Penname: MerrryD [Contact]
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Member Since: 08/08/07
Website: http://xaxredxrosex.livejournal.com/profile
Beta-reader: Yes
Status: Member
Bio:
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. :)

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Reviews by MerrryD
 

Etched in Gold by Cirelondiel
Rated: 1st-2nd Years [Reviews - 10]

Summary: Past Featured Story

"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.



Categories: Other Pairing Genre: Warnings: Sexual Situations

Word count: 1195 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
04/14/09 Updated: 04/18/09


Reviewer: MerrryD Signed
Date: 04/28/09 Title: Chapter 1: 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.

-hugs-

-Mere

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*

 

I Still Remember by jenny b
Rated: 1st-2nd Years [Reviews - 11]

Summary: As kids, they were best friends. Practically inseperable, climbing trees every day at the Potters. It was always them. Teddy and Victoire.

But things change. And so do people. They grow up, move on. Make new friends, and forget all about lazy summers spent sitting in treetops. For a while.

But it doesn't take much to bring the memories back. And Teddy is determined to do just that.

Categories: Next Generation Genre: Warnings: None

Word count: 1897 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
05/02/09 Updated: 05/09/09


Reviewer: MerrryD Signed
Date: 05/26/10 Title: Chapter 1: I Still Remember

Darling Jen,

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.

--Mere

 

Loved and Lost by coolh5000
Rated: 1st-2nd Years [Reviews - 16]

Summary: Past Featured StorySitting in his History of Magic lesson in mid-June, Sixth-year Teddy Lupin has a sudden feeling of unease. Unable to explain it, he pushes the feeling aside, but can't seem to shake the idea that something has gone seriously wrong. Only later that evening does he finally find out what, and then his world changes forever.

This was written for SPEW 007 with the prompt, 'ache' This is quite an angsty one-shot - you have been warned!

Categories: Next Generation Genre: Warnings: Character Death

Word count: 3028 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
05/23/09 Updated: 05/23/09


Reviewer: MerrryD Signed
Date: 09/30/09 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

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.

but the irresponsible part of him could already see him using magic for every little thing.


Hahaha. I love this line. Not only is it cute and funny, but its great character development as well. Teddy is just like any other teen (lazy) and isn’t especially disposed to do things the expected way. Wonder where he gets that from, eh? Also, Teddy becomes easier to relate to; he seems more like you and me.

I wasn’t expecting that, although, it does make the most sense. Teddy’s denial is very real and effective; as is the pleading and the regrets. And then when Victoire and the tears come, so does acceptance. I don’t know if you realized, or perhaps did it on purpose, but Teddy has gone through a very real process: The Five Stages of Death and Dying. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Often, people don’t go through all five steps—it’s a unique process, not only to the individual, but also to the time it happens—so it’s perfectly natural that Teddy wasn’t angry.

It’s sad. But good and well-written. It’s very real and I think it speaks to more than just Harry Potter and the fandom, but to anyone out there. It has that overall supportive theme and the message that life does go on. It . . . makes sense. It’s life. I really like it. :)

xox Mere

 

Second Chances by jenny b
Rated: 1st-2nd Years [Reviews - 5]

Summary: Sometimes our fate resembles a fruit tree in winter. Who would think that those branches would turn green again and blossom, but we hope it, we know it.

It's easy to make a wrong decision. It's a lot harder to rectify it. Remus Lupin knows this far too well. But even in the depths of winter, there's always that one little thing that keeps you going. Hope.

Categories: Remus/Tonks Genre: Warnings: None

Word count: 1660 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
02/03/10 Updated: 02/03/10


Reviewer: MerrryD Signed
Date: 01/28/11 Title: Chapter 1: The Fruit Tree

Jen!

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.

--Mere

 

Hearts of Red and Gold by moonyschick
Rated: 3rd-5th Years [Reviews - 17]

Summary: It started out as just a simple friendship between four boys. The story of that friendship, as it grew and they became men, would eventually define wizarding history and change the world forever. Documented here is the story of the four unique, imperfect, and remarkable boys who made up the Marauders.

Categories: Marauder Era Genre: Warnings: Character Death, Mental Disorders, Mild Profanity, Sexual Situations, Substance Abuse, Violence

Word count: 23974 Chapters: 7 Completed: No
Published:
03/15/10 Updated: 08/26/10


Reviewer: MerrryD Signed
Date: 05/14/10 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

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.

Good luck!

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.

 

The Happy Couple by Equinox Chick
Rated: 3rd-5th Years [Reviews - 19]

Summary: Romilda Vane is a young reporter for The Daily Prophet. Currently writing a popular column for the Social pages, she is outraged when the highlight of the social calender - the wedding of Harry James Potter to Ginevra Molly Weasley - is given to Lavender Brown to write.

Lavender isn't happy either, for their boss (He-Who-Pays-Our-Wages) has threatened to assign her to the Cookery section unless she dishes the dirt on her friends. She readily agrees to Romilda taking on the assignment for what could the Saviour of the Wizarding World possibly have to hide?

This is Equinox Chick of Hufflepuff and this is my entry for The Weddings Challenge in The Great Hall. I chose prompt 3 - The Daily Prophet Report.

Disclaimer: I am not JK Rowling, but I think you all know that.


Thank you very much to Samarie (Hopeful_Song) for beta'ing this story for me, and giving me some excellent advice.

The Sexual Sitiuations are really very mild, and merely implied.

Categories: Various Pairings Genre: Warnings: Sexual Situations

Word count: 4964 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
05/23/10 Updated: 05/23/10


Reviewer: MerrryD Signed
Date: 05/25/10 Title: Chapter 1: The Happy Couple?

Carole,

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!

--Mere

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~

 

A Moment, A Love by jenny b
Rated: Professors [Reviews - 179]

Summary: Past Featured Story

A dream, aloud, a kiss, a cry …

Pregnant at seventeen. I was not that kind of girl. My final year at Hogwarts was supposed to be the best yet – filled with Quidditch matches, parties with my best friends and Outstandings in all my NEWTs. But now I was facing morning sickness, young mothers’ group and irate teachers, all whilst trying to hold my relationship with Lysander together.

What on earth was I going to do?

Categories: Next Generation Genre: Warnings: Sexual Situations, Strong Profanity, Substance Abuse

Word count: 44198 Chapters: 16 Completed: No
Published:
06/14/10 Updated: 09/18/11


Reviewer: MerrryD Signed
Date: 05/31/11 Title: Chapter 15: In Which Lily Gets into Trouble with Several People

You know, I’ve been meaning to review this story ever since you first started writing it.

I think the real strength of this fic is Lily. She isn’t a standard heroine by any means and that makes her all the more relatable. She isn’t perfect, she’s loud and bold and a bit of a troublemaker. She can be a bitch, but she’s completely loyal to her friends and her family and Lysander. It’s obvious that she’d do anything for any of them.

Her voice is strong and brilliant. I can really feel her coming alive on the page…er, screen. This really shows how much your writing has improved from When Worlds Collide. In the beginning of WWC, Rose seemed a little bit like she could have been anyone else. In A Moment, A Love, Lily owns it. Her character is so viable, I almost feel like I could have a conversation with her.

Lysander fighting back was awesome. One, because relationships should be more equal and two, because that shows some underlying turmoil within him. I’m sure he didn’t intend to yell at Lily, but it was easier that addressing his guilt at getting her pregnant and then leaving her.

Also, the strength of their relationship shines through the yelling. The scene in McGongall’s office—Lysander going along with Lily’s story, and then him walking her back to Gryffindor tower. It’s obvious that he cares about her and wants to make sure she’s safe, but he’s kind of running away from his problems at this point. They do seem like a couple that can last. I’m rooting for them!

Another thing I really love about this story is how determined your writing is. You seem to know exactly where you’re going and everything moves at this smooth, fast pace. I don’t know if you’ve planned at all, but it definitely seems like it! Sometimes, when an author doesn’t know where his/her story is going, you can tell from the voice and the pace of the story and it really detracts from it. So, I highly commend you for the way this story flows. :D

*squishes*

--Mere

 

Reinvention by h_vic
Rated: Professors [Reviews - 3]

Summary: Lavender had seen and done things she hated – they all had – and it changed her, but she needed a little help to stop running from the broken doll she had become.

Categories: Various Pairings Genre: Warnings: Character Death, Sexual Situations, Slash, Strong Profanity, Substance Abuse, Suicide

Word count: 991 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
07/20/10 Updated: 07/20/10


Reviewer: MerrryD Signed
Date: 11/30/10 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

Oh, Hannah. Hannah, Hannah, Hannah.

This is absolutely amazing. It’s so dark and sad and tragic, yet strangely hopeful and comforting at the same time. I love the beginning. I love how her hair becomes a focal point through the rest of the story, changing as she changes.

they will slip out for a few stolen hours of adult conversation and food at which their boys would turn up their noses.


This line is so simple and so small, yet it gives a huge picture of her home life. I can see little rowdy boys running around the house, around a warm, loving home. While it doesn’t paint a picture of passionate love, I can feel the comfort and safety in it.

The transition to her reflection is very smooth. I particularly like this line—

‘Self’ had been such a fluid concept.


It’s beautiful and poetic and just so full. I can see a montage of Lavenders in my mind, each one with different hair or dress, changing to fit her mood or the times.

never allowing more than a couple of stolen kisses in an empty hallway, never letting anyone too close


This line sort of sets the reader up for what’s coming, showing how guarded and vulnerable Lavender has always been, but gives nothing away. It didn’t make that much of an impression on me at first; the relevance of it only became clear after I’d read the story and went back to write this review. Then I had an “Oh, yeah! That totally makes sense!” moment.

The boy of the moment to suit the role she played in trying so hard not to let reality creep too close had been Seamus Finnigan.


I really like this line, but I had to read it a few times before I understood exactly what it meant. It’s just a little awkwardly worded. I feel like the middle, while powerful and dark and shattering, distracts the reader from the main point of the sentence, which is that she’s with Seamus. Maybe something like “The boy of the moment had been Seamus Finnigan, suiting her role in trying so hard . . .”?

They were celebrating being alive, only it had never felt like celebration; it had felt like purgatory, as if Lavender had been waiting for her life to restart.


Oh, my. Just. Wow. ♥ There’s really no other way to describe this. It’s heartbreaking. It’s beautiful. I love the comparison between partying and purification. It shouldn’t make sense, but it does.

Then one drunken night at Cho Chang’s, she’d been looking for the bathroom, and instead she’d stumbled into the guest bedroom, where she’d found the hostess being thoroughly fucked by the man Lavender had begun to think she might have been able to love.


So I was so not expecting that. It just came out of nowhere. I felt a bit like I imagine Lavender must have felt—shocked and utterly bewildered. I really like how you managed to connect the reader’s emotions with Lavender’s, making it just as much a surprise for us as it was for her.

She’d hated them all (and in that ‘all’ she’d included herself) for daring to win and for making it necessary to go on living.


I don’t even know what to say. Just. Damn. It’s so poignant, it’s practically dripping with emotion. It’s deep and dark and wonderfully twisted. Just. ugh! It’s so beautiful and strong that it hurts.

I think if you’d introduced Pansy any other way, I might have questioned the probability of that relationship. But the conviction and certainty of Lavender’s recollections combined with

had seemed the perfect two fingers up at those who’d underestimated and betrayed her.


makes it seem very real. (Plus, I just love that line)

They drank too much strong espresso and Jack Daniels and smoked from cigarette holders (a deliberate affectation of Pansy’s).


The detail in this line makes Lavender’s and Pansy’s relationship. The image in my mind is dark, but it isn’t exactly sad. I can feel Lavender’s nostalgia for this time in her life. It’s like she’s mourning the end of the relationship.

They’d paid even more attention the first time Pansy had kissed her, and Lavender had rather enjoyed the thrill of shocking people. She’d enjoyed the thrill even more of what Pansy could do to her when she got her alone.


So, I mentioned being completely surprised before? Well, you did it again. Had me completely bowled over with surprise. In a good way. I love the way this isn’t predictable at all. It’s wonderfully refreshing. And I love how easily and naturally you’ve addressed some rather sensitive issues. The tone is just “well, of course it happened,” making it impossible for the reader to doubt it for a minute.

And then one day, Pansy was found on the pavement forty feet below the tiny balcony of the pokey, attic flat they’d shared.


Shit. That’s all I can say. Shit.

but in some ways it was the inevitable end to the self-destruction of their hedonistic days.


I think the most heart wrenching thing about this line is the utter detachment and complete acceptance in her tone. I also just love the way “the self-destruction of their hedonistic days” sounds. ♥

The fog of numbness had re-descended, thicker and more comforting than before.


Oh, Lavender. I just want to give her a hug. Oh, Hannah. You’re so amazing. i just want to hug you too.

Lavender had taken a mindless job at the Ministry of Magic to preserve the safe cocoon of her hollow lack of emotion,


My favorite thing about this line is how you carried her numbness throughout it with “mindless” and “safe cocoon” and “hallow lack of emotion.” It emphasizes the numbness, making her accidental formation of a relationship with Percy that much more believable.

What was unexpected though was that, in his arms, Lavender had slept properly for the first time in five years and had felt something akin to safety, when life had schooled her to feel nothing at all.


I feel safe and comforted just from reading that sentence. I love that despite all the tragedy and the numbness, there’s still something there. She can still feel something, besides hate and despair. Also, it adds a level of reality to their relationship. In the beginning, I wondered if she was just going through the motions of life, completely detached from everything around her, but this shows that that’s not true, that there is something there.

She still surprises herself by believing him.


This is my favorite line. The entire rest of the story is told in this cold, distant tone. But this line—it has emotion and hope and life in it. It’s like the sun is coming out after a long, cold, lonely winter. I love the way you managed to give this incredibly dark and sad story a light at the end of tunnel, so to speak. Honestly, it’s kind of inspiring the way Lavender has managed to keep going.

er, so this review is longer than the story . . . I hope I did it justice. It’s truly beautiful and so powerful. ♥

--Mere

 

Summary:

Albus Potter had what some would call a fascinating job -- working for the Magical Law Enforcement's intelligence department. But when suspicious activity caused the Ministry to think the infamous Knights of Walpurgis were up to something, their leading expert was called into action.

In disguise and out of his mind, Albus embarked on an impossible task, but when things started turning for the worse, why were his only thoughts about the one person he would hurt along the way?

 

This story was nominated for a 2011 Quicksilver Quill Award: Best Next-Generation Story AND Best Same-Sex Pairing Story



Categories: Mystery Genre: Warnings: Abuse, Sexual Situations, Strong Profanity, Violence

Word count: 25947 Chapters: 6 Completed: Yes
Published:
11/06/10 Updated: 12/10/10


Reviewer: MerrryD Signed
Date: 03/04/11 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

2 October, 2038

Too hot. Definitely too hot.

I really like this opening. It made me go “wait whaaaaaat?” right way because the “too hot” line made me think of the weather and it’s not usually hot in October (except in India >.>). I like that it made me think and that it confused me a little bit right from the start. Then it’s just like, oh, lol, he’s talking about his coffee. The use of the coffee and the receptionist to explain his job is very smooth and natural. I also really like that he’s drinking coffee and it’s too hot because it’s such a normal thing and I like when normal things happen to characters. :)

This was the heaviest thought in Albus’s head when a paper aeroplane memo landed on his desk from Richard Jenkins, the director of the MLE.


The buildup in this line is pretty fantastic. It gives the reader a hint that something big and exciting is about to happen and it’s going to be a bit more twisted than Albus’s coffee. The transition is nicely done—one of my biggest pet peeves is choppy transitions, so it’s with great pleasure that I say this is a good transition.

I think my favourite thing about the beginning is how normal it is and how real it seems—this line in particular struck me: Arms full of folders, Albus entered his supervisor’s office one minute ahead of schedule whilst mentally preparing for a presentation of facts. I can see him hurrying along, barely keeping things together, with that expression one has right before a presentation.

But then BAM! This crazy, weird, surprising plotline hits you and for a second it’s just like “did I read that right?” The contrast between the beginning and the rest of the story is very vivid and it helps make the rest of the story work because his life was so normal before.

He was being sent into the heart of pure-blood society as a spy, and he was going to do it in disguise — as a woman.


ahaha. So a couple things here. One, again, the buildup is really good. I like that you didn’t tell us right away what Albus had to do—the suspense makes it all that more shocking. Albus’s reaction was great and probably just like most other men’s if they found out they had to pretend to be a woman. Also, because I’ve already read the story on spewswap, I know that Jenkins is a Knight, and I can totally see him just laughing at Albus at this point and thoroughly enjoying forcing Harry Potter’s son to be a woman.

Two (I said a couple of things, remember?): it’s just wtf. But it’s wtf in a wow-this-is-so-weird-omg-I-love-it kind of way. :D I’ve always loved spy stories, especially undercover ones. I just find it such a fascinating concept/line of work and there are so many possibilities. I think you explored it very well.

And, three: LOL. It’s hilarious.

Regarding the Polyjuice potion pills, that’s really brilliant. How did you come up with that? One of the best things about this story is how detailed it is. There are like no holes at all. I mean, you even tell us how they managed to create Polyjuice potion pills—Apparently, if one tweaks the balance of Boomslang skin and lacewing flies just so, the effects are much more stable. I’m really impressed at how layered it is.

Especially with the identity of Albus-the-woman. Her backstory and explanation as to why no one’s seen her before make sense and everything checks out. It seems like you really put a lot of thought into everything.

The way you present all of this information is really good. It doesn’t feel like you’re force-feeding us anything so you can just hurry up and get on with the story. It feels like this is the story, you know?

Smoothing out the jumper that he had borrowed from a very suspicious Lily, Albus examined his reflection in the mirror. All the garments, to his knowledge, were on properly, and the undergarments were fastened in the correct places.


This part just made me giggle.

It was a challenge to see the world from that much lower of a perspective.


I really like this line. Mainly, I think because it’s not something I’d even think about, but it would weird to suddenly be shorter. I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, I believe, but it’s this attention to detail that really makes this story work.

It was on this shopping excursion that the solution to Albus’s problems came in a flurry of boxes and some unidentified root.


The description in this line really stands out. The imagery is great—I definitely see the boxes flying everywhere and the damaged root scattered across the street. Additionally, it’s a really funny and inelegant way for Albus to meet Scoprius.

There was something in his eyes that made Albus want to run and hide, because he knew what it meant.


I’m torn between being highly amused, feeling bad for Albus, or cheering because I can’t wait for them to get together . >.> I like the subtly in this line. I kind of get the sense that Albus only recognizes ‘the look’ because he’s a guy, too (I don’t know if you intended that or not). And that—ugh, I can’t think of how to word this right. Basically, like they completely get each other so well later on because they’re both guys and this is kind of like the start of that. Does that make sense?

He had no earthly idea how a woman was supposed to tolerate such obviously suggestive behaviour.


LOL. I love how Albus doesn’t like Scoripus right away and is repulsed by his efforts to be charming. It makes it easier to understand why initially Albus doesn’t mind using him to get to the Knights. (Honestly, I don’t think I would have gone for Scoripus with such a terrible pick-up line)

The lunch scene is hilarious. Albus’s discomfort is papable and Scorpius seems to be trying too hard, yet they both just carry on. This bit is definitely my favourite part:

“And I am found out,” Albus lied, subjecting himself to the most unpleasant act of giggling.

Taking Albus’s hand and kissing it, never breaking eye contact, he said, “Please, call me Scorpius.”


Hahahahahahahahaha.

The passage of time is done well, both with your bolded dates and within the story. I like how you tell us precisely how much time has passed, so we can get a sense of where they’d be in their relationship. Within the story, I like how despite the somewhat large gaps of time, there aren’t any large gaps with Albus’s emotions and opinions of Scorpius. Everything happens very gradually and very naturally.

Scorpius got to wear respectable clothing and a sword, but Albus was stuck with a skin-tight number that showed more bosom than it covered.


I love how this story is funny without being blatant. I tend to not like humour stories because it often seems that emotion is dropped for the sake of laughter and I prefer dark emotion (wow, I sound like a lovely person). This isn’t exactly a humour story, but it is really funny and it finds a nice balance between the humour and the emotion. Anyway, that line made me laugh. :)

Albus wanted to curse Malfoy simply for using such an atrocious word.


This sentence is really brilliant because it shows Albus’s general irritation at his situation and frustration with being forced to pretend like he likes Scorpius. While Albus gives the reason of wanting to curse him for “simply…using such an atrocious word”, it actually shows his pent up emotions and how something so little as an awful word has him waving his wand.

He was a man. Being kissed by another bloke was supposed to feel weird and offensive, but aside from unfamiliarity, it had been neither of those.


I really like that he’s trying to be offended by kissing Scorpius, but he’s actually not. His reaction is perfect—you captured his insecurities really well and showed that aside from just being different, the kiss was pretty normal.

Also, from a real world point of view, I just really, really love how natural everything seems. My inner gay rights activist is cheering you on.

Hot breath radiated through flesh and a sigh permeated in the air.


Gah, I love this description! I love how detached it is—as in, no names are given. It gives it this really amazing quality, especially with the continuing theme of air—the hot breath and the sigh. It feels very fluid. I see this exchange of breath in my head, which doesn’t sound nearly as beautiful as it is. It’s so simple, but so erotic.

Albus could hardly stay upright as a hurricane of sensation pummelled his senses. He had never felt anything so raw and erotic in his life. It was like being held hostage by the way this still unfamiliar body reacted to such potent stimuli. That was it. It had to be the body, because he had been physically aroused enough to know that it had been nothing like this.


The descriptions in this paragraph are wonderful. I love the ‘hurricane of sensation’—I imagine this whirlwind of emotion sweeping through him, leaving him senseless. That phrase has a fresh, edgy feel to it and it’s so vivid.

‘Held hostage by the…unfamiliar body’ creates an odd picture, but I think it’s so appropriate, considering the story. It gives the sense that Albus feels trapped, both by being in a body that isn’t his and by the powerful emotions. It then makes sense, therefore, for Albus to blame it all on his new skin. And that, again, show his insecurities—by refusing to even consider that he might be attracted to Scorpius (Insecurity isn’t exactly the right word, but it’s the closest one I can think of).

I like that logic is mainly what dictates Scorpius’s choice to not be a Knight. I like when characters do things for logical reasons because it makes sense. Logic is particularly useful for explaining why characters go against their families or do things that aren’t expected of them.

Albus’s growing sense of respect and general affection for Scorpius is portrayed well. I like how you started small with the sympathy for not getting his mother’s love and now we have the respect for being logical and having morals. It’s gradual and it’s real. I also like how you build it up so in the end Albus isn’t just attracted to him physically, but as a person as well.

The exchange over the dress and the laughter made me grin because it was funny and because that was mostly Albus being Albus, not Albus being Melinda. I like how you tell us that Albus feels sympathy and respect for Scorpius, but you show us that the two of them get along well and genuinely enjoy each other’s company. I’m thinking of this part in particular: Almost immediately, both of them were asked to dance by different partners. As much as Albus wanted to tell them all to piss off…

I think it’s really important to show that two characters get along, rather than just say it because that something we can observe in real life, whereas it’s much harder to observe sympathy or respect if you aren’t the direct recipient of it.

Albus couldn’t help but feel sorry for him, because when this was over and done and Melinda was gone, he was going to end up heartbroken, or at the very least sad. Considering everything, he didn’t deserve that.


This is really sweet of Albus and makes me want to give him a hug.

As Albus contemplated this, Scorpius stole his breath with a kiss. This time, with the added stability of a well-lit hallway and something more substantial to lean on than a tree, Albus felt much less inclined to fall over. Though that would have been a welcome distraction.


I see Albus in thought, not paying attention to Scorpius, and then all of sudden being surprised by Scorpius’s kiss. A.k.a. I like the imagery of the first line. :) Also, it’s beautifully phrased. I like the surprise it conveys, the breathtaking-moment feel to it, and that that is kind of literally what he’s doing. It’s romantic and sexy .

And then Albus ruins it by wanting to fall over, lol. I like the idea, though, that what Scorpius makes Albus feel is so strong and so unlike anything he’s ever felt before that he’d rather fall over than deal with it.

The ending of this chapter has suspense, but not too much. I like the resolution in terms of Albus’s feelings towards Scorpius—he likes him as a person and dislikes hurting him. It’s a good start and it leaves a lot of room for development.

I have to suppress my urge to yell at Albus to tell someone because Jenkins in a Bad Guy because I think this review is long enough (just passed 2200 words, in case you were wondering). I hope you’re still reading it and that you liked it and that I didn’t say “really” too many times in it (though I’m pretty sure I have). I had an absolute blast writing this review, your story is awesome, and I’ll probably review the rest of it. :D

--Mere

Author's Response:

Yay, this review made me squee just a bit. This story has so few review in relation to my other chaptered stories, even though I think it's one of my best. You just got SO MUCH of what I wanted to convey. First off, there is this ridiculous situation, which is compounded by Albus feeling bad about what he was doing, which is then further exacerbated by dealing with essentially re-learning how to be  a person. I've always wanted to sneakily show guys just how aggravating it could be to be a girl, because some of them think it's soooo easy to stand there and look pretty. I like smashing disillusion.

I'm glad Scorpius didn't come out looking Gary Stu-ish, because that would've ruined the story. I wanted him to not be like his parents because he's not an idiot, not because he's particularly rebellious. And you just understood Albus so well, not wanting to like Scorpius but understanding that he wasn't one of the bad guys, even if he wasn't quite as smooth as he would have liked to believe and that Albus saw his better qualities.

Anyway, I can't coherently squee to everything, but you are just so in tune with the story and its little quirks. It's been lovely. :D

~Jess

 
Reviewer: MerrryD Signed
Date: 03/16/11 Title: Chapter 2: Chapter 2

I meant to comment on this in my first review and I can’t believe I forgot. *headdesk* But I just LOVE the title of this fic. Collateral Damage has this thrilling quality to it. Plus, I adore the way it sounds. (If I were alone right now, I’d probably be saying it out loud over and over again, enjoying the way those to words sound together and the way they roll off my tongue)

“Oh, you really shouldn’t have,” Albus cooed sweetly to Scorpius when the latter proffered an elaborately wrapped Christmas present.


It made me laugh. The mental image of Albus cooing was just . . . LOL. I like how much you convey about them at this point with such a simple line. Like, the fact that Albus is cooing gives a sense that he’s still acting a lot and trying to figure out just *who* Melinda is and *what* appropriate female behavior is.

Also, I like that you used gifts to show the depth of their relationship. First, with both of their ridiculously expensive and thoughtful gifts for each other”especially Albus’s for Scorpius. You don’t go through all that work and spend that much money if you don’t care. Second, it shows just how well they know each other by now, which makes me grin a lot. :)

I also particularly liked these lines:

but his conscience screamed for him to give it right back.

Each day this charade continued, he felt more and more guilty about deceiving Scorpius, who was, he had come to learn, a good man.


The emphasis on Albus’s guilt about tricking Scorpius not only shows that he’s starting to care for Scorpius and definitely likes his as a person at this point, but it also tells us readers a lot about Albus’s character. Honestly, what he’s doing to Scorpius is awful, even though he’s trying to save people from dying, so it’s nice to know that he does have moral integrity and does feel pretty bad about it.

One of the simple pleasures in life for Albus had always been to enjoy someone's reaction to a gift.


I love that too! It’s such an incredible feeling when you get the right gift for someone. :)

The kissing didn't bother him any more by this point, but this time, the sheer appreciation that had brought it about actually caused Albus to enjoy the kiss just a little.


haha, I really like what you did here. You indicate that they’ve been spending quite a bit of time together and have been kissing a lot. So, Albus is no longer surprised by it or the way it makes him feel and he’s still attributing the way he feels to being in another body. Until now, when hit with a particularly passionate kiss, after feeling a lot different things towards Scorpius, his brain registers that he’s actually the one enjoying it.

Albus felt his heart stop for a second that felt like an eternity. As much as he had wanted to avoid hurting Scorpius, there was no avoiding it now. The idiot had to go and fall in love with a fraud. The worst part was that the bloke was nice and respectable, not just some means to an end. His female chemistry exacerbated Albus's guilt, and his eyes filled with tears.


Ahhhhhhhhhhh. This paragraph! It’s just gorgeous. That first line has so much emotion in it. It’s so simple, yet so poignant. I love the tone of the next few lines; they actually sound like Albus, like he’s annoyed at Scoripus for falling in love with Melinda and for being a nice guy, but really he’s annoyed for having to trick him. And then the last line, when he starts to cry, really emphasizes the predicament that Albus is in and it’s just so sweet. Gah, I think that may be the part when I fell in love with Albus.

“Fucking hell,” he said frustratedly, forgetting for a moment to stay in character.

Scorpius chuckled. “Charming, dear. I love how I never know what you’re going to say.”


I like how a lot of the moments when Scorpius likes/loves Albus are moments when he’s being Albus, not Melinda. It gives the reader the idea that Scorpius and Albus-as-Albus could actually work and Scorpius actually likes Albus-as-Albus more than he likes Albus-as-Melinda.

(Sick of the world “Albus” yet?)

I like the part where he’s getting ready. It’s very professional and balances out the scene above. It’s well-written and flows smoothly, instead of being tedious and one of those parts the readers ends up skimming or skipping altogether. I particularly enjoyed the progression of his ability to dress himself”it makes sense. Also, I love this line:

The matching bag contained his wand, a couple extra pills, and a covert recording device that looked like a harmless compact mirror.


It’s just so super-steathly-spy-y. :D

The exchange between Harry and Albus is wonderful. I get a sense of their relationship, which is part father-son and part as equals. It’s amusing and serious and, despite everything, feels very natural. My one problem with it is that you enter Harry’s head a little bit”Even though he could tell that Albus had something else on his mind . . . Sensing the tension in his middle child. This is the first time (I think) you shift out of Albus’s POV and it disrupts the flow a bit.

Albus’s frustration was palpable, and he desperately wanted to run his fingers through his hair as he would normally do but couldn’t because it would disrupt its styling. Then he was angry all over again that the thought would even have to cross his mind.


I love this. I can feel Albus’s mounting frustration and the tension in the air”it’s beautiful. I think you could even take out the ‘frustration was palpable’ part and just start with ‘Albus desperately wanted to…’ The annoyance at the hairdo shows us that his frustration is palpable, so it’s unnecessary to say that as well. Regardless, this part just completely blew me away. It’s magnificent. I love his frustration and how well you describe it.

The subtle hint that Mr Greengrass is attempting to get something from Albus is done well. I remember being so confused that Albus’s answers weren’t right and then having one of those “AHA!” moments when he revealed who he worked for. :)

I’m impressed at Albus’s ability to impress/stand up to Lucius. Like, that must take a lot of intelligence and balls. Go Albus!

And Draco. Just. I don’t know what to say.

But after several minutes of listening to heavy breathing and obnoxiously fake moaning, they were already finished, and he still had no idea who she was and no longer cared. The man could have his bad sex.


hahaha. It actually makes me kind of sad, though. I’d always hoped/imagined that after the war Draco would become a decent person. *sigh*

There was something oddly arousing about that simple act, but Albus simply wrote it off as that he was tired and that he was used to his female body doing strange things.


Oh, Albus, you’re so oblivious. I like how something so small can have such a huge effect on Albus. It makes it seem like it has such a large effect because it’s Scorpius, which makes Albus falling in love with him even more believable and like they should be together because they have such a strong effect on each other.

Okay, I absolutely adore Scorpius’s ‘first time’ story. For one, I think it’s really sweet that he’s telling Albus”it seems like something couples would do, sharing the things you don’t normal go around telling people (especially in his case!) It has a very realistic quality to it. It seems like something that actually could happen, not like the ridiculous stories that are all music and candles and rose petals and fireworks. Also, it’s hilarious.

I tried valiantly to back out before she got any romantic ideas, but it was like she had more hands than a tentacula.


Poor Scorpius. He doesn’t have very good luck with women, does he?

But that didn’t matter. He had a recording to listen to and a report to write the next day, and he was completely knackered. Stripping down to nothing, unmotivated to seek out his normal clothes, Albus fell into a troubled sleep.


I really like this ending. I think it’s tells so much about his confusion and stress over using Scoripus and his spy job. Like, him being too unmotivated to find clothes just speaks volumes at about his mental and emotional state and how exhausted he is from dealing with it all.

This chapter was more about getting to know Scorpius and his family and I really like that. I feel like I now ‘know’ Scorpius as a person and *I* like him as person, instead of just liking him because Albus does. :)

Once again, this was so much fun to review and I’m definitely looking forward to the next chapter. :D

--Mere

P.S. If were wondering why you got two emails saying you had a review for this story it’s my fault. For some reason over half of this review didn’t show up the first time. *facepalm*

Author's Response:

Hehe, I love that you love this story so much. It's just so deliciously messed up, but it gave me a playground of unique things to work with in terms of themes and character struggles. Unless the story was Albus the Hermaphroditic Auror, that is.

I can't remember exactly when I settled on the title, but I think it was from an episode of Doctor Who, the one where Jenny, the Doctor's 'daughter', called Martha 'collateral damage' when she was separated from them and assumed to be dead. I said the phrase a couple of times (much like you did, hehe), and thought, "Well, I quite like that." Plus, it's very apt in terms of relevance.

I really like that you found my 'easter eggs'. That Scorpius was indeed attracted to the hints of Albus buried inside the Melinda caricature (since Albus's portrayal of her is in essence every female cliche he could concoct) instead of HER. And yes, I so understood your multitude of Albuses example. I'm glad you picked it up.

One of my main concerns was making it seem like Scorpius was likeable only because Albus liked him. I ran into that snag before, where readers don't understand the appeal, but this Scorpius really isn't a bad guy. At first, he's ridiculous with the way he tries to pursue Melinda, but considering his male role models in life, he's freaking Prince Charming, lol.

I tried not to slip into omniscient at any point, even though I had a clear idea how each character feels at any given time, but I suppose I did boo boo a bit with Harry. I guess I'm so used to thinking in his head (I seem to write him quite a bit), so it was a natural jump. Later, when I'm not up to my eyeballs in stuff, I will go back and clean that up. Thanks for pointing that out.

And Albus... silly boy. He put up so much front, blaming his altered physicality for his emotional instability. He never once considered that HE was changing, not just his body. And really, he's a decent bloke with a conscience, but I wanted more than that from him. I wanted him to be Harry Potter's son (still himself, but his genetics are important not to forget), but with a snarky little twist.

Anyway, this response is long, rambly, and highly disorganised, so I'm going to stop now. This was a lovely review, and I'm glad you enjoy the story in all of its weirdness. :D

~Jess

 

Just a Whisper in My Ear by k_catherine
Rated: 3rd-5th Years [Reviews - 3]

Summary: While Harry, Ron, and Hermione are out hunting horcruxes, Ginny is stuck at home. Going to Hogwarts and hearing bad news first hand. She knows she can't just sit and wait for the war to end all by itself. She'll do whatever she can to protect the people she loves and end the war before too much damage is done.

Categories: General Fics Genre: Warnings: None

Word count: 658 Chapters: 1 Completed: No
Published:
11/20/10 Updated: 11/21/10


Reviewer: MerrryD Signed
Date: 11/22/10 Title: Chapter 1: Prologue

Hello, there! :]

I quite like this, you know. I’m not normally a big fan of Ginny, but you’ve definitely hooked me. I like how real this seems at first—I definitely thought it was actually happening, but then when I read the last line, it made complete sense. It has this quality that makes it not too real, so the dream part is believable. Like, you give no reason for why either of them are there, in the Great Hall, and it doesn’t seem possible that they’d be alone and that makes it very dreamlike. Also, the vague questions like "You will come home soon, right?"

My smile melted when I realized how wrong all of this was. He was supposed to be out saving the world. Not showing up at Hogwarts.


I really like these three lines. Your characterization of Ginny here is brilliant. Of course she’d be happy and delighted to see him, but she understands Harry. And she knows that the most important thing to him right now is to save the wizarding world. It also highlights the gravity of the state of everything right now and shows how much everyone truly is depending on Harry. We don’t really get a sense of what the rest of the world must be thinking during Deathly Hallows, but here with these few lines you’ve captured it very well.

The navy blue held more hope than the gray that I had become accustomed to. Harry Potter brought hope wherever he went.


Oh, my. I just. I love these lines so much. They’re so beautiful and sad and uplifting at the same time. The emotions they carry and the reflection of Ginny’s own mood is wonderfully portrayed. I have this image in my head of Harry walking around and the sky turning blue above his head and the people around start smiling as he passes. It’s lovely.

"You know me," he said, laughing a little. "I'm always careful."


This . . . it just doesn’t sound like Harry to me. Harry isn’t always careful and he knows that. To me, this line just sounds very arrogantly confident and that’s just not Harry. Other than that, though, your characterization of Harry is pretty good. I particularly liked his exasperation at not being able to say “Voldemort”. :)

He sighed, and when he said goodbye, it echoed and shattered every window in the hall.


So I love this line too. The imagery is stunning. It’s just so sad. My heart aches for Ginny. Even more when I read the next line and find out that it was all a dream. :( ugh. This line is just so incredible though. I can’t even express the way it tugs on me every time I read it.

I have to admit, I wasn’t entirely sure of Ginny’s characterization when she started crying, since we know that one of the things Harry likes best about her is her strength. However, I think I do like it, actually, since this is a dream and our weaknesses always seem to come out in our dreams. Also, because, again, it adds to the gloomy atmosphere and all the darkness surrounding them.

I also really like how you included Ginny’s physical attraction to Harry. Even though nothing’s right and everything’s way past wrong, people still want each other. It makes this very real.

So my one little niggling thought is that I’m not exactly sure where you’re going plot-wise with this story. I know that this is just a prologue, so I’m not expecting a ton of action, but all I’ve got right now is that Ginny misses Harry and the general darkness of the world. I guess you know where you’re going though, and I shall just have to keep reading once you post the next chapter. :-)

--Mere

Author's Response: Wow! Thankyou sooo much for this amazing review! You have no idea how much this means to me! :) Again, thanks for reading my story and taking the time to review. I hope to have the second chapter up soon. I hope I don't disappoint. :) -k

 

Christmas Gifts by Kerichi
Rated: 6th-7th Years [Reviews - 10]

Summary:

 

The gift was the exact size of a ring box from a jewellery shop. One glance at it had been enough to send a chill down Lily's spine and almost enough to make her say, "You shouldn't have." She loved James, she just wasn't ready to get married.



Categories: James/Lily Genre: Warnings: Mild Profanity

Word count: 4221 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
01/18/11 Updated: 01/18/11


Reviewer: MerrryD Signed
Date: 03/30/11 Title: Chapter 1: The many kinds of gifts

I think my favourite thing about this story is that it’s warm, not fluffy. I feel like there’s this general feeling of happiness and love that just radiates from it. It makes it the perfect Christmas story because it embodies everything that I, at least, think Christmas should be. Family, friends, food, gifts, everyone getting along even though they don’t like each other—you’ve got it all in this story. :)

Lily hid her face in a pillow. That would crush his feelings, ruin Christmas, and break her heart.


You’re characters always react so naturally. You have this really good grasp of human emotions and interactions and it really brings your stories to life. I like how you let the narration do the talking. Like, you don’t say “Lily hid her face in a pillow because…” instead you show us why she did and we understand because we’re human.

I also like the second sentence of this line because I think it really emphasizes and explains Lily’s feel. It shows that she’s worried about hurting him and she doesn’t want to end things with him, so her fear isn’t out of anything other than not wanting to get married.

I really like the interactions between Lily and Petunia. I love how Lily is trying so hard to have a decent relationship with her sister and a couple of times Petunia seems to want it too. It’s really great characterization of Lily. It shows her compassion and niceness that we see in Harry.

It didn't matter that Lily always tried to draw Petunia into conversations, to ask her opinion and include her.


This line makes me love Lily so much. In spite of everything, in spite of Petunia being like the rudest person on the planet to her, she’s still trying to be a good sister. I love this emphasis on Lily and Petunia’s relationship. It’s something I think is really complex and fascinating, but it’s so rarely explored.

Lily slipped on a holly-green towelling robe and went downstairs to make tea. She delivered a tray to her parents and then carried one to Petunia, kicking the bottom of the door to avoid spilling the cup spiked with Felix Felicis by setting it down to knock politely.


Another thing that really makes your stories come alive is how detailed you are with everything. But you don’t waster the readers time by unnecessarily describing absolutely everything. Instead you just pick out details that bring this vividness and life to your story, like the colour of Lily’s robe, that she took a tray of tea to her parents, and that she kicks the door so not to spill the tea.

They didn't talk much while they worked. Christmas carols played on the radio and a pot of apple cider simmered on the cooker, perfuming the air with fresh gingerroot and cinnamon.


Aww, this made me a bit nostalgic. Christmas at my home is a bit like that, too. :]

Under the influence of Felix Felicis, Petunia moved with graceful confidence, avoiding the spills and splatters that transformed Lily's white apron into a canvass of abstract art.


I really like this sentence. It’s very fluid. I can see in my mind, Petunia moving easily around the kitchen in her nice clothes and Lily covered in the mess that comes with cooking. I particularly like the second part about the spills and splatters and abstract art. I just love that idea.

The choice of Hyacinth, Daisy, and Rose as names was very good. Not only does it go right along with JKR’s penchant for flower names (Pansy, Lavender, Padma means Lotus in Hindi, etc), but also works in that family. I like the idea of flower names running in the family, not just something Lily’s mother liked.

I like that Petunia genuinely seems to like Vernon. I like how you point out the details that disgust Lily (and the rest of us), but also indicate why Petunia likes him.

His gaze brimmed with mischief and love as he pointed his wand.


I think that line is just so James. The way you’ve written their relationship is so comfortable and warm and sweet I can almost feel how much they love each other. It’s beautiful.

As always, Paige, this one-shot is wonderful. You’re an amazing writer and a fabulous SPEW buddy. :D

*hugs*

--Mere

Author's Response:

Thank you for such a wonderful review! You'd be lovely poster girl for SPEW because you have a gift for productive praise that goes to the heart of the story and emphasizes both art and craft. You notice details, descriptions, and characterization that's shown instead of told, helping writers by highlighting skills they can continue to build on. All praise is supportive, but yours goes beyond that. It's motivational--and very much appreciated.

Thanks, buddy!

*hugs*

 

Close Your Eyes by Equinox Chick
Rated: 6th-7th Years [Reviews - 15]

Summary: Hermione and Lavender weren't particular friends. It was true they shared a dormitory, but for much of their school time they lived parallel and separate lives. Then Lavender helped Hermione get ready for the Yule Ball and that set off a chain of events that left both girls confused.

This story was inspired by a suggestion from Gina (Gmariam) and a drabble written for Natalie (hestiajones). This story is in no way 'caron -compliant' with Lavender, blue - a Gryffindor true.

Thank you Natalie for beta'ing this story.

Disclaimer: I am not JK Rowling, her lawyers agree, so don't confuse us. Lawyers for Miss Brown and Miss Granger were unavailable for comment.

Categories: Femmeslash Genre: Warnings: Sexual Situations

Word count: 6598 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
01/27/11 Updated: 01/27/11


Reviewer: MerrryD Signed
Date: 01/31/11 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1

Oh, Carole, I love this! I honestly didn’t know what to expect going in, mostly because I wasn’t sure how you could conceivably get Hermione and Lavender together, but wow. It went beyond my expectations. :)

I like how bold your writing is. It doesn’t feel like you’re trying to be light or sensitive since it’s a “controversial” topic, it’s just like you have a story to tell, so damnit you’re going to tell it. It also gives your story this kind of confidence that makes it seem real and natural.

The beginning is really cute and has a very slumber-party-slash-getting-ready-for-a-school-dance feel. It’s nice to see Hermione acting a bit more—like a girl, I guess. I particularly liked it because it wasn’t what I was expecting at all (not that I knew what I was expecting) and it provided a good foundation to build their relationship off of.

“Do you like him?” Hermione asked, and from her tone, Lavender knew she didn’t just mean ‘like’ as in a friend, but ‘like’ as in fancy, or ‘want to snog’.

I like this line because it again shows the Hermione that we don’t see from Harry’s point of view but had to be there. You characterization of Hermione is really good—I’m impressed with how well you balanced her logical, rational, intelligent side with the teenage girl side. But. I guess, I just always saw her being a bit more opened-minded and not “This is wrong.” I feel like that since she’d had to face prejudice for being Muggleborn, she’d be more accepting towards everyone and everything else—like Remus being a werewolf, Hagrid being half-giant, house-elves, etc. That’s just my opinion, though.

One of the things that makes this story really believable is how close you stuck to canon—especially Hermione and Ron (“Ron Weasley is an utter arse!” heehee). I guess, though, Hermione’s conflicting emotions between Ron and Lavender could explain why she hesitated and the “this is wrong.”

Parvati had been excited when she’d left, a girl in thrall to the endless possibilities of love; Lavender had felt hollow inside.

This is possibly my favourite line from the entire fic. I love the juxtaposition of Parvati’s whirlwind feelings and Lavender’s emptiness. It emphasizes her lack of feeling. It’s just really beautifully put together.

(Had something happened? She wasn’t sure of anything except that her arms were covered in goosebumps and her heart was still pounding inside her.)

Then again, this might be my favourite line. I particularly like the way this one was positioned in the paragraph, as just a tiny little aside. It felt like Lavender was trying to ignore it and just carry on.

“Why don’t you just put less on?” Hermione asked.

This is so Hermione; it’s brilliant. Also, I love the way Lavender is helping Hermione get in touch with her feminine side, for lack of a better phrase, in more ways than one. I enjoy the irony of Lavender introducing Hermione to all these stereotypical girl things while also introducing her to something that is not a very stereotypical girl thing at all.

Her expression lost its irritation and she smiled again. “Ron’s totally clueless.”

So I know I’m supposed to be rooting for Hermione/Lavender and I am! But. Just. AWWWW. Seriously. That’s so cute.

Lavender waited for Hermione’s fingers to remove the dust, but instead she stiffened when she felt Hermione’s breath on her cheek. She opened her eyes in alarm as a shivery sensation coursed down her spine. Hermione was close now, so close, and with her lips pouting as she blew away the shadow.... Lavender shifted – just a touch – and then it happened. Their mouths were a hair’s breadth apart. Hermione’s lips, painted a dusky pink, shimmering, enticing and far too close. Without fully realising what was happening, Lavender uttered a small moan and then planted her mouth on Hermione’s.

I couldn’t just pick one line. This entire paragraph is just really amazing and there’s so much going on in there. Lavender’s desire and what she feels is so palpable and beautiful. I love how you used punctuation to convey her emotions—the ellipses and the dashes have so much longing and wanting and curiosity in them. It’s amazing how much you’re saying without saying anything at all.

This wasn’t how it was supposed to be, and yet it felt as if this was how it should always be.

There are a couple of things about this line. For one, it really shows the way Lavender was raised—boy and girl, not girl and girl or boy and boy, and they way she doesn’t care because of the way she feels. I like the slight sense of internal conflict that we get here. I kind of feel like there should have been more, that Lavender wouldn’t have just been “well, that’s interesting, okay!” right from the beginning.

Another thing about this line is that it’s really beautiful and I love the parallel structure of it. The structure kind of becomes a metaphor for her emotions—two parallel lives she could live, one the way she was brought up, the other the way she feels.

“Night,” Lavender replied, tears trickling down her cheeks.

While this line is really sad and tugged on my heart, it seemed kind of weird to me. I guess because I never really get the sense that Lavender was more than physically attracted to Hermione. It seems more like she wants to kiss Hermione because she likes the way kissing Hermione makes her feel, rather than she wants to kiss Hermione to kiss Hermione.

And that’s when she knew that there was nothing happier. And it was no use, the memory was so fleeting that she’d never be able to conjure a Patronus.

She stopped trying after that.


This says so much about Lavender’s life with general, not just her interactions with Hermione, and that’s what makes it really heartbreaking.

This was -- not wrong, these feelings could never be called wrong -- yet it was unreal.

I really, really like this line. I could say more than that, but I don’t really want to. I mostly like this line for the words themselves and the emotions they carry, so I’m just going to leave it at that—I really like it.

Then very casually she said, “You’d better make sure you get in there then, Hermione. You wouldn’t want another witch snapping him up.”

Um. Hello, awkward dorm. How do you sleep at night? This makes Lavender less pathetic in the sixth book, which I kind of like, but it also makes her a bit more vicious and makes me feel extremely bad for Ron (since she was just using him to get back at Hermione) and Hermione (because, well, that would just suck).

The only thing about that end that I don’t really like is I still don’t feel like Lavender was really that emotionally attached to Hermione. I mean, you’ve hinted that she was, but that’s all it was, just hints. I never felt it. It seemed more physical than anything else. I just wish that there had been a little more.

Er, I didn’t realize how long this review was until just now. >.> Basically, I loved it. It was really beautiful and gave a lot more depth to both Hermione and Lavender.



--Mere

Author's Response: Wow! A one shot of a review. First of all, thank you for all the crit and the praise. I do agree with you on the 'It's wrong' comment from Hermione because I don't thnk she is judgemental, or certainly not when she 'thinks' about it. I did think about deleting that line, but instead added her next sentence of 'No ... not wrong.' because I think that summed up the Hermione of my story. She doesn;t think being gay is wrong - but she doesn;t think it's her - plus she was seeing Viktor and confused about Ron at that moment too.

I take your point about Lavender's emotions as well. What I was trying to show is that she's actually not sure how deep her feelings are for Hermione. They're not friends particularly, and I'm not sure she likes Hermione much (I would venture to say she's more attached emotionally to Seamus) because she doesn;t get that much of a chance to like/love Hermione. It's exploration, confusion and attraction between the pair.

Darn it, I think I need to write a blooming follow up now. Your review has really made me think carefully. *adds sequel to long, long list) Mere, Thank you very, very much for this review. It was certainly thought-provoking and gorgeous to read. ~Carole~

 

One to Remember by Gmariam
Rated: 6th-7th Years [Reviews - 73]

Summary: It's Valentine's Day, seventh year, and James Potter is determined to make it one to remember. Unfortunately, so many things go wrong that Lily Evans will probably remember it for all the wrong reasons.

Categories: James/Lily Genre: Warnings: Sexual Situations

Word count: 19091 Chapters: 7 Completed: Yes
Published:
02/10/11 Updated: 03/09/11


Reviewer: MerrryD Signed
Date: 02/26/11 Title: Chapter 4: Chapter Four - Back in the Hospital Wing Again

It’s a bit embarrassing, really, how long I’ve meaning to leave you a review. A couple of weeks (or more like well over a month) ago, I couldn’t sleep and ended up on the computer in the mood for some good James/Lily. I read one of your stories and one thing led to another and I ended up spending the night reading most (I won’t be so presumptuous as to say all) of your James/Lily stories. Ever since then, I’ve been meaning to go back and review at least one of them. So, here I am!

I want to say something about the first chapter, actually, before I really get into this one. I really love the tone and feel of the first chapter. It’s very storyteller-like and you really create this feeling of anticipation and build up all these emotions. It’s quite exciting. :)

And something about chapter three (I just read them all straight through): I really like how in Arthimancy pretty much everyone except for Anastasia had accepted that he would end up with Lily—the debatable part was how long he would live. It made me giggle.

And now on to chapter four!

I love your characterization of James and Lily. I guess that doesn’t particularly pertain to chapter four or even to this story, but it’s really good. I like how James is always playful and confident (but not arrogant), yet serious in a normal, mature, seventeen-year-old way. I’ve read a lot of James/Lily fics and in some of them the ~change that James ‘undergoes’ seems a bit dramatic and unrealistic. Your James seems very real and natural and is always a pleasure to read.

And Lily! Lily isn’t that annoying Perfect Student and Perfect Prefect and Perfect Person, she’s actually someone that James could fall in love with. She’s mischievous and witty and fun. I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but she’s very real. I guess I could say that your James and Lily read like actual people, not like characters that someone is trying to force certain qualities on. Maybe an even better way to say it is that your James and Lily read like they are entirely your own characters that you know inside out, backwards and forwards. In fanfiction, it often reads like someone else’s characters that you know a little bit about and trying to make sure are recognizable and in doing so, forget to create a nice, well-rounded character. Does that make sense?

I think the relationship you’ve built between James and his friends is really interesting. The way James knows that they would try to sabotage anything he planned but he’s really not mad at them, just slightly irritated—it’s almost like brothers. I like the dimension it adds to both James’s character and the story, especially the way you never come straight out and say anything about it more it’s just something the reader feels. And, of course, it’s one more thing in the way. You do like to make it as difficult as possible for them to get together, don’t you? :)

We turned a corner and walked straight into Remus and Elizabeth.


"Hi!" said Elizabeth brightly. "Did you like your daisies?"


Lily burst out laughing; I groaned and turned down another corridor.


That exchange actually made me laugh out loud. This story, in general, is really lighthearted and fun. It’s wonderfully refreshing to read. It’s one of those stories that actually brightens my mood and has me sitting here just grinning with a general kind of amusement.

The ending of this chapter is sweet and hopeful. It’s that odd sort of thing that satisfies the reader yet still leaves them in high anticipation of the next chapter.

This was really fun to read and I am definitely looking forward to the next chapter. :)

--Mere

Author's Response: Mere, thank you SO MUCH. What a lovely, amazing review. What's more embarrassing is how long I've taken to respond just because there was so much here. I've read this so many times because it always makes me smile. It' s just so nice to know someone things you've done something right. I really appreciate it. :) You touched on so many things. I'm so glad the first chapter set things up for you. I was sure it was too much backstory, since I based this on another fic I wrote! And I'm really glad you enjoyed the Arithmancy bit as well, because that surprised me. I hadn't anticipated something a bit more bittersweet like that popping up in this story. But the comment you made about James and Lily being like my own character that I know inside and out really made me squee the most. Because they are my OTP and I have been writing them for months now. If you've read some of my others, you know it's almost obsessive,lol. I love exploring different possibilities in the pairing, and in many, many ways, I do feel like I know them really well. So knowing that's come across to at least one person is thrilling. I've posted some more and just finished the last chapter yesterday so it will be interesting to see what people think once it's done. It's mostly lighthearted, but I do like to add a bit of depth and here and there. I do hope you enjoy it! Thank you so much for the amazing review! ~Gina :)

 

The Abyss Gazes by Calico
Rated: 1st-2nd Years [Reviews - 8]

Summary:

“If you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”

-Friedrich Nietzsche

Scorpius Malfoy has avoided Althea Burbage – and everyone else at Hogwarts – for five long years. Who, he thinks, would want to be friends with the son of a Death Eater? Certainly not a girl whose aunt was murdered before the eyes of his father and grandfather.

Unfortunately, Thea doesn't seem to agree.

Categories: Next Generation Genre: Warnings: None

Word count: 9279 Chapters: 5 Completed: No
Published:
02/10/11 Updated: 04/02/11


Reviewer: MerrryD Signed
Date: 04/04/11 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1: The Complications of Contemplation

So, WOW. That’s my first thought upon finishing this. Just. WOW.

I adore the way you write. I’m a bit surprised, actually, at how you managed to keep my interest through this chapter when all it is is an introduction to the characters and the very start of their relationship. But I greedily read this as fast as I could and was disappointed that the chapter was over so quickly.

The tone of this story is really incredible. The point of view is omniscient, yet the tone is very personal. It seems like you know Scorpius and Althea inside and out and they really come to life. It’s been a little while since I’ve felt so connected to characters. It almost seems like they are real people that I’ve met or something.

Scorpius. Just. Scorpius. His characterization is so incredible. I love how unique it is. I’ve read bookish!Scorpius before, but none of them have the complexity of your Scorpius. He has friends, it seems, but he prefers isolation because he’s hiding from his past. He’s respected, but not understood. Despite his past and his anti-socialness, it doesn’t seem like anyone dislikes him. And his eyes! The fact that he has the Greengrass eyes, not the Malfoy eyes says so much about his character and his personality. It tells us readers that he isn’t like his father and grandfather. Brown eyes have a capacity to be warm that just doesn’t seem to exisit in grey eyes, which suggests that he’s not haughty or arrogant and has perhaps a big heart.

No, what amazed people about Scorpius Malfoy was that he was, in essence, a mute, and only spoke when asked a direct question by a professor or classmate, which did not happen often.


This is the most intriguing thing about him. I mean, could you imagine not talking? I can’t. It creates this aura of mystery about his character, which I love. I see why Althea is curious about him—he’s this mysterious, lone figure who haunts the library and has such a direct albeit morbid connection to her. I’d be—I am—curious about him, too.

And Althea! The little tidbit about her family being unsure of using owls is lovely. It speaks volumes about her and where she comes from. I imagine she was a bit unsure of magic herself and that is represented in her longing for a magical relative. It makes Charity’s death even sadder to think she left a niece struggling a little in the magical world who would love to talk to her.

Unable to compose her chaotic thoughts into some semblance of reason, Althea decided that she had better face the inevitable and yield calmly to her contemplations of Scorpius.


This line is beautiful. I love the image of ‘chaotic thoughts’ resisting reason. There’s this wonderful flow to this sentence. It gives this odd feeling of serenity to the moment, like everything that’s happing is inevitable, so we all might as well go along with it.

The fleeting eye contact between Scorpius and Althea is amazing. I can feel their own respective confusion, especially Scorpius’s. The way you described his reactions—confusion, warmth, dread, inexplicability—is smooth and natural. Everything is so precise; I feel the shifting emotions myself.

For the first time in four years, Scorpius Malfoy left the library early.


This is great last line. It holds so much promise and hope and expectation. I cannot wait to see how Scorpius and Althea interact and how they’ll grow and change and hopefully find what they are looking for.

This is a really beautiful and good first chapter. :]

--Mere

Author's Response: I'm so glad you're enjoying this story. Can you believe, I almost didn't bother to submit it because I didn't think anyone would like the writing style (or the characters, to be honest) and now you've gone and proven my prediction wrong! I hope you keep reading; chapter 5 is my favorite, and was the hardest to write, so I'm interested to hear your opinion on that. And thanks for the review!

 

Whirlwind by hestiajones
Rated: 6th-7th Years [Reviews - 20]

Summary: "Do you remember me?" he asked.

She did, but she wasn't sure what to feel about a guy who had suddenly reappeared after a decade. But over the next twenty-four hours, her life was going to change, and all because of him.

Written as a birthday present for the too a*****e-for-words Carole/Equinox Chick, who has been a lovely friend and a lovely role model...in more ways than one. Here's hoping you have a great time reading this. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Heartfelt thanks to Kara who I repeatedly harassed on AIM. :D

DISCLAIMER: I am definitely not J.K.Rowling.

Nominated for a QSQ in the Next Gen Category.

Categories: Next Generation Genre: Warnings: Sexual Situations, Strong Profanity, Substance Abuse

Word count: 11195 Chapters: 4 Completed: Yes
Published:
03/20/11 Updated: 03/20/11


Reviewer: MerrryD Signed
Date: 03/31/11 Title: Chapter 1: Meeting on the Tube

Hi. I feel like I need some sort of introduction to this review, but I’m at an utter loss of how to begin it.

I really like this story. I really like your writing style. It’s smooth, natural, and precise. Or perhaps that’s just your characterization of Lucy (it is Lucy, isn’t it? God, you have no idea how long it took me to find that name). The beginning says so much about her, with that exact detailing of how she will get home, how long it will take, and her other options. To me, that says she’s a bit lonely and a bit unhappy. (Enter Lorcan! ;D)

There’s some awkward wording in the third paragraph—So, you’ll understand… This sudden and singular address of the reader threw me a bit. I think you could very easily edit it out and it would make that part flow much nicer. Also, He was just a blur of flesh and clothes, while I do like this whole sentence, there’s something very corpse-like of the word flesh. I think something like “body parts” or even “skin” would create the same effect in the sentence without the eeriness of flesh. Of course, that’s just my opinion.

But then he stopped right in front of me, and I had to concentrate till he became a whole.


I just really like this sentence. I have this beautiful picture in my mind of a collage of a human slowly rearranging itself and coming into focus. We, the readers, learn so much about Lucy from this sentence. I can’t help but wonder why Lucy’s so introverted and seems to have little-to-no human interaction. It’s also the first part where I felt any real emotion for the protagonist—sympathy, maybe a bit of pity, and definitely some understanding.

I stared at him, trying to recall, mentally checking off his features.


I like the ‘mentally checking’ part because I feel like that’s something that connects her to Percy. Like, I can tell that she’s his daughter. It just makes sense. (If the narrator isn’t Lucy, I’m going to feel sooo stupid).

While I’m on that subject, I love the anonymity of her. It’s just so perfect. She craves being unknown so much—she takes nearly an hour longer to get home to avoid being seen by people who might recognize her. It’s really brilliant that we don’t even know who she is. I hope later in the story when she gains a sense of self and some life that she’ll have an identity. Stylistically and metaphorically, that would be so perfect.

Your characterization of Lorcan is really well done. I think he has enough of Luna, with being so calm about just following Lucy around, but it’s not over the top. We can see his family in him, but he’s still his own person. Luna’s such a hard character to write and imagine her son would be too (I’ve never tried), so I’m impressed.

Maybe, I had succeeded -he leaned back on his seat and closed his eyes, looking annoyingly satisfied with the world. Then something nagged me.


heehee. I love this because you’ve managed to convey that there’s something about Lorcan that ‘gets under her skin’ or whatever without actually saying that. I love how simply you show her unidentified attraction, for lack of a better phrase.

I like that when they met the Scamanders lived in Greece, but now they live in Egypt. It’s really good, subtle characterization of Luna. Tiny details like that make stories so much better. It feels more like you’re creating this whole world, instead of just writing about Lucy and Lorcan. Does that make sense?

Lucy’s embarrassment and awkwardness in contrast to Lorcan’s cool nonchalance is wonderful. I can see them talking on the train, she red and stuttering; he amused and calm. It sets up a really nice dynamic between the two of them.

I love the kiosk scene for two reasons. One, the nod to Carole, of course. *giggles* And two, her reaction to the girls’ reaction to Lorcan. It’s so natural. She didn’t even think about his attractiveness until she heard the other girls, and then she start worrying about how she looked and what they would think of him. This just says so much about her. Appearances don’t matter that much to her, until she’s worried about what other people will think. The black pants and brown shoes did make me wince though. :P

But it was constructing itself at the speed of light as we twisted on the spot, and it was with a frightening clarity that I could see the white sand, the stark blue sea, and the half-built sand-castle, forgotten between a sudden kiss and a burning blush.


THIS. I have been waiting this whole review to talk about this. It’s just. ♥ The imagery is gorgeous. I particularly like how the colours stand out, yet seem to blur together, as they do while an image is being formed. The pace of the sentence—and it’s length—reflect the action and how Lucy’s emotions. It’s just so beautiful and exciting and hopeful.

I’m so excited to read the next chapter, you have no idea. :]

--Mere

Author's Response: Mere!

I don't think we've connected online yet, although we seem to share a lot of friends. :)

First of all, thank you this gorgeous review! To be honest, I'm glad I got it after the story had been completed, because I'd have panicked not knowing how to continue. I am really happy you found my characterisation convincing; it's one thing I want to do very well. Lorcan was harder to write than Lucy, especially because he is Luna's son. Yes, I definitely agree that Luna is very tough to write.

Lucy has been a bit of a morose pet of mine. o.O I'd actually planned a long, dramatic and angsty fic for her love life (and other), but THIS happened. *Sigh* I hope you liked reading the rest of the story. And that part you quoted was my favourite to write. :)

~Natalie

 

One Last Run by Gmariam
Rated: 6th-7th Years [Reviews - 7]

Summary: As his relationship with Lily Evans picks up, James is forced to confront an equally important bond with one of his best friends and the future they face together.

Categories: Same-Sex Pairings Genre: Warnings: Sexual Situations, Slash

Word count: 1761 Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes
Published:
04/17/11 Updated: 04/17/11


Reviewer: MerrryD Signed
Date: 04/18/11 Title: Chapter 1: One-Shot

My initial reaction?

AHH AKLJDGJ *FLAIL*

Perhaps that’s a bit…extreme, but, honestly, it’s how I felt from reading the summary to the last line.

I really love the way you wrote this pairing. It has this balance of emotion and fun that reflects James and Sirius’s characters. There’s desire for each other specifically, but it’s also something that just sort of happened. You summed it up perfectly with this line:

It was an innocent schoolboy diversion, fueled by the isolation of being away from home, the closeness of the dormitory, and too many nights spent nose-to-nose over Transfiguration books.


(Well, I don’t know about the innocent part…;D)

I like the snow. Sirius wanting to show James the snow was so sweet. I like how it’s more about friendship and just sharing it with each other than anything else. Sirius seems so innocent and carefree, like all his guards are completely down. It’s a side of him we rarely see and one, I imagine, only comes out around James.

It was cold, and James was glad to feel the warmth from Sirius's body next to his. It grounded him after the hectic events of the day.


I really, really like these two sentences. I think it says so much about their relationship. They don’t just need each other in the desire kind of way, but they need each other just as another physical force, as a friend. It’s so simply put, but it’s beautiful in its simplicity.

James seems kind of hesitant and awkward--That usually meant…well, James tried not to think about that quite yet. and James coughed. "Don't you think it's a little overexposed out here for…" He nodded down toward where Sirius was sitting, gently rubbing himself over James in a slow, seductive manner. I like that. It shows that he’s thinking about Lily and the future and what everything means and brings the ending around smoothly and naturally.

Their conversation is sad, yet strangely hopeful. The hope is there with the vague mentions of the future and of it being time to move on and Lily being different, but it’s underneath the sadness. There’s no regret, just reluctance, mostly on James’s part. I like that he’s reluctant to let go of Sirius and afraid of losing him to Lily, even though it’s Lily. Sirius’s matter-of-fact acceptance is very in character and it shows that once again he has his guard up, but James sees through it and I love that.

Sirius ruffled his hair, and James was sure his friend was wearing a smile that masked the underlying sadness he often hid from rest of the world.


It’s so tender and sad and sweet. You have a way of putting words together so simply and so easily that’s really beautiful. These words seem to capture everything about the moment so perfectly. I keep rereading that sentence and every time I do, it squeezes my heart, makes me smile, and I get this overwhelming sense of sadness and acceptance.

And, the ending— guh! That is all, really. It’s sad and—I’ve been sitting here waving my hands around in the air for almost two minutes trying to think of the word and I just can’t. It’s sad and it’s sweet and it’s beautiful and intimate and it’s like I can feel their emotions, feel how much they love each other and it kind of breaks my heart a little to know that it’s the end.

I also wanted to say that I really love how the only name they gave this was “a run.” It’s like what it specifically was and what it meant didn’t matter, because it was only about them and what they felt. It wasn’t really a definable thing, just something that existed between them, more like an extension of their friendship than anything else.

This was gorgeous to read and thank you for posting it. :]

--Mere

Author's Response: Mere! *flails as well* Thank you so much for the amazing review! I don't even know what to say. THANK YOU!! You touched on so many things I am so glad came out through the narrative. Like Sirius - I absolutely think that him and James had a special relationship that allowed them to share things the others didn't. Perhaps not this, but I do think there was a side to Sirius only James saw. And you pinpointed two things I really felt as I was writing their conversation: reluctance but acceptance. Exactly. They know, especially Sirius. And like you said, I think it would be out-of-character for Sirius to make James choose between him and Lily. It just wasn't like that. So it's a bit bittersweet for them, but I think it's what makes them so close, the fact that they can have this relationship and yet still maintain their friendship. They just strike me as so natural. I think I like this pairing more than Sirius and Remus for all those reasons, but that's rambling. Thank you so much for the wonderful review. It's really encouraging since I've sat on this for son long and it's my first real SSP, not to mention a slight deviation from my usual James/Lily as well (although it fits with my long J/L fic, lol) Thanks again!! ~Gina :)

 
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