Terri, that was lovely. A cute little Christmas story, with lots of sadness over Fred’s death, but “sunny” moments as well when children were laughing. Really good. I especially liked the symbolism you used with the Golden Gnome; and I have to admit, I forgot that the twins used a gnome instead of an angel for the top of the tree. Your story brought the memory back. :)
I love the little dialogue Arthur and Fred have when Arthur tells the boy about the twins’ gnome-“joke” some years back. It was so sweet. And this line is really fantastic and true on so many levels:
Arthur knew that he could not lie to the child.
First of all, children will notice – not always, but very often – when someone is lying; they’re still so innocent but at the same time perceiving so much more than adults. And it’s so lovely that Arthur has such a good heart that he can’t bring himself to lie to little Fred. It’s just such a great line which I adore.
“Make him gold, Grandpa,” he said.
This is so sweet, too. Simply lovely. It fits so very well into the Christmas time.
But nitpicks: commas. I noticed some missing ones as well as unnecessary ones – at least unnecessary in my opinion.
It amazed him every time, when everyone came home at the same time just how noisy this house could be.
I’d say there should be a comma after “same time”.
George, Angelina and their two, in his old room;
In my opinion, the comma after “their two” isn’t needed. In the other listings of the sentence you didn’t use one.
The only new addition was Teddy and he was only there for a few hours in the afternoon.
I’d put a comma after “Teddy” because in the first part of the sentence, “new addition” is the noun whereas in the second part, it’s “he”, referring to “Teddy”.
Next year there would be a new baby as Ginny had told them just last month she was again expecting.
Shouldn’t there be a comma after “next year”?
Arthur was so deep in thought; he didn’t hear the patter of the tiny feet coming down the stairs.
The semicolon should be a comma. Otherwise, the “so” in the first part is unnecessary.
He smiled down at him to soften the gruff question and sliding his chair back, opened his arms for Fred to climb onto his lap.
There should be a comma after “gruff question”.
Arthur stopped talking briefly wondering how to explain to a five year old why he had the name he did.
As far as I know, there should be a comma after “briefly”.
“I can help, Grandpa,” Fred said squirming to be put down.
I’d say there should be a comma after “Fred said”.
He went directly to the tree and lifting Fred up onto his shoulders, helped him to attach the gnome to the top of the tree.
Like a few sentences above, I’m pretty sure there’s a comma missing after the first “tree”.
What I don’t know, is why you two decided to use a gnome,” said Arthur.
The comma after “know” is wrongly set, in my opinion.
George turned and started towards the kitchen followed by Arthur.
After “kitchen” should be a comma.
Several hours later all the presents had been opened and dinner finished.
There’s a missing comma after “hours later”.
Every adult stood at the same time and rushed into towards the noise.
*confused* Could it be that the “into” should be a “to” only?
“Grandpa, Roxie spoiled our surprise,” Fred said looking at Arthur.
Again, there’s a missing comma, after “Fred said”.
*looks back at the listing* Oops, hehee… *hides* Well, I suppose since I’m modding, I’m more and more into commas. Lol
Ron looked around the table. Smiling, he said, “We’re pregnant.”
“We?” asked Hermione.
Arthur looked at his son and grandson. He knew Christmas would never be the same without Fred, but, perhaps, it could still be something special.
Beautiful ending, really sad and yet happy-hopeful at the same time. Well done, my dear.
As of 12/2, I have read all of the entries in the Winter Snows challenge except one. I have to say, mudbloodproud, this is probably my favorite entry so far. There was an awful lot to like here and not too much to criticize. Let me get to some of the details.
As one of your other reviewers has already touch on, I loved this line: There were ten children whom he never got to meet; ten children who only knew stories of him; ten Christmases without a golden painted gnome on the top of the tree.. If the reader has any background in the HP series, I think it would be very hard for he or she to read that passage and not be moved. Well done.
Another part that I really enjoyed was when Arthur was reflecting about past Christmases with the twins. You talked about the twins getting into everything and Fred and George causing all sorts of havoc when they learned they could do magic. I think what could have made this part even better is the use of detailed images from the past. By just adding a single paragraph, you could talk about how Arthur remembers the twins opening everyone’s gifts one morning to find their own, or causing all the Christmas tree decorations to fly around the room. Does that make any sense? Something fun and crazy that really shows us the havoc they caused, that really shows how Arthur remembers them.
I really like the part where Fred asks his Arthur why they named him after Uncle Fred when thinking about him just makes everyone sad. I think it illustrates very well how a young child can misunderstand complicated emotions sometimes, causing adults to have to go back and try to explain it all to them.
Beyond the addition of concrete images that I mentioned above, I don’t have much else to critique you on without resorting to the highest level of nitpicking. Even then, I don’t think I’d be able to find too much to say. Though I’m no master mechanic when it comes to grammar, I didn’t find any glaring mistakes in that department, so you and your beta have done a great job in that regard as well. I think this is a brilliant piece of writing here and it probably has a excellent chance to score you some points in the challenge! Great job!
Author's Response: Thank you very much for your lovely words. I will pass your kind words on to my beta. Lately, it seems I have been writing quite a bit of Fred. I have an entry into the Home for Christmas prompt, too. I am waiting validation on the first chapter now. The other ones are ready to go. Since you enjoyed this one, I know you will enjoy that one also.
I also would like to thank you for planting a plot bunny in my head. I have a great idea for another Christmas story.
Thank you again for your review.
*tear* good story!
Author's Response: Thank you for the review. I cried myself rereading this before sending to my beta and my beta told me she cried. So I guess in the case of this story, a tear or two or three, is a good thing.
This is so lovely. Okay, I admit it, I started crying at this line.
There were ten children whom he never got to meet;.
I LOVED Roxanne, She seems very naughty to me. I think she's going to be worse than Fred jnr.
“We’re pregnant.” “We?” asked Hermione. Oh, my word. I can just see the look Hermione gives him at that point.
Okay weeny nit pick - *sorry* The first two were probably the hardest. The only new addition was Teddy and he was only there for a few hours in the afternoon. But then the babies started arriving. Okay, I think Victoire was born in 1999(first anniversary of Battle of Hogwarts) so she would have been around for the second Christmas - unless, of course, Fleur dug her heels in and refused to listen to Celestina Warbeck!
Good read and very touching. Carole
Author's Response: Carole,
I worked out a time-line using what info we have for certain from the epilogue and interviews and such. With my timeline the uncertainty of whether she was born in 1999 or2000 worked if I used 2000. So, since we only know her birthday not the year, I went with 2000. Which would have her starting Hogwarts in 2011, which is generally believed to be when she started. But you had to have known, I would have my facts backed up before I used a date, right?
As for Roxanne, I see her as a combination of both twins in one little body, with a bit of Ginny's power thrown in. After all, only three, no wand and she countered a hex by her grandfather. I think I am going to have to write a next-gen fic now.
Thank you for the review and for questioning me on Victoire's DOB.