Inspired and perfect. Nothing but praise.
Good story. I don't really remember these characters, but you made them seem real. Also, this story isn't too deeply embedded into Potterverse, so you could easily make it a non-fan fiction story if you wanted to.
Author's Response: Thank you for your review! I like working with minor characters, because it gives me more leeway :). I'd like to write something non-fanfiction in the future, and maybe if I add a few more things to spice it up this could be one. Thank you again! xx Ariana
Oh Ariana, when I haven't read something of yours for a while, I could almost forget how stunning your writing is, and then I read a story like this...
The amount of characterisation, emotion and atmosphere that you pack into such a short piece is just astounding. In some ways reading this story was like running repeatedly into a solid wall, because every time I thought I had got my head around it, some new revelation hit me: But Michael did not love Daphne ... BAM ... In his seventh year she had performed the Cruciatus Curse on him without flinching ... BAM ... I’m glad you’re here, Michael. I need someone to love me ... BAM ... The day she left him it was sunny and hot ... BAM ... The skin there was burned. So were her lips ... BAMBAMBAMBAMBAM.
I didn't see any of it coming, but yet not a single twist felt forced or inexplicable: as soon as it happened it felt like a totally natural progression and like the only natural response could be 'oh, of course.'
After the gorgeous sensuality and intensity of the opening paragraph, and the obvious desperate longing in Michael's memories, the last thing I expected to be told in the next paragraph was that he didn't love her, but then instantly I was brought to doubt his reliability as a narrator with the naivety of the comment about being smart enough not to love someone he couldn't have. It marks him out from the start as a Ravenclaw, and yet at the same time, had me rolling my eyes that he should claim love could ever be a choice. There's a real edge of desperation in that comment that smacks of trying to convince himself of it and that only strengthens each time he repeats the refrain that he doesn't love her. It's so effective the way that you keep returning to that phrase and each time it rings just a little hollower
The next moment that set me reeling was the revelation that she'd tortured him. It would have been nothing new to suggest that she had tortured people, maybe even his friends, and that he had seen it, or that lust could lie between them despite that, but that he could love her (as it's clear he does, whatever he says) even though she had tortured him is breathtakingly intense and wrong and yet powerfully ... romantic isn't the right word - it's too soft - but I'm not sure what is. You're invoking emotions that I don't even have names for because they're so complex!
Then, having set up that Daphne is just playing games, or so it seems, you oh-so-casually throw out that she loves him and is vulnerable and lost and needs him. It's such an inversion of the brazenly flirtatious character that you set her up as who wants to make him jealous and kisses him in a way that bruises. It instantly deepens her character in a really clever way. Only to twist things once again when it turns out that actually is was Daphne who left Michael. Despite the fact that that was what the start had sort of lead me to believe with the way he was brooding, by the time it occurred, it had become so unlikely, with her being the one to admit to needing what they have, that it came as a real shock.
And then the final revelation; oh the final revelation. It was like a knife to the heart. The ugly brutality of it was so stark and even in just a thousand words I'd come to care for the characters so unexpected fully that it was truly horrific and gut-wrenching.
This is such an amazing roller-coaster ride of a story, Ariana, that I am just in total awe.
Author's Response: I don't even have words for how happy this review made me. I was so excited to see that you had left a review (because yours are always incredibly lovely) and I finished reading it with a smile on my face. I am so, so happy that you enjoyed this story - I know you have a particular fondness for the Ravenclaw boys so I'm glad that Michael's character met your expectations. I'll admit that the story surprised me too, because originally I had just planned to write an angsty, post-war relationship but throwing Daphne into the mix completely warped everything. She's such a complex, troubled character, and was the real reason for the final twist. I'm so happy that it worked for you, and that the twists weren't forced - I like surprises in stories, but not if they take away from the 'canon' of what's already happened, if that makes sense, and I was a little worried about throwing this one in there for that reason.
Again, thank you so incredibly much for this review. I don't think I can write a review response adequate enough to tell you how wonderful you are! xx Ariana
I regret not critting this in SBBC when I had the chance, but I was on hiatus that month *sigh*, so apologies for that.
I remember this story being one of the ones I earmarked as the best (there were three), and I was wavering over the vote button for a longtime. Basically, I love this story. The depth you gave to both these characters in such a short piece is incredible. That's not to say it should have been longer because adding much more would have probably diluted the rawness and the emotion.
There are so many brilliant lines in this that it's hard to pick out my favourites but I loved the description at the beginning when they're in bed, and then to compare that to the scene at the end when he's remembering her asleep and clasping him tight made me gasp.
You build Daphne so well. The brash good time girl who cheerfully hexed him in detention, but lives with those actions far more scarring than the scars she left on him.
,br> So many victims of the war, and on both sides. Truly brilliant story, Ariiana.
OOOH, and this is my 600th review - hahahahahahhahah - unsurprisingly it is gushy and full of fangirl love. Well done ~Carole~
Author's Response: I am so honored to be your 600th reviewee :). Thank you thank you thank you for leaving this, it made me so happy to read. I am glad you liked this story and indescribably flattered that you earmarked it as one of your favorites. It began as a pretty superficial drabble, but Daphne kind of took over (when have I written a fic where she has *not* taken over?) and so I'm happy you liked her. Thank you again! xx Ariana
For how short it is, you pack a surprising amount of character into this. I'm not a fan of Michael Corner, but I'll freely admit that the moment I saw what song this was based on, I immediately put on the song and started reading. It was worth it. Thanks for a great read.
And can I just say that in over 10 years of that being one of my favorite songs off of Nine Lives, I never realized the words were "wrong turn"? Hahaha! Your fic is even educational.
Author's Response: You are so kind :) Thanks a lot for taking the time to review - and I'm glad my fic was educational as well (I'm horrible at recognizing lyrics in songs and probably wouldn't have known 'wrong turn' either had I not sneakily looked up the lyrics). xx Ariana
Gahhhh, so prettyyyyy!
I really should review this properly, but all I can muster are incoherent flails. This just oozes the song so well, and I think you picked a great pairing to represent it. Michael's dystopia was interweaved nicely throughout the story, giving it a rich sense of foreboding and sickly anticipation for the inevitable knowledge that nothing lasts forever, but some things even less time than they should.
Anyway, I shall stop rambling and commend you for not only having an expert hold on the type of story I like, but also chanelling the essence of a song that I'm sure you'd never heard of until the exchange. Ta, and *squish*!
Author's Response: Yay! You have no idea how happy I was to hear that you liked it before the authors were revealed. Thanks so much for leaving a review - and also for introducing me to the song…it's now on one of my 25 most played on my iPod :). xx Ariana
I really, really like it :) It made me think about Daphne and Michael all the way to the end and I absolutely loved it!
Author's Response: I'm so, so happy to hear that you loved it, and that it made you think! Thank you so much for leaving me a review! xx Ariana