Carole, love, I'm so happy this got validated! There's not much more I can say about it, other than it's absolutely amazing - be a dear and write a sequel!
Author's Response: If you look at some of the comments - they mention Katie - her characterisation came from the very swift kick you gave me - so *applause and bows*. Thank you so much. ...... Sequel .... hmmmmm, watch your inbox but not yet ha ha and thanks again - Carole xxx
Now I can leave my real review for this fic. I liked the locker room banter. I like how you had the ‘means to an end’ conversation between Oliver and Cedric because it showed that Oliver really only cared about winning, but how the game was won seemed more important to Cedric. I also liked how you made Cedric funny, and Oliver is very serious, which I think fits his personality quite well. You handled the slash element of this fic very well. I really liked this line:
You’ll stand up in the Great Hall and tell the whole bloody school, and all those girls who chase you, that you’re as straight as a pumpkin vine?
I liked that line and the analogy with the pumpkin vine. I also think that both boys denying their sexuality really made this fic. The scenes where Oliver fights with his dad also help to heighten the slash elements later in the fic and make them seem more personal. I really would like to read a sequel to this fic. I must say, Oliver/Cedric has become my favorite slash pair, although it screws with my Cedric/Cho pairing.
Author's Response: Hmm, well Cedric/Oliver doesn't rule out Cedric/Cho ... not exactly ... LOL. Thank you very much for the review. It was quite tough to write, but my beta was amazing. (Thank you Emma). Anyway I do want to write a follow up ... so watch this space. *adds to several other bunnies* Thanks again ~Carole~
Oh, how the Ari loves the complexities and angst-ities of slash. XD Wood/Diggory is by far the most rarepair I’ve ever read and though I was very . . . doubtful, at first, you have so been put in the book of eternal slashy awesomeness. Also, before I begin anything at all serious, I couldn’t stop seeing that vampire boy’s face the entire time and it’s going to be a while before I can read HP or FF without seeing Diggory sparkle. >.< Fail. Twilight boy, you just fail.
Good thing your Diggory beats the crap outta sparkly vampires. xD
Okay, that out of the way, I truly did enjoy this story. I think you’ve really captured a minor (to majorish) character and given him a story and a personality that is completely your own and yet flows together with the canon Oliver we see seamlessly.
One thing I have a problem with is his father, and while it doesn’t disrupt the story at all, I just can’t help but to point out that a sport player’s father being an old champ and unfairly pushing his son is . . . cliché. I think you could have stressed that it was also what Oliver wanted a little more. As it is, what he wanted and what he didn’t want is sort of left hanging in the air, and considering how sports-centered Oliver is, to leave his feelings behind his father’s incessant pushing so undisturbed makes that aspect of the story feel incomplete. I understand that your inclusion of Oliver’s father was more to stress the point of his fear of sexuality, but I still felt that that aspect, specifically, could have been elaborated on more, for the purpose of steering from the cliché and also to give the reader a better sense of Oliver’s drive behind Quidditch.
I just love how this story felt well rounded. There wasn’t just one conflict; Cedric/Oliver wasn’t the only interesting storyline; Oliver’s father wasn’t the only antagonist. I do love a good angsty slash!fic where the pair are the central focus of the story, but after reading this, I don’t think I’ll be able to enjoy those quite as much anymore. I thought, at first, that Katie was just going to be a device used to show Oliver’s struggles, but you went above and beyond expectations by actually giving them a story, something that sticks in the mind, making their parting even the more touching and important. At the same time but on a different spectrum, I love how we don’t only see one side of Oliver, either. His emotions and characterization don’t come off artificial or flat, but very lively, believable, and emotional.
One thing that didn’t meet initial expectations was Cedric and Oliver. By initial I mean that, well, the romance/slash/what have you lover in me wanted lots of drama (or melodrama ;) ) and screaming and shouting and angst! angst! angst!. Honestly, and I’m contradicting myself just a wee bit, I don’t know if I’m disappointed or relieved that their relationship came off realistic rather than . . . run-of-the-mill angst!ff. Their exchanges, Oliver’s narrations, and the end . . . well, I can really see that happening. Don’t ask why that disappoints me. >.>
Speaking of the end, well, just wonderful. They didn’t run off into the sunset and they didn’t part, weaping and screaming. They made a rational decision, and you left just enough of a cliff there that I’m happily sitting on the edge, wondering if Cedric will ever turn up in that shower. Very, very nice.
Well, what else can I say other than I absolutely adored this story, even if the characters and emotions weren’t running wild in complete confusion. xD
Author's Response: Hey, Ari, Thanks for the review. I'm glad you enjoyed it - it's my first slash fic so I was quite anxious to get it right. I take your point about his dad, although he wasn't a former champ - he was pretty useless unlike his son. I think I should have probably stressed that more as well as the fact that Oliver did want to be a pro - it wasn't just because his dad wanted it.
Ahh, the ending. I must confess, I left it open because I didn't want to break the pair up and we all know what's going to happen to Cedric. I'm strongly thinking about a follow up ... so you may just see Oliver in the shower. (Oh and I saw a bloke on the train last night who was exactly how I picture my Cedric - not at all sparkly and with the most amazing green eyes *sighs at bloke from train* I have yet to find my Oliver!)
Thanks again. ~Carole~