Reviews For Yellow Knit Hat
Reviewer: Maple_and_PheonixFeather
Date: 12/13/12 16:03
Chapter: one-shot

Hey Ellie,
I think that this is actually your strongest fic to date. There’s just something much more mature about it, and it’s nice to see a bit of light in your normally dark stories. This fic definitely shows improvement, and I’m so glad that I read it.

Your opening is so, so shocking, I love it. I remember, when I was reading this for the first time, thinking how it seems like Lucy has gone through a war. I remember thinking that this story was going to be so dark and gloomy. I remember thinking that Molly must have been killed in some horrific battle and that Lucy had just left her there to die. The opening is so effective because of this and in so many other ways. I think that this opening really softens what follows, because we are expecting something horrific, but instead we get this story of a single girl just struggling and, while it is a war for her, it’s a lot less dark than what was expected. The second big stand out for this opening is the use of colour imagery. I love how you use the contrast of muted and bright. What’s especially effective is that you use pastels but give them a double meaning “ they are peaceful, but at the same time they are dark and depressing “ almost complete opposites, but yet very effective in making the scene you are trying to make and in establishing Lucy as a character.

I love the scene between Lucy and Molly. There is something so easy and light about it, especially after the intensity of the first section. I love that, even though Molly is suffering from Down’s, there is something so care free and happy about this section. It gives the reader a chance to breathe, which I think is really important to a story, as I find too much angst can get a little overbearing.

I liked how, even though there is a lot of angsty stuff, it’s mostly believable. I could connect to Lucy on the grounds of how she felt about her body, because, really, who hasn’t felt that way about their body at some point or another. Also, I think fighting with your mum is common at that age, so it felt real and not over the top.

One small timeline error in the fic, I think. In October, 2024, James is a prefect at Hogwarts, but in March, 2025, which would have been the same school year, James is gone. I’m a little confused as to where he went, so I would love some clarification here.

Another small quibble for me was the characterisation of Percy and Audrey. Lucy says that they don’t answer her letters, but I’m not sure if that’s completely believable. I mean, yes, they would be totally worried about Molly and what’s going on in the hospital, but I think that the prospect of potentially losing a child would mean that they would try and connect to their other child as well. A lot of time that they would spend in the hospital would be waiting and watching their sleeping child, so I can’t see them cutting off Lucy all together. Also, when she runs away, I feel like there would be so much more effort put into finding her. I can’t see her not getting caught, especially when she’s in the hospital all the time. Wouldn’t the healers recognize her and tell her parents?

I think the greatest strength of this story isn’t the story itself or the way everything is handled “ it’s James. You have created this amazing three-dimensional character who is a foil to Lucy in every way, but is there for her, no matter what. He is the reason I love this story so much. You have created this fresh James who is just so mature and so loving, and he gives the reader hope in this story. No matter how dark this story gets, James is always there, a bright light in the world of muted colours you created. It’s just lovely.

Overall, this story is handled really well, and besides a few little issues here and there, I think it is a stellar story, and I’m very glad you decided to write a sequel.

Maple

Author's Response: Um ... wow. That's pretty much the only thing I can say right now, Maple. It's taken me so long to respond because I just can't stop blushing and or think coherently.

I'm not sure how to respond to your huge compliment. Honestly, I wasn't thinking when I was writing this. It just ... happened. I didn't mean for it to go the direction it did. I know my stories are incredibly dark, and I guess having that touch of light is great, too. :)

I know the beginning was dramatic. :) To Lucy, though, she *did* go through a war. I was trying to convey how broken she was, and I'm glad that got across. As for the pastels, I can't believe how thrilled I am you liked them. I know white!hospital is a bit of a cliche, and using pastels (as something that's normally calming and such) as that, well, to Lucy the pastels seemed like hell. Again, I was trying to show how Lucy was. But ... just *blushes*.

In all honesty, I was really worried about Molly as a character. I wasn't sure how the site would react, and what people would think. I almost didn't post the fic. I'm glad I did, though, and that the contrast worked. I wanted to show how someone deteriorates because of all the pressure. :) Gosh, I'm glad it actually made sense. I'm also glad that it was believable. And *curses*. That was a dumb math error on my part.

On Percy and Aubrey: you make very valid points. Sometimes, though, it's easy to lose someone. Especially in bigger families. Part of it may have been exaggeration on Lucy's part, as I sometimes do, but also Lucy might have sent one letter and given up. I will go back and probably edit, though. On the running away: in my head, they did try. Lucy hid in the muggle world on purpose, where it is much harder to find a missing teenager. As for the 'Yellow'; Lucy, to me, was unrecognizable at that point, to anyone who didn't really search her face. She would be drawn, almost dead looking, and very, very dirty. How James found her, to me, was a combination of luck and desperateness, on his part.

Speaking of James ... I really need to write him more often. :) I have a lot of ideas about him, and how he'd really mature. He's honestly my favorite part of this, and Losing Neverland. He's just James. :)

Basically, thank you so much for the amazing review. It means more than I could ever write, and just <3.
Ellie

Reviewer: The_Real_Hermione
Date: 11/25/12 6:26
Chapter: one-shot

This is an intriguing story. I really liked the idea of putting Down's syndrome into the wizarding world. I think with disabilities, it will always have an effect on the whole family, and especially a sibling. I liked how Lucy feels an intense love for Molly, but at the same time she has suffered from a lack of attention from her parents, or perhaps a lack of awareness of her own problems.

I had a little bit of trouble with your characterisation of Lucy - I would have liked to have seen more of what drove her to that place of self-loathing. The section that begins The mirror was my worst enemy confused me a little - sofar you had shown Lucy's anger at the world for Molly's condition, but this felt a bit unexpected. I guess I know the point up until she runs away is probably supposed to happen quickly and feel out of her control, but I just felt something in the lead up to it was missing, to show the real darkness she was living in and how she got there. It would also have been interesting if you'd explored a bit why she/the hate chose Slytherin - it definitely adds something to her character, but I would have liked to have known more.

I really liked your interpretation of James - so often in fanfic he is a bit of a bully, a prankster, not very sensitive, very popular etc. I liked that here he is the only one who really notices how bad things are for her, and that he really sticks with her.

The motif of the yellow hat worked really well, too, to tie the sisters together, and I liked the opening scene and how you used the hat there. Just one thing - be careful with the difference between dashes and hyphens - eg The smell of home-of my sister- is long gone. - It should be "The smell of home - of my sister - is long gone."

One other small thing - I'm not sure Lucy would have been that successful running away - even if her parents were always focussed more on Molly, surely they would do everything they could if their daughter ran away.

Anyway, I thought this was a really original concept that was generally well-written and a good read.

~Katrina

Author's Response: Thank you so much for the amazing review. :)

Disabilities do have an effect on the whole family, at least for me. My oldest sister has Down's, and sometimes it *is* hard, because of how much attention and focus she does need. I also feel like disabilites aren't something common in the wizarding world- we never saw a character with one in canon.

I agree with you that I should have written more about Lucy. I guess I was trying to 'show' rather than 'tell', but it does need a little preamble. We know that she is left out in her dorm, and at that age (I know, because it's my age) it's when a lot of girls start thinking like that. Not to that extreme- but I should have made it more clear. Maple wants me to do a sequel- I'll probably explore a lot of that more. :)

As for James, well, I never saw him as another James Potter I. I think in the epilogue he was being a jerk, yes, but that he really wasn't like that. I don't like it when fics put him in that light, so I try not to. :) Or at least without reason.

Lucy running away: I agree that it would have been easy to run away initially, but staying hidden was harder. In my head, she hid out in Muggle London, where it would be extremely hard for her parents to find her, even though I think they did try very hard. If she didn't use magic and stayed generally out of sight, it would be very hard to find her.

Thank you so much for the amazing review!
Ellie

Reviewer: Dad
Date: 11/24/12 15:59
Chapter: one-shot

This is a grim story and I am not sure if it really fits into the Harry Potter universe. Would they all miss such obvious signs of distress?

Author's Response: Thank you so much for the review.

Most of the story is set at Hogwarts- and when most of the kids are gone. When James *was* there, he did notice, but it was just starting. I think I said he owled her, anyway, as if he was worried. Lucy's parents are, understandably, more worried about Molly, and they only saw her a few times a year. Then there is the scene where James does know; he tries to stop her, because Lily did notice and told him. Lucy was very headstrong; even if (and she probably did) Lily did approach her, it wouldn't stop Lucy. She was in a pattern, and was convinced it was helping. Sometimes it's almost impossible to stop a person when they are in that state. As for the other adults, they didn't see her very often. And most importantly- Lucy is a Slytherin. She can hide a lot of things, especially from adults.

I'm sorry you didn't like it, but I think it fits into the Potterverse, personally, but Next Gen is very subjective. My headcanon for the era happens to be very grim. Thank you for your review!

Ellie

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