inevitable, but sometimes it feels as if you only ever come to me when you are in trouble.”
“I don’t know what I want.” He gave her a cracked smile that was filled with a surprising amount of self-doubt and insecurity.
- all of a sudden, you’ve added another dimension to a character I already thought was complete. And the result? Well, looking aside Maeve’s reaction in the fic, I so badly want to snog the man right now… >.>

So, now I have stated that Albert was most important, but that the chapter was also Roderick’s. Let’s confuse things a bit further by saying this was also a very important chapter for Maeve. Yes, all that is sensible within me keeps shaking its head and wondering how on earth she can be so irrational. But at the same time, her actions make my heart beat so hard, I’m proud and I almost feel like shouting “Go, Maeve!”, although there hardly is an appropriate place to do so. You didn’t create a character to sit around, not even to play a lesser part, no, Maeve was always too much of a woman, wife and witch to sit safe within the walls of Hogwarts. Also, no matter who Albert might be, for some reason I trust his judgement and if he advises Maeve to join Severus, that’s another excellent reason to do so.

Narcissa can’t go without mentioning. I know I’m repeating a quote again, but this is where I finally felt thoroughly sorry for her:
It was cold, colder than the grave that Lucius would soon be occupying, as Narcissa walked slowly through the centre of the town.
- my feelings weren’t mixed here, for a while she was just Narcissa, I forgot all about who she was and I only saw someone who was cold, and who had just lost her husband. Her complete character comes back to me after that, but you keep tormenting her – the Knight Bus ride in itself, what a disaster for the poor woman. And then, Draco’s appearance… Oh, how well written it was! His behaviour towards Eric Shunpike totally matched his canon acting towards people like Madam Malkin and Mr Borgin. I found it fascinating to read Narcissa’s thoughts and emotions concerning her son, and it’s possible that I felt a bit sorry for her again…

No, I’m going to be naughty and not mention Remus – but simply because I know there will be something major Remus:ish to squee my head off about in the next chapter. Amazing work here Jan, as always!

Reviewer: SusannaC
Date: 11/14/05 10:59
Chapter: Questions, Questions.

Wow. I can't believe remus finally did what he did! Go remus!! Some really good things happened in this chapter and roderick was great. I liked seeing maeve and snape back together again, I hope they stay together now. I wonder what they're going to about draco though.

Reviewer: Cheshlin
Date: 11/13/05 14:35
Chapter: Questions, Questions.

A lot always seems to happen in your chapters. I'm glad that Severus and Maeve finally had some time together. They really deserve it. I hope that Harry comes to his senses and starts taking some advice from SOMEONE. He doesn't want to hear what anyone has to say about anything. I'm soooo glad that Remus is finally finding some happiness also. I can't wait to see what all Felicia has to add to the story!

Reviewer: The Half Blood Prince
Date: 11/10/05 14:11
Chapter: Questions, Questions.

First and foremost, I’m apologetic that I haven’t reviewed one of your chapters before. It’s weird to think about that I’ve followed HPDL for about a year, and not even left a review. I hope that this review will tell you that I’m a fast reader of your work; that I always will be. Without further intrusion, let’s move on to the story reply, shall we?

The way you started this chapter was highly interesting. To be more specific, the POV you used made an interesting start. At first, the feel you wanted to convey was shown through Tom’s knowledge of how the War had changed what the regular visits Diagon Alley and to his bar. Then you slowly steer us closer and closer until we reach the confines of the bar and then, in the end, arrives at three figures: Harry, Ron, and Remus. What I think really made that opener a fun to read was that it was seen through an observer, a person that watched the main characters and then how you switch POV after he had mentioned their name. This example confirms how important proper POV can be.

Your prose is fresh, lyrical and deep. They are enlivened by your nice usage of active verbs, verbs that are great tools to give the sentences energy and move those forward and concrete nouns. Your writing-style is very similar to Niall Williams (who’s writing I adore). What’s great is that you cut out much adverbs and adjectives – they often hinders the flow and does the sentence weaker in power than if one had not included them in the sentences. The lines are woven intricate and are filled with enjoyable metaphors and similes (I especially liked when you told that Snape’s robes were ‘as black as darkness’ and when his cloaks was covering him and Maeve like a tent in an inky night. Another thing is that you omit needless words and use effective words. I can definitely say that, seriously, that I love your prose more than any others on this site. Promised!

I love how you make Harry’s blatant statement (which is all the more hurtful since his points hit some spots in Remus) changing Remus’s motivation to fit the conflicts and confrontations that will lead to plots in your story. Highly clever done. When Harry told that Remus didn’t know what to do with his life, changing his opinions, it tells us that people change Remus’s action objective. For example, Snape changed Remus’s action objective when he told him that he should keep Maeve safe at Hogwarts, and because she would help drawing Harry to Hogwarts. This was Remus’s new private motivation, his goal, his action objective. But when Harry made the statement that Remus’s didn’t seem to have any personal goals, no steady intentions, Lupin’s action objective altered and he realized that his own needs mattered and he arrived in Ireland, for Felicia. You’ve turned Remus’s action objective through conflict, and for letting Remus intertwine some loose ropes or commence some that would fit your plot-development. It’s incredibly well done, and it was of sheer pleasure to read how effectively you managed to spin Remus’s beliefs. Throughout the whole chapter, Remus was completely in-character. He seems a strong reflection of Jo’s version of him, and has got this desire to comfort him and shake of all his qualms and worries and helplessness. I’ve got emotionally attached with him, and the interaction between him and Felicia made my heart squeal in euphoria as I realised Remus had pushed back his doubts for the time being and doing something enjoyable with his life. Marriage is a risky thing, but I think that’s just what Remus needs to keep his motivation up. I think Felicia is a wonderful OC and I hope we’ll see a lot of her. This particular bag of sentences reflected incredibly much how nervous he was to meet her again after he had walked away from her. He regrets his actions. I can perfectly relate to that feeling he has of meeting Felicia again: To like someone and ask them to be with you is nervous enough, it gives you those butterflies of anxiousness. To love someone the way he does, and knowing he walked away from her, is an even more uneasy feeling that comes from the thought of rejection.

What would he do if she was the one to walk way this time? And he couldn’t blame her, not after all that he had done and the mistakes he had made over summer. With a sense of nervous anticipation he knocked on the freshly painted door and waited, his heart beating rapidly, for someone to open it.

This reinstates his uncomfortable state. Many doesn’t see it, but such small repetitions and adding’s make the writing more emotional, more controlled, more alive:

Were curlews a sign of bad news, he thought, nerves making him slightly superstitious when he would normally have ridiculed such claptrap.

This start of the little scene between him and Felicia made this scene even more touching. You can feel the change of his emotions that goes from anxiousness to relief to a feeling of rhapsody. It makes it all much more special, with deep feelings.

My favourite line in this cosy scene of joy and bliss was: “And I would forgive you for closing the door in my face after all the silliness we’ve been through. And I know it was all my fault that it happened but I just wanted you to know, well, that I enjoyed our time together. Life is too short to spend it denying feelings and being noble. I wanted to ask you to come back to England with me. Times are difficult and I can’t promise you that it will be easy…but…well… will you marry me?”

I think I liked that bit of dialogue so much because it reinstated my point. He’s finally moved on, or trying to take one step at a time, and that he realises his mistakes. It is all completely in-character, I would imagine him to tell everything in a bit shy, very truthful way, and it makes the scene beautiful.

And then it’s Maeve. It seems as if she just gets carried away from her desire and where it is obtained, and then neared again, and then pulled back again. In the first chapter of this story, I think we can nearly assume that she had gone to the devastation of desire. That means that person having reached this point, is nearly doomed. This person has gone beyond denying its own desire, and instead pulled to a place nearly impossible to arise from. As my teacher says, it can serve as a final ‘that you didn’t except,’ like when you just didn’t believe think things couldn’t have gone worse for Maeve, and then it gets worse, by her receiving the terrible news of what her husband did to her (and how that again made a hole between her and Remus). This is what’s intriguing, when something is so extraordinary that it’s nearly getting over the edge, and still we accept it. And when we do, we feel even closer to the person that had to go through this, in this case Maeve. Something that is as delightful and connecting for the reader (me), is how Maeve have worked extremely hard to climb above this hole she’s fallen into, and how this sprang new traits she contains: bravery, stubbornness, forgiving, determination and that her loyalty for her husband blinded her wits (I conclude because when she confronted her husband, she realised that she hadn’t thought the possible of his darker side through).

How you write her, how you’ve built her personality through each scene and chapter, and how her back-ground has affected her personality, has made her to my favourite OC. Sometimes I wonder: Why hasn’t she jumped off the page sooner? She’s determined, strong-willed, beautiful – traits that many would call ‘Mary Suish’ – but you’ve written her in such a believable way that proves that history of a character, how that character is written, and how that character changes and develops, is what make a character three-dimensional and pure. People tend to forget that characters are people too, and that in our world there are some with more likeable traits or nice features. She’s rather the contrary of a Mary-Sue. In my opinion, she’s has three-dimensional emotions, well-rounded background that is special and yet I accept it. You’ve portrayed her passions and longings and what ties her back with all the vivid shades and hues of real life. Emotions origins from inner values; and usually those two parts blend together when reading about her. It has nearly never occurred to me that this was ‘one-dimensional’ of her, or that she was, and it’s something I envy.

You made the scene with Maeve, Snape and Narcissa so alive and breathing, cracking. The emotion was built up to a great power by the beautiful artistry that was your writing here. The scene contained conflict and desire (Narcissa and Maeve two completely different desires in mind). This created a very intimate moment where I felt like not watching it anymore, but being a part of it, touching the emotions that waved in that moment. Indeed, the dialogue between Maeve and Snape was smooth, rich and passionate: it was as if the words they spoke – also very poetically, with each word having its own importance – heralded their feeling of lust. The scene between Maeve and Snape, and then Narcissa was created in different colours of passion, and some lines struck me with their vividness and life:

He watched as his wife stepped between him and the distraught woman, watched her gently take Narcissa’s arms and force them to her side, watched her lead her away towards the head of the stairs, soothing words tumbling from her lips.

This told so many things: how strong Maeve’s and Snape’s relationship is, how determined they are not to be separated: “You don’t need to prove anything.” Maeve was at his back now and he could smell her belief in him. “Certainly not to her.”

This was the most powerful paragraph in this chapter, I think. It contained such a breath-taking simile; the lines flowed with the ‘beat’ of the action in your scene. Lust and desire was evident in this paragraph (the next ones too, but this was my favourite). Your effective words and elimination of superfluous words made it move unhindered:

They fell onto the bed, Maeve on her back and Severus arched above her, his cloak falling over them both in a tent of black ink that ran across them like a river. “I think you have always bewitched me,” he said, as his fingers roved across her neck towards the top of her dress. “Why I have I never been able to retain my self-control with you around?”

There was one thing I noticed though: I think you should omit the first ‘I,’ bearing in mind that it’s superfluous and unneeded – the only one in the paragraph.

“Plans can wait,” she said, pulling him towards their bed. “I, however, cannot.” “You are a torment,” he said, not resisting her tugs at his arms. “But I can’t deny that it would be enjoyable to re-discover the pleasures of our honeymoon.”

This evoked many feelings inside me. The daring speak between them are very nicely done, it tells that they know each other oh so well. Snape is perfectly in-character (he is one of your most believable characters, even though his personality), I see his coloured passions and that he’s a grey character, a human. I saw everything before my mind: from when Snape gave in for Maeve’s needs and how his walls falter and is thrown into the hole of desire. His usual (can’t come up with the adjective) personality, is prominent eve in this scene. You’ve built his character-development and changes through a large period of time, and I think that is why I never doubt he would do this in canon. Not a second of doubt, even! And his oiliness is kept in the dialogue.

You manage to let the use of action objective guide every scene in your story forward in a vital, yes, way. It seems as if no scene is superfluous, you add back-story without stopping the action, and the action objective of your characters let them be steered through each scene, appearing believable and real and three-dimensional. It’s the work of action objective that causes this, the fact that you know every character’s Desire or super objective (with a big ‘D’), action objective and inner values. It makes all the difference in the world from a constant entertaining, propelled forward fiction, and a normal one. Without knowing the action objective, the story doesn’t contain the same amount of interesting scenes, believable scenes, and more scenes seems superfluous, boring, unneeded.

It’s incredibly exciting to see the character’s action objective change to let the plot further and that sometimes they spring forth after a long time of contemplation, and other times even trigger one of the character’s thoughts through small conflicts or confrontations that let the character realise that he shouldn’t be doing this, but that! The plot is developing in a nice pace, and the questions you leave keep me waiting for answers. And when some things are answered, those answers often lead to more questions. It’s as if they never stop, and that, including action objective, setting and characters, lead me through your huge chapters.

I try to find things, anything, to criticise with a reason, I really do, but nearly none are valid enough. I could write things that I half heartedly didn’t think was right, but when re-reading it, I figure it indeed doesn’t need any revision. One of my only criticisms to your writing is that sometimes the lines get stretched. This is not aimed for this chapter, but in the previous chapters you had a tendency to elongate sentences that could be shorter to make more concise sentences, or varying sentence structure.

He pushed his glass away a little, his heart not in the Firewhiskey that sat before him. He knew he needed to make a concerted effort to get Harry to agree but he was beginning to falter in his own belief that he could do so.

Those two sentences seems quite dull and of lesser quality than your usual writing. In both sentences the lines start with a pronoun, and it is this, even though small, that makes it uninteresting. It often helps to have an adverbial at the start of the sentence, or change the sentence structure. If I’d revised it, it would’ve been something like this: He pushes his glasses away a little, his hear not in the Firewhiskey that sat before him. Indeed, he needed to make a concerted effort to get Harry to agree, but he was beginning to falter in his own belief that he could do so.

The occupants of the cottage were so pre-occupied with their own nightmares that they did not hear the door slowly open. The beckoning chill of the heady night swirled in on robes that were black as the darkness they had just left. The latch clicked as the door closed, making the chill air eddy in the entranceway before it mingled with the warmth of the interior. This paragraph comprise of some marvellous similes and metaphors. The warmth mingling with the interior’s warmth and robes as black as darkness gave a great picture in my head. A vivid picture, with all the different colours needed as for an exquisite painting. The emotion of someone sneaking, someone slinking into another’s house with personal intentions was evident – was it what you wanted to convey? Then, well done. My complaint about this was again sentence structure. Or even more precisely, the beginning of the sentences. Every sentence starts with the pronoun ‘the.’ This dulls the writing. Again, I’ll see if adverbials or changing of sentence structure could work. However, if none of that works properly, the length of a few sentences may change, or the sentences themselves. Also, there’s a close repetition of occupants and pre-occupied in the first sentence. I’ve got a version that can perhaps make the sentences more varying: The occupants of the cottage were lost with their own nightmares that they did not hear the door slowly open. While the beckoning chill of the heady night swirled in on robes that were as black as darkness they had just left, the latch clicked as the door closed. This made the cold (removed chill because it was used above, too) air eddy in the entranceway before it mingled with the warmth of the interior.

Except that, I’ve got not more criticisms. As for the chapter, I am worried that Roderick will enjoy his time with Narcissa … I am also very interesting in where ‘Eastwrithe is –‘ and what does Malfoy want there (yes, I know that it was in the last chapter the name was introduced)? The interaction and dialogue between Narcissa and Malfoy is intellectual and they seem to sting each others feelings with remarks that touch lenient buttons in both of their hearts. I am waiting eagerly for the next chapter. I hope it answers more questions than it rises.

As a last note, I very much hope that you believe every praise I’ve given and that it comes from deep within my heart. Why? Because every word I spoke is meant. They are meant as much as the love Maeve has towards Snape. I would like to offer more constructive criticism, but it’s hard to find amidst a pearl like this chapter. Usually, I can find a great deal of things the author could improve, but it seems as if I’m too caught up in the conflict, the characters and the prose, that I get lost in your writing and forgets to find everything. And I don't think I need to tell you it, but I say it anyway. 10!

Reviewer: Harriet Evans
Date: 11/10/05 4:20
Chapter: Questions, Questions.

What an excellent chapter. I loved the initial scene between Narcissa and Maeve - they make such an entertaining couple. More clues - I'm worried for Roderick. All very intriguing. Lovely scene between Snape and Maeve - I found it so touching when she was smoothing his brow. And the decription and language you used for that small scene was beautiful. And ah! Felicia! Well done Remus, and well done to you too.

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