Tough week for Cho, eh? :) But to be honest, I've never had much love for her, and I do adore Katie Bell, so it works for me. Haha. Writing for a prompt is a different animal, and I'm so glad you included your prompts so we know where this moment originated. With the prompts being "a boat" and Katie/Cedric, you managed to write a lovely little moment for them. You were wise to create a connection between the two that had nothing to do with Hogwarts, as this would have been hard to believe otherwise. Not that they couldn't have paired up, but with the tension between the Harry and Cedric camps for most of the year... it would have been less likely, in my opinion. I did wonder why they hadn't talked all year long (this takes place in June), but perhaps the answer is in that very tension between their houses. In a longer fic, I think more of an explanation would have been necessary to understand this year-long silence between good friends, but for the purpose of this moment-fic, it worked pretty well without it. You have a lovely way with descriptive imagery that makes this a sweet little read. The boathouse and the rain and the blades of grass... really nice, atmospheric details there without being heavy-handed about it. Some things have already been pointed out in other reviews, so I won't mention them again here. I think the only thing that made me pause was the fact that the kiss led so quickly to a decision to ditch Cho and pick up with Katie. The kiss was well done, and of course it meant something, but it just felt abrupt somehow. Perhaps if there had been an inkling of things not "being right" with Cho in his earlier musings before Katie came along? I'm not sure. We really can't know how he might have handled it, so take my words with a grain (or a pound?) of salt. After all, if he hadn't promised Katie they would be together, we wouldn't have that beautiful but tragic ending, which I think makes this fic very powerful. This was posted about the time I first found the site, and I'm wondering now how I never read any of your stuff. I shall troll your author page soon, to rectify the matter. Lovely fic you've created for an unlikely pair.
Youll remember me when the west wind moves
Upon the fields of barley
Youll forget the sun in his jealous sky
As we walk in the fields of gold
Katie will remember Cedric when any wind “moves”, I suspect, but your title brought the Sting song to mind. I could almost hear it playing in the background during when the sun came out and Cedric saw the light in more ways than one. I had to include a quote. :)
Imagery is one of your strong points. I very much enjoyed your descriptions. Atmosphere drenched in anticipation, a pyramid of grass, the archway framing the scene like curtains on a stage, and the golden edges of the clouds were especially striking.
Using the boat house was inspired and set up the romantic moment in a way sitting beside the lake in open view of whoever might be passing by would never have done. You took your prompt and rocked it (no pun intended).
The first two paragraphs, while informative and useful for setting the scene, came across as omniscient narrator. If you'd used third-person limited, had Cedric being thankful exams and the weather allowed him to be alone (until Katie arrives), I think it would have made a more compelling opening.
Eleven paragraphs down you wrote:
“And how are you, Cedric?” Her voice was softer know, and full of obvious concern.
Aside from writing "know" when you meant "now", you use a comma before "and" that isn't needed because you aren't linking independent clauses.
These sentences: “Well, it will be when the sun comes out,” she amended. He grinned, and they settled back into silence are written back to back. Since the second switches to Cedric's pov, I'd give it its own paragraph.
I noticed toward the end that you used attribution tags that tell the reader what the dialogue just told them: amended, instructed, and added. Earlier in the story, the "reflectively" after "Mmm" was already implied by the word itself (unless you think readers would have a "Mmm, you're scrummy" impression, and in that case . . . . :D)
The last two lines were lovely, in a bittersweet way.
The five paragraphs before, though, I mentally edited because we've been in Cedric's head predominantly, and I think it would have flowed better into the ending if it read this way:
They watched water lapping against the shore and mist disappearing from in front of the mountains, and after a while Cedric glanced at Katie’s face and squeezed her hand. “Cho and I... we’re not right. I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to figure that out. Just... if you stay quiet about this for a few days... we can be together soon. If you want to, that is,” he added, realising what he was saying.
Katie nodded slowly, guilt evident in her features. “I do,” she said. “Of course I do.”
Slowly, this time, gently, cautiously, she leaned over and kissed him.
For Cedric, it was like the sun coming out all over again.
Just my thoughts and suggestions to do with what you will. I'm off to look up Fields of Gold on youtube. :D
Many years have passed since those summer days
Among the fields of barley
See the children run as the sun goes down
Among the fields of gold
It was a lovely surprise to get a review from one of the site's best writers :D. Thanks for your feedback - I think it's about time I reworked this fic, as I really didn't take much care when writing it, and I'll take your thoughts into account. I'm glad you liked the imagery... picturing this scene always makes me smile. :)
Chelsea, this is a truly wonderful fic, which is just a sweet and lovely snapshot of a fledging relationship, but with such a tragic ending (for the reader who knows what is to come, at least). It was also impeccably written and there was not a single mistake to be found, which is wonderful!
It did take me a couple of paragraphs to ‘settle in’ to the story. I felt the first paragraph, while necessary in order to quickly set the scene and be able to move in to the main focus of the story, was rather wordy and it took me a couple of reads to make sure I completely understood everything I was reading. I think it would have flowed better if it was a little shorter, perhaps without the extra detail about the exams, in order to reach the main detail of the story quicker.
As soon as you introduced Cedric, however, the story became instantly engaging, due to the excellent characterisation. I loved this moment of description: He looked around to see a Gryffindor girl approaching, her brown hair tousled and her cheeks pink from the wind that battered her face. She looked tired, but undeniably pleased, in heavy contrast with Cedric’s tense mood. It was so vivid and allowed me to really picture Katie as she approached. The description tied in with your earlier phrase on the unusually cloudy and blustery weather, and the detail shows the depth to which you thought about your character. The idea of her being tired, but pleased, was a perfect portrayal of the mix of feelings of relief and exhaustion that come from sitting an exam and the contrast to Cedric’s mood was very effective.
I liked the build up of the normal conversation, with them simply chatting about every day things, such as Cedric’s parents, the tournament and exams. The little details about how she had found her exam or Cedric’s thoughts about his parents worry for him, were excellent additions as they added more depth to the characters and as a reader I found myself becoming more and more interested in the couple. Every detail such as the picking blades of grass one by one seemed to have been thought out and be there for a reason. Nothing felt as if it had just been added for the sake of it.
I think it’s great that you included an explanation of why Cedric is turning to Katie over Cho and I think it’s a realistic and believable one, which is important to pull off when writing a non-canon pairing. I also thought it was good that at first he thinks of Katie as just a friend, and that the kiss or the promise of a relationship is not something pre-planned but a spur of the moment event.
I absolutely adored this moment: So this was where the boats that carried the first-years from the trains were kept throughout the year. He couldn’t believe he’d never wondered what this was for. I love it when authors take such a random canon question such as where the boats are stored and use it to create a whole new place and setting. And it worked so well for this particular fic. Cedric and Katie needed a special, unusual setting to provide the spark to their relationship.
Finally, the ending was so terrible tragic, but just perfect. It was moment of irony for the reader as we know that Cedric won’t be alive for long enough to follow through with the relationship and that he will die with Cho still believing he loved her and Katie always knowing what could have been.
I loved this fic and I think you handled the pairing and the prompt excellently!
Author's Response: Hannah, thank you so much for this lovely review! I definitely appreciate all the things you said and will keep your suggestions in mind in the future. Thanks a million for the feedback, dear! ♥
I really liked your descriptions of the boat house. I always appriciate it when an author goes that extra mile and creates a new, exciting place in the Potterverse, especially on the Hogwarts grounds. I think I'm a bit biased (and excited) that Hogwarts would have a boathouse. :) The moment was also very romantic, and I loved the banner you have to go with this fic.
Thanks, Morgan! Heh, the boathouse was stolen from a HP video game, I think, but it makes sense, right? (Ooh, but are the boats ever used apart from when the first-years arrive... now that would be interesting to explore...)
I'm glad you liked it, and I know, Avery made the most prettiful banner ever for this! Thanks again :)
I haven’t read very much Cedric/Katie, but the fics that I have read I’ve really liked, and this fic was no exception.
I find the setting of this fic quite interesting. Right before the final task – there’s a lot to think about when considering a fic taking place then. A romance involving Cedric has to carry a little bit of weight, since we know that, unfortunately, he dies soon. A strange part of me loves reading a fic like this, because it makes everything so much more important. The introduction of Katie into the fic is nice – very simple, but I like that. The simplicity is sweet, and I think perfect for this sort of moment between these two characters.
The mention of Cho is interesting. I had actually almost completely forgotten about her, but of course she is a part of Cedric’s life, here. That Cedric realizes Cho may not be the girl for him is bittersweet; I’ve never personally liked Cho, but I do have to feel bad for her. At the same time, I’m totally rooting for Katie.
And, I do love a bit of rain in a fic. :) And, I love the inclusion of the boat prompt! I, like Cedric, have never even thought about where they keep the boats the first years ride in, and I love that Cedric and Katie get to discover the place. The image of the two of them sitting in one of the boats is absolutely adorable. I love it. I love that Cedric gets this time of relative normalcy before the last task, that he gets to relax with someone he cares about, and who cares about him.
Cedric telling Katie that she’s brilliant is also just so cute. Oh, I really do love this fic. And then the kiss! …they leaned towards each other and their lips connected and they kissed and kissed and kissed and they wrapped their arms around each other and eventually sat back in the little wooden boat and gazed back out over the water, hands twined. I love that sentence. It has such a sense of…I don’t even know how to describe it, but it’s wonderful.
Their deciding to be together in a few days just breaks my heart, but I love it all the same. Basically, I quited like this fic. I thought it was very well written. Great job with this pairing!
Author's Response: Thanks, Leanne! Ah, I love a bit of rain in a fic too. As for the boat shed, I think I got that idea from the PoA video game xD Maybe there's a boat shed in the movie too? I can't remember. But it seems kind of obvious when you think about, right? Anyway, thank you so much for the lovely review, dear! I'm glad you liked this!
Chels! –tackles SPEW buddy-
A LoveNote for a LoveNote? ♥
I really liked this. It was short and sweet and beautiful. And sad, too, because we know that Cedric and Katie never really got their chance. :( At least they could have this one moment together before it all went away.
I like your use of the prompt. I never would have thought to put the boat in a shed. The only way I could picture it was on water. But I really love your creativity. And, if you don’t mind me getting all in-depth about this, I love what it symbolizes. Water—lakes, seas, rivers, oceans, rain, pools, etc.—commonly represents freedom through out literature. A boat can be associated with water, and thus, the freedom. But, a boat is also small, contained, isolation. You have no where to go, nothing to do, no one to see. So, the way I see it, in your story, it’s almost like where Katie and Cedric are. They want to be free, to be able to show the world how they feel about each other—water—but they’re can’t, because of Cedric and Cho’s relationship—in a sense, they are stuck on a boat. I don’t know if that’s what you intended or if I’m just reading way too into this, but that’s what I saw in it.
I like how you didn’t come out and explain Cedric and Katie’s relationship, but let it flow naturally and let the reader make of it what they may. It’s obvious that they go way back, they probably knew each other as kids, and are still comfortable around each other. But you didn’t tell me that; you showed it to me. It’s just ♥
This whole thing is done so causally, so easily, it’s like I was there, just another student observing. It isn’t heavy with complex language or lots of things that remind me I’m reading. It’s just simple. And I totally mean that in a good way. ;) It’s the sort of thing that I can just get lost in.
I love your characterization of Cedric. The one thing I really remember about him from in the books is in PoA and Oliver is talking to the Quidditch team, and Katie, Alicia, and Angelina are giggling over Cedric . . . One of them says something about him being “strong and silent” and then Fred says something like “he’s only silent ‘cause he’s too thick to string two words together . . .” ANYWAY, I think you definitely captured the strong-and-silent-ness here. Cedric really didn’t talk much, only when necessary, more comfortable to just let Katie do the talking or sit in silence. It’s brilliant.
>And he feared not just for himself, but for the other champions. This also shows off your awesome characterization skills. I mean, that is such a Hufflepuff thing to think. I guess it helps that you’re a Puff too . . . and have insider knowledge on all things Hufflepuff. ;) But still, it’s awesome (your characterization).
For Cedric, it was like the sun coming out all over again. God, I love this line. It’s beautiful, strong, sad, powerful, morose . . . I can’t say *why* exactly I love it so, it’s just very . . . I picture this cloud settled over them with the mention of Cho, and then it just being shoved aside as Katie leans towards him and this golden light falling on their faces, you know that lovely, warm, late-evening light? So, I guess what I’m saying is that I like the imagery in it. :-) Another thing I like: it’s sort of like the calm before the storm—he gets this one moment of happiness, of joy, of pure bliss before he is murdered. I’m probably the only morbid enough person to be constantly thinking of his death, even in light of such a happy one-shot with no hints of death . . .
Hm. So, I feel like the moment when Cedric says, “Cho and I... we’re not right. I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to figure that out. Just... if you stay quiet about this for a few days... we can be together soon. If you want to, that is,” is sort of rushed. Well, actually, I’m going to go back farther. When Katie says “Cho” it sort of comes out of nowhere. Maybe you could add in some of Cedric’s thoughts about how right it felt to be kissing Katie, but oh-Merlin-I’m-supposed-to-be-going-out-with-Cho? And then after she [Katie] says “Cho,” you could add in more thoughts about him being torn between what he wants and what’s the honorable thing to do, etc., and then come out with the “Cho and I... we’re not right....” line.
I’ve never really given much thought to Cedric or Katie (and certainly not together!) but I’m willing to give them a chance.
Especially if you write more about them.
OH! “...they leaned towards each other and their lips connected and they kissed and kissed and kissed and they wrapped their arms around each other...” I like the repetition of “kissed” here, instead of just saying “and they kissed for a long time blah blah blah I am so boring blah blah blah.” The repetition of the word, in my opinion, really implies the passion and desire and hunger between them, without actually coming out and saying that. I take my hat off to you, Chels (or rather, my SPEW newbie tiara
which I might still wear even though I’m not a newbie) and your excellent ability to show, not tell. ;)
So, I really, really, really hope you can follow this review. I hope that it’s connected and flows and coherent, even though I know that there’s not a chance of that. I’m sorry. I’m going to go get some pain killers now.
I love you, hon.
Author's Response: Thank you, dear! Gah, I don't know what to say. I'm so glad you liked this, and I love all the bits you picked out to comment on in this review. Hmm, I agree with your thoughts on that rushed section. Thanks a million for this, dear, ily too! *squishes*
o this is fantastic! Thats so sad cus they will never be together because he dies! That is so sad... really good story tho! you did a good job with the charactors and it seemed pretty realistic! Keep writing!
Mmm, so sad :( Thanks for the review, I'm glad you liked it!
Ah. You aim for the heart, don't you?
If I was asked to describe Etched In Gold in a few words, I'd say: just enough. There was a very subtle balance in your story, of description and emotions, and while dialogue was very rarely used, it was just enough to provoke the chord in the reader that brings out the 'ah' 'wow' 'aw'
The small things they said to each other beautifully complimented the silences. I was reading this with Evanescence's Hello, and I too was thinking about Cedric's death after the third task. A favourite.
Great job, Chels.
Author's Response: I'm glad you thought it was balanced - I'm always worried about stepping over the line to excessive fluffiness or angstiness. Thank you for the review, Akay. :D
Oh, Chelsea, that was so sad. I was doing fine until it came to the end and he said he'd tell Cho after the tounament was over *sobs*. Lovely piece of writing and that kiss was just superb. Such a beautiful little moment in time when they can experience a different sort of magic. Sorry, this isn't a SPEW worthy review but just needed to give you some well deserved gushing praise. Carole xxx
Author's Response: Gushing praise is just as welcome as SPEWly critique, heehee :D Thanks for the lovely review, Carole ♥
So cute!!!!!! I love all of your fics. Your writing style just astounds me and you never fail to give me brilliant ideas for some of my other fics!! ;) good job!