This was really good. I love how you described Rowena, it's very Ravenclaw-like. I also really liked that you didn't have her stunningly beautiful, as that's something usually attributed to her. I found it really interesting about her being in a Muggle village. And Salazar was great, exactly how I pictured him. Great work!
Wow. This was really great. The imagery is really intense, and that's a good thing. I could picture everything and feel it all happening. It flows nicely and everything is described so well. The only piece of criticism I have is to break up your paragraphs. The first one and the last one is really long. It would work a lot better to split them up. Just easier to read that way. But other than that, this is great. You could leave it as a one-shot, but it would probably be good as a chaptered fic too. Up to you, really.
Author's Response: Thank you! I describe stuff well, because I want everyone to see what I saw when I wrote it. I've decided to leave it as a one-shot because I don't have enough time to wrote the rest!
Well, you already know this, but I really love this fic. It's so sad, but so beautiful. I love Ginny's reaction to Harry's death, it's exactly how I think she would react. This is written wonderfully (I feel like you don't even need a beta). 10/10
Oh yeah, one more thing. Charlie's wife's name is Leanne! That's totally my name (spelled the same way!) So cool. Coincidence?
I really enjoyed this, Kristin! It's so cool to see something to do with Moody, even if it is an ancestor of his. You managed to include bits of the Moody that we are familiar with, while at the same time making this ancestor his own person. And it's always nice to see a Constant vigilance! when you're talking 'bout the Moody's. ;-)
I think one of the best things about this fic was how you made it feel so historical. I felt like I was in India while reading this. I also really enjoyed the use of all the native words. You didn't overdo it, but your use of them really added to the atmosphere of the whole fic. Nice job there. It's obvious you did your research, and that's a good thing.
I liked the ending. Dunno why, just liked it. :D This fic wasn't a long one, but I don't think it needed to be. I think you kept it a good length. Just a nice, somewhat quick, insight into a Moody's mind. Really great. I'm glad I found this fic! It's not something I would normally read, as I don't hang out in Historical too often, but I'm glad I clicked on it. Nice work!
Author's Response: Thanks for all the praise. I really love British Empirialism, especially in India (it is my focus for my history major after all) so I was really glad of an excuse to write this. I\'m glad the atmosphere came through, I was a little worried the words would just confuse people or my explanations would be too redundant. *whew- glad it seemed to work* Anyway, thanks again!
So I actually read this fic way back when the BA was making banners for it, because it looked interesting, and it was outside of my fic-reading comfort zone. But I never got around to reviewing it, so here I am. :D
Like I said, Harry/Luna was a ship I hadn’t read before. Not because I was strongly opposed to it or anything, but because I just tended to read ships I had always read to begin with. But you successfully made me enjoy Harry/Luna. Right from the beginning, I loved this fic. The beginning is unique – appropriate, since it’s Luna, eh? You just characterized Luna perfectly, and I think that’s hard to do. Most of the fics I’ve read with Luna in them, even if she was just a minor character, had her just a little bit off. If she was going to be three minutes late no matter what, she might as well enjoy her morning and be an hour late. I love that line. It’s so Luna.
Harry’s character is great in this as well. I find Harry a hard one to work with, especially older!Harry. "You think I prefer cataloguing your pale nakedness, to a girl's?" Harry asked. He scanned Ernie, checking off each quadrant on his parchment as bite-free. "That's some healthy self esteem you have there." That’s one of my favorite lines from Harry. Just the right amount of humor, I think. I like Ernie as well. Adding in that other, less major, character balances everything out so nicely.
I love that Luna feels she has to make sure Harry is cared for properly. That’s adorable, and so her. And it’s like…we just know, as the reader, that her cure is going to be…-cough- unconventional. I love it. The relationship between Harry and Luna that you created is believable, and I think that’s why I liked it so much. I was able to believe that Harry and Luna could really be a couple, that they could really love each other, and that it could work. I like that Ron asks about Harry and Luna, because you bring in somebody sort of like me, who’s still getting used to the idea of Harry and Luna as a couple.
"We're going to have to go back to the bed," Luna chirped. Hee. I just love this. And when Harry proposes! Guh, it’s perfect. Luna’s response is just lovely. And everything that follows is wonderful. You end the fic in the best way, too. I’m glad you didn’t go any further, because it was in a good place to be done. Overall, I really loved this. I was intrigued by it in the first place, and it didn’t let me down.
I'm really sorry but I've decided to leave this as a one shot. Thanks for reading :)
I really like the ideas this presented. It was a very interesting premise for a story, especially an AU one. I also am a J/L shipper, but I suppose I expanded my horizons with this, eh? lol
I do have some pieces of constructive criticism, though. First off, I felt that this went a bit fast. It was like one minute Lily is eighteen and the next she is eighty. I think you could have slowed it down a bit and filled in more gaps. For example, here I think you could have expanded: When Lily was thirty, James and Petunia were killed in a freak snowstorm whilst skiing in Canada. Lily was devastated. Why not go into more detail about Lily? Was she depressed for a while? Did Remus seem to know more about the deaths than her? What about the funerals? It just seemed rushed. There's nothing wrong with a little explanation. =)
And then you jump to when Lily is eighty-five. Something must've happened in between the ages of thirty and eighty-five. Why not include the births of their children? Or maybe a significant wedding anniversary? When did Lily's parents die? Remus's? What was that like for the two of them? The childrens' first years at Hogwarts? There's so much more you could have included. If you're going to cover a person's whole life in one chapter, I think you at least need to make a longer chapter. I would've liked to see more. I feel like I would've enjoyed this more had there been more to it.
I do like that Lily ended up with Remus. It was a very sweet alternative to James. I do, however, find it a bit weird that Petunia married James. Wouldn't he be a year younger than her? It's not that big of a deal, but I found it a bit odd.
I think overall this was very good. It presented some great ideas and really got me thinking. Except for it's short length, it was really good. Nice work!
"Aside from blood, he didn't believe there was anything left in the world that was truly pure, but Lucius lifted his glass anyway."
After the betrothal dinner, Malfoy's tete a tete with Narcissa transforms a marital arrangement into something more satisfying.
I have to say that I enjoyed this immensely. I'm writing a Narcissa/Lucius fic right now and so I thought I would do a little search and read some others...yours is the first I've read, but I can assure you it will be hard for another to live up to it.
I think your portrayal of all the characters is extremely well done. Lucius in particular stood out to me. Aside from blood, he didn’t believe there was anything left in the world that was truly pure, but Lucius lifted his glass anyway. That line I thought was perfect for this, especially since Narcissa then later comments on the purity of blood. It's an appropriate idea for a family that is perhaps a bit too concerned about continuing bloodlines. Narcissa was characterized in a way I don't think I would have thought of, but that I loved. I like that she isn't illustrated as this weak, controllable woman, but rather a strong (even if subtly) one. I think it is exactly the type of woman Lucius would love and need as a wife.
A white wedding, such a great idea. I too have always associated the Malfoys with white and ice (well, it seems no coincidence they all have blonde hair...). I also find it interesting that Narcissa has such blonde hair while Bellatrix seems to have the traditional Black dark hair. It only seems fitting, then, that Narcissa have a white wedding. I doubt very much that dear Bella did.
An amazing read. Every word was chosen to perfection and flowed extremely well. 10/10 and keep up the great work!
Author's Response: I\'m writing a Sirius fic with a minor character named Dorrie, who was inspired by Dory the Fishie, LOL. *chorus of It\'s a Small World starts to play* Thank you so much for the encouraging words- if I could give a review a ten, you\'d have it! I really appreciate you sharing your views and the parts you liked. I\'ll be interested in \'seeing\' how you portray them. Do you see the couple as presenting one face to the world and showing another in private? It wouldn\'t be prudent to reveal your deep attatchment to anything or anyone in pure-blood society, would it? People like \'dear Bella\' would love to hurt you through the one(s) you love. Thanks again for taking the time to leave such a fab review! ^_^
CA, this was wonderful! Helga/Salazar, yes a rarepair, but you certainly did a great job protraying it. I love your use of the Sorting Hat; I think it was perfect for a confidante. I also really liked your choice of setting, during Salazar's and Godric's huge fight. I think it was a very appropriate time for Salazar and Helga's relationship to fall apart. You write so well, and you've characterized Helga perfectly, I think. Great job!
Author's Response: Ah, Leanne. You are too kind. I was so happy to see that my story came in useful, in part because it meant that I garnered a review. *shy smirk* Thanks so much for your nice words for my very worst attempt at a story. (written in like half an hour on the 27th of February.) Have a nice day! Badger Pride! :) *D*
Nikki! I don’t know why I’ve never read anything of yours before. So when I was deciding which fics to review for SPEW this month, I thought I’d stop by your author’s page and pick something. I’m glad I did – I really enjoyed this. =)
I haven’t read much about Merope and Tom, though it’s always been a relationship I’ve wanted to read about. It just seems very interesting to me; there’s so much you can do with them, so much open to interpretation. I think it’d be really easy to make Merope and Tom somewhat flat characters. It’d be easy to make Merope seem pathetic and lovesick, and to portray Tom as her (mildly) innocent victim. I don’t think you did that here. I really like the characterization in this, actually.
Merope reminds me of like…all girls, lol. I mean, every girl who has a crush or thinks she’s in love is going to feel a bit insecure, isn’t she? I think Merope was insecure about a lot of other things in her life – she wasn’t a very talented witch, and her family wasn’t exactly nice to her, so she seems more insecure than some other girls might be. You conveyed that really well here, especially with Merope’s conversation with her friend, Beth. I liked that part. It’s great to see another person in this fic, to bring in another opinion about Merope and Tom’s relationship. Beth acts like I think any best friend would – reassuring Merope that Tom really does love her. It’s somewhat quixotic of them both, but…well, that’s how girls can be sometimes. Silly us.
A word of constructive criticism, though. The conversation between Merope and Beth ends really abruptly. I wouldn’t love him if he hated me. Well, thank you for listening. I feel like there needs to be some description or something in between Merope’s dialogue. Why not describe how she looks, what she’s feeling, etc.? Give us a picture.
The part with Tom at the bar is interesting. He’s…appropriately confused. I think you handled how Tom would have felt really well. It’s like he has some kind of amnesia, but he doesn’t know why or how. I like the bartender’s role in this as well. Again, brining in that outside view, which in this case is…confusion. It works, because the relationship between Merope and Tom is pretty unconventional. The bartender acts as a kind of foil to Beth, who seems to believe everything will work out fine between the couple; the bartender, on the other hand, is more skeptical and seems to think these people are crazy, lol.
I think maybe the confrontation between Merope and Tom could have been a little longer. I would have liked to see more of Tom’s side of things. But I love this: I still love you, isn’t that enough? It’s so perfect. Poor Merope, though. I feel bad for her, even though she did force Tom to love her. But still. It’s an unrequited love, and it’s sad. -allows self to feel sorry for mother of Voldemort-
Overall, I really liked it. Great job, Nikki! -squishes-
Author's Response: *squishes Leanne* I already told you this, but I love you. You are teh awesome. Thank you.
Wow wow wow. That was absolutely amazing. I love your sytle; it flows beautifully and just sets the mood perfectly. Some lines I loved in particular:
the sky is grey like Sirius's laughing eyes.
Sirius laughed like that, always laughed when he did not know what to do, laughed when something in his life was being destroyed, always laughed because he did not know how to cry. In that one sentence, you characterized Sirius perfectly. That's exactly how I think of him.
He opens his mouth to call out, but restrains himself, thinking that appearance alone does not a Sirius make Again, perfect characterization of Sirius. To me, that said that what made Sirius Sirius was his personality.
And of course, the characterization of Remus is spot on. It's so sad, but so right. I loved the end (even though I had wished it wouldn't come), with him breaking the dishes. So sad.
The first paragraph was an amazing start to the fic. I could hear the music, feel the music. The imagery was so strong. Well, I'll stop going on because if I don't, I'll end up quoting the whole thing like Mithril wants to. Beautiful job! 10/10 *adds to favorites*
What a wonderful fic. I really enjoyed it. The idea is so great and you've executed it perfectly. Kudos!
I just love the idea that Narcissa has to kill Lucius. It really creates a struggle for Narcissa. She has to decide between her husband and her orders (or, essentially, her life). You've shown her fight within herself very well. The dream in particular was good. It sort of threw into perspective for her what would happen if she didn't kill Lucius. I think it's interesting that she chooses to kill him, thus saving her own life. I suppose it might show a bit of her more selfish side, which I think is part of her character.
"Cissy, there's someone Mum wants you to meet," Bellatrix drawled, looking bored. "Probably some rich thirty year old man with no p--" Oh my gosh! I laughed so hard when I read that! It's so...Bella, I think, to say that. Priceless. I really liked the dialogue between Narcissa and Bellatrix. I think you've portrayed them as real sisters. Narcissa's reaction to Lucius was really nice. She acts very formal and mature, while at the same time, inside, she's feeling a bit giddy and maybe somewhat childish. At least, that's how I saw it. It was good, I think, because Narcissa is still young when she meets Lucius so she's not quite into that fully mature state yet. There's still some girly oh-my-gosh-he's-gorgeous feelings. =)
Really nice job. I love your characterization of Narcissa. Great work!
Author's Response: First of all, I have to say - you are one of the sweetest reviewers :D You pointed out everything I put in on purpose that I loved, and a few things that worked out anyway, even though I didn\'t mean to put them in. This is actually the first story I\'ve written for a challenge, and I surprised myself with how well it turned out (if you\'ll pardon the bragging). I never do too well with writing for other people, but I had a lot of fun writing this one :) Thank you very much for your review (I don\'t get many good reviews like this, so I\'m unaccustomed to covering everything pointed out!). :)
*looks down at Preethi's super review* Well, I don't know if I can top that, but I'll do my best. ;-) So, to start...Kal! I didn't know your first fic on this site was up! *does happy validation dance* Right, reviewing...
This was wonderful. So well-written and amazing insight into Ginny's character. I think that, even though she may have seemed a bit mature, it was still great characterization. I don't know, the mature!Ginny didn't bother me. Maybe it's because I would probably do the same thing. And it could be because of the sophisticated way this is written (which is great, I'm not trying to put that down), but if it wasn't written this way, it wouldn't be as good, I don't think. So, what I'm trying to say, is the elevated language made up for the more mature Ginny because otherwise this wouldn't be good. Get all that?
I loved your descriptions of flying. I mean, I've never flown on a broom, but the way you described it made it seem real. I felt like I was flying (which only made me wish I could fly even more...). I also loved this line: and she was weightless and beautiful and just Ginny again. I like that it was Ginny, that it was who she was. Like the flying and the freedom and all that is a part of her, which I think is very Ginny. That was nice.
The Ron betrayed me part was very interesting. I think it's how she would be feeling at this point in her life. And, even better, goes with Ginny in HBP when she's all mad at Ron. Perhaps she's upset because Ron doesn't pay as much attention to her as she would like, normally, and then he won't let her be when he's mad at her? *has a feeling that didn't make any sense* Eh, it's Monday, cut me some slack.
I have one little tiny nit-picky grammar thing. It has to do with this sentence: And with them was the girl who she had unleashed the basilisk on. So, 'who' should be 'whom.' Well, actually, the sentence should read: And with them was the girl on whom she had unleashed the basilisk. But I'd be ok if you just left the 'on' at the end and changed 'who' to 'whom.' Actually, I'd be ok whether or not you change anything, but I thought I'd point it out. (Yes, it IS Monday in Leanne's brain...)
I loved the part about her homesickness. It's exactly how I pictured Ginny because you know, she's the youngest and the only girl and leaving your family's gotta be hard. The bit about saying good night and hoping her father would hear was so sweet. It's such a great bit regarding her character. It's little things like those that made this so great.
So Ginny resolves to make friends? That was perfect. I always kind of thought of Ginny like that. And it's great because in HBP Ginny seems to be quite the social person, no? So it turned out she did make some friends. Yay!
Now, I've got a soft spot for Weasley men (except Percy...) so I may be a little biased, but I loved Charlie. I like Ginny's relationship with him. It didn't seem forced in this, it just seemed right. Like a brother and sister's relationship should be.
Ok, so I could probably say more, but I've got some stuff I've got to do, so I'll leave it at that. Hope it lived up to your other wonderful reviews. You deserve many more! ;-) *hopes she added all the appropriate paragraph tags so this doesn't turn out as one big blob* -Leanne
-squishes SPEW buddy-
So. I was looking through the list of your stories, trying to decide which to review. I finally settled on this one, because I’ve read about…two Harry/Luna fics in my fanfiction-reading-lifetime, and I wanted to see your interpretation of their relationship. One of the things I like about this is how…I don’t know, friendly it is. It’s not overdone in any way, but rather very familiar-feeling and comfortable. I enjoyed it. =)
The beginning of this is very nice. It sets everything up so well, and you really center around Harry – how he’s feeling after the funeral, what he’s doing in the time he has before he goes to fight Voldemort, who he’s spending that time with. I would, however, have liked to see some actual interaction between Harry and Ginny. You have no dialogue between them to show us how they are with each other; sure, you describe it, but it’d be good to see it for ourselves. Illustrating the relationship between Harry and Ginny, I think, would have paralleled the later, budding relationship between Harry and Luna quite well. Having them both there to compare is something I’d have liked to see. But I do like your characterization of Ginny, even if it was just in narration. She and Harry didn’t randomly start snogging when they saw each other – they acted like I think they would act in their situation.
Oh, I just love when Harry asks Luna to dance. It’s so adorable! How he offers his hand and everything…aw. -girly moment- I think it’s very Harry to be sort of awkward, and it’s very Luna to be very calm about the whole thing. I am quite fond of your characterization of Luna in this; oftentimes I’m disappointed with her in fandom, but I think you did her justice in this. Their dance is great – it’s not overly dramatic or anything like that. It’s just…Harry and Luna dancing. And when Harry watches the other couples…lol at Ron and Hermione! You throwing in that little touch of them was wonderful.
“You’re not coming back to Hogwarts, are you?” Luna’s dreamy voice cut through his mirth like a blade. How perfect is that line? So perfect. I love it. It comes in at just the right moment, and it’s just…I keep saying it, but it’s just so Luna. I like that Harry actually answers her, and he does it honestly. It really helps to lay the foundation for any kind of relationship they might have in the future. He’s willing to share things like this with her.
-happy sigh- This fic is, in a word, adorable. It’s got the right tone and the right characterization and the right everything for a Harry/Luna fic. Just lovely.
Author's Response: Thank you for the awesome review, Leanne! I see what you mean about contrasting the interaction between Harry and Ginny with that between Harry and Luna, I never actually thought about doing that while writing... I\'m glad you liked the story though. *hugs*
I really enjoyed this! It's so nice to see a fic portraying this side of Peter, exploring what his motives were and what was going through his mind. I think it's something a lot of people don't delve into because it can be challenging, but you've done a good job here.
I liked the whole idea of courage. I did not know that this feeling was called courage. I really thought that was a good line. Peter almost doesn't recognize courage. At least, that's how I saw it. The 'warmth of courage' idea throughout this fic was wonderful. Many authors write Peter off as weak and stupid, but here you showed his courageous side. Really great.
I think the setting you've chosen is perfect, right when Voldemort is coming back. It's the moment when Peter, I think, would be remembering all these things. The flashbacks work very nicely with the rest of the fic. I especially liked the one with Sirius and Peter. However, I felt like Peter thought of an escape plan awfully quickly. It just seemed like one moment he didn't know what to do and then all the sudden he had an ingenious plan. I would've stretched that a bit longer, maybe included some more Sirius and Peter dialogue, but that could just be me. It was my favorite flashback nonetheless.
The scene where Peter performs the 'flesh, blood, and bone'...er, spell thingy, was really good. All the descriptions are wonderful. I felt like I was there (which gave me a right little shiver down my spine). Though I would have liked to see more of when Voldemort was actually resurrected, some time before he says, "Robe me." I know you have Peter not knowing what's going on around him, but in the book I felt the scene was kind of suspenseful. You know, we were all wondering what was going to happen, Harry wishes the thing in the cauldron will drown. It might have been nice to see if Peter was wondering if it would work. Perhaps maybe a little part of him even wishes, like Harry, that the thing will drown?
Overall, a deserving winner. Congrats! I can see why it won. Should've betted on it, darn it. =) And I think you win the award for most long paragraphs in a one-shot. I just noticed you had a lot of long paragraphs, especially at the end. =) Excellent work!
Author's Response: Thanks a lot, im happy you liked it. The whole point was, although Peter did not necesaraly have courage, he new what it felt like, and he knew that there were other ways to feel impowered. ABout the not enough description in the flashback and after VOldy comes back, I guess I see what you mean. The thing is, I know people are often discouraged from reading longer fics, and it was getting kind of long. I am happy that you think I diserved to win! Avenger!
I have to admit, I am not at all a fan of slash. Not one bit. So I was a little apprehensive going into this. But I assure you, I wasn't disappointed in it. You wrote it extremely well and it was indeed a deserving winner.
I think the pairing of Draco and Ron is an interesting one. It's not the most common of slash pairings. In some ways, that can make it easier to write because there isn't a lot to compare it to. And in other ways, it can make it harder to write because a lot is expected of you. Either way, you've written this excellently. You didn't mess up Draco's character (or Ron's, for that matter).
I like that it was Ron who broke up with Draco and not the other way around. It seems very Ron-like, if you ask me. It's also somewhat refreshing to see Draco a bit vulnerable. You've effectively shown that he has a heart too and it can be broken just as someone else's can be.
The implications with Lucius are very interesting. I enjoyed the father-son conversation anyway, but the fact that it is suggested that Lucius has gone through the same thing (the exact same thing) as Draco is wonderful. It really lets them bond.
Overall, really nice work. I enjoyed it, even though I don't support the ship. And that, my friend, is a compliment. I can definitely see why this won!
Author's Response: Thanks for the review (Toasted Turnip strikes again...)! I really hadn\'t expected to enjoy writing Ron and Draco together, but they grew on me in a hurry. Something about their personal character flaws just clicked nicely. And oh yes of course the implications about Lucius are fun. I\'ll imply anything about Lucius I can get away with, and then some... *snicker* There\'s slash and then there\'s slash. I know too many real-life two-male couples to worry too much over it, and try to just let the boys be boys.
I have to say Anna, it is definitely hard to believe you are only thirteen. You write really well and show immense potential. You're very good already and I know that you'll only get better and better. I look forward to seeing you improve even more. You're writing much better than I did when I first started and I was fourteen then...kudos to you!
I'm going to attempt to write this review as orderly as I can by going through your fic methodically. Now, who's to know whether it will turn out organized rather than the usual jumble of my random thoughts, but...eh. Here I go. First off, I like how you started the fic with Lily nervously waiting for James to return and reflecting on everything. I think it works well that James is gone because it only heightens Lily's anxiousness. The fact that she's scared and unsure is really conveyed nicely. I like that Lily is doubting that they are safe because it foreshadows everything (even if we do already know the end). There was one sentence that caught my eye, though: No one would suspect that someone as quiet and dull like Peter would be assigned the role of Secret Keeper. I like that Peter is 'quiet,' but I don't like that Peter is 'dull.' I feel like it's undermining his character, which I suppose Lily might have done, except that then you say she realized the chances of things going wrong are slim. So it seems like Lily is contradicting herself. First Peter is dull and then he's not going to mess up. I would replace dull with something more akin to quiet. '...someone as quiet and subdued as Peter,' maybe.
It is eerily interesting that Lily, the very night of her murder, questions her family's safety. That she tells herself she's going to ask James to call Dumbledore. But then James comes home and she forgets her worries. It's what love will do, I guess. James tells her it's going to be ok and she believes him, despite his own obvious reservations. I liked this line about James: No, James hadn't changed at all.I liked it because it's almost contradictory to canon, but contradictory in that correct way, if that makes any sense. We know that James did indeed change from his arrogant, ego-centric self into a more mature man because Lily gave him a chance. But by saying that James hadn't changed at all kind of shows that Lily had loved him all along. The old James was who she loved. Perfect.
And now I'm backtracking...ah well. The light outside the window was wonderful. Some more foreshadowing, this time a bit more obvious. But Lily chooses to ignore it and not tell James, which just proves once again that she feels almost too secure with him. Sweet, but dangerous. And the part about 'as if it were their last kiss' was so sad. It makes my heart all sad, but really captures the mood perfectly.
I would have liked to see a reaction from Lily that James had died. You don't really mention the exact moment Lily realizes he's been killed. I would liked that moment to be there. But I loved how everything suddenly became clear. The fact that she is truly driven by her love for her family is portrayed perfectly. And the part about never being able to hear Harry laugh or see his eyes sparkle was heart wrenching. Just makes me wish even more that James and Lily were alive.
All right, I'm done...*looks up at review* Well, I do have a tendency to ramble...so to wrap this up, this was wonderful. You show a real talent for writing. Your word choice is perfect. All the right verbs and adjectives to convey the meaning of a sentence. Excellent work!
I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaack! To review another chapter, of course. ;-) I am indeed enjoying reading this lovely fic again. But onto the review!
I think the beginning of this chapter is very appropriate, very Ron. He would storm upstairs, wouldn’t he? There’s that Weasley fire. I can really feel for Ron in this; everything is just so bad for him right now, and he’s beside himself. I’d like to point out, though, that ‘?!’ or any other form of multiple punctuation marks is not technically grammatically correct. There was a lot of anger and yelling and the like in this chapter, so I noticed it especially here. I know a lot of people use the ‘?!’ or don’t mind it, but I also know that, as a mod, I do reject people for multiple punctuation marks. Something to keep in mind.
She was wearing muggle clothing; a knee-length, corduroy skirt in a tan color and a black high-neck, three-quarter length sleeved shirt. She wore trendy, brown, suede boots, and on her right hand was a pretty silver bracelet. I find this description a little flat, if that makes sense. First you have ‘She was wearing’ and then ‘She wore’ right after that. Instead of just listing what she’s wearing, you could play around with it a little. Perhaps something like: She was wearing Muggle clothing; a high-neck, black shirt with three-quarter length sleeves complimented a knee-length skirt in a flattering tan color. Suede boots accessorized her feet, and on her right hand was a delicate silver bracelet. Sometimes, it’s necessary to not be too wordy with descriptions, especially all in one sentence. The picture gets muddled. Less is more, I think, in this case. Also, ‘Muggle’ should be capitalized.
As another nit-picky aside, book titles should be italicized when you’re typing. Like the bolding, underlining tends to look a little on the unprofessional side.
And while I’m being all concrit-y, I’m going to mention dialogue punctuation. Dialogue can be incredibly tricky – it’s one of the most common reasons for rejection. And for the most part, you punctuate everything correctly (it’s so nice to see after a jaunt in the queue, trust me), but there is one area in which you falter. If a line of dialogue is preceded by a sentence of narration, the narration does not need to have a comma after it. Instead, that sentence is punctuated as any other sentence would be. Unless it’s describing who is speaking, narration around dialogue gets a period just like everything else. So this, for example:
Hermione looked slightly worried, “I’m not causing any problems, am I?”
Should look like:
Hermione looked slightly worried. “I’m not causing any problems, am I?”
Okay, how about I comment on the actual plot of the chapter, now? I like the minor subplot of Hermione’s flat being burnt down, and Chris feeling the Ministry’s investigation (or lack thereof) was insufficient. I think Chris might be onto something…what exactly did happen to Hermione’s flat? I suppose we’ll just have to wait and find out. And the fight between Ron and Hermione! How great. Of course, they had to argue somewhere; it’s just how they are. I felt the whole fighting scene was done very well. Sometimes writing everything out and making it sound like you want it to, especially for an altercation, can be difficult, but I thought it was good here. Nothing felt off, as it were.
How much do I love the idea of Ron’s Room Floo? What an original idea. And it sounds a lot more comfortable than regular old Floo Powder. I like the talk between Ron and Harry. Ron seems sort of immature in a mature way, if that makes sense. He’s still the temper-y teenager we know from the books, but he’s also grown up. Harry acts as a good voice of reason and truth in this instance. And finally, the ending. I love it. It leaves us wondering how this is all going to play out, now that Ron has decided he’s not going to let Hermione slip away. -claps for conflict- =)
All right, so I realize this review was a bit more con than crit, and it may all seem very trivial, but I’m of the opinion that a lot of little things put together can become a big thing. Fixing the little things can help to make a chapter better on the whole. But that’s the mod in me talking. Overall, the fanfic reader in me loves this fic and this chapter, and looks forward to reading and reviewing the next chapter.
Aw, I like this chapter. It’s so adorable, though a little sad in some places. I think I’m extra sad, though, because after this I have to wait for the rest of the chapters. I do hope you get them up soon. =)
You know…it’s hard not to like Chris. Of course, we don’t like him because he’s with Hermione, and we want Ron to be with Hermione. I guess we feel like Ron, don’t we? The problem is that Chris is a nice guy, and he’s in the way, but he’s not a bad person. When he kisses Hermione goodnight…man, I feel for Ron. It would just be horrible to have to see that, and especially to live in the same house as the happy couple.
I like Cecile. =) She’s cute. I really enjoy all the minor characters you’ve included in this, like Cecile and Benson, and Tony. They’re all such nice touches. But Cecile’s just adorable. And when she catches Ron outside Hermione’s door! Lol, she’s great. One thing, though. Sometimes she calls Ron ‘Meester Weasley’ and others she calls him ‘Meestair Weasley.’ Two different spellings. Whichever you choose, just make sure you’re consistent with it throughout the fic.
While I’m being nit-picky: His ears redden slightly, but he quickly walked over towards his own door. Reaching for the knob, he stopped abruptly as a soft murmuring was heard coming from the end of the hallway where Hermione’s room was. In the first sentence, it should be ‘reddened,’ not ‘redden.’ And I think the second sentence could do with a little rewording. Perhaps something more like: Reaching for the knob, he stopped abruptly as he heard a soft murmuring coming from the end of the hallway where Hermione’s room was. In the first version, you use passive voice, and in the second, I’ve changed it to active voice. Passive voice isn’t always bad, but I think in this case you really want to use active.
Speaking of that scene, why don’t I talk about it? =) I really like the idea of Ron overhearing Hermione, because it allows him to hear her being honest. Obviously, she’s not going to just walk up to Ron and confess everything (at least, not yet). Funny, how that’s exactly what he wants to do. (I sort of wish he had, but of course, that wouldn’t leave us with a whole lot of story left.) I think it’s cute how Crookshanks is acting as Hermione’s confidant here, and the mention of how Ron and Crookshanks get along now is sweet. Just a small aside here – when a character is talking for a long time and their dialogue is separated into different paragraphs, there’s a specific was to punctuate it. The last sentence of the paragraph doesn’t get the ending quotation marks. Take this, for example: Ron’s eyes widened, “Well…never mind what I want to do. I guess… I just wish that things didn’t have to be like this.”
“The thing is, I…well, I miss him.
You don’t need the ending quotation mark after ‘this’ in the first paragraph.
I’ve got some more little things to point out, so bear with me for a minute. When you’re using dashes, it’s important to punctuate them correctly because otherwise they just look like hyphens. The most common way to punctuate dashes is to put a space on either side of them. Also, ‘Ministry’ should be capitalized, since it is a name of place and a canon word. I know I’ve talked about bolding and underlining before, but I also want to mention all capital letters. Most of the time, italicizing works better for emphasis than all caps. There are exceptions, though. If somebody is yelling, it’s usually better to use all caps (in moderation, though), but if you just want to emphasize a word, italics are generally best. And finally, numbers less than one hundred should be written out in word form. Again, it just looks more professional.
I positively love the flashback/dream in this. I think you put in a good place. Plus, it sort of gives us a taste of what could potentially happen later (!). I particularly liked this line: He didn’t have to be rich and handsome to be in love and to be loved back. Hermione had taught him that. We’re really able to see the differences between Chris and Ron here. It’s interesting how different they really are, and yet Hermione loves (or has loved) them both. And later, when Ron and Hermione almost kiss! You got me all hopeful there. :p Oh well, I suppose I can wait for some action if I have to.
The whole conversation between Ron and Hermione over their midnight tea is great. I think it’s sweet that Ron is the first to apologize. It really shows how he’s matured over the years, because at Hogwarts I think it was usually Harry who made the two of them get over their fights. It’s great to learn what Hermione is doing now she’s out of Hogwarts. I’ve read a lot of fics with a lot of interpretations for Hermione’s job; I like what you’ve chosen here. I think it might be a little unbelievable that Hermione can speak ten languages (it might be more plausible if she knew three or four), but I’m able to overlook it. A note about this bit: You were the bloody smartest witch to ever go through that school! You were teacher’s pet, prefect, Head Girl and top girl of our class as well as the smartest student to go through that school in over a century! Ron says she’s the smartest person to go through Hogwarts twice; you might want to take one of those out. Lastly, I like the ‘you never know what you have until you’ve lost it’ theme, because I think it really applies to this entire fic and situation. It’s nice to see Ron mentioning it, even if he’s not talking about his relationship with Hermione.
Another great chapter. I really hope you get the next one up soon! I just don’t know what I’ll do if I have to wait too terribly long. =)
-claps for another great chapter-
As trivial as it may seem, I’m always very impressed by good beginnings. I don’t know what it is, but I always seem to comment on the starts of things. So, naturally, I just have to say that I adore the way you began this chapter. It jumps right into the action, so to speak. We’re on our way to Rhiney Manor, and when we get there, we have basically the same reaction. Which is, I believe, something akin to, “Wow.” And it furthers illustrates the differences between Ron and Christopher, whom we haven’t even really met yet.
I’m very fond of the minor characters you’ve created for this story. You kept the right balance between familiar canon characters and unfamiliar new ones; because while it’s great to see our favorite canon characters, it’s important to throw in some variety as well. Great job with that. And speaking of characters…yay, we meet Chris! At first he does seem Lockhart-like. He appears to have everything, doesn’t he? And again, we see the foil to Ron. I like the small part where Ron and Tony ponder as to how Chris acquired all that money. It’s probably the type thing I would do in that situation – develop little theories. =)
For the most part, your writing is very clean and easy to follow. You write clearly and in a way that moves efficiently through the story without being too fast. However, there are some parts where your sentences become a bit too long. One sentence in particular I noticed was this: The room was even more beautiful than the last, with long paneled windows that stretched upwards towards the ceiling and had long, draping curtains tied off to the sides, and a beautiful stone fireplace with a glass coffee table and luxurious, sand-colored chairs and a matching sofa next to it. Descriptions of things can be difficult to pinpoint, because there tends to be a lot you want to fit all together. But don’t be afraid of breaking it up. About half way through this sentence, I lose the picture in my head and have to go back and reread it. While you do paint a good picture (your descriptive language is in no way lacking), it’s almost like you’re trying to fit too much on the canvas. Yes, I’m making silly little metaphors, forgive me.
Another small thing I couldn’t help but notice – you often use bolded text for emphasis. It may just be me, but I always tend to think bold text looks a little unprofessional. I think the general rule is that when you want to emphasize something already in italics, you simply un-italicize it. This way, it’s still obvious which word is being made to stand out, but it looks a cleaner. That’s a very nit-picky thing, though, and I may be the only one who cares.
I absolutely love the scene with Ron and Crookshanks! What a great way to introduce Hermione without actually introducing Hermione. I have to admire your plot skills in this story. You bring in things in new, interesting ways, and you create a story the reader really enjoys. How lovely, really. =) And then! Hermione! Excellent cliffhanger, of course. Because here comes the conflict the story will revolve around. Really makes me eager for the next chapter. -claps again-
Author's Response: I really appreciate your constructive critisism; it really helps. I actually wrote this story a couple years ago when I was less versed on the proper ettiquite of writing and even though I\'m going through all the chapters now, trying to clean up and fix any previous errors I might have made, I don\'t get all of them. So, really, I do appreciate the fact that there are other people looking out for me as well. : ) I\'m really glad you enjoy the story so much and I know that I can\'t wait to continue with, and finally finish, this story. Cheers! ~Bella
I was following this story back when it was up to fourteen or fifteen chapters, though I’m not sure I ever reviewed. Naturally, I was very excited when I saw you had started this up again, and I’m very much enjoying re-reading the chapters that go me hooked in the first place.
The way you begin this is the classic bad-dream-of-the-past, but it doesn’t seem clichéd at all here. I think one of the reasons for this is the way you kind of keep the reader guessing throughout the scene; even though we really know who the two people are (after all, this is in the Ron/Hermione category), there is still an element of mystery to the whole thing. Ron’s thoughts in this scene are great – his mind is directly contradicting everything he’s saying, and it’s so heart wrenching. And then the last line of the dream – perfect. So incredibly sad, but it sets up everything for the rest of the fic.
I love the interactions between Ron and Harry in this. It may seem like a minor thing, but I think the characterization of Harry is spot on. He and Ron seem like real friends; their dialogue is natural. Nice job with the two of them, as I think their relationship can be difficult to get right.
The idea of Ron and Harry being Aurors after Hogwarts is a slightly clichéd one (not because it’s unlikely, just because a lot of people choose to write it) but I think here you managed to make it original. They’re not off fighting the next dark wizard, or even really risking their lives quite yet. It’s an interesting mission you’ve set up for them, and I love it. Ron’s reaction to his assignment is absolutely perfect as well. He feels like he’s been put on the back burner while Harry gets to do the ‘real’ stuff, and that’s very in character. You’ve done a great job with all the characters in this fic.
Lisa is a great character – such a good foil to Hermione. And yet, she’s not a flat character, which could have been a very easy trap to fall into with her. Instead, she has more than one dimension. She’s flirtatious and has a sense of humor, but still does her job. An interesting character indeed. She has enormous potential for the rest of the fic, whether it be good potential or bad potential.
He was named “Witch Weekly’s” Richest Man in the U.K. and just beat Harry for the spot for most Eligible Bachelor.” Lol! Again, you characterize Ron so well. This sort of line from him reminds me when he says that ‘scarlet woman’ line in the books. Great stuff. But I also love how you introduce Christopher Rhiney into this. Already, we see the kind of person he is, and we know Ron’s impression of him. Sets everything up so nicely. In a way, Christopher is a foil to Ron, and with Ron’s jealous personality, it’s easy to see how things will get twisted up later on.
A great first chapter to a fic, and I’m looking forward to re-reading the rest of this excellent fic!
Author's Response: Wow. I am so flattered and quite frankly, speechless (which, if you know me, is a very rare thing. Haha..) Thank you so much for such kind words, great motivation, and great critiquing. I\'m very, very appriciative. I hope you enjoy the rest of the story! ~Bella