I've read this story twice now, and I still find it a little hard to have a handle on it... in a good way, because your writing is so lush and rich, and I think I could read this several more times and pick up more details in each one.
I'm generally not much of a Harry/Hermione fan, I don't think that it's really likely based on their characters and their relationship in canon, but I found this very believable, because I think at this moment, Harry really needs a girl who understands, and Hermione can provide that, if only a little bit.
I liked that he was in a broom cupboard, because it was somehow cyclical and brought me back to the eleven-year-old boy we first meet in PS.
Your wealth of detail and description in this is really wonderful, and at no point does it take over from the characters or feel long and boring. For example, this opening paragraph - The even tock, tock, tock grows louder, and then stops. My toes scrunch around the seam of my socks, and my shoulders draw up tight as I watch the slow twisting of the knob. My eyes close, and I breathe in as the high notes of a far-away melody spill in through the opening door. I wait for the assault of gardenia to overtake the cold, mineral smell of stones and mortar, but it never comes. - that's just beautiful description, and I really felt like I was inside Harry's head.
So certainly flowers from me!
I am glad you liked it, even though you aren't a H/Hr fan. I did have the fleeting thought, writing this, that I might offend the sensibilities of the canon shippers (not that you seem offended, or are, indeed, a canon shipper), but I would ask them to look a bit closer. I won't go into the back-story in my head, but I will say that this is not as much about two people coming together as it is about their inevitable seperation. Perhaps this is why you found it believable.
Like Akay said earlier, the descriptions are the story, here, and I am pleased you found them effective.
Thank you for joining my short journey into Harry's head, and for reviewing!
Well done! The idea of Harry disappearing after the battle and hiding out in the cupboard is so devastating and original. You captured his lonliness very well, I think. There is also an underlying tension that runs through to the end, which is so very enigmatic. I like that the reader could see this as as either a moment of romance between Harry and Hermione, or simply a moment of friendship. At least, that was my impression, although I sense the latter a bit more than the former. Very well-written - flowers for sure! ;)
Thank you! I'm glad you felt the tension held up throughout, and I'm doubly glad that you didn't feel hemmed in by the ending. I wasn't really interested in resolution, per se. Real life is rarely a tidy thing with easy endings, and I wanted to leave the reader with space to think and speculate.
Thank you so much for reading and reviewing!
I really like the way you did this. You kept it simple, it was elegant. The way you used setting to set the mood was perfect, and I loved the mood you used. It really set off the interaction between the two of them. It was also interesting the way you used Harry's train of thought as a part of the story. The end was very open, and it's bare simplicity made it all the more meaningful. I really enjoyed reading this, well done. :)
I'm very glad you enjoyed it. I was concerned that the end might be too open, but I just couldn't bring myself to take it any further. I didn't/don't think a 'proper ending' would have worked at all, here, and I'm not necessarily a fan of such conventions, anyway, so.....
I thank you very much for reading and for the review!
Been a few minutes and here I am still trying to clear my head. Being a person who frequently visits the recent page and leaves without often going to none of the stories, right now I find myself sunken in my chair feeling sad and torn and absolutely wanting to get this review over with so I can read the story again. (One could say I'd do better with a little more enthusiasm, haha). Thanks for giving me the most enjoyable ten minutes of this morning.
Something that stood out incredibly in story was your command on the descriptions. A favourite fanfic author of mine here has this gift with description too, but in a way that he weaves it into the story so well that you're not essentially thinking about the actions but the character, because he only chooses the details that lend something to the character in that very moment. I absolutely loved your contrast to him in the way that your descriptions are not subtle but the story, the anticipation is actually built on them. Description is what apparantly you have here but then I reach the end and the find out who the person is and for a moment, I'm over taken by an overwhelming feeling (like some residue from finishing DH). The description serves its purpose because I go back reread it again just after I have done the first time, this time putting a name to the pronoun. It was like default.
Time slows down in the cupboard. Amazing. I realise now also that the actions Harry observes in there (description of the perfume earlier and later also - so good!) are so unique in quality that they could only have been Harry's. He's the guy who couldn't afford to think about girls in that last book but now in a post war glimpse of him, he's filled with an overpowering need to be together with one.
This above must have been something you were expecting. But I bet you wouldn't this: I thought the protagonist was Luna. Ha. There are few things I begin with here, an attention to detail, the absolute sensitivity of it, being withdrawn and being at ease with it because it comes as second nature, an instinct to feeling lonely post-war. Off the top of my head I can only relate these attributes to either Harry and Luna. And when I began this I thought it was Luna. Maybe I'd have missed something in the summary that suggests it. But I wonder what you think about this. You know of at least one person (me) who misjudged the sex here. Do you think there is some way that this detail can be dealt with here or would you say that its not important to superimpose everything onto the reader and take away the joy of being indulged.
I could not guess that girl was Hermione either. It is so masterful of you to describe her as: silhouette, tall with willow limbs, standing still and peering down through the thin crack between the door and the frame. I wait for her to speak to me, to step inside. After all, it’s not as if she’s ever really needed an invitation, before. So amazing. Genius. There's a post war change in her too. It's lovely to see that she's this young lady now who is slowly trying to embrace life and reach for any bit of goodness their scarred world has to offer. You employ simple elements of a girl's daily life: a lipstick and perfume, but they have contributed so much here. It makes me so sad to contrast Hermione's growth against Harry. He's wound up in a cupboard again, a little by his free will, perhaps, a little by the actions of the cruel world.
Very beautiful. Thanks again for this wonderful piece of work and keep writing.
Author's Response: Hi, Akay, I am so pleased you enjoyed this and to see some of the comments you have left for me. I will try to address what I can. 'Time slows down in the cupboard.' I wanted nothing more than to project that feeling of liminal time, that feeling of being arrested. It is a key theme, here, and I'm glad you feel I succeeded. To answer your question about the misjudged sex, I have never felt the need to give the reader all the information up front, and I don't mind at all that you thought the protagonist might be Luna or that you didn't immediately recognize Hermione. It was less important to me that you instantly know who these people might be, and more important that you can feel, or, at least, have some sense of, what they might be feeling. I generally like to leave some room for the reader to think, to linger. I like for them to have somewhere to go without me (the author) holding their metaphorical hand so tightly. I want to gently lead you through the scene in my mind, not march you through in tight formation, if that makes any sense. I intentionally made the summary as vague as possible. Maybe this is a bad choice. I mean, I want people to feel intrigued enough to read, but then I look at it and I can’t bring myself to change it to make it clearer. I can’t get away from maintaining the ambiguity of the beginning of the story. Is this a detriment? Perhaps. Only the individual reader can judge. I am so glad you chose to read this and then write such a thoughtful review. I’m very happy you feel that it wasn’t ten minutes wasted.-S-
I liked this story...it was unexpected, but in a good way.
Hey, Arial Felchem,
I'm glad you liked it.
Thanks for reading and for the review!