That was lovely, I especially liked Justin's telling Susan that her gifts could be used for more than healing, play to your strenghts. And it was nice to see the Hufflepuffs if only for a oneshot, we don't see nearly enough of them.
First of all, good job in tying the story to the poem. It helps that it’s a simple idea, but it’s very sweet. I think my favourite part about that is that Susan’s “wound concealed” is her hurt over not getting the Potions grade, rather than the usual heart-broken-by-a-boy. Even if it is Justin who fixes it for her.
I skimmed the entire story twice, looking for mistakes, and I didn’t find any. Excellent job! I do have one suggestion that isn’t a mistake:
“It’s time you got over it, Sus,” she said, and Ernie, looking up in time to catch Susan eyeing his homework, nodded.
I’d abbreviate “Suz” just for phonetic purposes. “Sus” looks to me more like “Suss”.
I like that Susan knows what page Sally-Anne needs for her homework. That sounds like something I’d do. It’s nicely in keeping with her studious character.
I also enjoy your depiction of her crush. She’s very cute about it – not at all outright flirtatious, but very quiet and sweet and hopeful. She makes the most out of small things (like walking to the library with Justin). I like the…purity…that that implies. Maybe of body, but I was thinking purity of spirit. Innocence.
Oooh. That Susan finds herself wanting to get back at Malfoy and Co. for Justin’s sake fits nicely with her feelings for him – and, as Justin points out, her compassion and general caring.
Susan found herself devising the best ways to get back at the thugs — some of the hexes Harry had taught them in the DA were tempting, as were some poisons she’d read about. She had to discard the latter when she remembered that she was hopeless at Potions.
This started out by making me smile and finished by making me sad. It’s good, though; it brings us back to her need for Justin’s cheering up.
”The world needs more kind people like you, in all fields of study…. One day you’ll make a great wife, a wonderful mother, a fantastic coworker, all because of these things you’ve seen as good for Healing. But they’re so much more.”… “I don’t think I’m saying this very well. Do you get what I’m trying to say?”
I get it! I get it! I love that Justin’s able to articulate this for Susan. (It’s the sort of thing I’m very bad at, so I really appreciate it when other people are able to speak healing truths like this.) It speaks so much for his character. He’s the right kind of guy for her: able to see beauty in her when she sees only her failure, and he sees to the depths of who she is, not what she can do.
To her surprise, he turned into her hand and murmured something she couldn’t hear. Slightly alarmed, Susan looked up at Madam Pomfrey, who only smiled.
Eeee! How cute is that? He likes her touch, and Susan panics. Well, not panics, but – it is a very story-bookish thing, isn’t it? Far too sweet and good for Susan to believe. But I believe it, and I love it. And she kisses him when no one’s looking, as he sleeps.
It’s very sweet and fluffy without being at all sickeningly so. You’re a good writer, Leslie. *hugs*
Author's Response: yay fluff! Katie, I heart you. Thank you for reviewing this story -- and being so thorough about your likes and dislikes! This was actually a little hard for me to write, and I felt bad using the song for a crutch, but I'm glad you thought it fit so well. Um, that's all. Thank you again and have a nice day! *D*
Aw, CA! That was so cute. I’ve never been a great fan of fluff because I find it unbelievable but this one, though a little fluffy, was totally believable. :D And the scene in the hospital wing was so romantic.
I liked your characterisation the best –all the characters, even the minor ones like Ernie and Sally-Anne, were so realistic and three-dimensional.
Susan, especially, was lovely. Right from her wistful glances at Ernie’s Potions book to her compassion and sympathy – which ties in nicely with the qualities of Hufflepuff – she was just a great character.
And Justin was like the typical hero, holding her hands and trying to oppose Malfoy and his thugs single-handedly. I liked the way you portrayed him. :)
Maybe it’s just me, but one character that seemed odd was Madam Pomfrey. She’s a minor character, yes, and you nailed her perfectly where she insists on having Justin in the hospital wing overnight and making him drink the potion and her humorous side was something we’ve never seen before, though it gave her a new dimension. The one part that worried me was when she let Susan stay as long as she wanted to. Since she always has chased people out of her hospital because her patients need more rest, that struck me as odd. Maybe you could have her ask Susan to leave and then Susan protesting and Madam Pomfrey allowing her a few minutes. But then maybe because Justin’s injury is not really bad, she let her stay.
Just a few things I noticed:
Justin Finch-Fletchley sprawled motionless on the floor, his face bloodied and bruised, his robes torn, and one of his arms at a disturbing angle.
This sentence would read much better if it said ‘Justin Finch-Fletchley lay sprawled…’
And you might want to italicise this part because they’re her thoughts:
There was a little too much innocence on Sally-Anne’s face as she stared at page 423, Susan thought, blushing.
Apart from those teensy little things, I liked the story and the way you wrote Susan/Justin. Great work, CA!
Author's Response: *sigh* Preethi, I heart you. Thank you for reviewing this story (even though it's taken me months to get around to responding). Madam Pomfrey didn't come across quite as I wanted her to -- I have a definite idea of her character in my mind, but sometimes it gets a little mangled when it actually comes to putting her on paper. I'm glad you liked the rest of my characters. Have a nice day! *D*