I am a serious Harry Potter fan who, according to one friend, "needs rehab." I like canon-compliant stories and pairings, especially Romione, which is probably evident from my stories.
You will notice I don't use British spellings. I strive to accurately portray British culture in my fics and have my characters (and JK's) behaving in culturally appropriate ways. But spelling and punctuation are tools of the writer, and I'm an American writer. I would feel incredibly pretentious using British spellings.
Hugo Weasley waited for a Hogwarts letter that never came.
Whoa. No magic. Now I get what you meant about a depressing Romione. This is so interesting, Jess. I don't know anything about how Love Notes work in SPEW, so I don't know if this was some kind of prompt or what, but it's very well done and very sad. I felt choked up when Hugo was trying to read the letter aloud to them.... great stuff.Congrats on the 10000th fic, girl! (Even though I don't think this is it, is it?) Depressing or not, it's always a good day for me when Jess writes Romione.
Loriiiii! Long time, no see, lol.
Yeah, no magic. Pobrecito Hugo. :( But really, is it too much of a stretch that one of the Weasley cousins could be a Squib? Personally, in my head canon, it's Lucy (Percy's daughter), but I needed a Romione moment for LoveNotes (the prompt was a pairing and a list of words, of which I chose 'letter'). I think Ron's anger over what he thought was a cruel joke reflects on how often he was picked on for being poor in school, and Hermione was upset because she knew exactly what Hugo was missing. Ron could never fathom what it's like to have no magic, but Hermione lived years of her life oblivious to its existence, and it'd be damned near impossible to give up.
Anyway, thank youuuuu for the review, and I'm glad you could enjoy some Romione, albeit a depressing one.
I enjoyed this story very much. You mentioned in your notes a concern that some things may be underdeveloped, but I didn't get that feeling at all. We may have only got bits of information about each family member, but I think the characterization is still very good. Harry is described as thin, but not as much as he was before. Ron is anxious about the party. Charlie's trying to help. And George is leaning on Ginny (while making it look like it's the other way around). It all seems right. George in particular, was well done. He's working and functioning, but we can see he isn't good. Arhur mentions that George's intention to attend the party at all "is enough," and that made me wonder how he was really doing. I wanted more of him, but that's more to do with my own interest in the character than in anything to do with the writing.I noticed some of your reviews mention wanting more of Molly, particularly at the end of the piece. I am a huge fan of the character, so more is always better, and yet, I felt completely satisfied with the way you wrote her here. We see her doing her daily routine as best she can (the eggs), planning the party, serving breakfast, having a cry out, and finally, straightening herself and moving forward with the party. And then we see her through Arthur's eyes, enjoying her new grandchild so much that she's smiling and enjoying herself, and the message to the reader in that image is that she is okay. At least right now, with that baby in her arms, she is finding joy and healing, and I was quite satisfied with that being my last glimpse of her in this fic. Because the point is... she isn't the only one who is struggling. Arthur has been bearing it in silence, having not wanted the party at all, and at this point, I think the focus of the story moves to finding resolution for him. By way of constructive criticism, I do think the fic could do with a quick edit. There were some errors, one right up front that made me stumble... all easily fixed, I think. And there were a couple of things that struck me as a little odd. For example, why would Arthur have intended to hide Percy's letter from Molly? Things are presumably much better between him and the family and I can't imagine Molly would be anything but thrilled to meet the girl he's seeing. I did wonder about that. Also, why would Hermione be concerned about drinking Butterbeer before her finals? They drank it on Hogsmeade weekends, and I think the alcohol content is little to none. Again, just something that gave me pause. These are niggly little things, and they certainly didn't hamper my enjoyment of the fic. The real beauty in what you've created here is the portrayal of grief, in so many characters, but particularly in Molly and Arthur. Grief doesn't make a lot of sense, and people trying to move under its weight do contradictory things... like Molly planning the party, then having a cry over her second thoughts, and then buckling down to go on and have it. She likely didn't think it through before she planned it, but in the end, I think it was probably a big help to her. I have to wonder, though, in true pessimist fashion, if the quiet that settled in on her after everyone went back to where they'd come from was even more brutal than what she had known before. Grief really defies explanation, and I think you captured that beautifully in this glimpse of the family, particularly Molly.
This is a nice read. I like the idea of the DA getting together for a reunion of sorts. I have to confess, it's hard to imagine such good friends falling so seriously out of touch for such a long time (esp Neville with all of the others, when we know he was an auror), but still, we don't really know, do we? So it could have happened this way.Loved that it was Ginny who went after him and not Hannah. It was a nice, satisfying surprise, and the proposal at the end was very sweet. :) Good luck for the competition! ~Lori
Oh, Gina, this is so lovely! It's likely this sort of commemoration did happen among the staff, and I do think the whole scenario very believable. Your characterization is spot-on in every case. I love Minerva here, and even Abderforth, gruff but caring -- I like that description very much.The memory of Harry screaming at Dumbledore's portrait while Minerva looked on was just heartbreaking, but it does seem like the sort of thing Harry does when he is at his lowest. Really a beautiful piece you have here, friend. I fitting tribute... good luck with the competition!
Not sure I've ever left two reviews before, but wanted to comment on the other reviews now that I've read them. I understand the point that this may be very dark for Harry, and honestly, my head canon doesn't go this dark for him. But the truth is that we don't know. And it's impossible to think Harry would have gone through as much as he did, lost SO many people he loved, and not crash at some point. I think you have written this crash very well, and very believably.And it's not hopeless at all. There is much talk of his resiliance among the staff, and that is what will pull him through this. You can't be resiliant without first having some major, major setbacks (such as the "rock bottom" scenario here). So while this is a dark take on post-war Harry, I do think it believable. And I'm so glad you left it very hopeful, too. He will get up again, eventually, and be okay. Because it's Harry. :) Well done, Gina. (Sorry to leave two reviews. Well, I'm a little sorry. Hehe.)
This was a nice read. It's a good idea to find something to celebrate in such a dark time of rebuilding and recovery... I can't imagine how difficult it would have been for professors to gear up for a new term under those conditions.The analogy of the twins was effective, put me in mind of Fred and George... *sniff* Good luck with the competition! ~ Lori
Why does this fic have so few reviews? It's just wonderful!You can thank Julia and Carole for making this recommended reading for this week's discussion in the Romance class, and I will thank them as well. ;) You've really managed to capture a lot in very few words here... the assignment for Remus, the story of how they got together, the first time they said they loved one another, sex, and a completely domestic (and contrasting, to their situation) setting. Their characterization is so, so right. I really liked that Remus didn't end up telling her, but that he had intended to. It's another layer of the Remus angst that makes him such a wonderful character, and I do think its just what he would have done in this situation. As for Dora, she's strong and funny and yet vulnerable, too. I love when she admitted that she was scared before he told her how he felt. That's the kind of declaration that can come off being pretty cheesy or whiny, but it fit just perfectly on her. My favorite part--when her hair changed and grew at his touch. Romantic and sexy. Great stuff, Soraya!
Nominated for Best Poem in the 2013 Quicksilver Quill Awards
Beautiful, Minna. Really beautiful.
Author's Response: Aw, thanks. <3
This is so lovely, Carole. I thought I'd already reviewed, but I must have only mentioned it to you on ls. Tonight I was in the mood for Ron/Hermione and decided to read it again. Scratched my itch nicely.I like that he isn't thinking about the deaths, at first. That's what's so incredibly complicated about the Battle, and everything post-Hogwarts really, because they got what they wanted in that Voldy is dead and life is good. But it cost so much that that life is tainted for so very many. You handled that so well, allowing Ron to find the good memory and to remind her. Completely true that Molly will never completely heal and that many of them will slip and speak of Fred as if he is still there. Loved Hermione's explanation on that. You've captured a beautiful moment here, and I suspect I will reread this one many times, to scratch that itch of mine. Hehe. I noticed the dedication on this read... thanks so much! Oh, and this may be just a coincidence, but I admit to smiling when you described Ron's face as SHROUDed. Hahaha! ~ Lori
I really, really, really, really like this. Very nice touch including that change in Hermione's schedule that occurred while they were on the outs. Good way to emphasize that loss for Ron.Spot-on characterization, as usual. Enjoyed it!
"But instead he had snogged Lavender Brown and now he didn't know what day Hermione wrote to her parents."
(sigh) I love that line.
I already reviewed this so I have nothing more to add except that I was needing a Romione fix this evening and this fit the bill nicely. It holds up well on the second reading. Lovely.
Oh, I liked this very much. First, it's Charlie, who is adorable. I have to admit though, that sometimes fics set at the dragon reserve are a bit of a disappointment to me. Perhaps its because nearly everyone is an OC, or because lonliness is so often a player in Charlie's existence, but here, you've made it all very engaging.I was so sad in the first part, not only because he decides not to go home but because he doesnt' really know why. I kept waiting for you to reveal the true reason later in the fic, but then you didn't, and I think now that it was very wise. Sometimes we don't know why we do the things we do. Charlie loves his family, but all the activity and family and marriages and kids could be difficult to take for many reasons... anyway, nice choice to leave the the root of his decision a mystery. It added depth to the fic, and a nice dose of reality. Thanks for not leaving him in the uncertainty and the sadness. I liked Emma. She had a fiestiness about her that I think would appeal to a Weasley man (haha!), and the Quidditch connection worked well. Unlike Vicki, I thought the grope in the doorway was actually very believable, considering the holiday and conversation and the alcohol. They had connected, for sure, and I thought that bit worked. I feel dim not realizing she was an apprentice, but that was a nice surprise. While a relationship may be inappropriate, I rather think Charlie has some intention of pursuing her, given his thoughts about being glad he's not going home for the holiday. After all, they aren't in an office situation. They live and work on the reserve, so I wonder if there is more relationship potential than there might be in other work situtations? Great little Charlie fic... and let's face it, we all need more of those in our lives. ~ Lori
How did I miss this when it hit the archives? Hello, again. I love your story, again. Big shocker! Haha!Seriously, this is a lovely little snapshot of a wonderful missing moment. JKR could have just had Neville ask Ginny from the start, but I've always thought it such a complement to his character (and Hermione's, for that matter) that he asked Hermione first. I actually have head-canon that Neville had a very real crush on Hermione briefly leading up to this, but that is neither here nor there. As always, your characterization is so good, and just right tone for their ages, too. I think it's so hard to get that right, but you've captured the awkwardness that was there for both of them. Even that crease in her forehead... I could see Emma doing it, though I've never paid attention to it in the films. In fact, the writing was so vivid that I could picture the scene at every point--the boring lecture, the stumbling, the conversation in the hall. Really nice description without bogging down the dialogue with a ton of wordage. There's a strength in the style, too, that is very akin to the style of the books. Perhaps it's the humor or the way you've so firmly grounded the scene in the classroom, but it felt as if it could have been lifted straight from canon. I found this story on the review drive and hit it up first because I knew it would be good and it's NEVILLE, for crying out loud. But my review falls short because I have no crit to offer. I don't think this sweet missing moment could be improved upon by changing a single thing. Nice work. I enjoyed reading, as always. ~ Lori
He doesn’t say that this is his last winter. He doesn’t say that this could be her last winter. Instead he feels his heart swell with the bruising grip of her hand and the sound of Ron’s snoring in the tent.
This is utterly gorgeous, Julia. I love the trio friendship more than anything in the books, and this is a beautiful picture of all the facets of that between Harry and Hermione. (And Ron too, really)
Author's Response: Ah the case of the disappearing review ;)
What the heck? Where's the rest of my review???I especially love the part where Harry and Hermione in the cold, with the tea and the blanket and Ron snoring. You captured something special with Harry in that moment, the gratitude he feels, his concern that things are okay with Ron. I like that Hermione asked him what happened with the Horcrux. I don't think she would be able to let it go, not without trying to find out from one of them, and Harry is the best choice at that time. I think its so interesting that you had him choose Ron first (by keeping the secret), and then choose her over Ron (by telling her anyway). Ah, the problem with three. :) Your characterization is perfect, and particularly with Harry, as his emotions are hard to capture and hard to write sometimes. But this was so, so him. Beautiful, beautiful stuff, but then I wouldn't expect anything less from you.
Warning is due to mentions of CD.
Oh, I really enjoyed this! I love post-war George-centric fics when the characters and circumstances are handled as honestly as they were here. Well done.Molly is pitch perfect. The atmosphere in the house, even down to where everyone was situated in the room, was heavy and just so, so sad. Molly's defeat in deciding to let Teddy have some cake rather than wait any longer for George was painful to read but a perfect look into a real life moment. If a birthday cake is eaten before the guest of honor arrives, something has indeed gone very wrong. And Molly's line at the end of the first section describes her so well post-Fred. Her statement that she will not lose another son beautifully shows both the sorrrow and the fight in her, the battle between mourning and living that is such a hard thing in grieving. You continued to develop her character in the conversation between George and Angelina. We see the mistake she made at Christmas and what George thinks about it, and then, finally, Angelina's pronouncement that Molly would probably wait for him forever. Very true. Beautiful portrayal of Molly in this fic, especially considering she was only present in the beginning. My only question in that first section had to do with POV. To be in both Bill's and Molly's heads in such a short section was a little confusing for me. I loved Bill's thoughts, but I think this section might have been stronger if you'd kept only to Molly's POV. Just a suggestion. Another reviewer mentioned your "nothing-but-brave daughter" line as problematic, but I actually thought it was good and provided an accurate look at how Molly would have seen Ginny during that time. Just goes to show how subjective every reader's experience is. The George/Angelina relationship here was lovely. I liked that you wrote Angelina getting choked up when realizing he'd read each and every letter but chosen not to respond. A girl could take it as a compliment that he knew the exact number, but she had so desperately needed to hear from him that this news was upsetting. Really nice character development there. At the same time, I completely believed that he was just not able to respond. Grief often defies explanation and sense, and this section really showed that for George. And yet, his humor is still there. The conversation at times was gut-wrenching, and yet you ended with a smile. Poor George and his failure to look surprised! Loved this, and the glimpse back at his school antics with Fred. In terms of formatting, you might take a look at paragraph breaks. I sometimes noticed a new character's action appearing without a new paragraph. This fic is so well done in every other way that one good edit would (in my opinion) result in a QSQ-quality story. "The sun had been so bright that day she'd had to squint through the duration of the funeral. She remembered the surrealness of it all vividly. A war hero, Fred had been called. And Angelina had realized, with a heart-jolting shock, that it was true." Those lines were my very favorite, closely followed by the section explaining how George could much more easily find his brother back at The Burrow, in the faces of all his immediate family members. A beautiful insight, and a beatiful story. Lovely writing. ~Lori
Loving it. You've caught the language so perfectly, Natalie, and it really adds that extra layer of authenticity. These people have too much money and too much time on their hands. Can't wait to see what they get up to next.
Author's Response: YAY! I will be posting the third chapter soon! :)
Oooh.... this is delicious! I love when you write Slytherins! You've got a great set-up here, and I can't wait to see what's coming next. Great writing, great characterization... no suprises in that area. It was lovely to see your name pop up in the most recents, Natalie. I'm in for the ride!I was relieved to see it wasn't our Harry with McLaggen, but I should have known. I kept thinking, there's something strange because this isn't Harry, and Natalie knows it! Haha! Trickery!
What a treat! I was trolling around, looking for a fic upon which to bestow my final SPEW review (ha!), and found this in the QSQ Humor nomination thread. I love your fics, and when I saw it involved a Romione wedding, well, that settled that.I've been grinning like an idiot since the moment George opened the cupboard! I love a humor story that is real life silliness and fun, and with a family that big at a party with that much alcohol and magic (poor Muriel) going on... this is a completely believable scenario! Your pacing with the entrances of the characters and your comedic timing is just so well done. I could quote lines, but I'd just be copying the whole piece into this small space. I did crack up at how pissed George was to be mistaken for Ron, and the unfortunate revenge he was bringing down on Percy's room. Hehe. Harry's reaction to The Moan was also hilarious. But the real strength here is your fabulous characterization of the Weasleys. It's their personalities that make this all so funny anyway, and the idea of being stuck in the small space and the resulting tension and embarrassment of it all. The end was perfect. Glad you didn't have them trying to explain too much. Ron's feeble attempt followed by the desperate escape out the door was a fabulous end to an entertaining ride. I will have to check out your author page in case you have more Weasley fun I've not had the pleasure of reading. Good luck with the nomination. I've no idea what you're up against, but this would certainly be a worthy winner. Take care! ~Lori
I almost never review poetry because I don't know enough about the art of writing it to say much that is useful. I clicked on this because I have become a fan of your drabbles, and your summary drew me in. I like it a lot. The last stanza really defines the Dursley we know in canon, but it is a sadder picture you draw here... that the height of his goals, everything he is reaching for, is really rather shallow and must be protected lest his past (completely respectable) be exposed. You made a me feel a bit sorry for him, and that is saying something.Nice poem.