I just sped through all four chapters--this is SUCH a lovely piece you've got going!! What astounds me every time I find little gems like this on MNFF is how a great writing style can completely immerse me in a plot. I've seen Harry/Ginny break-up stories where scarred!Harry makes an appearance or Hermione/Ron break-up stories where Harry and Ron remain friends and the Trio's relationship is strained... all of this has been done before, but you really have put a whole new shine onto the general framework with your beautiful characterization. Over and over again, you use just enough description to indirectly characterize the three of them, and I just find these chapters to be wonderfully refined. You're a very talented author, that much is clear, and though the plot is clearly just in the beginning stages at this point, I'm looking forward to reading more from you. Bravo! And of course, write on. :)
Author's Response: Thank you very much. I really do prefer-- I'll say a more diffuse approach to characterization. I like to have lots of things going at once so a character can react and interact. That way they don't have much opportunity to sililoquize.
You are right. This has all been done before… but I thought I might try my hand at it, anyway. I hope my version of events is unique enough to continue to be worth reading.
As for being talented, I appreciate you saying so, but really I'm just a charlatan, dreading the moment I am to be found out. Hooefully, I can make it through this fic, first.
Again, thank you so much for reading and for the review.
Excellent writing! I hope you have more for us soon!
Author's Response: Thank you, Chelle74,
Writing time is sparse at the moment, but the next bit is framed in my head. I just need to get it down.
Thank you so much for reading and for the review!
Still love it!! You've painted Ron right back to the idiot he was with Lavender in school! Harry's a bit twisted which I love bc after all he went through no normal person would be able to go on without having a few scars to deal with. I'm dissappointed in Ginnny though as you know I buy into the whole JKR fairy tail ending but here it's a real world reaction! Great job!!
Author's Response: Hey, nevilleherosnape
Thanks for keeping up. I'm glad you still love it!
Ron-- if anyone is likely to regress straight back to adolescence once in the pub, he's the guy. But I don't want to paint him flat. He's got some stuff going on in the back that I will address shortly. As for Ginny-- yes, she is a disappointment. I've found her disappointing from the moment she reared her freckled little face in book one.
Anyway, thank you so much for reading and for the review!
Dearest Littlebird, where art thou? I hope you'll be back soon! It's too lonely here without being able to read something by you.
Author's Response: Hi, Akay! Just waiting for validation. I has been a while, hasn't it? Thanks for checking in! -S-
Merp!! I'm still waiting for the next chapters!!
Author's Response: Hey, E-Biff, The next chapter is submitted for validation. I'v got my fingers crossed! Thanks for reading and sticking around! -S-
Wow, I really like how you've set up the story with these first few chapters. I've read so many fanfic stories that open with emotional scenes or tragic events but you've captured sme snippets of something that can happen in anyone's life and I think that's what struck me. You've set this story apart from so many others by or idling some raw emotional reflections and let a reader empathize with the character(s).
I reall like the scene of H & Hr on the bathroom floor sharing a personal moment. I'm looking forward to the next installment!
Author's Response: Hi, Sean, I'm so sorry for the delay in responding, but as the sole food source for a tiny human, my hands have been sort of full for the last couple of weeks. I'm sure you can understand.... Anyway, I'm pleased you approve of my story so far. I will gladly let other authors romp in the domain of the hugely tragic if I may dawdle in the mundane and un-extraordinary. That's where we all really live, isn't it? The every-day carries plenty of pain if we look hard enough. I see no need to manufacture big events when just existing in the world with other people can hurt so badly. I hope to have the next bit up soon...if my little guy will allow it. Thank you so much for reading and for the review! ~Susan
I must say, I don't particularly like Harry/Hermione fics, but your summary was so great that I just had to read it. :) Anyways, I'm not very good at constructive criticism, and I thought the prologue was great! The length was perfect--prologues shouldn't be all that long, but it was rather confusing to me, but I think it was just me... I really like it so far, though.
Author's Response: Hey, starlight dreamer, I'm using a non-linear structure, here. Something commonly referred to as the 'O' where the story begins at it's crisis, then immediately drops into flashback, from whence it will carry on until it once again reaches the crisis, and will then be resolved. So, yeah. I can see where it may be confusing, but it will all make sense in the end, I promise. I'm glad you liked it, though, and I hope I may have hooked you into returning. Thanks so much for reading and for the review! ~S~
Amazing that it is four in the morning and I just got lucky the fourth time today while checking if your chapter got through. First one on the recent page. Shouldn't there be points for this kind of thing?
I could hear Harry. From the second sentence onward. I love this about the first person, which is just one of the reasons that it's my own default writing POV. I thought at first that his observations of the sounds were too much information, in too much detail. But my idea was very premature. This beginning scene required a bit of imagination and it works amazingly for the reader that way. I love the way he's lying there listening to her move around in the kitchen, his easiness in that gesture, up until the moment that so suddenly she has head out of the door and he springs after her belatedly. As before you have tapped into Harry very well. It's so endearing about him the way he's unsurprised at her visit but curiosity fills him entirely only minutes later.
Just like Hermione's prologue you do here a nice job of sketching out his life and who he is at this point in a unique manner, without ever really spelling things out for the reader. I love the feeling of open-endedness I feel.
Authors often write Harry as an organized and collected person after the war. You write him with a stark contrast. I can't help but almost smile at the conversation in his head, he's divided and confused and probably not used to solving riddles without her help.
There's an affected brand of wittiness there: 'floppy wastes of time', 'the fact still remains - I'm faster' which sort of balances this chapter against the last, him against her.
I did have a tiny doubt about the girl in his bed being Hermione at first. But the line about the curl suggests otherwise. It's amazing that your chapters are so short but the events in your story, perhaps because of the way you are laying them out, I should say is progressing just fine. Obviously though, there are more questions than answers.
See you on the other side of the calender. Happy new year, littlebird!
Hi, Akay! Happy New Year to you!
First, let me say that you have tapped one of my pet peeves: Authors writing post-Hogwarts Harry as a righteous, collected, uber-capable machine of valour. I've never been able to see why, suddenly, he should have it all together just because he's older. I've always thought it more likely that the years would turn up more and more issues. More scars. More chips in his psyche. I believe he would struggle, but I also believe there would be a sort of wry acceptance that these things would come, and that he'd think it best to try to deal with them.
I wonder, can you tell that this was originally going to be two separate stories? The more I thought about it, though, the more I wanted to mesh them together and shift between voices; Hermione- injured with no recovery in sight, and Harry- not quite so desperate, but still floundering. I am pleased you found my representation of his voice believable and that the contrast between the two is discernible.
As I'm sure you've deduced by now, I am no fan of exposition and much prefer to nonchalantly tuck a few key details into the narrative, letting the reader intuitively perceive the larger picture. This is another reason to like first-person POV. The information, no matter how "reliable" the narrator, remains completely subjective. Even the narrator's most honest statements can contain only part of the truth, and that, to me, is much more interesting.
Oh, dear. It's late and I've begun to ramble. As always, thank you so much for reading and for the thoughtful review, and I hope to have a new chapter up soon!
I'm a big fan of Harry/Hermione fics so I was excited to read your story. I really enjoyed the first chapter and can't wait to read more!
Author's Response: Hi SOE, First, thank you so much for reading! I, too, love H/Hm fics and there are far too few on this site, in my opinion. I'm glad you enjoyed the first chapter and I hope what I submit for you guys next will keep you coming back for more. Again, thank you so much for reading and for the review. -S-
You wound me. Because I read here so rarely now, because my favourite authors have moved on and don't write anymore, and almost by chance I stumble on your story and I know that I must expect something moving, it's still a surprise somehow how sad your writing makes me feel.
The flair with which you create hurt and hollowness is simply remarkable. Because the character is Hermione, the whole chapter exudes this feeling of a nagging pain, an anticipation of it, anxiousness, of the sort that a person carries with him on one of those days that they go about their business occasionally with a forced smile, sometimes, if they're lucky, even getting lost in the mundanity of life, but the chest remains heavy with a burden of not being brave enough, or ready enough to deal with it. The best lines of course were in that paragraph were she mulls over steps she'd taken to make that meeting as less difficult as possible. It's so characteristic of Hermione to plan the way she did, but it's also heart-breaking to reflect that she perhaps did all those things for herself as much as for him. Hermione who never focused much on her physical aspects, I reckon after the war must have begun to appreciate them in the way that Ron was appreciative of them. For me thinking that she makes the effort to wear an unlikeable braid speaks just enough about the length and breadth of their relationship and what it had suddenly become.
The best line was That leaves Harry - if Harry even exists, anymore It's an amazing line to give Harry the introduction in your story and sets the tone of his role and characterisation in the future chapters. The lonely, broody, unresolved Harry just seems to fit post-war stories so well than other scenarios. Loved it.
I liked the intensity of the second last paragraph. I have never read anyone describe breathing in cold wind but it's a feeling we know all too well. But I thought it didn't come off as well as it could specifically thegulping, quick lungfuls of frigid air part.
The line where you end is so appropriate but at the same time, I was thinking if what comes next at Harry's place could actually have been included in this chapter. It's very less to go on, but maybe that's just my highly eager (read: impatient) self talking.
So my brilliant little head just took a battering from your very talented one. I suppose life's not always fair. So how far are you in the next chapter?
Author's Response: Hi, Akay,
If I wound you, then may I say that you, in your way, both gratify and frighten me. Because you are clearly a thorough, conscientious, and discerning reader, you are both my ideal audience and a great source of creative anxiety. I feel held to a higher standard, and know, inevitably, one day I shan't live up. Until that day, though, thank you so much for reading my stories.
You use of the words "hurt and hollowness" pleases me no end, because that is exactly what I needed to convey. It is essential that the reader understand the place to which Hermione has been driven, and yet I want the reader to question how she ended up here, alone. I also needed to provide a starting point for what I will give the reader next.
I agree with your assessment of the "Unresolved Harry". That love (whose ever it may have been) should have shielded him from any and all psychological injury is the sort of dreamy untruth I simply can't reconcile. For that matter, the idea that any of these characters could just slip into happy oblivion with their teen-age sweetheart really chafes. In my characterisations, therefore, they must be damaged. They must be flawed and behave in ways they will regret, and they must hurt.
The sentence "I begin to walk, gulping quick lungfuls of frigid air, cooling everything fast, through and through," I will attempt to defend, workshop style. This is meant to serve as both a transitive device and a link between the outside environment and the state to which Hermione, at that moment, aspires: Cold and unfeeling. That was my aim. I am willing to concede I may have missed the mark. That said, I will warn you, this is an experiment in non-linear story telling with shifting POV's. There will be violence and sex (neither will be gratuitous) and some of the language may be...inelegant when I feel it to be appropriate. Of course, I will keep it within MN guidelines, but I refuse to look away, so to speak.
To answer your final question, the next bit is done, submitted, and only awaiting validation. From that point on, I have no idea how fast this thing will be written. I have the whole story in my head, but, because I write sentence by sentence and don't have a beta, I usually re-write several times until I'm satisfied. My biggest obstacle, though, is RL, and the same crunched schedule that anyone with a small child, a job, and a spouse must endure. Still, I'm currently very excited about this story and it's necessary research.
Thank you so much for reading for your always thoughtful reviews. I hope I can persuade you to stick with me through this little experiment of mine.
I'm dying to know what happened!!!
Author's Response: Hey, nevilleherosnape, Lots of things happened. And something else is about to happen. But we'll get to all of them. In places, this story will loop back upon itself, but it will all make sense in the end. Thanks for reading! -S-