*thumbs up* You are an amazing writer, you know?
Author's Response: Oh, wow. Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed the read, I appreciate the review! ~Amanda
I hate Competition rules. I really do, as they have a tendency of putting restrictions on your narrative. I faced the same problem while writing my fic on Rita – it had to be a one-shot. And you had to stop yourself from exploring Judy’s character more – it has to be a one-shot, and it doesn’t have much to do with the prompt.
That said, I really loved your story, and I knew I had to write a good review the minute I finished reading it.
Your characterization of the Lovegoods intrigued me. When I first saw Luna, when I saw her doing something as childlike and “normal” as playing with leaves, I was instantly interested. This was a new Luna – or should I say, a “lost Luna”? Her innocence here was refreshing; she wasn’t spouting unexpected words of wisdom, she was just being a child who was scared to see her parents disagreeing. She was just being a witch who didn’t like Muggles’ interpretation of the “Green Witch with Warts.”
Xeno surprised me as well. Although he has started talking about Nargles, we know he hasn’t really lost it. Here, he isn’t the Xeno who Auntie Muriel would describe as “looking like an omelette.” Instead, he’s the one who kept Harry and Co deep into a discussion about Deathly Hallows if only to get his daughter back safely. We see him as not being cranky or stubborn, but as vulnerable and normal as any of us.
Judy was presented well. I liked her sense of determination – she’s bent on conducting that experiment, if not now, then later. Moreover, she is shown as the backbone of the family – the glue that keeps them strong together. Her wisdom, her sense of fun, her tact – she is an admirable woman, and it’s really no wonder how her death affected both Xeno and Luna. She is also strong, and now I know where Luna’s own grit comes from.
You really worked the story well into the prompt. You could have chosen an easy way of doing it, but you chose the hard way. You wove in the Lovegood’s tragic history in it. Amidst the laughter, the fun, the discovery of so many truths, there is that underlying sense of intimate loss. We know that whatever Judy is planning, it is going to cost her a heavy price. We feel for Xeno as he tries to stop her, but even our hopes are futile. That made the story much more poignant. It wasn’t just a story on Muggle’s Halloween and the various traditions associated with it, it is one which gives us a rare insight into how happy and complete the Lovegoods used to be.
And now, I beseech you to write something on Judy and her experiment.
Author's Response: I keep leaving this wonderful review to respond to later because of your last request - to write something of Judy - sort of like a to-do note? "I'll respond to this review when I get a chance to write something down about Judy..." and that's never going to happen, at least any time soon, we both know that. As I started really getting into this story, I realized I didn't care two cents about THIS particular story - I wanted to write about the LOVEGOODS and how they interacted and were changed by Judy's death - Judy, whom I purposefully gave a very common name. Judy, who I wanted to make down to earth - she had a shopping list in the original, even. Sort of like...maybe Luna would still be Luna, but...not so LOONY had her mom survived. And Xeno wouldn't be quite so freaking batty. Like, her death is the catalyst. But while she might be practical and down to earth, I think there were also characteristics about her that would be individual to women...spirits and magic that only women could touch. Or at least, that's what she would believe in. And I could talk for ages about this, so I'm going to wrap it up by saying Emma (my beta) politely suggested I was wondering away from the prompt and was just going to confuse everyone because I wasn't going to have room for all that -- as was the problem with this particular contest, the first thing you pointed out. But it seems, if you are pointing out that you understood what I was still trying to convey, that I might still have gotten some of the point across? Anyhoo...just as I have this strangely cystal clear idea of post DH Draco/Astoria...I have this strangely clear picture of the Lovegood family, pre-Judy's death. Perhaps for the next TTB mini=Nano challenge I'll write about them. :) This review was soooo much appreciated. And I'm sorry for taking so long. *blushes* Thanks, my twin!! Loves, hugs, kisses. ~Amanda
Very interesting,in part because Luna seems more "normal" for her age here. It makes you wonder just what losing her mother did to/for her.
YEA! *Throws confetti!* I had a very distinct picture in my head of Luna before her mother's death, as well as a mother for Luna that was much more down to earth that one might imagine (hence the name Judy). Emma (my beta) very gently pointed out that my one-shot did not afford room to explore this for this challenge, so I will probably write something centered around her mother in the future. But the idea was that her mother's death had an effect not only on Luna but on her father as well...my original also had him toned down some.
I'm not sure if you thought I accomplished this here in this piece or if she was simply a little OOC, but if it made you wonder of the effect her mother's death had on her...mission accomplished. :)
Thank you very very much for the read and the review.