Excellent! Just seen this recommended in SBBC so clicked the link. WOW! I loved it. Your incorporation of religion and the chess game was amazing. The revelation at the end is fantastic. Cho gets such a bad press!
Author's Response: I know that I'm responding about a year later, but I really am appreciative of your review! :D Thanks!
Amazing, I never saw that coming!
I liked your portrayl of Cho. No one ever seems to write stories with her in it, so it was interesting to read one with her in it.
The writing style was beautiful and poetic. Absolutely amazing. You were very minimalistic (I know that isn't quite the right word) and used very few words to large effect. The clever flash backs and symbolism really made this story stand out.
Cho was very well-done. There were bits of her which showed the girl we all know, but she seemed much older and colder than before. In short, she'd suffered and grown up.
Highly original and imaginative. And very atmospheric. I was enthralled!
Author's Response: thank you! :D
This story is beautifully written. Your description of the abbey and the grounds surrounding it transported me to the same spot. I love stories that paint a picture of a world that you can easily see for yourself. Using only the word she made me hurry through the story to see who “she” was, I knew for sure it would be Narcissa. Using the abbey as a place to hide from Lucius, the devil, was wonderful. It has long been believed that evil cannot step on hallowed grounds and the way you portrayed Lucius in this story makes it easy to see him as the devil. I like how you had him step into Voldemort’s place and continue the terror that was going on. In my opinion, people who are truly evil only do things for their own benefit. Saying that he sacrificed people he loves and his twisted belief that they died as martyrs for him shows just how far he has sunk into the darkness. I must say though, I find it hard to believe that Cho could use the killing curse, as Bella told Harry, in order to do a dark spell you must really feel the hate behind it and I can’t imagine Cho reveling in that much hate. It does make sense though in your story since they have been fighting so hard for so long.
Author's Response: thanks so much for the fantastic review! :)
Beautiful story, I loved it!
I am a big fan of symbolism so I loved the chess symbolsim. Very well written.
I was suprised that it was Cho in the end, but it wasn't something that ruined the story for me.
I really liked the way you portrayed the battle and gruesome concequences of war. Basically, I loved it. Wonderful job.
Author's Response: Oh, thank you so much :D
You are da man!
This was terrific! I loved how you incorporated the theme of christianity into the story.
Cho...hmm...I certainley wouldn't have guessed it. I would never have imagined Cho as a survivor...she's always seemed a bit cowardly to me, and her cold exterior seemed OOC. But I suppose after the war - after seeing so many deaths - one becomes numb.
Beautiful, truly. I've got to find a word other than beautiful to use...I'm attached to church, and that, for me, was what made this story gold. That comparisons, the Lucius/Devil thing, the way Cho is portrayed as some kind of angel...wow. Amazing.
Author's Response: Thank you! :D
Patrick, you know how much I heart you right? But so much evil villainy! Why all this negative energy? Breathe in, breathe out.
Now, I enjoyed your fic and in case you have never heard me rant and rave about it in a spew chat before you hear me now. You know as well as I do that this is excellennt stuff but nooooooo, you couldn't review yourself.
But I do what I have to for 'Heroes'.
My first reaction to this fic- Oh my pwned gosh!
I love the parallels to chess and the interludes in between like this paragraph-
“You think of it as a game --”
She knows her enemy
“You left Hogwarts in a thousand ashes --”
She keeps her friends close
“Did you not realize you would leave a trail for which I could follow?”
But she keeps her enemy closer.
That rocks so much!
I loved the way you wrote Cho. She isn't very popular in the fanfic world but you have captured her. I never thought that she would play such a crucial role in the war. but once again, you have done it!This fic had a lovely style as well, a certain Patrick-ness which I really liked.
Despite all your dangling-a-carrot-in-front-of-my-face'ness,you are a lovely author. Keep it up!
Now that I buttered you, will you tell me?
Author's Response: I already told you, so, uhm, thanks for the review!
You have crafted a story that is, at once, both poignant and intense; this is a really well-crafted bit of writing, TVA, nicely done !
Author's Response: Thanks for the review! I appreciate it. :)
So it was Lucius and Cho? This was a wonderful fic! I love your writing style! Almost like a poem, yet so different...10/10, wonderful job!~
Author's Response: Yes, it was. :) And thanks for the compliment on my writing style, it means a ton. Thank you!
what. the. crap. that was so confusing. Cho Chang? when did she come into play? and why would Ron be stupid enough to run forward like that?
Author's Response: Well, you can't please everybody, and I guess I couldn't please you. So, you ROXMISOX LYKE WHOA for the concrit. WIthout the constructiveness, naturally.
I'm going to begin with the fact that I've never liked the term, "Ding Dong" to describe a bell's tolling. Ding just...isn't dark-toned enough. /random OCD rant
Heheh. Despite that Ding of the DingDonging -is laughing hysterically at this phrase-, I really liked this piece, of course.
Let me make a few observations/compliments that I don't think others have noticed.
First the rhythm/pacing of this story is interesting. It rushes forth in passages of description and memories...and then nearly halts for one or two lines. "She still bites her lip," or "I gave you a chance to repent." That increases the power of the "paused" lines.
I'm a bit shocked that this is Cho. I've never really liked or admired Cho, and to me, I can't see her in this. >.< But that's probably my own personal bias. I DID, on the other hand, enjoy the way you describe her. The lack of feeling - the coldness - that's in utter contrast to canon!her. To me, that's a combinatory result of a) her growing up and b) all the grief she's faced on top of the death of her first love that's just...numbed her.
It'd be interesting to see - I actually wonder - if she blames Lucius on some level for the death of Cedric, and not just Harry.
The thing that just is beautiful about this is the religious aspect. I almost see Cho as a Destroyer/Angel coming to Redeem Lucius by...well, killing him. I'm not a Christian, so that is probably totally not alligned with the faith's ideas, but that's what I saw in my head. A dark angel.
*shudders* It was so cold, so dark, such mechanical redemption. And the final two lines...just stopped time.
Beautiful work, dear Patrick. This rambling review does it no justice. ^^ But you asked for it, so there! :P
Author's Response: Aw, thanks so much Kumy! *hug* I really appreciate it. :)
Oh my God, Patrick! This story is so utterly amazing, you are so freaking amazing. Wow! It was worth the wait, it was a very very too long wait, but it was worth it. I don't know how i would have went on living if you hadn't written this story...seriously...it is so good. Your writing is so smart and deep, I read it again and find something I didn't see the first time. That is real talent you have Patrick, I can't get over how amazing you are and how in touch with Cho you are. You write her like no one else does, to you she is a real person and not some silly wind up doll. It's incredible. All her lines were filled with emotion and heart. These two were my favorite though:
“We both lost, Lucius. Let us end it here.”
"Lucius, I gave you a chance to repent."
She is so cold, an ice queen made by the war.Lucius didn't even have a chance to see what she was doing...and it was over. She was brilliant, exactly how any of us would be if we lost everything.
I like reading your stuff Patrick, it makes me feel smart and i Feel more in touch with characters that you right. I love Cho, now that I've read this and Burn Away the Memories. There is something magical about your stories. I can't really put it in words except that you are incredible. You have a gift, and I can't wait to see/hear about your original fiction, it's going to be mind-blowing, I just know it.
Author's Response: *hugs* Thank you SO much Ashley. I heart you forever, and I glad you liked it :D
Wow. Beautiful story. I love the eleagance of it, and the flashbacks work really well. Although I dislike CHo Chang in canon, here you make her really great, and sincere. Wow.
Author's Response: Aw, thanks for the compliments. :)
When the church bells ring..... It's interesting that you make your title apparent with the first sentence. It's as though you're being honest with your reader, admitting "This is my purpose, and I'm showing it to you plainly, right from the beginning." I like the frankness of it.
He does not dare linger, for his judgment has come. And then you puzzle us with mystery. It's intriguing, really. The questions that arise from what would be such a simple, clear sentence are, well, numerous. And unexplainable.
She has decided she won’t feel any longer. I hopelessly fangirl this line. It's beautifully real on so many levels. We don't even know who she is, but we know what she feels - or doesn't feel. She doesn't want to let the world in any longer; she wants to forget it, and you've shown this in her resolution.
The Devil has no power there. This sentence feels like a combination of the continuing indicative and the past. It would make more sense, I think, if it was either all past (The Devil had no power there) or all present (The Devil has no power here).
He has lost his pride, dignity, and stature. His arrogance, she notes, has not quite left him yet. Your PoV here simply flows between the two of them like a tide or something else smooth and seamless. It's fascinating that they're thinking the same things about him, listing the things he's lost.
“Did you not realize you would leave a trail for which I could follow?” I love this part, the exchange between thought and spoken word, reflecting the confusion and darkness in their hearts. The word 'for' is confusing here. The speaker is talking about following the other character, right? So maybe it would be better if you used 'with which I could follow you' to make it more clear.
His eyes lit and his teeth bared. Siobhan. The only one who ever made him truly feel. It's.. just.. perfect.
The alternating memories and present conversation serve to increase the sensation of sadness, loss and confusion your characters are feeling. It's heartbreaking.
The three turned in circles for several minutes, turning in circles to avoid curses cast. I wasn't sure if you meant to say 'turning in circles' twice here. It's effective because it's a repetetive motion, though.
You even killed someone you cared about in the process…” When someone trails off at the end of a sentence, the ellipsis has four dots.
We both lost, Lucius. She finally tells him what they both feel. She reminds him what really happened to them as a result of Lucius's decisions. She finally tells him what the truth is.
A smirk plays on his lips, but his eyes betray. The Devil always makes himself known, and he always runs. Fear shows in the inner most depths of his irises. Your relation between Lucius and the Devil is enticingly continued throughout the story, and the reader is left wishing there was no evil and at the same time understanding its imminence. 'Innermost' is one word.
Patrick, your story left me absolutely breathless. Reading it, it's as though nothing is really apparent but also like that doesn't really matter. The emotions your characters are feeling and remember having felt shine through the convoluted style with which you write their memories. I... don't know what to say. You're amazing.
And I've found a song for your story. It's "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol. It was on while I was reading/reviewing, and it, combined with your story, is positively lovely. Of course, we could always just go all Patricky and make it "Too Little, Too Late." Which works, too. *bows to King of Dark/Angst* Your writing is truly breathtaking.
Author's Response: *bows to Delaney* Thank you for the FABULOUS review, dear! :D
ZOMG Pat! I have been waiting for this since I first spotted that banner and let me tell you, you certainly didn't disappoint!
Author's Response: EEEEEEEEEE! :D I'm so glad you liked it! *floats away on cloud nine*
This is like Return of the King. You spend forever waiting for it, and you want it so, so, bad, and – if you’re sensible – you try your best not to set your expectations so high that nothing could ever meet them, and then… it arrives. And it’s so good, it’s unreal, and you’re so glad you secretly set your standards above and beyond. *LOVE*.
Lucius. It seems evil of me to say this, but I’m so proud of him. Under that deluded half-blood’s thumb all those years, putting up with his self-serving, hypocritical agenda – but Voldemort has been destroyed, and Lucius carries on, he even kills Harry. Granted, he’s insane; that’s not the point. I like the way you did the back story – not the battles, but how you explained to the reader what was going on through their dialogue. And not in a “please hold while we transport you to the Department of Back Story” sort of way. It was very natural, the dialogue flowed so believably; you didn’t do it at the beginning of the story, and finding out what had happened to the world, and what Lucius had done is part of the allure that brings the reader further into the story.
“The last of the Muggleborns are safe, and the Devil cannot harm them here. I became their protector when you killed the last connection I had to sanity. We have both lost in your conquest of power. You even killed someone you cared about in the process…” she stops for a brief pause, as if thinking. “How a person with so much sin and ice in their heart is capable of love is uncomprehensible.” She locks gazes with him. “We both lost, Lucius. Let us end it here.”
I want to completely analyse the above paragraph, because it captures my attention as a defining speech in the fic, that touches on so much of what the fic is about . Firstly, there is the preceding exchange that establishes the abbey as a ‘house of God’, and Lucius as ‘the Devil’s protégé’. [*DEATH* by the way]. And then Cho overrules him – she wasn’t trying to encourage morality in him, she was telling him that he has no power. If you have learned anything about me through my writing, dear, it’s that I LIVE for verbal battles. Next, I like the mention of Lucius “killing” Cho’s last “connection to sanity”. I wonder if this is meant to be interpreted literally – that perhaps Harry was the last thing keeping her sane. But, aside from that, I like the desperation it shows. You’ve justified the act of Murder at Cho’s hand. She has one reason left to live, and she is fully capable of killing Lucius. [Though, if it were me, I would definitely dominate him and take him home and turn him into my sex-slave instead, but I suppose one girl’s man-whore is another’s enemy.]
Moving on, the mention that they both lost in ‘his’ conquest speaks volumes. I’m having difficulty putting what I’m thinking down in words, but it’s the true definition of darkness. Evil affects others, and that what makes it despicable, but it also involves self-sacrifice, and that’s a sign of the toll it takes on anyone who plays with the Devil. Voldemort shattered his soul in an attempt to gain immortality; Lucius sacrificed someone he loved for power. [By the way, I think you have my heart forever for using Siobhan to be this variable for Lucius]. Now, I did say I wanted to completely analyse the paragraph, so yes, I still have more to say. I love that Cho stops to muse about the cryptic nature of how Lucius can do horrible things but still feel love. It’s exactly what all the ‘heroes’ think, even though I’ve always thought the real question was ‘how can someone who loves do horrible things.’ And, it also fortifies the little Siobhan/Lucius undercurrent, for readers who have no idea what the name “Siobhan Murphy” could possibly mean to Lucius, and that her death is something truly awful in this turn of events.
To fit in a little crit – while I LOVE the use of the word “sin”, which I’ll go into in a second, I don’t know if “ice” is really the right second word there. Somehow it just doesn’t balance right. While Lucius can be icy, you’ve written someone here who is passionate about something – even if that ‘something’ is genocide. Ice just isn’t powerful enough, and it’s too tangible. Ice isn’t an idea. Something like “sin and hatred” might work better. And as to why I love ‘sin’, no it’s not just because I’m generally obsessed with that word and that it’s self-serving. But, “sin” is perfect, because, it’s ironic. Even Lucius’ love for Siobhan is sinful. It’s kind of a philosophical thing, that not all “sin” equals “evil”, and it just fits in perfectly with the religious undercurrent you have here, and sort of throws all these ideas into the air and up for debate by anyone who cares enough to analyse it to bits and pieces ;) I should also note that ‘uncomprehensible’ should be ‘incomprehensible’.
Ron stood next to Harry, determined to stay by his side to the very end. I just need to say THANK YOU. That is very Ron. No, he wasn’t hiding under something; he was doing what he needed to do in the end, and standing by his best friend in the process. Courageous and Loyal :)
He leans closer, and beckons. A smirk plays on his lips, but his eyes betray. The Devil always makes himself known, and he always runs. Fear shows in the inner most depths of his irises. She stands strong, for she has one to guide her, to make her bold in the light of fire. Soooo Lucius, it’s unbelievable. Lucius cannot lie with his eyes. It’s a weakness in him often overlooked by shallow interpretations of his character. I also love the continued comparisons to the Devil.
As for the end. I love the Chess. It’s an echo of canon itself, but it does many things. Yes, Cho was a pawn, but you did something I didn’t expect, and you had her become a Queen. And she did cross the board. It’s fantastic, and I just love how it strengthens the entire fic. Furthermore, Cho’s ability to out manoeuvre Lucius in the battle of wits, in the knowledge of the game, and in the overall war really lets the Ravenclaw in her shine through.
And of course, the ringing of the bells at the end. LOVE. It’s the perfect ending.
Author's Response: O.O *joygasm* OMG seriously, how do you respond to a review like this? THERE IS NO WAY OMG *hug*
Pat, you're amazing! You really have written a peice that has made me gasp. I applaud your amazing imagery and the parallels with the chess game.
Let's go through a few points...
She sits calmly, emotionless, nothing but the monotone of her voice ringing in his ears to let him know that she is still alive. She has cried for too many and for too long. She has decided she won’t feel any longer.
A-MAZ-ING imagery here! The lack of emotion is particularily poinient. It speak a lot about her motivation, very important for the rest of the fic.
He leans back, the chair creaking as if a thousand troubles had found themselves being supported by the intricately designed back. She notes, again, that this is not just her imagination. I said it before and I'll say it again, this is awesome. I love the idea of a chair holding up so many troubles, and Cho realizing it's not an image. Excellent!
She was in a ditch, somewhere over to the left of one particularly menacing Death Eater.
She slumped in a ditch and was feigning death. She watched the cloaked man out of the corner of her eye. The long, silver-like blonde hair was tumbling down his back.
This is the only part I would have to look over again. You mention her being in a ditch twice. But I love how you have her
feigning death, so she's at the ready.
You sacrificed that one red-headed girl on the battlefield. Siobhan Murphy, I believe her name was.
GASP! Okay, so I REALLY need to read Sins, because obviously, I thought you meant Ginny during my read-through. I'm glad you clarified, because other readers who didn't know who Siobhan was, would assume you were talking about Ginny. And this says a LOT more about what ends Lucius would go to for power if he would sacrifice HER for it. Wow, that adds a whole another layer to the complexity of the story!
How a person with so much sin and ice in their heart is capable of love is uncomprehensible.
Nice! Just amazing!
Voldemort fell, and a smile flickered across Harry’s face before his body raced to its burial ground.
Again, I have chills! I knew this was coming and I still shuddered. Harry falling to his "burial ground" is just so.... so sad!
I'm so happy I got to work on this with you! I'd be happy to help again anytime, because it's so much fun to be in on the great works!
Author's Response: First off: thank you SOOOO *Os continue for eight miles* much for the beta work. It turned this into a very fabulous thing. <3 And yes, read Sins ASAP as Jenna is simply brilliant with everything. And SOOO many thank yous for reviewing :D
woah.........it was cho.........um.........COOL!!!
Author's Response: Thank you! :)
That was deep, cryptic, and amazingly well written. Wwll done.
Author's Response: Thanks!
Wow, that was really interesting. I am not a big fan of one shots but this was really good. I sort of like the idea of Cho avenging Harry and all. Good Job!
Author's Response: Oh, I'm so glad you decided to read it! I'm glad you liked it, and thanks for the review!
*stares at Patrick*
You… You… OMG! Teh brilliance!
*mumbles incomprehensible words of admiration, and beats keys at random, then erases, and repeats*
Where do I begin? Yes, yes, I know exactly where to begin. Do you know what this reminds me of? The style, I mean? There is something decidedly Seren-ish about it. Now, I haven’t read near enough of her work to be allowed to say that, but it was what I felt and thought when I read it. And in case it would be at all unclear – that is some mighty praise. ;)
When the church bells ring, it is a sign that service has started in the abbey nestled in the Scottish Highlands.
I love it from the first line. Yes, perhaps the thought of Scottish Highlands has something to do with my attraction to this line, but I adore your choice of verb - nestled. Really, you could have let this one-shot happen anywhere, but by placing it in the Scottish Highlands you instantly give it a special atmosphere, a special scent to the air my mind pictures. Also, I think the title of the story is very well used there, already in the first proper line.
She taps her fingers on the table as if she is nervous, but she knows she needn’t worry. The Devil has no power there.
Still, she bites her lip.
*ogles at her own mental image* I can see it so well! Oh, you’ve picked the perfect words for triggering the paintbrushes of my mind.
He has lost his pride, dignity, and stature. His arrogance, she notes, has not quite left him yet.
*shakes head* You do NOT need anyone to teach you the ways of Lucius. I know that I have developed a tendency to see him as a good guy; well, not exactly “good”, but at least a lot less icy-hearted than my original canon image was. Here, you manage to bring the complete devil back before my eyes, completely believable. And what is even more amazing, you still allow him to love Siobhan (which, btw, was entirely OMG*DIES*AHH!SONOTEXPECTED!-inducing), still allow him to be human enough to almost pity. Gah. Amazing job.
He leans back, the chair creaking as if a thousand troubles had found themselves being supported by the intricately designed back. She notes, again, that this is not just her imagination.
I did not just quote the very next lines there, did I? If so, it’s your fault, not mine. ;) Anyway, this was just delicious. *nibbles words*
Okay, the whole sequence from “You think of it as a game --” to “And now you expect me to show the mercy that only God can bestow.” - it’s… (Can you tell I’m running out of adjectives and adverbs here?) It’s bone chilling. I read it out loud to myself, and the rhythm of the words is fantastic.
There are so few pureblood families left in the world, and it’s because you cannot contain your bloodlust!
Excellent work with the words “pureblood” and “bloodlust” there!
“How a person with so much sin and ice in their heart is capable of love is uncomprehensible.”
But you, Mr Author, does tell us that he is capable of love. (Or loving?) And then it’s true. I’m back at the subject of Lucius again. I admire Jenna because she has turned him into something more than just a killer or a sexy Slytherin man. And now you do the same thing here, and I’m just in awe. An extra spoonful of Tiramisu to you for including the word “sin”, of course. :)
She stands strong, for she has one to guide her, to make her bold in the light of fire.
This is my very favourite line, especially the last bit of it. It’s so poetic, so full of emotion, determination and faith. “…to make her bold in the light of fire.” – I want to quote it, iconise it, banner it, print t-shirts with it on and wear it always. *loves*
I found a couple of things I’m going to bother you about. :)
- Few wizards even dare test its limits. Only one cloaked wizard does not rush out of the forest…
You’ve done a great job with intentional repetitions in this one-shot, but here it doesn’t seem intentional and then it annoys my over-sensitive brain at once. I think that the second “wizard” could simply be replaced with “man”, or “figure”, because the fact that he’s wearing a cloak instantly tells all HP people that it’s a wizard you mean.
- …somewhere over to the left of one particularly menacing Death Eater.
She slumped in a ditch and was feigning death. She watched one particularly menacing Death Eater…
I’m not sure what your intentions were here, with “one particularly menacing Death Eater”? I love the phrase, but I’m not sure that it works if repeated this way. What do you think?
- “You killed her. You never got her to a Healer, you never saw that she would be okay….”
There’s a small formatting mistake there at the end – it should be three dots instead of four. Also, I’m not entirely comfortable with the word “okay”. It doesn’t sound as “Lucius” as his other words do. Perhaps something like “cared for” or “get help”, or if you didn’t have “Healer” earlier on in the sentence, “healed” would have looked good at the end. Just something to think about. :)
Now I’ve got some more general comments for you, m’dear. To begin with: the chess references. They are so well used, and tie all the moves together in the last part of the story. As you have probably figured out by now, I know shag all about religion (shame on the Viking), and have probably missed a bunch of cleverly inserted references here, but that doesn’t matter. The chess parts are more than enough for any reader.
When I read, I reacted on how Cho uses Lucius’ first name. At first I was going to point this out and ask if it was really appropriate, but then… you know, it didn’t feel wrong. I mentally tried to insert “Mr Malfoy” there, and almost snorted at it. By using “Lucius”, you imply that they know each other – as enemies or as something else (But she keeps her enemy closer.), and my imagination is allowed to run wild. And wild and far it runs. ;)
The ending, of course, is superb. For obvious reasons I knew before I started to read that the woman in question was Cho, but the readers who don’t know this will undoubtedly be surprised at the last line. You really do have a thing for giving credit to the HP women whom some look down on, don’t you? *chuckle*
I know I have quoted a lot of stuff above, but really, this piece is finest in its entirety, without being chopped up and analysed. The overall impression is stunning, and shows both what a great writer you are now, and how much potential you have.
*bows to her first mate, and adds story to favourites*
Author's Response: O.O You. YOU LEFT ME FABULOUS REVIEW OMG I HEARTS IT. It took me a billion tries until I got Lucius' character right, and I looked at Sins as a reference, but OMG thank you for the MASSIVE compliment about likening my style to Seren's. That's like comparing an art student to being the next Leonardo, or a music student to Mozart. OMG ANNA, total love for you and your amazing review. *hug* [I also fixed everything you suggested :)]