So, first thoughts first.
I loved the italics. I think MNFF uses verdana font, the italics version for which is nice flowy and suited your one-shot rather well. It's funny but the right tilt gave me the feeling of beckoning, like its saying 'come on, go ahead'. On the other hand when I began reading this, I was engaged but I had this feeling in which I'm thinking you'd better left Leo alone and the impression of his character you have already portrayed in Yellow Roses. I was thinking of at this point about McGonagall's relative lack of mental thoughts given the events and information that is unfolding in the first section of the one-shot. Also I reacted with a oh-the-usual to Leo's sad marital life, and broken heart. That was however because in Yellow Roses I was sure his wife had died and that he was finally over the love that was keeping him wear that ring. Corny, me! I said I might have read a few things in between the line. Anyway, that was just my initial response, and yeah I'm telling you all this, so I have time to stall the forthcoming praise ;)
So to be succint: I really liked it.
I will mention now in quick succession a few things that stood out for me. The consistency in Leo's and Minerva's character starting from your drabble and to the last line in this one-shot is remarkable. You seem to be in full control of their "voice". Leo's affinity with the muggles is not just a random thing, you build it in him and make him die in connection with that, which is bittersweet and like I said, before, consistent and also well-rounded.
Also, I have this very keen interest in noting relationships, real and fictional. And I'm absolutely in love with the idea of how people sharing some sort of bond complement each other in some ways. Writing that bond, writing lost love, one cant write without incorporating that. So I think you just did great there. I am in love with Leo.
One thing, I dont know if I want to distinguish it as praise or concrit or anything, but it's just something I felt/observed while reading The Voice. The whole story and characters although developed somehow seem to come through a distance, like things are filtered by you, the author.
So lets see if I can put it comprehensibly. Like Minerva for instance, she reacts very selectively. And I just love how consistently and not just randomly, you have written her like that. Not only does it suit her, but it brings so much strength to the things to which she DOES react. They become important then. And the reader sits there latching onto every one of them. I was questioning myself whether she appeared something to the point of being detached, but I concluded no. Because the way it is written, as I reached the end, I realised where ever she is not reacting emotionally or mentally, then the reader is reacting in her place. In a very short space of time, I became so used to her character that I didn't need the narration of her thoughts, because less was more than enough, becuase somehow I already know what's going on with her. How brilliant is it that you don't say at even point in your fic that she might have fallen for Leo also, but the reader knows it. Thats Professor McGonagall, visible only of the things she wants you to see.
Leo is a superb development. I'd kill for that talent in writing dialogue by the way. It's incredibly witty, true to characters, and so real. Like an actually conversation where just so much is said. There are moments I lose track of what the conversation is about and I have to read it again, (I think you have had that one before) but I see that as a kind of writing, it's more real and practical like this than coherent and lengthy sentences in quotations.
I found a few spelling mistakes so maybe you could run this through a spell-check. Also, there is a common misconception between 'Tower Bridge' and 'London Bridge'. Did you mean to use Tower Bridge or were you knowingly going for London Bridge?
Really enjoyable piece. Keep it up.
I really enjoyed this, Kuri. I think McGonagall is a fascinating character, and have often pondered what kind of relationships she had been involved in. This was a very nice read, and well written. My favorite section:
"Professor McGonagall studied the Headmaster’s face. Although he seemed calm, she felt as though something had happened. She glanced around the room, checking to make sure she had not forgotten anything. She waved her wand over the box of mice and they vanished into thin air. She did not need them until next lesson. The third-years would be covering Animagi. An allusion of a cat and mouse occurred to her, but she could not recall all of the words. Most people considered this rude behaviour in the presence of a powerful wizard, but she found it easier to pass the awkward silences with small tasks until he was ready to speak."
This paragraph hit me as amost eerie... how our minds go on working even when we know the worst news is likely upon us. Great job.
Author's Response: Lori, You read this and liked it? I'm flattered, really. I'm glad that you think McGonagall is more than a strict old bitty. (Yeah, bitty, what that?) You wouldn't believe the whole ime I was writing this I was thinking, "This is not going to work. Are you kidding me? She's OOC." If I even managed to keep to that by a tenth (and again I don't believe I did in many places. I'm glad you thought so,) that's amazing. This paragraph? Now that I read over it, you're right. It does have a creepy feel to it. I wasn't even going there. Cool. How did that happen? I'm glad I was able to make a connection. Thanks for the revuew.
Awesome! Well done!
Author's Response: Thank you.
You. Are. Evil! In the course of one chapter, you made me utterly adore Leo. I mean, I knew his death was bound to happen, given the warnings on the fic but still. Grr! I wish there were more to this, but at the same time I don't, because you already made the characters much to realistic and lovable. I'd hate to have to lose Leo after multiple chapters.
I know I probably sound silly saying that I'm already attached to the characters, but I can't help myself. Your writing is too good!
Author's Response: Evil. This review makes me laugh every time. Yeah, I have to admit I like Leo too. What can I say? I was sitting here the whole time just thinking something liike, "Damn. I like that line. Just that one line.' I knew the whole time I was writing it he was going to end up dead. But he wasn't a dead character, you know? You have to pour so much into that one person to make he or she so believeable. Does that make sense? That's part of the reason I didn't see beyond that for other chapters. There was nothing there. No, you're not silly at all. I'm glad to have made that connection with somebody. I'm glad that you got into the story and got hooked. Thank you for reading.