Reviews For Flashbacks
Reviewer: Ennalee
Date: 12/04/05 19:45
Chapter: Flashbacks

To start out with, I have to compliment your first sentence. He was back. There’s something about brevity which stands out, especially when followed (or preceded) by longer sentences, and you make good use of this, and return to it in the end. Overall, your structure is very nice – you both start and end with a single, concise statement; the beginning leads to the end, and they compliment eachother. Very nice!

I found a few errors, some with tense and some just typos. He took revenge ten years ago. I believe this should be “he had taken revenge,” because your story is written in the past, but this happened before the story begins; you used the right tense in the sentence before, but it should carry through. Similarly, “he met Voldemort with a fury Harry had never felt against anyone before,” should be “he had met…” Otherwise it sounds like he is meeting Voldemort while walking down the road, not reflecting on his meeting while walking down the road.

…and so the Death Eaters. I’m not sure exactly what you mean here. If you mean that half of the Death Eaters had been killed, you might want to say something along the lines of, “as had half of the Death Eaters.” Also, in the following sentences, you repeat the word ‘killed’ several times; you might want to vary it a bit; you could do this by adding some description instead of telling us straight out. Thus, instead of saying “Kingsley Shacklebolt, Charlie Weasley, Minerva McGonagall, Luna Lovegood and Neville Longbottom were among those who had been killed,” you could say, “The bodies of…lay motionless on the ground,” or something of the sort. Not only does it avoid the repetition of a single word, but it gives you some opportunity to show us what has happened, rather than tell us.

…laughing lowly and manic. ‘Manic’ should be the adverb ‘manically.’ Icing breeze probably should be “icy breeze.” Sad enough, her father had been killed… ‘Sad’ should be ‘sadly.’ That was what he had wanted to, right after The Battle. ‘To’ should be ‘too.’ It felt like freedom to him, to know he would never se those glasses again. ‘Se’ should be ‘see.’ That didn’t bother him at all, but there were a line. When people knock at the door… ‘Were’ should be ‘was,’ and ‘knock’ should be ‘knocked.’

These types of errors are really easy to make, because spell check doesn’t pick up on them, and when you’re reading over your own work, your eyes tend to fill in for you what you think you’ve written, not what is actually there. You might want to consider finding a beta to check over your work for you – I know I’d be lost without my own betas!

Ginny had knelt down beside him and stroke his hair. Ron and Hermione hadn’t said anything; they knew Harry good enough to understand his sorrow and yearning. “Stroke” should be “stroked,” since you are writing in the past, and “good” should be “well.” I like that you’ve shown that the Trio’s friendship can be manifested in silence, and the idea that Ron and Hermione can offer comfort merely through their presence.

You started summarizing at some point in the middle, listing the past events in an effort to give us the necessary information. While I understand the need to summarize, because you don’t have time to tell us in detail everything you need us to know – the point of the story is Harry’s reflection, not the actual winning of the war – it gets a bit dry. You could capture our interest a bit more by adding reflection throughout – let us know what Harry feels about these things. Is he bitter that he spent so much time working against Voldemort? Does he think that the death of his friends is justified by the ending of the war? Don’t just list facts – make them important. It’s understandable that you don’t want this part to drag on for too long, since you’re making a different point; you can leave out some stuff, such as the fact that Lupin taught Harry and his friends how to communicate using the Patronuses. While this would be good to know if you were telling the story of Harry’s defeat of Voldemort, it’s not really necessary for a story that focuses more on Harry’s reflection ten years later, and it merely adds to the listing of the facts.

All Harry wanted to do was to grow old with her. This is a very nice part, and I’d love to see you expand it a bit. We can sympathize a lot with Harry, who’s been through so much and now wants nothing more than a peaceful life with the woman he loves. This would be a perfect place to tie the past in with the future, and tell us why he has to look back before he can look forward. You return to this later when you talk about Harry’s need for Ginny to feel safe. This is a very realistic sentiment, and adds a nice touch to the story. Good job!

It’s interesting that Harry doesn’t trust anyone besides his old friends, now; interesting, but very feasible. He’s lost a lot of loved ones, and been hurt by a lot of people. It makes even more sense in light of what you share next – the publicity after the last battle. Again, though, I’d like to see this expanded on and tied into the idea of looking back. Why does staring down the empty road remind him of his inability to trust?

I find it a bit odd that Harry finds it strange that Ginny wants to name their daughter Lily. By sacrificing herself to save Harry, Lily was instrumental in winning the war – I would have thought he’d be honored by Ginny’s desire. Is he confused that she’s looking backwards, and if so, does his own day of reflection help him to see why? You could do a lot to tie this section in with the overall theme of looking back.

The ending was very nice, as you showed us what this short period of reflecting has done for Harry. He’s finally allowing himself to move on, to understand that things are not always going to be the way they were. My biggest criticism is that I’d like to see more tie ins to this theme throughout the rest of the story, but overall it was very nice. Good job!

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