Reviewer: jenny b
Sometimes It Skips A Generation
Um, wow. That was amazing.
I don’t think I’ve read anything so refreshingly original in fanfiction ever. It’s a huge change from what you usually see – you’ve combined the Muggle world and the Wizarding world to make a fic that is interesting and educational and full of connections that your readers will understand and love. (Crocodile Rock, anyone? ^_^) It’s so well-written, and has some great underlying messages and just … wow. Words fail to express how great this was. The summary for this caught my eye as I was scrolling through the most recent fics – partly because of how intriguing it was, and partly because I’m a huge Rose Weasley fan.
I got so involved in this that I forgot to make any notes, so I’ll just try to remember what I wanted to say. ;)
I loved the first half of this fic probably more than the second half, where the actual plot and main characters move into the spotlight. The whole timelessness of the first half, and how it shows the slow merging of the Wizarding and Muggle worlds (for the Granger family, anyway) was just written perfectly. You very rarely see fanfiction that focuses so explicitly on the Muggle world – usually the Wizarding world is its own entity, and nothing that happens outside is of any importance. But you’ve brought them together in a way that stays true to the secluded nature of wizards yet still opens up a whole new world to them.
My favourite part of this entire fic would have to be the WWPs. Although most of the time Wizarding technology is nowhere near the same standard as Muggles, it was inevitable that someone like Lee Jordan and George Weasley were going to run into things like iPods and want to make their own. I’ve always wondered how much the Wizarding World would take notice of technology developments in the future, and you’ve done it really well – they’ve taken something Muggles have and made an imitation of it that isn’t quite perfect but everyone loves all the same. Although I do wonder why the first thing they bring over to the Wizarding World is iPods – what about mobile phones? Or computers?
You’ve made Rose into a very interesting character. She’s not the usual generic Rose Weasley you get in fanfiction – good at Quidditch, extremely popular, a quick temper, etc – you’ve made her into someone completely different. I get the feeling she’s kind of an outcast, which is odd considering who her parents are. But you can’t help but love her despite her social ineptness. And the same with Callum – he’s the total adorable geeky character, and together they make for two absolutely perfect main characters. Seeing such original personalities is so refreshing.
I love the themes you’ve woven into this fic, like when Callum is explaining nuclear weapons to Rose, and how they despair over how “f***ed up” the world is. Which may be true – at least they believe it to be – but then they go and forget about it all with the music. Like you said earlier in the fic, “it’s the magic of the music”. It brings them all together in a world that’s been torn apart by evil things. It’s so rare to see a fic that has such an important message behind it – one that relates to us – and you’ve done a wonderful job. Well done. :)
Author's Response: Thanks for taking the time to review - the long ones are the best (and obviously they're even better if they're positive).
When I write, I try my best to come up with original ways of showing things - often because I've tried to find ideas I thought were cool already written down but never actually turned up anything. Linking together the Wizard and Muggle worlds isn't really new, but it's not something that I see a lot of, and especially not from a very Muggle perspective - why is that, I wonder? Maybe it's just not as interesting.
Within the series I always wanted more stuff showing places where Wizards and Muggles overlap. Of course, due to the nature of the series being about a secret magical world that exists alongside our own, it's sort of inevitable that it would either end with the secret world either completely exposed or with business as usual, but I guess that's where fanfiction comes in, right? I like the Muggle world - I live in it, after all - and I like writing reminders that it's still the majority of the population, despite how insular Wizard society seems sometimes.
There was another story I read a long time ago, where Ron and the twins were marketing a new piece of technology - a Wizard equivalent of a cellphone that was built into a cigarette lighter. Brilliant concept, right? That was my inspiriation for an analogue of the iPod. There are some places where wizards have appropriated Muggle technology in the series - I don't think the radio or the pocketwatch is a wizard invention, for example - and the WWP is my impression of the next bit of Muggle technology to be absorbed into wizard culture. As to why it wasn't mobile phones or computers, I don't think there's much need - wizards already have plenty of long-distance communication methods, and what's a computer really but a long-distance communicator with a bunch of ways built in to distract yourself? Although, maybe there's something in the Ministry somewhere that's a big magical database of knowledge. Big rooms like the Hall of Prophecy, that have lists of spells, potions, and so on.
I haven't actually read a lot of Next-Gen stories, mainly because I don't like a lot of the ideas that come kind of pre-built in with them - that there are character traits and 'ships for characters we literally know almost nothing about. It seems to me that a lot of Next-Gen characters are kind of built from the stock traits of their parents, and don't really consider things like how they grew up or how those traits in their parents might have affected them growing up, but instead they come out as mixes of whatever parts of their parents' personality the author wanted to focus on. When designing Rose, I wanted to try and turn that about a little - she's intelligent, yes, but does that mean she's automatically intelligent in the same way Hermione is? It all feeds into the big message of this story, I think - the past is what moves us forward, makes us change. Nothing gets to be the same for long, but sometimes you can see patterns of where things are similar.
(As an aside, Callum I designed specifically to be something that was oddly lacking from the series - a child of divorced parents. Wizards, it seems, mate for life.)
Many parts of this story were an excuse to make use of music - Harold's love of music is my love of music, but it's obviously very difficult to find ways to include contemporary music in a setting that's detacted from the real world and have it still make sense. Similarly, it's also very difficult in any fiction to bring up real-world issues and not have it seem heavy-handed and cumbersome. My point is, with this story - yes, there are terrible things in the world. I don't know what will solve them. I don't know if it's possible to solve them. But we don't have to burden ourselves with every problem of the world - time the hammer will fix all these problems of the world and then go on to create some new ones. Just find what makes you happy, and do that, and don't worry.
Sometimes It Skips A Generation
Wow! This is really scientific. I'm going to have to take a break and try and figure it all out! Great chapter, you've got me interested. I think my favorite line was The project began with Lee, who noticed the plastic buds in the ears of almost all of the people he saw during a three-month stint of having to travel on the Underground while his Apparition license was suspended.
Haha, isn't that just like Lee too? Anyways, I can't wait to see more. You did an excellent job with this, and I love how you went through all the generations. Brilliant!
Author's Response: Credit for anything that's acurate to the real world in this story should probably go to Wikipedia - it's a resource that I think people are still having trouble figuring out exactly how to go about using it. Anything about the magical "science" is just my fabrication, though. But as for more... this chapter stands alone, I'm afraid. Everything I really wanted to say about this particular point in the future, I said. I'm glad you liked it, though - thankyou for reviewing.