Reviews For In the Ashes
Reviewer: iwishicouldwrite
Date: 11/12/10 8:18
Chapter: Chapter 4

wow this story is awesome! I love Oliver's character he has a great personality, and i'm looking forward to Katie finally getting what she wants!

Author's Response:

I really wanted to clearly define two nearly forgotten characters with this story and make people care about them. That you want them to be happy makes me warm and fuzzy inside, because you care about them, too. Thank you for reading and reviewing, and have a lovely day.

~Jess

Reviewer: beckyducky
Date: 10/30/10 16:45
Chapter: Chapter 3

Hi!! I absolutely adore this fic!! It's wonderful reading something that's post DH and also about Oliver. He's actually one of my favorite characters (yes, even before Sean Biggerstaff played him in the movies). I remember feeling like a complete loser when I read and reread his only line in DH and fangirling like no one's business. So, when I found this gem of a fic, I spazzed quite literally!!

Author's Response:

Well, then I'm glad that, despite this story's relatively low read count, that it is meeting a very specific demographic's need. I started it as a sort of gift to a friend of mine who is a Katie/Oliver enthusiast, but it sort of blossomed into a longer story. I really do love this story, and it's so much fun to write.

Updates will be on their way. :D

~Jess

Reviewer: h_vic
Date: 10/17/10 13:48
Chapter: Chapter 1

Well, I finally have a moment to you leave you the much promised, somewhat more substantial review, Jess.

But before I launch, with gusto, into the lovely characterisation and chemistry, there's just a few little continuity nitpicks and a few Brit-picks that I spotted and may as well get out of the way first.

On the continuity front, when they are going to the restaurant, you say about Katie's aversion to Side-Along Apparition that Last time, when Oliver had brought her there, Katie had been asleep. But this time, she would be wide awake., but that just struck me as a little odd, given that in the interim he had also Side-Along Apparated her to the Quidditch tryouts when she was very much awake. Also in the restaurant, Oliver breaks his glass, but then downs his drink without it having been replaced when the waiter comes to take the order.

Brit-pick-wise, when Katie is looking for a taxi, we wouldn't say something was a couple of blocks away, we'd say it was a couple of roads away or a couple of minutes walk; Katie wouldn't be wearing a sweater in the almost-smut scene, but a jumper, sweatshirt, or just a top (probably most likely the latter as she's not wearing another layer underneath); when they go to dinner, Oliver would be wearing a jacket or blazer not a sports coat; and at dinner, they'd have a waiter not a server. That said, your use of tenner and loo warmed my little English heart.

My final little nitpick is actually more of an Oxford-pick really. When Katie is trying to get a taxi, you said that she was near the university campus. Oxford doesn't have a campus though. It's not a campus-based university; the various colleges and departments are really just an organic part of the city itself, scattered throughout the centre of town (the oldest of the colleges are about 800 years old so the city and the university sort of grew together). It would make more sense to simply say that she was near the centre of town, or if you wanted to be a bit more specific, there are big taxi ranks at Carfax (a major crossroads in the centre where the main shopping streets meet) or Gloucester Green (by the main bus station and the cinema), both of which have various parts of the university in their vicinity.

Oxford is such a perfect place to have a Wizarding pub and branch of Honeydukes though, because a large Wizarding population there would make sense – they could hide in plain sight. Wizards wouldn't stand out in Oxford at all because with so many students there are constantly people wandering around in fancy dress, not to mention that full academic dress including black gowns is required for exams, so even if Wizards walked about in robes, it would just be assumed that they were sitting Finals!

I really like the structure of the first chapter – I have a thing for non-linear story structure at the best of times, but I thought you used it particularly effectively here. The way that you started with the funeral rather than launching straight into the Battle set the more sombre mood of the chapter rather than leaving the reader to expect a high octane chapter about the Battle. It also meant that, as a reader, I already knew Katie survived but was a bit of a mess so I knew I could focus on her descent into that state rather than whether she'd live or die as events unfolded.

The back-drop of the fallout from the Battle and Fred's death, Oliver's broken engagement and the Quidditch-based plot are what successfully elevate this from just a simple romance to a truly, richly textured story. It amazes me that you have so much plot going into something that was intended to just be PWP.

There's a really nice balance between the darker elements of the fallout from the Battle, the building romance, technicalities of Quidditch and humour (Oliver's creative swearing rather suits a Quidditch player, who's bound to have encountered some choice language on the pitch, and the term 'Snitch bunny' is a wonderful creation). All of those elements are blended well, which creates enough variety to keep things interesting, and there's no overload of any particular one element to make it too dark, or fluffy, or silly or dry.

Now we get to what really captivates me about this story – the characters. You've achieved that crucial, but yet really tricky balance, necessary with minor characters and kept them true to the little we do know of them from canon, whilst putting your own stamp on them - you have a Katie and an Oliver here who are truly your own. They have the facets that I expect to see in their characters, but they also have traits that are fresh and new and not how I've quite seen them handled before.

I love the way you've really brought out the Gryffindor side of dear Mr Wood, because sometimes I think all we really see of him in canon are more Hufflepuff traits of determination and commitment, but his chivalry and slight 'saving people thing' that seems to be a motivating force behind what he's doing for Katie are very Gryffindor-like.

Katie, however, is perhaps more Hufflepuff-like that I've ever seen her and I find that a very interesting take on her character. I think punch she throws at Blake though does definitely showcase her Gryffindor streak, and I actually don't find anything un-Gryffindor in her running and hiding after watching Fred's death rather than fighting, because that strikes me simply as her being in shock, which can obviously be incredibly powerful, rather than a lack of courage.

However, the fact that what draws her out of her funk over Fred was guilt that Angelina was worrying for her, her forgiveness for Draco (where Gryffindors a often seem to hold a grudge), the fact that she doesn't want to get involved with Oliver because she's too much of a mess for it to be fair to him, and the way that her first thought on finding out about Heather was in fact that if Heather and Oliver weren't broken up she owed Heather an apology rather than any concern for the fact it would also mean that Oliver had used her, Katie, abominably too, all strike me as far more Hufflepuff-like. I think perhaps bringing out that side of her is one of the major elements that make your Katie quite unique.

I'm intrigued to see, as, being Quidditch players, they seem to both be 'very physical beings' as I think Hermione described Victor (or something to that effect at least) – Katie won't talk to her parents about the Battle when she first comes home so she flies instead because she can't cope, and Oliver kisses her because he doesn't know what to say when she's upset behind the Burrow – how that will play out within their relationship as it develops, because I could see that their unwillingness/inability to talk things out could be a source of conflict (and after all there's only so much ground make up sex can cover!).

I do think they have a wonderful chemistry building between them, that had a real spark to it in the almost-smut scene, and I like the way you reversed the roles there – I always see Oliver as the more dominant of the pair, but it was Katie taking charge there. The little comments though about how he is 'letting' her take charge, and how he's the one to put a stop to it for Katie's sake, show that actually it's really just that compulsion to save her coming through again. Oliver is still ultimately in control (and I do hope at some point we will see the situation reversed and he will ravish her finally!), but Katie lacks control in every other aspect of her life at that point so in letting her have control of something then he's redressing that balance for her, but only so far and then he takes back that control as soon as he thinks it's for her own good. Gentlemanly certainly, but I wonder if perhaps there's a slightly darker side to Oliver that could be at risk of becoming a little controlling. I may just be, and probably am, somewhat overanalysing now though, but really you've written such wonderful characters that it's hard not to search for the nuances.

Anyway, dear, as this is fast becoming a respectable one shot in its own right, I'll just end by saying thank you for writing something so lovely just to satisfy my Katie/Oliver craving, and I can't wait to see what happens next.

~Hannah

Author's Response:

*sighheartattacksquee*

It's like a present, getting a review from you. I've always adored our character discussions, so going this in-depth in a story is just pure awesome. 

I see your Britpicks and raise you a 'I shall go back and fix those'. :D And the Apparition thing...I realised it when I wrote it but didn't want to go back and uproot anything in the story. I think I might have them Floo to practise for the first time so Katie knows where she is supposed to Apparate. I could definitely change that with minimal editing. Laziness is what that was.

I sort of want Katie to be more submissive at first, because she's still unsure of a lot of things and is perfectly willing to let Oliver lead. After what happened to both of them, she is glad that someone else can take the reigns and he is glad to have someone to distract him. It's kind of an emotional symbiosis for the both of them.

Honestly, I never really noticed that I had made Oliver sort of bossy, but I think Katie would be so used to him like that that it wouldn't bother or offend her. He spent years being the martinet Quidditch captain that being in control of a situation is far more the norm for him than not, not to mention he plays a position in which he relies solely on himself. It just seemed to me the natural progression of his off-the-pitch personality.

That being said, I agree that they are more inclined toward action than talking, because every time she brought up anything Oliver didn't want to talk about, he slammed the proverbial door in her face. He's not comfortable with that level of verbal intimacy, as he admitted in chapter 1.

I'm glad you like the story, and the overall response to it was that people wish it were canon. So do I, actually. JKR shoudl just come out and say that Oliver Wood married Katie Bell and they had a dozen smexy children. :D

Wonderful review, dear, and as I'm sure I've missed a score of things you brought up, such is my giddy haze from reading it, please feel free to prod on AIM if you would like to chat about it further. :D

Heart,

~Jess

Reviewer: locanena
Date: 10/15/10 12:50
Chapter: Chapter 3

Write more

Author's Response:

I'm planning on it. I'm glad you enjoy the story so far. Cheers!

~Jess

Reviewer: locanena
Date: 10/15/10 10:54
Chapter: Chapter 1

Love it

Author's Response:

I'm glad you like it. After the project I'm working on is done, watch this space for updates. :D

~Jess

Reviewer: WeasleyMom
Date: 10/07/10 22:14
Chapter: Chapter 3

Holy crap, this is awesome. I absolutely love it, Jess. Please don't bust them up, I beg you! ;)

Really powerful bit with the nightmare. I think they can be tough to write because they are more dramatic than life... but you did it really well. I like how you turned it, with Katie being the one who had done it.

Can't wait for more!

Author's Response:

Why thank you, Lori! I wanted to channel my inner canon and posit a very raw and possible scenario. I'm glad you can appreciate it, and since I love this pair so much, I'm not sure if I could bear to break them up again.

Thanks for reading and the lovely review. :D

~Jess

Reviewer: the opaleye
Date: 10/04/10 23:47
Chapter: Chapter 2

Gosh, Jess, this fic is so sexy. I can't believe I didn't notice it before... where have I been?!?! I love Oliver fics, and this pairing is just so delicious. Can't wait for more XD Sorry about the fangirly review but I'm not a SPEWer so what the heck, right? I just wanted to squee.

Author's Response:

Would you believe that I started this fic with the intention of it being gratuitous smut for someone on my f-list? Then a plot had to weave its way into my brain, and now look what's happened. I intend to finish this story as quickly as possible so I can get back to Harmony, but for the moment, it won't leave my head. I'm glad you like it. :D

~Jess

Reviewer: Willow Rosenberg
Date: 10/02/10 17:03
Chapter: Chapter 1

I had the biggest crush on Oliver when I was like thirteen. I'm very excited about this.

And this might be a little nitpicky, but isn't Katie a year old than Harry? The cursed necklace thing happened in his sixth year, but her seventh? I could be wrong though.

I'm looking forward to chapter updates! Katie/Oliver is honestly a pair I never considered, but now I'm starting to really like it :)

Author's Response:

Hi there.I know what you mean about the Oliver crush, because when I first watched the SS movie, he and I were about the same age and *melt*.

I've kind of always assumed that Katie and Oliver were a thing, and I have no idea why. This is the first time I've ever explored their relationship in depth, so I'mreally excited to get this one out.

And you 're right about Katie's age. I could have sworn that it was what I'd had on there, but I might have been under the influence of fatigue and missed it. I shall go back and check. 

I'm glad you like the story so far, and the second chapter is in the queue. You know what that's like, lol. It should come out in the next couple of days. Thanks for reviewing. :D

~Jess

Reviewer: IloveRowling
Date: 09/29/10 10:47
Chapter: Chapter 1

I love this!

Author's Response:

Thank you!

I'm glad you enjoy it, and the next chapter's in the queue. See you thin. :D

~Jess

Reviewer: CoolCatElly
Date: 09/28/10 10:54
Chapter: Chapter 1

GAHHH

That was soo good Jess!!! I'm going to forget about being in spew and just fangirl you now. Wow, just... wow. This is my favourite thing you've ever written. I think Katie/Oliver is my new OTP. I feel like crying in relief that there are still decent writers out there. After what I read this morning, it was like stumbling through a desert and reaching an oasis of clear water which was all shimmery and wonderful.

I love everything about this fic and am saving it to my favourites right now.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Meeee

Author's Response:

Aww, you are a sweet one, aren't you?

I'm not sure if this is my best work, but I really have been sucked into this fic. In fact, that I'm not working on it right now is causing me to majorly resent my QSQ reading, so much so that I probably trashed a story that likely wasn't as bad as I made it out to be because I resented it that much. Plus, it was bad.

Anyway, next chapter's in the queue, and I'm so glad you liked the story. :D

~Jess

Reviewer: CassandraWood
Date: 09/28/10 8:29
Chapter: Chapter 1

Please keep writing! I want to know what happens. I love "Katie girl." It's a believable nickname for her from him.

Author's Response:

I'm glad you like it. Truthfully, this story has me by the throat right now, and I can't seem to want to do anything else. It's not going to be long, but I'm going to be finishing it before I start anything else. The next chapter went into the queue as soon as this one came up, so it's on its way. 

Thanks for reviewing and have a wonderful day/night/whatever!

~Jess

Reviewer: afterglow745
Date: 09/26/10 22:29
Chapter: Chapter 1

Oooh, I love this pairing! I don't seem to ever find enough of it that's well-written, but this definitely is. I love that you have Oliver calling her "Katie love"- that seems so spot on to his character. Hope to see another chapter up soon! :]

Author's Response:

I'm glad you liked what you've seen so far. I started this story with a one-shot in mind for a friend of mine who loves rarepairs and Oliver/Katie, but it sort of took a life of its own.

The next chapter's in the queue and the third chapter is well on its way. Thanks for reading and have a lovely night!

~Jess

Reviewer: h_vic
Date: 09/26/10 16:35
Chapter: Chapter 1

This is awesome, Jess! There just isn't enough Katie/Oliver out there, and certainly not enough good Katie/Oliver and this is bloody brilliant.

This is the draw back though of having a rare OTP - when confronted with it I become incoherent.

You will get a proper review from me for this at some point, but for now all I can do is squee - the characterisation is wonderful, the chemistry is great, the set up and the angst adds a real edge and the almost-smut is delightful.

~Hannah (who is just a little over-excited)

Author's Response:

Oh, Hannah, my love...you have made my day warm and fuzzy.

As you know, this was supposed to be a one-shot, but as you also know, I freaking fail at brevity. A plot ravelled itself into my PWP,demanding to be a part of it. I can't say no to my muse or she might stop speaking to me altogether.

I hope you like the finished product, considering I basically started this story just for you. :D

Heart heart,

~Jess

Reviewer: FawkesToTheRescue
Date: 09/26/10 16:27
Chapter: Chapter 1

Haha, you're chapter notes actually inspire people to review. It's so cute. ;) Of course, I would have reviewed anyway!

I loved this story. I had never read one like this before. Katie Bell and Oliver Wood? Interesting! I love it.

I liked your characterization of both Katie and Oliver. It was really good.

Overall, this story was very fluffy and warm and I enjoyed it very, very much.

Great work Jess!

-Megan

Author's Response:

Hi Megan!

I'm glad you like the story. :D 

The author's notes are there to give people that last little bit of motivation to review, if only to see how I'll respond, lol. I'm glad it looks like it'd work.

Thanks for reading, and the next chapter's in the queue. Take care!

~Jess

Reviewer: hestiajones
Date: 09/26/10 14:31
Chapter: Chapter 1

Why hello!

This seems to be a good beginning to something good, oh yes! I really love your writing, how easily it flows. I know you moan about the word-vomit or word-constipation on AIM and elsewhere, but believe me, the struggle never shows in the final product.

Katie's characterisation was done really nicely. I think it is a believable portrayal of lost innocence, and of someone who is trying to cope with horrors which she may never forget. Her family life intrigued me, too, though I was a bit annoyed at her mother. Which should be a given.

Oh, the funeral. :( It made me doubly sad, but what a brilliant idea, the jokes and WWW products! They should make it canon, really.

I am happy Oliver entered as the Keeper in shining armour. (Takes a moment to giggle at our Sean Biggerstaff AIM convo.) I did think they kissed too soon, but his entrance didn't feel forced. I am interested to see how they carry on. My only fear is you might destroy it later on, the way you are.

My other nitpick is:
"Chances were that she didn’t want to hear those words anyway, because they would just bring back memories of that green slash of light that had struck Fred. "

I think Fred died because of an explosion caused by Rookwood, not the AK.

This is a great story, Jess! As Carole told me a few moments ago, this romance is more than just fluff.

Keep writing, and I'll see you in the City Games!

~HJ.

Author's Response:

Hello their, e-bestie. :D

I'm glad you like it so far. The second chapter is already in the queue. I intend to finish this one with about five or six chapters, and I'm going to work on it until it's finished. I really love working on it.

About the Fred thing...I'll have to re-check DH, but I'm fairly certain that he was AKed. I'll check again, but being killed by an explosion isn't very conducive of dying with a smile frozen on one's face.

Thanks for reviewing, as always. Heart

~Jess

Reviewer: Equinox Chick
Date: 09/26/10 6:45
Chapter: Chapter 1

Despite the fact that Oliver is clearly gay *snigger* I suspended my disbelief and horror at his heterosexuality to read your story. Pretty damn glad I did as well.

Fairly fabulous start. I really am impressed with Katie in this and the fact that she hid. Okay, I don’t mean I’m impressed with her, but I do love the way you’ve written this. We have this idea that Gryffs are always brave, but she was scared – and not surprisingly when she’d just seen Fred die.

Katie had never seen anyone die before. It felt like something filthy that couldn’t be washed from her skin, almost as if she had done it herself. That was when she realised that she was a coward. Incredibly good set of lines there, Jess. I think your writing here sets the tone perfectly for the piece and the conflicts in her mind.

I giggled at the Confunding of the taxi driver. It added a slightly lighter moment, but also introduced a touch of magic at the beginning. In general, apart froma bit of Apparition, I find a lot of fanfic authors somehow ignore the magic to concentrate on the plot. You haven’t so thank you!

I liked Fred’s funeral (well, not like exactly) and the idea of the jokes was good. I was also pleased that Katie couldn’t think of a joke. It seems fitting that although this was what Fred would have wanted, some people wouldn’t be able to cope with the idea of jollity.

Hmm, no mention of George, though. I think I understand because if you start writing George then it could take over, however you didn’t reference him at all – did you? That felt wrong, somehow and it was a jarring note to what was a good chunk of the story.

When Oliver kissed her, I did start thinking that this was a bit too soon, and his offer to put her up felkt rushed because I didn’t understand his motives. However, remembering a chat with you, I do know a bit more about his side of the story, so I’m aware that there is a story to Oliver that isn’t just about him being kind. The sex scene (or nearly sex scene) was well done. Again, I was twitching a bit at the sooness of it, but then again, both had faced death and just come back from a funeral, so in the end it felt right. I was pleased Oliver pulled away, though – he does have some chivalry left – ha ha ha.

Nit pick time (but not Brit-picks)

the only wizarding establishment anywhere her hometown in South Leigh. There’s a missing word here.

Kenwick, - you said Keswick earlier.

I am impressed with the mention of Quidditch and will be very interested in the rest of the story. Knowing you as I do, this isn’t going to be fluff or mere smut. I reckon there’s a cracking tale coming out over the next few chapters. Please make sure you finish it. I am adding this to favourites – NOW! (and I don’t do that very often)

~EQ~

Author's Response:

Hello, EQ! I'm glad that Bartender J was able to deliver at least to some degree on the story that has taken over her life. :D

I know it seems weird in retrospect that George wasn't mentioned, but Katie really wasn't bothered to think about anything at the moment. Her brain was stuck on how she saw her friend be murdered and how much she really didn't want to be there.

And then Oliver kissed her. Why did he do that? Well, he definitely didn't mean to take it that far. It was supposed to have been a light, sweet kiss meant to show support, but damn it all if they didn't find latent sexual attraction, not to mention a hell of a good reason to want to change the current subject. I suppose when two people are attracted to one another and they're already in the mode of not being bothered to think much (and Oliver's side of the story is coming next chapter), they do things that are...ill-advised (although fun to read/write).

I will go back and fix my little city slip-up. I spent nearly an hour with my face stuck in maps, trying to find the town. I'll be damned if I can actually remember the one I actually picked. >.> :D

And Quidditch will play a HUGE part in the rest of the story. The next chapter is filled with it, actually. I might have to make a glossary of sports terms, or at least extend an invitation to ask me all the question one might need to follow some of it. Prepare to be immersed in sports culture. :D

As you read this, Chapter 2 will be added to the queue. Hopefully this time, though, it doesn't take six days to escape. 

Heart you for being my first (and I suspect only) review. Until we meet again in The City.

~Bartender J

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