Let me just revel for a second in the brilliance of getting two Kelly fics in two swaps, because, you know, that’s completely awesome. I feel exceedingly lucky. Thank you!
I’m going to start out with the title, because. How much do I love the title? So much. Aside from it just being nice to say, and nice to hear in my head, and nice to look at, I love the meaning behind it. It really reflects the uncertainty and, conversely, the absolute certainty of Tonks and Remus’s relationship. Tonks is sure she loves him, sure she wants to be with him, and Remus doesn’t want to let himself love, and he refuses her. And then he accepts her, and they’re together, but there’s always some level of regret, isn’t there? Especially with Tonks’ pregnancy and Remus’s leaving. It’s just a rocky relationship in a lot of different ways, even though it’s something that’s totally right. Not everybody is a Remus/Tonks fan, but I definitely am (which was probably evident from the fact that I requested a Remus/Tonks story, y/y? >.>), and I think you managed to really capture their relationship, just with the title. So, brilliant.
I also love the simplicity of this story. It takes place in a relatively brief period of time, just this one morning-after, and that sense of time is so wonderful. Particularly with the owls interrupting their sleep – it’s so clear that this isn’t some long, drawn-out deal. It’s a very short moment of not knowing and not being sure and needing confirmation or trying to undo something that’s already done. I just love it. And, skipping to the end, I love that it took just a few words from Tonks for Remus to realize that, yes, he wants this.
All of the other men she had known in school or from work weren’t as interesting or as kind or as funny as Remus, even when he was exhausted and mentally drained. This is something that I think perfectly summarizes Remus. Despite all his faults – and of course he has them, just like any other person – Remus is one of those good people. He just is. He’s inherently kind-hearted and lovely, and even on his bad days he’s better than a lot of people. And this is what Tonks knows and Remus struggles with. It’s why Tonks is good for him. She pushes him to believe that he’s worth something, and here, reading it straight from her mind, we get see how fully she believes in Remus. It’s so wonderful to see, and so beautiful for their relationship.
I think, in the span of just a couple thousand words, you understood Remus and Tonks better than a lot of authors do with a couple dozen chapters. Remus and Tonks lend themselves well to one-shots and brief moments, I think, and you executed that perfectly here. This fic is what I love about the Remus/Tonks relationship. It’s simple but beautiful, and it conveys the indecision of these two characters in even being in a relationship. Just, lovely job. I heart you loads for writing it. -squishes-
Author's Response: Leanne, it was an absolute pleasure to write this for you. I'd never written Remus/Tonks before and I'm incredibly pleased that you enjoyed my interpretation. I found that I greatly enjoyed writing them. Thank you for being wonderful. *squishes*
Usually when I’m looking for a fic to review for SPEW, I choose authors that I know or fics that have been recc’ed to me, but occasionally I just scroll through the recently added page and pick something. I’m so glad I did that this month, because I stumbled upon this lovely little fic.
I’m just going to dive right in with a bit that I particularly liked: Her favourite bulldog, Ripper, was snoozing in her shadow, one small beady eye half open as if he was scanning for trouble makers. I like this line for a couple of reasons. First, the casual mention of Ripper is a great way to incorporate canon without being obvious about it; it’s a nice way to bring us more fully into the setting, because we know little details like this. I also like the image of Ripper sleeping with one eye half open, because it’s humorous and slightly frightening at the same time, and for some reason I can totally see this dog doing that. And finally, and this is something I’ll get to in a bit, it’s just written well. The use of ‘snoozing’ instead of the more common ‘sleeping’ caught my eye for some reason. It just stood out to me as en example of what is clearly a wide vocabulary, and shows that you’re thinking about the words you put in a sentence.
I love the idea of this fic. Young Harry isn’t something I’ve read often, so admittedly I don’t have much to compare this to, but I still think this is just a wonderful look into his life before we meet him at eleven years old. It fits perfectly into canon and could very well have happened. I mean, we did learn about the musical statues thing from canon, but the way you’ve built around such a small mention is great. That’s what I love about fan fiction – you can fill in missing moments and still have them work within the established world. In this fic, you simply did a great job writing your own story, but keeping it in line with what we already know.
He watched as the thin petals opened and closed like the wings of a butterfly, unaware that many years ago, his own mother had sat like this, charming the flowers in the exact same way. This is just a lovely line. I love imagining young Lily sitting there like young Harry; it creates such a nice parallel. It’s a bit sad at the same time, but in a good way, you know? I just love it. And the imagery of the petals like the wings of a butterfly is, again, simply good writing.
The second half of this, with Petunia, is great. I have never been a fan of Petunia, not even when we learned more about her in the later books, but the insight here was really good. The idea of splitting this short scene between Harry and Petunia is in itself great, but the way you wrote Petunia was also just spot-on. Her discomfort at Harry doing magic, her attempts not to think about her sister – they were very in-character. Again, fits perfectly with the Petunia we know from canon. I also loved Harry’s little, “It’s not hurting you.” I can so picture him saying that, and his simple defiance of her and her absurd hatred of all things different.
Overall, I think this fic displays a really strong grasp of language and writing. I mentioned the ‘snoozing’ thing before, but that wasn’t the only part that stood out to me. Just your word choice in general, I think, shows a mastery of language. It’s clear from this fic that you know how to write. The story flowed really well and is just, well, good. Keep up the great work, and thanks for such a lovely read!
Author's Response: Oh my goodness! I think this might be the best review I've ever had! Thank you so much for all your wonderful comments, they really mean a lot! Thank you!