This was the first time I have ever read anything from Viktor Krum's perspective, and I must say you did a very good job with it. He is not a character we know much about, and you did a nice job of sticking to the canon information while giving him a flair of realism. I think Krum is an easy person to view as strong and stolidly, but I really felt that you humanized him in this piece, and made him more of a relatable character.
I thought it was sweet that you had him think Hermione's name phonetically ("Hermyown") but as I read on it didn't seem to make much sense. During the flashback, when the girl pronounces Hermione's name, it is spelled "Hermione" and since Krum is hearing it, it doesn't make too much sense for him to mispronounce it and think it in the way that he does. Perhaps he just has trouble pronouncing "Her-mi-one" but if that were the case, I don't think he would, in his mind, pronounce her name wrongly since it would be more of a speech-thing anyway. That was just a little thing that bothered me, though. It didn't take away too much from the story itself.
The thing that seemed just...*off* to me was Hermione's reaction to Viktor's proposal. Certainly, she is a very pragmatic girl and quite sensible, but I thought her reaction was a little cold, and with not much feeling. She uses a lot of awkward, official-sounding words and doesn't seem intimidated at all that a world-famous Quidditch player has just asked her to the Yule Ball. Though Hermione isn't very into Quidditch, she did go to the World Cup and I think she would definitely have some respect for Krum after seeing him perform like that. I don't think she went with Krum entirely to make Ron jealous, which is what it seems like when she says: "Since you are the first one to invite me, and I really haven't a clue on whom I might be going with, I guess I will accept." The one part of her reaction that seems realistic is the "deep blush" and her words don't seem to match that description. The words seem so detached, and it makes it look as though Hermione is reluctant to accept.
A minor nitpick is I think Krum was more jealous of the amount of time Hermione and Harry spent together. It is Harry whom he confronts in the Forest, not Ron. His jealousy is, I believe, founded on the basis that Harry is famous (as Krum is), a very good Quidditch player (as Krum is) and generally well-liked (which Krum is). Krum sees his own qualities in Harry, and is jealous because Hermione seems to acknowledge those qualities in Harry and not him. Krum sees Ron as the gangly side-kick, and not much of a threat. I don't think he's looked deeper into Hermione and Ron's constant fighting and he thinks they just don't get along well. I think it would have been more prudent to mention Krum's jealousy of Harry rather than of Ron.
What I loved about this story was the beautiful descriptions. Especially in the first paragraph, with the personification of the book and the description of Krum--I thought that was great! My favorite line, though, is just after Krum asks Hermione the question again: "The silence was palpable and sweat beads were appearing on his brow." Maybe it's just my fascination with the word "palpable," but that line was so powerful imagery-wise.
Great job with this story! As your first attempt at writing romance, you did a wonderful job. The romantic elements of this story were wonderful, and you did a great job bestowing romantic feelings on Krum while still keeping him in-character. Krum seemed as though he had a lot more life breathed into him, which was a good thing because it made him all the more realistic.
Hello, Shar! :D
Your story begins on an interesting point, and I really rather like it. Instead of describing a scene in which a young man is reading, you describe the book itself and move out into the entire scene. In this manner you have the book itself a bit of character, and I really like the widening affect that comes from you starting just on the book itself and moving out into the entire scene.
If the book could speak, it would have cried out that it had been neglected, that it deserved a better place than the lap of a negligent reader.¬
This was my favorite line from the beginning; I think it showed the best description and it is really where that ‘character’ in the book comes out. The words here are just so perfectly chosen and they all fit together to give a lot to the reader about something so simple. Then the way you moved from the book to the reader, to Krum, flowed really well, I thought.
One thing I did notice in this section that struck me, though, were his thoughts. Will she? Won’t she? Will she? Won’t she? Viktor Krum has a very distinct character voice, and his accent, I personally believe, would carry over into his thoughts. I wondered, as I read that line, why it didn’t read, “Vill she? Von’t she?” instead. Also, I really think that, had you written his thoughts in that way instead, it would have given away his identity in a way that was simultaneously obvious and subtle. That combination would have only added that much more to your beginning, I think.
Another thing I found odd was when Viktor’s name is first mentioned – it is Krum, not Viktor, or even Viktor Krum. I felt this didn’t work mostly because the story is written from his point of view – wouldn’t he refer to himself by first name? Also, the way it was introduced didn’t flow very well. For the first two and a half paragraphs you only used pronouns, and then suddenly it becomes ‘Krum’. This, I felt, was rather out of place and abrupt and I think would have worked better if it had been more subtly woven in and if he had referred to himself as Viktor rather than Krum. I just think it would have sounded and flowed better. Oh, and I feel I should also mention that the few times his first name was used, it was misspelled with a ‘c’ instead of a ‘k’.
Hermione’s characterization worried me a bit. She felt too mechanical in the things she said, such as her reply to Viktor’s question. I liked that she blushed, as that seemed very in-character to me, but I think the problem with her characterization lies in her speech. While I think that Hermione is very technical, it shouldn’t come out in the way she speaks as it does in this fic. For instance, I do believe that the fact that Viktor is not a Hogwarts student might have been on Hermione’s mind, I don’t think it would be something she would say to Viktor when accepting his invitation to the dance.
“Excuse me, I think that book belongs to the Defence Against the Dark Arts section, which is exactly opposite to you. This is the History of Magic section, if I am not mistaken. Please replace books at the right place.”
This was the other major instance where I felt Hermione’s speech was out-of-place. While I could believe that something like that might annoy her, the words themselves don’t fit her character and seem more in place coming from Madam Pince than from Hermione.
Viktor, on the other hand, worked much better. We know that when it comes to Hermione her seemed to be almost in awe of her, something I think you brought out in his character very well. With another boy, like Ron, this might have felt over the top, but with Viktor it really works because we saw some of it in the books. I especially liked the few sentences right after he asks Hermione, as he waits for her answer. I thought you wrote his anxiety well.
Overall, this was a nice read, and not bad for your first attempt at romance.
Please, may I have some more? :)
I had never been incredibly interested in stories in which Hermione and Krum were the featured couple. This story is the exception to that rule.
You did a good job writing from Victor's POV; you captured the teenage-boy uncertainty really well. Hermione was well-rendered in character. I only wish there was more to this story! I got completely hooked and drawn in and was totally sad to reach the end so quickly!
Great job! Your Krum is so cute! Hope you do well in the challenge.
Author's Response: Thank you, Lizzy! I wish you all the best for the challenge too.
Oh, I challenged this! I'm really glad you accepted the challenge, because you've written something really great. I quite like your portrayal of Krum, too. ~ Cassie
Author's Response: I am so glad I could live up to the challenge. It was a great one, and I enjoyed writing it. Thanks a lot for the review, as well as the challenge.
Aw! Krum's so cute, I love this chapter, you really showed how nervous he was!
Author's Response: Thank you!
This is the first thing I've ever read from Victor's perspective and to be honest I think you wrote it very well. You definitely suceeded in showing a softer side to him, his nerves and how he felt jealous of Ron. Victor Krum, stammering in Bulgarian...now that tickled me. I also loved Hermione's matter of fact kind of reply, it seems like something she would say. Overall, a great fic, I enjoyed it. :D
Author's Response: I am really glad you enjoyed the fic! I enjoyed writing it too. :D