Sweet story...poor Ron.
What a great story! After receiving so many lovely reviews from you, I thought it was about time I returned the favour, and I must say, this story is up there with your best. Your exploration of Ron’s character was spot-on, both in terms of his mannerisms and actions, but also his deeper characteristics, like how his Boggart had changed over time. I also liked your portrayal of Ron and Hermione’s relationship. Ultimately, though, I thought it was Ron’s compelling characterisation that stood out to me and really drove your story forward.
Ron’s maturity and change in priorities in Deathly Hallows really showed in what his Boggart was. I admire how you dug into Ron’s psyche here, because I could see Ron changing and becoming tougher as he grew older, just as his Boggart was becoming more serious than simply a spider. As another reviewer mentioned, you demonstrated that some Boggarts are harder to overcome than others. I really liked the subtlety of Ron’s fear here -- perhaps the Boggart being Hermione’s dead body was expected, but I liked how you extended that, as he also had the dilemma in how to confront the Boggart. I myself don’t know how he could have made Hermione’s dead body funny or destroy it in any way, apart from by saving her, so I really connected with Ron during that moment. It reminded me of Molly’s Boggart in OotP, and I thought you emphasised how helpless Ron felt at not being able to help Hermione.
Hermione’s characterisation was wonderful, too. I liked that she still bossed Ron around and bickered with him, as that brought things back to canon and showed that their relationship hadn’t really changed much from when they were at school. I also thought it was interesting that Hermione overcame Ron’s Boggart for him. I really appreciated seeing their dependence on each other in this way, especially when Hermione admitted that she had depended on Ron, too, when she was being tortured by Bellatrix and Ron’s voice was the only thing keeping her going. Not only did you highlight Ron’s helplessness at the idea of Hermione’s death, but also, I think you really brought out how strong Ron’s feelings for Hermione were.
Style-wise, I felt your story really got to the bare bones of Ron’s character by the simple, pared down writing. I don’t think I would have identified with Ron nearly as strongly without that simplicity, and considering Ron’s worst fear is the focus of the story, it was fitting that the emotions were so powerfully felt, both in the present and past. I thought you incorporated the flashback of the events of Malfoy Manor effectively and in a way that was never confusing, which I know from experience isn’t always easy. I did think the shift to Hermione’s point of view was a little abrupt, as the story had been in Ron’s perspective up until that point. Perhaps it might have been better to use a paragraph break to show the change in viewpoint, for clarity’s sake. However, on the whole, I thought the narrative flowed smoothly, particularly the flashback.
When I first read this story, I’ll admit I did pause at the idea of Ron and Hermione only discussing what happened in Malfoy Manor several years after the fact. But when I thought about it, it makes sense, because being tortured isn’t exactly easy to talk about, and the events of Malfoy Manor happened so quickly, so I'm guessing they never really got the chance to sit down and talk about it properly. And I also got the impression that perhaps the two of them had some communication problems as a result not just of Malfoy Manor but also the Battle of Hogwarts, Fred’s death and so on. I could see how that affected both of them in this story. I’m glad you included such imperfections in their relationship, because that is what made this all the more real and believable to read.
Overall, Nadia, I really enjoyed this story. It was a fabulous character study of Ron, while also showing a fresh take of Romione as a pairing. And as I've been out of the HP loop for a while, this was a great story to get me back into it. Good job, and keep it up!
I know I’m almost a year late on my promise to review this story in a more analytical way, but here it is! Can I tell you again, that I love this story to bits? It’s one of my favourite Ronmiones. And no, I’m not even biased because you wrote it for my birthday, or because it features my OTP. It is genuinely a very good story.
First of all, I really adored how the story started with a spot-on characterisation of Ron. “Never again, Hermione,” Ron Weasley complained loudly as he set down the crate and rubbed his back. He stared his dusty hands in disgust and mumbled, “If you ever tell me to move again I’ll--” I can just imagine him saying those lines and doing those things, and complaining, even though it was his idea to move out. And Hermione’s expression. Wow, I really loved that. She is a character who shows more passive anger than anything, and she is just the one to glare and talk exasperatedly, instead of actually saying something. I am so glad that you incorporated it here.
Style-wise, I am very impressed at how the story sounds so Ron. I mean, yes, the story is from his point-of-view, but often, I find myself failing at bringing in character in the narrative when I write from a character’s point of view, and I love how you’ve put it here so seamlessly. Also, the descriptions are perfect. The landing was still dark; Ron extracted his wand from his coat pocket and lit it, casting ghastly shadows of himself on the wall. The floorboards felt slippery under his feet. I could practically watch Ron walking through the corridor of an old house, his wand aloft and lit. Beautiful.
And would it be too much to mention this line? Fine, but if I see a spider, you’re doing it.” It really made me laugh a lot! So yes, this story is fantastic for the humour component too. The few funny lines here and there really cracked me up, even through the dark moments that the story had later on. Even from your other stories, I think you have a real talent there. You can make people laugh with your writing. :)
As you know, I love it when my favourite characters are written well. And you stuck to them in this. Ron was perfectly written. I can imagine what he went through when Hermione was being tortured, and I’d imagine this is exactly how he’d react if his Boggart turned out to be Hermione being hurt (and I think even in canon, later on, it would be safe to say that Ron’s Boggart probably changed). The whole scene where he faced the Boggart, and even the scene after that stuck very true to Ron. The heartbreak, relief and then the reactions were fantastic.
And then there’s Hermione. Starting with the glare, which I’ve mentioned before, and then the way she just casually told Ron that she’d tackle any spiders, and finally, the way she tackled the Boggart and comforted Ron were things I could really imagine her doing.
Hermione’s revelation that she was only alive, and clutching on to life because of Ron’s voice was something I hadn’t expected. I loved it. I think it doesn’t take more than that to explain how in love Ron and Hermione are, and that’s what I adore the most about this pairing, and also about this story. And this line, which I really loved, proves that Ron thinks the same way.
The way the fic ended, the sweet, romantic note was just what I needed. After those paragraphs of heart-breaking darkness, I loved the mood suddenly improved and became lighter. Also I loved how Ron didn’t just snap out of it and get back to normal in a minute. He was shaken, and his reactions for a while were well justified and realistic. I also love the moral, and Ron’s realisation at the very end, and I think it tied it all up together very well.
All-in-all, this was fantastic, Nadia! I could read it again and again and still never get bored. Definitely one of my favourite stories around here. Thank you for this loveliness! :)
Since you left me such a lovely review on my story, I thought I'd come and read something of yours. I really liked this story, you've captured the characters so well and I really liked the premise.
You described really vivdly what it felt like for Ron, both at Malfoy Manor and facing the Boggart, having to watch/listen to Hermione's screams and knowing he was helpless, and particularly in the first situation knowing that he'd never told her how much he cared about her. I particularly liked how you drew on the idea of helplessness, because I think that makes it so much worse for Ron.
I find Boggarts really interesting, because sometimes they're not that hard to overcome (say for example Lupin's class in third year, where they're in a classroom environment surrounded by friends and a teach so nothing will get out of hand), but at other times they can be truly terrifying, like this one, or Molly's Boggart in OotP. I think they're often similar to Dementors in that way. I also liked how you drew it in with Ron's fear of spiders - because when he was younger, he thought he was most terrified of spiders, but as he grew up, he realised that their were things more terrifying, like losing someone he loved, which makes this Boggart so much harder to face, because how do you make your wife's dying body funny?
I also liked how you drew it in the end to bravery, which is conquering fear, not avoiding it. I think that's one of the most important themes in the books - because Harry is very often afraid, and yet he still finds courage. Because courage isn't courage if you're not afraid in the first place.
I smiled at their interactions at the beginning and end - it felt very natural and exactly the way I imagine them relating as a married couple.
I loved your Hermione too, because she knows how difficult that was for Ron and she knows how to comfort him and help him. I thought it was a nice touch adding that he was the reason she held on when being tortured, it really showed their relationship and the strength of love and it worked really well here.
So overall I really enjoyed this story, I think you really got the characters and it was a nice moment between them.
Author's Response: Ooh, Katrina, thank you! I'm really glad you liked this story; I don't think I've written Ron/Hermione before, and this story just came to my head as I was reading some R/Hr headcanons on the internet. I couldn't get rid of the plot-bunny, and when the challenge came up, I just had to do it (plus it was Pooja's birthday and she loves the pairing so it just fell together in place, lol).
I'm glad you liked my descriptions. I felt so bad for him during the Malfoy Manor scene, because that's when I think he realised that he really and truly loved her. It took me a while, but I thought I'd got the right emotions through, and I'm glad you approve :). That is the reason that I had his Boggart change, too. I think that at Malfoy Manor, things changed for him a lot. What happened to Hermione scared him far more than spiders ever could (and I've experienced this myself; I have arachnophobia too, but really, that fear is nothing compared to what I felt when I heard my boyfriend having an accident over the phone. It really feels like the life drained out of you). That incident must have changed his perspective on fear, and that's how his new Boggart was born. And you're right; there was no way he could make that funny. either, and that's why he couldn't even do anything.
I'm so glad you liked the ending, too, and that you could relate it to the books. Thank you! And as for Hermione, she'd always been there for both the boys in terms of trouble. Ever since day one. And Ron and Hermione had suffered through a lot, and over the years their relation had strengthened a lot. I'm glad you liked how I portrayed her; I was bit worried about it. It's hard to keep a balance between bookish Hermione and Gryffindor Hermione, so I really appreciate your words :).
Thank you so much for the lovely review, Katrina. I really, really appreciate it. :D
I'd give a 8/10. There could be a bit less of Ron in agony, or just leave out the mention of Malfoy Manor, mentioning Bellatrix is sufficient to tell everyone what's going on.
Author's Response: Thank you :). I added these parts to add to the scene, and partly to increase the word count too, hah. :P
Author's Response: thank you :)
Author's Response: Awwwwww thank you so much! :D :D I'm so so so glad you liked it. ^_^
Nadia, I promise to leave you a more analytical review later on, but for now, I'd like to SQUEEEE! OMG, THIS IS SO AWESOME!
I loved your characterisations. I loved it. I know how difficult these two are to write because of LAW... and you just nailed them! :)
This has been one of the best birthdays of my life, mainly because of you. :) :* Thank you so much! And I shall return with a longer, better review in a day or so.
You are amazing, little sis. Love you sooo much *hearts hearts hearts* *huggles*
Author's Response: Haha yaay I'm glad you liked it! :D I'm so happy you thought I could nail the characters -- the only reason I wrote those two is because of you. And writing for you was a pleasure, hun; you are the best sister to have ever lived. HUGGLES :*
Not bad at all, but you need to fix the two places you used "you’re voice" instead of "your voice." Good characterizations, by the way.
Author's Response: Thank you! I wrote this in like four hours because I stupidly forgot that the deadline was not that night but instead two weeks away X(. I'm actually fixing this story for all the errors right now and I'll probably add in a few stuff because it's too short. I'm glad you liked the characterisations, though! The the only thing I was happy about with this, hah. Thank you once again for the review! :)