Normally I probably wouldn’t read a Susan Bones fic, but I knew that you write characters like Susan Bones better than…well, better than mostly everybody.
You’re just really, really good at creating stories for minor characters like Susan whom we don’t know a whole lot about. You introduce new characters like Sally-Anne Perks, but you do it without overwhelming us with things and people we’re unfamiliar with. I think what happens a lot when authors try to expand on minor characters, they do so by creating completely new characters and situations and places and everything, so it becomes completely unlike the Harry Potter world that we’ve come to know. But, you give us a minor character, Susan Bones, and you just give us a couple new things (Sally-Anne, for instance). The situation isn’t totally new, and there are still characters with whom we’re familiar, at least to a certain extent.
I love the way you portray the Hufflepuffs in this fic. Obviously I wasn’t expecting a negative portrayal from you, but it’s just so nice to see them here. It’s clear what’s important to them. They form a study group for each other and tutor each other and are just…friends. They’re friends. I also think it’s pretty awesome that Sally-Anne abandons the study group when it was her idea in the first place. That just seems like something a Hufflepuff would do. We’ll form the group, but it might not last all year.
Back to the characterization of Susan. You put Susan in a situation that’s really easy for us, the reader, to identify with. We’ve all been there, trying to not fail our classes and experiencing that terrible feeling of taking a really important test. It’s easy for us to care about Susan, because Susan is us. Susan is a real person. And then – she doesn’t get the grade she needs in Potions. She isn’t perfect; she tries as hard as she can, but she doesn’t completely succeed. But she doesn’t give up, and that’s what’s so great. I admire Susan, actually. You’re almost teaching us a lesson, you tricky person.
Yes, so, lovely job with this short little fic. You pretty much win at writing Hufflepuffs especially.
Author's Response: Well, Leanne, as it turns out, Sally-Anne Perks is actually a canon character. But other than that, thank you so much for your review! I really appreciate that you looked up this story and gave such a thorough review! thank you thank you! Love, CA
Hello, Leslie! I enjoyed this. It's fun to see some characters that we don't normally see in canon, and which you characterize very well. I like the idea of this story, though I felt like the writing itself was rushed and not detailed enough, so that it wasn't always believable as far as the way characters behaved and such.
Quite an interesting ending. Rather hopeless, but it's nice to see something that is sort of grounded in reality. Often one has to compromise in real life, and this shows that well.
Author's Response: Ren! I didn't remember you reviewed this one! Thanks for your review; I appreciate it. Have a nice day! *D*
Woo, may as well start in on the people I have never reviewed before. I suppose I will get right to it.
“Don’t you try and tell me it’s nothing.” Sally-Anne Perks said, sitting down next to Susan and enveloping her in a hug. There needs to be a comma after ‘nothing’.
“So, how about we respect his wishes and stop this teariness.” While this could work as a statement, it’s written like a question, and that’s how I read it in my head. It works either way, but I would prefer it to read as a question.
“Susan tried not to blush as Justin Finch-Fletchley came over to join them. She hoped it wasn’t too obvious she’d been crying, but there was small chance of that. In fact, she caught him looking sharply at her before turning to Sally-Anne with a smile.” I really loved the subtle interaction in this paragraph. It conveys a lot of information in such a short paragraph.
As a whole, I thought it was an excellent character analysis, and you really put your own spin on her. I would have liked to have seen more references to her past and other memories, but it’s a one-shots and those have some limitations. The macaroons and the Charms scores were such tiny tidbits of her life, but were poignant. I also particularly loved the conversation Susan had with her mother regarding her scores. It was wonderful.
Author's Response: Thanks, Lex. I appreciate your feedback. :)
Oh my gosh! Poor Susan her life is so hard! First her tutor Cedric then her aunt! Then her dream being torn away. She's so emotional when you write her, I love it. She has nice friends though, and her parents seem nice. But, that's so sad! She worked so hard!
Author's Response: She did work hard. But she could never have been in N.E.W.T. potions because it wouldn't be canon. Thank you for your review! *D*
That's so sad! Really good, though.
Author's Response: Thanks. Yeah, it's sad. I'm glad you liked it! *D*
I just read Kasey’s post about her review making someone’s day, thought how true that is, felt the sudden urge to make someone happy, and lo and behold, there was a link in your LJ post! :D
Grammatically, I can’t find anything to nitpick. Bravo!
First of all, I was caught off guard and very intrigued by the way you linked Susan to Cedric. It’s very cute. This whole first scene is excellent. It’s very in-character, and the reaction and mood feels very much like a comfortable common room. Oh, and Susan’s worry that Justin knows she’s been crying is perfect. Even though her distress and grief are perfectly normal and acceptable, it’s such a human thing to want to hide it.
So is Susan’s exam stress: She could feel everything Ernie had hammered into head all year slipping right out of the back of her head. It’s so easy to get so distraught over exams –suddenly, everything you ever knew is gone out the window and you are convinced you’ve failed everything (I’ve got a bit of Hermione complex here, I think!) – and you portray that touch of panic, the nasty feeling of incompetency quite well..
“What I want,” Susan murmured into her pillow, “is for Aunt Amelia to come and tell me it will be all right, like when she comforted me about the dance solo all those years ago.
Oh, man. I forgot about Amelia. And I was really hoping Susan’d get the score she needed, but she wasn’t even that close.
It was time for her to make some new goals.
Interesting. Not as happy and resolved as some (most?) of your other work, but I like it. I’ve sort of been here recently. I’m sort of there now. Overall, an incredibly realistic portrayal of student life, just in another world. Autobiographical much? *huggles*
Author's Response: Not really so autobiographical, actually...but sort of. You know, Katie. :) You are a wonderful reviewer. I'm glad you liked some of the things I did in this piece. It's not a very popular one. Thank you! *D*
that's an awfully depressing ending. I like Susan though. She is just quintessential Hufflepuff, but not in a boring or overdone way. Can't she find out that she can take potions next year after all, bc of Slughorn? It's so frustrating ending it before she finds that out. It was very interesting that she knew Cedric, and I see a Susan/Justin ship here. and poor Aunt Amelia, sniff... this was very well written, good job.
Author's Response: Well, technically she can't take NEWT Potions with an A. Slughorn at least wants an E. So, yes, it's depressing, but I couldn't have her getting into NEWT Potions if she wasn't in it canonically. Besides, she's bright enough she can find something else she likes. I'm glad you liked Susan, and yes, I love Susan/Justin. Glad you caught that.