This story was a bit challenging to read, and as moments in Shell Cottage go, it was a little moment, but worthwhile.
At first I thought the voice was just Hermione's during the time when she was being tortured by Bellatrix, but there were odd elements: looking around and seeing four bare walls, no other people. Then seeing a window/mirror that wasn't there a moment ago. Then looking at herself in the mirror. These things didn't happen in Malfoy Manor.
I felt a sense of deja vu when, in the midst of these terrifying events, Hermione sees the humor in comparing her situation to characters in books. Why did that seem familiar, someone taking a break from their present horror for this stray parenthetical thought? Then I realized why; my mind flashed back to the day in Mexico, waiting at the side of the road for the arrival of the ambulance, crying "My God, my God, it hurts, it hurts" but simultaneously assessing what number this level of pain reaches on the Clinical Pain Scale, according to the parameters. Yes, people can think like that. Hermione could.
Then suddenly it is all revealed to be a nightmare, a blend of memories of things that actually happened and metaphors for what those things meant. Like a miracle, in an instant, in the blink of an eye, Hermione is transported from total disaster, the brink of death, to total safety and enfolding love.
It is completely believable that after her harrowing experience at Malfor Manor, Hermione cannot bear to be parted from Ron. I am reminded of accounts of families who have experienced some major disaster and afterwards feel compelled to sleep all together, huddled next to one another on the living room floor with all the lights on.
The writing is lush, but not too much so. The whole story is summed up in the final line; that's the short version. The rest of the story is the elaboration of those thirteen words, but it avoids repetiton, and each paragraph manages to provide something new and unique. If this is a story that was just dashed off in a brief span of time between classes, that's impressive.
Author's Response: Yes, that's why I'm usually wary about writing those moments. There's plenty of space where you can fill the blanks but, oftentimes, I don't think I'd be able to write a coherent enough story to fit that space. So thanks for the comment on that!
I'm also glad that you picked up on the nightmare, since that was supposed to be the segue into Shell Cottage. I didn't know if I had made it 100% clear that was going on and was an aftermath of the torture, but if one person picks up on that then I think that's fine. It's even better that others interpreted it differently. As for the length, I just can't seem to write anything long without it just falling to pieces. It's probably because I can only really fire off a story in a few sittings and after that I lose focus.
Either way, thanks for the review! (I'm sure you'd like the thematically similar Six Days at the Bottom of the Ocean, by the way.... just shillin' here)
I really enjoyed this. I think Hermione would be plagued with nightmares for a very long time, possibly forever. And whenever I imagine them, he is always there. :) Or else, it wouldn't be any fun, would it? Hehe. Nice job with this, especially using second person, which I confess isn't usually my favorite. It worked very well here though. I was completely shocked to click on this and see a recommendation for my own story in your chapter notes. That is just really cool of you. It kind of made my night, so thank you very much for the kind words. Take care, and happy writing! ~Lori
Author's Response: You and I share a mind on that one. It's definitely not something that would just vanish after this was all over, and I *hate* when it's glossed over. Especially when I do it T_T
That story was actually the very first fanfiction I ever read. I haven't read it in a good while, so I might need to remind myself why that one in particular drew me in to this... but yeah. Had to name-drop so people could go and find more awesome R/Hr stories.
Oh, that was good! I totally see the difference between this and your other story and how you approached them. I hope you didn't think I was being sarcastic, flippant, or condescending with my comment about your strength as a writer. I meant it. I think it's quite hard to write successfully in the second person without sometimes alienating the reader, and both of these stories were really well done. I just knew there would have been a well-thought reason for the past tense approach you took in the other one, and now that I've read this one, it's quite clear. This one is *very* immediate and intense thanks in part to the present tense. And it's just lovely - gah, I love the idea of Ron consoling Hermione in this way at this time. It *totally* could have happened. I think you captured Hermione's fractured and fragile state really well here and gave them a very tender and realistic moment of comfort that was beautiful to read. Well done!!
Author's Response: Oh no, no, no! It was just a really flattering compliment and I didn't know how to respond to it, so I naturally deflected it :D
I'm glad you enjoyed this one as well, since I think I like it a little bit more than the newest. Thanks for the review!
I'm really glad you have nightmares if this is the end result ;)
Author's Response: Hah. I should be flattered by that I guess, so thanks for the review!
This was really good! I just really love the way you made Hermione so vulnerable and how sensitive and amazing Ron is! I just thought that these are the sides of the two characters that are not much taken into consideration, that's why I really like it! :D
Author's Response: Well, thanks so much for the review! I figured I could get away with the two being vulnerable or sensitive because of the scenario, otherwise it would be pretty contrived for the most part. Gotta break 'em down to build 'em up!
Can I just say wow? :)
This narrative was exquisite, and I could really feel the pain and anguish Hermione felt. I really liked the nightmare she had- it felt and read like a nightmare, and I was rather impressed. I think, Joe, that you need to have more nightmares and write! *crickets* Okay, maybe not nightmares... :)
Anyways, this was awesome! I haven't read much of your work (and am regretting it), but from the little I've read, I can see that you are a great writer! Keep it up. I want to see more! I want to read more! So appease me, opti. *chuckles* Goodness, when did I become so demanding?
I'll be sure to help you out in appeasing my demand. Maybe I'll come up with some ridiculous prompt and pm you later. :)
Author's Response: First of all, thanks so much for the review!
I've so far wrote two stories based on dreams and both of them went over pretty well, so maybe I'll have to look in that wellspring more often. Or not, whatever I'll play by ear. And yes, a challenge would do me good - especially since all I can seem to write these days is either R/Hr fluff or 'oh, woe is me!' from either Hermione's or Draco's perspective.