I'm an avid reader turned fanfiction writer who aims to one day be paid for original stories, but for now is satisfied with the invaluable reward of reviews (and three Quicksilver Quill awards). ^_^
ETA: Like Bilbo, I was There and Back Again (There being out in the non-fanfiction-world) a Writer's Tale filled with adventure, battles, and a return to the Shire of MNFF.
I enjoyed the poem, and its gradual shift from melancholy to resoluteness. I may be way off base, but this poem struck me as the thoughts Dumbledore had during that moment in DH when Harry views Snape's memories. The questions aren't ones I could ever see Dumbledore asking out loud, but silently, yes. They painted a portrait of a wistful old man who knows his end is near and is trying to reassure himself that his plans will be carried out.
You used "if" to begin lines fourteen times: once more than Kipling did in his poem If. When I read these lines:
If my plan goes awry,
If everything is in shambles,
I especially thought of Kipling's poem.
IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
But that an "And" to start the line after 'if' would work well in your poem.
The imagery of stumbling over a knotted root in life's path was vivid and effective. The porcelain doll simile, though, seemed more stock than what a man of Dumbledore's years would use, and repetetive, as well, with "smashed" and "shattered" back to back. If the line was Like the remains of my sister's long-ago doll or something else personal I think it would have worked better.
The last line was Dumbledore's dry humor to a tee, and made me imagine the actor Richard Harris and his twinkling blue eyes.
Thank you for sharing.
I love Remus, and your summary was appealing. It had pathos that made me want to read the story.
I think you used second person successfully to make a reader a part of the story and experience Remus' shock and detachment through his comprehensive observations about his parents, the way he focuses outward instead of inward. I flipped a jeep once on black ice, overcorrecting to keep from sliding down an embankment, with much the same response. Feeling like an onlooker taking in all the details, hyper-aware of everything that’s happening, and yet emotionally distanced.
The physical descriptions were striking, especially the rough texture of the broken skin.
Your word choices, however, made it impossible for me to fully suspend disbelief and see myself as the child Remus while reading. There’s a saying, when I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. Sometimes, “you” comes across as a child (Stupid, stupid moon). Most of the time, though, “you” is portrayed using vocabulary that’s too advanced. Impassive, relentlessly, fathom, suffocating, unconsciousness, incident, blemish, gaunt, suppressed: words like this are used by much older children.
I did enjoy the story and found the ending extremely realistic. I could see that happening the morning after Remus’ first transformation, and the use of looking in horror, by the child in the beginning, the mother at the end, was an effective way to bring the story full circle.
Arthur rubbed his hand over the back of his neck, and after a pause, walked off towards his friends, a wide grin on his face.
Arthur is so adorable in this story! You make the reader (at least this one) want to give him a squeezing hug and a big smooch on the cheek. His romantic dreamer personality is very well suited to love at first sight and admiring from afar. His declaration—while sounding a bit stalkerish—is sweet. :)
Molly’s characterization made me smile. It was very believable for her to be super “friendly” to a boy she likes, but doesn’t want to make the first move with. When she said in his ear, "Arthur! Are you listening to me?" it could have been a quote from one of the books. Very Molly!
Even though I think it’s believable Arthur mooned over Molly long before they became friends and then lovers, the beginning paragraphs didn’t convince me. They were a bit rambling and circular and even seemed to switch to second person with “You heard.” If you edited to make the first line Molly Prewett had everything I think the story would pull readers immediately into Arthur’s romantic woes and not require anyone to suspend disbelief about love at first sight.
The part where they’re walking in silence is understandable if they’re both wondering how to express their feelings. The part that takes away from it is when she stared back at him, completely bewildered as he grabbed her hands.
Molly tells Arthur she loves him a few paragraphs afterward, so her being bewildered strikes the wrong note. I think she’d be hoping madly that he had finally taken the hint that she liked him and was about to confess that he liked her.
I’ve done the same thing numerous times, :D, but while you can have the caretaker sneer, he can’t sneer dialogue. He can only say it.
I really enjoyed the ending, and I think it would make an even deeper impression if you didn’t use “perfect” several times earlier in the story. She was perfect. It would be the perfect opportunity. Molly was there, everything was perfect. It was perfect. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with any of those sentences, it’s just that if you’d used other words (amazing, ideal, brilliant, incredible, for example), when the reader came to “Life was perfect” it would read as the height of sincerity, without any possible subconscious thought that “perfect” is one of Arthur’s favorite words.
That’s my inner editor’s opinion, but as a reader who loves Molly and Arthur, nothing can erase the grin from my face. I can almost hear Molly and Arthur singing “Tonight” from West Side Story.
Today, the world was
just an address,
A place for me to live in,
No better than all right.
But here you are,
And what was just a
world is a star
I haven't read Alternate Ending, and I agree (so far ^_^) that it isn't required to understand the premise of this story.
I like your MC, Leah, and her complicated relationship with her father. It reminds me of what Colin Creevey and his dad must have felt. You hint very nicely at a mystery concerning her absent mother, with Leah's "ups and downs throughout the years" and her hope that her dad wouldn't become a recluse without her.
The personalities of Leah, Gwen and Cory are an interesting mix for a NextGen trio. Cory saying he was born in Romania was a smiley moment. Gwen's a fiesty character, but some of her dialogue read like an info dump. I counted ten sentences (a couple of them extremely long) without an action to give the reader a pause.
I very much enjoyed your descriptions of her cat, Soot, the people and motion of the train, and the night sky when they reached the school. I didn't much like the name of the school, however. McGonagall, while practical, surely could have come up with a better name than Kootenay, which, as the name of an area, river, and national park, both gives away the location of the school (not a wise thing to do in any time, peaceful or perilous) and lacks imagination. It's like the Founders naming Hogwarts "Highlands."
I wondered how you were going to sort the students, and a magic stone is a clever way. I like the house names, and suspect Leah will be sorted into Talos, as she's protective of her father and should fit into a house named after a giant of bronze who protected Europa from invaders and pirates.
Off to chapter two. :)
Dialogue-only stories are a challenge I'd be leery of taking on, so I admire you for experimenting with fiction, and I think you did well answering the multi-layered story question: Do you regret it? I also think you wove setting into the dialogue with marvelous effectiveness. With specific, telling details, you gave the reader a mental image of Azkaban, the wall, bars, water dripping, humidity, and even the layout of the prison.
What I found lacking in the story was believable characterization and distinguishable voice. These are grown men, but they sound like schoolboys.
"You're mean, Rodolphus. I hate you."
"You're stupid, little brother."
Rodolphus’ words about Bellatrix seem petulant. "She would even lick his shoes if he asked for it . . . I'm finished with her. She's betrayed me . . . She's dead to me."
“Sound” was the ultimate problem for me. When a story is limited to dialogue, it's like being in a dark room listening to a conversation. Each speaker's voice should be distinct. Here, they're brothers, but they read too much alike. Take out the names and a lot of times it would be hard to know who is speaking.
Here's a quote from a short story/scene from Tell You What I’m Gonna Do by a writer named Michael A. Kechula who won a 'Talk it out' writers' contest. In these opening lines, setting, plot, and two distinct characters are established entirely through dialogue.
“Hey, Kid, give it a try. Ten chances for a dollar. Toss a ping-pong ball in the basket. If it stays in, you win the best prizes on the Midway.”
“But your shelves are empty. Where are the prizes?”
“In your head.”
“Whadda ya mean?”
“If you win, you get whatever you want. Name it, and you got it. But you gotta tell me within one second after the ball settles in the basket. If you take longer, you lose.”
“I bet if I win and say Mustang convertible, you’ll give me a little toy car.”
“No way. See all those trailers parked over there? They’re loaded with prizes. New cars. Designer clothes. Gold jewelry. Anything a teenager like you could ever want. You name it, I got it.”
In Mr. Kechula’s story, the “kid” ends up trading his immortal soul for a Mustang, cheated by the ultimate barker. In yours, Rodolphus regrets marrying Bellatrix but doesn’t regret serving the Dark Lord. As I said before, I do think that was done well. “Rolph” isn’t just a yes-man. He’s more complex—and sympathetic—than his wife.
Was the challenge to write only dialogue? I enjoyed the banter (and the thought of Viktor Krum panties), but I missed all the things a scene usually has: description, thoughts, and action.
It's just a suggestion, but if you changed "Sorry," to "Sorry, Harry" it would cue the reader and he or she wouldn't have to skim down to paragraph eight to discover who Hermione is having the conversation with (like I did).
I enjoyed the imagery in this chapter, the family standing in a huddle, Harry waking to moonlight and seeing Ginny's silhouette, Hermione and Ginny standing side by side, watching Harry fade into the distance. You portray with stirring vividness the almost smothering love his friends have for Harry, and his reaction to everything that happens seems very in character. You make it easy to picture him taking a walk and following the impulse to keep on walking.
That's why the first four sections, everything before "Four Months Ago" is so baffling. It's like watching a film where the screen is black and you only hear dialogue. It’s hard to imagine what's happening and I can't always figure out who's talking. Overall, I have only a vague clue what's going on, and frankly, I think it cripples the story.
Prologue or not, this is your first chapter. As a writer, I believe you want to hook readers and entice them to come back and read the second chapter when it posts, not confuse them to the point where they wonder if it's worth the bother.
Using the spy novel/film convention of putting the location at the top of each brief conversation to let readers know where they're taking place would help. I think more revising than that is needed, however. Only in the Rosmerta/Minister dialogue is time mentioned, but without a frame of reference it's meaningless. Even after reading through the entire chapter and then re-reading the beginning, I'm left wondering where the first bit of dialogue is taking place, if one or two people beside Ron are conversing in the second scene, and whether it's Ron, George, or someone else threatening Malfoy in the last bit of dialogue. You could give a little description of people, place, or atmosphere; clarify who says what without losing the air of mystery. Like this:
Portkey Office, American Ministry of Magic. Three months after the Battle of Hogwarts.
"Miss . . . Granger, was it?" the official said, shuffling his paperwork.
"And what department did you say you were from?"
Hermione wasn’t impressed with the man’s too-busy-to-remember act. She placed her card on his desk. "Mr Tufnick, I don't like to repeat myself. If you ever see this man, you contact me at this number."
"What makes you think I'll see 'em?"
"If' is the operative word, Mr Tufnick. Good day."
That’s just an example. Any place, any time, any scenario would work.
At the end, the last line, As they watched him fade into the distance, they had no idea it was the last time they'd be seeing him, is repeating what you earlier told readers through Rosmerta’s conversation with the Minister. If you wrote a short dialogue exchange between Ginny and Hermione instead, you could show they’re worried about him and fear he might not come back without pulling the “they had no idea” narrator intrusion.
There's so much potential in this story I can’t help wanting it to be realized. I hope that makes your heart grow three sizes, although I fear the concrit might make your writer shoes feel two sizes too small.
For the first three weeks after the break-up I refused to move from the sofa.
One of the hardest things to do is to decide where to begin a story. Every writer wants to draw a reader in and keep her engrossed. As much as I admired your use of specific details to describe the hospital ward and her mother (her hair was scruffy and her make-up was smudged under her eyes), the beginning felt too generic and detached. I didn’t feel emotionally connected to the character or what had happened.
When I read For the first three weeks I thought, "This would be a kick-ass opening line." The rest of that paragraph summarizes what you wrote before it in a way that would bring readers immediately into the story and better allow them to transition into the core of the plot.
I feel so awful for suggesting that the story would be improved if the first eleven hundred words were cut (yes, I copied and pasted to a word file). Feel free to borrow my favorite mental image of stabbing a pencil through a "bad" reviewer's hand (It's very therapeutic :D). After you visualize yanking it back out of my torn flesh and casting a healing charm (because you're a good-hearted Gryffindor, not Bellatrix, for Merlin's sake), please do me a favor and read the story as if it started with that paragraph.
I'm not saying change a word of actual text. I only want you to see how the perception of the viewpoint character and Nick changes. Isn't the story tighter and more focused? Doesn't the end read less melodramatic and more tragic, that she's learned the lesson "Don't give up on him!" too late?
Throughout the story, I noticed a whole lot of adverb love going on. Sometimes the dialogue itself tells the reader how something is said, but even when it doesn't, be aware of using gently, sadly, etc. multiple times.
Finally, the ending lines read too pat for me. Nick just died. I think happiness comes much, much later. If you took off the last four sentences, your "new" ending would convey what your current last sentence does, but with much more impact.
Those words will stay with me forever.
If humans had any idea what the color red did to a vampire, they would eradicate it from their lives, from the very face of the earth.
That’s a great opening line, mysterious and dramatic, but it isn’t connected to the rest of the story. It reads like a narrator statement, and then the viewpoint changes to William’s. If you switch the second sentence around, and place it directly after the first, it would draw the reader in and introduce character all at once. Like this:
If humans had any idea what the color red did to a vampire, they would eradicate it from their lives, from the very face of the earth. William let out a sigh, though he didn’t need to breathe.
I enjoyed the thought that the vampire at the Christmas party only looked bored, and that anticipation heightens the pleasure of blood as much as it does other things. “Sanguini” being is his “annoying alias” made me grin. I agree the irony of the name is eye-rolling. For some reason (probably because the scene was told from Harry’s viewpoint) I imagined Sanguini was middle-aged and unattractive, so I liked your forever nineteen, sunken-yet-sexy portrayal much more.
Sometimes vampire romance is corny in the extreme, filled with purple prose, but yours isn’t, it’s feels genuine, although the courting phase of their relationship lasts only two days (that did jolt me. I’d hoped it would be longer, two months, at least). Yes, he’s prolonging the “delicious torture” to get the biggest bang for his bite, but you convey that Daphne isn’t just another score from the first impression: intriguing. William’s pleasantly surprised that she quickly snaps out of her ‘gee, you’re hot’ daze. The sound of her laughter pierces him (in a good way, I’m assuming, heh). He hates not being able to come up with a “definitive” answer to why he chose her. It’s well done, the way you portray him seducing in his prey with well-orchestrated vampire moves while seeming to develop true feelings for her at the same time. It made me wonder if the earlier “becoming one of his favorites” line meant he has a harem of brides like Dracula. I hope not. I’m too romantic. I want Daphne (who comes across as a formerly levelheaded turned impetuous teen girl) to be the only girl he wants to spend eternity with. :D
I do think “almost a minute” is a very long time to be pressing your lips to a love interest’s neck unless you’re licking and sucking and purposely giving a love-bite. In your story it detracts from the mental image of her quivering, him “reveling in her subtle terror” and turns the moment comic. I’d consider cutting that clause and just having “He drew his lips away.”
When it comes to concrit, there’s a dialogue formatting error—She nodded, "I read the book.”—should have a period after nodded, you overused the word “though” (I “search this document” in my own work to avoid repetition so I notice things like that) and you switched tenses with “He can imagine her panic.”
All in all, however (yes, I deliberately chose a substitute for “though”) I found the story and its ending delightful, as was your use of romantic imagery with the snow and trees.
Sanguine is a nice nod to Jo’s play on words, but I don’t think it suits your story half as well as what William told Daphne she was playing.
This poem made me look for an author's note, to see if you shared what you were thinking of when you wrote it. You didn't, so I'll have to live with disappointment, :), and share with you my impressions.
The first time I read the poem through I got the idea of a wizard portrait leaving his canvas to roam the paintings of Hogwarts until he discovered a stationary beauty immortalised by a Muggle artist. The last line is probably figurative, but it could be literal. :D
The second time I read it I got a different impression, that of a Muggle relation dragged to a wizard gallery, unsettled and dismayed by the moving portraits and then entranced by the Muggle (or Muggle-styled) painting. How revealing that would be of his discomfort with magical things, maybe even an objectification of women, or his need to project onto others (not much on your mind, bored with your presence, etc...).
I did notice the contradiction in the way he (If it is a he, it could be the Fat Lady gazing at a Muggle portrait of Pavarotti!) views the portrait. The painting sang and lusted in one stanza yet was restrained, watching in the next.
The idea of silence as sanctuary, as a quality of high value was striking. I think a cacophony implies loud as well as harsh, though, and I think the line would flow better without "loud", not make a reader run out of mental breath. As a writer who I'm sure you well remember reading loads of long sentences from, ^_~, you're welcome to snigger over me suggesting an edit.
You're free to smile, too, over me seeing For R, Always and thinking "she's left that open for interpretation so I say R is for Readers!"
I can't look at the poem forever, heh, but I will reread it one more time. Who knows? I might find another story in it!
Where the green blends with soft yellow, you kick your sandals off and leave them there to wait.
Imagery is definitely one of your strengths. The line I quoted was my favorite, but I think all your descriptions of the beach were vivid and embued with emotion, so much it was as if the beach itself was a character, or a Greek chorus. :) It works beautifully as a setting, and, along with the ocean, a counterpoint for Cho's turbulent emotions.
I don't like Cho as a character, usually, but you made me sympathize with her to the point where I wished you hadn't described her running nose, heh. At the end, the hope that he'd been there in spirit was incredibly poignant. Everyone who's lost someone shares that same wistful hope.
I noticed that you used the second paragraph in the summary, and I think it works there very well...but not as well in the story. It's repetitive, yet not in a poetic, stressed words/deeper meaning kind of way. If it was cut, I think the beginning would have more dramatic impact and better hook the reader.
Wishing it were you does nothing. At the end of the day, nothing will change. Still, though, you yearn for it to be you who’s dead, who can’t feel the pain. Not him.
That's just my opinion, though, for you to consider or dismiss with my best wishes.
The second to last paragraph is so touching, I wish the transition between it and the last line wasn't so abrupt. If you had, "As time passes and the waves recede, you sigh in acceptance." My love is gone would be bouyed like the sea, or a cloud, or whatever image takes your fancy, :).
It's a lovely story, and nice to see Cho mature enough to realize Romeo and Juliet aren't the ideal, that's it's enough to have loved, and Cedric would want her to live.
"So many people say that they were pushed off that cliff; that they fell, or never saw it coming. I've been sitting here my entire life, taking pictures of the rocks I could hit on the way down. I suppose it's always been a choice and I've just been teetering here, waiting to decide. Turn around or jump?"
[dark one shot feat. Draco Malfoy]
It was nice to read the story for the imagery and emotion, and nicer still to see you did use my suggestion. I wish you'd left the ending open to interpretation (the suicide warning nixes the hope he literally, physically flies away like Snape in HBP), but you're the writer, and however it's played the final words create a striking image. :)
Author's Response: Thanks for the review! The suicide warning in no way cements the idea, it's just there because the ending could be interpreted as suicide... To be safe =D Thanks again for betaing this!
There's an otherworldly feeling to this poem, a parallel sense of detatchment and oneness with the natural world and the beings who inhabit it. You evoked the mood well with description. I enjoyed your turn of phrase "Morbid scent" in particular.
I did notice repetition of words like cold, biting, gentle, and wind that felt more like unconscious reuse rather than key words. Also, at the end, without looking in the mirror, a person can't tell that her pupils are hyper-dilated.
Thank you for sharing the poem, and if you have the time to reply, I'd love to know what your idea of a morbid scent is, and the reason behind the phrasing of "gently monsoon." It's very unusual, and I think if you changed "gently running" in the second stanza to trickling or something else, the quirky combination would have more impact.
Your poems always make me psychoanalyze the pov character, to figure out what's going on in his/her head to phrase things the exact way that's expressed to the reader (which is one reason I enjoy reading them, heh).
The first time I read through this one, my initial impression was, "This is why stay-at-home-mums need to volunteer or find a creative outlet to retain a sense of person beyond the role of mother." What Molly seems to miss is the demands and disappointments, not the laughter and bustle. Then I started thinking maybe it's her way to use "busywork" like ironing and cookery to keep from thinking about things she has no control of.
Very interesting that she considers terror "base." That strikes me as a word with layers of meaning, although it might just be the obvious one. :D
"A chasm in bed" makes me sad for both Arthur and Molly...and makes me want him to encourage her to get counseling and a job volunteering at an orphanage or a wizards' home where her managing ways will be utilized and appreciated . . . and then come home and bridge that chasm, so to speak.
There's a rhyme with "low" and "slow" that doesn't quite fit your scheme. If you'd put What will I do while the hours drag by? or something the pattern wouldn't be off.
People who never heard of "pet rocks" wouldn't chuckle over "A pet. A Rock" read one after the other, but I couldn't help it.
I liked the ending, it made me imagine Molly being able to kill Bellatrix because she's worked herself into the state where she'd cast an Unforgiveable and mean it!
I'm sorry to hear you had writer's block. Maybe your subconscious needed to work on a few areas of the story before you were ready to write it. :)
I really enjoyed your perspective on the family, especially the dynamics between Victoire and Teddy. I had to suspend disbelief that the family wouldn't all get together at least once or twice a year before the official reunions began, but the older kids watching younger ones was very well done and true to life, especially the ignored "discipline" and not being able to get outside fast enough.
The use of the swing was classic and effective imagery. Teddy's angst was poignant, although I had trouble imagining him not knowing the true circumstances of Tonks "running off" to be killed in battle, not knowing about her work as an Auror, her work for the Order, that no matter what a "handful" she'd been as a teenager, his mother did not get bored of a baby and run off to overdose on a "toxic poison."
I did like the contrast between the way she dropped his hand when she'd grabbed it unselfconsciously (as a friend) and the way, despite the awkwardness, she didn't want to let go after realizing they weren't just friends or honorary "cousins."
The ending that followed was sweet, and I'm sure Fleur appreciated Victoire smiling instead of scooting away.
A short poem about the dementor's kiss.
The title drew my curiosity. What would a Dementor's Kiss be like? I enjoyed your take on it, and the couplet rhyming scheme.
How could one imagine a Dementor's Kiss.
Being sucked of all joy, happiness and bliss.
The first two lines set the theme and tone of the poem wonderfully, but the next line jarred with its shift from third person "one" to second person "you." If the poem's meant to make the reader feel like the person who's receiving the Dementor's Kiss, the first line and the second to last lines don’t fit. The first because of pov, the second because of tense: “would you” instead of “do you.”
As much as I liked the way you described the effects of the “Kiss”, there are contradictions in logic. If you have no thoughts, there would be a macabre “peace of mind.” You would be incapable of nightmares, reliving failures, or contemplating how you’ll spend the rest of your life.
The last line needs a question mark, but the question asked is poignant and thought provoking and an excellent end to the poem.
I admire you for continuing to post even though no one reviewed. Even if you get hits, it’s discouraging not to get feedback.
I read both chapters you have posted, and although I don’t usually read Dark Lord rules the wizarding world stories, I like Nick (drooling on the pillow was a very humanizing quirk), and his goal to bring back Elle. He reminds me of Imhotep trying to bring back Anck Su Namun in The Mummy. Is Elle worth bringing back? Their relationship didn’t seem exactly close. Also reminding me of the film is Lily experiencing past-life flashbacks. Is she an Evie-type character destined to stop evil or to be possessed by the soul of Elle?
The story has an interesting plot, but to be honest, sometimes the way certain things were written made it hard to keep reading. At the beginning, you have Alecto Carrow screaming to “whispering first-years” when it isn’t necessary and comes across as unintentionally humorous.
As much as I liked Voldemort’s pamphlets tossed about erratically, the content raised a brow. I’d think he’d have Pureblood scholars rewrite history in a textbook for History of Magic, and Muggles, while capable of producing Mudblood children, aren’t Mudbloods. I realize you were working in background information, but it seemed out of place in Muggle Studies.
Every writer has to watch for repetition, and I noticed a few instances in your story. In the first paragraphs, the children’s eyes were wide with wonder, and then Lily’s “sapphire eyes” were “rapt with wonder.” Later, in Nick’s pov, the word “away” is used three times in one paragraph. In the second chapter, you mention the sun a lot and have it both radiating and beating down “mercilessly,” while in the second and third paragraphs “residents” are mentioned three times.
The idea of scurvy-grass made me grin. If people know cigarettes give them cancer and smoke anyway, why not “grass” that leads to scurvy along with the high? The character of Chauncey Adams is amusing; especially that Lily admires him because he simply likes to cause trouble.
I have no sympathy for Nick eternally looking eighteen, but I think him having to pull an Edward and go to high school is interesting. I wonder if your Bella will fall obsessively in love with him, heh.
I hope you found my comments helpful, good luck with the story.
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.
You're not a poser, you're a writer of a lovely story, in a lump-in-your-throat, misty-smile sort of way.
I enjoyed your descriptions, from the vivid sunset to the chair stamped with George's personality. I found it very realistic and touching that Hermione would transition from feeling Fred's loss for others to realizing her own personal sense of loss. There are many levels of friendship, and although she and Fred weren't close, they were still friends. He touched her life and she misses him.
Hermione's realization about grief was moving. The only thing that jarred was the tense switch. The pov is third person, so it should've been "grief was" instead of "grief is."
Another thing I noticed was the dual use of "yard" in the first paragraph. I think if you edited yard to "garden" the first few times, and then changed "stood a couple of yards back" to "metres back" it would remove any possibility of confusion and, as a bonus, read more British. :D
Hermione worrying for Ron and him worrying for her, and the way they both took action was very sweet, as was the ending.
Thank you for ending with a smile. :)
It brought a smile to my face to see you were SPEW's author of the month, both because I like you, :), and since this is your first story you get to be the test case for the proposed "Fic of the Month" in that every SPEW member who participates will review Innocence. You'll be able to tell Jenny if that gives you a broader, more helpful range of productive praise and concrit.
I'm sure I'm echoing previous reviewers, but I think it was brilliant of you to want to show the reason why Remus thought he was "too dangerous." The scene where he's back at Hogwarts, particularly, was strikingly well executed.
He finally got his head straight again, so he took all the time he needed to be cautious of his decisions. He would distance himself away from innocent people; away from innocent lives.
His thoughts were a powerful way to show his current way of coping with what happened and gives a glimpse of the professor he'll become.
As much as I loved the concept that Remus had a tragic reason for his low self-esteem and belief that Tonks and Teddy would be better off without him, though, I have problems with the reason you chose and the way you brought it about.
At the baby shower where Remus gets drunk and forgets to go down to the basement or wherever he's locked up, he's young, and probably not used to drinking, so his forgetting is plausible.
What I find impossible to believe is that his parents would forget, or that they would have a baby shower at their home on the day of the full moon. Like many other parents of a child with a serious medical condition, they've scheduled events and outings around his condition for years. Why would they suddenly become criminally irresponsible?
Another problem is the lack of clarity about what actually happened that night. Did the werewolf physically harm his mother to cause the baby's death, or did she fall trying to get away from him? It would be more believable for me if she'd hurt herself stumbling in fright because a werewolf attack wouldn't be something that could be hushed up. Remus would go to Azkaban. He wouldn't be going back to Hogwarts. Also, her losing the baby from a fall instead of physical assault gives his mother's accusation "You k--killed my baby!" an extra dimension of tragedy because it was really an accident brought on by carelessness and negligence of many people, not just Remus, yet he puts the blame soley on himself and always will.
I think the story would be stronger if you said what age the boys were; that it was summer holiday; Sirius brought over Firewhiskey for the friends to play a drinking game while Remus' parents went to a baby shower at the village hall; opening the front door the sight of Remus, not locked in the basement, frightened his mother into running and a tragic fall she would blame Remus for in a moment of grief . . . but I don't expect you to change a word. I just wanted to give my honest opinion for you to consider and keep in mind for future stories--that I hope you'll post soon.
Thank you for writing an emotionally gripping and thought provoking story!
I love Remus and Tonks, so I was immediately drawn to your poem. :) My favorite imagery was "the shelter of second chances". It reveals her depression in thinking it's too late because it's already raining (regrets? tears?) and she's already wet.
"Incoherence" in the second stanza really sets the tone. It isn't that Tonks is speaking nonsense, it's that she can't clearly express herself. The images that come to her mind are disjointed.
The use of "cranial" in the fourth stanza is an alliterative but odd choice. It suggests skeletal figures, maybe watchers beyond the veil, but the end of the stanza refers to Remus with the following lines Tonks' plea.
Words wrap around my body in a twisted, grotesque internal lullaby reads awkwardly, just a little too long. Words wrap my body in a twisted internal lullaby would have conveyed the thought more fluidly.
I like the questions interspersed through the poem. The last one, though, I'm not sure is needed. It comes across as a little self-pitying, and takes away from the simple, and effective