This is such a powerful story.
I wish you could put almost an intro or an epilogue on how this started or how it ended.
It is one of the better stories I have read though.
Wow. What an interesting representation of Cho's character. This is an especially dark fic, and although I'm not usually likely to read a fic with the non-consensual sex warning, I quite enjoyed this one.
You seem to write dark fics extremely well; your style of writing suits angst and the darker themes. The entire concept of Cho’s desire for feeling, and exploiting herself to get it, was handled with honesty and maturity; that’s often a challenge hard to overcome for writers.
Strictly speaking, this is an improbable turnout for Cho, but you make it seem entirely possible with great characterisation and attention to detail. At the end her character seemed to lapse slightly, with her upfront-willingness to put herself out there and offer herself to the bartender. Before this scene, she appears to be fairly weak and unlikely to offer herself to someone, but instead succumb to the offer issued by someone else. It’s not a major characterisation fault, however; just something that I noticed. But, I suppose this is simply your way of proving to us how much she has changed over time.
The man who calls himself a Professor has me thinking. Before he even mentioned the word ‘Professor’, Slughorn popped into my mind. Are my assumptions correct, or am I off the mark completely? If I’m right, including him was a lovely little twist, and, again, you’ve made something improbable seem believable.
The only nitpick I’ve found was “ Crucio!” There’s an unnecessary space before ‘Crucio’.
I love your imagery, and how you occasionally give us Cho’s precise thoughts. Again, your style of writing is something I adore to read. Very refreshing, as dark fics are often attacked half-heartedly by fan fiction writers.
“I’m not gonna be able to help you with that,” the bartender told Cho.
She only shrugged. “It’s fine. No one does.”
This ending was quite powerful, and summed up the theme of the story entirely. I get the sense from it that Cho is defeated; nothing will fulfil her. The fact that you didn’t have a typically happy ending made me appreciate the story even more, somehow.
Overall, I really enjoyed this and would love to see you work with minor characters more often. Your Cho was done extremely well.
Author's Response: Thanks! The Professor in question was not Slughorn. It was Amycus Carrow when he's teaching in DH. Cho opens up to the bartender because she's very drunk at that point, and the man she just saw is someone whom I described as kind of an older version of what Cedric might have looked like. So, Cho is feeling a little raw because she's just seen someone who is opening a very painful wound for her, and let's never underestimate how emotional people can become when drinking.
Very nice. Well-written. I love reading fics about minor characters' lives after Hogwarts, especially when they've changed a lot. You did a very good job with that.
Author's Response: Thanks! I really enjoyed writing this fic, too. It was something a bit different from some of my other fics. I kind of wrote it in the same spirit as I Said I Would Go, but Cho is a different character than Tonks. I guess I liked to write Cho because she's a very open person, but at the same time, she strikes me as someone who can't quite control her own life.
That was an extraordinarily interesting take on Cho Chang and her character. The idea, I think, is extremely unique and (unfortunately for Cho) not terribly far-fetched.
I rather liked your approach to the controversial nature of this story – almost complete openness. This was really quite apparent in the opening scene of the story. It was so frank about where Cho was and what she was doing. I think it really draws the reader in. Personally, I wanted to continue reading simply to find out what had happened to Cho and why she was doing what she was doing. You did really well on the structure of the piece as it really serves to draw the reader into the story.
When he touched her, her tears felt hot and angry, but she learned toys could never fight back.
I thought that that was a very powerful line. Up until this point, Cho seemed pretty much helpless and almost weak – something that I didn’t particularly like. I’ve always seen Cho to be a very strong person and this line convinced me that your Cho was going to be more like her canon counterpart. I thought that it was really a good moment for her character to realize how much she’s being used. And the fact that he calls her “doll” throughout the piece really reinforces the fact that she’s merely a plaything for them. I don’t know if you meant it, but within a few lines of this realization, the woman (I’m lead to believe that it’s Alecto) has no compunction whatsoever about “breaking” the toy. I think that this is where the title really jumped out at me – Cho is fragile and something to be touched and played with, but is easily broken. It’s an absolutely horrific thing to think, but I thought that it was extremely powerful.
There were just a few places where the wording within the story rather bugged me.
Cho snorted. “The real way? That didn’t work for me. Me, me, I’m done, just done, with respectable,”
The repetition of the word “me” wasn’t quite right. I understand what you were aiming for – that natural pause and repetition in speech patterns. While the wording technically works, I think that you should probably consider altering the punctuation slightly so as to convey that pause. Something like this:
“…That didn’t work for me. Me? Me, I’m done…”
I think that the question mark serves to break up the sentence better than the commas do.
Another small thing that I noticed was that every time you have dialogue, you explain what sort of dialogue it is. You have characters muttering, telling, saying, exclaiming, grumbling…etc. You do a very good job of not being repetitious with your word usage, but some of the dialogue should be able to speak for itself. For the sake of story flow, you shouldn’t have to describe every line to the reader. What you really want to do is to create a mood (which you have) for the reader to understand so that some of the dialogue (but not all of it) can stand on its own. This also works well for lines that you’re trying to emphasize.
One final thing that I wanted to add about this is your fantastic use of imagery. You really nailed the sort of creepy and disgusting image of some of the men in my mind. Let’s use this line as an example:
Her entire body trembled as the strong, paw-like hands yanked the strings of the corset tighter. Tears leaked from Cho’s eyes as she gasped for breath while he constricted her chest.
That line just really captured the animalistic and brutal quality of Amycus. It was so well described that I shuddered when I read it. A disgusting man.
It’s really quite sad the way you’ve described Cho, here. The last scene in the bar was almost physically painful to read, knowing what had happened to her and what exactly she was trying to do. I think that you did a wonderful job in capturing who Cho is and then creating a story for her.
Author's Response: Thanks! I agree with you on my use of dialogue. I try not to describe everything that's spoken, but it's a difficult habit to break. Sorry I failed a bit with the drunken dialogue. It's been mentioned that my drunken dialogue is a bit sub-par, and I guess I instinctively go and use commas to break up lines. I'm glad the imagery worked, though. The story has the overall open and honest feeling to it because I guess I imagined Cho as someone who realizes completely what her situation in life is, and I wanted to reflect Cho's character in the way I told the story.
gud one wish dere was more detail u could really make dis a longer story
Author's Response: This was kind of an oppertunity for me to get to know Cho's character. There might be another one-shot about Cho in the future, too, because there was a lot I didn't put into this fic because it just didn't fit.