Hermione’s reflection on the last battle is one of the most intriguing stories to me in all of fanfiction. She is so intelligent, yet she obviously has feelings for people and logic can’t replace emotion in a war. There are so many things that could happen to her because of the war, that is, if she survives it. I really like stories that explore her state of mind, and this one is no exception.
I had chills as I was reading through her account of the final battle and what happened afterwards. What I liked about this story is that it emphasized hope, for her, if not the rest of the Wizarding World. You read a lot of last battle stories that don’t have any hope left, even if Harry wins. The mood wasn’t somber; it was reflective which was the point of story obviously. The way you split up the lines really emphasized the points so that each one really impacted the reader in an intense way without getting to choppy or annoying to read.
Now for the nitpicking,
I shivered yet again, standing next to the rain-stained glass window, wrapping my knitted, flannel, hot-pink sweater
I could not for the life of me picture what this sweater looked like. Can you knit flannel? And can flannel make a sweater? I can tell you definitely know what this piece of clothing looks like so you’ll have to tell me about it.
I observed the abundant, heavy rain drops
The word “raindrops” is one not two words
, the clouds darted across the sky rapidly, and the various resonances*** of objects hitting each other
The word “resonances” sounds really awkward here, and Word tells me that it isn’t a word. Maybe you could use a synonym like “echoes” or “tones” or “sounds”. It’s nitpicky I know, it sounds a tad awkward though.
Winter had vanished,*** it's*** dreary and drawn out days lost in the melodrama of a new season
Okay, two things with this sentence. First, I think you should have a semi-colon after “vanished” I think separating that from the rest of the sentence really emphasizes its point. It’s a personal call of course and your story but that makes more sense to me. And secondly, “it’s” should just be “its”.
Picking up my mug of scalding hot chocolate gently from the window sill***,
The word “windowsill” is just one word.
I had sobbed uncontrollebly*, hard, so hard I could scarcely breathe afterwards.
I think you mentioned you were from Europe, right? So if this is the British spelling of it, feel free to ignore my correction but otherwise “uncontrollebly” should be “uncontrollably”.
But for every discouragment,* I was strengthened even more.
See above spelling note. “Disocuragment” should be “discouragement”.
But that wasn't it's*** best quality.
“It’s” doesn’t need an apostrophe, it’s is just “its”. (The way I check this is just saying, “it is” in the sentence and if doesn’t make sense then you don’t need an apostrophe. I have a feeling you were just having a bad “its” and “it’s” day though.)
It emitted a warmth,*** a happy feeling. It was so contented, regal, so proud!
You don’t need “a” warmth, it clutters up the sentence. Just say “it emitted a warmth.” You are still getting the point across and the importance of the flower.
Might I add the whole part about the flower in the end was very moving. The way you described the flower was absolutely gorgeous, it was like a flower from heaven.
I do have one question though. What happened to Harry after all of this? You would think as one of her best friends she might have mentioned him even if in passing.
I hate to be so terribly nitpicky, but some of those things distract the reader from the great story! I really enjoyed it a lot it was well thought out and evoked the right emotion. It was very original, and not clichéd, that’s what I like about the stories I’ve read of yours so far. Well done Anna darling!
Author's Response: *Grins* This totally made my day! *huggles lots* I'm sort of ashamed that you chose this story, because it was the second one that I had submitted to MNFF, and my second fanfic overall. And I really wasn't so good back then. >.> But, thanks! I'll take everything into account. *loves*
Hi Anna! *waves* I read this story a few days ago, then I came back and reread it today. It’s such a simple story, but it’s extremely powerful. I love your imagery. The rain, the brutal wind and the barren trees create the atmosphere of your story in just three sentences. This atmosphere is carried through to Hermione’s character, but in her it isn’t caused by the weather but by her memories. This parallel between Hermione’s inner turmoil and the weather outside her window is very well done. It’s not forced and it doesn’t sound clichéd, which is hard to do, because lots of writers use the weather to show their characters emotions.
Then the flower at the end, the one of many that didn’t let themselves be beaten by the rain, is another beautiful parallel to Hermione. As for her, she strikes me at the type who would want to take charge of her life and not wallow in misery, exactly like you portrayed her. I like how she is the only one who wants to move on with her life and rebuild the wizrading world after the war. I see Hermione as someone who needs to have an aim, something she wants to achieve, or else she would be utterly lost.
The only criticism I have, is Ginny’s little speech right before they go into battle. Something about her already knowing that she will die irks me, it sounds like she has already given up, that she has finished with her life even before the battle begins. Instead of her talk as if she knows she’s going to die, I would have her see Hermione look nervous. Then Ginny would want to encourage her friend, tell her that they’re doing the right thing, something like that. Maybe she could say something along the lines of this: “Hermione, no matter what happens out there, this is what we have to do. I can’t promise that no one you love will die, because people will die, but it will all be worth it if we beat Voldemort. By giving our lives today, we are giving those who survive and their children a chance to live their lives in peace. So don’t cry. Everything will be fine.” This is just a suggestion though, the story works as it is now, I just think it would work even better if you changed Ginny’s words to Hermione.
I’ll say again what I said at the beginning of my review, it’s the simplicity that makes this story exceptionell. It’s just Hermione’s thoughts and their parallels displayed in the weather and the flower, but the combination of these have an incredible effect on the reader. The hopelessness in the world, Hermione’s struggle to carry on and then the ray of hope at the end, th flower and her returning strength, they’re all there for the reader to feel. Brilliant!
Author's Response: Wow, I truly didn't expect this, Ilka dear. Thank you so much for the wonderful review! Your comments made me blush. :) Thanks for the suggestion - I'll certainly keep it in mind. *huggles* Really,dear, you shouldn't have bothered. =) But I'm glad you did!
A very depressing story, but at the same time, hopeful. Good job.
Author's Response: Thanks for your comment! ;)
Periwinkle, this was beautifully written. Congratulations for being runner-up for challenge #2. I participated in the gambling, and I actually betted on you to win. When I first came across this story, I didn't really know what to expect. I actually thought that it had something to do with Narcissa... then I realized it was about Hermione. :) I think this was very realistically portrayed, and you have managed to get into Hermione's head quite well. Your usage of long and short sentences was quite effective. Fantastic job! I thoroughly enjoyed this; it was a great read.
Author's Response: Thank you, dear. I'm very glad that you enjoyed this. I saw your post in the Great Hall, and I wanted to thank you, but it was too late since it was locked. Now it's opened again, but consider this your personal thank you.
*sniff* Anna, dear, this story is incredibly beautiful and emotional. The descriptions were so realistic, especially the beginning, with the rain and the bad weather (I never think of that as bad weather though, because I love rain and storm, lol). You did a wonderful job capturing Hermione's feelings.
I had a particular fondness for this line - I always helped them out; I felt it was my duty.. How true! She's always helped them out of spots and lent a shoulder for them to 'cry' on. But has Hermione ever been in a spot herself yet? Hm, I think not. Even with Umbridge in the end of book 5, she intelligently pulled them all out of trouble. What a girl! However, I do have to agree with Karin that the Narcissus in the title sort of put me off and I only knew it wasn't about that Malfoy when I saw Hermione's name in the summary. But that does nothing to stop this from being a great story, though! Fantastic job!
Author's Response: Thank you, dear. Your review means a lot to me. I'm very glad that you enjoyed it. ;) Yes, the Narcissus thing is a bummer. It's too late to change it now, though. But anyway, thank you for the lovely review!
This is definitely a story full of emotion. The sadness and grief are present not only in the words but in the images you lace throughout the story. I really like that you use Hermione as the character for this story because, out of all the main characters, she seems to be the most contemplative and would be more likely to actually reflect on events in the manner you describe than any of the others. You have done a wonderful job capturing her character and projecting it into the future. Because you use Hermione and portray her so well, the emotions running through the story are that much more palpable than if you had chosen a different character.
However, as much as I enjoyed reading this story, it seemed very odd to me that you chose to use a Narcissus as the flower in Hermione's backyard. The reason it seemed so odd for it to be that flower is because of that flower's connection to Narcissa Malfoy. When I was first reading this story, up until the part with the book that gave it away that it was about Hermione, I thought the story was going to be about Narcissa. It might have been a better choice to use a different flower for that reason. Almost any other flower would probably have fit better, and if you wanted to use a flower that has a lot of symbolism in the series, you could have chosen to use a Lily instead of a Narcissus.
The other thing I noticed was what seemed to be an excess of punctuation, especially the comma. All of the punctuation, coupled with your mostly one and two line paragraphs sometimes made the story really choppy. There are a few places where you could probably have done without the commas in order to make it flow more smoothly. An example of that would be this line: I rejected stormy, rainy days, because they reminded me of the emotions I was enveloped by, every day and night. Unless you are trying to set the bolded part of the line off from the rest of the line, you don't really need the commas before and after it. Those commas, in my opinion, only make the sentence choppy and hard to read.
Even with those things I thought were odd about the story, it is an absolutely lovely tale that I'm glad I read. The way you use the weather to mirror Hermione's thoughts is really fantastic. It really highlights her forward movement out of her grief, the gray images of the storm, into hope for the future, the sunny images after the storm. Aside from your choice of flower, I really love the image of the flower standing through the storm only to exude its strength afterwards as the rain rolls off of it. It makes me think that Hermione is like the flower and she is finally emerging from the emotional storm she has endured since the Final Battle. Hopefully, she will be able to let the grief roll off of her as easily as the raindrops rolled off of the flower. The way you ended this story was probably my favorite part of it because it had me smiling along with Hermione as I felt, like her, that "everything would turn out just fine." What an absolutely lovely story.
Author's Response: Thank you, dear. I'm glad you liked it. I don't know why I chose the flower Narcissus. It was the first one that popped into my head, and I didn't stop to think of other reasons of it not being so good. I'll watch my comma use. Thank you for the lovely review...I really appreciate it. ;)
Wow! Tha was beautifully written! I love how you used the short sentences, and then long ones. It gives the story a very nice effect. I also love how you incorporated the narcissus as a symbol. Symbols are something my English teacher loves... and I agree with everybody else: my English teacher would love you! =)
Author's Response: Thank you, Claire. I really appreciate your review - it's made my day! Thanks for taking the time to write me one. ;)
Wow that was touching... Your symbolism was extravagant and your sentence fluency was on the dot. You may not have recognized it but the part about Ginny seemed very like Anne Frank. (Anne was described as knowing what would happen to her before she left the annex) I loved it!
Author's Response: Thanks for the review! I appreciate your kind words. I have read the diary of Anne Frank, but I have never thought of it like that. Interesting. Thanks again. I'm flattered.;)
Wow, I must say I'm really impressed! For 13 years old, you've got a lot of talent! This is really well written and has great imagery. You kept Hermione well in character and very believable throughout the fic. The only thing that I didn't see was Harry; I was looking for his outcome in the battle or how he was coping with the losses of his friend and love. But that's the only thing, I just thought maybe a little mention of him would be nice. Other than that, really excellent job! Your skill surpases your age by far (my brother is 13 and couldn't write like this if he tried). Nothing seemed to be too forced, it all came very naturally. Great Job!
Author's Response: Thank you so much for your review! I'm glad you liked it. The reason I didn't include Harry in it much is because I wanted Hermione to be in the center of the fic. But, thank you. You made my day! :)
That one was better. I really liked it. Such symbolisim....awesome. I have friends and know of so many other people that could never tie symbolisim into a story....and they are 17 and 18 and all that. And your only 13...incredible. My English teacher would LOVE you. Anyways...I see the plot....and it seems well thought out and well researched. Well done! (10)
Author's Response: Thank you so so so much. You can't believe how happy this review has made me. Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it.