Hi. I'm Mere. I disappear and reappear every now and then, but it mostly all comes down to the fact that I do love to write and I do love Harry Potter.
My OTP is James/Lily, but I have a tendency to ship them with other characters. Lily Evans is my favourite character and I absolutely adore writing her.
If you'd like to know more about me, please visit my livejournal. :)
‘Thou shalt not sin’ – Bible
Sirius knows what he wants and he’s not afraid to chase it. She makes him feel more than he’s ever felt before, but getting what he wants may cause him more heartache than he ever imagined. Thus begins a thrilling game, a game of vice and virtue, of betrayal and affection, of sin and atonement.
The forbidden fruit tastes the sweetest.
Oh, wow, Lydia, this was absolutely wonderful, as you should know. ;D
I like the beginning and the way you introduced the rain. Rain can make people look incredibly sexy and you really played that up, and played it well, I think. I like the way it was sort of a catalyst to explaining the depth of Sirius’s attraction to Caris. The only thing I have a little problem with is that you never said why they were running across the grounds in the rain. Even if it was only from Herbology class or something, I still would have liked to know, because now it just seems sort of random and a little odd.
Hullo, again! –waves- I’m back, with another review (obviously –rolls eyes at self-) for you!
–ignores the Twilight-esque layout-
Ug. So, I liked the last chapter . . . but I loved this chapter! God, it was really incredible. I love your style. :D I think I’m going to check out your other stories sometime soon. I like how you included so many aspects of Hogwarts that it actually seemed like I was at Hogwarts, y’know? Like the Quidditch game, the after party, the hanging out on the grounds, passing notes in Transfiguration, chilling in the common room, at it all seemed so natural, everything made sense.
The Quidditch game was well-written, in my opinion. You didn’t give, like, a play-by-play of the game, but you gave enough to keep us (your readers) interested and entertained. Having Lee Jordan’s father (I assume) commentate was a nice touch—particularly how they have similar styles of commentary. ;) And yay! Gryffindor won! (Nothing against Ravenclaw, of course, but they don’t have Lily and James and Sirius and Caris and Remus and Peter). Speaking of, thank you for making the opposing team Ravenclaw, instead of Slytherin—one of many small details that made me love this chapter.
Hmm . . . so I wondered a little why you were spending so much time focusing on and describing Cam Taylor (although I did laugh out loud a little at obviously, ‘Sirius’ was far sexier than ‘Camillus’), but then he came back later in the chapter, and it made some sense. I assume he’ll be in the rest of the story, as well? Perhaps in Jealously? (Don’t tell me though if he is, kay?)
I enjoyed the hint of Lily/James throughout the entire story, some of it subtle, and some of it not-so-subtle. =) It was interesting, though, during the party when Sirius’s hoped Lily didn’t do something stupid like kiss James. I mean, sometimes it seems like that everyone thinks they would be much happier if they kissed and Lily realized she was in love with him, blah, blah, blah. But, this was not that, obviously, and I guess what I’m trying to say, is that I liked that.
. . . he put this intriguing development down to the consumption of liquid courage on Lily’s behalf. I point out this line to say that I really like the reference to alcohol of “liquid courage.” Instead of just saying “alcohol” or “firewhiskey” or something, you named it by its effects and that use of words just really stood out to me.
So, I really like your characterization in general, but I especially like it of Lily. She isn’t some tight-ass, rule-abiding princess, which is brilliant. Lily is one of my favourite characters, most of the time, but I think I’m in danger of never being satisfied with any Lily other than yours. I like that she defies all the Lily clichés: she drank at the party and seemed comfortable with it (from Sirius’s POV, anyway, it seem normal), she brewed them all a hangover potion, she danced with James (we all know she really likes him), she didn’t deny it while passing notes, she passed notes, she was hilarious while passing notes and being a great friend (okay, so that isn’t so much defying clichés, but it’s still good characterization of her). Just everything about the way you write her is fantastic.
Okay, going back to the passing notes section, I admit, I was a little worried in the beginning with Sirius writing a note to Caris, but I’m glad that the notes then switched to Lily and Caris, and you used it as an opportunity to show one of Caris’s . . . not weaknesses, but . . . well, just to give a little more depth to Caris, in explaining some of her hesitancy and reluctance to answer Sirius with a “yes,” when she obviously wants to. While I’m talking about Caris, I just want to say that I’m still on the fence about her. Not that I don’t like her—I do—but in chapter two, she still seems a little too perfect. But, then it is only chapter two.
Oooh. A mysterious letter from Andromeda. Exciting. Plot-thickening. I really like Andromeda, so I’m excited to see what part she has to play in all of this. I liked that short three-sentence letter from Regulus, too. I love him. And I love seeing how the two brothers act towards each other when they’re in school. I’m of the mind that they were pretty close when they were younger, and I like to think that some of that transitioned into their older years, too. Anyway, Regulus’s letter made me melt a little. :)
One last thing—I know last chapter I commented on the whole seven deadly sin thing, well, this time I just want to say that I still really like it. I think you’re doing a great job with incorporating them, too. I could see the greed in this chapter, like, the excessive desire part is whenever Caris touched Sirius he felt like he was on fire. Although, I did feel like there was a lot of jealously in this chapter, too. Though, maybe that was the point, to combine the seven sins and show how she brings them all out in him? /musings
Awesome chapter, hon, I’m really looking forward to reading the next one. ;D
Author's Response: Oh my gosh, Mere, your reviews make me so, so happy! I’m so glad you like this chapter, because it’s one of my favourites too. The Quidditch game was fun to write and so was Rob Jordan – he was one of those characters that makes you smile while you’re writing him, even if he only has a couple of lines. Yeah, I like to think I can be quite humorous. And apparently I’ve gone temporarily blind and can’t read your questions about Cam Taylor. Shame, really On Lily and James: I think exactly what Sirius thought all the time! My mates are funny people and we all like to have fun and often get a bit wild, so I often hope they won’t do anything that is beyond stupid, like kiss a boy they claim not to like. God, I love James/Lily. They are just so much to write. And I guess when I think about it, my mates and I rarely say ‘alcohol’ to each other, we’re always saying ‘liquid courage’ or referring to the drinks by nicknames like Crownies or Jimmies. I’m so glad you like my characterisation of Lily. I like to think I’m fairly good at characterisation. Lily is such a great character and I don’t like when writers don’t do her justice, which is what I try to do. but I think I’m in danger of never being satisfied with any Lily other than yours Wow. God, you just made my week. And Caris. I understand why you’re still on the fence, and in a way, I kind of like that you still are. She’s enigmatic. I suppose if we were seeing the story from Caris’ view, you would see her imperfections far more easily. Still, I think as the story progresses we kind of see the layers strip away from her. Thank you, once again, Mere for a fantastic review and all your praise, and I can’t wait for your next one.
This is brilliant, as I’m sure you already know. ;) I’ve always been a sucker for Sirius/OC stories, and this is an exceptional one. I really enjoyed the way you opened it, with the cat, and these two characters that we don’t really need to know for the story, but the set it up for Sirius. Emma and Alessandra give some backstory to Sirius and give the reason for the entire story—the fact, that despite Sirius’s many heated relationships, he doesn’t feel anything for them. It a very fresh and original way to open a story—kudos to you.
Sirius-the-player is a common, and often overdone, idea in Marauder Era stories, but the you have written it very tastefully. Mostly, I think, because of the reasons you give, his lack of real affection for anyone of the girls, that he just doesn’t want to get in their pants (an idea that is quite refreshing—a guy that actually wants to know the girl as a friend!) I think also, that it helps that you didn’t spend a lot of time describing his incredibly sexy body or gorgeous grey eyes or long, cascading mane of black hair. We think he’s attractive because he thinks he’s attractive, but you didn’t force us to listen to how all the girls in Hogwarts dropped dead at the sight of his cute bum. You know what mean?
I have to admit, that right around the middle of the story (“Speaking of girls, Prongs, I hear the lovely Miss Evans is livid with you again.”), I got all excited because I thought that this was going to be a Sirius/Lily story. But, don’t worry, I’m not disappointed with Sirius/Caris. ;) In fact, I’m really happy that you have a little Lily/James (my OTP!) side-story going on. It’s been awhile since I’ve read any Lily/James (or any Marauder Era stories, for that matter), and it’s been wonderful reading this, reading them again.
Your characterization is great, particularly of the Marauders. I can’t tell you how delighted I am that you included Peter, and didn’t make him seem like the most retarded, fattest boy in school—and also that you implied he had girl friends. It makes me so happy to see Peter as an actual character, someone that the Marauders would actually be friends with. I was also happy that it was Remus who interrupted Sirius and Caris at the end, not James. Too often I have read stories where Sirius and James are extremely close and Remus and Peter are just kind of on the side.
I do have to caution you slightly, though, and I do want to say that this is just from me having read the first chapter: you’re bordering on a Mary-Sue with Caris. –winces- I know that sounds harsh, but you have plenty of room to developed her and for all I know, you have. Also, I can’t see Joanna letting you get away with a Mary-Sue.... Anyway, I’ll just explain myself now. :D So, first of all, Caris is Lily’s best friend. There’s nothing wrong with that, and I don’t think that you should change this, but I’m just letting you know, that a lot of people consider Sirius/Lily’s best friend to be cliché (you probably already know that, though). Second, she’s perfect. She’s gorgeous, she’s funny, she knows how to tease/flirt with Sirius, she’s smart, do you see where I’m going? Right now, she seems kind of empty—she’s like that person we all want to be, until we realize how boring their life is. I’m really sorry if I sound mean, that’s not what I’m trying to do. I’m just putting this out there so that you know that someone thought it. But, like I said earlier, this is only after me reading one chapter, you’ve probably given her some problems and have her all nice and rounded out by now.
Speaking of your multiple chapters, I really like how you’ve titled them each with one of the seven deadly sins and have defined it (I peeked at your later chapters ;D). That’s enough to perk my interest really. I’ve recently acquired a fascination with the seven sins and how to work them into stories; quoting the bible and this line: The forbidden fruit tastes the sweetest in your summary are what really made me click on this story. Awesome job on your summary, by the way. =) It’s vague enough to peak my interest, but it also gives enough to really fuel that interest. –applauds-
“She’s on fire,” Sirius said fervently and James, Remus and Peter nodded in assent. This line confused me a little. I wasn’t sure whether the “she’s on fire” was referring to Peter’s comment about her good looks, or if just meant like she’s nice and she’s pretty, or if maybe you accidentally typed ‘she’ instead of ‘he’ and you were really referring to Peter’s face.... I guess I just don’t know what “she’s on fire” means. Maybe that’s just me and my slowness, though. >.>
“You tell me why I should stay and then I’ll tell you where I’m going,” Caris told him. I really like this line. I think it’s the flirtatiousness of it and her confidence and the way it asserts her to Sirius—she may not be holding all of the cards, but she’s got her fair share. It really makes her character for me. :)
Overall, fantastic chapter! I’ll definitely be reading more of this.
Author's Response: Mere! What an amazing review – you just made my day with this. It makes me so glad that you took the time to review so thoroughly; you gave me lots to think about and I thank you for the blend of constructive criticism and compliments. I’m glad you like the beginning – as a girl with a short attention span, I know the importance of interesting beginnings, so it makes me happy that you liked it. I’m also glad you like the little James/Lily on the side, because really, how could I avoid it? And besides, I love writing James/Lily :D I’m happy you like my characterisation and I couldn’t agree more about Peter – I hate it when he barely even exists. He strikes me as someone who maybe tries a little too hard on occasions, but who could be very funny. After all, they did like him until he, you know, betrayed them to their deaths. And they weren’t exactly the kind of boys who would be friends with him if they didn’t like some aspect of his personality, as we see with the whole Snape thing. They were kind of shallow, but hey, they were teenagers. And thanks for the bit on Caris. *Shudder* I hate to think of her approaching Mary-Sue, because she’s such a lovely character, and I think we really start to see who she is beginning in the next chapter, because the first one was more about seeing her through Sirius’ eyes. Though, her little insecurities and flaws don’t exactly come up and hit you in the face, they’re subtler because the story is mainly seen from Sirius’ point of view, even though it’s third person. And I think Joanna would probably smack me across the head if she got anywhere near Mary-Sue (die!), so I think I’m doing something right. I’m glad you like the theme too, I’m pretty fascinated with the sins and I even did some of my final works for art last year on them. They’re just fun; everyone likes breaking the rules. I know I do. And the fire line was in reference to Caris. But now that I look at it, maybe it would be funny if he was saying that Peter was blushing? I don’t know. Thanks again for the lovely review, Mere, and I hope to get more from you :D
Wow, Alison. This is incredible. :)
Gah, I love Sirius/Lily. They’re one of my OTPs (ironically, my other is James/Lily >.>). It’s such a powerful ship, though. I see both Lily and Sirius as incredibly passionate people, full of energy and craziness, and ultimately, that’s what how I see any relationship that they shared—wild, crazy, passionate, and with a bad ending. Really, that’s my biggest “problem” with this story. I don’t see their relationship as one that could last at all. I see it more as a mess, a temporary fling, or a shared desire that sits just out of reach. BUT, I still love this. The way you presented it was wonderful.
I love the premise of your fic, and the way you explain their attraction for each other, through their imperfections. I really like how Lily didn’t want James because he was perfect. In society, a huge emphasis is placed on finding the “perfect” man or woman. And of course, there’s a huge list of expectations that sums up to be the beacon of perfection. But it’s all a lie. No one is perfect—one simply cannot expect another human to have no flaws. That’s what I love about other people—their flaws (unless their flaws land them in jail or something). And that’s what I love about your story. The emphasis is more on finding someone who is right for you, who knows and wants you for who you are, not finding that perfect someone. THANK YOU!
I really like how believable this whole thing is—with James telling Sirius he’s giving up on Lily and only then does Sirius go after her. The loyalty towards James really fits his character and the brotherly way he felt towards him [James]. Actually, I was reading the Sirius/Lily pairing thread in the Character Clinic the other day . . . that is where you got the basic plot for this, no? Well, if it is, you’ve done a brilliant job with it, and if it isn’t, you’ve still done a brilliant job on this story. ;)
I do feel really bad for James, though. He seems so broken and empty, especially in the beginning. As much as it makes me ache for him, I love what he says. Particularly this:
Hey, Rachel! –waves-
God, I love your style. I really, really do. It’s so . . . moving. Strong. Emotional. Powerful. It makes me go “GUH!” and stare at the screen in a stupid silence, unable to form a more coherent thought than “GUH!” because I know that I’ll never be able to write such a fantastic piece. –sigh-
Okay. Moving on. I find it ironic that the two stories of yours that I’ve reviewed are both written to songs (I guess that means I’ll have to review Endlessly She Said next and go three for three) (which won’t be a problem, since AFI pwns). Um, yes. I love your use of the lyrics: the way you work them so seamlessly into the story, the effect they have on the story, and the way it intensifies the meaning of the story. I especially love the way you used the last three stanzas (are the last two stanzas? Or are they too short and just lines?). It’s brilliant.
I admit—I really had no idea who this was about until like three-quarters of the way through, at the line about him sticking with the Ministry, and then I was like “Percy! Penelope!” I guess that was your intent, though, to keep us in the dark until slipping a somewhat-subtle hint in. But I didn’t really mind knowing. The anonoymousity (is that a word?) of it adds so much feeling and darkness to it. Since we, your readers, don’t know who the main character is, we aren’t so much thinking about what we know of her, who she is, what her past is, instead, you’ve centered our focus entirely on her pain and the depth of it.
Lyrics aside, I really like the beginning of the narrative. The description of the perfect, ordinary tree, of something not really necessary to the story, but it built the tension and the character and led the way right to her darkness.
But she fingers the scars on her arm and she knows otherwise. Oh my God. I didn’t entirely understand the full effect of these words my first time through, but they still left an impression on me. And now that I do understand them . . . ! First, I love the way it’s its own line. The hint, the foreshadowing—it seems simple, the concept on the surface of the words, but then when I look deeper and find all these hidden tragedies. I don’t know what it is about the word “scars,” but it’s like “blood”—everything becomes more real and tangible and it hurts more, at least to me it does.
About the way that sitting in a room full of strangers can make you feel like you have somewhere to be, an obligation to uphold. The way that sharing in the same hushed silence makes it easier to pretend that you have something in common – a mutual resignation to the fact that this is as good as it’s going to get. What can I say about this? Really, what words are there to express how much these two lines move me? They are so full of emotion, that I feel like I can grab it and hold it in my fist. And the emotion you’re conveying, the despair, the emptiness, the bottom-of-the-world, the blackest-pit-with-no-light, it’s such a raw and common feeling, that for a moment, it’s like you’re not just talking about Penelope, but anyone in the world who has become an echo of a former self. Basically, I’m green-eyed with jealously over your mastery of words.
Bar confessions are always fun, but their even better with a sympathetic ear. At first, I thought it was going to be him, whoever him was, but then I realized that I was kind of stupid in that thought, because really if she’s so in love him, don’t you think she’d recognize him instantly? If not by his voice, then his face, surely. –rolls eyes at self- I really like that we never find out who he is. It’s a lot more realistic, I think, in terms of spilling your heart-wrenching story out to stranger (not that I really have much experience in that field). And, again, it focuses the story more on her pain and his pain and the mutual numbness. And also, it makes Penelope and Percy the only ones that matter.
“I walk by her house sometimes. Sometimes I just stand there, even if it’s raining, and I wait for her to open the door. She never does.” My eyes are burning, reading this. It’s romantic, but not in the way that makes you feel giddy, in the way that makes you cry. His sadness, his desperation, his hope—it’s hard enough, thinking about a character going through something like this, but when I think that there are actual people who feel this, who do that sort of thing . . . something in me breaks.
As she remembers the boy who sat down across from her in the library an introduced himself, hours after she had decided to end her life. Oh, my. I really wasn’t expecting this. At all. He literally saved her life. This whole story takes on a new, stronger meaning. Everything is so much harsher, so much sadder, so much bleaker. God, I really might actually cry. (As a side note, “an” needs a “d”)
You know what? I’ve gained a lot of respect for Percy.
So I totally read through this and was thinking about my review, to find out I wasn't logged in. -grumbles-
I love you, Britt. You're so bloody brilliant!
-has no nitpicks-
Nikki must be a superb beta! -hasneverworkedwithher- Or you're fantastic at self-editing. ;)
Why? Sheelin thought miserably.
What could I have done?
GAH! This is so..amazing. I particularly like the ellipse on the last "crunch", it's such a small technical thing, but it adds so much to the sequence. It's when you find someone who notices things like that, that you realize what sets the good writers apart.
And Sheelin then knew it was really her; Sheelin’s body screaming what her feeble mind could not.
um, could you be any more fantastic? Like, seriously. The imagery is very well done; it's one of those lines that just jumps out and grabs you. It gives the reader a sense of her despair, of how far she's gone.
She made a whimpering sound much like a puppy and could feel her cheeks flame in mortification.
I love how she's in this awful place, being offered water by a person she can't even see, who she doesn't know if they're a friend or an enemy, and she's embarrassed. It shows how human she still is.
And just like the light had snapped on from seemingly nowhere, so did her vision.
This line really stands out to me. I think it’s the simile. I’m a sucker for them. =)
Her body was enveloped in warmth
-sigh- What I wouldn't give to be warm right now.... /random
A sad gaze confirmed what Sheelin had already guessed. She was alone.
I feel alone. Those two sentences leave me feeling barren, empty, alone, and sad. You have a way of crafting words and filling them with emotion. Kudos.
There was Alice and Frank, who were gone quite a lot, Lily and James, whom were also always on missions, Caradoc and Edgar, whom Sheelin had only heard of and never actually met, and many others, such as Dorcas, Marlene and the Prewetts.
I LOVE this line. (I think I pointed it out on lj, too >.>) It really brings home the Order, and what they do, and what it was like being a part of it. I particularly enjoyed the bit about Caradoc and Edgar. ;D Also notable: the lack of surnames. It's another one of those small-technical-detail things. It makes sense that Sheelin wouldn't know their last names, if she barely knows them. I'm sure Lily and James wouldn't sit around talking about their friend Dorcas Meadows, they'd just talk about Dorcas. It's amazing how you can really get into Sheelin's POV like that.
“Fuck!” she exclaimed.
Mild Profanity? 1st-2nd Years? What kind of cussing do you do, Britt? ;D
“Mistletoe.” Sheelin pointed up, smiling.
Sheelin snorted, peals of laugher coming from her. “I’m sorry, did you really just do that?”
heeheehee. You know, if I ever come across mistletoe in real life, the first reaction I'm going to have to it is a strange desire to set it on fire - no matter who I'm with. ~_^
“Sheelin, I don’t need an excuse to kiss you.”
So, I have an idea. I think we need a plan. A plan to fly to England, and break in to JKR's house, and change the part in one of her little notebooks that said a) Regulus was a Death Eater (I like your version of his role in the second war MUCH better) and b) he died. =( There's too much love around for him to die.
So, um, going back to the bit about Regulus's role in the war, yeah. You own. I like how you worked it into the story, too, it seemed very casual, very normal, not at all forced or thrown in hurriedly. And, also, that's the way it should have been. -sob-
I wish I could borrow your brain for a day, so I could write Dumbledore. His characterization, his speech, it's impeccable. He's a character I often struggle with, but it seems as if he flowed naturally from you. I admire that.
Although the burning mistletoe is quite amusing, I think my favourite part is the beginning. I love how real it seems, and how quickly it moves. It doesn't drag on and on when I read it. It's like it's really happening before my eyes. But it's not hurried. Like, I don't feel like I missed anything, I feel like I was there, with Sheelin, running through the bugs and having a blinding light shone on me and being rescued by a strange, handsome man/boy. ;) I almost felt out of breath when I got to the part about Sheelin sinking to the ground.
I love the allusion to Pandora's Box. With the title, the description of Regulus's face, and the bugs were part of that, too, right? It's been forever since I've read it. >.>
'Tis wonderful, Britt. And so are you. ♥
Author's Response: I like to think I'm not too bad at editing. But if I'm the macaroni, Nikki is the cheese. She does a pretty fantastic job, doesn't she? =) Oh my, you have flattered me. You are so sweet, Mere. I like that plan too. Let's act on that. Dumbledore? Really? That's a relief. I freak when I write him. I get really nervous. Glad to know it worked. As for mild profanity... I don't know, I guess I can't explain that one. *shrugs.* Thanks, again, love.
Hey, Terri. :) It’s been awhile since I’ve left you a review. Or read anything by you, really . . . Anyway, I’m changing that. Right now.
I really liked the first paragraph of this fic. I know that a lot people, myself included, were a disgruntled after reading JKR’s prologue at how reckless and stupid James and Sirius seemed. But, your first paragraph provided the perfect explanation. It was a situation that James and Sirius would be likely to get themselves into and the rash way the acted suddenly seemed justified. So, thanks for that first paragraph. It was nice to see some sense behind it.
The not speaking while on the bike and the silent, simultaneous grab of the butterbeer, and then the continued silence seemed very real and natural. It also showed the depth of Sirius and James friendship. It only makes sense that would spend sometime in silence to allow for what just happened to sink in, and the fact that they both knew that each other need it, it’s just ♥. It makes me so happy to see the strength of their relationship. :)
Your characterization of them in their conversation is just wonderful. Sirius being arrogant and James being more serious and worrisome, but not too much, since he’s still able to joke about it—Elvendork, indeed! ;) And I like how Sirius is Elvendork . . . hee. It made me laugh.
And then Lily. Just. Gah! Your characterization in this fic is so awesome it almost hurts. I especially like how she jinxes them, and then looks at their faces and un-jinxes them almost immediately. I think that that really shows her nature and heart. And of course the whole being mad because they could’ve been killed . . .
I love seeing Lily and James as married couple. ♥ I think the only thing I’ve read about them post-Hogwarts is The Wedding Ring by KASK, and it’s not exactly the happiest of stories . . . ANYWAY, it makes me so happy to see them as a loving couple. It reminds me why they’re my OTP. They’re just so cute. Hee. And I love Sirius lets them kiss for a little while and then is just like “Okay. Enough.” :)) He’s such an amazing best friend. (I think I’m re-learning why I love the Marauders here. ^_^)
I know that in the past, you struggled to write Dumbledore. But that was an awfully long time ago, wasn’t it? Over a year . . . WOW. Has it been that long? Um, anyway, obviously you’ve had some time to work with and it’s not like you haven’t been writing since then –marvels at the amount of stories you’ve churned out- and, well, you struggle with Dumbledore no more! His character was very well done. Especially the “Having a party?” line. It was very Dumbledore to me. And I like his effect on James and Sirius. It’s very natural and exactly what I imagined happened.
As always, lovely chapter, dear.
I got really insanely excited when I saw that the first word was Abby. In fact, in the notes I was taking as I read I wrote “YAY! ABIGAIL!” :) I’m just really interested to see what kind of OC see she is and how she and Sirius fall in love. And I was not disappointed. She seems like a very fun, yet serious girl. I want to know more about her.
The first few paragraphs of this chapter work really well. In the first paragraph, we’re introduced to the main character: we find out that she works, is friends with Lily, shares a confidence of some sorts with Dumbledore, and knows about the Order of the Phoenix. All in three sentences, too—impressive! ;) Then, the second paragraph explains more about the confidence with Dumbledore and why she knows about the Order. I assume she can’t attend the Order meetings because it could possibly cause problems with her job at the Ministry? And of course, it means Sirius doesn’t know that much about her . . . ;D And then the third paragraph. My favourite of the three, actually, because there’s so much motion and movement and it seems very rushed and hurried just like how Abby was feeling.
And then she thinks about Sirius. Of course. ^_^ And, as much as I love this story so far, I’m going to issue a slight warning now: With regards to Abby and Sirius, this chapter was slightly predictable. I’m hoping and planning that the rest of the story isn’t, but I just wanted to tell you the thoughts/feelings I’m getting at this point.
I’m baaaack. :) I meant to be back sooner, but alas . . . >.>
I like that this chapter picked up right where the last chapter left off. It felt continuous and flowed well. Even though I haven’t read this story in a while, as soon as I read the first few sentences I knew exactly what had happened in the last chapter just from context.
The POV in the seemed a little weird to me. On one hand, it felt like it was third person omniscient, but on the other side, it felt like you were trying to make it third person limited. It was just a little confusing for me; I didn’t know which effect you were going for.
I know that POV can be a tough thing to decide on, but ultimately, the story reads better if the POV doesn’t slip or waver. I suggest focusing on one type of POV and re-reading what you’ve written a few times asking yourself “would [insert character here] really know that?” Just my opinion though. :)
Oh, wow. I was not expecting that much pain in Abby’s background. It really makes her character pop though. It sets her apart from all of Sirius’s fanfictional girlfriends. This connection deepens there relationship and makes it that much more intimate and real. It’s lovely.
Oooh, Cassie, this was wonderful. :)
First off, I love the beginning. It’s ambiguous, but not to an extreme. It’s done well, not over-the-top or anything. Also, I really like the emotion and the depth of it. It’s so strong and powerful and it makes me ache for who ever it is. (Ted, I think, but then . . . yeah, I dunno.) The image of a man sleeping on a hardwood floor with his bag as a pillow is a very lonely image. It makes me sad to picture it. My heart has gone out to this man, whoever he is.
It was like a wizard tale. The clever Slytherin helps a hag who later repays the debt. Except that Rose Weasley wasn't a hag, and Scorpius didn't expect to call in the favour.
*Winner of the 2010 Next Generation QSQ award*
All right, first off, I’d just like to say, that you are my hero. –bows down- Seriously. You have, like, 60+ stories up on the archive, and plenty of them are long, twenty-or-more, chapter stories. O.O It’s just . . . amazing. Another thing, you update really, really, really fast. Which, I guess, is to say, you write really, really, really fast. –is in awe- How do you do it?
Hmm . . . where to start? With the pairing, I guess. I’m not an avid reader of Rose/Scorpius (meaning, I’ve read one other story shipping them), but I’ve always loved the idea of them. They have so much more possibility than Hermione/Draco, because, you never know, it could actually happen—that’s the beauty of Next-Gen: it’s entirely up to us! But, also, Hermione’s and Draco’s characters are so set in stone, so firmly developed that it leaves us, as fanfiction authors, very little room to play around with them and really explore them. With Rose and Scorpius . . . well, like I said before, it’s completely up to us. There’s also the whole Romeo & Juliet aspect to the two of them; it’s almost a double standard for them—Gryffindor vs. Slytherin and Weasley/Potter Clan vs. Malfoy. –sigh- I could go about this for hours. Or pages. ;D
The opening is very good. It hints at a more complicated plot than just a Rose/Scorpius romance, which makes it that much better. Romance is all well and good, but it’s a hundred times better if there’s more to the story—and the characters—that just that. Also, I like how Maleficus (interesting and extremely appropriate name, by the way) sort of represents Lucius Malfoy and gives us a preview of what to expect in the letter. Like, how he expects only the best—a treat, as opposed to a pat, and gets violent when the best isn’t delivered, and how he pays no mind to how he could be bothering others: ripping up Scorpius’s paper.
Still in this beginning section, I really love how easily and causally you work little bits of Scoripus’s character into the mundane, everyday conversation. And I guess Nott’s and Golye’s, too. Characters, that is.
"He's still reading the political cartoons."
"The cartoons are in the business section?"
Ahem. Anyway, that bit little bit about the apple was clever, too. Ooh . . . foreshadowing. –cues mysterious music- Although, just curious, it really doesn’t matter that much, why would he grab it at breakfast, and hang on to until after lunch? You don’t have to answer that, if you don’t want to. It’s just me being annoying. >.>
Actually, you know, I quite like Edgar. First, his name: Edgar. It’s one of those names that I love, but I’d never name my child it, y’know? But, anyway, I like how easy-going he is, how he accepts Scorpius’s comments about his failings because he’s just that comfortable with himself (at least, that’s what I tell myself—I hope he really isn’t just that stupid).
Going back to names for a second—Willoughby? Isn’t that from Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen? If it is . . . –squees- I love that book. If not . . . well, it reminded me of that book and –squees- I love it anyway. ~_^
I love how detailed-oriented you are. Like, with that little bit about Scorpius popping into the side room where first years go before they’re sorted. I mean, you gave him a location, other than just like down the hallway or in an alcove, and that makes it . . . realer. Is that a word? Well, it is now. Um, back to details, the anti-tempering charm on Grandfather Lucius’s letter. It makes sense that he’d use something like that, especially if the letter was important, so you gave a sense of the value of the letter and of Lucius’s characterization all tied into one normal moment, showing Scorpius’s nervousness, too. I mean, wow! Hard to imagine you pack all that into a simple, could’ve-been-overlooked detail, huh? –bows down to the genius that you are-
So, er, the letter. –raises eyebrows- Vague. Intriguing. I think the most intriguing part was actually: Scorpius read the letter and cursed. Then he read it again. I mean, the letter was interesting, and it made me want to know what was up, but that line . . . It just really grabbed my attention for some reason. –shrugs- The simplicity, perhaps? Maybe the questions it prompted: why did it make him curse? Why would he read it again if he disliked it the first time? What could be in it to make so important and disappointing at the same time? Etc.
The segue into the memory is good: very nice, clean, smooth, just altogether well-done. I like how you used the letter to perk the readers’ interest and then go on to explain it, giving us just enough to satisfy ourselves, but leaving out just enough to keep us sending you
candies and flowers reviews, in hope that it’ll make you write more and update faster. ;D
Within the memory, I like Lucius’s characterization—the faraway look, the “Spells that cut like swords, wielding magic Muggles only dream of,” the way he’d willingly put down his own son in an attempt to win over his grandson. I also adore Draco’s character. =D He loved his father, who wasn’t bold or daring. Father worried about Scorpius being safe and wouldn’t let him have a racing broom. –melts into a pile of gush- I’ve always been of the opinion that Draco would make an excellent father; a kind, caring one. But, I also see as Draco a lot more compassionate that I think a lot people –cough-JKR-cough- give him credit for. ^_^
And, YAY! –does a little dance- Scorpius is more like Draco than Lucius! He doesn’t want to be Knight of Walpurgis. –grins- Oh, and while I’ve got the knights here, I’d just like to appreciate your amazing research skills. It seems like you always put a lot of effort into each of your stories, making sure that they are truly accurate representations of what they represent. That’s one of the differences between a good writer and great writer. I don’t think I need to tell you that you fall into the latter category, surpassing the first with flying colors.
Um, right. Anyway, back to Scorpius. And the Knights of Walpurgis. Oh, I nearly cheered out loud when he called them “wizard supremacists.” I’ve already read up to chapter seven (I know, I know, and I’m just reviewing now . . . feel free to lodge rotten tomatoes at my head), but when I was reading through this the first time, I had to wonder if Scorpius was going to end up staying at Rose’s house to escape his grandfather . . . Although, since this was even before Rose had been introduced in the story, I really had no idea how you could pull that off.
Rose certainly gets a dramatic entrance, doesn’t she? I was a little curious in the beginning to see why this was so important—the fact that she didn’t turn around and look as he walked in – but, yeah, I see it. Very effective, that subtle little thing, that we readers don’t really pay much attention to, and it ends up being a catalyst to a major part of the chapter. Well, the major part of the chapter. –rolls eyes at self-
I like how you show Rose’s and Scorpius’s strengths and weakness right there in that little bit in Potions. Rose, unsure without her partner, looking lost . . . she’s not an automatic genius. Scorpius just had to scan the first few ingredients on the list and knew right off the bat what they were making and he knew pretty instinctively how to make it, too. Now that I think about it, that makes sense genetically, too. Draco was good at Potions—he got an “O” on his OWL and made it into Advanced Potion Making . . . And Ron, well, sucked at Potions, and Hermione was good at it because she knew how to follow and interpret directions. /musing
Okay, okay. So, I’m a little muddy about what Rose’s . . . um, problem (is that the right word?) is. So, she couldn’t make the potion correctly, because her notes weren’t good enough, no? And her notes weren’t good for this potion because . . . Albus wasn’t there to help her? Is that right? Because it took me a little while to figure it out . . .
I really the dialogue that end, which is the only really true dialogue we see in this chapter. I think it really captures the characters in it, especially Scorpius’s sense of humor. –snorts- And Rose, with her blushes and trying to retain some control of the situation.
Ah, the apple. I loved that, too. Mostly, because you left it open to our interpretation. We could choose, whether we thought it meant knowledge or temptation or maybe a little of both. (I’m inclined to believe both). And, because it tied the whole chapter together, reminding us of the beginning, of breakfast, of the letter. And, making us all that more impatient for the next chapter, as we remember everything that occurred in the chapter.
It’s a fabulous opening chapter to a very alluring story.
-bounces- I can’t wait for the next chapter. And, I’m excited to review the other chapters, too. :D
Author's Response: b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; b29; There aren't enough hearts to show how much I loved your review, but I had to try. If I was the scrapbook type, I'd put it on a page with sparkly stickers. As it is, I'm tempted to print the review and whip it out when someone asks, "Why do you write fan fiction? Why not just original?" Read it and shut your pie hole, people! :D I wrote Draco/Ginny pre-HBP, and I'm glad I did, because I couldn't have done it afterwards, when the characters and pairings were cemented. As much as I hated Jo making Draco cry to Myrtle when I first read it, in retrospect I was glad to point to that and say, "See! He has emotions! He's not just a cold-hearted DE wannabe! There's more to him than meets Harry's eye! My characterization wasn't totally AU! LOL. Thank you so much for reading meaning into details! Life is complicated, people are complex, everyone has issues, and romances are more about change and growth than kissing, although that's important, too! I see Scorpius as taking the apple in case he wanted a snack later. He anticipates things. ;) Edgar takes Scorpius' digs because he understands that while his friend is well aware Edgar prefers to be underestimated, he's still annoyed that people treat him as stupid when he isn't. I tip my hat to you for wondering if Scorpius would end up at Rose's house! I first thought of having Rose stay at school with him, but then realized no, he has to go home with her! There are different types of learning and Rose learns best by doing, by observing actions and writing notes down, internalizing them. Scorpius' looks alone don't impress her, but combined with his intelligence and enviable handwriting—that combination is hard to resist. :) Thank you for not resisting the urge to read this story! *hugs*
What? No reviews! I guess I’ll just have to fix that. :P
Hi, Rachel! –waves- So, I told you that I wanted to review you ages ago, and now here I am, finally leaving you a review. :)
You are a very powerful writer, you know that? Right from the beginning, it’s just BAM! It’s strong, it’s dark, and it’s moving. You immediately let the reader know that you know what you’re doing and you’re not messing around. And, it wasn’t powerful just at the start—you held the power the entire time, never letting the reader go. That was my first thought throughout almost the whole story and, definitely when I finished (‘Wow—this is really powerful’).
And now that I’ve used the word ‘powerful’ enough in one paragraph, I’m going to move on. =) I don’t normally read much Dramione, but I know enough about the clichés and stereotypes of the ship to really appreciate the way you write them. You make it real and believable. Hermione didn’t fall in love with Draco because he was extremely attractive and she was a very sexually charged woman. There was an actual reason, tangible backstory to it—she’s lost everything and she’s become an empty, numb body and the same thing has happened to him. Their love is tragically beautiful.
I like the way you describe it. Hermione doesn’t really want to be involved with him; she tells herself that it’s purely physical, but she can’t help herself. The use of the word “lie” when you talked about this was particularly interesting and, in my opinion, a very good choice. To me, the connotation of lie implies some control over it, that a choice was made—often the easier one. I don’t know if that’s what you were going for, but even if you weren’t, it works wonderfully. I see it as Hermione knew she was going to fall for Draco, but rather than actually think about the fact that she was in love with her girlhood enemy, she chose the easier option, to make an excuse almost, to find a way to rationalize it to herself, to make it more acceptable. It’s brilliant. You are brilliant.
I’ve never heard Hysteria by Muse, but almost instantly after I finished reading your fic, I went on youtube and looked it up. That’s supposed to be a compliment, by the way. I guess what I’m trying to say is that your story was so good, it made me want to listen to the song. I was kind of surprised by it, actually. I was expecting a slower, sad song, so I was pleasantly surprised when it wasn’t. I think it fits the story even better the way it is, than what I was imagining in my head. Which is probably why it inspired this story. (-rolls eyes at self-)
The placing of the lyrics was really good. I’m curious—did you write the whole thing out and then add the lyrics in, in the most appropriate spots, or did you look at the lyrics and then write each section according to what the lyrics said?
I really like the structure of the entire thing, actually, not just the locations of the lyrics. I like the way it’s introduced, the memories, the explanation, the way everything is building up, like a layers of bricks in a wall to the scene at the end.
He too was lonely, frustrated, tired of pretending along with the rest of the world that the end of the war had brought the promised closure that the wizarding world had needed. There needs to be a set of commas around ‘too’.
Your portrayal of the way the war ended is a little mind-blowing. I really like it. Especially, the idea that everything wasn’t just suddenly perfect after Voldemort was gone. That Ginny and Harry didn’t settle back into their relationship as if nothing had happened, no time had passed. Actually, I quite liked the fact that Ginny refused to go back to him. I was a little confused about his suicide, though. For most of the beginning, I thought that like somehow Voldemort managed to kill, and they both died. Then, you mentioned it was suicide, but later it still seemed a little like Voldemort had killed him... I don’t know; maybe I’m just missing something (that would not be altogether surprising).
I’m not doing so well at my job, but I stay there after hours because I have nothing to go home to. But then I do go home, and I sleep, and I wake up and realise that I have nothing to work for. I don’t think you need me to say anything about this line. I’m sure you know how incredible it is. The void of emotion in it, the cold, blank, numb way she says it; it’s heartbreaking. But it’s not just that, it’s that I know there are people in the world who feel this way—I do sometimes. It’s the blunt way that it’s put out there, that really touches me. It makes me want to cry.
Draco, I promised you my entire fucking heart. I don’t know about this. Your overall characterization of Hermione is excellent. But—but I just can’t see her cussing. Especially not fuck. Saying that, I do see why you have her drop the f-bomb. It shows how much the outcome of the war has taken from her, how much it has changed her. But, there’s just this—this alarm bell going off in the back of my head, screaming to me that this isn’t right. It’s entirely up to you, and maybe I just have a skewed interpretation of Hermione’s character, but I really think having her say fuck is wrong. Once was weird enough, but acceptable. It could slip out, particularly if she’s really upset, like she was. But twice? (“So fucking what?”) Eh. I don’t know. It’s pushing it, in my opinion. Other than that, though, Hermione is amazing.
And Draco? Er, can you say perfect? I’m completely serious. I think I’m in love with the way you write him. He has so much depth. He’s got his redeemable qualities (he does love her), but he’s still a true Slytherin and a true Malfoy. Just because he fell in love with Hermione Granger doesn’t mean he’s suddenly going to become like the Prince of Light or the Bearer of Good. He actually tells her “I love you, but I’m not changing. This is who I am.” ♥ That is Draco.
She revelled in the familiarity of his kiss and pretended that this was all he had ever meant to her; that she hadn’t needed anything more to believe in. So, I’ve always sort of been a sucker for last lines. But I think this is like the last line of all last lines. It wraps up everything about the story; she wants to believe her lies, that it’s just a physical attraction, but she knows it’s not. But I don’t need to tell you that—you wrote it (;D). I think I like it so much because it does go back and revisit that earlier idea. Also, it channels all of the power you had in the beginning and all of the power that you picked up as you wrote the story. It’s just so—so good, I don’t know what to say.
Rachel, this story is so good it makes me want to find every Draco/Hermione you’ve ever written and just gobble it all up. Fantastic one-shot!
Author's Response: Ah! Mere, you can't even imagine how much my jaw dropped when I clicked on the review link, expecting to see a sad one-liner, and finding this. First off, thankyou thankyou thankyou for your very detailed and fabulous review, and I'm so glad that you liked this story! LOL, unfortunately for you, this is my only published Draco/Hermione [trust me, the others don't deserve to see the light of day x.x], but if you're interested in another D/Hr written along these lines of characterisation, try 'A Kiss to Send Us Off' by Potterphile12. She sort of inspired the way I wrote this pairing, so you're going to see some similarities.
Anyway. The mood of this song definitely had a huge impact on the way I wrote this fic - really strong, frenetic, passionate - and I am literally honoured that you feel like my writing comes off as powerful. You asked how I dealt with the song lyrics, so to answer that: my intention was to write and stick a stanza in here and there as I went along, but after two pages on a Word document I realised that I had no idea how long this story was going to be. So I wrote it, and then decided on where I thought the song lyrics were best fitting after the whole thing was done. But I did purposefully try to make the story follow the song, which I think is chiefly about losing control. I knew the beginning and ending before I started writing - I just had to fill in the middle. So to answer your question, yes, I made a point of keeping the story loyal to the song, but I added the actual lyrics after the fact.
Hermione cussing. Hmm. I'm so glad you gave me feedback on that, because I wasn't so sure about it. On the one hand, like you said, I wanted there to be some sort of change in Hermione's character, to really emphasise the effect the war had on her. And then, partially, I was just writing the dialogue out as I was thinking it. And, considering that... I have a *cough* slight tendancy to swear more than is healthy, while I was thinking about this part in the story, I really wanted Hermione to emphasise her devotion to Draco, and personally, I use swearing as emphasis. So every time Hermione swore, I think that you're right - it was a lapse of her characterisation, and more... me trying to get this dialogue out. I actually think I'll keep the first 'f***ing', because I like the way that added to her desperation in that section, but I'm definitely going to consider the second. Actually, I thought I'd made her swear more than twice. Perhaps I edited it before I posted this. Huh.
Hmm, what else was there? Ah, Harry's suicide. Yes, I didn't go into much detail, but I was hoping that it was implied. This story is canon-compliant, but it disregards the epilogue, so yes, Harry did defeat Voldemort... but in this story, it didn't bring him his happy ending, so eventually he did kill himself. Oh, but maybe I did imply that Voldemort killed him. If I did, that wasn't the intent - I'll have to go back and reread this, and see if there's any way I can make it clearer.
Oh, and thank you so much for the compliments on Draco's character. While I was writing this, I seriously, seriously worried that I was putting too much effort into developing Hermione, and not putting enough thought into the way I was writing Draco. I guess while I was writing this... he sort of complimented Hermione's character. That is to say, before I started writing, I had to sit down and think through the way I wanted to portray Hermione. I didn't do that with Draco. His character just sort of fell into place, and I'm so glad you feel like it worked. And, ah, I'm addicted to writing last lines. There's something so satisfying about it. The last line is my favourite in like 99% of the stories I write, and it seriously makes my day when other people appreciate them. ♥ Basically, this is turning into a response waaaaay longer than I had anticipated [sorry about that, *facepalm*], so I'm going to wrap it up now. Thank you SO much for all of your comments, and I'll take that swearing thing [and the ambiguity about Harry's suicide] into consideration. Thanks for the absolutely fantastic review, Mere! This really did brighten my day. :D
What? No reviews!
SPEW buddy to the rescue!
-squees- I can’t tell you how happy I was that I got a James/Lily fan for my SPEW buddy. :D I absolutely love reading this pairing. James has always been my favourite Marauder . . . even if he is a complete arse. :P And I love that despite Lily’s refusals, he, obviously, never really gave up on her. Although, I do feel bad for Lily . . . could you imagine? That would be so annoying. I also love the way Lily and James sort of mirror Elizabeth Bennet’s and Mr Darcy’s relationship. Initially, it’s a mutual dislike, but then Darcy/James starts to like her, and then he asks Lizzie/Lily and she’s all like “NO WAY!” And then he’s like “Holy crap! I need to change!” Then he does, and she falls for him and they live happily ever after. :D How’s that for an abridged version of Pride and Prejudice?
I really like the opening section, particularly the second paragraph. It adds a lot of depth to James that we generally don’t see in fanfiction. Well, this whole one-shot does. I haven’t seen much that’s from James’s POV, especially not such an up-close-and-personal POV like first, and I’ve decided that I really like it. :) If the author really takes the time to get into his head, like you have done.
A word of caution, though, regarding the second paragraph: you kind of went overboard with the rhetorical devices. There was an easily discernable pattern and it became repetitive and a little boring. It was a short sentence (Well, except a red-headed girl). Then, two or three sentences that started similarly and conveyed similar concepts (The girl who refused to have anything to do with me. The girl who thought that I was good for nothing.). This occurred four times in a row. That’s a bit much. Try varying up your sentence structures a little. While rhetorical devices are good, be aware of when you’re using them and try not to use them right after each other. It defeats the purpose; the reader is more turned away, than they are turned on.
I couldn’t go and let her see how much it hurt to be alone when I wanted her. This is my favourite line of the entire fic. It has so much depth, and James’s pain is real. Tangible. You can really feel how badly he wants—needs—Lily. It’s such a sad line that you really can’t help but sympathize with him.
James’s choice to go along with Lily’s assumption was interesting. One might think that he’d try to explain why he was really there, in hopes of proving to her that he wasn’t always a jerk. But, it makes the rest of the fic that much sadder.
Hmm . . . Lily’s a little cliché, in my opinion, by immediately jumping down his throat for missing class and then changing tactics lightning-quick to assuming he was asking her out, to blowing up. That seems to be a pretty typical pattern in Lily-hating-James fanfics. Maybe you could try changing it up a little—like, have Lily not assume that James was asking her out, or have her be a little less quick to tell him off. She’s a really tricky character to write, and I think you have a lot of potential with her, but maybe really flesh her out, push her to her limits—or yours—some more and just see what happens.
I really love how they don’t get together in this. That’s the best thing about the story—the premise of it. I love that it’s just about James, and what’s “under his shell” (what an appropriate title!). It’s more about how Lily’s constant refusals are tearing him apart, and why he’s never going to give up, then her reactions to his asking her out, which is brilliant.
A lovely one-shot, Afifa. :D
Author's Response: Ah. Yay! First review! :D
I have a Super... woman for a SPEW Buddy! Awesome. No, wait... that doesn't sound right. Um... Super Buddy. Yup. *nods* :D
I heart James/Lily too. :D It's my one and only OTP though I've been reading quite a bit of Dramione these days...
Pride and Prejudice is love. It's definitely in my list of top ten books. I adore Mr Darcy. *hugs Darcy* And I agree, James/Lily relationship is hell lot similar to Elizabeth and Darcy's.
*opens fic to see which part Mere likes* *reads* Oh, okay. :D I'm glad you liked that part. And, um, I didn't particularly plunge into James' head... it all just came naturally to me. Whatever I've written for this one shot is the result of two hours. You already know I work only with deadlines. Lol. So I didn't really have much time to edit stuff after thinking over it. I'm glad though that you think I've had James very well. :)
About the second paragraph. I see what you mean, I'll try to edit it if I can. :)
James' choice... well, I had to keep the prompt in mind too, see? So I had to keep the conversation a tiny bit witty... Lily's characterisation. I agree with what you say, Kat [my beta] said the same thing. I edited a little bit, but I couldn't change more or it would've changed the whole thing a lot. But I'll see if I can do something about it.
The thing about unrequited love... lol. Well, when I was writing this, during those days I was reading a hell lot of romance novels. So much that I got a bit annoyed. Real life is not like this. People don't always end up with someone they love. There are rarely any perfectly happy endings. So I chose this prompt and plot. Lol. I'm very glad that you like it. And the title, well, I chose it from the Title Library in the forums, so I can't take any credit for it. :p
Thanks for the fantastic review, Mere! :D
Hey, Kasey! –pickles SPEW buddy-
What is there to say? I think I’m in love. With you, your writing style, Oliver, Oliver/Hermione, dark and angsty stories, heartache. Guh. It’s just . . . very, very, very good. Thank you for writing this. :)
I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this. And that’s good, because I’m pretty sure this is ten times better than what I had formed in my mind. I really like how you set it at Hogwarts, during the final battle. We know how hard it was for Harry, and we know what he did, but we don’t really know what it was like for everyone else, stuck back at the castle, wondering what they were going to do. This little glimpse into that was exactly like I imagine it would be: melancholy, desperate, and horrifying.
I think you did a really good job of capturing Oliver’s grief and the general horror of what he—and everyone else—went through that day. I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to experience something like that, but I still feel a lot of empathy towards Oliver and Neville and everyone else.
While the first paragraph sets the tone for the rest of the story, that sort of emptiness and horror that lingers on the edges of all the death and destruction around them, it’s the second paragraph that made me fall for this.
"It’s like a safe place, somewhere to watch the world, somewhere... magical."
When the rain stops and the sun comes out, a magical moment is etched in gold.
Chels! –tackles SPEW buddy-
A LoveNote for a LoveNote? ♥
I really liked this. It was short and sweet and beautiful. And sad, too, because we know that Cedric and Katie never really got their chance. :( At least they could have this one moment together before it all went away.
I like your use of the prompt. I never would have thought to put the boat in a shed. The only way I could picture it was on water. But I really love your creativity. And, if you don’t mind me getting all in-depth about this, I love what it symbolizes. Water—lakes, seas, rivers, oceans, rain, pools, etc.—commonly represents freedom through out literature. A boat can be associated with water, and thus, the freedom. But, a boat is also small, contained, isolation. You have no where to go, nothing to do, no one to see. So, the way I see it, in your story, it’s almost like where Katie and Cedric are. They want to be free, to be able to show the world how they feel about each other—water—but they’re can’t, because of Cedric and Cho’s relationship—in a sense, they are stuck on a boat. I don’t know if that’s what you intended or if I’m just reading way too into this, but that’s what I saw in it.
I like how you didn’t come out and explain Cedric and Katie’s relationship, but let it flow naturally and let the reader make of it what they may. It’s obvious that they go way back, they probably knew each other as kids, and are still comfortable around each other. But you didn’t tell me that; you showed it to me. It’s just ♥
This whole thing is done so causally, so easily, it’s like I was there, just another student observing. It isn’t heavy with complex language or lots of things that remind me I’m reading. It’s just simple. And I totally mean that in a good way. ;) It’s the sort of thing that I can just get lost in.
I love your characterization of Cedric. The one thing I really remember about him from in the books is in PoA and Oliver is talking to the Quidditch team, and Katie, Alicia, and Angelina are giggling over Cedric . . . One of them says something about him being “strong and silent” and then Fred says something like “he’s only silent ‘cause he’s too thick to string two words together . . .” ANYWAY, I think you definitely captured the strong-and-silent-ness here. Cedric really didn’t talk much, only when necessary, more comfortable to just let Katie do the talking or sit in silence. It’s brilliant.
>And he feared not just for himself, but for the other champions. This also shows off your awesome characterization skills. I mean, that is such a Hufflepuff thing to think. I guess it helps that you’re a Puff too . . . and have insider knowledge on all things Hufflepuff. ;) But still, it’s awesome (your characterization).
For Cedric, it was like the sun coming out all over again. God, I love this line. It’s beautiful, strong, sad, powerful, morose . . . I can’t say *why* exactly I love it so, it’s just very . . . I picture this cloud settled over them with the mention of Cho, and then it just being shoved aside as Katie leans towards him and this golden light falling on their faces, you know that lovely, warm, late-evening light? So, I guess what I’m saying is that I like the imagery in it. :-) Another thing I like: it’s sort of like the calm before the storm—he gets this one moment of happiness, of joy, of pure bliss before he is murdered. I’m probably the only morbid enough person to be constantly thinking of his death, even in light of such a happy one-shot with no hints of death . . .
Hm. So, I feel like the moment when Cedric says, “Cho and I... we’re not right. I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to figure that out. Just... if you stay quiet about this for a few days... we can be together soon. If you want to, that is,” is sort of rushed. Well, actually, I’m going to go back farther. When Katie says “Cho” it sort of comes out of nowhere. Maybe you could add in some of Cedric’s thoughts about how right it felt to be kissing Katie, but oh-Merlin-I’m-supposed-to-be-going-out-with-Cho? And then after she [Katie] says “Cho,” you could add in more thoughts about him being torn between what he wants and what’s the honorable thing to do, etc., and then come out with the “Cho and I... we’re not right....” line.
I’ve never really given much thought to Cedric or Katie (and certainly not together!) but I’m willing to give them a chance.
Especially if you write more about them.
OH! “...they leaned towards each other and their lips connected and they kissed and kissed and kissed and they wrapped their arms around each other...” I like the repetition of “kissed” here, instead of just saying “and they kissed for a long time blah blah blah I am so boring blah blah blah.” The repetition of the word, in my opinion, really implies the passion and desire and hunger between them, without actually coming out and saying that. I take my hat off to you, Chels (or rather, my SPEW newbie tiara
which I might still wear even though I’m not a newbie) and your excellent ability to show, not tell. ;)
So, I really, really, really hope you can follow this review. I hope that it’s connected and flows and coherent, even though I know that there’s not a chance of that. I’m sorry. I’m going to go get some pain killers now.
I love you, hon.
Author's Response: Thank you, dear! Gah, I don't know what to say. I'm so glad you liked this, and I love all the bits you picked out to comment on in this review. Hmm, I agree with your thoughts on that rushed section. Thanks a million for this, dear, ily too! *squishes*
This is a celebratory review – you’re a mod now! Congrats! :)
I’ve always been intrigued by Teddy/Victoire, but I’ve never really read much of them. They way you wrote them, though, is almost exactly like I imagine it would be. They would be best friends, of course, when they were younger.
She never tired of pulling herself up through the leaves, branch by branch, and getting scratched endlessly by stray twigs.
He never did, either.
I love how you captured their friendship in these three lines. You get a sense of Victoire. She’s strong, independent, and does what she wants, not what everyone else is doing. And you get a sense of Teddy. You can tell, from these two lines alone, that Teddy is only climbing the tree because of Victoire. And that’s just uber sweet and adorable. :)
And then, at Hogwarts, they slowly grow apart. Not out of a conscious decision, but because things simply work out that way. The progression of this change is beautiful. In my mind, I can see a montage of scenes in the hallway, with them growing older each time they pass each other, and the enthusiasm slowly being lost from their greetings.
Teddy graduates, goes “home” for the summer, and viola – Victoire’s there. And she’s funny, interesting, clever. And beautiful. And Teddy realizes how much he’s lost by letting go of her friendship.
The way you introduced the idea of him regretting losing Victoire, the slow and subtle way you indicate that Teddy might feel more than just friendship, is wonderful. In fact, I think that’s my favorite part of this story. I love how it’s slow and steady and everything makes sense and seems real. He’s not just going to admit to himself that he likes her and he isn’t going to suddenly be like “OMG VICTOIRE I LOVE HER.” It’s going to take him awhile - Over the next few days - and it’s going to be subtle - For the first time, it hurt a little.
The progression of this story just seems so real and so natural; it has to be happening to someone out there. I really enjoyed it. Fantastic story, love.
Hello, Hannah! :)
So right away there are a lot of things I like about this story. I like that you’ve updated the curriculum and have replaced Professor Binns. Not only does this set your story apart from hundreds of others, but it actually makes sense too! Also, I like how you went and gave Teddy a sort of ‘out there’ quality, but were able to justify it so it makes complete sense and wasn’t like one of those tacky personality traits that bad authors randomly add to their characters to make them less Mary-Sue or Gary-Stu –ish (I feel like I can say this to you because you obviously aren’t a bad author who doesn’t know what it’s like to create an actual well-developed character).
So, I totally know what Teddy was feeling, but . . . something feels a little off to me. I think it might be the order of events, actually. It’d make more sense to me if, like, the shiver had been mentioned first and then the fact that he sat up. I also would have liked a little more details there. It seemed a little too random, IMO, because it was come and gone so quickly that even we as readers didn’t really have time to digest it.
Okay, to be honest, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this. I love second person, but it’s very rarely done well. In the beginning, it almost seemed to me that you were writing in second person just to be writing in second person—it didn’t really seem like the story needed to be in second person. That is, until this line
It echoed throughout the silent house, and you startled yourself so much that your teacup fell to the ground and shattered.
It just wouldn’t work if it was in first or third person. The second person makes it seem oddly detached, which supports the you startled yourself so much part. After that, the voice really started to support Remus’s character and emotions, emphasizing his loneliness, his dissatisfaction with life, and his masochistic personality.
The thing I really love about Remus here is that he only blames himself, for what he is, but he never demands of the universe why, he of all people had to be a werewolf. It’s like he’s accepted his fate and has resigned himself to the life of a solitary man, which makes everything about him all that more heartbreaking.
But as the cold air clears and the snow on the ground starts to melt, so do the ice chambers you’ve built around your heart.
This is another line that only works in second person. It’s beautiful and in this line I really get the sense of hope. I feel like throughout most of the story, he has no hope at all and it’s so depressing. I’ve been sitting here trying to imagine a life without hope, without anything to look forward to, and I just can’t imagine. But then in that line there is finally that one sliver of hope and it’s refreshing, just like spring.
You’ve used the seasons as a literary device very smoothly. It doesn’t hit the reader in their head, repeatedly, but rather supports Remus’s moods and emotions. Winter symbolizes death and here Remus has hit rock bottom. Then, in spring, the time of birth and new life, his hope slowly begins to form.
You savour the words, say her name aloud in your empty house. It just makes you feel more alone.
Now this line is just downright depressing and heartbreaking, but wonderfully so. It’s something so simple, yet it is so sad. Remus’s loneliness, sadness, and emptiness practically drip off of this line, it’s so powerful. I think it’s my favourite one in the story.
I quite liked this story, even if it was a bit sadder than what you usually write. The transition from the loss of hope to having hope to his hope coming true made the theme of hope really work and balanced the story.
So I’m a bit divided as far as your beginning goes. On one hand, I like it. I like how you clearly defined the differences between the boys and how you shaped them to be what we know of them. But at the same time, I feel like you spent too much time telling us what the boys were like. Surely, through a series of scenes, you could have showed us this same information?
I really, really liked how you developed Peter. It makes a lot of sense—the desire for grandeur and the false sense of bravery as undertones for the qualities that form his friendship with James, Sirius, and Remus, as well as being the ones that define him later in life.
A lot of your dialogue feels forced. I know it’s hard, but try to imagine yourself in that moment, as that character: what would you say? Also, your scenes feel rushed. I don’t think that Sirius would just attack Remus out of nowhere like that. Maybe he would start making fun of him if Remus had ignored him repeatedly or something. And James and Sirius’s friendship seems too well-developed to only be a day old. I think that in this point, they’d still be treading lightly around each other, not wanting to make the other one mad, because they want friends.
I do really like the internal battle of Sirius versus his blood. I like how he’s not just the opposite of them with no questions. But, again, I feel like this was forced and rushed on us, the readers. The scene, his thoughts in particular, don’t feel real. You captured his emotions really well, though.
Overall, I like this chapter. You have some wonderful ideas, a great imagination, and you write well. I just wished you had slowed down a little and let things happen naturally. I understand that you have somewhere you want to go with each chapter, but if you force it on the chapter than it’s going to come out like that.
Author's Response: Wow. Thanks for such an in-depth review. Obviously I'm a little farther in the story now, so I don't know if other chapters are better, but I will look into my diologue, which I know is my weak point. I've always tried to stay away from "what would I say", because I always felt like that was me projecting myself on the character and not letting them be them, but maybe that would work better than what I'm currently doing. I actually originally intended for the story to just be from James' POV, and that first section was what I had written, but I didn't expand on for the longest time. Then I decided I wanted to do it with all four of the boys, and I loved that beginning too much to change it, so I wrote up one for the other three. I like still like it, but I do understand what you're saying. I don't want to pressure you or anything, but if you get the time and want to, I would love it if you read and reviewed the rest of the story, because I love it when reviewers read the whole story and comment along the way. It usually helps more than a one time review, because sometimes a chapter is good, and sometimes another chapter isn't so good, and it's nice to have a few consistent people commenting on where the story is going, as opposed to random, new people each chapter.
This is a thank you for that push. Also, you hinted. :)
Okay, so I really like this. You have a beautiful balance of funny, sappy, and angsty in this, which really makes your story come to life and seem very real. I’m impressed.
One of my favorite things about this story is how rounded and full each character is. None of them are there simply for the sake of moving the story along—they each have their own story, their own light and their own darkness, and you made sure to show each part. Thus, making the characters seem like actual people, instead of fictional characters who always get the impossible.
. . . which I guess was your entire point with this story. No couple is the perfect couple.
Another thing I really liked about this fic was the point of view. It’s very different and kind of surprising. I like the way it allowed you to introduce the idea of no person having a perfect life before you actually got to the dirt on Harry and Ginny. Also, I love the way it sort of allowed you to gloss over what actually happened and just scratch the surface to prove your point. In fact, that’s another thing that I also really liked: that you didn’t tell us what happened between Dean and Ginny. Keeping it private seems like the most natural and real thing to do; also, it keeps your readers thinking about your story, which is always good.
As far as plausibility goes, I find it very real. Especially that it’s Ginny who slips up. Harry’s far too loyal and his desire for a family far too strong for him to have messed up. And, to me, their relationship has never been as solid as, say, Ron and Hermione’s. I could see Ginny with someone else, seriously, at least for a little while. Obviously, she has to get back to Harry eventually (if you allow the epilogue to exist).
Finally, I love your Lavender/Blaise pairing. I may have to check out Lavender, blue – A Gryffindor True. :)
Fabulous story, Carole!
Author's Response: YAY the nudge worked and I get a great Mere review. Thank you for reviewinga nd I am pleased you first of all liked the story and also found it believable. I want people to make their own mind up about what happened between Ginny and Dean; the point being, as you sadi, that no one is perfect. Ahh, I love Lavender/Blaise as well, so I hope you enjoy the fic. Thanks again ~Carole~