I was looking for something to review, and I stumbled across this through the SPEW archive. It's a really interesting idea for a story, and well done too! I also liked how you structured it... In a way the story comes back to where it started, which is quite effective, given the nature of the spell.
A few notes:
In the third paragraph: "her hands were clenched in her hair." Something about this description doesn't quite make sense to me... I just can't visualize it. Or it's possible that I'm being stupid and that my brain is being affected by summer heat, in which case ignore this comment. But take a look at it and maybe think about revising it... is she maybe clenching her fists around her hair? I'm not sure.
As a more general note on that section, it seems to go a bit fast. Usually when a loved-one dies, especially unexpectedly, disbelief and then anger (strange as that may sound, yes, anger) come before grief. Maybe it's that this is at the very beginning of the story and that we're starting after that, but I'd like to see it. You show the transition into grief quite well, but I want to see the steps that take her there.
In general I want to see you expand. It's both a good story and an interesting story, but it would be stronger if you elaborated more/delved deeper. I know that's a lot of work, and I understand if you don't want to do it at this point––sometimes it feels like once it's posted it's posted, and major changes aren't worth it––but I think that by expanding a couple of things you could make this into an even stronger one-shot.
I'd like to see you expand on the other characters' reactions especially. You do a good job with Molly's reactions and emotions and explain Ginny's quite well, but what of the others? Hermione just sort of appears halfway through. How did she get there? Does she know about Arthur and Charlie dying? If so, how is she coping? If not, how does she react to the news? Why does Hermione arrive when she does and not earlier or not at all? How does Ron feel about his father and brother dying? Harry? The story doesn't necessarily need all of that, but some of it would be nice. Having more interaction/reaction to reactions gives the story more dimensions and makes it feel more real. If you enrich it in only one way, I want to see more of what is going through Lupin's mind. Is he uncertain as he casts the spell? Why does he offer it? Does he feel nervous when the spell goes badly? Guilty? You tell us some of how he feels, but I want to see more, especially descriptions of his facial expressions.
Okay... now that I've bombarded you with questions to answer and ideas for places to expand (that's all they are. Ideas.)... I really do like this. The idea for that kind of spell is something I've seen variations on before, but only in the context of longer stories. Using it as the basis for a one-shot and not as a plot device in a longer story is really interesting. I also really like the way the spell works out. It really reveals a lot about Molly, and it's well done. I like the idea that the motherly housewife is such an essential part of her that it's the one thing she doesn't loose. It's a very keen observation on her character, not to mention very original.
Anyway, a lovely read. :: hugs ::
Author's Response: Wow, everyone wants me to expand this story. I know that it left some gaping holes - I wrote it in like half an hour, which is the main reason why it's not very . . . thorough. I like your ideas, though, and if I ever get around to making this longer/better, I will check back to this review.
...Can't remember why Hermione showed up. I think what it was is she was talking in a portion of the story and I realized that she wasn't exactly there before, so I had to stick in an entrance.
I'm glad you liked a few of my characterizations, though. I tried just a little on that. Good that you enjoyed it. (When you asked if you could review, I was like, "I don't have any General one-shots, what did she find?" but now I get it.) *hug* thank you and have a nice day! *D*