I am a recent member of the Harry Potter fandom, but I have always had a passion for the written word, and I hope to fulfill it here. I live in a relatively boring corner of Idaho, and I like Kokanee and a good book!
So, I suppose you're wondering what's up with my username. Even if you're not, this is how that happened. No, I was not aspiring to be a Gryffindor. I can't think of any house to which I would belong less than Gryffindor, in fact. It was a moment of clarity that I got while I was battling with myself about whether I should want to be Sorted into Gryffindor to be like Harry or to be Sorted elsewhere and follow my own path. I thought it to be much like the contemplative scene in Hamlet when he weighed taking his own life. I'm not trying to be melodramatic. That's simply is what popped into my head when I was trying to sign up to leave a review. :D
Any questions or comments about my work? Please shoot me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org — I'd love to hear from you!
Ooh, my first Femmeslash!
This story is passionate, feisty, raw, and heartbreaking all at once. Poor Amelia for having to live her life alone, and poor Bellatrix for having to kill the one she really wanted to be with.
This doesn't feel like normal slash at all; it gives me the 'this really could have happened' feeling, which is a super, mega bonus.
Very nice, and I'm glad to see you beat this one into submission, considering the amount of angst it caused you, lol.
Until we meet again!
One part of those old letters are the only reminder of Parvati's first love; a love never openly admitted to, and a love never requited.
This is Karaley Dargen of Gryffindor writing for the Great Hall February Month of Love Challenge, First Love Prompt
The way you did this story with letters, notes, and a diary entry is so unique. It tells a story in a roundabout way, not just 'this is what happened.' I can soooooo see Parvati crushing on Harry and never say anything, because he is, after all, 'The Boy Who Lived.' That makes him sort of untouchable, not to mention her parents would probably not like her dating someone who had the darkest wizard of all time trying to kill him.
All in all, very nice. :) Good luck with the challenge.
Nominated for a 2010 QSQ Award!
*crossing fingers, hoping this thing will let me review*
Aw, Jules, it was gorgeous. The way you manipulate the words, make them more than the sum of their syllables, is truly amazing. The language supersedes mere characters on a page, each word blending together so soulfully, glued together with an extra helping of amazing that seems to flow from you when you write poetry. Every line of this poem makes me remember that part. I will admit, I DID see the movie before I read the book, but I will also admit that I CRIED IN PUBLIC.
You, dear, have given me a tear or two on this day, a little bit of heartbreak, and an overall sense of awe. So much happened around Harry as he knelt at Dumbledore's side, so much that he missed. You brought it to life, you gave it tangibility outside of what we 'know' happened.
I really love how your use of iambic pentameter allows it to roll of the tongue with ease. There just isn't anything in it that is sloppy or difficult to handle. The repetition really helps to tie it in so well, bringing the reader (that's me!) back to Harry, but each foray into the background from Harry and Dumbledore's body brings a new, powerful emotion to the surface. I have no idea if you do that intentionally (I'm guessing you do), or whether it's just something that comes naturally, but I am so glad that I can type this out, since I seriously can't talk right now.
Absolutely stunning. It's absolutely stunning, and the moment the nomination threads for QSQs go up, this bad boy is going on there.
PS-Please excuse my rambliness. You do that to me sometimes with your awesomeness.
Author's Response: Oh, Jess! Thanks for the read and lovely review! I always like hearing what you think. Is it mean that I'm quite proud of giving you a tear? That's made grin like a complete lunatic! Oh well. Anyway, thank you so much for the glowing review and hope for a possible QSQ nomination :p You're awesome as well! Julia XD
Rut roh… Jess is paying a visit to Hannah now. [cue doom music] Hide the cheese and the Cherry Coke!
I really like how this starts out. Dean is not unlike how I portray Harry after the battle. It’s over, he knows it’s over, yet there is almost a sense of loss, because now, he doesn’t know what to do with himself. I imagine that it’s the same for those coming back from war overseas; the soldier comes back from his tour of duty, but now that he’s left behind the only reality that he’s known for months – maybe even years – he’s not entirely sure what to do with himself. From the opening couple paragraphs, you’re already deep inside his head, and I know right away that this piece will pack a lot of meaning into 2200+ words.
Even though Dean had his ‘other world’ as they referred to it, and even though his Mum and her new husband had had children of their own, he had always felt like a Thomas. But he didn’t anymore.
He was completely alone.
This part tells so much in so few words. It’s like Dean realises that, now that he had been through one of the most gruesome wizarding wars in history, he didn’t feel like he could fit into a Muggle environment anymore. He had been forcibly detached from everything that he loved and knew as a child, and now that he has that chance to go back, he can’t do it. It isn’t his world anymore, no matter how much he wants it to be. This is also another mark of a battle-hardened soldier – difficulty acclimating to a civilian environment after the trauma of war.
Dean’s ‘almost’ relationship with Luna at Shell Cottage is definitely something that makes one think, to want to see between the lines. JKR said herself that many things happened between the pages of Deathly Hallows, and to me, one of the most fascinating has been the Dean/Luna interaction. I can see how, after spending time with cantankerous Goblins, being chased by Snatcher squads, and eventually being imprisoned in the cellar of Malfoy Manor, when he was finally free of that, he would come to crave the almost childlike spirit of Luna. Her personality makes her so unflappable in the face of everything horrible that she must feel like an oasis to him – the eye of the hurricane, so to speak.
I thought it was interesting how the phone sat there, almost mocking him, challenging him to do what he probably should have done the day after the Battle. The fact that he actually dialled the numbers seemed to me like he was acknowledging the need for a new order to things, a sense of normalcy. But when he hung up, I think my heart broke a little bit. He’s so broken and lost and alone, it’s almost like he doesn’t know how to be any other way, or worse – how to get out of it.
It’s interesting how his righteous anger starts to turn into hate. He hates Voldemort, that’s a given (many do), but it seemed like he hated himself and the life that he should have had that he would never get back. His coming of age should have been a joyous occasion, one worthy of celebration, but instead, he had been running for his life. The bitterness that’s taking over him is really starting to show now.
Okay, I like Neville. I really do. But I really wanted him to NOT be there when Dean showed up at the Lovegood’s home. It just seemed so damned unfair that he needed that time with Luna and someone else was there to take that from him, just like everything else was taken from him. His feelings of near betrayal that she wasn’t as sad and miserable as he was… it was heart-wrenching. When Luna said what she said, that Dean was ‘kind’ to her, it made me want to pull her hair. I know, that’s not very sporting of me, but knowing what I know of Dean’s emotional state, it just seems plain cruel that his last comfort in the world had been stolen by the ‘f’ word (She didn’t say it exactly, but ‘friend’ is one on the largest relationship killers known to man).
The way you wrote Neville during this was great. Though he is the heroic, Horcrux-killing, newly confident, Voldemort-spiting man that had once been the trembling boy on the Sorting stool, he still has that air of uncertainty about him. He really wanted to make sure that he wasn’t crossing any lines or overstepping any boundaries, especially when it came to someone that he had essentially lived with for 6 years and the girl come woman that he obviously cared about.
“But he wasn’t there for all of it.”
Oh, stab! Seriously, if Dean had vomited on the spot, I wouldn’t have blamed him one bit. I can just picture him, screaming in his mind that no one had been through what he had, either, but that didn’t mean that he didn’t need her. He felt betrayed, even more alone than ever, and that soooo sucked for him. You’ve really carved out a well of sympathy in me for Dean’s plight. This makes me want to write a story about him, just so I can resolve some of these feelings that he, as well as myself, is having.
When he ran from her and Neville, I knew it would not end well. He couldn’t have thought that she wouldn’t come after him, considering the fact that both of them had been startled by someone who could have been an intruder, not to mention that she would go after him anyway once she knew who it was. She did care for him, after all, even if she was in love with Neville.
And as Jenny said in her review, the small detail of the wands being brandished at the sound of a disturbance, purely by instinct, was awesome. Nobody could live the lives that they had in the past year and not be at least a little jumpy; it was a nice touch, which also added an entire new dimension to the characterisation of Neville and Luna with three simple words.
Their confrontation is so awkward, since Dean’s head is obviously spinning from the dissolution of his illusions. It felt like he had held out one last hope that she would pull him out of his self-pitying rut, but Neville had dashed that away and Luna didn’t seem to do anything to stop it. To me, he felt betrayed and completely alone, more now than ever, even to the point when he wasn’t sure if he even wanted to talk to her. I just want to hug him. :-
Then his outrage started. He was angry and hurt at her implication – or at least that was what he thought it was – that her and Neville’s struggles at Hogwarts were worse or more valid than his own. That rush of bitterness and hate inside of him was so strong, and I think he fought it as much as he could, but I feel like he was almost watching someone else try to hit Luna. It was like that monster that had been dwelling inside of him roared to attention when he felt like she had left him behind. The possessiveness is, indeed, indicative of early childhood abuse, but that’s still no excuse. I do, however, understand why he felt that way, even if I by no means condone it.
Oh, thank you, Neville! I knew that there was a reason why I like you so much. I had rather hoped that this form of Neville would never have to make an appearance again, the one that would protect his own at all costs, but it was nice to see that he kept Dean from making one of the worst mistakes of his life.
I could see the wheels turning in Dean’s head as he processed what had just happened, as well as what had almost happened. The inner turmoil was so clear and defined, and the way you built it was phenomenal. He knew that he needed help; he knew that he couldn’t deal with everything alone. It only made sense that he sought Harry’s help. Harry had, after all, essentially saved the whole world – why shouldn’t he be able to save Dean from himself.
For a moment, I had almost forgotten that Dean and Ginny had been an item, so I was confused for a second when Harry looked so annoyed. Once my brain kicked back into thinking gear, I felt a bit of warmth toward Ginny that I usually don’t have (and as you probably well know, lol). Despite the rather awkward ending of Dean/Ginny, I was happy to see her take him into her realm of calm when he needed it the most. I also didn’t see Harry saying ‘no’ to someone with whom he had lived for so long as a friend and someone who had always stood by him, even when the wizarding world didn’t think very highly of Harry Potter.
At this point, I’m really proud of Dean, realising that he had made a mistake and that he needed help. Even more so, though, I’m just glad that he went to someone who could understand what he’d been through and what it was like to run in fear of one’s life from crazy pure-blood, Mudblood-hating maniacs.
It was fitting that Dean didn’t share what had happened at Luna’s house. There would almost certainly have been reprobation from Harry, Ginny, or both. Instead, he finally started to understand that the solution to his problems, his first step to recovery, had been on the other side of that telephone, which had mocked him at the time, yet it beckons to him now.
That he stayed for dinner with the Weasleys was a step in the right direction. He understands that he really isn’t alone, and there are those who went on with their lives, despite all that had happened. Voldemort had stolen so much from them all, so it doesn’t seem right that he could, from death, steal their happiness and sense of peace. That’s just plain unfair.
The fact that you ended this with a ray of hope for Dean did my heart a lot of good. After everything that had happened, both during the War and just moments before with Luna, it just didn’t sit right that he could be so destitute when others seemed to be getting on with things. Thank you for that. : -D
All in all, I really enjoyed reading this. I really hadn’t meant for this review to be so long, but I started jotting down notes and such, and it just sort of came out this way. I really appreciate the amount of characterisation you added to Dean. It just seems so real and so powerful, like it really happened this way. Very seldom to Post-Hogwarts angst stories ring true for me, but you made me believe in this one with your first three paragraphs.
Dean is such a fascinating character, and this new dimension, the one of not being perfect, of almost doing something reprehensible, makes him more human than ever. He’s so flat in the series, so it’s awesome to see him come to life in so few words in your fic. I’m glad I took the time to read and review it.
The way you said so much about the characters in this fic in so few words was spectacular. I feel like I was there the whole time, watching the scene develop, empathising with Dean about the way his life was turning out. I love pieces that can place me inside of a character and make me see what they see, and you, dearest, have done that. Bravo to you!
Well, that’s all I have for today, so I leave you hoping that you feel good about writing this piece, since it is so well done. I really enjoyed reading and reviewing it, and I hope this finds you in good spirits.
Take care and happy writing!
P.S. – I’m not sure if I’m supposed to do this or not, but I spotted a couple minor word errors that you will probably want to fix.
He was always aware of the neighbours’ activities behind the shared walls __ either side,
I believe that ‘on’ was supposed to be there.
He froze on the spot, unable to decide whether to stay __ go,
A missing ‘or’…
…the garden gate clanged shut behind with him so much force that it disturbed the couple…
I think those words were meant to be the other way around.
Again, it’s minor and nitpicky, but it was the only thing at all that bothered me. Cheers!
Sunshine spilled down onto the small grassy spot through a window in the tall trees. She stood a couple of yards back, staring at eleven letters cut into rock. It was beautiful, and yet, to Hermione’s eyes, nowhere near a worthy enough tribute for a life so full of rambunctious joy.
I think my largest decision of the day was to read or not to read a canon-based story. Of course, when canon seemed the decent thing to do for the night, your author page was one of the first that popped into my head. So, I picked a story of yours that I was fairly certain I’d never read before and clicked on it. Silly me, I found that I indeed had read this before and had just forgotten and not reviewed. For shame! However, after another close read of the story, I would dearly like to rectify that matter.
There are so many beautiful elements to this story. First off, as usual with your work, the characterisation was flawless. I don’t know if anyone has a better grasp on the Weasleys and Hermione other than JKR herself. Your use of imagery is sparkling and vivid, to the point where the tangible was being moulded into the abstract, yet they melded perfectly. And, naturally, the sheer magnetism of your writing style is so wonderful and engaging. I can’t tell you how jealous I am of your ability to wrap me up into a word blanket and show me this little slice of what cannot be anything other than pure fact.
First off, the most stunning part of the whole story was the melancholy voice that underlined Hermione’s narrative. It really brought out so many facets of her character. One thing that I think people miss about Hermione is that she does have the ability to laugh at herself when she knows she’s being difficult. For instance, in SS/PS, she told Harry that he was a great wizard — greater than her books and cleverness, specifically. And, just like then, in this story, when she saw herself as more of a hindrance to the twins than a friend, it reminded me of that very canon instance.
Another brilliant part of how well you have drawn her was when she observed that she wasn’t sure where she really had stood with Fred. Most people would have assumed that they were friends because she saw Fred more than 90% of her classmates. Yet she, ever sharp individual that she is, had the ability to see that their interactions weren’t indicative of the common view of friendship. Just like when Hermione noticed that Cho spent a lot of time crying and upset and why that was, when Harry, her boyfriend, didn’t particularly notice or have much idea. As in that case, she had a similar crisis about her true place in Fred’s life and in his death. While it was true that it was moot in the end, it fits her so well that she questioned it at all.
George in this story was just so unmistakably him. Every line, every quip, every gesture, just spoke so much of how I saw him in the series. Yet, you managed to postulate such a convincing scenario about how he might have mourned Fred, using both what we know for certain and that little person inside your head that just seems to get the Weasleys. In particular, where he said, “I have magic powers” when Hermione asked how he was able to make her feel better in her grief when he was so very stricken himself, I totally wanted to giggle and hug George all at once. The way you structured his attitude and demeanour during the rest of the story really gave him life and body when he said this.
Even the role-players in the story were fabulous. In particular, I think Ron was well done. He was in just the right place that he should’ve been at this point after the Battle. He was just starting to build on his feelings and relationship with Hermione while simultaneously carrying around the albatross that is watching a sibling being murdered. From Hermione’s perspective, I can actually see that battle in his head, the one that is happy that they’re finally going somewhere besides in circles, but feeling sick for thinking he was allowed a bit of joy without Fred there to share it with. Every subliminal message, every buried meaning, built this very well, and in the end when he was freaking out over her being gone after dark, showed how masterfully you did this. So, so good! And even Harry’s brief appearance was good, because he’s in his own little world and has every faith in Hermione to be able to keep herself safe and sound. It fit splendidly.
Your gorgeous use of characters almost made me forget about your utter drool-worthy use of imagery. Every descriptive sentence built toward the story and tied into the theme in some way, with not a wasted word. I appreciate this quality so much because it is something I wish I could do. So often, it’s tempting to use that poetic, sing-song language to put surface emotion onto weak prose (and I am guilty as charged), but for you to super glue it to the actual plot itself is pure deliciousness. In the first paragraph, you use vivid, bright colours to describe the vista, and then there was that alarmingly lurid chair, both of which were things that associated my brain to the twins.
I freely admit that, while the summary uses the phrase ‘rambunctious joy’, the eleven letters part made my mind quickly assume that the story was AU and that Harry had died. I’ve no idea why, but it’s actually what hooked me onto the story. But when I saw that it was about Hermione and Fred’s dynamics and how she saw herself, it was so much better than what I had expected. I mean, how many people think about how Fred saw Hermione? How many actually take the time to explore the characters’ relationship in a story and enrich canon so wonderfully? Well, I hope no one else does, because this story is damned near perfect in the sense of what you set out to do.
There is so much that can be said for how you wrote this story. It’s in a limited narrative, yes, but it’s so much more than that. It’s like dropping an Extendable Ear into Hermione’s head. It feels so richly and truly her, and every thought and carefully placed word adds to that. For instance, when she tried to suss out how the Weasleys saw her, since Harry was the ‘fun’ one and she the ‘responsible’ one because he used his Triwizard earnings to fund WWW. But the truly great part was next, when she still added that she’d thought she was right to do so then. It is a classic example of her logic asserting itself firmly, even though it didn’t make her the most fun or exciting person to be around. The narrative was just so indelibly her that it was fantastic.
There was one small slip-up in the voice of the following passage:
He tried to smile at this, but it was always hard hearing Fred and himself complimented as one person. It made him hurt more, but at the same time, it was a kind of comfort. George had learned one thing since May: Grief had no rules, and plenty of contradictions.
This paragraph is quite distinctly in George’s point of view, whereas the rest of the piece is all Hermione. It is a bit jarring, trying to figure out whether Hermione is a super genius about people’s emotions or if the point of view had changed. I adore the message, especially the last line that grief had no rules, but it didn’t fit into the rest of the story quite as well because of the voice slip-up. However, a little bit of jiggery pokery could easily put that as Hermione observing his facial expressions and knowing what was going on in his head. Just a suggestion.
All in all, the way you built the characters and surrounded them by such lovely prose is a testament to the brilliant author you are. I’m so glad I’m a dunce who can’t properly read a summary, or else I might not have clicked on this story first. I’m constantly amazed by how little you think of the way you write when you have stupidly beautiful things like this on your author page to prove just how wrong you are about this. Please, please never stop writing the Weasleys. I know they aren’t my favourite Potter group, but you truly do them justice. And the more people who read this story and ones like it, the better the whole Potterverse will be.
Scorpius had never looked forward to anything the way he looked forward to leaving Hogwarts with Rose. He planned a holiday with no friends, no family, and nothing to do but be togetherâ€”until a tampered Portkey changed their destination.
Aww, Paige! Your summer seems cursed! That truly sucks. I hope everything goes well in your surgery, and I hope the poor pup's tummy gets bettter. If only it was hard-wired into brains not to eat plastic... >.>
Lovely updates. I've had some catching up to do, but it was worth the wait. Take care of yourself, and I hope to see you around soon.
You might have something there, Jess....a microchip to hardwire dog brains into not eating plastic! I'd pay. The morning after I got home from the hospital I heard something suspicious in the kitchen, dragged my medicated arse in to look, and found Courage happily gnawing on the plastic handle of a steak knife!
Thank you for catching up, I'll try to give you something to read sooner rather than later. ;D
A sequel to OLS is just what the doctor ordered. It's sort of fitting that the sequel to the first fan fiction I ever read is at the same time as the sequel to the first fan fiction I ever wrote.
While it took a while for me to remember all of the characters, I realised that I really miss reading the original story. Since I'm in too good a mood to write right now (for various reasons), I think I'm going to re-read it.
I really like how Lucius still manages to stick his nose into Scorpius's business from afar. It's just so... in character.
The way Albus acts toward Scorpius is absolutely a gem. He likes the guy, doesn't want to admit it, but he still has to let him know that he means business. Since I write about him a lot, I like to think I know Albus, a character near and dear to my heart, and you make him become what I expect. Yay!
Anyway, great chapter, and I love all the little details, like Quidditch Illustrated. It takes concepts with which we're all familiar and incorporates them into your world, and it adds an air of commonality with the teenagers in this fic and the ones that are probably reading it. I love pieces in which a reader can identify with the story and characters.
Cheers, great chapter, and I'm looking forward to the next.
Take care (you and the puppy) and happy writing!
Aw, your review made my day (or dawn, since I'm reading it at 6:30 AM). It's been awhile since the original story posted, so I went with full names at first mention and hoped interaction and dialogue would jog the memory.
It's so interesting that you're in too good a mood to write. I want to pick your brain. What do you mean by that, it's too hard to concentrate when you feel bubbly? You're writing angst and need your mood to match?
Lucius will never give up trying to sway Scorpius to the Dark side. He really does love his grandson . . . and he's arrogant.
Thank you for saying that about Albus! I know sometimes it's hard to read other writers' portrayals of characters near and dear to you because they don't act and speak exactly as they do in your head and your stories.
Courage has dragged his fleece blanket out of the crate to sleep in the middle of the kitchen floor, so he's easy to take care of . . . for the moment . . . dun, dun dun!
It's so interesting that you're in too good a mood to write. I want to pick your brain. What do you mean by that, it's too hard to concentrate when you feel bubbly? You're writing angst and need your mood to match?
I guess it is more of a concentration thing than anything. My current writing project is very dark and angsty, so I tend to stumble into fluff where there shouldn't be any. Normally, it can be remedied with a change in music selection or even by a different food, but today, I'll let it go. I worked hard last month, so today, I'm going to enjoy reading, something I don't think I do enough anymore.
Good morning to you, then! Central time? I'm in Mountain myself. :) Take care and have a good rest of the day.
Thanks for the peek into your brain! :D Music, I could see, but food? Another interesting concept.
You know, that's another benefit to SPEW. It gives you a reason to read when you might otherwise get too busy and miss out. :)
Ooh, a torched Knights vacation home! I like it already. Pleeeeeeaaaaaase say that there'll be pirates. Everything's better with pirates.
Charming chapter, and it'll be interesting to see if our intrepid young couple can keep their hands off one another, lol.
I don't know if I can work in pirates, but if I see a chance...or a change in the wind, heh.
Building mystery, building frustration. Lucius will be so disappointed that there was never a dull moment. :P
Ooh, wonderful plot twists and development.
It's weird, though, that Scorpius still considers Goyle his best mate. He really isn't deserving of it.
I can't wait for the shoe to drop. :D
I don't know if anyone actually deserves someone who'll stay their best friend no matter the circumstances, but similar to the way Scorpius deals with his grandfather, he's kept his friendship with Edgar.
Something tells me they might not hang out much after this, though.
Aww, you already know that I love this poem, but I know how much reviews kick ass, so I'm going to exalt you anyway.
Long, tapered fingers,
Undulating velvet skin,
Poetry of motion -
Yay to sex references! It just seemed to fit the bill for a first-time encounter, with the exploration and the halting advances that speak of trying something - or someone - new.
The language is so very pretty. You get the most out of every syllable and really make them work for your end, which is to convey passion and waiting and loving.
It's also seeming like it was meant to be shortly after the battle. As much as JKR would probably want Ginny to be a 'wait until she's married' girl, when the shit hits the fan, in the end, simple pleasures - or complex ones, for that matter - mean so much more. Why wait when you can't even be sure that you're going to live to finally experience it?
Anyway, enough rambling from me. Beautiful work, as usual, and I'll see you in like five seconds!
I freaking fail at reviewing poetry, but I will endeavour to articulate myself in an adequate fashion. :D
The imagery and the emotion in this poem are so powerful, and it really makes me feel for Harry that he can kind of remember being there, but it's just never enough. It was the happiest time of his life, and he can't even freaking remember it. It's almost twisted how it works, and the pure feeling you've poured into it is so poignant.
Very well done, my friend. I can't remember how you placed in this (you should modify your summary to say so), but it is seriously awesometastic.
I heart you, as usua;,
Hello, and good day to you, Neil!
I should be ashamed of myself, but this is actually the first story of yours that I’ve read on the archives. It’s really a shame, I must say, because you really are very good. When I’m on my next fic hunt, I shall most definitely look you up.
This is a very fascinating character portrait. You’ve taken Lavender, who we only know as a silly girl who fangirls Trelawney and likes Ron far too much for her own good, and given her a life and a body and an existence. Sure, it’s a tragic and unenviable existence, but I can’t help but admire her attitude. She knows that her moral fibre is not quite intact, and I think that’s what I like about her the most. She gives a damn, yet she doesn’t. I know it sounds contradictory, but it’s really the only way I can think to say it.
I, too, ship a tragic Seamus/Lavender, so I greatly appreciate how you built her reactions to the weddings of not only her friends, but her former boyfriend, as well. It was a bit of a twist to find out that she dumped him, not the other way around. I would be very interested to know why she did that. That is, of course, unless you’ve already got a story about that or a plot bunny waiting in the wings. If that’s the case, then I can’t wait to find out.
Your portrayal of Harry is interesting. One of the things that we noticed about Harry is that, when he’s focussed on something (or someone), he rarely thinks of anything else. As you said, he is observant, and one would have to be to qualify as Head Auror, but his focus on Ginny is very in-character. I consider myself very in tune with Harry as a character, so when I read your story, I get a very good feel for the person that I know to be him from it.
I find it interesting that you called the random Muggle bloke either ‘Dave’ or ‘name might be Dave’. It really shows Lavender’s worldliness. She understands that most words are only that, and more often than not, not much truth can be found within them. It makes her soul seem very old, though she is actually young in body. I think this is also a damned good characterisation bit on your part.
Another brilliant aspect is the almost robotic way that Lavender references her potions. She mentions carrying contraceptive potion and hangover potion like it was old hat, which adds to her sad, party girl exterior. Just the casual way she thinks of these things makes me feel bad for her and what she’s allowed herself to become.
In terms of style, I think the use of present tense, while okay, probably wasn’t necessary. I do think that first person is a must in this case, due to the intimate nature of the portrait of Lavender, but there were times that I just could not wrap my head around the present tense. By no means does it detract from the wow factor of the story (it won the CC Triathlon for a very good reason), but I’m not in love with it, either.
I found one small error in spelling. It’s a common mistake, but since you’re a ‘Claw and all, I figured you’d probably rather know than not.
It is a wonderfully strange bathroom, slate grey tiled walls, floor and ceiling. It is lit by over a dozen discrete spotlights in the ceiling.
You’ll be wanting to use ‘discreet’ here. ‘Discreet’ means ‘judicious in one's conduct or speech, esp. with regard to respecting privacy or maintaining silence about something of a delicate nature’. ‘Discrete’ means ‘apart or detached from others; separate; distinct’.
Well, anyway, back to the fun part. I really enjoyed this story and this look into a character’s inner self, and I’ve always been curious about her. I’m really glad I picked this story for my review, and I hope that I get a chance to review for you again. You are a wonderful writer, and your prose flows very well, making it great for a late night read (which this is, at least for those of us this side of the pond).
Take care and happy writing!
Author's Response: Jess Thanks for the review Lavender is a Gryffindor. She may be a bit silly and boy-obsessed (though I think that her ignoring Ron and her comments about washing facilities in DH show a more mature and mischievous side to her character) but she’s brave and determined, too. My take on Seamus/Lavender is (or will be when I finally get around to writing it) Ron/Lavender in reverse. He’s keen, she wants to end it. I’m working on a Battle of Hogwarts one-shot which will expand on this. Harry – in my storyline (all of my stories are interrelated) the events of this chapter take place on the same day as the events of First Sight, a Harry/Ginny story. Lavender is 24 years old at this point, is that young, or old? My Dad would say very young, a fourteen-year-old would disagree. I was trying to make Lavender a little unlikeable, but also sympathetic. This story spurred me to write a sequel of sorts (Moon) for the OC part of the challenge. It was written in haste, and I think that it shows so I’m currently rewriting it. I’ve now written several first person present tense stories. I find them easier to write than first person past tense, though I know that not everyone likes to read them. I should really try my hand at a first person past tense tale. Discrete/discreet – oops, I’ll change that. Thanks for the helpful and constructive review. I hope to hear what you think about some of my other stories Neil
Hello, and good afternoon, Madam Carole! I’m glad I got first dibs on reviewing and reading. It makes me feel exclusive and all.
All of that aside, I really love character driven pieces, and this one is a gem. Everyone usually turns to poor, single Charlie for the angsty post-battle characterisations, but I love that, even though Bill is happy, he has very real and very legitimate concerns about both himself and fatherhood.
Fleur, as you have characterised her, is just about perfect. Even the way you wrote her accent, I could just…hear it, and that’s fantastic. You could just tell that she was the same woman who loved Bill because of his scars from Greyback, not in spite of them. She cares about Bill so much. For example:
“I am seven months pregnant. Ze risk from ze Floo is minimal. And I do not intend staying ‘ere, when zere is a party at ze Burrow. Besides, ‘Arry is bringing leetle Teddy, and I know you want to see ‘im again.”
Her main reason for wanting to go to The Burrow is because she knows that Bill wants to see Teddy. As you mentioned in the piece, she is not as selfish as she sometimes sounds in both canon and fanon. I really like that you made us all see the Fleur that Bill fell in love with, not the one that made Molly and Ginny call her Phlegm.
When Teddy was scared by Bill, it was definitely a lip wobble moment. His favourite nephew (well, at that point, his only nephew) was afraid of him, and I don’t think there are many feelings in the world worse than that one. I can sooooo see him grumbling under his breath for a beer. I would probably have done the same thing. It was such a small detail, but it was so humanising. It adds to the overwhelmingly believable nature of this piece.
Your Molly was a complete win. She was being so very Mum the whole time, from worrying about Teddy wanting a fang earring to just knowing that her son was troubled. It seems like she was perfect to me, the way you built her character. In particular, this was excellent:
Molly snorted. “All children are scared of their parents.” She smirked at him. “Especially their mothers. How do you think I kept you lot in line? Although, it didn’t quite work with the twins ... or that sister of yours. And I never did get you to cut your-”
It’s just so seamless and perfect, the way she slips into mother mode (I believe you know what I mean by that). One thought about the kids brings a veritable avalanche of thoughts and observations about all the rest of them. I can just tell that she was doing this, in part, to put him at ease a bit. I also think that she knew what was wrong the whole time, and that she brought Teddy for the specific purpose of alleviating that ill feeling of Bill’s.
And then there’s Bill. He’s just so very real and three dimensional, from the very beginning and his desire to have a big family, up until the end, when he’s worried about scaring his own child with his scars. Now, we didn’t get to meet Bill very much in the books, but your portrayal feels so very right, especially with the concept of this story and the events that take place in it.
The part where I felt that you captured Bill the best was when he was drinking the Firewhiskey before bed.
“Merlin, Charlie, where the hell are you when I need to talk?” He rubbed at his eyes and drained the glass. His hand reached across to the bottle, but something stopped him. He couldn’t get drunk in case Fleur went into labour. Whatever his fears, he had to be there for her. Taking a deep breath, Bill walked out of the room to join his wife.
I’ve always pictured him as responsible and wanting to be there for everyone, especially for Fleur. When he really would rather drown his concerns with proverbial beer goggles, he does not, because he realises that it is his duty to be ready for Fleur when she really needs him. That reminds me so much of Bill, who transferred from his ultra-cool dream job of a curse breaker in Egypt to do a desk job, just so he could fight for the Order and protect his family. It’s very Bill, and sometimes details like these are what separate a good fic from a great one.
This story read, top to bottom, so very well. I could read it aloud, and it just rolls off the tongue. Your overall style, as always is superb in this aspect. You capture conversation and narrative so well and so realistically. I could search all day to find something odd or not good about the way you’ve written this, and I wouldn’t find anything. I know you consider this much too fluffy, but to be honest, it’s not half as fluffy as you think it is. It’s very real and poignant, and it’s a complete success of characterisation. I’m not even going to say that it’s ‘in my opinion’, because it just IS that good, whether you think so or not.
Your canon facts are, of course, impeccable. I know we chatted on AIM about the timeline of Victoire’s birth in relation to Teddy’s age, and as usual, you were right on the money. I guess I don’t really think of those two very often, as I tend to go for the younger Next-Gen characters, but you’ve made me think of Bill and Fleur in a way that I had not. Is that not the point of character pieces, to make the reader think of the protagonist in a new light?
There is one thing about which I am curious. If Fleur is seven and a half months pregnant and there is a party at the Burrow, then what was the party for? If Victoire was born on 2 May, was three days late, and the timeline was a month and a half before that, it would put the date as about March 14, give or take a few days. Are there any British only holidays in that area, or was it someone’s birthday. It’s too early for Easter (which is the Sunday after the first full moon following the Spring Equinox), too early for Teddy’s birthday, and I doubt St. Patrick’s day is on the list of celebrated holidays for the wizarding community. Perhaps you could enlighten me. My curiosity won’t shut up until I either know or just make up an answer.
Anyway, in closing, I really admire how much care you took with this piece and making it believable and powerful in that real life, this could happen type way. It’s got that quality to it that just makes me believe that it really did happen this way, and you used your normal Jedi mind trick insight into the Potterverse and made it work so wonderfully.
Adieu for now, and this was a great read. I hope you’re proud of it, because it’s really quite nice.
This is a companion piece to The Colour of Distance.
I strongly advise you to read that first.
You know, I've read this story on three previous occasions with the full intent of leaving you a proper review, but each and every time, I've been smote of my ability to properly articulate.
There is just something about your writing, Jules. Something in your words and rhythm and style and writer's soul that robs me of my ability to speak in any other language but squee. I mean seriously, I apologise in advance that you will probably never get a SPEW review from me because of this, but I can't help it. You simply stun me.
Iwill admit that I died a little inside when Hermione refused Harry's advances. I wanted to cry and rant and scream at her through my computer screen to give in, to be wrong, to be an unfaithful wretch. I suppose it's a by-product of our mutual delusion and your fantastic ability, but it was cruel of you to torture her so and, vicariously, me as well. I just... gah. Amazing. You'd think, after all my failed attempts, that I could speak properly and tell you everything that was amazing about this story, but I'm far too ridiculously in love with it to do so.
Wonderful work, lady, and have a lovely evening!
How easy it was to break them.
All it took was a smile, a few good conversations, and some daredevilry on your part to take risks and do the impossible.
You're the bestest e-bestie on the whole planet. Rose/Scorpius = heart heart heart.
I lurve you, Hestia the Bestia! That has a nice ring ot it, doesn't it?
Oh, and Carole, I don't mind birthday wishes on the review page. You can, by all means, beat me to it. Long day at work, plus a nap right away...you'd have had to wait forever. lol
Ah, a Malfoy/Greengrass wedding... though yours is far less crude than mine. I've had this on 'Teh List of Doom' for a while now, and when I saw that you'd recommended it in the Drastoria thread in FJ, I decided to follow the link etc.
I will admit, my lips were twitching in amusement in the beginning, mostly because I already knew that Daphne was going to be the jilted bride. I just love how the 'sorry you won't get your wedding, but enjoy the party anyway' part went down. Draco was just so... almost smug as it was happening, because he was the ONLY one in the whole building (including his desired marital partner) who had any inkling that this would happen.
The wedding ceremony itself was great. I liked all the little details about a Celebrant (I must look into that, btw) and the tradition of holding the wedding at the bride's family home. It adds a lovely air of 'yeah, this sounds like how it should happen'.
I already knew about the impromptu wedding participants in Hogsmeade, so there was no surprise there, but it still managed to strike me as ultra-ridiculous from Draco's POV. Only he could have the sort of rotten luck it would take for one to have Hagrid and Mundungus as witnesses, not to mention Filch officiating. I did however love love love Hagrid, being the sort of papa bear making sure that nothing seedy was going on and that they really just wanted to be married.
All in all, charming story, and I'm glad I followed the yellow brick road and clicked the link. Ta for now, dear.
This review was brought to you by the Ravenclaw Order of the House Elves. :D
Congratulations, you QSQ winner, you!
I could have sworn I reviewed this story already, but as I apparently haven’t, it gives me an opportunity to extol this poems many, many virtues in a more coherent fashion, as this will be about the… sixth(?) time I’ve read it.
As I participated in the same challenge, it is more amazing to me that you were able to take that seemingly vacant slew of words and craft something that could possibly eclipse Burns’s original version of the poem. The language is just so very gorgeous and descriptive without falling over the edge of melodrama, and that is so very you.
Your lack of emails saddens me, so I decided to pop in and knock a story off my reading list.
You know, I can't even properly describe just how much Lucius's view of marriage in this story reflects my own. I know we both shall forever disagree on this, but I basically think all the same stuff that he does in the beginning.
That being said, I really do like the voice of Lucius in this. Though I'm not sure I buy him marrying his preggo mistress instead of dumping her or worse, I do feel like his cynicism was proper for who he would be after DH. I'm sure not a whole lot would feel warm and fuzzy after everything, including marriage and fatherhood. We do know that Draco revered his father, but we never really saw that reciprocal side of Lucius until they were desperately seeking out Draco during the Battle. I don't think that part is really reflected in your story as is, but in the context of it being a few years later, maybe it wouldn't have to.
Anyway, I shall spare you the rambling and get back to my ultra crappy Ravenclaw drabbles. I shall see you soon (I hope). Heart