Chapter 1, The storm before the calm
Once again, you have truly mastered the art of writing a minor character and I am seriously impressed! In fact, I almost wished I hadn’t forced myself to stop at the end of the first chapter to review this one before moving on.
This was a really interesting story and the plot, unusually for an arranged marriage fic, was believable and interesting. As Remus said, “Mad-Eye…” - “Is honorable to a fault. and if he believed the only way to protect his Muggle neighbour, who he has obviously developed some sort of friendship (or other feelings?) with, was to marry her, then I believe he would do it in an instant.
You presented Moody’s character perfectly – when I read one of your stories I end up copying and pasting so many lines that I like to mention in a review that I inevitably cannot give them all. All his actions and dialogue fitted perfectly to the situation. This moment particularly stood out to me: My actual wand is not Veela hair!” He said this with some emphasis, as if it were quite important that she understand and believe this point. It was one of those parts that made me smile as it was so in keeping with his character. I certainly can’t imagine him having a Veela wand and I can see why he would be so eager for her to know that he didn’t have such a wand regularly, even though she wouldn’t have a clue what it meant at the time anyway. He would hate for anything to ruin his image as a toughened, old Auror!
Lizzie was also a good character and a nicely developed OC. I liked her initial reaction to discovering the existence of wizards: She spoke the first words which came into her mind, “where is your pointy hat?” It was very fitting for her to think of the silliest questions first and quite a natural-seeming reaction. However, I did feel she then seemed to adjust to the idea the wizarding world quite quickly and am not sure whether she would have been quite so accepting so quickly. Every other aspect of her characterisation was very good though, and the paragraph beginning The house was in chaos. was a particularly real moment and reminded me in some ways of my mother, constantly worrying about the house and what people think of it when they visit!
The interaction between Mad-Eye and Lizzie was effective as he showed a constant awareness of the fact that she was a Muggle and tried to explain everything to her carefully, showing his Auror experience. Here, for example, I have to move around among – non-magic folk too much. I liked the slight hesitation before the words non-magic, showing how he thinks of her before he speaks and wants her to understand exactly what he is trying to say.
Another excellent example of Moody making a Muggle/magical comparison was this one: No, it’s like – having perfect pitch. Magic is something some people have, and others don’t. It’s a really good choice of analogy as it’s true that perfect pitch is something that some people seem to have randomly (not me unfortunately!) almost like magic, which while it does pass through generations, can also pop up randomly in Muggles. It was also a great way of explaining it to Lizzie in a way she’d understand.
I did quite like the way that when the couple were conversing, you occasionally trailed the conversation off, as if they each almost instinctively knew what the other was trying to say, particularly when Moody was explaining about the wizarding world. However there were one or two moments when I felt that the characters understood what was going on more than I did and I got a little confused about what it was he had been about to say!
Another thing I loved about this was that even when characters are only given passing mentions they remain perfectly in character and well thought out. I thought Hermione’s inner Mrs Weasley coming out was great and really liked McGonagall coming in with her powerful magic to get all the final preparations sorted for them. And Remus blushing, followed by Hermione’s quip about him becoming a lobster were also very well done. The wedding planning section was one of my favourite in the story as it seemed to flow so well.
One of my biggest pet-peeves when reading, for some reason I’ve never been able to explain, is the use of more than one punctuation mark in a sentence, such as here: “Miss Stewart!!!” he was screaming when she opened the door. I always feel that just the one exclamation mark would make the point just as well and would offer that suggestion here. My other thought about this sentence is that it is hard to imagine Moody screaming. Shouting, yelling, etc maybe, but with his gruff voice I just couldn’t hear him screaming.
Another thing I noticed, is that you occasionally used capitals to place emphasis on certain words. I believe this is technically allowed but, as I am feeling particularly nit-picky, I wanted to just comment on it. I often find when words are capitalised they jump out at me immediately and interrupt the flow of the story when reading. Here, for example, “but not QUITE as scary as the way you reacted to me in the park.”, I felt that the word quite might work better in italics rather than capitalised as that way, the emphasis would still be on the right part of the sentence, but it would be quite so obvious on first glance. Also, here: I’ll apparate with it here, Apparate should be capitalised.
I thought the ending of this chapter was great – I believe there are probably a few people who would be completely shocked to think of Mad-Eye getting married and Mafalda fainting at the end was a nice, slightly humorous touch which made me smile. All the encounters at the Ministry were good and fitted the story. Overall, the build up of the plot throughout, combined with the ending, really made me want to read on to next part. Which is where I shall be heading soon, though it may take me another two weeks to write you another review!
This was really wonderful story!! I would never have thought of Moody getting married, but really like the way you worked it out! Lizzie is a wonderful character. It would be interesting to see how things are a few months or years down the line! ;) Cyns
Author's Response: Thanks for reading and reviewing! I just adore Moody...I think he has been the object of one of htose Daily PRophet smear campaigns, and actually has a lot to him besides his, er, caution.
This started out as an entry for the Marriage Challenge last summer, but it has actually become, in my mind, an exploration of a few important things, including how people are sometimes undervalued or taken for granted, and how a Muggle would actually do living in the Wizarding community while it feels itself under seige...
I am going to go back, edit these two chapters and continue, but first I am going to be posting the story of how, over the course of several years, they became friends to begin with. That one will be called "Muggle Matters."
Thanks again for your review. This is a long one, and I am especially thrilled you found it worth reading so far...
I love the idea of Elizabeth using her spindle in place of a wand, and the socks were great! There now. Dumbledore always liked socks, and here Elizabeth actually knitted some that served a very important purpose.
And it just goes to show--a long friendship of several years makes for a compatible relationship!
I like this story. I'm glad Elizabeth is happy with being married to Mad-Eye. He deserves someone good.
I love this story!!! Please update!!!
Chapter 1, The storm before the calm
Wow, this had a very different insight. I really like Moody - you wrote him perfectly. Great work!
Author's Response: I'm so glad you like my Moody! I see him very differntly than in the movie - more like what you hear on t e books on tape. I adore him myself - a bit of paranoia is a healthy thing... thank you for reviewing, too. It's always terrific to know someone besides my mother has read something....