Yay, first review! Which surprises me, because this story was great. I really enjoyed reading it, it hooked me in the beginning and the suspense just built up progressively throughout the story until the end.
The plot was riveting to me, because it started out with a big event. I haven’t read many stories that begin in a murder scene, but you pulled it off really well. The way you gave just enough clues for the reader to speculate without suspecting the actual outcome was perfect. I liked how you progressed smoothly through each event, going from the murder to informing the family to the investigation to the resolution and denouement. The entire plot had a nice flow to it, which is rare to find in many fics, especially one-shots.
It was interesting to see the reactions of everyone when Molly was killed in the midst of that chaos. She was always sort of the common factor in the Weasley family, the one that everyone respected and listened to and the one that held the family together at the seams. I thought you did a good job of showing the family’s different forms of grief when they found out what had happened. When he found out that Molly was gone, I liked that Bill stepped up to find out what happened to her. I think you characterized him well, what with his occasional joking tone and his trust and caring for Percy. I liked his Patronus being a lion, as well. It seemed very fitting for his personality.
One thing that really added to the experience of reading was that you’re extremely good at ‘painting a picture’ of the scene for the reader. Every time a new setting was introduced, you were able to make me see it in my head as I read. That’s actually very rare for me, as I often find myself completely creating settings in my head from what I’m reading.
Also, your ability to create new spells, potions, and methods of magic within your writing was really proficient. When Tonks modified the child’s memory towards the beginning of their investigation, I was really interested in the method she used to do so. It was almost like hypnosis. Also, the potion that Ed was making when they reached the flat that he and Percy shared was very inventive. Sometimes I wish there really was a potion like that… There were a few other times, too, when you made a brand new spell or incantation sound like it was straight from canon. You worked them in very well, and they fit in seamlessly.
I liked the resolution, because I hate Umbridge. I really, truly do. My mouth must’ve fallen open a little bit when I started reading the description of the office. I should’ve known there was something deeply wrong with that woman… How evil of her, to do what she did. You finished her off quite nicely, I think. I’m glad Bill got to avenge his mother’s death, even if it may not have been his intent.
Only one nitpicky thing that I remember noticing: you switched between ‘mum’ and ‘mom’ somewhere in the middle of the story. I mean… I think they should all be mum. But if there is a reason for it, I obviously don’t know what it is. Hehe.
And for a favorite scene… I’d have to say the part where Percy is having a ‘seizure’, which I read when I had no idea what was going on. It was perfectly suspenseful, and exciting, and scary, which I found very fun to read. I especially liked that the questions that arose from that scene weren’t left unanswered in the end.
Overall, I think you did a great job writing this. You’re definitely skilled! And I’m glad I got to be your first review. It was one of the first stories I’ve reviewed that I didn’t feel needed much nitpicking. Sentence structure, grammar, etc. is all great. So… you’ve left me with nothing to say except compliments! Kudos to you!
Author's Response: Thank you so much for the review Ashley. I'm glad that you enjoyed this story. It came right from a Gauntlet, and some of what they give us to write is hard. I think some of my best stories have come from those, because you have to get creative to work all the prompts in. :) I'll have to look back through and try to make all the moms, mums. That is what I had meant to do, but oh well. :) You really made my day with this review. :) Cyns