I need to figure out what’s up with MNFF’s cookies. I almost left you this review in my sister’s name! I hardly think that would have counted for SPEWly business, do you?
SO, this is the first piece I’ve actually seen on Andromeda & Ted that’s really explored the whole “destined to marry” thing. I like the idea of her going home to this huge stink about having to marry a huge stink ;), so you’ve characterized that little scenario very well.
One thing I did notice though, was lack of description. I mean, is he looking her in the face the entire time? Or is he looking around? I think seeing is a sort of binary motion. Either you’re looking at something, or you’re not. So I would have liked to have seen a little bit of setting, if not a bit of symbolic imagery – they return to the broom cupboard, and yet there’s no… emotion? He doesn’t touch the wood, remembering, he doesn’t think of previous encounters with Andromeda, and for saying she had the most beautiful smile, he doesn’t notice that she has/hasn’t got it on while talking to him.
I did think Ted was a little odd in saying that she could just have an affair with him. I think, if it was truly a reflection of what a NICE guy he was, he would have said it with a measure of desperation. And… Andromeda seemed to change her mind a little too quickly. She went from hating him, to loving him in a paragraph, after Ted said one thing. I suppose you could put a lot of emphasis on that one sentence with some language about how it affected her visually, again enchancing that sense.
I just think you need to work on your sensory characteristics. The sound is there, but I’m lacking in picture. It is a lovely piece of writing, full of emotion that seems just a little blurred, because I can’t see it. Think of when you listen to people speak, or when you’re in that half-asleep stage & you’re not entirely focused. Everything seems a little fuzzy, which is what this seems to me, just because I love the world around the characters. So, your grammar & spelling is fabulous, the dialogue is natural, stilted at times appropriately, but I do think adding in description would definitely make this heart-wrenching in places, and would make most readers sigh with happiness at their kiss at the end. But you know, rotund!Ted & Andromeda end up all cozy in their (swamp?!) & this fits in with them. That makes me really, really happy!
Aw, Ted and Andromeda are adorable. I don’t read enough of them as I really should, so I’m glad I clicked on this. (And, congrats on earning the SPEWly author spotlight this month! Otherwise I might not have found this, which would have been sad.)
I like Ted in this. He’s so sweet and pretty much exactly how I pictured him. Better yet, I think you’ve showed how he’s what Andromeda needed; he was her lifeline when she was making the decision to cut herself off from her family, a decision that you portrayed as very difficult for her. In my head she isn’t as hesitant to abandon her family as you have her here, but it does make sense and you conveyed it believably. And, it made Ted’s character that much more caring and loving.
She had told him to go away in a very nasty way and she had called him a Mudblood. Oh, that makes me sad. I never thought about Andromeda being this mean to Ted at first, but I guess it’s rather likely. One note: I think it might work nicely to have the bit of his memory of their first encounter in italics, just to more clearly distinguish it from the rest of the fic.
I really feel for Ted while he’s waiting all summer for some word from Andromeda; again, you’ve done something here I didn’t have in my head for Andromeda – she was engaged to another man before she married Ted. I guess I just assumed she had run away with him before an engagement was officially set. But I like the idea of her having to really choose him over her family. It adds a more dynamic element to the story.
He knew that Andromeda was close to Bellatrix, and he knew that Bellatrix would do anything to keep her little sister safe. I like that you portrayed the Black sisters as best friends here, rather than Andromeda always being the odd one out or something. The fact that Andromeda has to make the decision to separate herself from her sisters is great for the story, and I think it’s telling of her character as well. She’s an incredibly loving and loyal person.
In addition Slughorn liked her, and that man could get anything he wanted from Dumbledore. Hmm, I didn’t really like this sentence, mainly because I don’t think Dumbledore would have chosen Andromeda as Head Girl just because Slughorn liked her. I’m not sure if that’s what you really meant by this sentence, but to me it came off that way. Even though Slughorn is a very manipulative man, Dumbledore was not easily won over like other people can be. Another bit of criticism: I felt like at times the dialogue in this seemed rather melodramatic, but I think part of the reason was a general lack of description around the dialogue. So, it would say that Ted was screaming, but I didn’t get a sense of raised voices because there was no mention of anything like that before. Does that make sense? I guess what I’m basically saying is I’d like to see some more descriptions in between the dialogue just to give the reader a better idea of what exactly is going on.
Overall, I thought this was a lovely little fic. Good job!
Author's Response: Thank you! Andromeda is one of my favorite characters, and I always love writing her. I'll try to work on dialogue; I always have problems with it. Thanks again. ~ Teresa
I’m on a Ted/Andromeda kick – I don’t know when I started craving them, but it’s been going on for a while now, so I was very glad to stumble across this when looking for something to review.
I like your characterization of Ted. He’s loving (obviously) and persistent (when Andromeda rebuffed his friendship) and forgiving (for being friends with her after such a rebuff). More than that, he’s obviously somewhat insecure about himself, not sure that he’s worthy of going out with Andromeda. Or maybe she had just decided to break things off with him. She might have wanted to be with someone better than him — someone who was a pureblood. Maybe she thought he was stupid for going out with her, for risking his life just to be in her presence. Aw, poor Ted. Insecure, but brave. Also, imaginative – he lists out the things that might be wrong with Andromeda to keep her from writing, the things Bellatrix might do to him – a nice, subtle bit of characterization, showing rather than telling this trait to us. Andromeda blushed. “I love you too, Ted Tonks. You are the most persistent, loving, and caring person I will ever have the privilege to meet.” By the time Andromeda says this at the end, we already know it – it’s not hard to figure out why she loves him. Good job with showing, rather than telling, the characterization.
We see a lot less of Andromeda than we do of Ted, but I like her characterization too. Rather than having her stay with her family because she’s too scared to do anything else, she’s staying because of her sisters – she loves her sisters, and doesn’t want to leave them (as ignoring her family’s marriage plans would certainly cause her to do).
One typo: “Yes!” screamed Andromeda. “I love them. They are best friends. And then there’s Sirius.” I think it should read: “they are my best friends.”
Other than the typo, I don’t have any grammatical nitpicks for you – you and your beta were paying attention! It was a clean, easy read – I didn’t find myself confused by your diction or syntax anywhere in the story. Congrats on that! I do have one general suggestion. You tend to write with the same sentence structure over and over, starting each sentence with the subject followed by a verb. “Ted Tonks was…” “He had not heard…” “He didn’t know…” “He really hoped…” “He loved…” “She mentioned…” “Ted knew…” There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this structure – if you’re going to be using only one, this is a good one to use, because it’s simple and uncomplicated and gets the point across. However, when you use the same sentence structure over and over, it tends to have a lulling effect on the reader. They know what to expect, so they don’t have to pay as close attention to what you’re saying. Sometimes it makes the writing start sounding like a list rather than a narrative. Try switching up your sentences sometimes. For instance, instead of, “He nodded and patted her hand,” write, “Nodding, he patted her hand.” Another thing you can try is varying your sentence lengths – try not to have entire paragraphs made up of sentences of the same structure and same length. Obviously, this isn’t a rule set in stone – there will be times when nothing else works, or you may even want to do it intentionally. In general, though, things will flow better if you’re varying your sentence structure and sentence length.
One of the reasons I like Ted/Andromeda stories so much is because they lend themselves to themes of loyalty and sacrifice. You did a great job bringing out both here. Andromeda has to choose whether to be loyal to her family or loyal to Ted, and also whether she’s going to sacrifice her relationship with her sisters or sacrifice her relationship with Ted (and also her own happiness). Ted’s loyalty to Andromeda is unwavering, but even he has a choice to make – being with Andromeda will require sacrifice on his part, since it will clearly put him into danger. Great job navigating through that – all in all, a very well done story, and a fun read.
Author's Response: Thank you, Nan! I'm glad that you liked Ted's characterization; I'm always worried he's a bit Gary-Stu. I'll definitely try to work on sentence structure. Thanks again! ~ Teresa
love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! more !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Author's Response: Thanks! I want to write some more of the two in the future.
Aw...I really like Ted in this story. He seems really sweet. :) The fight was pretty realistic, and I felt for Andromeda. Poor Sirius - I'm glad Andromeda doesn't go to Ted in order to "protect the heir," as Ted put it. I was just a bit perplexed, though, that Ted would insult her family - it reminded me of a D/G story where the two are family-enemies. Then it made sense - Muggles and Blacks are enemies. *nods* But I think Andromeda wouldn't have taken that insult - she would have walked away. She still does have family pride, I think - the fact that she doesn't run away to Ted shows that her love, at that time, doesn't supercede her family. So...I would tone down the insult of "more bias big heads." Oh and on a side note, that should be "biased bigheads." Hee.
Anyway, great short fic - one of the first Andromeda/Ted fics I've read, and really nice story! :D
Author's Response: Thanks Kumy! I always imagined Ted as sweet. Something to balance out the Black in Andromeda. Tonks had to get it from somewhere. (I always the Black sisters to be a little rude sometimes.)~ Teresa
Aww, and now we know it all turns out fine, they have Tonks and everything is fine... Until the Second War, of course... The world does seem brighter!
Author's Response: Thanks!
That was during his second year. She had hated him and his Muggle heritage.
I like how you recount how Andromeda hated Ted at first. This is logical because of the family she is from, and most writers tend to ignore her prejudices and just make her this girl who naturally opposes what her family thinks from the first minute she enters Hogwarts. You've avoided this unrealistic idea, and that's refreshing to read. However, you have their relationship develop, and you've taken a realistic perspective to their relationship. It seems likely that they would meet a lot in secret because of Andromeda's sisters.
“I’m putting you in danger just talking to you this very moment. You deserve someone safe.”
Ironically, this sounds very similiar to what Remus says to Tonks. Kudos to you if you made an allusion to Tonks's future relationship. It's drastic to have Andromeda engaged, but it seems like prearranged marriages were quite likely in the pureblood circles. Also, the dialogue between Ted and Andromeda was very believable. The strife in the relationship is believable, too, because, if Andromeda is attached to her sisters, it makes sense for her to be confused about Ted. I like how you don't disreguard her feelings for her family, but yet, you had me convinced that she really did love Ted.
Author's Response: Thanks. I did make that reference. I figured that Tonks would have gotten her pesistence somewhere. If she heard that her dad was the same way for her mom, then she would use that as her example.
I really like it!! It's so cute! Thanks for writing!
Author's Response: Thanks.
A good, cute story. I like it. I really do.
Author's Response: Thanks. I actually don't think it was cute, but maybe it reads that way.