Summary: There are rules about who he can be. There are rules about who he can love. And there are rules about how much peole are really worth.
Severus Snape doesn't agree with the rules.
There might still be a little hope left to be had, because you can find diamonds in mounds of broken glass.
"hope is as fragile as pieces of glass." Reading that, it felt like the whole story was based around the one quote. This is amazingly written, and gives a very realistic insight to what Severus' childhood might have been like.
Author's Response: That was one of the main qutoes I worked on. Nicely spotted! And I\'m really glad you liked this.
Summary: Fred is dead.
But that's just the beginning! Because one of George's ears is up in heaven, and the other is down on earth...
Oh, the possibilities!
Written for the Next Great Adventure challenge on the MNFF beta boards. I am Schmerg_The_Impaler of Hufflepuff House.
Twice nominated for Best Post-Hogwarts Story in the 2008 Quicksilver Quills Awards!
Wow... first story I've read since DH thats been able to make me cry... except I was laughing through tears with this one... I'm kind of patheticaly emotionaly attatched to Harry Potter. The way you portrayed the twins was amazing.. it really seemed as though it was them, though I have to say I was quite dissapointed at the mention of Lilly and James... would've liked to read your words on their after life. Well I won't drone on, but I loved this fic. It's amazing, and wonderful, and fantastic, and whatever other describing words there are to describe how fantablous it was.
Author's Response: Thank you very much! I worked really hard on this story, and... I\'m kind of proud of it, so I\'m really happy that you liked it.
The original draft had more Lily and James (including a part where Snape showed up), but I realized that it was taking away from the Fred-n-Georgeness of the story, so I cut it. I\'m sorry! But I might write another story with them!
But my true pursuer I cannot hide from.
A poem I wrote based on my fic, When You're Gone. This poem can be read independently of the story, however.
I havn't read your fic (yet) but I really like this poem! I've never tried that style of poetry writing, not sure what its called but its very well written.
Author's Response: Thank you! :D And unless I somehow did something without realizing it, this poem was written in free verse with absolutely no rhyming/rhythm scheme whatsoever. ;) But I\'m glad you liked it anyway, heh.
Wow.... I've read some smash fics, but that was just not what I had expected. I've got to admit that I didn't want to keep reading after the older man in the pub... but something about your style, and the story itself made me want to.
When Lupin made for Snape... I literaly gasped; and felt just as sorry as Lupin did when Snape pushed him off. You made the most unlikely person to ever try and pull Lupin out of his deppresion, seem beliveable. Hell, you made the whole story beliveable when it's probably the most unlikely plot I've ever read.
The way you stuck to Sev's canon characteristics, yet kind and somewhat understanding was brilliant. Lupin, a drunk nypho, seemed like it was the most natural thing in the world.
Smashing good job :D
Author's Response: Wow! Way for a first review! Thank you so much, I\'m really happy you liked it. I had a lot of fun writing it. I just love dark-fics, I love to explore the darker sides of humanity and their suffering. There\'s always very little magic in my HP fics.
Thanks a lot for a really great review, and for reading my story, even if it was against your better judgement. :P
Summary: Alastor Moody, forced out of his job, attempts to find ways to fill his days. What he finds is his next door neighbor. Can a wizard truly be friends with a Muggle? Watch as friendship - or more- creeps up on Mad-Eye, inch by unexpected inch.
I've just got one nitpick (I just can't help it): (All always seemed clear, but he kept the proviso in the plan just to be prepared) Full stop in the parenthesis.
Kaye, won't go there again. =D
I just adore the beginning of this. I'm not even two paragraphs into the story and I'm already pulled in; the fire sentence—or thought, rather—was absolutely wonderful. I'm not quite sure how to explain it articulately but I do love how you've begun with explaining his daily routine, coupled with the line "On a very good day […]." I can just relate so well. Everyone sometimes falls into a routine and the later in the day that routine brings you, the happier you become. Very nicely done. And I also love how we're seeing this badass Auror doing simply mundane things—it's setting up so well for, going by the summary, what this story is about.
So far (I'm to the first asterisk-marked break) I think the characterization of Moody is spot on. No other character who's simply sitting on his porch would mentally run through the actions of the innocent-looking new neighbor—the detailed monologue of this woman, would, without us knowing the character who's narrating, automatically bring anyone's mind to Moody. Also, the bit about the microwave and telling Arthur made me giggle. =D
Overall, I loved this chapter. The letters to Elizabeth's mother were a very interesting way to introduce us to this character; we're not seeing her in a completely rounded light, but from just these letters we have a very nice image of her and her personality.
Careless old man! How in Merlin’s name are you supposed to know she needs one? Shaking, Alastor Moody, who had faced Grindelwald’s followers, who had faced Muggle Nazis, who had faced Death Eaters, sank into a chair, and put his face into his hands.
was just too adorable. Again, we're seeing the badass, fearless, vigilant Moody in a vulnerable and normal situation. I think you've really gone outside of the box where his character is concerned; not only are you taking him completely out of the element we see him in in the series, but you've built a character that is very IC but also original.
On to the next chapter...
Author's Response: If that is the only nit you can find to pick, then I am ecstatic! Thank you so so much for the detailed review. It seems I managed exactly what I was aiming at. We see one Moody when Barty Crouch is imitating him, but when we meet him in Grimmauld place we see another side, and I wanted to show how the sides connect. His story fascinates me. I'm glad I am making this vision of him believable. The letters...I had to think what he'd find in her trash that would intrigue him, and make him want to meet her. He is very methodical. I figured Constant Vigilance would require that.... Thanks again for the review!
What a suspenseful second chapter! Not suspense in its normal fashion, I suppose, but I am left wondering where this friendship is going to go and how well it's going to form when they're so far apart—not to mention I'm disappointed that he's leaving so soon. This chapter was just so enjoyable; the first part, when they're properly meeting, was just… adorable. I can't imagine it easy for Moody to make friends with someone and you've shown his hesitance and embarrassment so well.
I am really, really loving Elizabeth. Her characterization is not just consistent (a consistency I honestly haven't seen often in OCs) but you just… have to like her. Quiet but opinionated, insecure and easy to relate to… I'm just completely taken with her. And a bit more so, her and Moody's friendship.
I am very eagerly waiting for the next installment. :)
Author's Response: Well, I've got al but the last chapter of this nailed down, so you won't have to wait too long for the next installment. I know I've said that before, but I really do have it all betad and almost entirely ready to go. As far as I know, Moody is a pureblood so he hasn't known a whole lot of Muggles in his life. It's really a step out of his comfort zone, even more so than reading Muggle newspapers, which he probably did as an Auror to keep up with things (As Dumbledore admitted to doing.) There are about 6 chapters to the story, so he leaves, but she sees him afterwards, if that is any comfort... I started it as a prologue to story I had already written and which is up, but reading that might ruin the surprise for you...I don't know... Thanks again for a terrific, thought-out review! pp
Summary: He had been lying down for a couple of minutes, not strong enough to get up just yet. When he had felt the spider’s icky eight legs on his skin, however, he sprang to his feet.
He regretted this action at once, as it had made him dizzy. His vision was hazy because he didn’t have his glasses on. James looked around the grass field and found his spectacles. They were cracked and needed to be fixed. For that, he needed his wand. Automatically, his hand went in his pocket. He fumbled around his pocket, but in vain; the wand was nowhere to be found. James was in the middle of nowhere and he didn’t have a wand. Perfect!
James has to prove his love for Lily. For that, he has to pass a few tests. Read on what he has to do to win over Lily's heart.
I am Afifa of Hufflepuff participating for the Gauntlet Challenge- Round 5.
The very first thing I noticed is that you lean heavily on telling rather than showing. I've read so many articles on this that I just hate it when people tell me this, but through all the droning on, the advice is really, really useful. When you 'tell' people things, the story can get boring, stagnant, and readers will turn away without giving the plot a chance.
James felt something crawling on his hand. It seemed like an insect. The thought of a spider crawling over his skin made him jump up. This turned out to be the wrong thing to do.
Take out the actions and you have: He felt this. It was this. He did this. Then he did this. Doesn't seem so interesting, does is? By telling us what's happening rather than showing us, you're hurting the story. Readers want to see it, to feel it, hear, touch, taste, smell it! Simply knowing what happens will turn people off. So rather than…
It seemed like an insect.
"He could feel its small, prickly legs crawling over his palm; even though it was too small to tell, James could imagine gross, tiny little hairs all over its body and he jumped up, shaking his hand wildly to get it off.
Bad example, but we can see the insect now, rather than just knowing that it's there. Because he "wildly" shook his hand we know that James dislikes insects.
He had been lying down for a couple of minutes, not strong enough to get up just yet.
Why wasn't he strong enough to get up? What did his muscles feel like? Was there an aching in his bones, his back, his arms? Show us why he can't get up: There was an aching that ran from his neck and down his spine, and all the way down to his toes, creating the painful inability to get up. Adjectives, verbosity! I want to see him struggling, hear him moaning as he tries to stand up, feel the pain in his buttocks as he mistakenly jumps up too quickly. (Okay, maybe not feel it. :p)
Your sentence structures are also very punctual and precise, which coupled with a lot of telling, is very… well, punctual. In a textbook that's what I want. In fiction, I want description, verbosity, things that can only be explained through longwinded sentences that seem to go on forever because there's just so much to tell! The story so far is really great—you obviously know how to write a good story—but your damaging it by following the laws of grammar so stringently. Mix it up, break a few rules, throw a semicolon in every once in a while! The comma doesn't have to go there, it could be thrown aside so that we can feel a little bit of the urgency. (Though, that one can't be broken so often…)
The thing about showing vs telling is that it gets the best of us. Sometimes if you concentrate on showing so much you'll get lost in the descriptions and the verbosities and that one little leaf that just deserves ten paragraphs of description. Generally, I notice that if someone does too much of one thing, it goes to the extreme level. There's either only telling, or there's only showing. But there is a balance, and that balance is wonderful.
Rather than stating that someone walked from here to there (even if there's nothing of importance in the action) you could slip in one of the senses. He smelled rain in the air. The sky was bright with the morning sun. He could feel the sand between his toes. He could taste the salt in the air. Incorporating some of the five senses in every now and then really beefs up fiction, and adds a little spice.
Alright, enough droning on about that. The story itself was very funny and creative (putting him through a 'test' is an adorable premise). I really liked the characterization of James. You put him in a completely weird (to him) atmosphere and still really pulled out the characteristics that I imagine him having.
The last line was especially cute. It was a long time before they actually got together, and I can imagine the moment being one of those "time stops" moments, and I think you played on that very well, especially the subtlety (me loves subtlety :D).
Over all I really liked the story: You pulled everything together really well at the end and again, the premise was just… adorable. :)
Summary: Gellert comes to say goodbye and Albus finally allows himself to show his true feelings.
The main thing that stands out: This is a very angsty story, as-in the emotions and tone is that of angst, but the tone and theme wasn't even a touch overdone; you really handled the emotions well all throughout this. Dumbledore's narrations were all thorough and yet not overdone, and... I don't know. Somehow you really captured his character, even though this is decades before we meet him in canon. Really nicely done.
As for the story in general, the... hesitance between their actions, and the unwillingness to get close (not after the kiss) really set the mood for this, and led up to the big moment fantastically. Up until then, it's very calm and sad and then BAM you're readingthrougheverywordsothatyoucangettothenextone.
(I like visual effects :D)
Also, the last passages after the kiss are quite heartbreaking. These moments are so often done, and therefore many small things become cliche, but I think you've avoided every cliche there is. It was a very 'beauty in the breakdown' kind of moment.
So, honestly, I can't find anything negative to critique. What I could find is just personal stylistic preference, and if it works for you it works for you, so I can't complain. Truly touching story here. :)
Author's Response: aw, thank you so much - that review made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside - almost enough to make me want to tell you what is coming! I'm glad you liked this piece - it's so good to hear what someone thinks :)
Summary: A potion has been created that has the ability to strip a wizard of their powers: a potion the Ministry of Magic couldn't wait to get their hands on. After the Battle of Hogwarts, lesser convicted Death Eaters are given a choice: go to Azkaban, or spend the rest of their lives as Muggles. While many people refused such a degrading option as a matter of pride, one Draco Malfoy chose the potion. Now, cast into the city of London, Draco both struggles with, and eventually enjoys his adaptation into the Muggle way of life.
But what happens when the effects of the potion turn out to be not-so permanent?
Oh. My. Godric. I don't think I've ever read faster-- had this been in print, the pages would have been flying in my attempt to get to the next word. Molly, doll, how come I've never wandered across your author page? Seriously?! I feel like I've lost a bit of myself without having this kind of FANFREAKINGTASTIC writing in my life.
I mean just look at your adjectives! Not a boring one in sight! Every word makes the scene BURST in your mind; every piece of dialog makes you HEAR them, not kind-of-sort-of-can-almost-see-it -- HEAR THEM. Seriously, I've never seen frantic dialog done so masterfully. There wasn't a single place where I paused, not a sentence that read awkwardly.
There were however, an unfortunate few spelling errors:
when a potion when wrong
Reached into the cage
(You can't tell out of context, but 'reached' should be 'reaching')
So, aside from those, you conquer. Honestly. The summary for this pulled me in-- not just the way it was written, but dear Godric, I've never heard of a story like this? It's original, interesting-- it makes you HAVE to read this.
So, uhm... this review really does nothing for help, but I just can't get over how much I loved this small passage. I'm going to read the rest of this now.
Author's Response: Wow, you love to appeal to my sense of vainity! And I also suppose this is a not-so-sublet hint to get the next chapter up, right?
Summary: Up on the rafters of Draco’s room, a little man giggled. He was a strange little man, just three inches in height. His crinkled little face always set in delight. He had a long blond beard that curled at his toes and a cane in his hand to fight his foes. He wore a blazer of plum with a shirt of sapphire, and he sprouted two wings that dazzled in desire.
“How fun it is with mortals to play fate,
To make them lose sight of all they do hate,
So join me in the mind of the Malfoy heir,
As his morals and mind are in need of repair.”
I have never, in all my time reading (that'd be about my whole life) have I ever come across a style so magnificently original as yours. At first I was kind of daunted by the description that you use (it was almost overwhelming) but as I kept reading, it started to flow much better.
I guess I'm just not used to FANFREAKIGNTASTIC description.
What I loved most about this story was how you didn't use dialog or a lot of the character's thoughts to guide the reader. From description, scenery, and atmosphere alone, you created emotion and feeling. I didn't have to know Draco's immediate thoughts (i.e, what he thought was behind the curtain, why he was scared of the forest behind him, etc) to know his thoughts, if you get what I mean.
And another thing:
And yet he held back, for what was he but a fool in the dark?
This line was brilliant. You created the atmosphere for what lied behind - where he is trapped - and what he could not reach, and then made the meaning clear with this. It was clever and just... brilliant.
Personally I think this would've made an amazing one shot, but you've definitely got a hooked reader if it's going to be continued.
And you're amazing, if I didn't mention that.
Summary: When love prevails, no evil can divide it or poison the purest of feelings. Nor can it destroy the utmost defiance.
This is BertieBotsBeans741 and PadfootnPeeves writing for the Gauntlet: Round 6.
A lovely piece, both parts. The premise is something I’ve seen before – several times – and yet there weren’t any passages that had the tired-and-tried feel. It was a very enjoyably unique spin on the getting-together of James and Lily, and being the J/L sucker that I am, of course I loved it. =D
The characterization was wonderful. Amidst a familiar storyline, James and Lily’s characters felt IC, but also just so comfortable, if you know what I mean. I didn’t have to stop at intervals and work out in my mind how this or that could be justified and made IC – there was nothing to cause to a pause at all. Their expressions, actions, and dialog were all exactly as I’ve always imagined them.
I was slightly deterred by the style of the prose. It felt really succinct, punctual – a lot of telling rather than showing. I think a little bit of description could have really helped the emotional aspect.
Overall I really enjoyed this! A wonderful J/L for the virtual bookshelf. =)
Summary: He wants to drink it all in, milk it all for what it's worth before it all withers away. And it will.
Very angsty SB/RL.
Aww. That was too dang short :( I do love your writing style though. Where it lacks in the usual description it makes up for with... Well, what you've done. I dun know how to phrase it though. Beautiful style.
I think that you've portrayed Serius wonderfully. He's very cannon ('cept for the whole homosexual thing, I guess) yet he's... Ah, lost me' words.
As for the story, well, when it got to the part I was waiting for, it was over :( Therein lies the sad part. Any hopes of this continuing? You built it up very nicely and, also short, the resolution was perfect.
Very nice indeed.
Summary: There were three things Lily Potter and Rose Weasley knew they had in common. They both shared their names with rather popular flowers, they had both inherited the Weasley red hair and freckles gene, and they both had fairly famous fathers.
But there was still one unfortunate similarity that Rose and Lily were ignorant to: they had both grown a strong interest in the enemy. And the fact that both Rose and Lily shared a common ‘enemy’ only increased the undesirability of the circumstance. Oh, and by ‘enemy’ they meant Scorpius Malfoy.
‘I don’t understand you, Malfoy.’
He smirked. ‘You don’t have to.’
First off, I despise post-Hogwarts. Despise it. I can't write it, I can never find a decent plot, or characters who aren't the trio in miniature.
That being said, and excuse the net speak but I find it unavoidable, OMGIFRIGGINLOVETHISSTORY.
I'm going to dash off and read the rest of this brilliant story before leaving a proper review; I did want to point one thing out though:
‘Yeah,’ I scoffed, ‘No thanks to your father.’
I glanced up at him, noticing his face fall. ‘You don’t know anything about that,’ he muttered.
That was... adorable... I have read quite a few Scorpius' and the way you characterize him... Well, it's just fantastic.
Author's Response: Ooh, thank you! I'm really glad you like it. You've now given me inspiration to write my follow up one-shot. I'm glad you like my Scorpius, I quite enjoy writing him. And yeah, I've never liked the idea of Rose being a miniature Hermione or Scorpius being exactly like Draco. Kids are never exactly like their parents, so it would be completely unrealistic to have them that way. Thanks for the review, dear :) ~ Cassie
Summary: A month after the Final Battle, Ginny disappears without a trace. Fast forward two and a half years and we find Ginny living a new life in London as a Muggle journalist with one big secret: She has a daughter. Urged on by a concerned family member, she returns home to face the man and the life she left behind.
Babbler extraordinaire shall be forming this review, because she can never seem to speak freely. So…
The Grammar: There are a few spots here and there where things read awkwardly. Your sentence structures are sometimes flowing and continuous, but there are places where you get very short and choppy; the change in style is a little deterring, especially since it happens frequently.
The PoV: While it is fair to say that I'm just not a fan of omniscient PoV, and that most likely has more impact on my opinion than the actual writing, your switches feel more like head-hopping than flowing PoVs. In the first chapter you used asterisks to show the change, but at the beginning of the first chapter and all through the second, you just switched without marking it. Either way is fine, but switching the style so abruptly is, again, deterring.
And also about the PoV… It feels a little forced. One scene should feel continuous, flowing, natural—it should read like one whole, just from two different minds. In the second chapter, that flow is a little lost between all the emotions you're trying to get out.
Now about the emotions themselves (Negative Nancy is rearing her ugly head—my apologies *blush*), they sort of feel… forced. Like you were trying to squeeze a million and three emotions in there but couldn’t get them all out. I want to stress first that I have the exact same problem (which is why I'm pointing it out in the first place) and that it's really not that prevalent in the story. It just seems that Ginny would be more… emotional. More angry, more sad, more reminiscent, more something. Her brother has found her after three long years of hiding—while you portray the unease quite well, I think, considering the writing itself is amazing, you could pull the reader in more.
And about that writing: I love your style. You've captured the Muggle world from a witches' PoV quite well, IMO. Also, the tone that this started with (George finding her, the normalcy of the conversation between Ginny and Laura, etc) was great, and really builds the reader up: If things are so normal and calm, something's gonna' happen. :D
The premise of this story is just amazing. I love the idea of it and you've got me on the edge of my seat after that last line (cliffhanger indeed! Why didn't Harry approach her? Why was George the one asking Hermione about the location, and why doesn't Hermione know if Harry and George do? For that matter, why doesn't the entire family know? Why did Ginny leave! *shakes head* You better update soon :p). I think you've got a plot here that, amidst so many predictable stories, is a one-in-a-million, amazing read.
On to characterization: you've got 'em down pact. The emotions might be a little off to me, but I think you've got a great grasp on both Ginny and George. The small, almost-not-there tension between them, the sarcastic quips—it's great.
So all in all this is going straight in my favorites so I can see the updates (I hope they'll be soon?). Great story here, love!
Summary: An old woman sits down on a lonely bench one night waiting for the bus. She is joined by a young woman, who brings with her strange memories of the past, and the reminder that time changes everything.
It's been so long since I've read a story that started with description. It seems there are so many foreboding warnings about boring your reader with the first word that everyone wants to jump straight into the ACTION!DRAMMA!ACTION!. I gotta' tell you, your introductory paragraph was not only a relief from what's becoming a tired-and-tried method, but it was also so creative and descriptive that I could see this place from the word 'go.'
I wrote that before I read on. I'm writing this now in awe, and not just 'cause I've learned to expect brilliance from you. ;) I had an idea in my head for how this was going to turn out; who the old woman was, what she would be musing. But the characters present… the… I don't know, the story, generally, everything, it's just amazing. I don't know what aspect to go to first…
The writing itself—not the plot, the characters, or anything—is awe-inspiring. There's so much description—though not overdone, in any way—that I don't think I'll ever forget the rusty old bench beside a park. There's something about the way you write that lets every word bring life to the story. There are no SPaG errors, no awkward sentences, no mistakes, nothing I disagree with… It's not helpful in the least to you, as fawning doesn't so much help a person improve, but jeeze… it's wonderful.
Bellatrix… Now, no one could ever make me pity her, not even this brilliant story, but there is a certain amount of understanding accomplished with this, at least from Hermione's point of view (though I would have killed her, no matter how old she was ;)). Her musings pull you in and make you want to know how she got to where she is. The bitter melancholic tone of her thoughts are not only consistent and well-written, but also just plain ole' interesting. Before I knew it was Bellatrix (and when you revealed that, I literally got goosebumps :p) I pitied her, wanted her to be happier, or at least find a way to be happy. You pull the reader into her life and, with so few words, make them want to know everything about her. But then it's Bellatrix and they just want her dead. :p
The one thing that tripped me a little bit was the switch of PoV; it wasn't done badly or anything, I just wasn't expecting it. The transition was done nicely, there's no doubt in that, but I think that—especially with this kind of quality writing—you could have let the reader see how Hermione felt just by expressions, without the switch. Though, on the other hand, we wouldn't have gotten that brilliant last paragraph, in which I almost felt something close to pity. Almost.
I'm off to find a story in which I can actually be helpful. :D This was a brilliant and moving piece, Miss. Rhi.
Author's Response: ARI!! I responded to this AGES ago and then my computer froze. :( I was going to go back later, but I forgot! ANYWAY. I love you. This review made me feel so wonderful inside. Mhmmm. *hugs tightly* You're brilliant and so kind. The PoV switch bothers me, too... I need to fix that. ;) <3333 Rhi
Summary: Sirius has spent ten years of his life locked up for crimes he had not committed. Hopelessness and despair seemed to be the only way out for Black, who has to face his worst memories everyday. Azkaban would have destroyed Sirius if it hadn’t been for James. See what comes of a person who survives Azkaban, and finds a measure of peace along the way.
Hmm... A very ambiguous ending. ;) My standing on prologues is that they're so often unneeded, but rather serve as a barrier between the reader and the action of the story. Here, I think, this could have been worked into the first chapter and the reader would still be able to understand Sirius' emotions and opinions on Azkaban.
That doesn't, by any means, mean that I didn't enjoy reading this, though. Your writing is very good, as is SPaG, and everything seemed to have a good flow to it. The opening paragraph was especially descriptive, with your detail to Sirius' actions being included. There was one part that bugged me though:
Sirius couldn’t believe that 10 years of his life had slipped by.
I can't imagine describing ten years of imprisonment 'slipping' by, had I been wrongfully locked up. It just seems like a... more peaceful (or at least more happy) adjective, when what he's describing isn't happy.
But that's my only nitpick. :) I really enjoyed reading this passage, and you left the reader with just enough to make them read on (which I will be doing, and most likely leaving a better review :))
Author's Response: Thank you very much for the constructive review. I really appreciate it. I mentioned the ten years because I wanted to put the reader in a certain time frame, but I will consider changing the word "slip" into a more active verb. Thanks again!
Right off the bat: FanTASTic opening line, not to mention following lines. One stylistic thing I might suggest is that you combine the later two with a semicolon rather than period—the second sentence follows the former one so fluently that it reads kind of… stunted to have them separated.
Demonic shadows flickered and capered on the slick black walls of Azkaban; Cool drafts of the night air swept through the cell blocks, the briny taste of the sea hiding in the folds of the breeze.
Another grammar thing to pick:
but this time was different, was off.
The comma doesn't quite separate the last as substantially as it should. Maybe an en dash?
I think you get a kick out of writing ambiguous endings. :p Second time in a row I've found myself on the edge of my seat, wanting to know what's going to happen next. I really like the way you've kept up the dark tones throughout this, but haven't overdone them so that every line is another ''dreadful, awful, HORRIBLE!'' line. It allows for a lot more characterization to come through, which in itself is really quite lovely.
Shall continue on to the next chapter,
Author's Response: Thank you very much again for the constructive review. I really liked the semicolon suggestion. As for the other nitpick, I wasn't quite sure if you were suggesting a end dash (I think you were) and where exactly that should be. Other than that, I did get a lot of feedback from this review because sometimes I wonder if I make the tone too dark or not. I really appreciate this!
Summary: The last thing Draco expects to find when he escapes his parents’ party is another deserter. He also doesn’t expect her to be quite so sarcastic, arrogant, or — well — so much like him.
Holy camole! A Draco romance where Draco is in character. I honestly didn't think I would enjoy it at all, being a H/D fan, but I really did like this. (Yes, I'm saying I enjoy OOC Draco fics more than IC Draco fics. I know-- it's weird, but there you are.)
So, since I'm terrible at getting everything out in a comprehensible way, I'm going to form this review. Odd, I know, but... Yeah. :)
Grammar: Spotless SPaG, but you would expect that in the archives, of course. One thing that was a little off-putting, though, were your choice of words in some places. Like here:
.... Okay, so going back I can't find what I had initially thought was awkward. Not helpful, but there were just a few places where the flow was off a bit. Your style is a bit too... precise (punchy, not overly descriptive, short, to-the-point sentences) for my liking, but that's really a personal thing.
Speaking of description though, while your style doesn't allow for long, overly-descriptive scenery passages, it still had a very present image about it. I'm more prone to liking those overly-descriptive type stories, but I still really enjoyed this. The way you described the snow through dialog rather than long narrations was... refreshing. It was still very vivid in my mind, even though you didn't go into detail about it.
Canon: Like I first said, very, very, very good canon accuracy. The one thing that was a little overdone to me was how much you concentrated on the similarities between the two. I think you could have slipped the narrations in subtly and still given us the same knowledge of how Draco felt. Like here:
She looked particularly smug, and that annoyed me. I was the one who was supposed to be smirking and superior, not her.
His annoyance at her appearance lets us know how he's feeling without having to go into too much detail about it. It just feels like you're trying too hard to get the point across.
There was something in her face that looked familiar, but I figured it had to be a family resemblance.
Is subtle, and it made me smile, knowing what was coming. Little remarks like this are, in my very humble opinion, much better than plainly stating the facts.
The Pairing: Simply adorable. I love how things unfolded, and how the resistance was played on a lot. You say Astoria is an OC, but isn't she his canon wife? Either way, you've created Draco's perfect pair, and this story is a great look into his life after the war.
Overall, I really liked this. I know it doesn't sound like it from my review but when I really, really like something I tend to point out what I don't like without going over what I did. I could never turn away from my whiny, woe-is-me FFDraco, but I really like the way you've portrayed him in this.
At age fifteen, Regulus Black became sole heir to the largest fortune in Wizarding London. At sixteen, his abnormal intelligence won him entry into the most notorious cult of Dark wizards on earth. At seventeen he made a mistake – one that he would never be able to take back – and his entire world came crashing down.
Enter London, 1979. The story of a boy who managed to defy Voldemort at the height of his regime. But what price did he have to pay?
I began reading this a month ago. I read the first six chapters in two days, and for each chapter I'd stop, open Word, and try to find even one word that would amount to what the story deserves. Annnd I still haven't found that word, or even just a few to follow it. But if I wait another month I'll just tell myself I can read and enjoy without telling you how much I enjoy it and that wouldn't be very good of me. At least not good for my conscious.
The physics confuse the hell out of me. Not gonna' lie, I don't understand a word of it. I fail at basic math. Don't ask me to multiply anything over 12 in my head, I just can't. For someone who fails so utterly at anything so complicated to be able to follow the prose is just amazing. I don't understand it, especially not this last bit about time travel and immorality by way of quantum physics, but I still . . . follow. My confusion hasn't detracted at all from being able to enjoy the narrations. Not a word of it is able to peep through understanding but Regulus' thoughts, emotions, actions-- I get that he gets it, and somehow that's all right. Considering I get aggravated with reading if something as simple and common as point of view is unclear, that means a lot more than it sounds like.
While on the subject of clarity, and if only for the fact that after 50,000 words it might be the only thing I can say I disliked, the end of Principals of Opposition was slightly unclear. The exchanges were so fast and so . . . filled with unspoken sentiments that were likely clear to people who understand what the blazing hell they were talking about that I couldn't keep up with a word of it. Dumbledore's intentions weren't clear; the meeting wasn't clear. Regulus went to him to find out why he was helping him uncover how he hid the Order, but without much spoken to that, they just discussed the possibility of immorality. Why? I can understand why two people who are obviously bleeping ingenious would want to chatter about the possibilities, but it just felt like they had strayed; from the point and from the scene. Why would Regulus be so willing to storm into one of the most dangerous places and give up on what he came for, simply because Dumbledore confused him? And I don't see Dumbledore's motive either. And I know that this has gone from feedback to whining, and I'm sorry, but I got lost.
Stepping away from the whining, this has got to be one of the best stories I've read, online or otherwise. The character development is superb, in both Regulus and Sirius, and the others. The difference in relationship -- between Regulus and Sirius -- is so drastic from the first chapter to the latest, and yet it doesn't feel . . . contrived. Every moment that passed, every incident that parted them, they hold just as much weight now as they did then, and (other than aforementioned circumstances) I haven't questioned a single thing. The concept of siblings being enemies always feel so materialistic. I resent my sister for numerous things and am honestly just severely annoyed with her, but I still love her. There's enmity there, but it's not real. It's just what happens between siblings. To portray such a strong enmity between the brothers, to make it go past the materialism of 90% of the world's sibling rivalries, in both rl and literature, is just absolutely fascinating and brilliantly done. And I'm not even counting the obvious here (the war, their different sides).
I'm sure you've heard it at least a hundred times now, but Regulus' character is just . . . more than a character, less than a man. Realistic, yes, but I don't think there's been one seen in which I've viewed him as whole, and I don't even know if I'm talking character-wise or human-wise. There's just something missing about him, something that's not there, that can't be seen or touched or explained, and I want to know what it is. Every trial he's gone through so far is worrying at his sustenance and although you've clearly portrayed him as a strong, vigilant person, it just feels like whatever this X factor is, it's slipping. And that makes absolutely no sense, but that's how I see him, and I can't find another way to tell you how much I love his character, so there you are.
I love you for the scene at the Ministry. (True love, yo.) So many fics portray the actions of the Ministry as fair and kind, and that the Aurors gave the benefit of the doubt and didn't harm a hair on the Death Eaters heads, and just . . . nononono. I will say that it might not have been at the extreme you've shown it, but your picture of the Ministry is far more believable than the one above. For Moody to so offhandedly order to kill school-aged children was slightly shocking, and horribly believable in that "yay, it's realistic, but boo, I can't believe he's just gonna' off them" way.
Rambleramblerambleramble. Honestly, Maddy, I'm trying not to squee, but this story is so wonderful and capturing and engrossing and interesting and thirty-five more synonyms that it's hard to find something to say that doesn't pale in comparison to the story. I can't wait until the next chapter. And update your signature! It was only by sheer luck that I thought to browse the most recent stories and you couldn't even imagine how high out of my chair I jumped when I saw a new chapter for this was up. =D
‘It’s too late.’
Draco Malfoy had never really thought much of love. In his world, marriage was a necessity, something to continue the bloodline and secure his future. He hadn’t realised that there could be more.
Until Daphne Greengrass catches his eye, right in the midst of his relationship with her sister. Then Draco is thrown into turmoil, torn between the girl he loves and the girl his parents are making him marry.
‘It’s never too late.’
I am completely torn between letting Negative Nancy rule this review or Fanny the Fangirl (… I didn't just say that. Yeah, let's pretend I didn't. >.>). I just… Arghhh. Alright, they'll take their turns. Fanny first.
It's not the characterization of Draco that makes me drool is wonder, it's the… narrations. The actual emotions—not just they way they're portrayed—that astonishes me. There are so many moments in here that make me want to squee in fangirl-mode but also sniff in this-happens-all-too-often-in-reality. He comes across as a human being, not a character, and that happens all too seldom in fiction.
Whilst in prison, Draco had fervently hoped that something, anything would happen, and he could be a different person when he left.
This is just so true, and I love how you've phrased it and the following passages. These emotions—the regrets, the bitterness—they're all so consistent and… realistic. It's not overdone, which could have so easily happened when you combine post-war Draco and any kind of angsty plot, and it's not… under-done. Or, I guess, his emotions don't fluctuate so often that it slips into the realm of un-believability.
Also, and minor characters are so often unnoticed because they're… minor, but Oberon Greengrass was just so alive to me. Even though he had so few lines, the manner in which they were put across was very subtle, and yet they really let characterization come through. His 'barking laugh' and 'wild gestures' just made him really pop into view.
But now Nancy would like to share a few words…
The flow of the plot-line, at several places, felt very rushed and even sometimes repetitive. It read, at times, like you were so anxious to get to the big moment that you sort of let the rest of the story go wayward until you got there. It wasn't very present, but… it was there all the same.
The conversation between Draco and Daphnee at the party was what made me realize this. It felt forced amidst such wonderful previous writing.
For the first time, he wondered if he had chosen the wrong sister.
I just didn't… believe this. There wasn't anything significant enough in the conversation that would make me think that Draco would think this. It states, above it, that he was confused and didn't understand what she had meant by "No, it's not" so I don't understand why, all of the sudden, he questions his choice. (and Fanny screams "Just shut up and accept it—you wanted it to happen anyway!")
And speaking of which—Fanny has shoved her way back through—though that particular passage stuck out, the building of their relationship beyond it was very nicely written. From the first glare at the initial dinner you want Draco to stop looking at the pretty sister and notice the mean one: I mean, he's an arse and she's an arse—it just makes sense!
But… (Shut up Nancy!) the main problem I had with this was Daphnee's characterization. We meet her as cynical and uncaring (the diner, the party, etc.) but towards the middle and at the end, she becomes shy, nice, smiling… The change in personality happened too quickly. Also, you say she's the older sister but the party is Astoria's twenty-fifth birthday and in the ending scene, Daphnee says she's twenty-three…
Overall, no matter what Nancy says, I sincerely enjoyed this. Even the parts that felt rushed weren't too bothering because I, too, wanted to get it out of the way and get to the part where Draco could be happy. :-]
Author's Response: Ooh, what a wonderful review! Thank you so much, dear. I am so pleased that you liked it. I was trying to make it a very emotional, powerful fic - I wanted the emotions to be strongly portayed, and I'm glad you realised what I was trying to do. :) As for that scene in the middle, I have my doubts about it, too. I wasn't sure when I put it in there, but in the end I decided it was justified. With Draco wondering if he chose the wrong sister - I put that line in there solely to show that he's decided Daphne is clearly more interesting than her sister. Draco isn't the kind of person to go for nice, like Astoria. He wants slightly bitchy, confident Daphne. As for her character, I don't really believe she changes much at all. She is cynical and uncaring, yes, but she's also always a bit shy - hence why she doesn't talk much in the beginning. She's a bit of a bitch, too, and that doesn't go away throughout the fic - but she likes Draco, and so she's nice to him when she realises that she might have a chance. Wouldn't you be? ^_^ Thank you so much for the lovely review, dear.