I'm 19 and a college student, which means that my writing tends to be produced very sporadically. I discovered fanfiction a few years ago, and have found it to be a wonderful place to grow as a writer. I'm a member of SPEW (Society for the Promotion of proper Evaluations for Writers, by readers), which provides all kinds of writing related (and non-writing related) support.
Summary: The next time you see me, I'll turn away.
Two people meet unxepectedly one night, and find warmth where they never knew they would. They are only almost strangers, after all.
Ooh! I’m always interested by Petunia stories, and Petunia and James together is a great combination. It’s made even more interesting because they’re interacting without the mediation of Lily; usually when we see them together, Lily’s there, which definitely creates an interesting dynamic. I really like your reading, which seems to imply that Petunia’s animosity towards James is more related to Lily than it is to James – when Lily’s not around, she’s almost friendly.
I really like what you did, defining Petunia by her jealousy of Lily – it really does seem to be one of the driving forces of her life, which is terribly, terribly sad. Interesting how she snatches the chance to try out her sister’s life, talking with and even kissing her boyfriend. James’ perspective on how she tasted different than Lily was fascinating – I’d have liked to hear what she thought about kissing James, though. What was it like to test out what Lily has, what she’s always wanted? I’d also be curious to know what drove James to the bar – what happened in his horrible day? Was it merely a lover’s spat, or does it have more to do with the conflict in the wizarding world, and how much he’s worried about his family?
One small quibble: when Petunia leaves for the lavatory, James seems fine, and when she comes back, he’s suddenly very drunk. A minor detail, but it distracted me from the flow of the story a bit.
I love the way the story ends, with Petunia walking away sure that James won’t even remember what happened. It says a lot about Petunia’s character, I think, that she sees this as sort of a stolen moment, something not real for anyone except for her. She’s clearly so lonely, and she wants what Lily has so badly; at the same time, she’s absolutely convinced that she’s never going to get it. She can’t believe that James would remember this encounter, because she can’t believe that it happened, that she had even so much as a taste of Lily’s happiness. Or perhaps she can’t quite believe that Lily and James would have problems enough that it would result in James winding up in a bar – in her eyes, Lily’s life is perfect and hers is lacking. Petunia had fallen silent and was gazing almost wistfully at James. “You had the perfect story,” she murmured. *sniff* Great job.
Summary: Callie and Lia, a Gryffindor and a Slytherin. A lady and a tomboy. Two opposite souls. Two sisters. Separated at birth by circumstances they are determined to discover... and undo. Yes, after being reunited, the siblings plan to reunite their parents as well. Let’s see them accomplish House Unity, too!
“It’s our rule not to dredge up past things, remember?”This rule is about to be broken.
~Inspired by a worldwide beloved film.
Interesting beginning. I was looking for some light reading and this works perfectly – you’ve made me want to watch the movie again, something I haven’t done in years. Good characterizations, and it looks like it’s going to be a fun story. You’ve set up the plot well – obviously the two families haven’t run into each other at all, since the Malfoys live in France (though I’m inclined to wonder if Hermione wouldn’t have been one more likely to move out of the country).
A few quibbles: “And I thought your return from that book-signing unscathed was enough to cover any damages you might have done by sneaking.” Sneaking where? Away? Out? To London with Aunt Pansy? I found it a little strange that she’s reading Lord of the Flies – why a Muggle book, when her family is clearly so traditional?
I really enjoy the companionship between Callie and her father – they clearly care so much about each other, a great start for a story that’s going to center on family. You make their affection clear, both by telling us through her father’s thoughts, but also through their interactions. Their shared promise to leave past things in the past. The fact that Callie parrots him, bringing up all his old stories to convince him to do what she wants. The very fact that Callie wants to go to Hogwarts, because it’s where he went. This is what families do, and you show it very well.
Interesting that you wait till the very end to reveal his identity as Draco – also, rather clever. I’m not a huge Draco fan and tend to avoid stories about him, but you’ve subtly lured me in and given a nice characterization of Draco (though, I admit, not the one I get from the books), as someone I can see as a legitmate father figure. Very nice! And the reference to Hermione was subtle as well – again, it’s not a ship I usually read but I’m interested to see where you go with it.
Author's Response: Oh Nan, first of all, thank you so much for this lovely SPEW review. It made me cough out some coffee; I was delighted that much. Thank you! I\'m honoured you pick my story for your light reading. I\'ll eagerly await your comments again when I update. *sheepish grin emoticon inserted here*
You\'ve raised points that will help me shape my story more. I\'ve watched the movie an additional ten times since I\'ve started this fic. Hermione--I don\'t think she\'ll move away from friends and family with her child. She\'ll want their support and her child becoming close to them from infancy, don\'t you agree?Sneaking, yes, Aunt Pansy was too much in a hurry to let Draco know that she was taking Callie. Although, of course, Callie had worked her charms on her Aunt Pansy beforehand to take her to that book-signing. I\'m glad you raised a question about TLTF; it shows Draco\'s not too much of a snob as before and has opened his arms and mind to things Muggle.
Aww, you know, I wrote this chapter in one sitting, it just came out naturally and I enjoyed portraying Draco\'s apparent besotted-ness to Callie!I\'m so glad I lured you in instead of turning you off. I just... I believe Draco has room for redemption. My other Dramione fic has him sarcastic and biting but a long way off from the rude arrogant prat we\'re used to. ^-^
Thanks to your encouragement, Nan, I\'ll do my best to deliver.
Once again, great job of showing familial affection. The repetition of each other’s words (“don’t ‘Mo-o-o-om’ me. What have I told you about whining? It isn’t becoming.” “Don’t ‘Thalia’ me. It isn’t becoming.”) – great touch.
Little thing, but I love that Hermione is making her daughter get up early a month before Hogwarts starts, in preparation. So Hermione-like!
Nitpick: But no, it couldn’t be, because Thalia’s pair was across the channel. The use of the word ‘pair’ here felt a little strange – would twin work better? As for one bigger critique, I think the constant reminiscing about Draco was a little overdone – why should she think about him so much now, as opposed to over the last eleven years. Of course, seeing her other daughter would have been a trigger – I would have liked to see Hermione wonder where Callie is and if she will be going to Hogwarts.
It’s very interesting to compare the two families, the obvious propriety and neatness of Draco’s, the more laid-back spur of the moment of Hermione’s. Even more interesting was the way the two families talked about houses. Of course Draco had filled his daughter with ideas of Gryffindor-vanquishing and Slytherin pride, and of course Hermione’s daughter is more tolerant, prepared for the idea of being a Slytherin. Very in-character, with some nice juxtapositions – I wonder which girl will end up being in which house?
I like that both chapters are from the perspective of the parents – that’s a nice touch. I imagine we’ll get plenty of the girls’ perspectives once they’re in Hogwarts, so it’s nice to start out with Hermione and Draco’s POVs, almost as a prologue. Nice job – I’d like to read more!
Author's Response: Once again, and in one day (!), you inspired me, Nan, thank you again for this lovely review!
The sentence before the sentence you nitpicked said, \'They looked quite a pair.\' So I thought I\'d repeat it. *whispers* I\'m restraining myself from saying the word \'twin\' for now. ^_^ And yes, valid observation about Hermione. I promise to do this later. I just think she tries not to think about her other daughter. That will be a little painful.Oh, Nan! You see them all, don\'t you? Yes, I thought it funny to reverse them: you\'d expect Hermione\'s daughter to be the prim-and-proper one, right, but I\'m having fun, hehe. Of course, it fits with the appearance-conscious Malfoys, too, no? Draco was just too spoiled, and probably thought it needless to show propriety and grace to Potter and co. and his own inferior cronies.
And, again, yes, oui, I started with the parents\' POV. I thought it was a nice bait and dangle...Thanks, Nan! I\'ll update soon!