Reviewer: AJ Potter
Date: 01/20/07 17:03
Chapter: Underground

beautiful

Author's Response: Thank you, what a wonderfully lovely review.

Reviewer: GringottsVault711
Date: 01/15/07 14:49
Chapter: Underground

*sigh* Ashley, dear, I know right now what my favourite thing is about this story. There is so much pain: darkness, despair, loss of loved ones and loss of self, uncertainty, doubt -- and yet, in the midst of it all, there is hope. [Here is where I muse that you must first have despair in order to find hope].

One line that caught my attention with it's sparkle was this:They had all changed in the course of seven years, but more significantly in the course of seven months. The repetition of "seven" and the contrast between seven years and seven months, it just popped out me as a very simple yet poetic line. And it says a great deal in such a few words. It brings to mind what we know -- the things they have been through over seven years, and what we imagine -- what has happened in the last seven months. And we understand it.

I like here that you have Ron and Hermione escaping the Wizarding World and Harry remaining behind. Everyone always seems to write it the other way around. Usually cliches exist because the reasoning behind them is incredibly strong, but that is not the case. Here, you offer an alternate route for the characters, and I find it makes perfect sense. Hermione's life before entering the magical world, from what we can gather with an almost complete lack of information, was probably rather peaceful. She clearly didn't have a lot of companionship, but her mind would associate the wizarding world with darkness, and pain, and loss, and complexity. Furthermore, it's a logical take on life. Hide away, go where nobody knows you, where drama is unlikely to find you, and you will be in relative peace. So, yes, I did like that.

What did I not like? *shifty eyes* I will be entirely honest. I didn't really enjoy Ron's character. I don't think that he lacks bravery or intelligence. [No, he's not Braveheart or Einstein, but he does possess both qualities, perhaps more of the former than the latter]. I also was a little unsettled that he leaves Hermione for another woman. Well, no, not that, because I think it is often possible to find someone better for you, who you will be more complete with, and that it is unfair to imprison yourself away from it because of a prior commitment and guilty conscience. However, I've always felt Ron had a strong sense of loyalty, and even when he's angry or jealous, is still a friend. And that Harry is the rash one, not Ron. Ron seems rather awkward about stepping out of his routine or making a gutsy move. I just think he'd me more likely to fall in love, but not actually "see" anyone until he's come clean with Hermione about his feelings. I don't know. I did like Hermione's logical and sympathetic reaction to Ron's departure, but I think she would still feel some sort of pain, and her response to the end of their relationship would be more justified if she didn't discover her husband was seeing someone. I think it's the difference between the pain of losing someone you love to another, and the pain of deciet. She might not feel the first, but the second would still have it's affect on her. Ron is, after all, one of her two best friends. [I should throw in here that I also fervently disagree that Hermione loves/ever loved Harry "more" than Ron. Equally, but in different ways. I understand it's a pairing perspective. Clearly, in order for Harry/Hermione to triumph over Ron/Hermione, you would have to write her true feelings leaning towards Harry. I understand that. But, I do think that there are sometimes things that jump out at me in a H/Hr fic; and rather than justifying the romance, it pulls my attention away because I feel the author is favouring their ship over the characters. Which is not really a remark against you as a H/Hr writer. I think you handled Ron and Hermione's relationship with great care, moreso than I usually have seen when Harry/ Hermione are involved. I think what you have here is three very believable characterisations, with just a slight bit of Ron-off-centre that seems to occur in H/Hr romances. It goes for any fic that strays away from a canon pairing -- you have to face characterisation and dynamics head-on in order to get the most believable development. [All that said, this fic would surely be perfection to most Harry/Hermione shippers]

Now that I've gone and given all those conceited opinions. I shall continue with the raving [one feels less guilty about glowing commentary after having given criticism, and vice-versa]. Of course, the writing is lovely. Giving just the right amount of description; conveying just the right emotion. The opening is very graceful. Writing "The war is over and this is what happened" can be an awful task sometimes. I tend to skip past it because I'm not very good at catching the reader up in that sort of exposition. I really liked your approach to it. So much that I didn't noticed that was what I was reading until just a moment ago when I looked at the beginning of the story to decide what I wanted to say about it. Hee.

But I am reminded of that other thing I wanted to say. Yes, the part where we skip several years. We see them at the end of the war, and then life changes, and they go on, and they live, and then there are more changes that bring us to the end of the story with Harry and Hermione. The inbetween part is not a scene, but a tale of what happens between point A and point B. It reminded me of a great many classical novels. The Scarlet Letter, The Great Gatsby, The Picture of Dorian Grey, Theatre, The Awakening -- where there is a skip in time, and then a retelling of what has passed. [For the most part, this is an obvious compliment. However, I should say that I found the "Time Has Passed' portion of the "Dorian Grey", while done mostly well, did grow rather tedious for a few pages; and so I will say that your writing here is much less tedious than Oscar Wilde's there. *wink*].

And beck to characterisation; I enjoyed the soft dynamics amongst the trio. I liked the Harry/Hermione dynamic and the Ron/Hermione dynamic. I liked Ron's desire to make Hermione's life happy. I was sad at the lack of Harry/Ron friendship, not because it's absence was clear in the story, but it's absence is always noticeable to me. Because I heart them. Hee. But yes. I liked what was there, missed what wasn't, but don't feel that the story was any worse for the lack of the connection between Harry and Ron. [It might have made it either a little too happy or a little too tragic, depending on where it was placed. So perhaps, it was better for the lack of it. Alas.]

The ending was divine. My trouble with both ending and starting a story gives me a deeper appreciation for seeing it done so nicely. *sigh* I also loved the line "You will save me after all, Harry Potter", and the kiss on the forehead. Oh, forehead kisses are so divine.

Now I'm rambling backwards and forwards. I also want to mention that I loved the exchange between the two of them at the end. It was ... a concise arguement. Sometimes those things can go on forever, but you found the right words for them, and it was very realistic. Wonderfully written. Gah. Love.

Alright, *applause* to you Ashley. You really are a wonderful writer, and I do enjoy your work. I'm glad you posted this link in LJ, because my usual distracted, lazy self would not otherwise have seen it and rushed to read. *hugs* You should do that all the time. :)

Author's Response: I don’t know if words quite adequately describe how I feel after I get a review from you, Jenna. It’s like I feel absolutely loved but at the same time very focused, driven to make it better and you are very clear as exactly what you think about the story and that is divine. Vague reviews are absolute nonsense. (now that I’m done reviewing your review…*cough* *doesn’t totally miss SPEW*) After you read my last somewhat H/Hr exchange in “More Than a Broken Vow” and you recommended I write this one I was very challenged to first of all fit these lyrics to this pairing and second of all make sure you could believe it. I was writing this story for a lot of people but I wanted it to be most believable for you because all the other people reading it will not need as much convincing. Oh, my dear Ron…we have a love/hate relationship. I do not think he is dumb or not brave, I only say those things in comparison to his two above average friends. I do constantly sympathize with him because in that essence we are very much the same. I have many friends who are simply better than me, not because I suck just because they are that much greater, and that is what I was trying to get at with Ron. On somewhat the same subject, I have a lot of things I couldn’t say about Hr/R when I wrote this because some things cannot be said in a story format so I try to imply them as much as I can and I think some of these ideas got lost in transit. Hermione married Ron because it was easier for her to escape the wizarding world than to keep selling her soul to Harry who would give her nothing in return. She did love Ron very much but she had changed and Ron couldn’t fulfill the part of her that changed in the war. I view Ron very much as an innocent so when Hermione and Harry experience more mature feelings I feel that Ron is a few steps behind (not just in relationships with each other but just emotions in general). Anyway, Ron married Hermione because he though he could make things the same as they were back in school, but their relationship had changed and he didn’t know how to move on to meet Hermione’s brokenness, he needed something simpler. In my defense I say that Ron cheated on Hermione but I never say how because even in my own mind I don’t exactly know how, but I know he couldn’t love Hermione the same after the war and he needed something to ease his own suffering and Hermione couldn’t do that for him. And Harry and Ron had been drifting apart in the last seven months, Harry broke a lot of friendships on the search for the Horcruxes, hence a lot of Hermione’s frustrations and no mention of Harry and Ron as a duo. Lastly, I think it is totally unfair to compare my story to the Scarlet Letter or that I can write less “tediously” than Oscar Wilde. I don’t even know what to say to that, I nearly died reading it. Thank you so much Jenna, I really don’t feel I deserve a review such as this but my heart flutters with excitement every time I see it.

Reviewer: magikdude07
Date: 01/14/07 15:28
Chapter: Underground

Love the story. It's even better the second time I read it. You added some stuff that really made it wonderful. Great Jod!

By the way thanks for mentioning me in your A/N. I'm flattered.
~Michael

Author's Response: Thanks Michael!

Reviewer: saphiregirl
Date: 01/14/07 11:03
Chapter: Underground

Wow. This was just utterly amazing. I love the emotion that was captured with your words, it's incredible. Good writing!

Author's Response: Wow! Thank you so much for the kind review, I really appreciate it! Thanks for reading.

Reviewer: Gryiffnclaw
Date: 01/14/07 9:51
Chapter: Underground

Very nicely done.
I know from first hand experience how trhe horrors of war can change people, and you have captured that very well.
I hope to hear more from you.
Keep up the good work!!
Bob

Author's Response: Thanks again :)

Reviewer: Gryiffnclaw
Date: 01/14/07 9:50
Chapter: Underground

Very nicely done.
I know from first hand experience how trhe horrors of war can change people, and you have captured that very well.
I hope to hear more from you.
Keep up the good work!!
Bob

Author's Response: Thank you very much, I very fortunately have had no experience with war but I can only image how hard it must be so I'm glad I was at least able to do it jussice. Thank you very much for the review, it is a great affirmation to me.

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