This is my first review. I've been a lurker, reading your works. I really enjoy your literary style. The characters are very believable. Nice story. Would like a sequel. What would Molly say? Better yet, what would Percy say?
Author's Response: Thank you very much. I must admit that I do have a sequel in mind for this, but I'm not sure I have the time to write it. Penelope and Charlie are in my mind as a couple now, so I would like to get it down one day. Thank you, again, it's always lovely to get reviews. ~Carole~
Carole, I loved this! (I mentioned on the LS about how I don't review everything I read -- well, this is one of them. *hangs head in shame*)
Anywho, what an original rarepair. I never, ever would have thought that Charlie and Penelope had any kind of connection, but you made the pairing so believable. I liked how Penelope was frosty to begin with, but then she loosened up eventually, with a good old drink, ha ha.
Charlie is one character in the fandom who I've seen with so many different people -- Parvati (in Alex's The Winged Lion -- dunno if you've read that but tis excellent), Oliver, and, of course, Tonks. I liked the mention of Charlie/Tonks too, actually; after reading Apparently Asleep, hehe.
Oh, and I loved the ending. It was quite open, but from the mentions of Charlope in some of your other work, they do get together in the end. Yay to that :D I'd love to see a sequel, actually, but no pressure of course.
Fab story, Carole!
Author's Response: Thank you. Julia suggested the pairing ages ago on LJ when I was scratching around for a challenge. I like Charlie and the thought of him being with Percy's ex (who sadly gets tarred with the same brush as Percy, poor lamb) interested me.
There should be a sequel, I do have one very clearly in mind, and yes, there are hints of Charlope in High and ... um ... Jominique (another sequel possibly). I have read The Winged Lion (not sure I finished it, actually, so must check that out) and I've read some Charlie/Olivers. I like Charlope too much now to switch, but pre-each other they can have all the fun in the world - heh heh heh.
Thank you very much for reviewing ~Carole~
I think this is my favorite of the stories that you've written (that I've read). It was romantic, but not nauseatingly so, dramatic, but it didn't sound like a soap opera, and your characterization of Penelope was fabulous. A lot of the time, it seems like Penelope is characterized as a female version of Percy. I typically find people in real life who act like Percy rather irritating, In this story Penelope shares a handful of traits with Percy (e.g. she gets annoyed when people don't follow rules). But, you also developed her as an individual, and as the story progressed her differences from Percy became more apparent.
When Charlie first meets her, she's very uptight and proper, She's described as holding a clipboard and she begins the meeting in a very Percy-ish manner (i.e. by commenting on Charlie's tardiness and by continually trying to redirect the conversation to a more professional topic). Yet, unlike Percy, who often seems self confident to the point of being pompous, Penelope feels almost insecure to me, and that feeling becomes more pronounced and developed through the story.
Through the first chapter, whenever the topic turns toward romantic relationship, Penelope seems to become very uncomfortable. When Charlie jokes about her relationship with Percy at the beginning of the fic, Penelope is described as 'stiffening'. When Charlie jokes about charming her, again, she's described as replying to him 'stiffly'. Much later, after she agrees to have a drink/go out with Charlie, she stares in the mirror, overanalyzing her clothing choice. I really liked how her fear of looking desperate and that Charlie is just using her to avoid getting the reserve's budget cut is mixed with her staring in the mirror looking over her dress in a manner that suggests to me that she wants to be noticed by Charlie. However, she is continually trying to talk herself out of thinking that Charlie might be romantically interested in her.
Later, you actually explain Penelope's reticence regarding relationships when she recalls her break-up with Percy. The man she dated for three years, didn't argue or seem to have any reaction when she broke off their relationship. This provided what I thought was a really good contrast between Penelope and Percy. When Percy and she break up, he's seemingly unaffected. When Charlie and Penelope argue, she is shouting a string of words, that while not that bad, are certainly more dramatic than anything I can see Percy using.
I think one of the things I like about this piece is that Penelope's insecurity is relatable. Despite her best efforts, she wants people to like her, and she seems upset when she explains her reputation at the ministry to Charlie. I also liked the part about sitting alone in her house with her cat. I can completely relate to sitting at home with a cat while everyone you know is out doing something exciting, and while I can't relate to the wine part, if you substitute chocolate for wine she does the same thing in the evenings as I do!
Charlie felt very honest to me, and some times it felt like he was slightly too blunt. At the beginning, when he firsts meets Penelope, he felt somewhat rude to her. I'd assume that this was intentional, but it did make me pause for a second. In the books, while he wasn't terribly smooth, he did seem polite. Of course, we generally see him in canon around his mother, who would murder him if he was rude. I can certainly see him being blunt and completely ignoring manners with his friends, but I would think that when meeting the witch assigned to cut/look over the reserve's budget he would at least attempt to make a good impression.
The rate at which the story progressed was, in my opinion, really well done. I liked how at the beginning of the story, Charlie saw Penelope as being almost exactly like Percy. Then as the story progressed, and as Charlie got to know her, Penelope became much more of an individual. Even though the story was told for the most part through Penelope's narration, it feels like the reader experiences the development of the relationship and understanding of Penelope's character through Charlie's eyes. At the beginning, even when the story was entirely in Penelope's point of view, she seemed to be very proper (e.g. spending the time to question the appropriateness of the cut of her dress). Later in their relationship, Penelope loosens up and begins to feel very little like Percy. I liked how you showed many of these things through Penelope's recollections of her memories and thoughts, which could have been presented at any point in the story, but were saved until later.
Finally, I really liked the way that the ending was somewhat open. I got the impression that Penelope and Charlie were going to try a relationship, but how that relationship ended was left to the reader's imagination. (unless you feel like writing a prologue or a sequel…) I thought this kept the relationship realistic, while not ruining the romance and happy ending (because while I can pretend, I'm not entirely sure how well Penelope and Charlie's relationship would have worked out long term).
As I'm sure you can figure out from the amount of the review about characterization, the characterization of Penelope was my favorite part of this story, and I really liked how you used the pacing of the story to unfold it. I now will go curl up with my cat and eat chocolate…
Author's Response: Thank you very much for the wonderful review. I will try to respond in kind, but it will, unfortunately, be very much shorter (and probably littered with typos)
Firstly with Penelope, there was a conscious decision to present her as a female Percy on the surface - rules, being proper etc etc because it's the way she feels she can get on with her work. And being this way has made her very successful in her work life - just not that way in her love life. There's an element of risk taking that she's never thought about - caution being her watchword. let's face it, caution with the mirror in CoS saved her life. But in this environment, up against dragons and handlers, she can't hopld on to her clipboard and stiff manner forever.
Regarding Charlie, yes he was blunt/rude at first because he's pretty sure the budget being cut is a foregone conclusion so he's on the defensive. I don't think Arthur would be at all impressed with his manners, although I think Molly might sympathise because she's fiercely protective of her family and woe betide anyone that tries to disrupt them. Charlie also lives outside the bounds of normal society so isn;t used to delicate chit-chat.
There was a time of my life, before I was married, when I lived alone with two cats. I wasn;t as unbending as Penelope (not organised enough) but I did spend a large proportion of my evenings/weekends not seeing people. I was actually pretty happy with that. I enjoyed work and liked my solitude. I didn't realise until I read your review how much that part of my life influenced this story. Very strange the tricks the subconscious plays.
Oh, I fully intend writing a follow up to this, by the way, but there are some clues in a few of my other stories how this relationship works out.
Thank you again for the comprehensive review. I quite fell in love with this pairing which was inspired by Julia suggesting it on LJ, so I'm pleased it worked for you. ~Carole~
This story is just stupidly good. How dare you write such an ultra-rare rarepair and make it so demmed sexy! I can't believe how much I just know about both characters, not only from their shared stories, but even in how they thought and how they shagged. Simply splendid.
I really wanted to strangle Charlie when he read Penelope's 'report' on the desk. I had a feeling of dread (as you likely recall), and when he turned all cold on her, I wanted to shout at him that she was just doing her job. I wasn't sure what was going to happen in the last part during the meeting, but I was hoping to hell that he was overreacting and that Penelope wouldn't do that. It made my day when she simply pointed out that Nico was hosing them.
She's going back! Yes yes yes yes YES! Lots more Charlope smut just waiting to pepper the senses! Gah, what a fabulous story! Wow, what a lot of exclamation points!
Author's Response: This was Julia's idea, actually, which is why she features in the fic (heh heh). Once I'd started writing, the pairing sort of took over and Charlie, in particular, became this rather hot to trot bloke that I think I want to run off with. Thank you so much for the review, and the trolling of the author page. Much appreciated. ~Carole~
Gah, I am so in love with their banter. Put a few drinks in her, and Penelope is a whole other person, comprised of everything she denies herself for the sake of her career. And I love the note of wistfulness in Charlie's tone, especially the nod to his lost love (who is not permitted to be anyone but Tonks).
On to the next chapter!
Author's Response: Yes, it's Tonks. I can't not see them together now. Chonks is love. Ta for reading. There is smut somewhere. ~Carole~
hey!! i want to read more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you can't just stop here!!!!!!!!
Author's Response: There could well be a sequel .... I am rather fond of this couple, and do have a sequel running amok in my head. Thank you for reviewing ~Carole~
Great story! Write more please I wanna know what happens next. Not a big fan of the whole leave it up to your imagination thing.
I never really considered a Charlie/Penelope pairing but you wrote it really well. XD
Author's Response: Thank you very much. I wasn't going to write more, but something occurred to me, when I was trying to sleep, so I probably will. It'll be a sep story though. ~Carole~
too cute :)
Author's Response: Thank you. ~Carole~
Ohhh! I loved this. Now you will have to write more about them. I want to know if they ended together. I want to know if they had babies! I want to know MORE!
I rather liked Penelope. :D You wrote her the way I imagined her to be. Reserved, talented, strict and unyielding, but you really turned her around nicely in the end.
*sigh* I think I'm beginning to have a liking in Charlie. NoooOooOOo...BILL BILL BILL!
Sorry for the rambly, squee-y review, but lovely story, Carole. I believe I have a new ship to sail now. Lol.
Author's Response: Well, if Penelope can go out with two brothers ...
Thank you so much for the review and enjoying the *ahem*. Babies? Um, not sure. More sex, yes! Ha ha.
I hope not the end! This was awesome! Would love to read more, you have done a wonderful job bringing these characters to life. Excellent writing, loved the story.
Author's Response: It's the end for now ... but maybe another oneshot will follow. Thanks for reading and I'm glad you liked it. ~Carole~
YAY! Loved the dragon breed you chose, Carole. Very nice XD Anyway, guhhh this fic was just fabulous. Everything about it drew me in and kept me wanting more. Your characterisation was great, and I loved how you shaped Penelope into someone so real and, well, canon. The way you described the break down of her relationship with Percy is exactly how I imagined it to be. Also, I rather enjoyed the sexy times xD Great fic, Carole. I'll definitely be adding this one to my favourites!
Author's Response: I wonder why I chose that dragon ... Thank you so much for the review. i think i love Charlope far too much to be healthy. I might have to write more. ~Carole~
Interesting read. You must add a second chapter.
Well written, Good flow. Nice ending Leaves us wanting more.
Author's Response: Thank you very much (interesting name btw). The second chapter is written and ready to go and should be up ... very soon (certainly before 18th when the comp closes) Glad you enjoyed it. ~Carole~
I have to say i do rather like Penelope here, there's something very admirable going on. The mirror was a beautiful little touch too. As for Charlie, he's just 'cool', still, the idea of him trying to climb into the dragon pen on his first day was great.
It's becoming a crime to miss any of your stories these days!
Author's Response: I rather like Penelope, too. I wasn't sure I would, but then I made her less prim than I first imagined. Thank you so much for the review and the praise. ~Carole~
Carole, I really enjoyed this fic. I liked the insight into some areas of the Potterverse we don't usually see - the Romanian dragon reserve, the whole accounting thing - and the characters were love. Charlie and Penelope were both very likeable, and they worked very well together. You make me want to see more of everything, because the taste you gave me in here was so intriguing, if that makes any sense. I'm not a very good reader of oneshots, I always end up wanting more. xD
So yeah, I loved this fic. Yay for minor characters/rarepairs!
Author's Response: There's another chapter. It was supposed to be a oneshot, but at 9k it looked too unwieldy so I split it in two. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'm becoming addicted to rarepairs. Thank you! ~Carole~
You wrote it!!! Shizzle, Carole, I'm kind of, sort of, REALLY in love with this fic and I'm so sad it's only two chapters. I've re-read it three times already! You seem so adept at capturing that delicious sexual tension without making it in-your-face. You did it with Lavender/Blaise and here it is again. Gahhhh. Your Penelope is very interesting and I can't wait to see more of her when you update. Hehe I'm curious about my appearance. I have an inkling (if it's even in this chapter...).
Author's Response: Thank you, Juliaaaaa. Yeah, since you suggested this pairing, I've been mulling it over for months. Charlie never seems to have any fun when he probably has far more opportunity away from Molly's grasp - LOL. Next Chapter should be up very soon. ~Carole~
This story has definitely caught me in its spell. I look forward to the next chapter!
Author's Response: Thank you I'm glad you're enjoying the story. Next Chapter should be up very soon. ~Carole~
Fun story. I hope you will follow it up. I really enjoy your touch with romance, allowing it to be a bit spicy. Thanks.
Author's Response: There's one more chapter. This is all complete, so the follow up shouldn't be long. Thanks very much for reading and reviewing. I appreciate it ~Carole~
I have one word about this chapter - refreshing. Hmm, yeah. Cool.
Author's Response: Thank you. Charlie is so often ignored that I felt he deserved some fun. ~Carole~
This is chaptered! I was hoping to get down to some P-rated smut dammit.
Excellent start, Carole! I am loving the reference to AA. Penelope is rather interesting, and I can't wait to see how you'll bring her around. ;)
Can't wait for the update (and sorry for the squeey review.)
Author's Response: I'll let you into a secret. I love squeeeeing - especially from you - ha ha. Thank youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu ~Carole~