This chapter was incredibly sad. In it, we see the breakdown of her happiness and glimpses of her future despair - the destruction of her will to live. You've woven a beautifully moving story and I'm so pleased I've taken the time to read your offering.
Author's Response: Thank you. I've always been told that I do well with describing despair, and I'm glad you agree. I hope you decide to read the epilogue, as it ties up the story and answers any unanswered questions.
This is wonderful, but I have one question. According to Dumbledore, Tom had returned saying that he'd been 'tricked' or 'betwitched' - that he'd realised his wife was a witch and that was how she'd convinced him to marry her, but you give no sign of that. Or am I being premature?
Author's Response: This story is focused on Merope's point of view, and therefore once Tom leaves, that's the end of him, really. Thanks for the review!
Uh-oh! Tom's contempt is starting to show. It's very interesting that you have the potion slowly wearing off, to where he isn't aware of what has happened to him yet, but he's starting to feel differently towards her. Your plot development is wonderful.
Author's Response: Thanks! I tried to make it realistic of how the potion wears off, and I'm glad you bought it.
And the tension builds. Truly, this story is wonderful, and your ability to show the reader the scene rather than 'telling' is quite good. I can't wait to see what happens next. Poor Tom.
Author's Response: Thank you. I;ve always been a big fan of "showing" versus "telling".
Oh, the suspense. I find it extremely interesting that you're showing a build-up of the effects of the Amortentia. Of course, those of us who know the story of the Riddles will recognize that for what it is, but I'm sure poor Merope will not. Seeing this as a sign of her husband coming to love her on his own, will she stop giving him the potion for this reason. Beautifully done. You've built some wonderful tension here, and the description of the abuse was enough to convey the point without being so much that it shocked the reader with unnecessary description - a fine touch. Your foreshadowing has me eager to read the next chapter, so I'll leave off here.
Author's Response: Thanks for the review! I tried to make this story interesting despite the fact that we already knew what was going to happen. I'm glad that you thought it worked.
This is an excellent beginning. I’m really impressed with the way you’ve taken this story and developed it. I’ve only read one other of this nature, but I didn’t like it nearly as well. I was actually hesitant to read this, but I’m very pleased that I did. I wanted to point out a few things.
For him, it was just an chance to get out of the house; little did he know that his daily ritual had become the only thing to live for another.
This sentence comes across a bit awkward. The second part is a wonderful line, but it takes a few seconds to wade through. I would suggest rewording it for clarity.
She had been planning this since as long as she could remember.
I think that ‘for’ would work a little better than ‘since’ here. Beyond that, the story is beautifully done. I like the confusion on Tom’s thoughts. I did have a question, though. When Tom is determined to show Merope that he is not a ninny, why does he care what she thinks? He’s the ‘lord of the manor’ so to speak, and she’s nothing but the tramp’s daughter. The rest of the story is very believable, but this part left me confused. You did an excellent job!
Author's Response: I wanted to show him as a "I'm too good for you and I'll show you that" type person. So, thanks for the review!
Wow, such an emotional, bitter chapter.
You've definitely used a lot of description that wasn't too boring, but instead connected the reader more to Merope's character. I've noticed from the earlier chapters that you seem to have an uncanny ability to describe things without making it drag.
She had no one to go to, no one to lean on, and no one to go to for help.
I reckon that sentence would sound a lot better like this: She had no one to go to, no one to lean on, no one to believe in her. It's just that at the start, when you say "...she had no one to go to", and then at the end, " ...no one to go for help", it feels like it's just repeating the first part.
This was definitely one of the best chapters in this story.
Author's Response: Thank you for that. I've been told many times that description was my strong point, and I just hope I can hold on to that. Thanks for the kind review!
I like that reference at the top to what most drug addicts seem to experience - something like withdrawal symptoms, except this was love potion, the drug in question.
For some reason, I'm glad that Tom didn't completely overreact, doing something he would regret. Though it's understandable if he did do that, I just like this perspective of him - initially angry, but then more understanding. I can imagine him ditching her (quietly) at the end as well instead of leaving her immediately.
Now with Merope...that's another story. I sort of pity her desperate character. Though I did feel like that when I first read HBP, this story kind of - I don't know how to explain it, but more like brought the entire scene alive.
Just one nit-pick: In the last paragraph, first line, the 'once' should be 'one'. It's not terribly important, but I thought I'll point it out to you.
Again, a great chapter! *goes to click on 'Next'*
Author's Response: Aww, thanks. I love pulling out parts of the books that can be easily overlooked and bringing them to life. I'm glad it worked for you!
A very good chapter! I thought the Romanian sentence was very cool, and I’m glad you had Merope use that helpful little spell, because I wondered what it said. I think that Merope’s thoughts are very good, having her paranoid and worrying all the time. She’s a very interesting character, as well as Tom. And it was nice to see Sara again, if only in passing this time.
I only have one tiny nit-pick… …
Trying to be a quiet as possible, she took our her wand from the same cabinet she had gotten the potion from and stirred the concoction.
It should read, ‘took out her wand…’ instead of, ‘took our her wand…’
This was very interesting. I had never thought that Merope would have to give Tom the potion everyday, but it makes sense. I especially liked the ending, where you mention he needs more and more each day. I wonder if he’s going to become immune to it… Guess I’ll have to keep reading! Great job! =]
Author's Response: Everyone seems to love Sra popping into this, but really, this story was written first. I'm glad you all thought it fit well into place, though. Thanks for the review!
Once again, I found my self reading something that I'd never read before. (First something from the point of view of Barty Crouch Jr, and now this!) I’ve never read Merope/Tom before, but this was great!
Merope is just how I imagined her, a little timid, but determined to get what she wants. The line, “She had made the plans months ago, brewed the potion weeks ago, and no matter what her mind was thinking, her heart would pull her through today.” sums her up perfectly. Her heart overruled her mind when she gave Tom the love potion.
One very tiny nit-pick in an otherwise wonderful prologue…
“For him, it was just an chance to get out of the house;”
It should just be ‘a chance,’ instead of ‘an chance.’
Well, I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the chapters! =]
Author's Response: Thanks! I suppose it's really time that I go through this and read it for typos huh...
I am already in love with this fic. I had read HBP recently, and am planning on writing a little something about Merope myself. I thought that this was original and very well written!
It had not come to much of a surprise for her when her brother and father had been taken away.
I think that there should be an 'as' instead of 'to', if I'm not mistaken.
little did he know that his daily ritual had become the only thing to live for another.
I think that you need another 'for'. So it would be: little did he know that his daily ritual had become the only thing to live for, for another.
Other than those small nitpicks, I thought that this was lovely! I look forward to the next chapter!
Author's Response: Thanks for the review!
This is the most fitting epilogue and really strengthens your fic. You really show us her condition -- that she has to resort to stealing to take care of herself, that she has nowhere to go.
I'm glad you included the scene with Tom. How cold he is to see his pregnant 'wife' and leave her alone on the streets. At least Sara had some decency to give Merope money.
The birthing scene is perfect -- not too dramatic yet it has a raw power of it's own.
I congratulate you on a job done stunningly and for winning the EoM award. =)
Author's Response: Thank you! I think I've said this before but the epilogue is my favourite chapter by far; I'm glad you enoyed it as well. And thanks, I worked hard to earn both!
Such an emotional and bitter chapter! This ch. is one of your better ones, really.
Merope noticed here how alone she was. She had no one to go to, no one to lean on, and no one to go to for help. She was stuck in an exotic country with no where to go. She felt useless.
The description is especially lovely here; it brings on a sense of despair that makes the reader connect securely with Merope.
There are too many 'she's in this chapter. Although you don't really notice them much when you actually read the fic, there are instances where you could have replaced them with 'Merope' and something else.
Her decision of breaking the wand was very foolish, but that just shows how irrational we get when we're angry, sad or heartbroken.
She knew they would either find their way to the heart of a new friend, or they would die in the same place that they lived: at home.
One more piece of concrit here. At the end of this last sentence, instead of the colon, it would have worked to better effect if you replaced it with a period and consequently capitilized the 'a'.
All in all, beautiful job!
Author's Response: Actually, it was Dumbledore in HBP that said she had broken her wand, so I had to follow canon and do that. I'm glad you liked this, however. Enjoy the epilogue!
I really like how you're portraying the 'decived vs. reality' side of Merope. Its quite sadenning to think that she could deceive herself so badly, thinking that Tom really does love her simply by thinking he does and reassuring herself. This line especially, showed that well:
"After she had said this, Merope’s heart lightened. Maybe this was true."
It's good how you're showing the subtle changes in Tom as she's easing up on the potion, but I'd definitely like to see more of his perspective on that- though I expect I'll see that in the future chapters!
One thing I don't get is how he wouldn't know what orange is and what coffee is... I mean, he is the Muggle, right, and Merope is the witch? Or maybe I missed something...
And nice chapter! =)
Author's Response: Yeah, he's the Muggle. Um, maybe I just mixed that up there. Whoops. :) But, I'm glad you're enjoying it so far, and I hope you like the ending!
Ohh, so that's where Sara comes in! When I read your other fic, and then this, I was wondering whether there was a canon character named Sara whom Merope and Tom met and I simply couldn't remember whether it was in the books! Now I realise it was your idea...Nice one! Nice connection too!
For some reason, I like it that Merope was feeling uncomfortable, or you could say, guilty, each time Tom would shower her with affectionate compliments in public. Each time he did that, it would bring a new wave of guiltiness to her and you showed that well in your story.
I also liked how Tom, when he just woke up, was kind of cranky and seemed as if the potion was wearing off, but when he drank the potion again, he was back to his drugged state. I like all the suspense and sort-of conflict going on here. Nothing much to say here in terms of criticism...
Author's Response: Yes, I wanted to tie in the two fics as much as possible-- yet Sara was my own creation. I'm glad that you put the two together. Thanks for the review!
This is quite different to other Merope and Tom fics I've read. You've shown their perspectives well at the same time, without suceeding in muddling my mind! (Which is something I'm actually quite good at doing...)
I really liked this line which introduced us to the situation at the beginning:" For him, it was just an chance to get out of the house; little did he know that his daily ritual had become the only thing to live for another."
I especially liked how you showed Tom as a sort of impatient, sarcastic person, then showing the abrupt change when he was under the influence of the love potion.
Merope on the other hand, fitted the shy-and-innocent-yet-manipulative image well. Her thoughts were well written to show the desperate side of her.
Overall, an intriguing start!
Author's Response: Thanks for your kind words; I tried to make Tom as teen-angstish as possible without making him sound more like young Voldemort. Sarcasm just seemed the best way to go. Thanks again!
In this chapter, I especially like how you showed us the difference between Tom when he drinks the Amortentia and normal Tom. It really puts their seemingly loving relationship into perspective.
I think it was interesting how you included the guilt part in this chapter. I can see maybe the beginnings of Merope finally deciding to give up on using the potion in this chapter. She also seems to be more aware of all her guilt and how simple things as the beautiful mountain sight can bring that nasty monster back to her stomach.
Also, what I thought was important to mention was in from one of the last sentences. “She noted how much of his juice Tom had to drink before turning into his usual self.” I think it’s intriguing how she refers to the potion induced Tom as his ‘usual self.’ I think it shows the small side of her that is convinced that her husband truly does love her, even if she didn’t continue using the potion.
Author's Response: Yes, I wanted in that last line to show that Merope thinks of Tom's 'usual self' as the one that she loves and that loves her. But, I wanted to give more of an impressed that she was obsessed with his new self and had forgotten that he had a mind of his own then anything else. Thanks for the review!
The flow on this chapter (well...prologue) was wonderful. You made the transition between when Tom consumed the love potion to their marriage very smooth.
I’d have to say my favorite line was after Tom had drank the love potion and Merope was telling him about the ‘condition.’ “Oh no, she has a condition, Tom thought frantically. That beautiful girl has a condition. A condition, a condition. What a beautiful girl. WHAT!? A CONDITION!?” It really adds a bit of comedy to the chapter. I think you captured the ‘head over heals’ factor perfectly.
The only brit-pick I really picked up was when Merope was assuring him that it was all right to come inside. "There is no need to fear the rumors that I know are flying around Little Hangleton.” Rumors should be rumours.
Overall, I thought it was a very interesting (and addicting) start to the fanfic.
Author's Response: Yes, I'm no Brit, I guess. Haha. And, it seems everyone has picked out their own favourite line from this. I love the subtle humour here, and I'm glad you did, too. I can tell you, this is the last of it because it gets pretty angst after this.
What a suprising chapter!
I hadn't thought that Tom would recover so fast...you really caught me off guard there, which is always a treat. I love getting surprised. =)
Oooh, poor Merope. She was so blind to all the facts leading up to this..Tom not being his usual self etc. She just kept fooling herself, telling herself that it would be all right. You've drawn that amazingly!
The coldness of Tom was only expected, but you really gave it a touch of your own. His feelings are rather understanding, but I can't help but feel for Merope and the unborn baby. I knew this was going to happen, of course, but you've made it seem so big, so great!
You have a wonderful talent with emotion; keep up the good work!
He simply walked out the door, stalked down the stairs, and left. He had no plans of ever coming back.
How cruel! It's a perfect ending to a chapter of this mood. I was left stunned.
Author's Response: Thanks. That was the feeling I was trying to give the reader. I wanted you to hate Tom for everything he did, and feel bad for Merope-- even though we all know that Merope is really the 'bad guy' here. Once again, I'm glad you liked it.
Merope is doing exactly what I thought she would do -- ease up on the Amortentia. I feel sorry for Merope. Here she is, loving Tom and having to result to using a love potion to get him to 'love' her back. She is foolish to assume that Tom is in love with her, but it is what anyone else would do. I like those little "hints" that you put throughout the fic:
After she had said this, Merope’s heart lightened. Maybe this was true.
I admit I was a bit confused as to why she was feeling so sick, but the end explains everything. I'm very glad that I chose to read this story, as it is of great quality.
I would still like to see Tom's side of this, though.
Author's Response: As I said, Toms POV is coming later, but this fic is supposed to be focused on Merope. And, I tried not to pull the whole "I'm pregnant" thing up too fast, so that's why I added all the sickness stuff in. I'm glad it all explained itself in the end, though.