I was a little bit hesitant to click on this since I’ve never read your work before, but I really liked what I read. The writing was very poetic, and although it was short, I didn’t feel like it was too short at all.
The first thing I noticed about the fic is that in your chapter notes, the word hiatus is misspelled. Now, this doesn’t have anything to do with the quality of the fic, but I do feel like you should correct that in order to attract more readers. You also had several blank symbols throughout your story from using hyphens, and you misspelled the word Cruciatus. I highly suggest going to fix those. Although it is by no means required, it did detract from the story a little bit.
I loved the idea of Neville’s thoughts after Moody’s lesson in Goblet of Fire. We know that he was seriously upset from the scene shortly after, but it doesn’t feel like Harry goes to check up on him afterwards. In that, you had a very original idea. I also liked the idea of Neville’s insomnia, especially after that lesson. I don’t imagine that he would be able to, with no better word, rest in peace. I love that you mentioned that Harry couldn’t sleep either, since he does gather a lot of information in dreams, starting in GOF with Frank Bryce and Peter Pettigrew. With that information he gets a lot of insomnia (for no better word) and I think you said that very subtly here. The descriptions of what he does when he can’t sleep (and how Neville knows) were really wonderful.
I liked Neville’s feelings towards Bellatrix Lestrange. For obvious reasons, he should and does hate her, but I love how he feels so utterly helpless towards her. Through his mind, I don’t feel like he thinks he can do much, especially to an evil witch who tormented his parents into insanity, but I do feel like he wants to, more than anything. I think this line says it better than I could :
I can’t even perform a Switching Spell, I couldn’t perform an Unforgivable Curse.
This really accentuates his hatred towards Bellatrix and how he feels so completely inferior to her, since she had the power to take away his parents and he doesn’t have the power to bring them back. Therefore, he wants to take out all his anger on Bellatrix, but he knows that he can’t.
I wasn’t quite sure what you meant by the next line [after the one I just quoted]: I’m sure I would be all right with it, though. For her. I think that you’re trying to say that Neville would be okay (and completely able) to perform an Unforgivable Curse since it was towards Bellatrix Lestrange, using the eye-for-an-eye tooth-for-a-tooth reasoning. But the first time I read it, I felt like you were trying to subtley say that Neville would do anything for his mother. I think you should specify who “her” is, and that would make it a lot clearer for me.
I loved your mention of Ron’s fear of spiders, too. While I think he was definitely shocked by the curses that Moody performed, I also believe that the fact that Moody used spiders scared him more. While he was scared, to Neville, I’m sure it seemed like a very trivial reason, and didn’t really neccesitate the amount of fright that Ron gave.
It was really interesting that Neville compared his life to Harry’s, especially since they were very similar. But I felt like Neville would be kinder to his parents, even in his thoughts. From the small amount of parent-child interaction we received in OoTP, it seemed like Neville was totally accepting, but not necessarily happy, for his parents. Neville also clearly knows that what happened to Alice and Frank isn’t their fault, and I doubt he would really refer to them as having “left him,” even if physically, that’s what happened. I did like that you said that he wished they would do more than caress his face and give him a bubble-gum wrapper, because what child wouldn’t?
This could be just me, but I don’t think that Neville would want to trade places with Harry, where his parents were dead instead of just insane. Neville can still see them whenever he wants, and he can still see the remnants of who they were,and Harry can’t. It’s definitely heartbreaking, but I don’t think Neville would want to trade places with Harry because his situation is just as hard, if not more so.
Also, this story was almost choppy, in a way. You had so many different one-lined paragraphs, like Neville was jumping from thought to thought. First he was thinking about Bellatrix Lestrange, and how much he hated her, and how much he couldn’t hurt her. But every sentence you used was in a different paragraph. I definitely think you could put them all together into one paragraph. Then you began to talk about Harry and while he was affected by the lesson, not of the same magnitude as Neville. I think you could put this all in one paragraph as well. This middle section, where everything was in a different paragraph, seemed a little off, and I think you could definitely fix that by putting everything in the same paragraph.
Neville’s uncertainty at the end was probably my favourite part of the whole fic. I don’t think anyone [except J.K. Rowling] would have expected Neville to have such a big part in killing the last Horcrux (Nagini), least of all Neville himself. In my opinion, part of the reason Neville had trouble with magic is because he wasn’t very confident in himself. He didn’t feel like he had anything real to offer. I loved how you mentioned that he wasn’t sure why the Sorting Hat had put him in Gryffindor rather than Hufflepuff or something, because at the beginning of the series, I thought the same thing myself. He says that he doesn’t think he’ll ever find why the Sorting Hat put him in Gryffindor. This is a sort of catch-22 to me, because while Neville is brave enough to kill Nagini, he doesn’t feel like he’s brave enough at all, especially not towards his own self. Neville is a very complex character, and I think you did a wonderful job characterising him.
Yet even though Neville was unsure of himself, I don’t think he would question his right to be born. Sometimes, I wonder why I was even born, in such dangerous times, when everything, at any time, could be ripped away. By everything, I assume you mean that his parents could be ripped away at any time, although I could be reading too much into that. I think this is an overexaggerated version of sadness that his parents are gone…ripped away, and I don’t think Neville would question why he was born.
The ending of this story was very sudden and final, and I enjoyed that. You didn’t add any sort of closing, just Neville’s imagined depiction of Bellatrix’s torture of his parents. It left a chilling ending, which was wonderful. I liked it a lot.
I must admit that I was surprised by this story. I clicked on it because I was trolling down the Dark/Angsty page and I’ve never read any of your work before. It was very short, and despite its small flaws, very beautiful. I really enjoyed it, and if I didn’t know better, it could have been canon.
Author's Response: Uh. Hello. Wow. I just got this review, and ... wow. Shock. Extremely long, very insightful - thanks. Will definetley keep me occupied for the next half hour while I try to think up a response.... I feel like you looked way, way deeper into this entire thing than I did! That's some impressive reading skills. ;) So...adressing everything bit-by-bit... Poetic - okay, thanks. I didn't think I was heading in that direction, nice to know. ;) More of a thoughts thing, actually quite similar to how things get processed in my own head. ;) Ah, spelling. Spell check is my best friend, but it is unfortunatley not a part of Internet Explorer... ;) I'll get back to that. XD Thank you, thank you, thank you! ;) Haha, thanks. Yes, "her" is Bellatrix Lestrange. Not Alice Longbottom. Yes, yes, yes, all good points, although you should take into account that I have almost nothing to say in response to this - it's very overwhelming. Unless I'm mistaken, I don't think I switched Neville and Harry at all - I was just pointing out that Neville kind of thinks it's less emotionally distressing to have dead parents all sorted out when he was too young to remember, instead of his predicament, which is living with parents that aren't all there. Big paragraphs aren't my thing. I like to get the point across in segments, quick and concise if I can. Neville does strike me as kind of a quiet curious one. Not Harry's type of curiosity (which is well-planned and intrusive) but more of a just-wondering kind. Only once he does soemthing about it, after all. (Staking out the common room in Sorcerer's Stone). Thank you! Yes, Neville has almost zero self-confidence in anything. Bravery, ability, zero, zip. Ah, now this is where I become truly confused. Neville's not saying anything about his right to be born, more about any adult's choice to have a child in a war-torn world, when any moment they could be killed, or (in his case) tortured to insanity, leaving the child an orphan, or as good as. Thank you - it was meant to be a little disturbing (or, if that failed utterly) nicely chilly. Like Jello. ;) Haha, yes. Now you have. And I'll be going back to the spelling mistakes. And thanks - that was really sweet. XD. Hands down, this was the BEST review I've ever gotten. XD
Ha ha, Gmariam already said it all for me! I was actually just thinking about this moment when I read the Goblet of Fire recently. I'm glad someone gave some thought to it, and some good thought too! Well Done.
Author's Response: Thanks!
Aww, I wish there were some reviews here! Because I think you did a good job of getting into Neville's head at this point. I can't imagine how he must have felt after that lesson, and you tackled it bravely. You kept it heartfelt but simple, as I imagine Neville would be fourth year, before Voldemort returns.
Your line about Ron made me wonder if it was just the spiders, or if he might really be bothered by the Imperius Curse. I'm still thinking about that. :)
I would only suggest less one or two line paragraphs and more groupings of thought. I know this is sort of stream-of-consciousness Neville thinking, but the structure felt a bit abrupt at times, and a better balance of long/short would help that, I think.
Author's Response: Me too... thanks! Thanks for the constructive critisism, it's greatly appreciated. =)