This is a really interesting premise that you have explored in the story here. Harry’s personality traits were really brought out well, and I enjoyed the insurance agent job that Harry did in the latter half of the story - it really shows that he cares. The first half captures the scene of crime rather realistically, and you seem to have worked on the technical aspects quite a bit - something I appreciated a lot. Tracking Potions are an innovative idea, for sure.
Mr. Logan’s chat with Harry was the point in the story that I could connect to most, to be honest. Very realistic in its detail as well as the dialogue; the reactions of a devastated man and an Auror constantly fighting a mental conflict on whether the true reason for the tragedy should be made known have been done so well.
I feel that we could have gained a little more insight into Mr. Logan’s character, however. We see him in a state of shock, and then all of a sudden, in the next scene, he acts as though nothing has happened(at least, we don’t see anything to suggest otherwise). I feel that a little more of his emotions and reactions to the tragedy that befell his family would be more appropriate.
Harry, on the other hand, you’ve done a really good job with. I feel that Harry, after having been denied the truth about his parents’ deaths, was right in letting Mr. Logan the truth. It just seems so... Harry to me. I can connect to his dilemma, and was glad indeed that he delved into the issue without taking the easy way out and just lying. Also, Harry’s clear lack of comfort around Mr. Dobes, and his dislike for Apparation are things which struck a chord. I rarely find a very good characterisation of Harry in fan fiction, and feel I must commend you on the work that you’ve done here.
The flow seems to abruptly alter in the story, though. At first, it’s very fast-paced, with the action taking precedence over details, and then, during the chat that Harry and Mr. Logan had, there seems to be a lot more focus on the minutiae, and towards the end, the tone and pace are completely light-hearted and not at all like the previous two scenes. Since it is a one-shot we’re talking about, the changes in pace in the span of a few paragraphs were something that threw me out of my depth. I feel that a little more work on the change in pace and scene would have worked much better in the story.
I also noticed quite a few errors with respect to capitalisation and correct usage of canon terms - Muggle, Legilimency, Lumos, Apparation, just to name a few. I definitely feel that the story would be a much better piece if these grammatical errors didn’t take away from the story, and recommend that you maybe have this story looked at by a beta from the helpful Beta Forums of the site.
Author's Response: Thanks for such an in-depth review. It's rare and appreciated. I agree with your comments about the flow of the story. It does shift, rather quickly in some places I know. I've since had this story beta'd and my beta reader mentioned similar issues as well and even gave some suggestions to fix them. But I had some difficulty deciding how I would go about changing things and I've moved on to focus on other projects as well. As for the shift in tone in the last scene, it's a direct result of Mr. Logan's memory being wiped by Harry. If you look carefully at the end of the scene before this, you'll see that Harry uses the Obliviate spell on Mr. Logan because it is the only way to maintain the statute of secrecy. The grammar errors are cleaned up in the copy that my beta reader went through, but I have yet to upload that one to this site. I may do that soon. Thanks for reading and taking the time to review.
Hello, Ebil One! =D
This was definitely... an unusual fic on so many levels. It's humourous, and had me guessing till the very end. I had multiple scenarios in my head - Ron/Hermione, which I dismissed immediately from my mind, Ron/Draco, and Ron/OC, - none of which involved Luna Lovegood. I've never read a Ron/Luna fic before, actually. It's rare enough to see Luna in fanfiction, and rarer to see her in something even remotely resembling a romantic scenario! So yes, I was so surprised when the 'Secret Admirer' was revealed.
I liked the way the story developed, first with Draco's jealousy and misinterpretation, and then Ron's misunderstanding, and finally, Draco and Ron openly fighting it out over something which is a result of a gross misunderstanding as well. I only realised the reason it was a Humour genre fic then; that was humourous at a meta level and it appealed to me greatly.
The climax was definitely Harry/Pansy making its way into the picture. It amused me no end when I saw the brawl and its after effects, and I liked how you chose to simply end it there.
I must also commend you on the characterisation - Draco's ever dry commentry was replicated to a tee, although the brawl - in the Great Hall, too - seemed a little ridiculous and out of character. I mean, I see Draco as a kind of guy who would get into fights/take revenge when the teachers cannot see him doing the deed, not as one who would wear his heart on his sleeve and fight in the middle of the Great Hall.
Luna's letter was so Luna-esque, too. To-the-point and straight-forward. Oh, I love that girl for her nature. I did find the gift-giving a little strange, but 'strange' is Luna's middle name.
I did feel, however, that the story could have been made to flow a little better, instead of the shifting of scenes and point of views so abruptly. It jarred a little at points, and lacked that polishing which could have made this fic a really great one. I enjoyed it for the humour and the meta connection, though.
Author's Response: LOL Yes, Draco was a bit OOC, but I was definitely going for a crack!fic type of humor story. Thanks for the lovely review. I don't usually write stories with so many alternating POVs but I just went with it and this ws the result. Glad you enjoyed it. =]
But the worst has come. The worst is here. You know you aren’t ready. You aren’t even close to ready.
The Character Death tag is just implied, not actually during the fic.
Disclaimer: I. Do. Not. Own. Harry. Potter.
This insight into Rufus Scrimegour's mind just before his death is kind of chilling and very realistic. The choice of title makes so much more sense after reading the story, and the duality implied in the title was something that really impressed me. The shattered universe that is being talked of refers to the wizarding world as well as his life, and in the story, you've explored both through his fleeting thoughts before death, which makes it very apt.
I also loved the way the first line set the tone for the entire story so well. You spent your entire life preparing for the worst. Clipped, short, to-the-point, and delivered in a no-nonsense tone without any room for much thought. It's what the story was, too. Dying moments don't give time for eloquent pondering and remniscence, and this story capitalised on that fact with the narrative being short. It made it seem much more real, you know.
Throughout the story, again, I found that the repetitiveness that you maintained was something that definitely added to the quality of the story. I loved how you ended each paragraph on a similar note, while still marking the progress of the story each time: from confidence in the beginning to the first traces of fear, and then, to reconciliation of facts and finally, to hope. The open-ended last lines, with emphasis on 'maybe', shows that Scrimegour too is human, with his own share of fear. Just, I liked your narration a lot. Each sentence added to the story, and there wasn't even a single stray line which struck me as being out of context or tone.
The choice of second person, however, I question. I wonder if the choice of first person would've been a wiser decision here, as the referenece is, mainly, to Scrimegour and it is very evident throughout the story. I also found that the second person view took more away from the story than add to it, in the sense that it was harder for me to connect much with the main character in question. Second person isn't something which, in my humble opinion, works well for stories which are clearly demarcating the character in question; somehow, in the stories I've read thus far, I've found it much more applicable in stories where it's much more easier for the reader to fit in the character of his/her choice into the story, as it is left open-ended for his/her decision.
The characterisation of Scrimegour is focussed upon as well, with the style of writing itself giving an insight to the gruff man that he was in canon. I found, however, that you've also emphasised on his early years, and that was a nice addition. He came across as a man who was caught between the realms of idealism and realism: he prepared for the worst all his life and thought he was ready, and when, when it hit him in the face, he realises his folly and how really unprepared he is. I think that's true in all cases, actually. Death isn't something any one is prepared to face, however hard they might try to be stoic and brave. The traces of panic really illustrate that well in the story here.
Overall, good work!
Author's Response: Hello, First of all, I must say: Thank you very much for the long, helpful, and insightful reveiw! And thanks for all that praise. I love praise. It makes me all warm and fuzzy. :D I'm really glad you enjoyed my story. Now, your concerns: Second person vs. first person: I do not do very well when I try to write in first person. (I do very poorly, in fact) I think that this story would have worked great that way, but it popped into my head in second person, and I probably would have mutaliated it if I tried to change that. I do not think that I could have conveyed the same mood as I did were I to write it in first person, because, for me at least, a lot of the mood in this story stems from it being second person. It might have worked well in third person also; but I, again, would have mutaliated it in the transition. I am largely happy with how this story turned out, though, and do not think I would change it to first or third if I thought I could do so well. And, again: Thank you so much for the reveiw! (and for muddling through it even though you don't like second person) :D I am so glad you enjoyed the story. (I LOVE it when people enjoy what I write) :)
This is such a heart-wrenching piece to read through; a small description of his day is more than enough to really pity his condition at Grimmauld Place. I particularly liked the beginning where you allude to his days at Azkaban. The talk of the different shrieks that he's accustomed to, and the wretched life that he lived there are put into words in a remarkably believable manner.
Sirius also knows there are good screams, but he can’t remember what they are like – they seem like a life time ago, when the sun still shined.
This line sums up his life post Pettigrew's faked death, I think. I can't imagine how awful it is to first stay at Azkaban, then find yourself cooped up in a place that's as worse as that and which has bitter memories associated. "While the sun shined" - that phrase says so much to me - in the physical as well as an emotional realm, it holds so true.
The constant contrast between noise and silence was another thing that really appealed to me in the fic. I enjoyed that you made it a fundamental basis and talked of his emotions through the interplay of noise and silence. The screams of his mother, the screams that haunted him in Azkaban so starkly contrast with the silence and quiet he's living in when at Grimmauld Place(sans the occasional shrieks of his mother, obviously).
The feeling of being trapped - both at Grimmauld Place and at Azkaban - is something that this story has a strong undercurrent of, and I like it for that. The feelings that you express in words aren't direct, on-your-face emotional, but I felt that this style of subtle and strong was a major plus point.
The characterisation of Sirius was amazing - he's written in accordance with canon and believably. The dry tone with its dark humour and sarcasm makes me sympathetic towards Sirius and the lack of life that's there in him.
I was, however, irked by the 'i's in the introduction. I felt the effect would be the same whether capitalised or not, and it didn't really make sense to me as to why you wrote it in small letters.
The ending, with the reference to the metronome was fantastic - it really signified what he was feeling so perfectly. Sat in the quiet room, with the unwavering throb of the metronome is as far from the screams of Azkaban as humanely possible, but Sirius finds that he can understand it just as well. I think this was my favourite line in the entire story - well, this or the last conversation between Remus and Sirius which just about managed to make me shed a tear or two.
This was brilliant!! I'm going to check your author page for any other stories, because I sure love your style of writing.
Author's Response: Wowww, thankyou for the awesome review! I'm glad you enjoyed it :) The metronome was just an idea that I put in on a whim when I was writing it, so I'm glad that you think it works!